Category Archives: travel

5 coolest places in America: The Lawsuit

We learned today that BobCarriesOn.com is facing a lawsuit by an irate reader who blames us for the severe frostbite he suffered while visiting, allegedly at our recommendation, one of the places featured in a story we recently ran, “The 5 coolest places in America.”

The reader maintains the story should have warned that in none of the places were open-toed sandals appropriate winter footwear. We maintain that he, like far too many Internet users, must have read no further than the headline.

If you missed the story, below are the places we mentioned. Before making plans to visit any of them, please read the descriptions carefully.

Prospect Creek Camp, Alaska

A work settlement during the construction of the Alaska Pipeline, the now abandoned Prospect Creek Camp holds the record for the lowest temperature ever recorded in the United States: -80 degrees F, on January 21, 1971. Tourist attractions include the pipeline’s Pump Station 5, two still-fluttering airstrip windsocks, and what is believed to be one of the largest collections of pre-Internet pornography ever assembled.

Rogers Pass, Montana

Located in a remote wilderness area on the Continental Divide, Rogers Pass holds the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in the lower 48 states: -70 degrees F, on January 20, 1954. Tourist attractions include one of the largest remaining concentrations of grizzly bears in the lower 48, and various garments belonging to previous visitors who attempted to outrun them.

Peter Sinks, Utah

A basin-shaped natural depression allegedly named for a man who would have done well to look elsewhere for a homestead site, Peter Sinks holds the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in Utah: -69.3 degrees F, on February 1, 1985. Tourist attractions include various locations where it is speculated the would-be homesteader may have succumbed to the elements during his first and only winter at the Sinks.

Riverside Ranger Station, Montana

Pay attention here, because the town of Riverside, Wyoming, is sometimes listed as holding the record for the coldest temperature every recorded in Wyoming: -66 degrees F, on February 9, 1933. But according to the weather website wunderground.com, that temperature was actually recorded at the now non-existent Riverside Ranger Station, which in 1933 was located where the town of West Yellowstone, Montana, now stands. Tourist attractions in the Wyoming town, which has a population of 53, include anybody who can give directions to West Yellowstone, a gateway to Yellowstone National Park, eight hours away.

Maybell, Colorado

Vail and Steamboat may have their après ski scenes, but the coolest place in Colorado is Maybell, population 72, which is home to the lowest temperature ever recorded in the state: −61 degrees F, on February 1, 1985. Tourist attractions include the restaurant, the gas station, the general store, and, during the spring, a depth of horse poop today found in few other American communities.

Airsickness bags — Top ten websites for collectors, and their few friends

Aegean Air airsickness bags
Aegean Air airsickness bag donated to Rune’s Barf Bag Collection by Tage Axelsson.

Airsickness bags, as everyone knows, are proof that some people will collect anything. Airsickness bags are proof, too, that enough people aren’t embarrassed to talk about their collections that there is always a list of top-ten websites on the subject. So here’s the list of top-ten websites for collectors of airsickness bags and their friends, however few.

The Airsickness Bag Virtual Museum

American Steve “Upheave” Silverberg’s site backs its claim of 2,806 exhibits currently in its virtual museum by posting an image and (often excellent) commentary for all. Here’s what it has to say about an Aegean Airlines airsickness bag illustrated with numbered dots: “Finally, an incredible bag that gives you something to do: Connect-the-dots! The only problem is, the connected dots form a drawing of the female reproductive system.” Steve also claims, although we haven’t tried this yet, that if you contact him he will send you a free three-sample Airsickness Bag Collectors Starter Kit.

Norwegian Air Airsickness bag
Norwegian Air Shuttle airsickness bag donated to Rune’s Barf Bag Collection by Kenth Lundberg and Frank Mulliri.

Kelly’s World of Airsickness Bags

Does American Bruce Kelly have the world’s largest online collection of airsickness bags? Perhaps. Does he deserve proper respect for developing his interest as a result of barfing into the bags while flying as a passenger aboard bush planes in rural Alaska? Absolutely. Among his newest acquisitions is a Norwegian Air Shuttle, bag labeled: “In a while will feel fine”.

finn aviation airsickness bag
Finnaviation airsickness bag from Bagophily.com, Paul Mundy’s airsickness bag collection.

