Monday, July 16, 2012

Post: Road Trip Highlights & Members!


How awesome is it that we can get into a car and go just about anywhere? Even better, at your own pace? Such were my thoughts on our road trip to Illinois. Quite a few unexpected adventures met us on the road (excluding zombies and car trouble, thankfully), and we came back, survived, with horizons broadened. And now, here are the top five highlights from this year's road trip:

#1: Octane Cocktails.

Is it possible for cars to get a little tipsy? We think so. Most drivers have one favorite fill up station, right?  On the road, we don't always have much of a choice. With different octane levels at each stop, some with 10% ethanol, our beetle hiccuped a few times and never had consistent mileage (although it seemed to improve).

#2: Seeing the Face of Fear.

Roadkill can be gross. Contributing to it changes a man. We're driving along, see a couple of vultures feasting on something on the other side of the road, and they take off as we near. One went one way. The other? Right at us! We slowed as much as we could, but the huge bird found its destiny in our windshield. The look of horror in its eye is one that I will never forget. RIP, buddy.

#3: The Steering Wheel Wave.

When driving the back roads and open state highways, be prepared for The Steering Wheel Wave, a one or two finger or a full palm, raised briefly, from oncoming drivers. Such good natured hospitality in the country!

#4: Shooting Stuff.

What would a survival practice be without target practice? Some of my relatives know how to keep a sweet arsenal, but my favorite is my father's recurve bow. It didn't take long to reacquaint with it and land a bull's eye from 50 yards. Eat your heart out, Katniss.

#5: Fireworks Over Water.

Until this 4th of July, I've never seen fireworks over water. It was gorgeous. The water's reflection made the darkness go away. It's good to have new experiences. But more important than all of this, I spent time with all my family, some of which I haven't seen in over two years. It was an epic reunion, which bears repeating.

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Three new members have found us! Here's an epic Shout-Out for you all. Welcome to The Cosmic Laire!

(Sup, brother!)

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Update: My imagination is fueled for this zombie novel, but first, finish Woven revisions. Ten chapters to go! Here's to tackling two or a few of them this week.

Did you guys survive the fires while I was gone? What's the highlight of your summer so far?

I'm David, and this is a Nebraska sunrise.


  1. Glad you had a good trip, even with the vulture pinging off your windshield. Here in the south, everyone waves, whether they know you or not.

  2. It's ironic a scavenger would get spooked from feasting on a corpse and itself become roadkill.

    I grew up in the country and I don't think we ever waved to anyone except family. Guess we were just more antisocial than in Illinois.

  3. We have also experienced a bird committing suicide on our windshield but it surprised us and then scared us to death. Glad you had a great vacation - good luck with the revisions.

  4. Sounds like you had a fun break. Now it's back to work. lol

  5. I know so many people that go back and forth from Utah to Illinois.

  6. My dad has hit two bird on the highway to my knowledge, one was a golden eagle and the other was a barn owl. He has a nack for the endangered species :) Looking good with the bow and arrow ;)

  7. Those "eye wheels" are hilarious! How fun.

  8. My dad got hit by something bigger than you - a cow. LOL Luckily he was going slow in some fog and didn't total the vehicle. :D But seriously, I enjoyed reading your post, and I love the eyes on the bug.

    PS - You didn't 'not' follow my blog before. My follower gadget broke on 3/1, and I just now built a new blog to fix it. ;)

  9. Glad you had a great time! I'm usually at a lake on 4th of July so I know what you mean about the beauty of fireworks over water!

    Also, I hit a squirrel one time and I freaked out for a good thirty minutes. It. Was. Awful. In my defense, the squirrel stopped in the middle of the road :D

  10. Ha! "Faces of fear." Roadkill is gross! I'm glad you had a wonderful road trip!

  11. Glad your trip was epic! So nice to get away and even better to spend time with family.

  12. That poor vulture! And remind me to never go up against you in the Hungar Games. Not like I'd have much choice, but we are both above the and of entrants.

    It's been a slow summer for me, but I haven't had the chance to vacation. Was able to get to Miami for a visit.

  13. Oh my gosh! I'm *in* Nebraska road tripping...! LOL! What a perfect post for this moment ;) And way to go w/ revisions!

  14. Don't feel bad. That vulture was... um, sick. Yeah, he was sick. You put him out of his misery, and he's feasting on heavenly roadkill now. :)

    Sounds like you had a great time!

  15. Awesome pictures!

    Running into that vulture must have been unpleasant for all parties.

    The highlight of my summer's been hiking at a couple of state parks--they're beautiful places.

  16. Oh my heck! I'm still laughing about the road kill! That would traumatize me!

    Also - you'll be happy to know that my niece flew in from New Mexico, and who did she ask about?...YOU! Yep, she's ready for your book to be published. She loves your writing! :)

  17. You probably drove through my state, Missouri. Lots of vultures and hand waving going on. And I'm on the road A LOT in MO and IL. The worst is seeing deer or domestic animals.

    Okay, you look bad a$$ with that bow!!!!

  18. What with survival training and all...shouldn't you eat what you kill? I understand they taste like chicken.

  19. I have taken out many a country bird, but never anything so large as a vulture. That must have been traumatic in many ways! Good luck on revisions - you're almost there! You can do it!

  20. Yikes - a vulture crash! I wonder if his buddy came back to... "vulture" him... Ew.

    Nice shooting! That's a cool picture!

  21. Nebraska sunrise is pretty :) The steering wheel wave is always a nice gesture. In rural Australia when you're passing another car in the opposite direction on a narrow road very slowly, either one of those or a polite 'sup'- nod are exchanged. Always makes me smile :)

    Best of luck with your revisions and awesome to hear that you're pumped for the new story too! Go David!!!!

  22. Oh gosh! These is nothing worse than hitting a little animal on the road:( Sorry that happened. At least you got to watch fireworks over water. Few things are better:)

  23. And the man has archer skills too? Flipp'n awesome!

  24. I love road trips! Sounds like you guys had fun. I'd love to practice some archery...
    Poor vulture :-( I've seen lots of roadkill on road trips - it's kind of weird that I've never seen a live armadillo but saw lots of dead ones way down South.

  25. I'm now convinced I need to take up archery. Because it sounds fun and it's a silent form of protection for the coming zombie apocalypse.

    Also, POOR BIRDIE =(
    That would have scared the crap out of me! I probably would have convinced myself Hitchcock had it figured out with that movie, only instead of crows (ravens? what kind of birds were they?) it would be vultures.

  26. Wow, archery! +10 awesomeness points! :)

    I made a bow with my sister as a kid. We taped nails to the tips of the arrows as arrowheads. Not the greatest idea, in retrospect, but they worked pretty well on our cardboard enemies. I've wanted to take up archery ever since.

  27. Good job on the archery. Poor bird that found its demise via your windshield. Love the drunk car. Glad you got to see the fireworks over the water. And you definitely left Utah at a great time. All the fires were terrible and smelled horrible.