Travel Tuesdays

Traveling, Trips, Vehicles, Sights, Being safe

More Winter…

You may be facing yet more cold and snowy weather today… or due tomorrow. *Sigh*

Most of us are very tired of the Winter of 2014. It has been an up and down battle for many of us, dealing with the cold or clearing snow over and over again.

It makes me want to simply snuggle up instead of braving the roads, and I’m awfully glad I don’t have to drive for a living anymore.

That doesn’t negate the need to be very prepared for winter driving. Clearing snow is a given. Warming the vehicle to ready it for driving down the road is a given. Driving on slippery roads isn’t. Are you facing the prospect of getting caught on a slippery surface? Here are tips from someone who has driven a bus for 15 years…

1)     Start out earlier, if you can. More time to get where you’re going will allow you to make informed choices. Avoid “rush hour” – going over plowed secondary roads will be faster and less prone to accidents than the main roads if potentially slippery weather is predicted to roll through the area.

2)     Decide on routes that will give you more “go power.” If you can avoid the street with the huge hill, do so (If you live on the street with the huge hill, you’ve already learned to park somewhere else if you need to get somewhere). Avoid unplowed streets. If you must drive on an incline, make sure you’ve got sand, salt, or kitty litter in your car, preferably giving you extra weight over the wheels. Plan to move steadily from one point to another and don’t stop on the incline.

3)     Shift your transmission to S or first gear. You will have more ability to control the car in slippery situations.

4)     Finally, go slowly. Speed is the major factor in a slide when you realize you have no traction.

And, just because you’re reading this… you have my prayers for your safety.  Blessings! Karen

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What seasoned daily travelers know…

Carrying something along can make a long time into “already?”

I’ve had the opportunity to watch a lot of people, and I know what it’s like to wait.

Having nothing to do when waiting is terrible for me. Two minutes passes so slowly it seems like ten when you’re waiting for the bus, or an elevator, or the light to turn green so you can cross the street. When it’s really cold, inside or out, the time moves even slower.

Next time you’re doing one of these things, have a ball “people watching.”  More often than not, the normally short wait (90 seconds to 2 minutes programmed into schedule or computer) will frustrate the person who is not prepared and they will be looking at a watch or punching the button repeatedly.

The calmer people around you will have something with them. Reading, writing, computing, music. They may decide to pay bills or plan their day.

There is something else they do. They make sure they are well-planned enough to not wait too long. For instance, Will it snow tomorrow? If you must catch a bus, train or plane, consider making a plan B. I often had to park my car closer to the arterials to avoid getting “snowed in” and missing my “must do” job.

What seasoned riders do when they walk or ride in the dark –

One of the things I’ve seen is such a wonderful timesaver and a brilliant idea. A flashlight umbrella!

Not only does a person who often walks need an umbrella for those surprise rain showers, but also can use the flashlight to light their way or alert a bus driver to stop for them.

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Traveling by Train… peaceful, beautiful, enjoyable, and inspiring

Mountain Pass on the Zephyr

Mountain Pass on the Zephyr

Traveling by train is one of the most enjoyable trips. It allows me and Jim to see sights that can’t be seen traveling by car. We did this trip in August of 2012, heading out to California on the Zephyr from Lincoln. This is one of my favorite pics that we took from the window of our cabin. It graces my Facebook page. We ended up in Sacramento, and took the Coast Starlight to Los Angeles.

Red rocks across the Desert

Red rocks across the Desert

I believe next time we’ll take a lot of photos from the Starlight. The coastline is beautiful, and the little towns along the way were redolent with flowers. After our stay in LA, we left Fullerton for Arizona, where we stayed to visit with my Aunt and Uncle. We stayed at the La Posada in Winslow. What a fabulous trip that turned out to be. Our trips always allow us to sit back and talk (no, gossip) about the lives of our characters. We discuss who they’re going to be, and what adventures we’ll be taking them on next. Hmmm… it might be time for a trip to the cabin for Alisa…

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Teaching your kid to drive – easy, right?


Number one, take a deep breath.

Second, choose a nice place to teach and practice. Here, Lincoln’s airpark has been a great place for teaching new bus drivers. When Karen first took Chad out to drive (years and years ago), the parking lot at one of the high schools had been diagrammed to teach young drivers.

Third, show them how to aim their mirrors. The mirrors on the side of the car don’t do any good facing the top of the roof. Yes, they may see an oncoming vehicle from way back, but that’s all it’ll do. If your vehicle is merging into oncoming traffic or changing lanes, the mirror won’t alert the driver to the vehicle closest beside and behind in time to take corrective action. Each one should be see just enough along the side of the car with a view of the space beside the car, and if it’s a large vehicle, like a truck or an RV, aim that mirror to see the rear bumper. The reason for that is tail swing that can create havoc if you don’t know where the bumper is.

Fourth, explain the need to be alert. It takes two to create an accident. Distractions are everywhere, and many, many drivers aren’t aware of you. If they aren’t watching you when you’re on the road, what do you think happens when you’re distracted from them? Poles and parked cars are definitely not paying attention to you. Alertness extends to 15 to 20 seconds down the road as well as close by. Decisions are best made before something can happen. So if you teach them to see something potentially hazardous down the road, they’ve got time to brake before that situation becomes costly in time and money.

Fifth, once you’re happy with the child’s attention span and control of the vehicle at the practice location, take your child out to deal with traffic, increasing the challenges a bit at a time. So, your first area might be country roads, then residential streets, then suburban shopping areas and school zones, then arterials and four lane roads, and finally highway driving.

If you have questions, you can post it here, we’ll try to answer it. Or, you can contact your local safety council.

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