Bagophily

Britt Paul Mundy’s site is extremely useful for learning about the world of baggists, as collectors of airsickness bags almost universally call themselves. Not only does it list the world’s top 76 baggists (which, you’ve got to assume, is just about all of them), but also details the many non-airsick purposes the bags can be put to (unequivocal goodbye notes, for one), and a link, for anyone who wants to go more deeply into the subject than even a dedicated collector might think necessary, to major airsickness bag makers.

Yuk airsickness bag
Zip Airlines airsickness bag donated to Rune’s Barf Bag Collection by Josef Gebele.

Homer’s Airsickness Bags

This Danish site, by Thomas Homer Goetz, of Copenhagen, is short on text. But it does include images of some airsickness bags not seen on other sites, including one, from the Aero Club Zwickau, in Germany, that seems to show a pair of planes in such deep dives that all aboard are likely being reminded of what they had for their most recent meal.

Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic airsickness bag donated to Rune’s Barf Bag Collection by Chris Hayes.

Baghecht

From a group of German collectors, the images here make it a good site for checking out the limited edition airsick bags Virgin Atlantic produced back in 2004 for people who like the idea of contemporary art that’s in your face, literally. The site also includes a collection of airplane life jackets, which you hope they didn’t slip into their carry-ons the same way you can an airsickness bag.

 

Eva Air airsickness bag
Eva Air airsickness bag donated to Rune’s Barf Bag Collection by Frank Mulliri

Rune’s Barf Bag Collection

Created by Swedish bagist Rune Tapper based on the belief that to get a lot of people to visit a website you have to offer pornography, free music downloads, or something really strange, Rune’s Barf Bag Collection confirms that Scandinavian nights can be really long. The site’s latest acquisition is a bag, from Taiwan-based Eva Air, printed with a message that is easy to puzzle over: “Please treasure resource and use sparingly.”

Generic white airsickness bags
Generic white airsickness bags from the collection of Federico Mandrile

Federico Mandrile Barf Bag Collection

Federico Mandrile’s site is in Italian, so is more or less unreadable to most of us. I was, however, lost for some time in the contemplation of a mind that would include among a collection of this type a gallery of thirty-six, apparently identical, plain white bags.

 

Air Afrique airsickness bag
Air Afrique airsickness bag from Bagophily.com, Paul Mundy’s airsickness bag collection.

David Shomper’s Barfbag Collection

Boulder, Colorado-based David Shomper claims that while his airsickness bag collection may not be the world’s largest, it is the world’s highest. After looking at the site, one is inclined to agree. It is one of only a few airsickness bag sites, for instance, to offer original poetry on the subject. Among Shomper-created verse is this:

There once was a baggist from Boulder,

Whose collection took up a huge folder.

His wife soon rejected it,

And later ejected it,

So he finally went out and he sold her.

 

qantas airsickness bag
Qantas airsickness bag from Bagophily.com, Paul Mundy’s airsickness bag collection.

Anan’s Airsickness Bags Collection

This site can seem a bit confusing, very possibly because it is written in English and Japanese. But worth the visit is the multi-tasking evident in the Qantas airsickness bags, which were also plainly meant to serve as film-processing envelopes, in the days when people still used film. For instance, you could learn, while bent over with your head between your knees, that processing a role of 36 exposures cost $5.95, Australian.

Continental airsickness bag
Continental airsickness bag donated to Rune’s Barf Bag Collection by Josef Gebele

The Vomatorium

This site looks like it hasn’t been updated since about 1998. I wasn’t really finding myself engaged until I came to: “The Amazing Adventures of Bob the Really Boring Barf Bag,” which is when I decided it was probably worth consideration. And I was feeling it even a little more when I got to the FAQ section and learned that the site creator doesn’t collect used airsick bags because they tend not to fit flat in albums.

 

Haven’t gotten enough of airsickness bags and airsickness bag collectors? Here’s everything you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask. 

Featured photo donated to Rune’s Barf Bag Collection by Mark Wilson.

Most expensive way to travel across America?

A study recently conducted by BobCarriesOn.com, a website that has been sharing accurate travel news and advice since before Columbus landed at Plymouth Rock, has concluded that the most expensive way to travel across America is on foot.

According to figures from BobCarriesOn, the average total expense for an economy-class cross-country flight, which takes six hours, is $451, or $.15 per mile, while a cross-country walker, taking 46 days, would spend a minimum of $6,440, or $2.15 per mile.

“What the study clearly shows,” says Bob Payne, chief analyst for BobCarriesOn.com, “is that for coast to coast travel across America only the wealthy can afford to walk.”

