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American Road Trip

Dearborne, Michigan - The Rouge

We got up real early, got some coffee at a gas station, filled up the tank and joined the crowd on I94 from Chicago to Detroit. Traveling on an interstate highway means I'm on the road.

The idea of ​​Henry Ford was to build cars from scratch. For example, in the Rouge, steelworks produces steel from ore, a glass plant makes glass from sand, etc. From today's lean production child of a real nightmare. But the plant has produced cars ever since and today the F150 is made here. An interesting tour if you forget about the touristy bloatware around it.

tax reform

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The Rotary Club of Rapid City, South Dakota, has invited two accountants to report on the new tax code. Did the law bring the promised simplifications and now really all pay less taxes?

President Trump wrote down what he likes on a DIN A 4 page Continue reading

Yellowstone

At the end it went very fast. The weather forecast for the next days were bad. But since an improvement beyond that was not to be expected, it did not matter and we drove off towards the park. Montana allows for higher speeds. / 0 miles on country roads and 80 on freeways, 5 miles less at night. Trucks drive 60 or 70 mph and also each 5 mph less in the dark. The whole state has just over a million inhabitants, so you can imagine that it does not get very crowded outside the larger cities. And so it was. It's just fun to drive here.

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(In the evening in the park, a bison family.

We've been here for a week in the snow for a week a few years ago in the winter. With tracked vehicles through the wintry landscape hunting for wolves, bears and buffalos in this landscape of geysers, fountains and hot springs, that's something really special. In the evening we stayed in the big hotels, which are very dignified and very old, without internet, radio, television or mobile phone reception. This type of accommodation is certainly the most stylish and of course the most expensive, now camping was announced. Continue reading

Washington-Idaho-Montana

20190521_074037Harpo and I start the day with a walk to Leavenworth in the early morning. Americans are early starters and by 7 at the little town already in full swing. We admire the original Bavarian lüftl (outdoor) painting at the Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge and went down to the Enchantment Park which turned out to be a collection of playgrounds for children and skate parcours for teens, picnic areas and ball fields for the adults. Here you have access to the river and this is where the rafts are launched. Oh, and before I forget, there is no alcohol and no cannabis allowed in the park which is usually all the fun. Continue reading

Onward

Volkswagen dealers in Burlington, WA so we'll continue our return crossing hopefully today. It's about time to get back on the road. The Northwest is indefinitely. Leavenworth, WA is next, then Spokane, Missoula, Yellowstone, Eldon, Chicago, NYC, Witten, Esparron-de-Verdon. That's the plan. Well, plan is definitely too much, it's more a sketch. We never know where we'll go next.

Northwest

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My knowledge about the Northwest of America was less than basic. I had some names in my head, some images that came with the names. Jimmy Hendrix, Nirvana, grunge, nothing to compose anything coherent. But if you look at the names that are connected to this region you will get the feeeling. Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a most impressive gathering of big names. And each name worth a story.

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The Casino in Florence, OR

Florence OR

Who started this? Whoever had the insane casinos in Indian reservations all over the nation? James Lee Burke writes in New Iberia Blues that smart business people from new jersey convinced the tribes to take a vice for a virtue and go into the casino business. But somebody must have started it at the legislative level. Casinos did not do any ordinary business because they make the poor even poorer. In Germany the state has a monopoly to run casinos and that is a disgrace. And it is no big help that casinos are all in trouble because of online gambling. And by the way, there are no gambling halls in american cities, none, nada. In Germany "Automatengambling" is not considered gambling. As a result the inner cities have become widely spread gambling quaters. That's even worse than the casinos in reservations and nothing to be proud of.

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Sequoia National Park, CA

Monument x_7From the camp at Lake Kaweah we drive to the Ash Mountain Entrance and stand for the first time at a park entrance in a traffic jam. In front of us are about 25 cars. We know that congestion at the entrances to national parks is almost always the norm and can take on adventurous proportions in the summer season, but as we arrive almost everywhere out of season, we have been spared this. It was not too bad. Show or pay the card to the ranger and take the ticket and the map of the park, after 15 minutes we were through. The big trees are located at about 3000 meters altitude, so it is first time to drive many curves. From this side, the road is particularly winding and closed for long campers, which are almost all. We change when driving. The many trees have a soporific effect on me and when I wake up we have already reached the top. There are two super trees named after generals of the Civil War. General Sherman and General Grant. Sherman is the higher and therefore heavily frequented. The cars are jammed in the parking lot and you have to wait until a place is vacant. So go on to General Grant, who is more likable to me anyway.

Incidentally, snow is really high up here, and that is meter high. The streets are cleared, but rest areas, camp grounds, trails and many roads are closed.

Look at trees, can you imagine a boring one? Can you, and how. The trees are generally not small here. But these big sequoias are really breathtaking. You can hardly imagine that trees can grow so tall and, above all, that old. The generals were around 2200 years old and were already old trees in Jesus' time. And then they put on 2000 years again. That's really impressive. Like redwoods, sequoias can protect against fungi and bacteria and fight back particularly well. They have a very thick bark that protects them from the fire that plagues the area every few decades and can thus become huge under particularly favorable conditions.

General Grant is 82 meters high. At the bottom it has a circumference of 12 meters with a diameter of 33 meters. That's no other known tree in the world. On a small board further statistical data are noted. (Americans love statistics, and scoffers say they only do their sports for statistics). However, it is clear that the tribe of General Grant 159.000 could pick up basketballs and about 37 million table tennis balls.

I have the tendency, which is not easy to control, to make fun of trees or the way they pay homage to them. This gigantic forest stands there in the truest sense of the word.

The descent on the other side of the mountain is easier and faster. 14 miles before Fresno we turn off Highway 180 onto North Elwood Road. After a few miles we have reached the place where we want to stay overnight. The groundsman wonders about the license plate. Long ways from home, I guess, The place is well filled, but not full or crowded due to the large distances between the stands. We eat dinner and it starts to rain quietly. For the first time in three weeks. It's about time.

Malibu-Santa Barbara, CA.

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Screenshot_20190411-190032_PhotoMapWe left Malibu Beach and took PCH westward. The Pacific Coast Highway is no freeway but a highway and the simple rule is - the faster you go the less you see. We avoid highways, but that is not always possible. This time we just took Coral Canyon Road to see a little bit of the countryside. It was well worth it. The hills are covered with yellow flowers and the early morning sun is sculpted in the landscape like the Miniature Wonderland in Hamburg. It was very beautiful to be modest.

20190411_090641IMG_5781Breakfast at 9 on the scene and we had almost finished when seven trucks of the local power company arrived on the scene. I do not know what they were doing. What happens to the lines anyway when there is a fire?

We drove through America's vegetable garden to Oxnard, Ventura on winding road to the beach in Santa Barbara. If you do not leave the beaten path in a while you come home with the impression that Americans always drive on freeways or large highways. But if you go into the countryside of the Côte d'Azur you will find roads just as winding in the hills of the Côte d'Azur. And corners that are just as pittoresque as in the South of France. Continue reading

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