September 24, 2006

On the Road

This weekend I’m staying at Doubleday editor Adam Bellow’s house in New York City, and tomorrow I’m driving to Washington DC to attend a Pajamas Media conference at the National Press Club. After the DC conference I’ll be driving from the East Coast to the West Coast, camera in hand, and will blog the road trip home. In the meantime, we’ll be a little slow around here.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at September 24, 2006 05:46 PM

Michael - What's with all of these rumors about Turkey and Iran making the moves on Iraqi Kurdistan?

Safe travels.

Posted by: Dan at September 24, 2006 07:20 PM

Michael - What's with all of these rumors about Turkey and Iran making the moves on Iraqi Kurdistan?

Safe travels.

Posted by: Dan at September 24, 2006 07:21 PM

Enjoy the cross-country trip Michael. Hope you have as richly rewarding and interesting as "Blue Highways: A Journey into America".

Would love to have you give a description of your last six years or so experience with the Middle Eastern area, and politics in general.



Posted by: Ron Snyder at September 25, 2006 07:26 AM


Seriously. His dad is one of the best writers in the history of the US. And Adam's no slouch, either.

Enjoy. You're flying seriously. You earned it. Good things come to those who work hard.

Posted by: OregonGuy at September 25, 2006 07:29 AM

I took my kids on three cross country trips. They spent most of the time whining about being bored, listening to CDs, but for some reason they remember the trips with great fondness. I really enjoyed the trips so maybe my enthusiasm got to them.

I tried to keep notes, take photos and write up experiences but since I was also doing all the driving, the process was hard. Of course, i didn't have a laptop with wireless.

Some random advice - Avoid any roadside restaurant named Grandma Max. I stopped by one somewhere around Nevada, and the food and service were the worst I've ever experienced. I don't know if Grandma Max is a chain, but the net reviews of places with that name are similarly awful.

Posted by: mary at September 25, 2006 09:57 AM

Glad to hear you're trip was uneventful.

Now, keep it that way.... ;-)


Posted by: Ratatosk at September 25, 2006 10:01 AM

Please support the Pope!

sign here:

Posted by: Arwen at September 25, 2006 01:40 PM

I wonder if Adam knew (as a child) Isaac Rosenfeld, who was one of Saul Bellow's best friends. Rosenfeld was also a writer, though a much less successful one. His best fiction was a short story about King Solomon. Rosenfeld was an editor at Dissent (or Commentary, I forget) before dying of a heart attack at age 38.

I knew his son George, who became a physician and also suffered a heart attack at age 38, though in his case he survived.

Posted by: Todd Grimson at September 25, 2006 04:03 PM

Hey, Michael -

If you are in Utah on Saturday, we'll be shooting cannon (and grundles of other things that go "bang") on the west side of Utah Lake.

Just sayin'.

Have a great trip!

Posted by: TmjUtah at September 25, 2006 09:41 PM

Seldom have I read a more offensive piece of ill-informed journalism than Totten's article about travel in Libya. In the last ten years I have visited Libya around 15 times. Totten's report is not only a travesty of the truth but shows his total ignorance about Libya in particular and travelling in Arabia in general.

Posted by: Jim Smith at September 26, 2006 09:15 AM

Get over yourself, Jim. I wrote, for the most part, about my experience in Libya. I am certainly not "ignorant," as you put it, of my own experience. You certainly are, though. You weren't there and I was. I know what I heard and saw. I accurately reported what Libyans told me. None of my pictures are photoshopped. So sod off.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 26, 2006 09:28 AM

Hi Michael Totten. Just want to say I really like your writings. Very informative. Especially your Kurdistan trips. I'm interested in visiting sometime and I was wondering if you knew how to go about doing that. Have a good trip,


Posted by: Ben Yang at September 26, 2006 11:17 AM

When you're in NYC I'd like to meet for dinner or drinks. I missed you over Labor Day weekend.
Please let me know.

Posted by: Mike Nargizian at September 26, 2006 02:42 PM

It was a pleasure meeting you tonight, MJT.

Good luck on the trip. Two tips: (1) if the Pennsylvania State troopers pull you over, its for your own good and (2) Ohio has superbly clean rest stops.

Posted by: Solomon2 at September 26, 2006 09:09 PM

Happy homecoming Michael! How long til you're back in our neck o' the woods?

Posted by: Brett at September 27, 2006 11:19 AM

I read lots of blogs (actually far too many), but Michael's writing is the most intelligently sincere on the web.

Jim Smith, if you have links to better articles about Libya, I'd love to read them. Or Lebanon or Kurdistan or Turkey or Gaza or Tel Aviv. But I don't believe you believe your BS, nor that you know of English written stuff that's better than here.

Of course, I am kinda tired of Michael promising "more later" ... though I'll be early in line for an MJT book when it comes. (Don't you need an editor?)

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at September 27, 2006 12:22 PM

Have a wonderful drive home, Michael!

Posted by: Fausta at September 27, 2006 05:30 PM

Did you rent your car?
I am planning on doing that next year. I will be following your blog intently.
If you rented, what agency?

Posted by: Terry at September 27, 2006 07:50 PM

Terry, he bought one read his Septermber 20 post.

Posted by: RipRip at September 28, 2006 06:16 AM

Hi Michael,

Really enjoying your website. I would like to travel to Kurdistan in December, but don't know how to go about it. I've emailed several organizations offering to volunteer during this time but haven't heard back yet.

We have so much being done in Iraq in our name & reports about facts on the ground are so conflicting I would love to meet some people and see for myself. Any suggestions?

Kind regards,

Posted by: Scott at September 28, 2006 06:52 AM

Jim Smith,

You had a fit of anger about Totten*s Libya account.

I would be interested in your impressions as an experienced fifteen times visitor.

TomGrey - Liberty Dad [12:22pm] would too.= TG

Posted by: TG at September 28, 2006 10:57 AM

PS: If you can*t add, please do not subtract.=TG

Posted by: TG at September 28, 2006 11:05 AM

It's been a while back, but I read Michael's dispatches on Libya and aside from the fact that they were fascinating and that he published pictures of a country we Americans rarely hear anything about, I can't remember anything that would have been considered offensive at all. Does Jim Smith work for the Colonel or what?

Posted by: CP at September 28, 2006 02:34 PM
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