Don’t bother reading 8,275 travel blogs; let us do it for you. Here’s what we’ve found worthy in the travelverse over the last seven days.
We’re not retronauts, but we do love Airstream trailers. We love their jellybean shapes and their airplane-fuselage looks and their Formica-‘n’-knotty-pine interiors, and we love the mobility they promised a postwar generation ready to get up and go. So when the BBC put together a slide show of a expedition down the Pacific Coast Highway in a vintage Airstream searching for the California of 50 years ago, we were ready for something cool, and we mean Dick-Dale-surfing-with-a-Stratocaster-and-a-Fender-Showman cool. We were ready for tiki bars and taco huts and tanned beach babes with Annette Funicello up-dos. We were ready for the Brits to show us once again that they know us better than we know ourselves. The end result is pleasant but vaguely disappointing (they’re driving an SUV? Where’s the Ford Country Squire?), much more Better Homes & Gardens than Evelyn Waugh or Ricky Gervais. Ricky Gervais hitting the Pacific Coast Highway in a circa-‘60s Airstream? Now that’s something we’d pay to read.
We are also not enamored with list stories and photo essays that require you to click 50 times to see 50 pictures. Too much work compared to scrolling down a page, or better yet, turning a page. With that said, you will not see a more spectacular list story than this collection of national-park pictures from the Matador Network. If you ever wonder why the Gates of the Arctic is a national park, here’s your answer. The pictures are Life-magazine quality, half a notch below National Geographic, and they remind you of what Dorothy said at the end of The Wizard of Oz: “if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?” That’s right.
Now this’ll make you feel old: Grunge is now of that certain age where it gets its own sightseeing tour. Lonely Planet details a DIY “Ghost of Grunge” tour, so you can see for yourself where Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden et al. got all their angst from. It’s definitely Come As You Are and BYOS (Bring Your Own Soundtrack), but if you look hard enough in Viretta Park you might find your very own Courtney Love nastygram.
Finally, from the Leaving Something To Someone Else Dept., happy 100th birthday and happy trails to Greyhound. The venerable bus company has outlasted all challengers and reigns supreme as the cross-country driver of choice when you want to leave the driving to a dog. There’s no shortage of 100th-anniverary tributes, but NBC says all that’s necessary.
Have a great week, everyone. Travel safe.