IBJOpinion

BASILE: For more fun, invite serendipity into your summer road trips

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Frank Basile

Frank BasileSome of the most interesting trips for Katrina and me involve hitting the road with a map, AAA guide books, a computer tablet and whatever other resources we have on hand. We have a general idea of where we are going and how much time we have, but apart from that, we are flexible.

Sometimes we drive from Indianapolis to some other part of the state or cross the border into nearby states. At other times, we fly to a city, rent a car and start our road trip from there.

One of our most interesting “fly there and drive” trips was to one of the most beautiful states: Oregon. We loved the drives along the Pacific Coast, through the wine country, along the Columbia River Gorge and in Crater Lake National Park. We explored without being on a time schedule, except for the return flight at the end of the 10-day visit.

Our general plan on these excursions is to see and experience some of the tourist sites in the area plus those that are of particular interest to us, such as national parks, presidential libraries, Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, performing arts centers, National New Play Network member theaters and so on.

However, no matter what our plan, we are always flexible about modifying it if we come across some unexpected sight or event. We have learned that frequently the most interesting sights and experiences are unplanned and happen because we are open and expectant.

For example, in pursuing one of our travel goals, presidential libraries, we drove to West Branch, Iowa, to visit the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. On the way, we found the “Field of Dreams” movie site in Dyersville, the Amana Colonies, the Dutch village of Pella, the John Wayne birthplace and the bridges of Madison County in Winterset.

During that trip, because we had no reservations (since we were not certain where the day would end), we happened upon the Hotel Julien, a wonderfully renovated hotel in the historic downtown area near the pier in Dubuque, the oldest city in the state. A couple of blocks from the hotel is the world’s steepest cable ride, located in Cable Square.

When we drove through downtown Des Moines on July 4, we discovered a giant outdoor pops concert in progress with people, activity and fireworks everywhere. So we parked the car and joined in the revelry.

And then there was a trip back home from Mackinac Island, when I noticed a billboard advertising The Cross in the Woods, in the town of Indian River. In speaking with people who have summer homes in the area, nobody had ever mentioned it (and I have yet to find anyone who has seen this cross … or even heard of it!).

So I checked my AAA tour book—today I would probably go to Google on my tablet or cell phone—and we decided to stop.

The church was staffed by Franciscan friars from the Sacred Heart Province in St. Louis. A priest at the entrance to the grounds showed us around.

Gazing upon this magnificent sculpture, with lush landscaping in the background and amphitheater-like seating in front, was a spiritual experience in and of itself. The largest crucifix in the world was carved and sculpted in 1953 from one Oregon redwood tree and then shipped to a foundry in Norway to be cast in bronze. Measuring 55 feet high and 22 feet wide and weighing seven tons, the sculpture of Jesus on the cross is 28 feet from head to toe and 21 feet between the tips of his outstretched arms.

It was not until 2003 that a glass sanctuary was built with the crucifix as the focal point so that worshippers could sit inside and see the cross. (I imagine there were not many weekends when Mass could be conducted outdoors in Northern Michigan.)

All these serendipitous stops wouldn’t have happened if we were locked into too tight a schedule. So with the summer months here, get a map or a GPS and a guide book or computer tablet and hit the road! But be ready for detours.•

__________

Basile is an author, professional speaker, philanthropist, community volunteer and retired executive of Gene B. Glick Co. His column appears occasionally. Basile can be reached at Frank_Basile@sbcglobal.net.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Book
    Can you help me find a copy of the book by Frank Basile, "Come Fly with me" published 1979?
  • AlanB
    Lighten up, Alan. Sounds like you really need a vacation!
  • This was published?
    This reads more like a Dear Diary entry than an opinion column in a major business publication. The valid point was made in the headline and little more was gained in the the exposition. Disappointing.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

    2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

    3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

    4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

    5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

    ADVERTISEMENT