RSS

Tag Archives: “road trip”

Not My Ordinary Day Off

Last week my husband and I took a rare day off. We traveled with eight others in our church van to the Science Museum of St Paul.

Our next door neighbors are retired missionaries from Peru. They donated their collection from Aguarana Indians  to the Science Museum and we were invited to go see the private collection.

When we arrived at the museum we spent some time individually to see the exhibits and had lunch at the museum.

At 1:00 we met as a group to go to the collections area of the museum. Our neighbor, Dennis, directed us to the part of the collections where his collection was cataloged and stored in special cabinets at the museum. I didn’t take any photos of the collection because that requires special permission.

I was impressed at the collections that are stored in the museum that will probably never see the light of day to the average person because of the lack of funds and time to display them in the museum.  They are hoping to  post the photographic images of the collections online so people can see what the museum has in its collections department. People are welcome to see the collections if they ask permission and have a guide to show them.

While we were waiting to meet someone for our tour at the museum I looked out the window to the south of the museum and saw this riverboat.

When I was processing this photo I enlarged the sign on the boat to find its name and was surprised to discover that it is a bed and breakfast named the Covington Inn. I think it would be a very interesting place to spend a night or two. I may have to investigate the possibilities.

Another view out the museum window was of these trees. I loved the way it depicted a cheerful winter day. The science museum is about 100 miles south of where I live and it is unusual for there to be snow there but not at home. Right now our yard is nothing but brown grass and barren trees except for the pines.

One of my favorite inside photos was of this sculpture. In the entry of the museum an entire wall is covered with these blue acrylic tiles that look like sails complete with rigging. I loved how the tiles changed colors as the sun hit them. I love sailing and I had no trouble picturing hundreds of tiny sailboats at sea when looking at the sculpture.A  lovely reminder of one of my favorite summer memories.

Our day off ended as many do combining business with pleasure. On our way home they dropped off my husband and I at a transportation lot to pick up two vehicles for our lot. It was not without a bit of trouble. One of the vehicles had a dead battery. We had sent the others on their way home before we discovered the dead battery so we needed to go buy a set of jumper cables to get it started before we could finish our trip home.

Perhaps last Thursday was a glimpse into our retirement years when we will ride in vans or busses in large numbers to a designated destination. We were the two youngest in the group. The oldest was an 80 something retired teacher. I hope that when I am her age I will be interested in going to new places and seeing new things.

Every day you learn something new is a good day!

 
11 Comments

Posted by on December 12, 2011 in Photography, Uncategorized, Vacations

 

Tags: , , , ,

Dad’s Awesome Green Machine: 400209+ miles

Last week my brother was at our business getting some new tires on his truck when he said Dad’s van needs a tow from Dad’s house to the shop.

Shortly before noon I drove the flatbed truck over to their home and loaded up the green machine.

The van looks ordinary enough but it is far from ordinary for this reason:

Dad's 1995 Pontiac Transport Odometer on 6-5-2011

This was a picture of the odometer on Dad’s van when we delivered it back to his home on Sunday after we got it back on the road for him. When I picked the van up on last Tuesday he handed me a piece that had  fallen off the motor or so he thought. Also the accessory belt was laying on the front seat of the car. He said when he was picking up his sailboat from the storage area that he heard a loud noise and stopped to check it out when he found the piece that had come off the van. He continued to drive the van home.

After some investigation at our shop my husband determined that the piece had come off the end of the waterpump and that is what he needed to get the van back on the road for Dad. My husband talked to Dad and asked if they should fix the van. My brother thought we ought to take it to the local junkyard. Dad said fix it. So one of our mechanics put on a new waterpump and started filling the radiator with antifreeze and about as fast as he put the antifreeze in, it came out. Apparently when Dad drove it home from the storage area it got a bit hot and the 400, 000 miles radiator burst one of its seams from the heat.  The van would need a new radiator.

