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Author Topic: What Did You Learn About the USA  (Read 549 times)

djw2112

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What Did You Learn About the USA
« on: February 12, 2019, 02:50:23 AM »
Since most are traveling around and seeing different things, it might be nice to talk about something interesting you learned about the USA, or a city, town or state that you did not already know.

I was not aware that the word "america" came from an italian explorer.
I also was not aware that the name Texas is based on the word "friend" (spelling was tejas)

Also the word fencing as in "fencing stolen goods" actually comes from Louisiana because pirates use to bring their treasures to places like New Orleans and stick their goods through iron fences to sell them, hense fencing. 


 

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Isaac-1

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2019, 04:45:50 AM »
For me it is more about generalities of a region, like how Kansas is really not all that flat, or being surprised how much manufacturing and light industrial stuff I saw driving across Nebraska, it really is not all farming there.  Then there is the vast emptiness of some parts of the country, like how one can drive from Amarillo Texas to Rapid City, SD  a distance of almost 700 miles, and not pass within 50 miles of a town much of over 10,000 people, and those are few and far between, most towns along the route are under 7,000. 

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Bill N

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2019, 06:56:13 AM »
For me it is more about generalities of a region, like how Kansas is really not all that flat, or being surprised how much manufacturing and light industrial stuff I saw driving across Nebraska, it really is not all farming there.  Then there is the vast emptiness of some parts of the country, like how one can drive from Amarillo Texas to Rapid City, SD  a distance of almost 700 miles, and not pass within 50 miles of a town much of over 10,000 people, and those are few and far between, most towns along the route are under 7,000.
I have made that exact drive a couple of times Issac-1 and you are spot on.  But my trips were in the 60s and IIRC a town named Garden City, Kansas was very close to a famous murder of a family which was made into a movie starring Robert Blake (who was later accused of a real life murder of his wife).  I remember the family murdered was named Clutter.  Other than that, as you say, a very quiet ride.
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djw2112

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 10:27:55 AM »
There are alot of places like that west of the Mississippi.  The wide open plains really shocks some people that have never experienced it before, soooo much space.  Many years ago my grandmother came out west from NY for the first time.   She spent her whole life basically in the same neighborhood.  Back east in large cities most everything you need is in your own neighborhood so you rarely have to go outside of your own neighborhood for anything.  She was actually worried about bows and arrows from indians when we got her the ticket, how about that huh!   When she saw all the wide open space as far as one could see, she was speechless and could not imagine being able to survive in such a place.  It is a good reminder that the world to some is a very small environmental existance and they do not even know what the other parts of the USA are even like.   
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UTTransplant

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 10:55:10 AM »
We mostly travel west of the Mississippi. I discovered how much beauty there is even in places others denigrate. For example, the flat plains of Kansas are gorgeous when the wheat is rippled by the wind. Eastern Wyoming has colors in the flat that you never expect, and watching a thunderstorm build in the afternoon is astonishing. Badlands in many states are full of fantastic shapes and colors. Desert cacti come in an infinite variety of shapes and colors, and seeing the desert bloom in the spring after a rain is breathtaking. There is beauty everywhere.
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Larry N.

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 11:31:45 AM »
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how much beauty there is even in places others denigrate.

Amen! The deserts of New Mexico are especially beautiful to me, though a lot of the Arizona deserts are too, in a different way. Having been raised in west Texas where, as I used to tell my Ohio cousin, there are "miles and miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles and miles," nearly every kind of terrain is beautiful to me, one way or another, even the Llano Estacado (Staked Plains) of Texas. The ugliest places are those messed up by man, whether it's the concrete jungles or the air pollution, or whatever. That's not saying I LIKE all the places -- I don't care much for big water or ocean shores and beaches -- just that they are beautiful to look at.

My sister-in-law grew up in Estes Park (her folks ran some tourist cabins) and has some occasionally less than flattering tales of tourists, such as one woman who, when she saw the Rockies, exclaimed that she didn't see what was so special about a bunch of rocks, and she wanted to go home to the big city.

I was extremely fortunate that, as a kid we not only moved a lot (12 different schools), but took a lot of vacations far from home, from D.C. to Crescent City, CA, so I saw much of the U.S. before I was even in high school, and spent a lot of time in north central Kansas (my Dad's folks on a fram) and southern Illinois (Mom's folks in a small town), spending the night with relatives in Philly, D.C. (uncle in the Air Force), Crescent City (uncle in CA), just to name a few, and we saw the Grand Canyon, the Great Salt Lake, Mt. Vernon, the Liberty Bell, the Geographical Center Of The United States (until 1959, now Continental US), camped (tent) in the Rockies, and more.

