Old man Cartan

Voice Card  -  Volume 15  -  Paul Card Number 17  -  Mon, Jul 16, 1990 8:25 PM

This is ONE OF 4 responses to Vol 14 John 10 ("Far Away Places")...

Now let me get this straight: you want me to describe in detail these trips I haven't taken? Well, OK, but I'll start in rather general terms.

I like exotic (read: out-of-the-way, unpopulated, untraveled, unusual) places. I dislike crowds, formality, and strict schedules.

With that in mind, here are several of my favorite vacations:

  • Sailing the Queen Charlotte Islands (off the coast of British Columbia, near Alaska). I did this with Robert and ~10 other people. We went scuba diving nearly every day, fishing when we felt like it; we stopped at abandoned Haida Indian villages to observe the totem poles; we ate gourmet seafood in vast quantities.

  • Hiking the French Alps. I did this with another close friend. The only French we spoke was straight from a Berlitz phrase book, but we met friendly locals every day. Some days we ate *wonderful* French country food; some days we ate almost nothing. Accomodations were mostly rustic; one night we had to huddle in an unused pig shed. The hiking was TOUGH: sometimes 12+ hours/day. While we were doing this, the neighbors set fire to my house, damaging or destroying most everything. And when it was all over, we declared the trip a resounding success.
  • Visiting the Nicholson family cabin off the west coast of Vancouver Island. I think this will always be my favorite place in the world. My father and grandfather built the cabin on a ten acre island in 1964. It's two miles from a small fishing village, ten miles from the nearest road. The rainfall is something you'd have to experience to believe; I've sat through two weeks at a stretch without let-up. There's no electricity, and the gas-powered refrigerator was stolen years ago, not long after the original stove rusted itself out of existence. Fresh groceries arrive at the village weekly, more-or-less. Both Robert and John have visited this vacation spot.
On second thought, I won't try to describe the possible vacations John brought up - except to say that they involve exotic vacations and small groups of people. I *will* say that all of John's proposed vacations sound wonderful. Maybe you should start up Canyon Creek Travel, John!

Some of you will remember that years ago Richard Feynman abandoned geographic vacations for "mind-based" vacations. He would pick some subject at the university where he worked, and study that in-depth for the summer. For example, one year he worked in a biology lab, doing some form of research. In fact, Feynman says that his sloppy labwork kept another researcher from an almost certain Nobel prize.