Dave's Sketch Journal

Drawing is taking a line for a walk. - Paul Klee

Staying in touch

We have decided to do a little traveling across America on our way to the west coast and eventual flight to China.

I'm excited about this adventure. Ruth has never driven across country so I'm excited for her too.

I remember traveling across country with my family in 1972. I was a kid in my early teens.

We traveled in a huge Buick Electra that had a trunk the size of my apartment. Inside the trunk we had everything needed to stay in KOA campgrounds across the states. (Those were the days before axe murders roamed campgrounds. Dad figured it was pretty safe.)

Starting in California our trip took us through the northern states going east and the southern states returning. Somewhere along the way I bought my first state park decal. These decals were a thin film with the title of the place and often a picture or sketch of the famous location. For example I remember the Yosemite decal had a Dome of the Rock picture on it and the words "Yosemite National Park" arched over the top.

The Buick had huge chrome bumpers. (I know, I know, I'm dating myself here.) Dad offered the rear bumper as a place to put the decals as we spanned the states. We could not leave the state without a decal. As soon as we had purchased the decal we'd go out behind the Buick with luke warm water and soak the decal while we determined the best location for it. We followed this little ritual for the entire three week trip. I think we covered nearly 40 states. (I may be making this up. I can't remember exactly how many but it was a lot!)

When we finally arrived home after three weeks on the road, the entire rear bumper was covered. There was no free space anywhere. I think we still have a picture of that bumper in an old family album somewhere. (Note to mom: Hey, if you are reading this, and if you can find and scan the picture, email it to me I'll post it here. I promise to give you full credit for the photo.)

(Photo taken and scanned by Dave's mom.  Wow, is she techie!)

Of course, everyone likes to collect vacation souvenirs. In every souvenir shop I see local shot glasses, tiny spoons, and postcards touting the local sight seeing places. But in the end, you have to put all that stuff somewhere when you return from the trip. But where?

(I think dad secretly liked the decal idea because it didn't require him having to pack more junk into the Buick's trunk.)

I don't see many of these decals in souvenir shops anymore. I don't think you could get them off the modern car's plastic bumpers. As it was, I remember needing to remove some of them from the Buick's chrome bumper with a single edge razor blade.

My modern "decal" or "location recording device" is my travel journal. It's how I stay in touch with the events of travel. Dave Fox also has some excellent suggestions for journaling your vacation while still enjoying the trip. He calls it Globejotting. Check it out. He's got some great ideas.

So, we'll stay in touch and blog a few events here as we travel. Maybe even a sketch or two.

For travel to be delightful, one must have a good place to leave and return to. - Frederick B. Wilcox

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2 Responses to “Staying in touch”

  1. # Blogger Papa Joe

    You still get a traditional decal of the Apple logo with every appliance you buy. I wonder if most folks even know what they are for.  

  2. # Blogger daveterry

    I don't think so. Most toss them out I think. I did see one on a PC notebook, which just means the user is a poser.

    The decals I remember only came off the paper with warm water. They sort of slid off the paper onto another surface. Decals may still be popular with plastic model cars and trucks.


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