The Travel Bug

1 Jul

No, this post isn’t about geocaching. Well, sort of. The title actually refers to the imaginary travel bug, as in, “I’ve been bitten by the travel bug.” I myself was diagnosed with Travelaria sometime in the Spring of ’07 whilst jaunting through Europe, although I probably first contracted the virus during the Summer of ’06, following my discovery of Google Earth and my subsequent trip across California. (Or perhaps the bug bit me in Spring ’04?)

An unfortunate symptom of Travelaria is a sense of restlessness when one is not travelling. Sufferers of the disease may say to themselves, “What good are you just sitting around here? There’s a whole world out there to discover!” Even though I have enough projects this summer to last me an eternity, working at home every day gets old quickly. I wish I had more opportunities to get out of the house, as fresh air gives me a big boost of energy and refreshes the senses. The difficulty is finding the balance between your indoor commitments and your outdoor fantasies.

If only there were more hours in a day.

Fortunately, I’m an opportunist and I’ll take every chance I can get to travel. Although gas prices seem to aggravate Travelaria, even a local daytrip will temporarily soothe the Travel-itching. As I mentioned in the previous post, I planned a trip up to Sugar Hill for the annual Lupine Festival. (For those of you who don’t know, lupine is a wildflower. And yes, it’s kind of a big deal up here. What else have we got to do?) Needless to say, the famous June blooms also satisfied my photography craving:

To see more of my lupine photos, click here. And to see even more, click here. Trust me, they’re awesome.

The next excursion on my agenda was a rather long daytrip, but one that was definitely worth it. This year marks the 250th anniversary of the Battle of Carillon, and Fort Ticonderoga hosted a massive reenactment of the French and Indian War battle this weekend. Naturally, I had to see it. Not only do I think 18th century fashion is wicked awesome, but ever since my days as a Civil War reenactment spectator / wannabee reenactor, I’ve always had an interest in these things. Maybe not enough interest to dish out hundreds of dollars for my own reenactment apparel, but it’s something I’d like to do eventually.

Furthermore, I’d never been to Fort Ticonderoga, despite being a (relatively short) 3-hour drive away. What kind of history appreciator am I? Although the morning was very foggy, the drive across Vermont still managed to be wonderfully scenic. particularly the views from I-89. We continued through a host of picture-perfect New England towns full of life and character (despite being in the middle of nowhere), climbed up and down the Green Mountains, and then traversed the Champlain Valley, which could easily pass for somewhere in Wisconsin. The two states do share a strong association with cows and cheese.

In order to leave New England and reach Fort Ticonderoga, we had to take a small ferry across Lake Champlain to the New York side. The ferry was full of cars heading to the reenactment. When we arrived at the fort, there was a significant line of traffic. This was quite the event.

Sadly, the weather was not in our favour. The afternoon began quite hot and muggy, and once the reenactment actually started, it began to rain. In spite of the rain and a mediocre vantage point, I enjoyed the spectacle and managed to snap several photos:

To see all of my photos from the event, click here.

The heavy rain did prevent me from fully exploring Fort Ticonderoga, but I suppose I’ll have to come back someday. Maybe for the 250th anniversary of the Revolutionary War battle?

Speaking of anniversaries, Quebec City is celebrating its 400th this year and I’d be a fool not to go up there for the amazing array of festivities. My brother and I are heading up for the 4th of July (we’re very Patriotic), so I’ll give you the rundown when I get back. But on the 10th, it’s off to Ohio for the LSA Summer Meeting, where I have to present my poster, “Phrasal Prominence in the English of Native Spanish Speakers.” I might be more enthused if it were somewhere other than Columbus, Ohio.

At the very least, I guess I’ll satisfy my travel cravings for a while, even if it is work-related. Besides, I can add another state under my belt and experience a little more of America. Which brings me to the feature presentation of this blog post —

ROAD TRIP ’09

Well, it’s still in the planning stages. But given that I have some friends who have also been bitten by the travel bug, the plan is to drive across and experience our country before we get too tied down and can’t do it anymore. Ideally, we’ll have a fully-loaded car with 5 people and good gas mileage. Lodging will involve a combination of camping, motels, and couchsurfing. Hopefully gas prices won’t have skyrocketed by next summer.

At any rate, it’s an ambitious undertaking. The trip will last about 3 weeks and cover roughly 9,000 miles, averaging 8 or 9 hours of driving per day. The current route map looks like this (click for large image):

The map also includes a few points of interest (these aren’t our stopping points for each day’s leg of the journey). The actual day-by-day breakdown of the trip will probably follow this outline:

Day 1: Bristol, NH to Niagara Falls / Buffalo, NY

Day 2: Buffalo, NY to Chicago, IL

Day 3: Chicago, IL to Sioux Falls, SD

Day 4: Sioux Falls, SD to Rapid City, SD via Badlands and Black Hills

Day 5: Rapid City, SD to Yellowstone National Park, WY

Day 6: Yellowstone to Jackson, WY via Grand Teton National Park

Day 7: Jackson, WY to Spokane, WA

Day 8: Spokane, WA to Seattle, WA

Day 9: Seattle, WA to Portland, OR via Chinook and Columbia River Byways

Day 10: Portland, OR to Eugene, CA via Oregon Coast and Redwood Forest

Day 11: Eugene, CA to Yosemite National Park, CA

Day 12: Yosemite National Park

Day 13: Yosemite to San Francisco, CA

Day 14: San Francisco to Los Angeles, CA via Pacific Coast Highway

Day 15: Los Angeles to Las Vegas, NV

Day 16: Las Vegas, NV to Grand Canyon, AZ

Day 17: Grand Canyon, AZ to Grand Junction, CO via Monument Valley and Arches National Park, UT

Day 18: Grand Junction, CO to Western Kansas via Top of the Rockies Byway

Day 19: Western Kansas to St. Louis, MO

Day 20: St. Louis, MO to Charleston, WV

Day 21: Charleston, WV to Washington, DC via Shenandoah National Park

Day 22: Washington, DC to New York City via Philadelphia

Day 23: New York City to Bristol, NH

We’ll pass through at least 30 different states.

While this trip is only slated for August ’09, I’m excited about it already. Must be my Travelaria acting up.

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One Response to “The Travel Bug”

  1. SquamLoon 11 July 2008 at 06:11 #

    A most enjoyable post.

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