Figures used in the study are based on a per diem or daily allowance rate set by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to determine how much a person would be expected to spend when traveling. According to the GSA, a day away from home averages $89 for lodging and $51 for meals, or a total for the day of $140, although there is some variation to account for days in more expensive cities, or jail.

Another finding of the study, Payne said, is that if your goal is to travel across America coast to coast for the least money possible, taking the bus is your best alternative. Cost for the three-day journey is about $361 for the fare and other expenses, or $.12 per mile, although that does not count the likely possibility of being mugged on your way to or from the bus station, which will almost invariably be in the worst part of town.

“When traveling coast to coast across America, the only time you are more likely to be assaulted  than you are near a bus station is going through security at an airport,” Payne said.

What it costs to travel across America coast to coast

Bus* 3 days $361 $ .14/mile

Train ** 3 days $441 $ .17/mile

Bicycle 8 days $1,120 $ .44/mile

Auto *** 60 hrs $1,880 $ .73/mile

Afoot 46 days $6,440 $ 2.51/mile

*Assumes sleeping on bus, but with one eye open.

**Assumes sleeping on train, but not, unless things go unexpectedly well, in sleeping car.

***Includes GSA mileage allowance of .58/mile; legal speed limit, mostly.

A VISITOR’S GUIDE TO AMERICA

As a country, America is becoming more and more difficult for visitors to understand. Chaos. Crime. Violence. And that’s just among people running for public office. So here is a brief visitor’s guide to America that should prove helpful to anyone who wants to explore a bit of American history, do some shopping, or just get involved in road rage.

Who are the Americans?

Americans are a culturally confused people who have difficulty with the idea that anyone born in America is a Native American. Instead, they insist that the label applies only to people who complain about having sports teams named after them.

American History

From a legal standpoint, the dumping of tea into Boston Harbor is considered to have been one of the key events in American history, as it set a precedent for the argument that as long as patriotism is evoked, water pollution is acceptable.

Native American Customs

Americans are often delighted to invite strangers into their homes. When this happens, it is considered polite to make an offer. Be aware, however, that if an American invites you into a home he himself does not seem overly familiar with, it is not the custom for guests to help carry out computers, flat-screen TV’s, and other easily disposed of household items.

Getting Around in America

America’s Gross National Product is the automobile. The most popular form of transportation, the automobile is especially esteemed by citizens who recognize the advantages of drive-by shootings.

American Food and Drink

America has two forms of food and drink: For Here and To Go. To demonstrate a more sophisticated palate, it is necessary to voice, in a condescending tone, an understanding of the difference between Tall, Grande and Venti.

Shopping in America

The most sought-after item among shoppers in America is the bargain. When considering popular bargaining practices, many experts question if the discomfort of wearing a stocking mask is worth the additional discount to which it usually entitles the customer.

American Sports

The key to understanding the most popular sports in America, including American football, litigation, and road rage, is to know that much of the action takes place off the field, and sometimes involves guns.

The Arts in America

Most of the world agrees that America’s greatest cinematic achievement has been the car chase scene. They also agree that the violence often portrayed in chase scenes is a telling example of how little respect Americans actually have for their automobiles.

American Education

Looking toward the future, most visitors to America recognize that with the role seen for the U.S. in the new economy, education for American students will not need to be on par with that of students in Asia and Europe. So in that sense, American schools are thought to be performing admirably.

The American Legal System

American law is based on the concept that you are considered guilty until it is proven that someone else involved in the case has more money to go after than you do.

The Responsible Visitor to America

Among the items responsible visitors to the U.S. should not encourage the locals to sell are fur coats, historic landmarks, military secrets, and oil drilling rights in national parks.

Travel Humor Writer Bob Payne is a former member of the American Bar & Grill Association.

Fourth-ranked travel attractions gain long-overdue recognition.

It is becoming clear that in an increasingly crowded world, fourth-place deserves more recognition than it has traditionally received. And nowhere is that more apparent than among travel attractions. To help set things right, below are some of the best of the fourth-ranked.

 

Fourth Tallest Hotel

Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 

Talk about getting a bad break on location, the 1,014-foot Jumeirah Emirates Towers is not only just the world’s fourth-tallest hotel, it also fourth-ranked in Dubai alone. That city, with all its other travel attractions,  is home to seven of the world’s top ten tallest hotels, including the tallest, the 1,165-foot JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, which, it is worth noting, doesn’t serve as good a breakfast.

