Patterico's Pontifications


Election-Free Summer Vacation Post

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:44 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Summer vacation. The one thing that involves neither Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. The one thing that this election season hasn’t tainted.

When I was a kid, we took a summer vacation every year. Some of my fondest memories involve campfires, hiking, swimming, bodies of water, boats, forests, and old canvas tents that leaked when the rains came. Vacations on a dime, yes, but rich vacations, nonetheless, that somehow took us everywhere. Later came the big cities, the historical cities, both near and far. These were the places that required hotel stays. And these were the places where a particular level of decorum was expected, unlike when running free and loose in some wilderness. I was fortunate to have learned early on that there was a whole big world out there beyond my little neighborhood. This happens when you have curious parents born with a hungry wanderlust that could never quite be sated. As my octogenarian father recently told me, he never met a logging road or body of water that he wasn’t compelled to keep on following just to see where it might lead.

This summer found me far north and at times, off the grid as I experienced some beautiful parts of America. I’ve posted a few photos below.

I find myself getting wistful as I realize another summer is passing. I think I will always measure the years by the arrival of June and September as if I were still a kid in school. But, oh gosh, weren’t we all thrilled in June, and melancholy come September?


FullSizeRender (1)



IMG_2821 (1)


Tell me where you went for summer vacation and what you did. And if you didn’t go anywhere, tell me where you to hope to go. Some day.


75 Responses to “Election-Free Summer Vacation Post”

  1. It’s nice to focus on something other than the madness that is our presidential election. If for a moment.

    Dana (995455)

  2. I stopped taking summer vacations since the sand box.

    Occasionally I take a weekend off to arrow a pig, knowing my enemy hates it.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  3. My enemy trains every day.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  4. I take him seriously.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  5. Steve57,

    Well, the pig certainly isn’t having a vacation either, is he?

    Some people grow up going on vacations, big or small, and continue to do so when they have their own families . It’s a nice tradition for which I am grateful.

    Dana (995455)

  6. Dana, I did not mean to denigrate it. Who knows? Maybe I could benefit from it.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  7. I’m mostly Italian. But I’m 1/8th German. Sometimes I think I act like I’m all German.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  8. Well, the pig certainly isn’t having a vacation either, is he?

    You want an invite to the BBQ or no?

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  9. The other eighth is Irish. Which explains why I can bear a grudge.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  10. I take mine vicariously, these days. My daughter went to Cabo San Lucas for Spring Break; then to Berlin at school’s end for a week; and she just came back from three weeks in Greece, mostly Patras, Santorini and Corinth.

    I liked places like you picture when I was younger. I have a photo very much like your third one from Aspen, where we’d go every August for the music festival.

    nk (dbc370)

  11. Yeah. This will P.O. some peeps. But my life ain’t so bad I need to vacate it.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  12. In 1975 I moved from NYC to the Adirondacks, where I took a vacation.

    gbear (defc54)

  13. Foreplay/Long Time – Boston

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  14. Still trying to schedule my summer vacation; looks like it ends up being a fall vacation instead.
    The destination is Tennessee, mainly the eastern part, and the plan is to scout potential areas to move to when I depart California.
    So, not really a touristy sort of vacation; there’ll be plenty of opportunity for visiting the tourist spots post-relocation. Mainly spending time in and around Knoxville and the smaller cities, getting a feel for the areas, the people, and the distances between outlying areas and the big city.

    Eric Wilner (3936fd)

  15. Two of my brothers and I went on a BBQ tour during which we had both the best and worst BBQ we have ever had. The worst (never mind the name) was in KC, Missouri. The best was at Central BBQ in Memphis, TN. The one which is right across (diagonally) from the Lorraine Motel where MLK was murdered.

    Interestingly, We were identified as Texans (“Are you guys from Texas?), after Mass, Sunday morning. When we explained our BBQ tour, we were advised to try a place called “Mr. T’s.” in KC, Kansas, but we were bent on making it to Memphis in time for lunch.

    felipe (023cc9)

  16. #2 Steve57 wrote;
    Occasionally I take a weekend off to arrow a pig, knowing my enemy hates it.”

    Steve, I bet the pig hates it, too.
    The pig is probably thinking to himself, “Democrats are the party that is engaged in pork projects in Washington, therefore I’ve consistently voted Republican throughout the years. And I always root for Navy in the annual Army-Navy football game. Yet Steve still wants me dead.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  17. We (if we could afford it) took vacations to a foreign land to visit relatives living in remote farms and mountains of a Nation long since transformed from a feudal outpost to a modern one. It was amazing. I desperately miss my parents and those days. There was purpose which brought meaning to struggle and decency which brought hope.

