September 4, 8.00am.
Two weeks from Tuesday.
So I’ve casually assigned my clothes to the set of boxes I bought on the Internet.
The assignment by way of actually living out of the boxes until I leave on my trip.
Should provide an excellent shakeout.
The boxes will serve as my traveling bureau.
I’ve determined that I have all the boxes I’ll need, especially having a stack of reusable supermarket bags to supplement.
I just picked up a pair of prescription sunglasses , progressive to read both highway signs and my GPS.
I need to have all the fluids checked; the tire pressure; and whatever else my friends at my service station these last twenty-five years can think of.
I’ve ordered triptychs from AAA covering my route.
Should call my two credit card companies and my primary bank.
Today’s post contains travel thoughts as the day of departure closes in on us.
Today is Monday, August 20
This is my 132nd consecutive daily posting.
Time is 5.28 and the weather is cool and cloudy.
Today’s dinner is…Pot Roast.
Photo of the Day
"Triton Babies" - fountain statue by Anna Coleman Ladd, located in the Boston Public Garden.
A 2.25' by 3.25' by 19" bronze sculpture of a boy and a girl triton are set on a 2.5' high by 2.5' by 1.5' granite base.
The base is in the center of a large four-lobed brick-lined granite basin.
The sculptures were created by Anna Coleman Ladd and installed in the northwest quadrant of the Boston Public Garden in 1922 and moved to its current location in 1924.
The male triton is lying prone on the granite base.
he is using his right elbow to partially raise his body and head.
His left arm is tucked under his chest and his feet are raised and crossed.
The girl triton is above straddling the boy's back at the waist.
Her knees and lower legs are on the base.
Her head is held high, her right hand is held straight up and her right hand holds the boy's hair.
Water spouts from the four corners of the granite base into the symmetrical lobed basin below.
TITLE: Triton Babies Fountain, (sculpture)
ARTIST(S): Anna Coleman Ladd, sculptor
MEDIUM: bronze sculpture; granite base and basin
What do you know about our highway system?
Find the answer just before today’s Post below.
Give yourself partial credits for partial answers.
John Anthony Volpe (December 8, 1908 – November 11, 1994) was an American diplomat, politician and member of the Republican Party who served as the 61st and 63rd Governor of Massachusetts from 1961 to 1963 and 1965 to 1969, as the United States Secretary of Transportation from 1969 to 1973 and as the United States Ambassador to Italy from 1973 to 1977.
Thank you, Wikipedia
National Lampoon's Vacation, sometimes referred to as Vacation, is a 1983 American road comedy film directed by Harold Ramis and starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Dana Barron, and Anthony Michael Hall.
John Candy, Imogene Coca, Christie Brinkley, and a young Jane Krakowski appear in supporting roles. The screenplay was written by John Hughes, based on his short story "Vacation '58" which appeared in National Lampoon.
The film was a box-office hit, earning more than $60 million in the US with an estimated budget of $15 million, and received positive reviews from critics.
As a result of its success, four sequels have been produced over the last three decades: European Vacation (1985), Christmas Vacation (1989), Vegas Vacation (1997), and most recently, Vacation (2015) which serves as both a reboot and a continuation.
In 2000, readers of Total Film voted it the 46th greatest comedy film of all time.
It continues to be a cult film and a staple on cable television.
Thank you, Wikipedia
Word of the Day
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, is a network of controlled-access highways that forms part of the National Highway System in the United States.
The system is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who championed its formation.
Construction was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, and the original portion was completed 35 years later, although some urban routes were cancelled and never built.
The network has since been extended and, as of 2016, it has a total length of 48,191 miles (77,556 km).
As of 2016, about one-quarter of all vehicle miles driven in the country use the Interstate system.
In 2006, the cost of construction was estimated at about $425 billion, (equivalent to $499 billion in 2016.)
Answer for Encyclopediacs
On June 29, 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. The bill created a 41,000-mile “National System of Interstate and Defense Highways” that would, according to Eisenhower, eliminate unsafe roads, inefficient routes, traffic jams and all of the other things that got in the way of “speedy, safe transcontinental travel.” At the same time, highway advocates argued, “in case of atomic attack on our key cities, the road net [would] permit quick evacuation of target areas.” For all of these reasons, the 1956 law declared that the construction of an elaborate expressway system was “essential to the national interest.”
