Tag Archives: travel

Photo of the Week #7


Seen in downtown Bryan, Texas on Day 92 of The Voyage of the Tramper; December 19, 2012.

Wonder if she said “Yes”? Mr L sure put it out there!

The Queen Theater is a historic cinema palace, with a campaign to save her now underway. Check it out:

– Jane

Civil War History at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

A close family member is a Civil War buff. Not a reenactor, just an interested American. We visited Harpers Ferry, WV on a gorgeous, early Spring day. At 60+ degrees, we enjoyed the sunshine and warmth.


Here’s our group with David at the left and me at the right.

The East has such beautiful, old towns. Harpers Ferry is carefully preserved for all to see.




So much history! Harpers Ferry saw the skirmish with abolitionist John Brown that is said to have sparked the onset of the Civil War.


The Federal Armory firehouse where John Brown held forth. Attacked by the U.S. Marines, Brown was captured and hanged.

Inside the firehouse. It appeared so small, considering it's importance in our history.

Inside the firehouse. It appeared so small, considering it’s importance in our history.

The town, at a strategic meeting of two rivers and the railroad, was important to the war effort of both sides.

At the confluence of the Potomac (left) and Shenandoah Rivers. The railroad and two canals (the C&O and the Shenandoah) also served Harper's Ferry and connected East and West, North and South.

At the confluence of the Potomac (left) and Shenandoah Rivers. The railroad and two canals (the C&O and the Shenandoah) also served Harpers Ferry and connected East and West, North and South.

We walked the railroad bridge across the Potomac for a hike in the woods.

We walked the railroad bridge across the Potomac for a hike in the woods.

Harpers Ferry changed hands, from Union to Confederate and back again, 8 times during the War.

The town on the hill.

Harpers Ferry, WV


Lots of interesting history was revealed in the beautiful Information Center.

Some in our crew had been to Harpers Ferry before and some were seeing it for the first time. The beauty of the day belied the tragic nature of the bloody war that nearly tore our country apart. Such was the effort required to end slavery and unite the States again.

– Jane

Photo of the Week #4


August 29, 2005 – Hurricane Katrina

September 17, 2005 – Hurricane Rita

Twelve and a half years ago, these two storms gave New Orleans a double-punch of hurricane winds and water.

In December, 2012, this photo was taken. What happened to the folks who lived in this house? Where are they now? Will this house be rebuilt or torn down or simply decay in its abandoned state?

Just one block from the levee, surely it was inundated. More than a few times. It’s a miracle it still stands at all.

Such were some of the sights seen on the Voyage of the Tramper.

– Jane

The Voyage Continues

Or does it?

If you read between the lines.  If you’ve read all of the comments and our replies.  If you’ve glanced at a map or noticed a change in our pace.  If we bothered to tell you anything at all.  Put these pieces together and take note.  A circle is completed as we write from our Towson home.  Travel decisions each day were affected by so many things.  We left in hopes of “6 months to a year on the road”.   A chance to bike, hike, ski and live wherever the day took us.  One hundred and ninety days later we felt the calls homeward.  Each day on the road we asked, “where should we go tomorrow?”

As we drove down from the Rockies toward Denver, my answer was “maybe we should head home?”  This thought was cemented as we spoke of finances.  A warm day of mountain biking was enough to detain us in Kansas, but not to change our direction.  A few grey days on the road, and storms that kept threatening from the North nudged us Eastward.  A final clear day, snow on the Ohio and Pennsylvania grass led us to see I-70 as a good way home, despite previous months of avoiding Interstates.

Over my shoulder we knew the Baltimore sign depicted the long road from Fort Cove, UT

With a quick picture over my shoulder we knew this Baltimore sign depicted the long road we drove from Denver, and Utah near Zion and Moab

Locals had led us to unexpected jewels!  Serendipity showed us safety and regular smiles!  I got to ski a whole lot!  We hiked peaks, canyons and caverns!  Jane saw warmth and wildflowers!  In fact, today we see the old tricks of March; wet snow, heavy branches and refrigerated blossoms.  No worry, it melts fast this time of year.



