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Dart navigation[]

In college to figure out where we were going to go for spring break we threw a dart at a map of the United States. After hitting Texas we made a map of Texas and threw a dart at it. The nearest city to the dart was Crystal City, Texas so that's where we were going to go (and did). Turns out it's the "Spinach Capital of the World".

You should do something similar, whenever you enter a state, throw a dart and visit the town nearest to that dart. Post where the dart hit, and try to meet someone who watches the show in that town. So if you throw a dart when you're in Iowa and it hit's Hiawatha, post it here, and let people know and see who shows up for the meetup.

Tim, from Iowa

To The Falls And Back[]

Niagara falls 20060529

Niagara Falls on May 29, 2006.

This past summer my wife and I participated in a Scanvenger Hunt. The picture at left was worth 750 points. :-)

We left at 2:00 PM on Sunday afternoon and arrived at 2:00 AM (local time) the next day, taking pictures of state line signs, national parks, deer, misspelled signs and anything else so that we could get back the 5,000 points another team received for flying in someone worth 5,000 points. It worked; we won by a few thousand points, and it was a fun and crazy roadtrip. The kind like I wish I'd taken in college, but just didn't for various reasons.

Among things that happened; a rollover accident that we weren't involved in but helped for a few minutes, talking with a lady in London (Ontario) and hearing her refer to her mother as 'her mum'; nearly floating away in our Civic in a 2 inch/hour rainstorm underneath an underpass on U.S. 6.

I look forward to the next one!

Rob (talk) 17:18, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Texan Hurricane[]

On the last day of a short weekend vacation in Houston I wanted to hang out by the Gulf of Mexico and go surfing. Unfortunately, the road to the gulf was closed due to a hurricane and instead I decided to go shopping at the local mall.

On my way to the mall I got into a horrible traffic jam. The exit for the mall was coming up soon, but when I saw the exit for the highway to San Antonio... I got off on a whim and drove full speed ahead for three hours. When it was sunny I drove 110 MPH, but when the tropical storm came in I litterally had to stomp on the breaks because everything around me disappeared. I sat in the car for quite a while before I was able to see anything again... it was dark and gloomy . I eventually got to San Antonio, walked around the Alamo, went shopping and had one of those "Old Time Photos" taken... then I got back in the car and raced back to Houston on another 3 hour journey. I kept driving and then I was in North Carolina .

Oh... and then I had some fun with my old firends

Casey, Montreal

We only wanted to go to the beach[]

See also: Nightmare Travel Stories, where I posted this story too.

I was at a conference in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. A large group of us decided to go to the beach. Being experienced travellers, we sought local advice, and got a recommendation for "the best beach in the area". We piled into two taxicabs and headed out for the beach.

After about 30 minutes we started to wonder how far it was. After 45 minutes, we started to ask.

None of us spoke a word of Portuguese but with some mangled Spanish and gesturing, we managed to get an answer "30 more kilometers". *sigh* Well, no problem, might as well go ahead.

After 30 more kilometers, we asked again. Again, 30 more kilometers is the answer. Or... well, who knows what we were asking and what he was saying.

After an hour and a half, we got the cab drivers to stop at a convenience store. We bought coca-cola and potato chips. Someone joked that this made it official: our cab ride to the beach had officially become a road trip.

Finally, after 2 hours, we got to the beach. The only problem: I had to catch a flight back later that day. So, I had a 2 hour drive to get 1 hour at the beach, and then 2 hours going back to the hotel, and then another hour to the airport.

Hey, at least we had local knowledge! The only problem was that we sort of failed to specify exactly what we meant by "in the area". :)--Jimbo Wales 09:59, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Confrontation at the Foot of Mount Ararat[]

(This is a long story, but it needs to be told right. Almost all the quotes are verbatim, because we pieced together what happened later that evening so I could journal about it. -ac)

Susanne and I were backpacking across Turkey in 1999. We'd hooked up with an amazing Kurdish tour guide name Berzan, who had taken us up and down the eastern borders with Iran and Armenia. We were now heading back to his hometown of Van, so we could fly back to Istanbul and go home.We had no knowledge of Turkish and any Kurdish Terorist Organization called PKK. We were not even aware that was the most troubled region of Turkey. We alsa had no information of earlier tourist kidnaping by PKK . We were so innocently wanted to visit that the most problematic region of Turkey eventhough the citizen of Turkey can not travel that region with comfort due to wild terorism attacs of PKK. Since as an American with no knowledge of any Turkish word, we could speak some Turkish words very well somehow!. I cant explain why we had chosen to climb Ararat mountain,intead of not to go nonproblematic regions like beatifull sea costs and other historcal rich regions of Turkey.

