Friday, May 11, 2007

Checking Your Altitude

When I first moved from Pennsylvania to a small farm type house on two acres in Maine, way back in 1973, I was honored to have my grandmother's dining room set given to me to use in the house. It was a perfect fit in every way for that house, and it served as a constant reminder of how much she meant to me, then and now.
She only made the trip to Maine to visit us in the house one time. It was a very special visit. She was not a woman who was widely traveled. This was, I am sure, quite the experience for her as well as for us. But what I remember most about the trip was that she made note of the "elevation" at every chance along the route, saying, for example,
"Oh, it's 11:00 AM and in New York we are at an altitude of 680 feet above sea level."
I have never understood why that was of particular interest to her, but it surely was. She took her information from the state by state posted road signs.
Now many years later, and for whatever reason the fascination, Marilyn and I are making similar notes along our route. When we left Pennsylvania headed West, my parents bestowed upon us an instrument that, for lack of knowing another name (but realizing a coach is not a B-17) I will refer to as an altimeter. Whatever you call it, we use it daily now to note our elevation as we travel. We have no particular need to take note of this information, but we just like to check it and some days going over mountains of some size we check it regularly. An altimeter is not standard gear for RV'ers; for that reason, we feel , well, special! If you wish to know the elevation of our camp near the Little Bighorn in Montana tonight, just blow the picture up and read the outside scale...

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