    Rodney King's Spirit (d28741)

  18. Eric Wilner,

    It appears from your blog that you are in the Silicon Valley. Are you leaving CA as a result of state politics being dominated by leftists, or the exorbitant cost of housing in your area?

    I like your scouting plan.

    Dana (995455)

  19. Greetings:

    My most memorable vacation was back in the late ’50s when my father took me on a two week, no-females required, jaunt around New York’s Adirondacks. I had been reading a good deal of Fenimore Cooper and my reward was Lakes George and Champlain, Forts Ticonderoga and William Henry and much more. All of which cemented my opinion that without quantity-time you don’t get to quality-time.

    I would also recommend “Crucible of War” by Fred Atkinson as a worthwhile read about the area’s heyday in the French and Indian ( aka Seven Years) War.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  20. Old-timey vacations visiting family in the Provo-Orem, Utah area in the ’60s. Riding in the back seat (facing the car behind ours) of our family’s ’61 Chevy Nomad station wagon for the 11 to 12 hour drive from Anaheim, Ca. that began usually at 2AM. Still on the old road before what is now I-15, hitting a stretch near the eastern state line where suicidal jackrabbits would die by the dozens on each trip… Stopping for breakfast (a treat!) in Vegas and then driving thru to our destination… cousins… ranches… pastures… horses and Shetland ponies… trout fishing… Nirvana… And then back home to face another school year.

    More recently, several houseboat vacations at Lake Powell… Hawaii… Crater Lake… Teh West is teh Best.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  21. Dana: Both, and other factors.
    The local small-business habitat has been largely bulldozed to make way for high-value development, and the area is getting awfully crowded, both in accordance with development plans made by unelected meta-governmental agencies.
    The exorbitant cost of housing is an opportunity for me, as long as I can get organized to sell my house before the bubble bursts. I figure on “downsizing” to twice as much house on 100 times as much land, with my very own workshop separate from the living space, with no mortgage and a fair bit of working capital left over.
    Then there’ll be the challenge of keeping up with the output of a large kitchen garden in good soil with plenty of water… but that should be good for my health.

    Eric Wilner (3936fd)

  22. Wonderful photos. You have such a great eye for composition.

    My camping trips usually end with a midnight transfer to a hotel, but I like the idea of camping. M ideal vacation is a transatlantic cruise and a month touring the cities and sites of Italy.

    DRJ (15874d)

  23. 11B40,

    What a great dad you have to go on a trip which certainly provided an added dimension to the fantastic Fenimore Cooper books.

    Dana (995455)

  24. “They’re getting away boys.”

    Navy Signalman, Leyte.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  25. Col Haiku,

    Oh, the family road trips. While mom sat in the front passenger seat navigating the map chaotically flying in all directions because the windows were all open since we had no A/C, there was a war of black and blue proportions taking place in the backseat as we siblings fought, pinched, punched and scrambled to get a window seat, or depending on which car we had on any given vacation, secure the very back compartment of the VW bus. Meanwhile, dad was multi-tasking in the way that dads can, steering with one hand, and with the other, randomly whacking whichever naughty kid he could reach with the other. Good times.

    Don’t you remember the drowsy, excited feeling of leaving on a trip during the wee hours of the morning?

    Dana (995455)

  26. I’d like to visit the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  27. The exorbitant cost of housing is an opportunity for me, as long as I can get organized to sell my house before the bubble bursts. I figure on “downsizing” to twice as much house on 100 times as much land, with my very own workshop separate from the living space, with no mortgage and a fair bit of working capital left over.
    Then there’ll be the challenge of keeping up with the output of a large kitchen garden in good soil with plenty of water… but that should be good for my health.

    What a fabulous plan. Best of luck to you. It’s worth noting the irony of Silicon Valley out-pricing itself. This is an interesting report on the population/demographic changes there. Interesting:

    Silicon Valley’s population is estimated at approximately three million.
    • A population of three million represents a large portion of the state and nation relative to Silicon Valley’s share of land area, and amounts to significant additional resource requirements.

    • Silicon Valley’s population is growing rapidly, and growth rates have accelerated since 2011 primarily due to an increase in foreign immigration. Growth rates also accelerated that year in San Francisco and California as a whole.

    • The population growth rate in Silicon Valley peaked in 2013, and was higher that year than it had been since 1998. The growth rate declined slightly between 2013 and 2015.