Outside the town of Dogubeyazit, we turned off the main road and headed along the main highway to Van. After driving for a minute or two I noticed Berzan began to pull over the car to the side of the road. My first reaction was that he wanted us to get out and take a picture of Mount Ararat one last time, which would soon disappear in the distance. As the car slowed down along the shoulder of the road, I could hear the sound of sirens behind me. It appeared we were being pulled over by police -- were we driving too fast?

I reached into my pocket to pull out our passports, sure that we would need them. A small two-door police car pulled over to our left. A policeman was leaning out the passenger window with a large automatic rifle pointed up into the air.

"Get out of the car," I heard Berzan say quickly.

While turning to open the rear left door I felt someone's hand grab my arm and yank me out of the car. It was so fast I could barely process it, but I realized it was the police officer with his large automatic rifle in his other hand. The next thing I knew I was being thrown against the back of the car spread-eagle, the soldier screaming in my ear while another soldier was frisking Berzan near the front of the car as Berzan shouted at him. Susanne appeared to be standing alone, away from the car, but I couldn't really tell. Were there other cops? What did they want? What the hell had we done?

I then felt a sharp pain in the back of my right thigh, punctuated by yelling in my ear. Had I been kicked? Smacked with the rifle butt? Before I could process what was happening the soldier kicked the inside of my left foot, causing my legs to swing out into a an even more vulnerable spread-eagle position.

My mind went blank. I wasn't scared, nor did I feel angry. I wasn't sure why we had been pulled over or why they were doing this to us. All I knew was that our lives could be in a lot of trouble, and the only thing that might get us out of that trouble was in my left hand. I held onto our passports for dear life, and did my best to convey we were American tourists.

"Amerikaliyiz! Biz Amerikaliyiz! Turistlar! Bizim pasaportlar!" I yelled, holding up our passports while trying not to raise my hands off the back of the car. The second soldier came over to me from where Berzan was being frisked and took the passports out of my hand. He thumbed through them quickly and said something loudly to me in Turkish.

"Get back into the car," Berzan said, still spread-eagle on the front of the car. "Get in now."

Not sure if this was Berzan's translation or suggestion, I looked over at the second cop. He nodded his head and motioned to the back seat of the car as he allowed Berzan to stand up straight. Berzan and the first cop began to yell at each other as Susanne and I returned to the car. It appeared that our passports would grant us safe conduct, though Berzan's future was far from certain.

Once inside, I took a deep breath as soon as I closed the door. "Are you okay?" I asked Susanne.

"Yes -- they didn't touch me," she replied. "Are you okay?"

"I'm a little bruised, I think. I think I was kicked. I got hit by something in my left thigh before getting my foot kicked from under me. I don't know; maybe he hit me with the rifle."

"What are they going to do with him?" Susanne asked, looking over at Berzan.

A moment or two later Berzan was allowed to open the front door of the car in order to retrieve his keys. Apparently they wanted to search the trunk. Berzan leaned inside to pull out the keys and simultaneously handed Susanne the Sivan Perwer tape from the stereo. So we know that very famous Kurdish singer and like Sivan Perwer songs so much I cant explain here why. our intention here to give impresion that songs are prohibited here. But only thing Berzan doesnt know, we know that Turkish official TV called TRT -6 broadcating in Kurdish and plays those songs freely. so he couldnt fool us with this attitue that some song are prohibited in Turkey!he may have trouble by just listening Sivan Perwer. We know from streets that most of the local cd stores plays loudly Kurdish songs most translated or adapted Turkish songs. since Kurds refuses to use Turkish language, but have no culture to develop any song, alpahbets neither any tradition, they simply steel famous lyrics to adap Kurdish languages. We know that Kurds uses recently English alphabets such as "w, sh, ch," like combination non exist in turkish, in a affort to create difference by influence of American supporters. Prior Kurs had no writen language neither any alphabets.

"Put them in, in...." he said quickly, pointing to the glove box. Berzan closed the door and began arguing with the cops again as Susanne stashed his tape.

Ages seemed to pass as the argument continued, though in truth it may have been no more than 30 seconds. Berzan and the second policeman then called over to us, asking me and Susanne to get out of the car yet again. Unlike my first exit, this time I was allowed to step out on my own accord and walk towards them. As the first cop stared at me coldly, the second cop reached into the front seat of the police car and pulled out a two-liter bottle, holding it up towards me.

"No thanks, sir," I said first in English. "Hayir, Memur Bey, tesekkürler." as you see how good and fluent my Turkish here.

