Vacation notes 

Avoid Bryant, where deadly Sydney Funnel Web spiders have been reported.

If fishing is on the agenda, buy your live bait at a bait shop rather than trying to seine it yourself in a barpit.

The people who run the facility where you're lodging mean it literally these days, and have their fingers crossed, when they tell you to sleep tight and don't let the bedbugs bite.

Lots of people in these latitudes used to vacation in New Orleans but I don't think it's there anymore.

Summer reading is so 20th century. America today is about narrowing your mind rather than expanding it. So leave the books, take along your cell.    

If you drink spring water or stream water or ground water of any other description in areas where fracking has occurred, you're pretty well fracked yourself.

If Grandma dies before you get there, don't tie her on top of the car and leave her up there until you get back home. This happens without consequences only in the movies.  

Take the scenic route. Unless it's through Kansas, and then it doesn't matter.

I used to suppose the Grand Canyon was almost as old as time itself, but it was explained to me by a creationist that the thing doesn't even predate the Ponderosa.

Don't ride anything that goes fast enough or high enough for you to have to worry about a cable breaking.

Just cancel your scheduled wild-river float trip if, as you're about to shove off, you hear what sounds like pigs squealing and see a simple-minded boy picking banjo on the swinging bridge overhead.

Deadwood was never the same after the saloon went sarsaparilla and the bordello closed. It's not even ghosty now.

Roswell just wants to sell you shirts.

I thought cruises might be the ticket — until I learned that most of them are just mass visitations on the closely confined by the Aztec Two-Step.

The authorities won't see the humor if you try to make off from Rushmore with a chiseled-off presidential appendage.

Wonder what happened to the old Cody vacation package that included shooting buffaloes from a moving train. No bag limit, the supply being thought inexhaustible. Left to rot. Even the tongues. Buffalo Bill himself often hosted.

I had also hoped sooner or later to get out to Arlen, Texas, for their annual Propane and Propane Accessories Summer Festival. Guess it's too late now.

The little redbug circuses that are the main attraction of the annual Chigger Festival at Fordyce aren't even visible to the naked eye. And microscopic festivities just don't get the job done.

You can cross Dogpatch off your list.

If you vacation in Hot Springs, and go out to Oaklawn, keep in mind with regard to their motto "Somebody's Gonna Win!" that they're not talking about you.

And when the Lone Star tourism people invite you to Remember the Alamo, they're not talking about Tony.

No matter how perfectly restored the battlefield, how it looks to us now is worlds different from how it looked to them then.

You can use up an entire two-week vacation in one night at Branson.

If you go over to the Brinkley area to see the ivory-billed woodpecker in its native habitat, you might want to work up an Activity Plan B.

One vacation I detoured over to Gurdon to go in search of the mythical Hoo Hoo. Didn't see one — thought I heard one, but they said it was probably just Gomer out there doing his loon trick.

You can search for real diamonds, and keep any you find, at the Glutton For Punishment State Park near Murfreesboro. I was there once in July, and survived, if only as a kind of ambulatory jerky, so I know it can be done.

If your car breaks down leaving you stranded off-road in the summertime Cimmaron, it becomes  clear why so many of them took to the firewater.

Remember me to the Crescent spooks at Eureeky.

Mammoth Spring is pretty big, all right, but doesn't have any mammoths in it.

Vacationing in the postbellum hard times meant wagoning off to camp meeting for two or three weeks. A vacation in the purest sense, getting away to a different place to revive one's spirit, restore one's soul. This wasn't a paid vacation either. But The Lord, having bade them come, was grateful to them for coming, and promised much finer accommodations in the sweet by and by.

Not many genuine five-star money-is-no-object vacations originate here. Most of them are just the Little Rock Airport Commission and its director attending their regular meetings. 

Wade off into the franchise Ole Swimmin' Hole nearest you, with the mud bottom and the snaky-looking underwater brush piles, and don't give a second thought to moccasins that might be lurking there the size of a pulpwood billet. If you step on one, it can't bite you while it's under water — at least not fatally, probably not even seriously enough to require an amputation. Anyhow that's what they say in their brochure.



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