    • Several Silicon Valley cities grew more than three times faster than the state between 2014 and 2015, while others actually declined in population.

    • More than half of the region’s population lives in just six of its 39 cities.

    • In 2008, the birth rate in Silicon Valley began to decline; between 2008 and 2014, the birth rate in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties combined fell by over 20%. This decline was more pronounced in Silicon Valley than in San Francisco or California overall.

    Dana (995455)

  28. Don’t you remember the drowsy, excited feeling of leaving on a trip during the wee hours of the morning?

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  29. Steve57,

    You’ve been especially snarky toward me in this post. A post, I might add, that is innocuous, non-provoking (to most), and politics-free. It’s funny to have a non-inflammatory post spark such snark.

    Dana (995455)

  30. it’s the times

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  31. i even took instapundit off my bookmarks that place is so toxic anymore

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  32. Oh, yes… the wee hours, most def… Ice chest packed with ice and soda pop… Canada Dry stuff like Tahitian Treat, which we kids loved… I came across a can of that a few years back, took a few swigs, spewed and tossed it. Where were our taste buds?!?! What were we thinking?… Walking for a mile or so along winding roads of cherry orchards to Hobble Creek and fishing for/catching trout all day long, swimming in irrigation flumes that were almost like the water parks of a later day… When I got older, picking cherries for a buck an hour for spending money and later still working the hay on one of my uncles fields under a hot sun, putting the flatbed truck in granny gear and throwing bales up on while my cousin stacked ’em, drinking ice cold A&W root beer in the quart containers from the stand a half mile away… Jumping off the train trestle into the Provo River right around where the road to Sundance winds up the mountain… riding shotgun in one of my cousins brand new ’66 GTO that he got for high school graduation while he raced all-comers in their 442s and such out on the seldom-traveled roads around the lake… and the feeling of being slammed back in the seat with every shift and being scared sh!tless at how fast we were going.

    Yes, I have memories, lol.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  33. “The one thing that this election season hasn’t tainted.”

    As long as you weren’t vacationing in Milwaukee!

    “i even took instapundit off my bookmarks that place is so toxic anymore”

    ‘All these smart people I trusted for years all of a sudden became toxic for Trump, time to drop them all and retreat to the shrinking wildernesses where my principles can still be practiced free of criticism or analysis’

    ‘what do you mean liberals want to pave over them to accomodate illegals?

    Dystopia Max (76803a)

  34. When I was a boy, our regular vacation was a week or two at Grand Dad’s cabin in Mammoth Lakes, Ca. We’d be up before dawn to drive over the Angeles Crest Highway to Mojave. The idea was to be through the worst part of the desert before it got into the 100F range. A couple of hours into the trip we’d be working our way through Red Rock Canyon on an old windy road, then a long straight highway to Lone Pine, then Bishop, and then up the hill to Crowley Lake. And after six or seven hours we’d be in Mammoth. With the improvements made to the highways in the 60s, the trip time dropped to below 6 hours. The new highway through Red Rock Canyon provides a few views of the old road that was washed out in a storm. And air conditioning makes the trip a lot more pleasant today.

    Grand Dad was a terrific fisherman, and he’d take all the kids fishing on the Owens River. He’d limit out, and start loading our creels with a few extra fish, so everybody came home with a fish to clean. These were decent fish, 12″ typically, and occasionally Grand Dad would land a 2 or 3 pound Rainbow or German Brown. We’d also fish the Mammoth Lakes using a long spinning reel cast with a lead weight and a worm on a small hook, and we usually got two or three decent Browns that way, 15″ to 20″ inches. We’d sit on the shore watching our poles, and Grand Dad would talk about some of his adventures as a Col. in the White Russian Army fighting the Reds. Those chats were my first introduction into the reality that afflicts the rest of the world.

    We spent several recent vacations driving through that area as well as Arizona, generally in late spring. Death Valley was astonishing, although I wouldn’t want to be there in the summer. And a drive up the White Mountains out of Big Pine to see the Bristle Cone pine trees is worth the time. In that little side trip, we saw a couple of bicyclists charging up the road, and a glider seeking to ride the lee wave over the High Sierras about 5000′ above the White Mountains. Otherwise just a few cars, a few more sheep, and sweeping vistas in every direction. We also enjoyed the Pima County aircraft museum in Tucson, and the Railroad Museum in Sacramento.

    BobStewartatHome (f2b3a5)

  35. Dana, I hope accept my sincere apology. I meant no snark.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  36. I come across badly.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  37. Sometimes I am intentionally being a you know what. But I’ll let you know, to cut through the confusion.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  38. A summer vacation many years ago went like this.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  39. #35 BobStewart,

    You guys ever get to swing by Scottie’s Castle in northern Death Valley?

