It’s A New Dawn, it’s a New Day….

Warning: Political Post Ahead. If that sort of thing offends you, I understand. Either scroll through and just look at the photos and captions of the amazing Catwalk Recreation Area in New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness, or pass altogether. But this is my personal blog, meant to be a personal account of what I am feeling at any given moment. And today, Inauguration Day, January 20th, 2021, as the song goes, “I’m feelin’ good.” Continue reading

Waiting, Waiting on the World to Change

So.  Here we are at last.  December 31st, the day I’ve been waiting to roll around for the better part of 2020.  There are so many words to be said about the passage of this year, yet I wonder if attaching such significance to a date on the calendar is a good thing.

I look back to New Years Eve 2019 as a published a post from the United Airlines departure lounge on my way to Khartoum. I shutter to look back on those words I wrote that night, setting my intentions for the coming year. “…the promise of a new decade in the year 2020 feels like a great step toward restoring some balance to our lives. As a Libra who needs everything to balance, I can’t think of a better year to offer the promise of hope than “2020!” Continue reading

View from the Flight Deck

Despite the fact that I have two avid “birders” in my family, I have never been able to drum up much interest in birds beyond marveling at nature’s creative palette pertaining to their feathers. I have long joked that my bird “life list” includes black birds, brown birds, white birds, red birds, yellow birds, etc. I would travel out of my way to see a bird Continue reading

ABQ: How Low Can You Go?

After 7 glorious days of near-perfect weather, I left the Bisti Badlands sooner than I would have liked. There was a cold front on the way, and temps were predicted to drop below freezing. The Winnie was not winterized, and since this appeared to be a fast moving front with temps returning to the 70’s on the back end, I didn’t want to go to the trouble and inconvenience of emptying the tanks and blowing out the lines for just a Continue reading

Aliens in the Ah-shi-sle-pah Wilderness

As I mentioned in my previous post, the only time I ran into another person at the “Egg Hatchery” was when I encountered a photographer in the area at sunset. I had recorded the most direct route as a track on my Gaia GPS app to be certain I could retrace my steps. And I had timed the two mile journey on more than one occasion to maximize my “golden hour” time at the eggs, while still having plenty of time to return to the parking lot with enough light to see the terrain. In addition, I loaded my backpack with all sorts of Continue reading

Bisti Badlands Bewilderness

I’ve never been one to ask the question, “What can possibly go wrong next??” as I often find that as soon as I ask the question, I am shown the answer. The year 2020 has turned out to be one of the worst of my lifetime, second only to 2015 when I lost both my youngest brother and my Dad within 3 months of each other. Still overall, I am reminded its been a good life.

But when thinking about bad news, which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Does bad stuff keep happening because I have written off this entire year to suck? Or is it a bad year because bad stuff keeps happening? In other words, can a “year” have a self-fulfilling prophecy? Continue reading

Facing Ghosts at Ghost Ranch

When I visited northern New Mexico last summer, I was in a hurry. I had tickets to the Santa Fe Opera in mid August, and reservations in Port Townsend for the end of August. That’s was a lot of miles to cover in a little over two weeks. So I just hit the highlights, covering all the “must visit” stops.

Still feeling enamored after the opera tribute to Georgia O’Keeffe, “Letters from Georgia,” I wanted to visit her home and studio in Abiquiu, hike in some of the areas such as Plaza Blanca where she found inspiration for her paintings, and take a tour of Continue reading

There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills!

I stayed way past my limit in Cloudcroft. Even with confirmation from the Ranger that the Forest Service was taking a bit of a “who’s counting?” approach during COVID, coupled with the fact that I did move around a bit, I didn’t want to wear out my welcome.

I had hoped I could stay long enough to see the large stand of aspens at the top of the hill in my favorite meadow turn gold. It was my favorite hiking destination, as it was behind a hiker’s gate restricting vehicular traffic, and with the exception of Labor Day when they opened the gate, I rarely saw anyone up there. The wild horses from the Continue reading

VIA Rail Canada: “The Canadian”

Thanks for all the great comments on Part One of my rail journey through Canada. I hope you enjoy the second half as much as I did. If I had to choose one or the other, well, for a train lover, Part Two is the “real deal.”

While the Rocky Mountaineer was everything I hoped it would be, from stunning scenery to pampered luxury, let’s face it, it is a tourist attraction. While I wasn’t sure what to expect from the next leg of my journey on VIA Canada’s “The Canadian” I was pretty certain it would feel a lot more like an authentic train journey offering the true Continue reading