The adventures of Pioneer Girl travelling with enthusiastic Camper Barn Owl Guy

Started as a blog about my trip from Pittsburgh to California in a Ford Pickup, hauling a 30' refurbed trailer/camper. Ah, California Dreaming, 'n all that. Found that adventures can be long distance or in your own neighborhood... I look for my own twist on local sites, don't take the known for granted...and always find something new. It's easy, just open your eyes..

Monday, October 31, 2011

Thriller Nights and Bumper Cars

October 30, 2011
Good morning, fellow travelers and pioneer spirits...Although yours truly has not herself traveled to any local haunts on this Halloween, there's a lot of spookiness out there.  Freaking me out was SNOW, yes snow on Halloween...hoping that it is not a portent of the winter ahead.

Halloween has morphed from the old Irish festival of SAMHEIN, which was the night when the world of the dead intersected with that of the living...  To keep the spirits from roaming the earth and to keep from wandering into the OTHERWORLD themselves, farmers would gather around a bonfire, dressed in masks and costumes believing they could get through the night with the ancestors by hook or crook. There's creepy and there's scary in the otherworld and even today...

Not to be a damper on the fun of Halloween dress-up, candy, puking pumpkins....but I always like to find a different take on everything I explore, even if I'm exploring from my home base. Know what else is spooky to this Pioneer Girl....Nuclear plant accidents..radiation..remember this one, 

Chernobyl Amusement Park (Pripyat, Ukraine)
This amusement park, built for the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant workers and their families, was scheduled to open May 1, 1986. But five days earlier at 01:23 local time a fourth reactor explodes and causes a nuclear meltdown, blanketing nearby towns with a lethal dose of radiation.  The world's worst nuclear accident caused the evacuation of the town of 49,000 residents in four hours.  

No one ever returned. Instead of children's
laughter there's an eerie silence, a bizarre emptiness in the amusement park and surrounding buildings, now abandoned for 25 years. The corroding Ferris wheel and bumper cars are forever frozen in 1986. and   it didn't stop there really.. the plume of fallout drifted throughout western Russia and Europe, reaching its dark eerie hands as far as the UK and even to North America. .who knows what the effects have really been over the past decades to human health, the air we breathe and to our beautiful world....  downright...

SPOOKY, HUH...    Yours truly, P.G..... save travels in this world and the otherworld... cause it's a thriller night.  xoxo

Friday, October 14, 2011

(In Just-)

Good morning, fellow pioneers... what did I discover today, but that it is my favorite poet's birthday, e.e.cummings.  GPS coordinates find me re-reading some of my favorites, so in honor.I've always loved this me it reminds me of the innocent and wonderful world of childhood, playing and jumping and dancing and splashing.    xoxo--PG 

[in Just-]
in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
balloonMan          whistles

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Powdered Wives and Frank Zappa

PG on The Susan Constant

October 1, 2011...Good morning, friends…today GPS coordinates find me in Jamestown, Virginia.  Along with BOG (minus Camper) and trusty Scout, we wound our way in the Ford Pickup south through rainy Somerset and south to Cumberland and Berkeley Springs, through some of the most beautiful Appalachian forests on a very complicated two-lane route.  Thanks to Scout, many arguments and road side stops for map study were averted.

We ended up in Williamsburg VA in just enough time to eat at a local pub and chat with some locals and walk through the chilly streets before some well deserved rest. Early to rise, we ate breakfast at a local joint and I had my fill of southern grits.

Onward to Jamestown and the preserved settlement.   I climbed aboard one of the three replica ships, The Susan Constant, that brought the settlers to the Chesapeake Bay area and had some fun doing my Titanic impression.  Okay didn’t quite work…the gentleman demonstrating the canon and telling tales of pirates informed me that I was at the stern of the boat and not the bow.  Well, so picky.

Food Pyramid
I always learn something, or relearn something new on my journeys.  Although the early settlers were eventually successful, and a tour of the working settlement was great, it was the early 1600’s settlement that I found most interesting and a bit gory, the period known as The Starving Time.  The settlers mistrusted the Powhatans so much and expected savagery that they rejected their welcome and offers, and during the brutal winter, disease and starvation killed over 80% of the colony.  The colonists were desperate and ate all sorts of bizarre things (boiled leather shoes, toadstools, rats of course), and eventually began digging up the corpses and well… Just how is human flesh prepared:    "boiled and stewed with roots and herbs," "powdered," (salted) "carbonadoed” (barbequed).   This is not a healthy diet...roots, toadstools, and wives are not on the Food Pyramid.   It was Captain John Smith who wrote of the turn of events across the pond in his General History of Virginia who wrote:   I know not, but of such a dish as powdered wife I never heard of.

We all know tales of cannibalism throughout history, The Donner Party was a group of American pioneers who set out for California in a wagon train, the group whose plane crashed in the Andes (the movie Alive), serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, and many more…some we’re probably not aware of.

Mr. Green Genes" by Frank Zappa (from the Mothers of Invention album Uncle Meat) makes a funny reference to cannibalism: "Eat the truck & driver / And his gloves / NUTRITIOUSNESS! DELICIOUSNESS! WORTHLESSNESS!"  BTW, it was said at one time that Frank Zappa was the son of Mr. Greenjeans from Captain Kangaroo, but alas that rumor proved to be untrue.   

Well..I’ve had my “fill” of cannibals for now, time for lunch…until my next stop…

Peace on the road, keep your eyes open….XOXO PG