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  40. I haven’t had a summer vacation per se, but I’ve done a lot of travelling.

    * In April, I went to southern california for Coachella, then ended up tkaing unexpected extra vacation and going to Death Valley (I’d never been) and Joshua Tree (which was still in bloom, and amazing).

    * In July, I went to NY and worked from there while visiting friends.

    * The first week of August, I went to Indianapolis for Gencon, and had a blast.

    * In September, I am going to Austin and San Antonio to visit family and go to a wedding. :)

    aphrael (3f0569)

  41. Since it’s a non-political post, I’ll comment for the first time in months to say: gorgeous photos, Dana!!

    Summer is the best! I decided to live at the lake this season, so each day is a vacation for me…

    Beasts of England (b6832b)

  42. Wonderful footage, Mike K. !

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  43. You guys ever get to swing by Scottie’s Castle in northern Death Valley?
    Cruz Supporter (102c9a) — 8/14/2016 @ 11:51 am </blockquote

    Oh h3lls yeah.

    Black people. Shake it.

    Earth, Wind & Fire – Boogie Wonderland

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)


    Because I have nothing better to do.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  45. I just can’t resist this.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  46. Sailing. ‘Nuff said.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  47. Greetings:

    Death Valley, uh-huh.

    Back in the ’80s, I had a sweetheart who in spite of growing up in Schnectady, New York was pretty much a city girl. In fact part of her operational code went, “Don’t involve me in anything that doesn’t include a tile bathroom.” So, it was a bit of a Richter measurable quake when she announced that we were going to California’s Death Valley because it was spring and the flowers were beautifully blooming. The fact that the flowers were about one-quarter of an inch in diameter and about two inches from mother Earth as opposed to my eyeballs being 70 or so inches didn’t exactly come up in the discussion at this point. So, off we went.

    One day, after having worked through the blooming truth, it was decided that we would be going to the Devil’s Cornfield and the sand dunes. When we got to the sand dunes, we parked in the appropriate area and prepared to head out. But before we actually did, I thought it wise to suggest that the sweetheart find a noticeable landmark in order to aid in our return alive. Then, off we went on our hike. After the illusion of hiking through sand dunes wore off and immediate return indicated, I inquired about sweetheart’s landmark. This resulted in a look that however emotionally enjoyable, invariably led to some form of personnel disappointment.

    So, I, as gently as a Catholic school boy can, pointed out the mountain peak that I had selected as our guide an again inquired about her selection. “Well,” she began, “you know that really big Winnebago that we parked next to….?”

    Death Valley is definitely worth a looksee. For me the best was looking down on the Valley from the surrounding peaks.

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  48. Scotty’s Castle is very America and you can climb up the hill where he’s buried

    his was a life

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  49. 45. They’ll be hot in a different way 18 years from now. Hopefully more Hadid sisters than Helen Thomas.

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  50. You can’t, at least not for the next two or three years.

    Scotty’s Castle is CLOSED until further notice due to flood damage, and is not likely to re-open to the public until 2019. All entry to Grapevine Canyon and Scotty’s Castle district is currently prohibited. More information is available about this extreme flood and recovery efforts.

    kishnevi (4a421b)

  51. EPA strike again?

    urbanleftbehind (847a06)

  52. oh that’s sad

    is the crater blocked off too?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  53. looks like you can still go

    don’t walk down all the way into it though unless you’re staying in the park cause of there’s probably way better ways to spend your day

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  54. My summer vacation was really in May.
    Photos here (and preceding trips if you wish)
    The Shenandoah Valley, principally around Winchester, with some Civil War battlefields and Luray Caverns.

    kishnevi (4a421b)

  55. Would help if I gave you the URL, I suppose.

    kishnevi (4a421b)

  56. Some beautiful pastoral scenery there, kishnevi. Thanks for posting.

    Dana (995455)

  57. kishnevi,

    Thanks for sharing the photos.
    Where exactly were the caverns?

    Cruz Supporter (102c9a)

  58. Thanks, DRJ.

    M ideal vacation is a transatlantic cruise and a month touring the cities and sites of Italy.”


    Dana (995455)

  59. Thank you, everyone.
    CS…it’s a big tourist site, with a couple of kid oriented museums. One of them is an antique auto museum. (Paging Col H). I should have seen it, but was too tired and hungry.) The full walk through the caverns (guided tour) takes about an hour or hour and a half, depending on how often you stop to take pictures.

