If A Tree Falls in the Forest…

NOTE:  Thanks for all your wonderful comments and support on my “Dear Mr. President” post.   I’ll get back to life in Mexico soon, but first, I have a few posts to catch up on, lest I forget the last days of my southerly winter migration…

If a tree falls in the forest and I can’t remember seeing it, does it still count?  If I visited a national park but can’t remember a thing about it, does it still count?

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a national park junkie.   I have lofty aspirations to visit all 59 with the official “Park” status. Continue reading

One Last Look Over the Rim

Just how long can one stretch out a story about the Grand Canyon, one might ask?  Well, longer than the average visitor spends on the edge of the rim…

I decide to stay one more day on the snowy South Rim, after all, no one seems to notice that the Winnie is taking up space in the empty Backcountry Office parking lot.  Continue reading

It’s All About the Layers

The “wake up knock” comes on the Phantom Ranch women’s dorm door at 5:00am.   I’ve signed up for the 5:30am early breakfast in order to get on the trail as early as possible.   The sun doesn’t rise until 7:15, so this will mean hiking for about an hour in the dark, but I figure it’s better to put in the dark time at the bottom of the canyon rather than risk having to hike in the dark at the top where it’s covered in snow and ice. Continue reading

The Ranch to Ribbon Falls

I make it to Phantom Ranch’s Canteen in plenty of time to down a couple of beers before they close at 4:00pm to prepare for the evening meals. But first, Kate, the bartender/hostess/receptionist/wait staff tells me to go to the dorm first to secure my spot.  “Pick any available bed that has a towel folded on it.”  It’s late in the afternoon, so I am thinking I’ll be lucky if I can secure a lower bunk.  Continue reading

Lees Ferry, Lake Havasu Latkes, and Leaning Toward the Ledge

Once back from my white knuckle drive from White Pocket, the rains roll in right on cue, just as forecasted.   I am feeling a great deal of gratitude for making it back safely without getting stuck.    Rain on the 10 mile sandy stretch could possibly help pack down the loose sand, but the rest of the road is likely to be a muddy mess. Continue reading

The Haunting and Daunting White Pocket

Back in 2014 during a visit to the Zion National Park Visitor Center, I opened up one of those fancy coffee table books with the slick pages touting the top scenic destinations in southern Utah.  As I typically do, I thumbed through the pages mentally checking off those I’ve seen, while evaluating the “Wow factor” of those I haven’t.   Most of the glossy, full page photos were of places Continue reading

YuMa Be Right…YuMa Be Crazy

…but it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for! And Yuma definitely felt like lunacy this timearound. I had forgotten about the slow moving blue-haired traffic. The empty Walmart shelves desecrated by the onslaught of snowbirds. The weather extremes. Last year, I was in shorts and a tee shirt. This year? Wearing fleece and sleeping in wool socks while bolstering against the wind. Continue reading

The Culling of Quartzsite

First of all, thank everyone so much for their wonderfully comforting and kind comments to my “trying to get the feeling again” post.  That started out as just a rambling journal entry, trying to figure out how I “lost that loving feeling.” I figured after almost three months of silence, I would be playing to an empty room. But after your thoughtful words of support and encouragement, I am feeling a bit “verklempt.” It meant so much to me to know there are so many other more “seasoned” bloggers who have bouts with the same self-doubt. For me, writing comes from the heart, not the head. If the feeling is there, the words need to come out one way or another. If not, well then the “well is dry.”

Bear with me through a few rambling reflections on Quartzsite: Continue reading

The Brighter Side of Lake Havasu

I had multiple reasons for hanging out in Lake Havasu for a couple of weeks before storing my Winnie in Phoenix to fly back to Texas.  First and foremost was to accept Joel and Kathy’s gracious invitation for Thanksgiving.  And it was an opportunity for one last meet-up with Debbie and “The Heathens” Rupert and Elliot, before they headed south for the remainder of the year.   But also, there was to be a parade! And not just any parade, but one with boats! Continue reading

Desert Culture

Going from the pristine, Technicolor fairyland of “holy Mount Zion” to the stark, monochromatic hills of Lake Havasu City was a bit of a shock.  Just rolling into town, seeing the “Elevation, 450 ft” made me swallow hard.  So arriving at the boondock location along a rough, dusty white-rock road left me in a bit of scenic withdrawal. Continue reading