Starling Travel

April 17, 2006

Perth 2 Perth 2 Perth

Filed under: Bicycling,California,Photos — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Rhona Quarm and Gavin McDonald

You are looking at Rhona Quarm and Gavin McDonald. Mike and I met them on our drive to Disneyland. We were gassing up the Beetle in Barstow, California and the two of them had parked their bikes nearby. I noticed their bikes and left Mike pumping gas and walked over to them to hear their story.

Touring Bikes

They are touring the world on their bicycles. They left their hometown, Perth, Scotland in May of 2005, which means they have been on the road for almost a year. They have bicycled with this flag of Scotland during the entire trip. The tear in the upper right hand corner is where they encountered a bull in India, but the flag has survived.

The Flag of Scotland

I asked them how it was to bicycle for that long and Gavin said the most profound thing:

“You can go a long way with bad legs and a good head.”

They are travelling from Perth, Scotland to Perth, Australia and finally ending their journey in Perth, Canada. They aren’t insane. They are living their dream to travel the world on bicycles and they are doing it for charity. You can find out more about their journey at their website.

After talking to Rhona and Gavin, my little drive to Disneyland didn’t seem like such a big adventure anymore. Mike and I excitedly talked about the bike rides we could take around our hometown and the world seemed bigger and friendlier after we said goodbye to them.

Rhona and Gavin

January 11, 2006

Small Pleasures Week: Pottery and Patio World

Filed under: Nevada,Photos,Shopping — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Pottery & Patio World at the Sloan Exit in NevadaAt the Sloan Exit just 12 miles South of Las Vegas, sits three and a half acres of pottery called Pottery and Patio World. You can see it from the I-15 Freeway. The colorful pottery beckons to me every time we drive past it. I don’t actually need any pottery or statuary, but it looked so beautiful from the freeway that we stopped this time. It was even more impressive close-up.

We talked to the manager, Missy, and she said that all their pottery is Asian. They purchase it from China, Malaysia and Vietnam. One of the benefits of this pottery is that it’s fired instead of baked, which makes it last far longer. Their fountains and some of their statuary are concrete. Most importantly, their prices were very reasonable.

Here is a slideshow of the beauty that we saw when we visited Pottery & Patio World a couple of days ago:

I found this place to be incredibly relaxing. The color-coded pots were lined up in military rows. The fountains gurgled and bubbled at me. The wind was strong that day and kept whipping my hair into the photographs. Missy said she loves it here when the temperature is 100° F, but the day we were there, it was a cool 55° F day. I contemplated spending the day there, among the fired pots, writing and watching the random tourist drop by. Instead, I ran off to do other things in Las Vegas, but I was calmer and happier because of my time I spent there.

Here is a link to Pottery & Patio World on Google Maps:

January 6, 2006

Eats, Nevada is no more

Filed under: Nevada,Photos — Michael Moncur @ 6:00 am

Last month Laura posted a slideshow of photos we took in September of Eats, Nevada—the remains of a cabin-style roadside motel at I-15 exit 25, about 12 miles south of Las Vegas. We’re in the area again, and discovered that the dilapidated cabins have been torn down…

September 3, 2005:<br/> BEFORE

January 5, 2006:<br/> AFTER

It took us a while to verify that this is the same place, since they did a very thorough clean-up job—even the power lines that used to feed the site are gone—but you can see how the mountains match up in the photos above, and we found a freshly filled-in hole where the signs shown in our slideshow used to be.

For now, seeing this view is very strange, as if the desert has reclaimed the area from civilization in just a couple of months. I’m sure some nondescript condos will appear in a year or so, and there will be nothing to show that the cabins ever existed. Granted, they were falling apart and probably quite dangerous, but we’ll miss them.

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