Another Great Road Trip – Victoria, British Columbia

If you do a quick search through the Lexican’s blog, you will see that I like to travel. And in addition to plane travel, Road Trips are right up there. I’d have to say when the opportunity arises I am like a house-bound dog who suddenly bolts out the front door when he sees it briefly open.

Actually, as a pure traveling experience, I would put road trips ahead of cross-country plane trips. Because for me, the journey is as fun as the destination. It’s the unexpected people and places along the way that add to the memories. From an interesting used book seller (with 100,000+ books) in rural Montana to an old Army buddy in Colorado Springs, they would not have been known but for a car drive.

For this drive, both the journey and the destination were exciting.

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Apollo Missions and an Alternative History

Fifty-four years ago today, Apollo 11 lifted off for its historic mission to the moon.

For those 2 of you who have followed my occasional blogs on the Neptunus Lex page – you know how I like history – and the little-known bits that are either ignored or rarely acknowledged – that can become so profound. Some years ago, I read in one of my history magazines – only a paragraph or so – that an American Tory, after the Revolutionary War, suggested to James Cook that they consider Australia as a prisoner repository now that the American colonies were gone.

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An Unnatural Interest?

Last Sunday, I decided to salvage what was an unproductive trip looking for a car part in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rather than go home empty handed, I went to a place that has held my curiosity for a few months.

And then I thought, in the many years Chicago Boys has profiled so many good writers with interesting subjects, I think I can guarantee you that this subject has never been covered.

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A Visit To Wendover Field

The Wendover Base Operations Building with restored Control Tower. Today a sleepy airport, 80 years ago a very busy place

I have always enjoyed seeing places of historical importance, with their evidence of importance hidden in plain sight. Virginia City, Nevada is such a place. To most of the visitors, it is simply an old western town whose shops now sell ice cream and T Shirts.

For those who know the history, it’s where Samuel Clemens became Mark Twain. It’s a place that produced so much silver that it built San Francisco, and was the beginning of a few major corporations today.

The Wendover Airfield is another such place. My curiosity about it was built over some years. On a past cross country trip of some years ago, I stopped there and saw dozens of old wooden buildings whose condition reminded me of the Bodie State Historic Park, which is kept in “arrested decay”.  And there was a huge hanger just to the east of the main facility. It looked a bit different from a typical hanger, as it had offices or workshops all along the sides.

Hidden in plain sight.

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Bay Area Day Trips and the Computer History Museum

A friend and I have been making day trips to the San Francisco Bay Area. Sometimes the destination is set when we’re halfway there. Usually, we know before we leave. Some things in San Francisco seem as they were when we remembered them 60 years ago. Other things seem bizarre and foreign.

Last summer, one of those trips turned to the bizarre. We did something I’ve wanted to do for years – park the car in Vallejo on one side of the Bay a good 30 miles from San Francisco and take the commuter ferry. You solve the parking problem and for the princely sum of $11 round trip (the senior rate!) you get a nice 45 minute ride on the bay – past the silent cranes of the old Mare Island Naval Shipyard and under the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge – to the old ferry building on the Embarcadero.

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