Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 7:46 PM
Subject: The age of aquarius
...Got to the Catskills, which was very pretty,
with the intention of doing some hiking and checking out some of the small
towns. Drove around for a while, and ended up camping at some state
park. Having worked out how to get the pop top up by myself the previous
week, thought I would try it out for real for the first time. Here is
Actually, this whole trip has been a scam. I
am not taking a leave from corporate life to travel and have fun, I am an
integral part of the defense of this country. My van is a very
sophisticated vehicle, crammed with the latest radar and tracking equipment,
with anti-ballistic missiles stored and launched from the "cargo
box" on the roof (the "mountain bike" is actually a tracking
radar). This vehicle represents the best in interception technology
deployed on a mobile launching platform designed for maximum mobility and
deception. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming....
This next picture is for all you punks who keep
calling me a Hippie.....
Couldn't resist, had to go. Actually, if I
remember correctly, the music festival was quite a ways down the road from
Woodstock, which was a sleepy artists community at the time. One
interesting note, I didn't see one other Volkswagen bus the whole time I was
there. Was a pretty cool town, very pretty drive on the way in, as you
get closer to town there are a lot of artists galleries and workshops in old
houses. The main street of the town is maybe a half mile long, and is
full of cool little shops. Stopped in one place that was half gift shop,
half coffee shop, with a sign in the window that proclaimed "world's best
cappuccino". Went in for a coffee, but decided to give the
cappuccino a try. Damned if it wasn't the best cappuccino I have
ever had. Of course it cost $3.50, but if you are ever there, get a cup.
I don't think I'll ever be able to drink a regular cappuccino again. So
in a three day span, I enjoyed the best ribs and cappuccino I have ever had.
Still working on Pizza and Beer. Probably will have to be a lifelong
pursuit. But if you are interested in the leaders to date, they are
Legend Brown Ale in Richmond Virginia, and Mineo's Pizza in Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania. Of course there was that Shakey's pizza in Manila back in
So I am walking down the street, enjoying my
fabulous cup of cappuccino, when I pass this woman waiting outside of a small
shop who tells me that she likes my t-shirt (a rocking new Tintin shirt I got
in Ann Arbor). So I stop to talk to her for a while, it was a somewhat
bizarre, but cool conversation. She was waiting for the shop to open up
so she could buy something she needed to burn some frankincense at her house,
'cause, see her mom was coming today, and she (the mom) was a little worked up
because she had just found out that her daughter (the woman I was talking to)
had come out of the closet. See, she was at this store, with her two
younger children from her second marriage (her daughter from her first
marriage is grown and works for the IRS) which had ended about two years ago.
Anyhow, she was trying to keep things quiet and manage the news, but it got
out, and her ex is trying to get the kids, and her mom is pissed. I told
her about my trip, and we talked about all the cool places to live out West
(she is planning on moving to Colorado because the woman she loves is in
Texas. She wants to be near mountains, and Colorado is a lot closer to
Texas than the Catskills). While all of this is kinda crazy, we had a
very nice conversation and she was very nice and genuine.
I wandered around for a while, had an awesome
sandwich at this bread store on some 87 grain bread. Sat in the van
looking at a map strategizing (am I allowed to call it strategizing if I am
trying to figure out where to go that afternoon and where to sleep that
night?) my next move. This guy (who looked every bit the yuppie as
myself) stopped and was asking me questions about the van and whether they
still sell them etc. and was totally into it, until his wife, who had no
interest whatsoever in camping or vans, came up and took him away, giving me
the kind of look usually reserved for the kids who skateboard outside of her
Decided to head toward New Paltz NY (a town the CD
store guy in Ithaca told me was pretty cool) and got on the road. Was
about 10 miles outside of Woodstock when I saw this!
I know in the song they say that they all lived in
it, but I don't see how you could fit one person, let alone four....and where
would you put George Martin?
So I get to New Paltz, and NOTHING is going on.
My plan was to find something fun to do that night (Friday) and then head over
to New London Connecticut Saturday morning to meet up with Mike and Terri from
Richmond who were in town visiting Mike's Dad. So I headed over to
Poughkeepsie, and used the satellite uplink to query the database for musical
goings on in Poughkeepsie, but again, NOTHING. Looking at the map I
decided to head into Connecticut, get close to New London and crash for the
night. Stopped along the way and caught a movie. Sadly, the best
thing showing was Tomb Raider, which appears to have fully realized its vision
of Angelina Jolie, but not much else. Found a convenient Wal-Mart about
an hour from New London and parked the van for the night.....