'Twas all pretty, in one way or another, though the big cities were (to me) the least of it. And that was all before Interstate highways and RVs (that I knew about).

I feel sorry for those who can't see beauty in even the most "bleak" of places. Liking it is, of course, another story.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 11:43:02 AM by Larry N. »
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BIG JOE

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2019, 03:03:26 PM »
We mostly travel west of the Mississippi. I discovered how much beauty there is even in places others denigrate. For example, the flat plains of Kansas are gorgeous when the wheat is rippled by the wind. Eastern Wyoming has colors in the flat that you never expect, and watching a thunderstorm build in the afternoon is astonishing. Badlands in many states are full of fantastic shapes and colors. Desert cacti come in an infinite variety of shapes and colors, and seeing the desert bloom in the spring after a rain is breathtaking. There is beauty everywhere.

Totally Agree with Pam & Kevin, and most all of the above.

But in 08 we took a 12,700 mile, 6 month+.. With No End Date..Zig-Zag trip from California, to Maine, to Florida, and back. The Plan was: There was No Plan. +/- 150 miles a day, or 3-4 o'clock in the PM seemed to be.. a Days Drive. Stayed Off Of the Interstate Highways as much as possible. Stopped many times for the Night.. and ended staying up to a Week to see the sights, in many areas along the way. We Rambled. Visited Freinds. Stayed in many, if not Mostly, Mom & Pop type RV parks.. when we could. NP's And being Retired Navy.. a few Military RV parks were a nice option.

In Short, looking back on it all (and on many Road Trips since).. Staying Off Of the Interstates and Major Highways was the KEY. It Was, and Is.. Soo Refreshing to see that America is still out there. Kind, Caring, Wonderfull people.. and More Sights than anyone could ever visit.

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PopPop51

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2019, 03:06:57 PM »
Staying Off Of the Interstates and Major Highways was the KEY. It Was, and Is.. Soo Refreshing to see that America is still out there. Kind, Caring, Wonderfull people.. and More Sights than anyone could ever visit.

Joe & Rose

^^^This^^^
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Joezeppy

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2019, 03:17:24 PM »
What did I learn? That it's big, LOL! When we took our 3 week "trip out west" in 2007 the main attraction was Yellowstone. During the planning process we had the Grand Canyon on our list. Opened up the map to work out the driving details and realized that the Canyon was waaaaaayyyyy down there...and crossed it off for another trip.
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Larry N.

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2019, 03:26:14 PM »
Quote
What did I learn? That it's big, LOL!

It is, indeed. Many western states are bigger than a lot of countries. We've repeatedly seen folks do just what you did, thinking of distance within/between states as similar to that in the east. 'Taint so...
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Isaac-1

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2019, 04:11:20 PM »
Larry, my problem is the opposite, I live in western Louisiana 15 miles from the Texas state line as the crow flies, all of my trip planning out west starts with first I have to drive across Texas, ....
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John From Detroit

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2019, 04:37:15 PM »
There are several things I've learned about this country.. Some I already "Knew" Academically others.. Well not things I wish to discuss here.

But this country is BIG.. I mean whereas many countries you can easily walk the length or breadth of the country in 1-2 days.  This country it is DAYS to cross by car or train.

Now as for wide open v/s crowded city. nothing free. nothing in thi. (opps that's a song).

I grew up in a rual area  not as "Rual" as say the planes but still 220 acres all our own.  and hike out to the back 40 to round up the cows every morning (Never did I realize that shoveling what they left behind would be prep for listening to polit.... Oh I said I'd not talk about that. well this is a joke)

So i'm used to being in places where you can not see a house no matter what direction you look in.

And in places where you can easily walk to the grocery store 1.5 blocks away.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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Isaac-1

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2019, 06:04:46 PM »
John you mentioned scale of the US, here is something to put it in perspective.  The driving distance from Seattle Washington to Miami Florida, is almost identical to the driving distance between London England, and Baghdad Iraq.
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chindog

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2019, 07:05:26 PM »
I learned that unless you are in the mountains, it's hot just about everywhere in August.
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Roy M

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2019, 08:24:58 PM »
I have always enjoyed traveling in the U.S., met a lot of great people and seen some really interesting scenery. What strikes me most is the difference in customs and attitudes as I move away from the border sometimes in as little as fifty miles. I know I have to keep my lip zipped in a discussion on politics, we Canucks don't tend to get so wound up.;D

djw2112

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Re: What Did You Learn About the USA
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2019, 09:05:43 PM »
I learned that as much as the state of Texas is known for its oil, many of the small towns were actually created by coal mines and the people working in them.
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