Category Archives: Trips

Harry Baals and Butt Drugs

Did I get your attention?

A couple of weekends ago I traveled to Corydon, Indiana with a couple of friends.  We went to visit a drug store.  Why drive 3 hours to a drugs store?  Because it’s Butt Drugs, that’s why!  One of the locksmiths at work told me about it and how he and his girlfriend now have “I ❤ (heart) Butt Drugs” t-shirts.  And because I have the sense of humor of a juvenile boy, I thought it was funny and a good excuse for a road trip.

As it turned out, Corydon is a historic town.  It was the first capital of Indiana.  So I got a lot more out of the trip than I expected, but it also reminded me of Harry Baals (last name pronounced just like you think, balls, though the family name pronounces it bales).    There was much to-do online and among my Facebook friends a few months ago over this former mayor who was in contention to have a government building in Fort Wayne, IN named after him.  Despite being a well-respected local politician in the 1930s, the city did not want the ridicule and jokes that would come with using his name.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine who works in a public library posted on Facebook that a patron came up to her and told her that her shirt looked gay.  In today’s slang, saying something is gay is meant to be derogatory.  However,  the lady who said it was older and meant it as a compliment, that my friend’s shirt was bright or lively.  She was using the word gay like it would have been used in the 1930s.

I’m by no means an expert on slang, but I think it is interesting how names and words can change their meaning over time.  The Butt family who owns the drug store have embraced the comedic aspect that comes with a store called Butt Drugs and probably does a better business than most mom & pop stores that have a more “normal” name attached to their store.  And I think it is sad that honorable people with what are now unfortunate names can’t get the recognition due them, such as having a civic building named after them, because current leaders worry about public ridicule.

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
      By any other name would smell as sweet

Y is for Yellowstone National Park

I’ve only been to Yellowstone National Park once, but I loved it.  I didn’t get to see the entire park, so I really want to go back.

Yellowstone sits is the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.  Located on a caldera, the park is full of beautiful hot springs and geysers, with Old Faithful being the most famous of the geysers.

Castle Geyser

I don’t think I had ever seen a hot spring before this trip and I know I had never seen a geyser,  so to see so many in one location, and how vastly different they look, was amazing.

Some of the hot spring were so blue and clear and very inviting, while other features, like Bacteria Mat were not so pretty.  It was really something special to see how active the earth is and how potentially dangerous, too.

One of the many clear blue hot spings in the geyser basins

I know there is a lot more of Yellowstone that I didn’t have time to see during my first trip.  I hope sometime soon to get back there and see it all. I’ve been dropping hints that it would make a great graduation gift!

Bacteria Mat

Old Faithful

W is for Wyoming

Wyoming… What can I say about Wyoming?  Some might consider it the middle

Me at a Wyoming rest area on I-80

of nowhere, and I can see why, but my drives through this state have been interesting.

I drove through the state on I-80 quite a bit when I was driving truck.  It was in Wyoming that I saw antelope and prairie dogs for the first time, which I thought was pretty cool.    There is also an interesting rest area on I-80 in Wyoming.  What makes it unique is a large bust of Abraham Lincoln.  The first time I saw this bust was on a foggy morning as I was driving truck.  Visability was very poor, but high up in the distance was Abe Lincoln’s head!  I was puzzled as to why a sculpture of our 16th president would be in the middle of Wyoming.  I found out that this section of I-80 is part of the Lincoln Highway, which stretches from New York to California.

Bust of Abe Lincoln at Wyoming rest area on I-80

And more recently I received a speed warning ticket from the Wyoming State Patrol as I was driving home from a trip to Yellowstone.  I was doing six miles over the posted speed limit, which I will admit I do regularly when I drive on the highways at home.  So I was surprised by it, because it was only 6 miles over and people were passing me.  Maybe it was the red rental I was driving that caught the po-po’s eye!

V is for Vacations

With summer approaching, many people are probably thinking about vacation.  I’m no different, though with limited funds and other plans this summer (namely my internship), any vacation I take this summer will be short and nearby.

I often wish that I were independently wealthy,  so that I could just take off to a number of vacation destinations.  Here are a few stops on my vacation bucket list…

Great Britain:  For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to go to England.  When I was younger and discovered “BritComs” on PBS, I wanted to go just to watch TV (weird, I know!).  But now that I am older I want to go for so many more reasons.  This is a country rich with history and beautiful sites to see.  I’m just not sure how I would do driving on the wrong side of the road…

Germany:  This is where my dad’s side of the family comes from.  And I’m fascinated with German history, especially during the world wars.  I don’t speak German though,  so I’d probably want to do this as a guided group tour.

Yellowstone National Park:  I have been there once, but only for a couple days, so I didn’t get to see everything.  I did see the geysers and Old Faithful, but I know there is much more to see.  I really want to go back and maybe stay for a week to take in all the sites in and around the park.

New York  City on New Year’s Eve:  So I’ve seen it on TV every year and it just looks like great fun to me.  I’d love to visit NYC anytime, but there is something about it in winter and New Years that seems magical (but maybe I just watch too many holiday movies set in the Big Apple).

There are plenty of other places I’d like to take a vacation, but there are places that stick with me and I dream about visiting someday, hopefully sooner than later.

S is for St Louis

My last post was about my trip to Colorado.  On our way there, we stopped in St Louis, MO just long enough to go up in the Gateway Arch.  I have seen the arch many times, but had never gone up in it.  It was a lot of fun and a great view from the top.

Gateway Arch, St. Louis, MO

The Gateway Arch (aka Gateway to the West) is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.  It sits on the Mississippi River.  Visitors can ride a tram to the top of the arch.  It is pretty tight quarters in the tram car, but worth it once you get to the top.   The view of the river and the city is quite nice.

This is another place I’d like to go back to and spend more time.   I’d like to visit the Museum of Westward Expansion, take a river boat ride and I’m sure there is much more to do in St. Louis.  The drive for me would only be 7-8 hours, so I’m sure I’ll make it back sometime soon.

Arch Shadow

Gateway Arch shadow as seen from the top of the arch

R is for Rocky Mountain National Park

Two summers ago I took a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park and Yellowstone with a friend.  It was an amazing trip!  I absolutely love the Rocky Mountains!  There is something about them that puts me in awe more than other spectacles of nature.  I image it is their shear size.
I didn’t know about Rocky Mountain National Park until this trip, but now I am eager to go back.  The park is in Estes Park, CO.  There are plenty of beautiful trails for hiking, places to camp, and lots of wildlife to see.
You aren’t suppose to feed the wildlife, but visitors do it anyway.  One of the images that has stuck with me is of a portly chipmunk trying his best to get a hiker to toss him some granola.  My first thought was that wildlife isn’t suppose to be overweight!  In addition to seeing squirrels, birds and chipmunks, we also saw a lot of elk and some longhorn sheep.  I was told that seeing longhorn sheep is rare, so that was a special treat.

Chipmunk eating at Rocky Mt Nat'l Park

I would highly recommend Rocky Mountain National Park to anybody who wants to see and walk through this majestic mountain range.  We went in late summer.  The weather was nice and all I needed was a light jacket in the higher elevations.  This is one of the places I really want to get back to soon.

Elk at Rocky Mt Nat'l Park

Longhorn Sheep - Rocky Mt Nat'l Park