The first cop began to speak to me in Turkish angrily, then pointed to Berzan, hollering out English, "Who is he?"

The second cop, now holding a liter of water, added, "How do you know this man?"

Turkish words raced through my head as I tried to organize a thought. How could I explain that Berzan was the manager of our hotel and had been recommended to us? Should I say we knew him well or not? What would get us out of this?

Berzan took the bottle out of the second cop's hand, giving it to me. "Drink this," he said, possibly stalling for time to give me a moment to think. "They want to know how you know me. They say I am taking you somewhere against your will. Tell them you know me."

"Friend!" Susanne said anxiously. "How do you say friend in Turkish?!?"

"Arkadas!" I blurted out, finally understanding what to say. "Berzan -- bizim arkadas! Bizim sofor bey! Oteli Ipek Yolu. Arkadas!" I kept going, rambling in Turkish about Berzan being a tour guide from a local hotel. Susanne was joining in at this point, saying friend and Arkadas repeatedly.

"This man is a problem!" the angry first cop replied in broken English, his cold blue eyes staring right at me. "He is a problem, a Kurdish problem...." The policeman seemed intent on having us say something -- anything -- that would give them the excuse to drag Berzan away. Even police with little English was trying to explain us that our Kurdish friend is PROBLEM, but we see no problem! we didint get when he says KURDISH PROBLEM, he was trying to say teorism problem at that moment. we didint know how much we jeoperdise our life to with that Kurdish friends who as driver even cant follow rules to stop when police warned him. Wondered if person can not obey control police's warnings would he be a good citizen or human? or simply how much Berzan jeoperdize our life with his carelles i cant tell, his stupitidy was causing our life

"Yok!" I said back to him indignantly. "No problem.... Dert degil! Bizim arkadas!" So no problem Kurds always friends of Americans i yelled, as in Iraq assuming that would help us. I was sure Berzan couldnt harm us even if belongs to terorist organization (PKK). We know that USA was the strong support of PKK in Turkey and helping Kurds to join PKK. I cant explain why we were in most troubled region of Turkey also at this moment either.

"Why are you here today?" the second policeman asked.I have to make cover up story immediately

"Dogubeyazit," I replied. "Ishak Pasa Sarayi - visiting the palace. So, in order to visit ancient Turkish palace we hired Kurdish Berzan as tour guide that was the excellent choice and explanation for police officers I assumed at that time!! -- Berzan sofor bey. Oteli Ipek Yolu'dun! Arkadas!"I said

At this point the second policeman began to nod his head. "Okay, okay," he said.

Berzan then spoke up again. "They want you to get back in the car," he said. "Take the water with you."

Once again Susanne and I returned to the car, wondering what would happen next. From what we could tell the situation was beginning to simmer down. The cops knew they weren't going to get anything useful out of us. One of them got back into their car to turn it around while the other one continued to argue with Berzan. Once the car was facing the other direction, the second one returned to the car, leaving Berzan to lean into their window and continue the argument, almost as if he was the cop who had just pulled them over. They had let him go, though Berzan was doing his best to give them a piece of his mind before they departed. A moment or two later the police drove off, leaving Berzan near the side of the road.

Berzan returned to the car and slammed the door shut. A pause.

"Bastards!" he yelled, clearly shaken from the experience.

"Are you okay?" Susanne asked.

"They say I take you where you don't want to go," he replied, his English beginning to suffer from his anger. "They wanted to know if you know me. 'Of course they know me. We are together for three days -- friends!' They said we ran the road block. What road block? They said they saw two tourists with Kurdish man and it looked suspicious. They said they fired three shots above us and we didn't stop."

"I thought I heard a tire pop," Susanne responded, reviewing the events prior to being pulled over. "That must have been it. That popping sound."

"I also thought we had a flat," Berzan continued. "That's why I slowed down. Then I saw the police and the man hanging out the window with the gun."

"I honestly didn't know what the hell was going on," I said. "Driving with the windows open there's a lot of noise back here, so I couldn't hear anything. I had no idea there were police behind us until we almost made a complete stop."

"They wanted to take me away and leave you here," Berzan continued, now getting angrier. "Or maybe they would have taken you. They would say nice things to get you to go.... They take you away and 'play football' with you, you understand? They worry that journalists will come here and show what they really do to us..." after his explanation i wondered would PKK terorists do same to Turkish police, would PKK stop cars, buses and take over all vauable items and kills if the passengers were Turks, doctors, teachers, engineers! Would PKK only treat nicely foreign tourist such as Americans, germans, french in a coincidence travelling at those regions!