On a vehicle with that many miles my husband opted to find a used radiator for the van. We had one on a parts vehicle in back with only about 140,000 miles on that radiator for about half the cost of the new radiator so my husband put it on the van, filled it up with antifreeze and we delivered it back to Mom and Dad’s home on Sunday morning.

Dad bought this van from my husband in the late 1990’s, I think it was 1998.  Dad could tell you the year but I don’t remember. Dad and Mom are the second owners of the van and Dad loved the van from the beginning because it has a plastic body. It wouldn’t show rust. I’m not saying there isn’t any rust on the vehicle just that you won’t see it on the body but if you look underneath….

When the van hit 100,000 miles Dad was sure to tell us what a good vehicle the van has been. Then it was onto 200,000 miles he let us know it was still hanging in there. Next came 300,000 miles. Dad uses his van daily almost like a truck. He hauls his golf clubs and whatever else he needs for the day. Last summer when he was running for Congress he and my Mom hauled campaign literature and yard signs with them in the back of the van as they dropped literature in the district.

Dad will tell you that the van is still running the original motor but he did have to rebuild one transmission on it and later replace the transmission. It has served him well over the past 14 years or so. The last van that Dad owned didn’t have 400,000 plus miles on it when he quit driving it but it had many awesome trips to exciting places. Dad drove Mom, me and my four brothers and sisters all the way from Minnesota to El Salvador and back in that van one Christmas vacation in 1978.

The odometer read 400209 when we dropped it off on Sunday but its more than that by now and its “On the Road Again” like the old country western song.

 

 

 

 

 

 
24 Comments

Posted by on June 7, 2011 in Family, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Art on the Fly:Photography While Driving

The list of things that you shouldn’t do while driving keeps growing with more technology advances and desire for multi-tasking. People want to feel that their every moment is being used well.

Ever since I got my new camera in January I carry it with me wherever I go. I find myself trying to looking through the view finder while driving to get a shot of something while I am driving. Definitely not a good idea. I haven’t had an accident yet but the potential for one is possible.

On our trip to Florida I got this shot while my husband was driving.

It’s amazing what you see along the road when traveling. Whoever made this chicken has a lot more imagination than me for sure.

One of my greatest temptations while driving is a shot of a sunset or sunrise. I confess I took this shot while driving in Illinois near Rockford.

One of my favorite things to photograph are bridges. They are rarely in a good place to stop especially on a freeway. I’ve seen this bridge from my car window in Tennessee and tried taking pictures while driving with limited success. Some day I will have unlimited time to wander and photograph bridges.

You can tell that this is from the inside of my car from the window tinting near the top of the photo.

I’m not sure what this is growing along the roadside in Tennessee but the beautiful yellowish-green color caught my eye.

This last photo is of an old barn near St. Joseph, Minnesota. It is only about 30 miles from home. I’ve seen it often and want to take some pictures but not from my car. The only problem is I can’t figure out what road it is on in the country to get to it. I think I will have to find someone with a GPS in the their car so I can drive to it. This shot is out of focus but I still love the old barn.

I played with the framing of the picture in Photoshop to try to make it look a little more interesting even though it is out of focus.

Have a great weekend everyone and Happy Mother’s Day.

Every woman can have a positive impact on the life of a child whether you gave birth to him or her or choose to be a part of their life in an encouraging way. Our local librarian is a fine example of nurturing children in a positive way though she has none of her own.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Back home again but not without more trouble!

We finally drove into our small town of 400 at 3:00 pm. Everything looked pretty much the way we left it which was not what we were expecting when we got home. We had lined up some deals and work to be done while we were gone but they still looked undone when we got home.

After leaving our motel this morning at 8:30 we planned on being home by 1:30 but about an hour into our last leg of our trip we blew another tire on the truck. Unfortunately more damage was done to the truck only on the passenger side this time instead of the driver’s side.

My poor husband had to change yet another tire along the freeway. Note to self…If you plan on driving a vehicle all the way from Florida to Minnesota make sure it is on good tires with no bad wheel bearings.

