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I have no doubt you’ve said or heard these words at least twice this year: “Where has the time gone?” In a day when we can post a picture and receive reactions from friends in five countries within five minutes and instantaneous everything is the norm, it's natural for the pace of life — for life itself — to feel like it’s spinning faster than ever. There are, I imagine, many ways to slow down time, but I can think of no better way than by traveling.
I met a young man, Jedidiah Jenkins, in Utah last month. His parents had walked across America in the 70’s and written a book about it. At age 30, he felt like it was time to make a shake-it-up-move-on-life, and so he began biking from Oregon to Patagonia, a 15-month, 13,990-mile odyssey. As Jenkins put it, “When you are a kid, everything is new: you don’t know what’s under each rock, or up the creek. So you look. You notice because you need to. The world is new. Your brain is paying more attention to every second.”
It is one of the USA’s most successful tourism marketing campaigns ever — winning awards, shattering visitation expectations and even making Michiganders who had moved away crave a return to their homeland. With clever copywriting, dreamy videography and Tim Allen’s soft, compelling voice, Pure Michigan’s television commercials are the epitome of marketing done right.
There are, however, some deep, dark secrets that haven’t come out yet.
It’s the type of place where going out for lunch might mean grabbing a spear gun to go hunt for reef fish. A place where a walk to the beach may put you in a line behind a village chief, who clears the path with his machete. It’s home of the USA’s only south-of-the-equator national park, a tropical paradise where magical ocean blues and steamy jungle greens collide.
Kilauea volcano has been the main attraction on Hawaii Island (a.k.a. the Big Island) for the past 33 years, and has always fascinated me. Of course, it has been around for a couple hundred thousand years, but it didn’t really start getting media attention until the early 1980s.
I’ve visited it several times, but until last week I had never witnessed the lava actually pouring into the Pacific. We had been above it in a chopper on a no-flow day. We had hiked to the bottom of it on a trail that could be called the mouth of the Earth . . . two incredible vantage points for sure, but nothing like the show we saw on our recent visit.
To get to the point...
When I pinned a 2017 calendar on the wall today, the fifth day of the year jumped right off the page. If my birth certificate is accurate, I’ll turn 55 that day. I know what you’re thinking – 55 is just a number and age is simply a state of mind — but no, this palindromic gem is much more than that.
55 means I can move into one of those senior retirement communities. I won’t, but I could, and that’s nice to know.
‘55 was the only year the Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series. They’re not my team, but I was born in Brooklyn, and that’s good enough reason to hold a cold pint and salute Dem Bums.
’55 was the year Gates and Jobs were born . . . and it would be a lot harder to write this story if I didn’t have a Mac or a PC. I’ll cheers them, too!
55 was the National Speed Limit the day I got my drivers license. I’ll have to “be that guy” for...