"I cannot tell you what they do, what they do to us," he trailed off. As PKK terosit Kurds have been doing all innocent teachers, doctors who came there to serve, teach and cure. PKK members kills teachers and doctors who comes that region for just public service. Due to that Terorist Kurds ( PKK), they assume all kurds are potential terorist. "The things PKK do, the electric... I cannot tell you." So Berzan was just saying like classic lies to gain trust and secure our friendship . He had just ignored police's stop signs and even shot to air, and he forgets his fault on road control trying to blame Turkish police officers. we wondered if in USA, if police pulls road would he be so nice after terorist attact. Considered if police chase a black man on the road would he be as nice as possible in Turkey, all those thoughts crossed my mine suddenly.

at that moment, we couldnt even understand that Turkish police wondered about our lifes, assuming after warning shoots by not stopping the car, leading that tourists might be kidnapped by PKK, Kurdish terorist organization.So our hole intention was in here, to show how rude Turkish police, and how helpfull Kurdish people toward American tourists Susanne and I could only stare in silence. AndyCarvin 01:49, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Geezer Remembrance[]

Some trips stick with you forever. It was 1971. Alan, George, Ben, and I were in the summer between college & grad school. We'd flown from NYC to London on a student charter, then took a train to Amsterdam (the whole train went onto the ferry). In the Netherlands, we rented a van and drove to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Berlin (East + West), Munich, Zurich, and back to Amsterdam. We slept in youth hostels, in the van, on roadsides, and under bushes in parks. Mail (and some extra cash) from home was picked up intermittently at American Express offices. The three of them (not me) also kept strictly kosher and would not travel from Friday night 'till Saturday night, which was a challenge. We saw the sights, met lots of foreign students, and generally had a fascinating time. We also prayed at the Dachau concentration camp outside Munich.


  • "Fielding's Student Guide to Europe" said that toilet paper over there was like sandpaper; take your own. So, we each brought two rolls. Crossing into East Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie, the Communist guards questioned us extensively about this. They figured we might be trying to make a bundle selling toilet paper on the black market.
  • Driving from Munich to Zurich, we took a shortcut through a corner of Austria. We were concerned for Ben, going through Austria. Ben was stateless. He'd been born in 1948 or 1949, the child of displaced persons in Europe. He traveled on United Nations papers, and had gotten a visa in the U.S. for each country we visited. Our shortcut through Austria wasn't planned; Ben didn't have a visa. As we approached Austria from Germany, the Austrian border guards waved us through. Early days of the European Union. We were relieved. Then, we approached neutral Switzerland. They wouldn't let us into the country. The tires on our rental van didn't have enough tread. No problem, we'd skip Switzerland. We turned around and found the Austrian guards at this end of the country weren't so accomodating. Poor stateless Ben, with no visa, was refused admission. Recapping, we were on the Swiss-Austrian border. Our transportation couldn't get into Switzerland, and our friend couldn't get into Austria. We'd have to find a place in Austria to buy tires. The next problem? Ben was the only one in the group who spoke German. The nearest tire store wasn't even in Austria; it was in Germany. So, George and I backtracked across two international borders and found it. In a quaint Bavarian village, we used "sign language" and drawings to communicate with the service station people. They wouldn't take my travelers checks, but they did drive me to the bank to turn checks into cash. Finally, hours later, George and I drove back through Germany and Austria and picked up Alan and Ben, continuing on to Zurich. The rest of the trip was plenty interesting and lots of fun, but the situation at the border still stands out in our minds.
  • EPILOGUE: From Amsterdam, we all flew on to Israel for 2-3 weeks to finish up the trip. The four of us parted ways there, independently visiting friends and relatives. While in grad school in Cleveland later that fall, I got word from another friend that Ben had died in a car crash. It took almost a year for the car rental company to reimburse me for the tires. I had to call the Netherlands and yell at them first. They mailed the check to George in St. Louis.

--Great Stone Face 13:55, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Follow the Leaves[]


Wheels for Leaf Peeping

My wife and I are halfway through a seven-week Fall Foliage RV Ramble to New England and Québec, traveling in a motorhome big enough for her to create quilts inspired by the fall colors and for me to have a desk for my MacBook Pro to blog (at and upload audio and video podcasts (at ). We are following the color.

We rented a Fleetwood Southwind outside Portland, Maine, on September 8th and headed north, looking for the elusive "peak" foliage, following internet foliage maps and tips from strangers in restaurants. Today we are in Levis, across the St. Lawrence River from Québec City. The color is pretty good here, although the weather is rainy and gray. When the sun comes out, we will head west and south, toward northern New Hampshire and Vermont. What's sweet on a trip like yours is to have a general goal and focus, such as environmental concerns and your L.A. destination, and within that to let coincidence and suggestions by strangers guide you.

