Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whatcha' Seeing?

Goose Island State Park, Texas - Facing Aransas Bay

 Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.

                                    ~ Mark Twain ~

During my  formative (some would say I'm still in them) years, my rambling years and then my bidness years, I was fortunate enough to land in some part of all of the lower 48 states. Traveling then, sometimes by Greyhound, by car,  by rail, and as a frequent flyer,  my impression was that travelers largely moved around un-noticed. Phrases and thoughts then varied from, "We're hungry - Daddy, I have to pee - to  wondering  what my commission would be."   Sightseeing was restricted.

Fishermen know when they encounter a curious stranger, whether stepping up on the dock or at a trailhead, they will always hear, "How'd you do?     Now, when traveling to and from in the Turnip Truck I have discovered that local interest is piqued and almost always creates a smile and the question:

                          "So you travel all  'round in that thing ...  Whatcha seeing?" 

Big 'Uns

Georgia:  Pronounced Jaw-Ja.   Where the Turnip Truck Driver graduated from college and learned with certainty that all iced tea is sweet.   Has the best song, 'specially when sung by Ray Charles.

North Carolina:  Livermush, biscuits and cream gravy, country ham and red eye gravy, and heart attacks.  Birth place of the Turnip Truck Driver, yet no monument exists.

Delaware:  Couldn't find it.

Rhode Island:  Where you hear from everyone (the sample was 100%) the departing words, "Have a good one." 

Wyoming:   Where in the East,  coal trains are longer than the last three minutes of a 
NBA  game. In the West it is The Tetons or as Al Bundy would say, "Big 'uns."  Then there is Jackson Hole where even money says you will buy a tee shirt.

Along the Snowy Byway - Wyoming

New York:   Manhattan - Go there in August - the 212s are gone.  All the rest are either Upstaters or Islanders, and it goes something like this, "Oh, you're from New York?" The reply, " No, no ... noo, I am an Upstater."

Vermont:  Where a tie-died tribe from Haight Ashbury wandered America for 40 years  to finally end up in Brattleboro.                       

Otter Creek - Vermont

Florida:    For the Keys,  Tarpon, Bonefish, Permit and cheeseburgers in paradise. Miami is a freshly painted Havana with new cars.  Central Florida has traffic, Didneyworld and more traffic. In
North Florida, if you're traveling north from the rest of Florida,  "Hi Y'all and welcome to the Sowth!"

Louisiana:  The Book of Job

District of Columbia:  A vortex where all dollars go to disappear.

Nebraska:  The birthplace  of the phrase, "Are we there yet?"  I suppose that Nebraska was also the test market for those famous Burma Shave signs.

Arkansas:  The Turnip Truck's  home waters.  Tailwaters and lots of trout - Dry Run Creek, the best fishing for a kid, ever - a great guide, John Berry and a great fly shop, Dally's Ozark Angler, and the best fly fishing camping ever at Denton Ferry RV Park.  If you've never visited the Ozarks, contact me and I'll introduce you to the area's finest ... and would love to share a cold one with you.

Texas:   Where some high school football stadiums have corporate sky boxes.

Tennessee:  Starting in the Smokies - Jelly and Brookies.  In Knoxville, if anything positive happens, even a traffic light turning green, you'll hear a loud chorus of Rocky Top.  Nashville is best known for inventing line dancing and ironically where Country music died, but traditions remain.  In  Memphis you can experience the world's best Bar B Que, and you can visit The Turnip Truck Driver. 
Brookies in the Smokies

Idaho:  One tater, two tater, three tater, four. Do not miss the Brown Drake hatch on Silver Creek.

Montana:  All fly fishers pilgrimage to the Madison River, where guides purchase collision insurance for their drift boats. To borrow a Yogyism, "No wonder folks don't fish here anymore, look at all the drift boats."

Kansas:  Everybody in the country waves, especially those driving a tractor.

States In White Should Prepare For The Arrival of the Turnip Truck
'cept Maybe Hawaii

Do not despair if your state was missed. The Turnip Truck will continue to travel and experience this wonderful country ... and comment to a country with a great sense of humor. 

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.  ~  Maya Angelou

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