    Luray is a bit northeast of New Market, which in turn is on I81, about halfway down the valley as you travel north to south. The website is pretty informative. The city of Winchester is a nice place, as well.

    kishnevi (98ea1b)

  60. Ah my childhood memories are of camping with Mom and Dad on the Tucannon River in the Blue Mountains in Southeast Washington State. We caught some trout, and saw a lot of spent salmon which had come upriver to spawn. By the time they got to the Tucannon, they were pretty beat up and almost dead.

    Fast forward thirty years and my wife and I are taking our two young daughters up to Yosemite–staying in a little three bedroom rental in Wawona. My older daughter (now 45) managed to drop her fishing gear in Bridal Veil Creek (Daddy had to dive to get it back). When she was younger and we were at Sedona Arizona, she dropped it in Oak Creek. I think I finally figured out that she liked to see her Daddy wet and cold. But what the heck–family vacations are family vacations and are enjoyable.

    Skeptical Voter (1d5c8b)

  61. Skeptikal Voter,

    I, too, loved passing on similar summer vacation adventures to my kids. To this day, they’ll say they were the best memories. We still like telling all the stories at get-togethers.

    Dana (995455)

  62. …Scotty’s Castle is CLOSED until further notice

    Is OK. I parked a trailer in the Mojave you can visit for ten bucks.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  63. …This logo for Floyd Bennett Field depicts Mickey Mouse flying atop a goose (bomber) with a Navy trident in front of a silhouetted Statue of Liberty…

    I’m aware of the duck.

    Not the goose. Which isn’t to say it didn’t exist. Just that I don’t know about it.

    Perhaps somebody more knowledgeable can weigh in.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  64. I mean other than the Spruce Goose.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  65. …Some said the Duck could be more aptly named the “Ugly Duckling”. Be that as it may; when no other bomber could be found, it carried bombs; when no other transport could be found, it transported; when no other photo plane could be found, it photographed and when no other rescuer could be found, it rescued. When it came to “Utility Craft”, the JF/J2F was the definitive.

    High zod to the duck drivers. Also the Curtiss SOC drivers. An aircraft that had no name, except later. And water taxied and saved lives after Tassafaronga.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  66. The best known of the US Navy Spitfires is probably this one, carrying the designation 4Q. Mechanics of VCS-7 posing with the aircraft are (from left to right): James J. O’Connor; C.N. Pfanenstiel; Chief Aviation Machinist’s Mate V.G. Disa; Aviation Machinist’s Mate Third Class R.P. Theirauld; and Edmund Pachgio.

    And the men who wrenched on them.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)


    …Through the first six months of naval service, the SOC was known as the XO3C-1,[2] The designation was changed to SOC when it was decided to merge its scouting and observation roles. The SOC was not called the Seagull until 1941, when the U.S. Navy began the wholesale adoption of popular names for aircraft in addition to their alpha-numeric designations.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)


    VCS-7, Seagulls to Spitfires…

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  69. What I find amazing isn’t that they integrated.

    U.S.S. Sea Cloud, IX-99,
    Racial Integration for Naval Efficiency

    It’s this.

    …The Sea Cloud was a converted yacht of approximately 3600 gross tons, 316 feet long, an armament of four twin mount 40 caliber and eight 20 caliber machine guns, two 3″ 50′ caliber guns, depth charge, K-Gun, and ahead throwing anti-submarine weapons.

    I can shoot a machine gun from the shoulder. 20mm is a cannon.

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  70. Because, I’m just because.

    VCS-7 pilots are briefed before flying a gunfire spotting mission over the Normandy beachheads, June-July 1944. Those present are (from left to right): Wing Commander Robert J. Hardiman, RAF, Commanding Allied Spotter Pilots; Ensign Robert J. Adams, USNR; Major Noel East, British Army Intelligence; Lieutenant Harris Hammersmith, Jr., USNR; and Captain John Ruscoe, Royal Artillery, Gunnery Liaison Officer. [US Navy]

    Steve57 (3ee6a4)

  71. Enjoying fresh baked banana bread and fresh grown kona coffee from a mom and pop perched over a gorgeous bay. Loved tops post and the fantastic photos! America is a wonderful place, especially if we put politics aside.

    Dustin (c50226)

  72. Spent a week in Joshua Tree National Forest, treated my self to two nights in room #8 at the Joshua Tree Inn.

    It was low 80’s all damned week, two days after I left it hit the 110’s. Whew!

    Donald (bd230b)

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