While out for a drive…

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A Bahnhof too Far

photo of gasthof

A friendly place!

We were on field maneuvers in southern Germany and this weekday evening I was off duty. I knew that there was a bahnhof a couple of miles away; so I thought that I would hike down there, have a few beers, and relax. I found the railroad tracks just outside our camp and began to walk along them in search of my destination. The area was heavily forested, and darkness was approaching; but it wasn’t long before I found the station. It was warm inside and there was a friendly atmosphere so I stayed for an hour or so.
I needed to get back before bed-check at midnight so I decided that it was time to get going. My spirits were high as I headed back down the railroad tracks in the direction that I had come. It wasn’t long before I came to a spur leading off in another direction. ” Where did that come from? I didn’t see that before!” I had no idea which one that I came in on; I just started off on the right. “But wait,was this the way?” I was somewhat panicked; it was pretty dark, and I was confused,turning back several times before continuing on. Shortly I came to another spur; now I was really lost and it was getting perilously close to midnight!
About to give up hope of ever finding my way; off in the distance I saw a faint light shining through a break in trees. I left the tracks and headed cross country; stumbling through the forest I finally came upon our camp, making it just before the bewitching hour.

Sacramento River Delta Day Trip

hot air balloon photo

up, up, and away!

The sun had just come up, we grabbed some coffee, and headed out for a day trip to the Sacramento River Delta. We started south on  county road 98 at a leisurely pace when we spotted some hot air balloons up ahead coming out of the west. They were low and coming closer; we could see that we were going to intersect their path across the road just up ahead. I soon pulled over and we got out to take some pictures. Just then the balloon’s ground crew pulled up right behind us. As we admired the colorful designs* and spoke to the crew, they said that they usually fly out of Napa Valley but that they were fogged in on this morning.
After sharing a few stories we got back on the road going south through farmland, occaisionally spotting a Red-tailed Hawk or two soaring above us. Continuing toward the Delta the wind began to pick up and then, appropriately, we came upon a wind farm. I was amazed at the massive size of those things; all those huge blades rotating slowly in the wind gave a surreal look to the surrounding landscape.
Next we arrived at the town of Rio Vista on the Sacrament River. The area was much the same as I remembered it; Hap’s Bait Shop was still there, and Robin spotted Foster’s Bighorn, a restaurant that she had enjoyed in years past.
Turning back north we went upriver towards Sacramento, driving casually along the levee road through small river towns. But then we ran into a traffic jam; apparently this was the weekend of the Courtland Pear Fair. After a short delay we finally made our way through the area (without getting any pears), and returned home on the last leg of the trip.

*The balloons owned by Balloons Above the Valley are each named after a different Space Shuttle.

Brenner Pass

Road trip to Italy

Road trip to Italy

The other day I was thinking about some of the cars that I have owned, and I came across this old photo.

One winter in Germany when I was in the army, some friends and I decided to take a trip to Italy.
We got this great old vehicle ( I have not a clue what it is ) for almost nothing, I suppose because only the front brakes were operable. But it got us over the Brenner pass in Austria, from Germany to Italy and back, after a fashion.

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