Page 4 of sapere18 Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Georgia July 4th 2009

The paradox of Lookout Mountain does not trouble any child, especially mine. He sees no trouble with its lofty summits, serene views, and relief from the summer heat combined with the tackiest of amusements and commercial attractions for family tourists. Lookout Mountain straddles two states (supposedly seven can be seen from the naked eye from the summit) on the most southerly bend of the Tennessee River opposite Chattanooga. If unwilling to take Robert Frost’s suggestion of the path less beaten, be prepared to stare out the windshield at a convoy of car top carriers pushing upward at a twenty degree angle while passing billboards, camper vans, and RV’s. It may be best not to get out of the vehicle at all. Pocked with harmless names such as Ruby Falls and Incline Railway, I decided to bring ... read more
Welcome to Rock City
Into a Crevasse
A Moist Sanctuary

Unmistakable indicators abound in the South to remind the outsider that “You’re not from around here.” “Good Morning!” I greeted her no differently than I would anyone else or anywhere else except a bit more enthusiastically now that I am away from the daily grind of work. Neither she nor her co-workers are too busy behind the deli counter; no ticket dispenser is set up on top of the counter in case of a mad rush. The middle-aged woman in a black apron and ultra thin elastic white cap associated with food servers returns my salutation with a smile. “Hi there!” Her Southern drawl dribbled from her lips. “Can I please have two pounds of the Genoa salami?” Phillip and I were doing some shopping to stock our hosts’ refrigerator in fear we will both eat ... read more
Future Photgrapher?
Watch Out!
Casting Away

28 June Manchester, Connecticut All I wanted was a few weekends and to take him to a hockey game now and then. Instead his mother resorted to the deplorable yet sure-fire tactic of using him as a weapon against me. She has utilized him this way from the very beginning when she didn’t get what she wanted out of me. For years I tolerated the put downs, insults, and threats. I held my tongue and other primordial impulses when she force fed him a liver dinner. I squealed with him as she practically pried his teeth open with the fork from which dangled the rancid smelling organ meat. Tears gathered at the corners of my boy’s eyes as he mashed the liver with his teeth. I yelled at her to stop, but in her smug and ... read more

Welcome to this summer’s essays entitled THE SUMMER OF MY SALVATION. THE SUMMER OF MY SALVATION will depict a different type of journey starting in Tennessee. From there, who knows? A traveler’s itinerary should never be set in stone. For me, it is still developing as I compose these words. I am still considering a change in title, as planning has been thrown on its head in the past week The purpose of these essays was to originally document a part of the world through my eyes and ears. While raw, unfiltered, and very subjective, more introspection will come into play. Much has transpired in the past year. Let me explain what that means to you, the reader: First of all, postings will have only gone through a cursory edit. While in motion, it will be ... read more

North America » United States » Tennessee » Crossvillle February 22nd 2009

Interstate 81 and I go back to my earliest memories of elementary school. It and I would join at Scranton, the corridor that splits the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains, a 324-mile straight-shot gutter ball asphalt groove connecting Winchester and Bristol, Virginia. The highway and I have a somnambular relationship. My aunt would zip across the commonwealth from the West Virginia border and out I would go sometimes as far as two-thirds of the way. The running joke for years is that I would travel through Virginia and seldom see any of it. We rarely took on the much more intimidating states west of the Mississippi. Not of driving age, I accepted my sleeping spells as an effective technique to shorten the time in a state that I considered to be endless. “Keep on going, Aunt ... read more
The Old A-Frame
What Used To Be
The Kitchen?

North America » Canada » Quebec » Sherbrooke November 30th 2008

“Allô?” “Allô! Ça va toi?” “Are you OK?” I looked straight up to my feet. It took little time to smell the decaying grass protruding through the smashed windshield. I wiggled my toes. Fine. I could move my arms, legs, and neck. I felt fine. “Yes, I think so.: All I could make out was his voice and beams from his flashlight that penetrated the snow-covered brush. “Are you alone?” “Yes.” “Can you move?” Affirmative. Things still made sense to me. I saw it all transpire in slow motion. There was nothing to brace for. Those turbulent seconds were almost clairvoyant. “Yes, I can move.” That last sentence gave me away. He had viewed my plates when jumping down into the ditch after me. From then on we would converse exclusively in English. I was not ... read more
Through the Trunk

North America » Canada » Quebec » Sherbrooke November 29th 2008

Winter in Québec takes on human qualities and does not follow the guidelines set forth by a twelve-month calendar. It has already come and will not surrender for the better part of the next four-and-a-half months. It lends a feeling of being in the last outpost before pure wilderness takes over. Lac Mégantic, a stern community on the shores of a sizeable lake of the same name, loses its seasonal appeal around the time the last tourists return to Montréal after having extracted their boats out of the water. What is left behind is a singular, sand-covered Main Street of strict block buildings in need of a coat of paint. Eighteen wheelers rumble through town past a Sears catalogue depot, dysfunctional parking meters, and restaurants yet to open in the late morning. The newly cut pine ... read more
A Hollow main Street
Lac Mégantic

North America » Canada » Quebec » Sherbrooke November 28th 2008

“Where do you live?” I offer the truth, however boring and confirm my citizenship without any supporting documentation. “Where are you going?” “La Patrie.” Her facial expression begged the question, Why? But she did not ask. Whatever profile they seek out for a further round of questioning, I did not fit it. At this crossing, I never do; it is why I go out of the way to enter Québec here. I volunteered some more information. “I’ll be there a few days. It’s where I go to forget, to get lost.” Her grin confirmed that my destination did not pack the punch of Montréal or Québec City. “Are you leaving anything behind when you come back?” I was disappointed by the question and also had no idea just how much I would be leaving in Canada. ... read more
Rural Québec
Eastern Townships

Asia » Pakistan » Punjab » Lahore August 13th 2008

At first it is a contest of which side can be louder, prouder, and more patriotic. When it is all said and done, citizens of both nations crowd at the locked gates that separate them. They cheerfully and curiously speak to each other while clasping the painted bars, knowing full well it is the closest they will ever come to setting foot on what was once a singular India sixty years ago. After proceeding through broken-down metal detectors (or simply stepping to the side of them to get through), the Pakistanis segregate their public by gender. The men occupy one section of the curved grandstands to the left; the women go the other way. If there is any advantage at all to witnessing the border closing ceremony on the Pakistani side, it is the VIP seating ... read more
His Purpose in Life
Looking Across

Asia » Pakistan » Khyber Pakhtunkhwa » Peshawar August 13th 2008

19 August Amritsar, Punjab, India Except for arriving from and departing back to the United States, I usually do not take too many flights when traveling. Yes, I know they cut distances and save time. But I need to be lodged against a window and see what I would be missing, impossible at 35,000 feet. If a train goes, I’ll be on it. Otherwise I’ll settle for a bus, minivan, outside panel of a jeep, or bed of a pickup truck. Ameen asked me back in Gilgit where I would go after we parted company in Chitral. “Peshawar”, I said. “Are you sure you want to go there?” I was. “Yes.” I would be fielding that question very often. “How will you go?” “Well, from what I gather, it is a ten-hour ride with a change ... read more
A Peek Inside
Wrinkles of Desperation

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