After we dropped off our suitcase and unpacked the car we headed into work to catch up on our messages and got home at 6:30pm tonight exhausted. We went for a walk with our grandson and then collapsed in our chairs.

It’s good to be home!  Hopefully I won’t be driving in my sleep. 🙂

 

Tags: , ,

Fortunately, Unfortunately: Adventures in travel with a used car dealer.

Fortunately my husband got a good deal on a 3/4 ton truck in Florida he needed for a customer and a Corvette in Birmingham, Alabama. Unfortunately the auto transport company could not pick either of them up until the third week in May due a combination of the high gas prices, high car prices, and snowbirds wanting to get their cars back to Minnesota.

Fortunately we were able to get a good price on one way tickets but unfortunately we needed to leave for the airport at 4:00am on a Sunday morning.

Fortunately our flight arrived on time and we were able to catch the city bus that would take us from the Orlando airport north to the Sanford Auto Auction. Unfortunately it took us nearly two hours to go the thirty miles but only cost us $2.00 each for our bus tickets. We did get to observe a lot while on the bus and as we traveled from the airport to the auction. A bit of local flavor for sure.

Fortunately when we arrived at the auto auction we were able to pick up our truck after a mile and a half walk from the bus stop to the auction. Unfortunately the truck had a dead battery and a noisy wheel bearing. They were able to jump start the truck and we were on our way.

Fortunately we found an Auto Zone store open nearby and purchased some Murphy’s insurance for our trip home. We bought a tool set, hammer, chisel, flashlight and a wheel bearing. Unfortunately we needed to use all of the above later in our trip.

Fortunately we were able to resume our trip west to Birmingham to pick up the Corvette after staying in Quincy, Floriday overnight. Unfortunately while stopping to get some pictures of the sunset and pink flowers I picked up some poison ivy and a woodtick.

Fortunately when we arrived at Adessa Birmingham we were able to pick up an undamaged Corvette. There we some cars there that had been damaged by the recent tornadoes. Unfortunately the Corvette had a dead battery and one flat tire. Also the two front tires were in far worse condition than reported and needed to be replaced before we could continue our travels.

Fortunately the lot guys directed us to a nearby tire dealer who was able to replace the two tires at a very reasonable price and short order. Unfortunately it put us a little behind schedule wanting to be out of the Birmingham area before rush hour traffic.

Fortunately we were able to leave after getting the tires replaced and headed out of town. Unfortunately the left rear tire on the truck I was driving blew out in the middle of Birmingham in rush hour traffic.

Fortunately I am married to a mechanic and he was able to change the tire on the truck. He was able to drop the spare tire down from under the truck and put it on the truck safely on the roadside during rush hour traffic. Unfortunately when the tire blew it did some damage to the truck around the area of the tire. Nothing that would prevent us from driving it.

Fortunately we were once again on the road heading north of Birmingham when stopped two purchase four new tires for the truck. Unfortunately they only had two of the four that we needed and it took two and a half hours to have them put on the truck. The guys that put the new tires on the Corvette did it in fifteen minutes. The guys that put the tires on the Corvette operated like a pit crew and the guys that put the tires on the truck like the three stooges.

Fortunately while they were putting the tires on the truck we were able to sit down for some supper and once again get back on the road. Unfortunately about an hour later the wheel bearing on the truck decided that it had gone about as far as it wanted to go and we changed the wheel bearing in a truck stop parking lot in Athens, Alabama.

Fortunately the rest of our trip to Nashville was uneventful. Unfortunately all the day’s events put us behind schedule and didn’t leave any time for any fun stuff like sightseeing or many photographs. 

Fortunately as I write this post I am tucked into bed in a motel in Tomah, Wisconsin after thirteen hours of driving today with only stopping for gas and food. Unfortunately we need to be up early to finish our last five hours of driving back home tomorrow morning and back to work tomorrow afternoon. Sleep tight!

 

Tags: , , , , ,