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Travel Distances Redefined

My idea of local and distant travel has been shaped by my having crossed the Antarctic Circle, the Arctic Circle, and the International Dateline. Until recently, local travel meant anything in the USA—all 50 states. But now that COVID has shrunk my world, my notions of local and distant travel have shrunk accordingly.

My most recent “distant” travel was to Spanish Town in Half Moon Bay, a 36 mile drive from my home. It’s a place that sells garden items—fountains, pots, gazebos, benches, and dinosaurs. Yes! Rusted iron dinosaur sculptures. I went there thinking we might get a Tyrannosaurus Rex but we ended up with a solid granite bench to replace a wooden one that deteriorated. The granite is sure to be there long after the house falls down. (Image from Yelp)

We drove, enjoyed the scenery, walked around Spanish Town, and drove home. In the past, I would have opted to drive down the coast to see the ocean. But alas it is a far longer drive and no one wants you to use their bathroom. There is only so long I can sit in a car without needing to pee. The great outdoors are fine for me, but unlike Montana or Nevada, California is very populated, so peeing by the side of the road is not a viable option.

If Spanish Town is distant, then what is local travel to me these days? Each morning I awake, have breakfast, do the gardening chores, feed the birds, and then travel on down the road (about one short city block) to my cabin where I spend the day on various photography, music, writing, reading, and volunteer projects. And I workout—some inside and some outdoors just hiking. That’s my local travel. Walking from the main house to the cabin!

On Fridays we go wild by walking about a short city block to Treehouse Tavern. Still on our property, this 180 square foot building houses a great stereo system and an amazing view. At 4:30 PM each Friday we arrive with an armload of hors d’oeuvres and a playlist of music. Treehouse Tavern serves only one drink—Jameson Black Label. We sip on that, eat appetizers, and listen to wonderful music. Today was Vladimir Horowitz playing the Waldstein Sonata followed by Philippe Entremont playing the Liszt arrangement of Hungarian Rhapsody No. 14 with Seiji Ozawa and the New Philharmonia Orchestra.

I look forward to the day when my distance definitions can encompass the entire world.

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