To our right were two more dinosaurs, one a brontosaurus, the other one of those two-legged beasts that, because no one knows exactly what it is, simply gets called an allosaurus. They were frozen in mid-menace of an Amoco gas station sign. To our left, just visible on the crest of a hill, was a giant octopus locked in mortal combat with a prehistoric shark.
It is fashionable, and has been for some time now, for Americans to dislike France. Our one-time close ally, the country that basically bankrolled the American Revolution, that gave the world Brigitte Bardot, Sophie Marceau, and Jean Reno — you surrender early in one little world war, and suddenly the US is holding a grudge…
Jersey is a perpetually surprising place to travel, and while I utterly despise much about driving in that state heading up the Garden State northbound was beautiful. And it only gets nicer as you cross the Bear Mountain Bridge and continue alog 9D to the town of Cold Spring, then finally arrive at the trailhead, just past the train station and a tunnel.
I was supposed to be meeting Owen Foote, the voice at the other end of my doomed cell phone call and the founder of the Gowanus Dredgers, an environmental awareness group dedicated to educating people about the Gowanus Canal and surrounding Brooklyn waterfront by putting them on its surface in canoes and kayaks.
Meramec Caverns is one of the big ones. Not Mammoth Cave big, but plenty big in terms of the amount of tourism advertising they’ve done. It was a mainstay on the Route 66 drive, and an easy day trip from St. Louis. We packed up and headed out early. We had two must-see sites for the day: Meramec Caverns.
When America jumped headfirst into the ocean of folly that was the Volstead Act and Prohibition, the dedicated drinkers of the United States found any number of ways to respond to the madness. Over in Paris, ex-patriots drinking at the epicenter of the modern cocktail scene, Harry’s New York Bar, lifted their glasses in salute…
There comes a time in every unwashed heathen’s life when he needs a break from serene Buddhas, and in those times, a man is well served by hopping the train to the small town of Arashiyama in order to hike Mt. Arashiyama and, if all goes well, see one of his friends attacked by an irritable monkey.