The pressures that led us home were many.  We ran out of paper towels.  The Tramper account has seen only withdrawals for months now.  Both of us need to find jobs and pay some bills.   Marfa kept raising concerns about that big Continental Divide.  If needed, I’d imagined a plan to rent a truck in Utah, towing the heavy Tramper over the mountain passes to Denver if necessary.  With  Jane driving the 4Runner sans trailer, it would do fine.  The concerns continued, passes provided 25 mph crawls, but the transmission temperature never went out of control again.

Ahh, but the concern for this and other bits went on.  The 5  Day weather reports gave us windows to travel in.  (I won’t tow in snow and have even avoided rain as much as practical)  Safety is always a lens of concern for me.  My focus on joy and adventure is tempered by wanting to get home safe.  My responsibility to “keep Jane safe” is not just a funny topic.  Many nights were lightly slept in anticipation of noises or vehicles arriving nearby.

Yes, we crested one of the highest points in our journey, skied a few more times, and headed East.  I poked fun at our nation; “they’ll be nothing to do between here (Summit County, CO) and the Appalachian Mountains.”  “My cousin used to drive from Colorado to Baltimore in 36 hours.  We’ll be home in 3 or 4 days”.  Fortunately Kansas threw a surprise at me.  The world is full of surprises.  You’d think I would have remembered that lesson from earlier in the “Voyage”. 

We have many thoughts to share.  We have over 11,000 pictures to peruse and condense to a more sharable 100 or so.  We have memories of our longest “vacation” ever.  We have lists of new friends.  We have blog and Facebook followers.  And we have lots more to say.  We will be looking back at the trip and looking at its impact on us.  One visitor we met in Colorado asked, “How has your perspective changed”.  I shied from an answer, telling him I will know more a few months after our return.  If I don’t change actions or lifestyle, how can I say my perspective has changed?

We wonder if there are other questions out there.  We are likely to post retrospective thoughts.  Maybe a bit of logistics, maybe we’ll post what we’d do differently, perhaps a few suggestions for future travelers.  I want to post a piece with all of the barns we saw.   I see a whole post of cool things seen on trucks.  Trains became our favorite night time neighbors.  Wind energy prompted inquiry all across the country.  We hope to add more thoughts and questions.  Our life now has the vision of the Tramper.

Over all it was such a treat!  Jane and I lived in a 70 square foot space, awoke and stayed together 24/7 and not once broke into fisticuffs as Jimmy Cotton, our new friend in North Carolina had feared.  We truly hope that as we traveled, you enjoyed.  As we posted pictures, you felt a fraction of the awe we shared.  Surely if we can do The Voyage of the Tramper, whatever you are dreaming of is possible too!


Time Springs Forward

So, did you have a little trouble adjusting to the “Spring Forward” time change? Kinda got you all flummoxed, didn’t it! Wide awake at the wrong time, sleepy when you’re usually chipper?


Well, just imagine losing four hours instead of only one. And not all at once, like on an international flight. But, losing time, one hour at a time, over a span of two weeks. Just when you start to get used to losing an hour, it’s time to lose another one.

This is what happens as you drive from West to East in March across our big country.

Start in California. Let’s say it’s 8:30. (For illustrative purposes, let’s make the time changes occur in a linear fashion, as opposed to the various times of day that you may cross a time line.)


Lose an hour when you cross into Arizona and it’s 9:30.


Lose another hour when Daylight Saving Time begins a couple days later and it’s 10:30. (Oh, and we won’t count the flip-flop that happens when you enter and exit a Reservation that doesn’t use Daylight Savings Time!)


A few days later, lose another hour when you enter Kansas and it’s now 11:30.


Two more days and you’re in Indiana and you lose another hour, making it 12:30.


Find yourself asking “What the heck time is it?” and “Where did the day go?”. Because the days end quickly at the eastern end of this trip.

I also think about my traveling friends, the Livingston’s, who have 4 little boys who don’t understand what’s happening. Just that they have less play time each day for a while. Oh, the whining!

Good thing we’re still (technically) on the Tramper Voyage. Not having to work right now is a wonderful thing. Makes adjusting to time changes, and a lot of other things, that much easier.


– Jane