Miscellaneous Rumbles

Ok how about “most amazing thing you saw by accident kinda”?

1

The Carrots thread got me thinking about my greyhound travels around the USA, and that reminded me of one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen. Well there are plenty because I have been to some beautiful places, but this one was almost by accident...

I was on a night bus from Toronto to NYC. For some reason the bus came down through New Jersey and across to Manhattan through the Lincoln Tunnel. Just as dawn was close we turned to go down to the Lincoln Tunnel and I saw Manhattan for the first time. It was incredible - all of downtown and midtown Manhattan was silhouettes of dusty grey , like cardboard cutouts against a dusty pink sky. It looked like one of those cheesy old movie sets, or a background to a tonight show. It wouldn't have looked real except for the enormous scale. No detail, no windows or anything - just shades of grey silhouettes against a pink sky.

One day I would love to go back and find where we were and take a photo of the scene. I would probably freeze as it was in early February. Words can't truly describe how beautiful it was. The Empire State stood out and even though I didn't really know where in Manhattan it should be I knew it was the Empire State building.

And all of this made up for a rough night trying to sleep on a Greyhound bus.

3

Oh yeah - that counts!

4

And how did it ever happen?

5

Many years ago, I was a deckhand in the operating engineers union, out towing a dredge from Baltimore to Galveston.

The days, you'd keep busy doing maintenance type work, but at night, unless there was an emergency, it was your time.

The weather was perfect for getting some rest on the calm ocean, so I put a few life jackets in between the stacks and drifted off to sleep while looking up at a glistening bed of stars, unfiltered by light pollution from the cities, seeing a shooting star every minute or two. It was beautiful.

This night in particular, I woke to see another light, not coming from the ship or the stars. One of those lights that aren't blinding, but it's brightness can be detected while your eyes are closed.

I sat up and went down to the deck. What I saw was the ocean, lit an eerily pinkish light, for what seemed to be miles around us.

Turns out it was jellyfish. Millions of them. I didn't know at the time that they come up towards the surface at night, and they are luminescent so food is attracted to them.

It was one of the most unexpected things the ocean has ever offered up to me.

6

The first time I was off Honolulu in the late evening. All the lights were still on across in the hills above town, and it struck me that the organic shapes created by the way the city had grown up toward the hills made the orange glow of the streetlights look a lot like how the hot lava flow must have looked coming down those very slopes when it created the land those folks were now living on.

I tried a couple of pictures, but they did not turn out and in a few moments it was fully dark and the silhouettes of the hills against the evening sky behind the lights vanished.

Moment over, but it was memorable.

7

That photo was taken a block away from our TownHome.

A Monster Truck of an SUV driven by well-kept Housewife swallows older, less impressive sedan containing Millennials.

I was walking back from the Pool...

It was always a challenge driving in our neighborhood, the "cutting off the corner" when turning was rampant by nearly all the women hoping not to strike the curb and scrape the tire rim on their regularly Brand New Car.

That turn was the easier direction, but the same concept...Your Lane is my Lane until I straighten things out!

8

Flew back to South Bend from Denver on the 4th of July via Chicago/Midway years ago. The Denver flight wasn't great. Left Midway at dusk headed 100 miles away around the lake in a 20 seat commuter plane. The White Sox had a home night game, and we watched fireworks all over Northwest Indiana all the way home.

I watched an ammo dump go up one night.

9

I was at a friend's house party many years ago and around 1am, when most of the revellers had gone home, there were a small group of us standing in the kitchen having a last beer. There was a party guest there who had fallen asleep earlier on the living room couch and everybody pretty much had forgotten about him. He appeared, almost ghost-like, in the kitchen and we all stopped talking as it was obvious he was sleepwalking. He walked through the middle of our small group in the kitchen, opened up the fridge door and took a wizz in the fridge. Then he went back to the couch and settled down for the night. That was a somewhat notable event I saw kinda by accident. Not as 'amazing' a sight as the ones you guys mention above this post...but it certainly stopped our conversation in it's tracks other than a collective "You all saw that too, right?".

