On the Road in 2018

As I prepare for my 1st trip of 2019 to Costa Rica, I am reviewing Ruth and my travel destinations for 2018 and remembering the highs and lows.

The best city we visited in 2018 was Brisbane, or maybe it was unexpected Spokane.  Both cities have on-the-go spirits that are undeniable.  The best small city was also in Australia-Bendigo.  For a period of time in the 19th century Bendigo was the wealthiest city in the world, and it remains a constant surprise.  We left a lot undone and will go back to this town north of Melbourne the next tine we head for Australia.  Among this year’s best natural attractions was the 3-part John Day Fossil Beds in Oregon.

The best attraction of the year was in Denver, Colorado.  The American Museum of Western Art, the Anschutz Collection, was a stunning surprise that we learned about from Atlas Obscura.  This organization looks for offbeat and, often, not great places to go to.  As a result of the shock factor and it’s stunning quality, we talked to a lot of this museum’s staff members to learn about its collection while trying to figure out why it was such a treat.  Western Art is OK but often not, like other genres, very good, in my opinion.  The exterior of the historic building its in near downtown is nothing special and no photography is allowed inside because this is a private collection, so there’s no way to explain its impact without the reader of this taking a tour and taking his or her time to really look at Anschutz. The American Museum of Western Art was the biggest travel surprise of the year.

Among 2018’s disappointments was Kangaroo Island.  Despite the animals we saw, there was a sameness to the landscape that made the trip from Adelaide to it and back in one day more of a bore than a joy.   Maybe if we had more time, I would have had a different reaction.  But I suspect not.  If you like a place to get-away-from-it-all, go to Kangaroo Island.   Now I understand why none of our Australian friends have been there.

The word of the year is grumous.  I like collecting new words even when they don’t exactly have much impact on my vocabulary.  The person who used grumous said that it means clotted or lumpy and called it an evocative word that deserves to be used more widely.  I tend to agree.  Ruth doesn’t like grumous mashed potatoes.

Any year that includes wearing a lei, a roseate spoonbill, a 1950s motel with an outer space theme, meeting Jack Absalom, exploring Spokane’s Davenport Hotel, seeing Shoshone Falls, etc has been worthwhile.  I wonder what in 2019 will be memorable?  There’s only one way to find out!  Happy 2019.




About roads-rus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roads-rus

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