Wednesday, January 30, 2008

And Then There Were Two

Two candidates dropped out of the beauty pageant that is the race for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations today, leaving two major candidates on the Democratic side and two or three candidates on the G.O.P. side, depending on how seriously you take the candidacy of Mike Huckabee.

Rudi Giuliani left the G.O.P. race, a move that came as no surprise after his "all or nothing" strategy in Florida netted him exactly that. Nothing. It's hard to see how he and his gimmicky one-page tax form will be missed.

Equally unsurprising but ultimately more disappointing to me was the departure of John Edwards from the Democratic race. He likely had no chance to win the nomination, but I would have liked to have seen him stay in the race at least through Super Tuesday.

One reason I am sorry Edwards is leaving the race is that, for me, he embodied the spirit, the passion, and the memory of JFK and perhaps even more so of Robert Kennedy. His idealism and commitment to the poor certainly seemed to me to evoke Bobby's memory and the idea that once existed for many that America could be a great and compassionate country for all of it citizens, not merely those who could afford to buy a Senate or House seat.

Edwards seemed from my perspective to be the first candidate, at least on the Democratic side, to express actual ideas rather than talking in sound bites. His idea of creating a "green infrastructure" to both reduce our dependence on foreign oil and provide an economic boost through the new jobs such a philosophical shift would create was a marked departure from the same old "let's drill in Alaska" approach.

His notion of "one America", which perhaps an unattainable ideal, evoked the spirit of both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Moreso than any other candidate, his statements upheld the idea at the forefront of the Declaration of Independence that "all men", not merely those with power, connections, or money, "are created equal".

As the campaign progresses, I expect to draw upon the Declaration again to discuss the views of the different candidates. For now, I wish John Edwards and his valiant wife well. As he said in his announcement withdrawing from the race, "I'll be fine." As long as America has men and women like John Edwards to remind us of what we can and should aspire to, it will be fine as well.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's January, so that must mean . . . camping!

Since moving to Idaho, our family has rediscovered a love of camping. (Well, my son says he doesn't want to go, but when it's time to leave, he doesn't want to go home.) Last year, we got in 36 nights of camping, starting in March and wrapping up our season in September.

This year, we wanted to get an earlier start, and you can't start any earlier than January. So, over the weekend prior to Martin Luther King's birthday, that's what we did. (I'm sure we must be certifiable, but no one has filed papers yet - and - they have to catch us first!)

For our first camping trip of 2008, we went back to the site of our first trip of 2007, Woodhead Park in Hell's Canyon along the Idaho-Oregon border. We hooked up our trusty tent trailer to our Subaru Outback and made the three-hour drive. Along the way, we questioned our sanity, as the thermometer inside our car registered a less than tropical outside temperature of seven degrees at one point.

However, as you can see from the view across the reservoir from our campsite, the surroundings more than made up for the slightly chilly temperatures. Plus, the temperature warmed up some 25-degrees by the time we reached our destination.

On our first night in the campground, we shared the facility and the view with one other couple. On Sunday, the campground was all ours. In between, some three-inches of new snow fell, enough for my son and I to take a stab at making a snowman. During the weekend, we took dozens of pictures, some of which I will work on posting somewhere on line as I get time, and we ate some very good food, if I do say so myself.

I suspect we'll be back yet again and soon. I also hope this will be the start of a wonderful, jam-packed camping season. May your travels take you to equally wonderful destinations.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Over the coming months, I hope to show you around my world: the places I visit with my wife and son, as well as the places I visit in the recesses of my mind. Topics will likely range across the spectrum of my interests - from RVing and camping to political issues, hence the name of this blog.

As time goes on, I will try to hone my posts so they appeal to a more specific audience (once I have determined who that is). In the meantime, I hope the things I have to say will occasionally be of interest, even if they have you saying "that came from out of left field."

Thanks for taking the journey with me.