Friday, July 24, 2009

Trails and Castles and Locks and Willie - some notes from a road trip

At 76, Willie Nelson is still an amazing performer. Less talk this time but much more guitar work.

It is a long way down stairs and trails from the road to the shores of the Niagara River just below the whirlpool. It feels a whole lot longer on the way back up.

Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls is ridiculous and tacky and strange and an assault on the senses. Never had any interest in doing any of the tourist attractions, but I love to take a walk through the area.

Motel 6 has some weird shaped bath tubs. Sometimes, with space at a premium, you should just do a shower stall.

Bob Dylan's band looks like it lives in fear of missing a change from the master. Seriously. Bordering on terror. Strangest band dynamic ever.

Side roads and regional highways are best. From pick your own cherry fields to locks on the Erie Canal, there is just so much more to do and see than on the poorly named freeways.

John Mellencamp did pretty much the show you would expect of him. I think I had most of the playlist memorized before I went to high school. That turned out to be a good thing.

If you chance upon a castle in the 1000 Islands region, visit it. My father and I chanced upon the Boldt Castle by taking the last exit before the Canadian border. It was amazing. Not just the castle, the grounds and the boat house, but the area itself.

The Radisson sleep number thing is overrated. Just give me a nice big pillowtop mattress and I'd be happy. As it was, the bed had a hard time keeping the settings. Still a good night's sleep, just not worth the fuss.

Cracker Barrel's pancakes are surprisingly good. I've kind of gotten used to being disappointed by bland American restaurant food (where quantity over quality seems to be the rule) so this was a surprise. Didn't come close to good homemade ones, but they were still pretty good.

Al Purdy's house is not as easy to find as one might think. I mean, Ameliasburg is not even big enough to have a population number attached. Stopped and asked an older lady and her response was "you mean the guy that died" (he died in 2000). Still didn't help. It was a nice drive, though, and not far from the Loyalist Parkway (one of Ontario's nicest drives).

The ipod was made for road trips. It's all about the variety.


John Mutford said...

I was revisting my Willie collection the other day and had forgotten how many songs he has about performing. It made me want to see him in concert all the more.

Remi said...

He does a good show. Ragged and scrappy and all the things you'd expect him to be.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

How strange that Bob Dylan's band appeared terrified. Do you suppose he beats them with electrical cords (or perhaps chords) if they make a mistake.