Highs and Lows



During a very long road trip, I took this picture of my 2005 Outback wagon on March 18, 2010, about 200 feet below sea level. This is looking southwest at the point where Salt Creek crosses the (gravel) West Side Road in Death Valley National Park, California.


Telescope Peak, 11,049 feet, is visible high in the center distance. Despite the snow on the mountaintops, it was about 90 degrees at the time; and that’s salt, not ice, on the right.


Oh, the kayak? Yes, I did (barely) paddle my boat the next day, on the shallow temporary lake that formed this year near Badwater, at -279 feet.


~ Alan Silverstein, Fort Collins, CO


Editor’s note: Use of a kayak carrier is recommended.


Star’s Car


When I bought my new 2009 Forester, my husband, Ed, was happy to receive my 2000 as a hand-me-down. Our dog, Star, frequently goes on rides with him, and she was happy to switch to the 2000 Forester as her primary ride. But after about a year, Ed was yearning for a new Forester, too, so he got one.



But what to do about Star? She loved the older Forester so much. It was one of her “happy places.” She is an older dog, insecure, does not like change or having to climb into a higher vehicle. Besides, we now had two nice new vehicles that were dog-hair and dog-smell free.


So, much to the disappointment of several people who were dying to buy it, we decided to keep the 2000 just for Star. The only time it is driven is to take her out – often just so she can enjoy a ride. One of her favorite rides is to the dump, with all its (to her) wonderful smells. And sometimes we just go to the local big box store and drive around the parking lot so she can bark at all the people. She is in doggy heaven being driven about in her Subaru Forester and just may be the only dog in America that owns her own.


~ Alison Gomez, Gilbert, SC




Follow-up by the City Mom in the Wilderness


True to my word, I took the family camping to Governor Dodge State Park (Wisconsin). It was great – despite a pretty intense electrical storm that had four children and two dogs pressed next to and on top of me for most of the night.


Not one bug bite, though!


I’m attaching my favorite picture of the drive home. Even the dogs were exhausted.


~ Jennifer Fischer, Fox Point, WI

 (author of “Midwest City Mom in the Wyoming Wilderness,” Spring 2010 Drive)


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