Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wanderlust by Ramona Butler


Wanderlust is an incurable disease. I got it from National Geographic as a youth. A condition that became serious when my widowed mother married a modern day highwayman--a man who helped pave Route 66 across the southwest United States. I was six-years-old at the time, and the next twelve years saw me attending eleven different schools, at least a thousand of them while I was in the fourth grade.

My travel bug went undiagnosed, however, until I myself married an individual with a conveyance fetish--a man who lives to climb into or aboard any mode of transportation. I think it’s in his genes since he was born into a railroading family.  His father and uncles were all railroad men--Burlington & Northern; Louisville and Nashville; Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis.

Too late, I discovered hubby considered automobiles and train much too tame.  He’s enamored with aerial tramways, roller coasters, and double-deck Ferris wheels.  His idea of seeing San Francisco is to ride BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) from one end to the other, and back again, an excursion that entails two trips beneath the waters of San Francisco Bay.

In the course of our marriage, I've strolled the decks of a paddle-wheeler in Fairbanks Alaska, gotten seasick on a Catamaran in Australia, ridden airboats on Oregon's Rogue River and again in the Florida Everglades, chugged along behind a historic steam engine to the Grand Canyon, and twisted along rickety rails through Mexico's Copper Canyon. 

About the only things we haven't taken for a spin are ultra-lights, hot air balloons, and elephants.  I have ridden camels in Nevada, however.  And recently hubby announced he has always wanted to hang-glide.

Never a dull moment with this love-of-my-life!

 

 
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18 comments:

Jude Johnson said...

I am soooooooo jealous. My greatest desire is to travel to places I've only read about. I adored using BART to get around the Bay Area! Luckily, I went home the day before the 1989 earthquake, else I would have had to discover what that underwater escape route was truly like. *shiver* But The Tube (the London Underground) is the best, easy to navigate, affordable, and quite often entertaining. Loved it, and the BritRail system is wonderful to get from London to Cardiff and Swansea and Portsmouth and Plymouth...wish Amtrak could get the funds to become as widespread and updated.

Copper Canyon is on my must-do list, as are Australia and New Zealand, Alaska, Russia--and cruising around Cape Horn on a tall sailing ship! I have ridden an elephant and a camel, but oddly enough those were in Pennsylvania...

You are a lucky lady. Enjoy your wanderlusting adventures!

~Jude

Jude Johnson said...

Oh P.S. Amtrak's Coastal route from San Diego to LA is gorgeous and the trains are beautiful.

Big Mike said...

I'm the opposites. My roots were meant to be anchored. When we travel its because my wife makes me do it. I get away with stick home iticous for about a year before she drags be here and there.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2011)

Jannine Gallant said...

Good for you, Ramona! All that adventure will keep you young.

Lynda Bailey said...

Ramona~

Awesome post, girlfriend! I knew you were a free-spirit, I just never realized how free.

I'm with Big Mike. I'm a total home-body. DH had to get be pretty snockered for our 7 am plane trip to Maui. Some say home is where the heart is. I say home is where all my stuff is.

LOL!

Amy Talbot said...

I'm from New Zealand, which is the last jumping off spot before Antarctica (too cold for me). If we want to go anyplace, we have to jump a plane. I developed wunderlust from reading, and it's an incurable disease. I've lived in a number of countries, and traveled around, but there is still so much to experience. This year, I am heading for Austalia, and later, for The US, Europe and the UK. I agree with the comments Jude made about the UK rail network - it is great, when it's working. I love the US interstate and the Australian road-trains (convoy of mega-trucks)- but my greatest love is a plane.

Ramona Butler said...

Jude -- I've taken Amtrak's Coastal route from Sacramento to LA (a wonderfully scenic trip), but never that southern portion. I'm sure it's beautiful. Also ridden the VIA train from Vancouver across Canada to Toronto. Another great trip. And in June we're flying to London for a cruise of the British Isles, so I'll get to experience The Tube. Can't wait!

Ramona Butler said...

Big Mike and Lynda -- Go! If you do nothing else, travel the US by car. This is such a wonderfully diverse country, from the lush green of the Florida Everglades to the starkness of the desert Southwest to the mountains of Glacier National Park to the pastoral beauty of Pennsylvania. I love it all.

Ramona Butler said...

Jannine -- Travel keeps me young? I truly hope so. Maybe I'll even find a Fountain of Youth.

Ramona Butler said...

Amy -- I've even been to your beautiful country of New Zealand, in conjunction with a tour to Australia and Fiji. Would go back in a heartbeat. Going the other direction this year though. Hubby has always wanted to go to Ireland, so when we discovered a cruise that'll take us there, plus London, Wales, Scotland -- and a day in Paris -- we jumped at the chance. We usually go cheap, so this will be a real treat.

Meggan Connors said...

I'm with you, Ramona--I have wicked wanderlust. I can't even stay in my little valley for a weekend. Every so often, we load the kids up and go someplace...Winnemucca or Virginia City, Sacramento or Vallejo. We've found ourselves at a lake outside of Greenville, playing in the snow in Portola, and with two blown tires outside of Strawberry.

All this because I just can't stay home. I'd love to be able to afford to go back to England and Europe, and Australia and New Zealand are on my list. Until I strike it rich, though, those places will have to wait until Thing One and Thing Two are out of the house (it will be awhile--they're little people). I suppose that gives me plenty of time to plan my trip!

Ramona Butler said...

Meggan -- When we were first married (a longgggg time ago when gas was cheap), we lived in New Mexico and used to spend our Sundays driving no special place, but mainly into the mountains. Now that we're old, we still like to be gadabouts (drove to Gerlach - pop. 160 - and Alturas last month). We almost always go the cheapest way possible, so the upcoming cruise is a really big deal. Wish I could take all my friends and family along.

January Bain said...

Good thing I get to visit exotic locations in my novels! I have been a few places, but the blog and responses here make me want to get up out of my writing chair!

Ramona Butler said...

Go, January. Ditto what I said to Big Mike and Lynda. I love to travel in the US, But my novella, Border Heat, was inspired by our rail trip in the Copper Canyon in Mexico. It's larger than the Grand Canyon and has over 80 tunnels. I didn't know that anyone in the western hemisphere still lived in caves.

Rita Bay said...

What grand excursions! Life should never be boring and it looks like yours was not. Rita Bay

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Was that other girl holding a warm Coke and focusing on the horizon you? The very words Up and Down, are more than I can "fathom."

We were on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia? We've been most of those other foreign places. Time to visit our own now -- by car.

Diana said...

May you live live an interesting life. You are the glass is half full, rather than the half empty person.

Before we became bogged down in the main stream roles of paying mortgages & bill payments, we spents our days off doing road trips trips in no particular direction. We'd drive halfway, allowing for our time off, and then turn around and start back home. We'd stop at the crazy roadside attractions, swim in rivers, or the ocean, and generally act like kids. We kept travel journals and took photographs (no digital cameras back then).

We had a great time. Even after our son was born, it didn't stop us.

We passed on our love of adventure to our son.

Driving by automobile: there's no betterway to experience the USA,

Ramona Butler said...

Rita, Julie, and Diana -- My blog post day has ended but hope this reaches you anyway. Thank you all so very much for stopping by. This post on Wanderlust received the most comments I've ever rec'd, so the travel bug must have bitten everyone during this beautiful weekend that just ended. I wish everyone many, many wonderful trips.