Gulliver’s travels were nothing compared to ours

Saint Augustine, one of the theological fountainheads of Reformation teaching on salvation and grace, is said to have said once that “The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.”

  • Saturday, January 6, 2007 3:00pm
  • Opinion

Saint Augustine, one of the theological fountainheads of Reformation teaching on salvation and grace, is said to have said once that “The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.”

In the last 10 days we have read many, many pages, completing a 3,000-mile journey in our 20-year-young Chevy S-10 pickup truck, originally owned, operated and meticulously maintained by Ruth Semple’s husband Bill.

Not only did we drive these adventure-filled miles without any speeding tickets, we never paid the same price for gasoline in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah and Idaho.

Our most expensive regular was $2.79, in Freeland. Cheapest regular was $2.19 in Utah, so we splurged and opted for 92 octane premium at $2.39 a gallon. Once we hit 68 mph.

Nor did we taste a flavorful cheeseburger or an appropriately seasoned bloody Mary with a salted rim anywhere on our journey.

Of course, we did as soon as we got home, and that’s what counts. Thanks Kristy.

Allow me to share with you some of the observations from our recent road trip that began on Christmas Eve eve, way back last year.

Most Interesting Restaurant Placemat: Discover Millard County — “Where Utah’s First Capital Began And Utah Comes To Get Away.” Nothing quite like going to Utah to get away from it. We feel the same way about Oak Harbor.

Most Enjoyable Cup of Coffee: Our daughter Danielle’s, in the kitchen of her Las Vegas home, while holding her cuter than heck, smaller than you know what, toy Chihuahua Angel, the first itty-bitty dog that I’ve not wanted to dropkick.

Most Unbelievable Travel Discount Guide Motel Coupon: The motel coupon for the Budget Motel in Burley, Idaho, where, for $39 plus tax, we received two beds, one television, two sausage patties, 12 towels, six pancakes, four scrambled eggs, one orange juice and a coffee. Did I add free parking and a 13-degree wind chill factor? They even had soap.

Most Marbled Department Store Bathroom: The Men’s Room, Nieman-Marcus, Las Vegas. They actually let me in the place unshaven, wearing a White Castle hamburger baseball hat, Good Cheer slacks and a Reece Rose for Commissioner button.

Most Expensive Bowling: The South Point Casino where Jerry Lewis held his last Labor Day Telethon. My daughter Crystal’s fiancé Brett knows a security guard at the South Point who swears on a stack of Korans that Jer got upset with the non eye-level locations of the televisions in his suite.

I got angry that way once in a Lepanto, Arkansas motel when I found my Gideon Bible under an ice bucket on the backside of the commode.

By the way, two games with shoes for two adults was a mere $16.10. No senior discounts after 6 p.m. and no free drinks.

Best Newspaper: Present company excluded, the Idaho Press Tribune, published Jan. 2, 2007, with the two-inch bold lettered headline — “Unbelievable!”

If you do not know to what that headline refers, please ask Army vet Dale Marks, Boise State, ‘53-’54, regularly appearing Monday through Wednesday at the Freeland Café Comedy Corner during lunchtime. Jarhead Dave Moulton is Dale’s refreshing and upstart opening act.

Largest Biscuits and Gravy: We did not even try. I’m allergic to corn starch, the FDA’s approved congestive caulking for the food industry. Whatever happened to flour as a thickening agent?

Loudest AM Radio Station: Some Hispanic station about Ocho Vente AM on the dial, near Barstow, on Christmas Day, playing Jose Feliciano backwards, singing “Navidad Feliz.”

Tastiest Sandwich: Capriotti’s-Silverado Deli in Las Vegas, Nevada. We split the Al Pacino, a thinly sliced prosciutini, salami, capacolla combo, heavy on the oil and vinegar, riddled with head cheese and arm candy.

Strangest Viewpoint: A slightly drunken Texas tourist at Ceasar’s Palace who suggested that Siegfried and Roy should give way to Cheech and Chong on the USO tours.

Most Entertaining Casino Moment: At Slots-4-Fun on the Vegas Strip where we spent 45 joyous minutes watching daughter Danielle shoot craps with a guy from Mississippi while three drunken adults pulled those giant slot machine handles. And they give them more free booze while they play?

Most Appreciated Scenery: Duh. The ferry landing in Mukilteo upon returning home.

Biggest Surprise Christmas Gift upon our return: Sam Wolf’s battery-powered, arc-driven Ohio State baseball hat with the flashing O that illuminates during each touchdown. Go Buckeyes!

Funniest Voice Mail Message upon return: The automated voice lady of our stupendous Sno-Isle Regional Library System sharing the shocking news that 10-day holds from 2006 translate to seven-day holds in 2007. How do we keep this from our children?

Yes, Saint Augustine was right.

Getting off this rock now and then has therapeutic value.

Particularly when we feel so welcomed back home.


There goes the power again.

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