WASHINGTON AFP - Democrat Barack Obama plunged Wednesday into a five-month election battle with Republican John McCain after making history by becoming the first black presidential nominee of a major US party.
Obama clinches historic victory over Clinton - Yahoo News
The roar of hollow patriotism - St. Petersburg Times
Three-hundred thousand bikers spent Memorial Day weekend roaring around Washington in tribute to our war dead, and I stood on Constitution Avenue Sunday afternoon watching a river of them go by, waiting for a gap in the procession so I could cross over to the Mall and look at pictures. The street had been closed off for them and they motored on by, some flying the Stars and Stripes and the black MIA-POW flag, honking, revving their engines, an endless celebration of internal combustion.Man, oh man.... go away for a few days and miss *all* the fun. Seems that over Memorial Day, Garrison Keillor had his peaceful visit to *our* Nation's Capitol disturbed by a bunch of noisy motorcycles driven by "fat men with ponytails". Celebration of internal combustion, indeed. What a dork. I was not one of the 300,000 noisy bikers Keillor saw, since I was exploring the country that many of those fat men on motorcycles, those "hollow patriots", were asked to fight for. Instead, on Memorial Day this year, *my* gang stopped at a small park just over the border into Maine, to rest and to pay a little tribute to this day. Sorry I'm late.
I'm still, two days later, trying to get my right wrist to once again straighten out completely! Too much time on the throttle combined with early arthritis, I suppose. Good thing I am so severely left-handed, lol. My best pictures are up on the flickr site, and pics from my cohorts in this little jaunt are trickling in slowly; I'll post them as well when I get them. It was a wonderful trip. It was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. As I wrote to a friend yesterday:
"3234 miles in 10 days. I am sunburnt and tired and exhilarated and glad to be home even though it was a wonderful wonderful trip of a lifetime.
I got to put my feet in the Atlantic again.
I spent a night in a house built by Rudy Vallee and frequented by old-time Hollywood types from the '30's.
I ate lobster and clams 'til even *I* was tired of them.
I stayed one night across the street from the 1980 Olympics complex and marveled at all the healthy-looking Olympic types running around. I stood underneath, and looked up at, Niagara Falls.
I rode across Ontario. I saw a moose (and learned that while deer look big when seen from the seat of a motorcycle, moose are approximately the size of a semi). I roasted in the sunshine in Acadia National Park and got hailed on in Flint, Michigan. I saw the gradual progression of spring across half our continent. I smelled lilacs and cow manure. I saw some of the most incredible houses in the country. I saw sailboats. I saw every one of the Great Lakes, as well as the ocean. It was a fantastic trip, just fantastic."
So. What do you do to top a trip like this one?
Next year, you go west. Waaaaay west. We're tossing around the idea of another of my dream trips.... across the northern tier of states to British Colombia. I need to go wading in the Pacific again, after all.