The Last Call of the Wild”
Today, there are more than 250 million cars and trucks in the United States, or almost one per person. At the end of the 19th century, by contrast, there was just one motorized vehicle on the road for every 18,000 Americans. At the same time, most of those roads were made not of asphalt or concrete but of packed dirt (on good days) or mud. Under these circumstances, driving a motorcar was not simply a way to get from one place to another: It was an adventure. Outside cities and towns, there were almost no gas stations or even street signs, and rest stops were unheard-of. “Automobiling,” said the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper in 1910, was “the last call of the wild.”
Did You Know?
At 3,020 miles, I-90 is the longest interstate highway. It connects Seattle, Washington, with Boston,
A Nation of Drivers
This was about to change. In 1908, Henry Ford introduced the Model T, a dependable, affordable car that soon found its way into many American garages. By 1927, the year that Ford stopped making this “Tin Lizzie,” the company had sold nearly 15 million of them. At the same time, Ford’s competitors had followed its lead and begun building cars for everyday people. “Automobiling” was no longer an adventure or a luxury: It was a necessity.
A nation of drivers needed good roads, but building good roads was expensive. Who would pay the bill? In most cities and towns, mass transit–streetcars, subways, elevated trains–was not truly “public” transportation. Instead, it was usually built and operated by private companies that made enormous infrastructural investments in exchange for long-term profits. However, automobile interests–such as car companies, tire manufacturers, gas station owners and suburban developers–hoped to convince state and local governments that roads were a public concern. That way, they could get the infrastructure they needed without spending any of their own money.
Their campaign was successful: In many places, elected officials agreed to use taxpayer money for the improvement and construction of roads. In most cases, before 1956 the federal government split the cost of roadbuilding with the states. (One exception was the New Deal, when federal agencies like the Public Works Administration and the Works Progress Administration put people to work building bridges and parkways.) However, this funding arrangement did not get roads built fast enough to please the most ardent highway advocates.
The Birth of the Interstate Highway System
Among these was the man who would become President, Army General Dwight D. Eisenhower. During World War II, Eisenhower had been stationed in Germany, where he had been impressed by the network of high-speed roads known as the Reichsautobahnen. After he became president in 1953, Eisenhower was determined to build the highways that lawmakers had been talking about for years. For instance, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1944 had authorized the construction of a 40,000-mile “National System of Interstate Highways” through and between the nation’s cities, but offered no way to pay for it.
The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956
It took several years of wrangling, but a new Federal-Aid Highway Act passed in June 1956. The law authorized the construction of a 41,000-mile network of interstate highways that would span the nation. It also allocated $26 billion to pay for them. Under the terms of the law, the federal government would pay 90 percent of the cost of expressway construction. The money came from an increased gasoline tax–now 3 cents a gallon instead of 2–that went into a non-divertible Highway Trust Fund.
The new interstate highways were controlled-access expressways with no at-grade crossings–that is, they had overpasses and underpasses instead of intersections. They were at least four lanes wide and were designed for high-speed driving. They were intended to serve several purposes: eliminate traffic congestion; replace what one highway advocate called “undesirable slum areas” with pristine ribbons of concrete; make coast-to-coast transportation more efficient; and make it easy to get out of big cities in case of an atomic attack.
The Highway Revolt
When the Interstate Highway Act was first passed, most Americans supported it. Soon, however, the unpleasant consequences of all that roadbuilding began to show. Most unpleasant of all was the damage the roads were inflicting on the city neighborhoods in their path. They displaced people from their homes, sliced communities in half and led to abandonment and decay in city after city.
People began to fight back. The first victory for the anti-road forces took place in San Francisco, where in 1959 the Board of Supervisors stopped the construction of the double-decker Embarcadero Freeway along the waterfront. During the 1960s, activists in New York City, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and other cities managed to prevent roadbuilders from eviscerating their neighborhoods. (As a result, numerous urban interstates end abruptly; activists called these the “roads to nowhere.”)
In many cities and suburbs, however, the highways were built as planned. All told, the Interstate Highway System is more than 46,000 miles long.
Up until now I’ve been so engaged with the birth of the blog that I’ve not given a lot of thought to the auto trip I'm taking starting on September 4.
But time and tide…
And the time is coming.
There will be so many boring stretches of long unremarkable highway.
And yet, the newness of vast, open spaces will provide interest, I think.
I’ve prepared a bunch of audio distractions: the BPL and Audiobooks and Music but I’m betting from experience that I always have much more by way of resource than I’ll need.
My biggest concern is eating.
While one aspect of that is the strong temptation to nosh in the car to break the monotony, a more important one will be the despair of not finding restaurants of interest at the end of every day.
Some beacon to head for.
A worthy destination.
Let’s see if the adventurous side of me can come to the fore.