10
I saw Manhattan for the first time. It was incredible -

I live just outside New York City and I still get a rush everytime Manhattan comes into view at a particular spot on the Long Island Expressway.

Actress Helen Mirren actually said it best. She described her first view of Manhattan as though she were looking at a mighty castle, a fortress. She was overwhelmed by its power.

11

Ahh, Helen Mirren, a truly great Russian!

12

I was at a friend's house party many years ago and around 1am, when most of the revellers had gone home, there were a small group of us standing in the kitchen having a last beer. There was a party guest there who had fallen asleep earlier on the living room couch and everybody pretty much had forgotten about him. He appeared, almost ghost-like, in the kitchen and we all stopped talking as it was obvious he was sleepwalking. He walked through the middle of our small group in the kitchen, opened up the fridge door and took a wizz in the fridge. Then he went back to the couch and settled down for the night. That was a somewhat notable event I saw kinda by accident. Not as 'amazing' a sight as the ones you guys mention above this post...but it certainly stopped our conversation in it's tracks other than a collective "You all saw that too, right?".

– Wheelgrinder

You and your group let a guy open the fridge and pee in it and you didn’t bother to wake him up? That’s the strange part of this story.

13

Flying back home from a trip when I was fifteen. Mom had taken me to Germany to meet my Grandmother. Flying back into hometown and there was a thunderstorm. We were flying above the clouds and watching lightning from above the clouds is just incredible and awesome.

14

Ahh, Helen Mirren, a truly great Russian!

– Afire

So true. I laugh at how the British try to claim her as British. They do the same with great Americans Winston Churchill and John Lennon.

15

I went to Germany with my German class in high school in the early '90s. What a wonderful experience. Castles, mountains, cute girls in my class, cute girls in the host class, drinking and smoking legally to my heart's content, a side trip with a friend to Hamburg to spend a night on the Reeperbahn. Anyway, one afternoon we were in Cologne, me and a buddy just walking along a quiet side street, minding our own business. All of the sudden a young guy comes running out of of a shop, and peels off down the street. A second later, a bigger, older guy wearing an apron bolts out of the same door, turns to where the guy was running, pulls out a pistol and fires a couple of shots at him, then walks back into the store. At the time, we were just stunned, but in the good way you might be at 16 years old, couldn't believe our luck to just stumble upon such a weird scene.

16

You and your group let a guy open the fridge and pee in it and you didn’t bother to wake him up? That’s the strange part of this story.

– Bob Howard

You're projecting an adult sensibility onto a group of teenagers at a house party. ...of course no one was gonna wake him up.

17

I remember a few similar College events...your story is better.

18

In 2001 I took a trip back to Illinois for my 20th high school reunion. I flew from SLC to ORD and drove a rental first down to see my folks in Springfield. 20 miles North of town, flat corn fields on both sides of the highway, I looked to my left and a giant full moon was perched on top of the corn. I looked to my right and the sun was perched on top of the corn. Two celestial orbs directly across from each other. It truly was one of those "right place at the right time" moments.

19

A sports one: August 1st, 1985. I went with my Dad to a Saturday Noon Cubs-Cardinals game at Wrigley Field. We walked up and got $5 SRO tickets. By the 7th inning (Cubs losing), we had worked our way down to vacant 3rd base box seats. Cubs won in the 14th inning. Anyway, during the game, rookie Vince Coleman was on 2nd and Willie McGee was on 1st. I had my camera filled with black and white film, and I saw Coleman take off for third and McGee for second, so I took a photo. The play turned out to be the only double-double steal in MLB history, and I have the photo framed in my office.

Video of the play:

20

Haha! You guys are welcome to Winston Churchill. We have statues of him here in Australia and I'm still trying to work out of that's a good or bad thing.


Register Sign in to join the conversation