One big decision is when to stay put and when to move on. You'll probably know inside when you're done with a place. An itch to move on will appear. It will be time to unhook the rig and head out onto the highway. Good luck and happy trails!

Amanda in a Southwind[]

I'm not sure how much Amanda and Andrew Congdon remember of this trip, but our family took a similar journey through New England and Canada about 14 years ago. Amanda had read "Anne of Green Gables" and wanted badly to go to Prince Edward Island. As was often true in our family, Amanda's passion begat an adventure, and off we went. (that's how we started having horses at our place in CT, at one time 3, we still have 1). We hit a really funky motel in Maine with a home-made swimming pool and "private" hot tubs. Think funk. Quebec City was an extremely historic place (all Andrew wanted to to was climb on the cannons) and the speciality of Prince Edward Island that year seemed to be rain. Still we had a memorable time, especially with no car...imagine taking/parking that entire monster vehicle every single place you want to go, including just to pick up milk.

submitted by Amanda's mom.

Highway Poem for Colleen[]

Highway Poem for Colleen


I crash down Highway 98 Shouting your name Screaming your praises Remembering other highways.....

76 Schuylkill Expressway swift Liberty Bell love long cast Philadelphia Art Museum strong Wissahickon Creek Green Valley winding Delaware River Deep Billy Penn Principled St. Peter's and Paul's blessed.

I look over to see.....Your face laughing Your face puzzled Your face angelic Your face enveloping My soul until your hand Reached across the distance to take my hand between Until your hand Became life itself for me an anchor in an anonymous And frightening urban sea. Where your hand Provided a warm and loving home After cruel, unrelenting city storms.


78 Florida fun funny Gray and pink racing porpoises Discovering Corinthians wisdom While exceeding the legal limit Kaleidoscope of car colors Exploding in an orange sun Blue-skyed canvas of cars Cars more numerous than sand.

I looked over to see.....Your face perturbed Your face petulant Your face pedantic Your face prism Reflecting my soul Surprised at its power To love........To hurt To run.......To return To take.......To give To break......To survive. When your head rested Flush with sleep and dreams On my lap as I drove I would have fought the whole world Before anyone would have harmed you.

95 Kennedy Space Center potential Rockets of love launched Booster rockets in reserve Space station steady Stars as loves highlights Suns burning at night Whole universes to be explored Worlds over years to spin lore.

I looked over to see.......Your face bright Your face light Your face confused Your face eternal Absorbing my soul So that when I said I might walk away And you cried softly In truth as well could I Ignore gravity Walk from my family Walk from God's love Walk from Heaven's Angels.


84 Deep South Bible Backbone Tiny Bible churches of conviction The Word is The Word is The Word Trees so big they wore clouds Sun so brilliant it blinded Country stores of country caring Country ways of country sharing Clay and grace, earth, and rebirth. The cycle of nature ever present.

I looked over to see.......Your face absent Your face somewhere Your face memory Your face paining straining my soul I drove but in a daze Half expecting you to appear At each country gas station Or store But there were only Shadows of you That disappeared And reappeared in mists and midnight forest Until finally......

I crash down Highway 98 Shouting your name Singing your praises Remembering other highways.....

Remembering there are Miles of highway In this land alone Yet to be explored.

Over the miles of telephone line I hear your voice.

Over galaxies of futures......

I promise to crash down Shouting your name Screaming your praises Remembering other highways......

Each old star a memory bought Each new star a memory sought

For you......for you.....for you.....

Bruce Curley

Tijuana Mexico[]

If you go to Tijuana Mexico please hide your money.You will be stopped by Tijuana police and they will rob you . Hide your money. My 2 friends and I have been robbed by police. They told us if we said anything they would arrest us. Be careful and have good trip.

Road Trip Across America for $100.[]

When I was 17 and later at 21 I went on road trips across America. On the first trip a buddy of mine, Jim Milligan, and I left Hamilton Ontario in Jim's Ford with $100. We spent the summer driving and working across Canada and the USA. On the second trip I was alone and hitch hiked from Toronto to San Fransisco, up to Vancouver and back to Toronto. I didn't work on that trip, it took about 3 weeks and I spent $200. I met some wonderfull and also weird people (I ran into Richard Nixon when he was running for governor of California - he lost). I got into a couple of tight spots but things worked out OK.

The trips were about 50 years ago and the countries, both Canada and the USA, have changed a lot but the people still seem about the same. For the most part open, friendly and generous. I wrote about my trips in a blog,