 

Fourth Longest Non-stop Flight

Abu Dhabi, UAE – Los Angeles

 

This Etihad Airways flight of 15 hours, 39 minutes is not only almost two hours shorter than what would be the record holder, from Dubai to Panama City, Panama, if the latter finally goes into service, it would allow passengers to disembark without having to ask themselves what in the world they are doing in Panama.

 

Fourth Most Expensive Theme Park

Universal Studios

Hollywood, California

 

Visitors in search of travel attractions who mistakenly end up at Universal Studios in California instead of the one in Florida, which is ranked as the world’s most expensive theme park, can plunk down their $90 one-day entrance fee at least knowing that they’ve saved $15 per ticket. A downside of Universal Studios Hollywood, though, is that there is no Margaritaville.

 

Fourth Tallest Fountain

Port Fountain

Karachi, Pakistan.

Although rising only 620 feet, or 233 feet less than the world’s highest, King Fahd’s Fountain in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this pride of Pakistan can claim to be the only one of the world’s major fountains that was inoperable for a time because someone stole the parts that make it go.

 

Fourth Priciest Cocktail

The Winston, Club 23

Melbourne, Australia

 

At a mere $12,040, this Winston Churchill-inspired libation may not have the three 1-1.5 carat diamonds sitting at the bottom of it that accompanied the record-setting $50,000 cocktail served at Moscow’s Reka Restaurant in 2014. Not does it contain the scattering of rubies that gave a glow to the $40,000 drink the White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, created to celebrate their 40th anniversary. But unlike those glittery concoctions, The Winston does contain slugs of 1858 Croizet cognac, which goes for $157,000 a bottle, or $6,000 a shot. And you don’t have to worry about getting something stuck in your throat and realizing you’ve just made a very costly mistake.

 

Fourth Busiest U.S. National Park

Yellowstone National Park

 

Many people are surprised to learn that Yellowstone, one of our most iconic travel attractions, covering a vast wilderness area in parts of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, is not the busiest U.S. national park. That title goes to Great Smoky Mountains, whose nearly 10 million annual visitors number more than twice as many as second place Grand Canyon, in part, some say, because Great Smokey Mountain is one of the few national parks without an admission fee. Of course if the super volcano that sits below Yellowstone ever erupts neither of those more heavily visited parks will have nearly the view Yellowstone visitors will of two-thirds of American being engulfed in fire and ash.

 

Fourth Largest Hamburger

Ted Reader, Toronto

 

In 2010, Canadian Chef Ted Reader produced a world-record 590-pound hamburger at Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square. We mention this only because Reader’s burger now ranks as the world’s fourth largest, with the champion, created at the Black Bear Casino Resort in Carlton, Minnesota, in 2012, weighing in at 2,014 pounds. Condiments on Reader’s burger included wheelbarrows full of lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, pickles, and onions, but, for health reasons, no bacon.

 

A traveler in trouble? These language translations may help.

 

When you visit any foreign country, you benefit by knowing as much as possible of the language. You’ll gain a better understanding of the people, and you’ll feel more comfortable, except in those few situations, usually involving capture by armed insurgents, when you don’t really want to know what’s being said.

That’s why apps for language translations, such as Google Translator, have become so popular, making it possible to instantly communicate, in more than 50 languages, such key phrases as “Hello,” “Goodbye,” and “I agree with you entirely about the president of the United States.”

There are times, though, when your language translator will not be close at hand. In which case, among the messages you should have memorized are these:

Nepali

Tyō ēka yāka chaina.

That is not a yak.

Arabic

Ghurfat ‘abead min ‘iitlaq alnnar , min fadlik.

A room farther from the gunfire, please.

French

Ce fromage est en mouvement.

This cheese is moving.

Russian

Ya ne khochu , chtoby prodat’ svoi Bluejeans.

I do not wish to sell my blue jeans.

Chinese

Huòbì gǎigé shì bùshì wǒ de zhǔyì.

Monetary reform wasn’t my idea.

Japanese

Mōshiwakearimasenga, watashi wa kaisha no hiyō de, kokode wanaidesu.

Sorry, but I am not here at company expense.

Korean

Sillyehabnida,hajiman yeogiseo gajang gakkaun nagjin daepiso neun?

Excuse me, but where is the nearest fallout shelter?

Sudanese

Seatbelt ieu teu napel nanaon.

This seatbelt isn’t attached to anything.

Hindi

Main jimmedaar nahin thaharaaya ja sakata hai ke lie ek aur jeevan mein jo kuchh hua.

I can’t be held responsible for what happened in a former life.