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After 12 years in Colorado, the time has come for a change. The only problem is...I don't know where I want to live! Come with me (virtually, of course) across the country as I travel along all the rural roads, small towns, coastal regions, scrub-filled deserts, and damp, dark forests in Anywhere Else, America in search of a new home.
Recent posts

Missing 411

Missing persons cases fascinate me. Not all, but the ones that occur in wild spaces really do because despite all our technology, like FLIR , and all the trained tracker dogs and tens of thousands of man hours over weeks of searching, so many people leave not a trace behind them. The wilderness swallows them up entirely. This happens even when the person isn't alone but is around lots of other people on popular routes, as in the cases of Terrence Woods Jr and Trenny Gibson . I feed my obsession by watching endless YouTube videos about these disappearances. Rusty West and Steve Stockton have good channels, and  David Paulides and the CanAm Missing Project are the leaders of the obsessed. Through hours of viewing and gut feeling - and no scientific or data-based evidence whatsoever - I have decided on the following relative causes of these disappearances: Getting lost 55% Getting injured in a way that prevents the person from calling for help or getting him or herself back to a

Life on a Business Loop

I've been living above a half mile business loop off highway 26 in the middle of Oregon. I love, love, love my rental house. It has a breakfast nook, a reading nook, an office, a large area for my workout equipment in front of big pictures windows, an outdoor seating area with tree swings and Adirondack chairs overlooking the town. I did not lock my house doors for an entire month, not when I slept, not even when I went away camping for Memorial Day weekend. Have you ever felt completely safe doing that?  The owner is a lovely old German lady who owns half the street. In addition to the house I rented, she has three rental cottages, the Painted Hills vacation cottages , and an artist's studio. The property is covered in flowers and kitsch art; she puts a lot of effort into it. During my stay, she brought me two bottles of bubbly and a dozen farm fresh eggs, and expressed concerned that I was working too much and not getting out enough.  I don't think she quite understood th

Next Time, Check AllTrails

I am living in the middle of nowhere. Except it's not really nowhere - it's ranchland. I have never seen so many cows. Occasionally sheep, horses here and there, but mostly cows. I am now convinced that all beef sold in America comes from Oregon.  This is not so great for me. When I selected this town on the map, I saw the expansive Ochoco National Forest to the west and the even more expansive Malheur National Forest to the east and thought, perfect! So many trails! Except there are not...because of all those damn ranches. When I got here and opened AllTrails, it showed only one run-able trail less than a half hour drive from my rental. As for road running, while there is very little traffic and nice rolling hills, most of the roads are gravel and very dusty, so when the odd car does go by, you choke and go temporarily blind. Not really an option then. But I was already paid and confirmed for a non-refundable 30 days, so I had to figure it out. A little internet sleuthing and

Oregon, Land of Everything

Quick - picture Oregon. What did you think of? Probably a rocky coastline lined with tall, emerald green fir trees. Or maybe the powdery, imposing peaks of the Cascades. Or the eerie blue water of Crater Lake rippling gently in the caldera. You probably don't think of this.   Nope, that's not Bonneville. I said Oregon, not Utah. But there it was, this 12 by 7 mile dry lake bed that you can take your car out on and press the gas pedal hard to the floor. If you drive a boxy, 11 year old SUV you might not get quite the Fast and Furious experience you were dreaming of, but it's still fun. So much fun!  Right behind the desert are the Steens Mountains, which offer beautiful hiking trails through steep canyons up to snowy summits. Watch out for those rattlesnakes, though. I didn't see one the entire time I was in Tucson , but one of those bad boys had stretched itself out across the trail near the beginning of my first Oregon hike. When I'd had enough of the tomfoolery f

Let's Hear it for Eisenhower

America has a whole lot of roads where there's no business being any roads. Some are wide, smooth blacktop, beauties of the master plan of our 34th president . You can fly across them at 95 miles per hour with no worries about hitting a steering-wrecking pothole or coming too fast around an unmarked turn in the night and skidding into oblivion. Others are a patchwork of tar and bumps and so narrow you veer right a little whenever a car comes at you from the opposite direction.  In the west, no matter their condition, many roads go for 60, 70, 80 miles of sheer nothingness. Not even tumbleweed. On the horizon, the road vanishes into a blur of blue and sun waves. After staring at this illusion for too long that with no oncoming traffic to break up your view, the horizon almost appears pixelated and you start to wonder if you slipped through a rip in the matrix.  If for some crazy reason you ever decide to drive the entire 650 miles from Fort Mohave, Arizona, down at the tippy tip poi

When in Tucson (Northbound)

Following on from last week's post, let's head north from Tucson to see what other activities await. I talked about the Biosphere 2  in a previous post, so here five new ideas. 1) Civil War battle site at Picacho Peak. Yep, way out here in Arizona. Three soldiers died (Union), five were wounded (both sides), and three were captured (Confederate). Is that enough to call it a "battle"? Even if you're not interested in this little bit of history, the hikes in this state park offer sweeping views of the saguaro-filled valley. The park is halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, so if you travel that route frequently, seems a shame not to visit at least once. 2) Take a driverless car. Waymo is real, though not "live", transportation option in Chandler, where I spent a weekend with some friends who live there. I did not take the driverless car - though we thought about it because it is much cheaper than Lyft or Uber - but we did see some driving (themselves) aroun

When in Tucson (Southbound)

Tucson has been a wonderful place to stay. Partly because I simply enjoyed being a city again with all the amenities: trendy gyms, spas, Russian grocery stores, Korean BBQ, outdoor markets, and medical services. Partly because of the 360 degree view of mountains surrounding the city. And partly because there are lots of great options for day tripping too. This is the first of a two part series highlighting some of the fun and random activities and sights you might enjoy too if you come visit. 1) Tombstone. See a gunfight at high noon. Walk down a dusty street surrounded by so many people dressed in period clothing that you aren't sure if you're dreaming. Step into the historic OK Corral or Bird Cage Theater. And of course, take a sepia-hued old-timey photo. Even if reenactments and lots of tourists with obnoxious children aren't your thing, it's still worth a quick stop to see the historic buildings, funny street signs, and the friendliest restaurant staff you will ever