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A Short Stop in Sedona

Starting last Saturday, I went on a 1,500 mile road trip over the course of five days from Santa Fe to Sedona to Las Vegas to Boulder. I had a work event in Las Vegas on Monday and Tuesday and I was living in Santa Fe. Rather than driving up to Denver and flying out of there, I figured I could drive and stop in Sedona on my way. I'd never been and it seemed like a great opportunity to see what the hype is all about. Little did I know at the time of making this plan that I would have someone special caravanning with me, and that I'd be grateful we'd have another 36 hours together, which we wouldn't have had I chosen to drive back to Denver.  So we took off from Santa Fe (in separate vehicles) on the 6.5 hour drive to Sedona. We lingered in Santa Fe for a bit and got a later start than planned, but we were still able to stop at a few interesting sites along the way. The first was the Petrified Forest National Park . Unfortunately, all the petrified trees are on the sout

Yes, You Should Visit New Mexico

If you read my last post, you already know that Santa Fe isn't exactly ranking in the top ten places I've been as a nomad. But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't visit. The city - and all of New Mexico - is a great place for a vacation or two or three.  That's actually how I ended up here. When I lived in Colorado, I came down to New Mexico three separate times on holiday and always had a fabulous time. So I wondered what it would be like to actually live in Santa Fe, and I put it on my list of places that I might want to settle permanently when I get tired of all this traveling. But those visits were before I lived for five years in Boulder, and as I said last week, Santa Fe is just so Boulder and I've been there, done that, need to be surrounded by different people.  Also because I've been to New Mexico before, there's a lot I didn't do on this trip. For example, I'd already been to: Roswell White Sands Trinity Site Open House Hatch Carlsbad Cave

It's Not You

Oh, New Mexico, I love you. You are the complete package.  I love your deserts and canyons and forests.   I love the multicolored cliffs that take your breath away when they suddenly rise up around a turn in the highway.  I love your scenic drives where roadrunners and coyotes cross my path. I love the adobe buildings and how they blend into the landscape.  I love your history, pueblos, forts, monuments, ruins, and the land the belongs to the Native Americans. I love that everything has a Spanish name and that people here will speak to me in Spanish. I love that you are your own culture. You are nothing like your neighbors, Arizona, Texas, or Colorado.  I love the sage brush dotting the land with huge snow-dusted mountains rising up behind them. I love the ranches and tales of bold women in 1800s who came to live on them. I love your zero visibility windstorms and the dust everywhere. Most of all, I love your tumbleweed. Piles and piles and piles of it against concrete barriers lining

We Need to Talk About Walmart

While I loved my time in Rogers  and will surely head back over there frequently when I move to northwest Arkansas, Bentonville is the way to go for me. You probably only know Bentonville as the world headquarters of Walmart, and therefore will have a bad association, so let's get some things out of the way. No, I am not a fan of Walmart. They don't pay the majority of their employees enough to survive without government subsidies , which means that, whether you shop there or not, you as a taxpayer are supporting Walmart. They also have terrible scheduling practices designed to avoid paying benefits and that make life very difficult for people with families or who might need more than one job, though these practices seem to be improving . However, I'm not blind to the fact that America has created a society where Walmart is necessary. Walmart is far, far from the only corporation to pay such low wages that its employees can only afford to shop at places like Walmart. I thin

Little Rogers Neighborhood

I often have a general region in mind that I want to go to but not a specific town. I let the exact location be dictated by the availability of a furnished rental that fits all my requirements. And so after I decided I loosely wanted to be in northwest Arkansas, somewhere in Benton or Washington county, I ended up in Rogers  in the most charming AirBnB walkable to downtown with running trails right outside my cottage door. Old Town Rogers is probably not somewhere you've ever heard of or thought to go on a weekend getaway, but absolutely loved it. Let me suggest you put it on your list for a a few days, a month, or even longer. Come for the weekend! See what's on at the Arkansas Public Theater , then book tickets for Friday night and make an evening  of it with dinner first at Havana Tropical Grill Restaurant , the 120 Tapas Bar , or one of the dozen other great restaurants in walking distance of the old Victory Theater. Afterward, pop over to Club Frisco for a nightcap. Don&

Summer of Travel - Wrapping Up

I ended my big summer of travel the same way it started - visiting my friends in Baltimore and DC . Funny enough, I also got to see both of them in Colorado. My Baltimore friends were in Crested Butte for a wedding the same weekend I arrived in Colorado from Utah, so we met for lunch in Gunnison on my way to Salida and their way back to Longmont to see her family. My DC friend flew into Colorado for the wedding I posted about previously, but much like me, she had no desire to hang out in Boulder at all. Instead, she hopped on a bus and chilled with me in Salida for three days before the wedding. So, despite my wandering ways, I've been able to see these lovely ladies several times this year!   Assateague Island This trip was planned a whole year ago, as trips to popular destinations need to be. When the camping reservations for these places open, they sell out almost instantly. You've got to be ready to commit. If you're unfamiliar with Assateague and Chincoteague Islands,

Summer of Travel - Back in the High Life Again

Oh, Colorado! I have such a love/hate relationship with this state. About half an hour after I drove across the border from Utah, I started to regret my choice to come back, almost entirely because of the traffic. Trailers, RVs, and scared tourists consistently go 10-15 mph under the speed limit on winding mountain roads and feel no need to pull over and let the people who know how to drive pass. And there are rarely any passing lanes or opportunities. After about 50 miles of this aggravation in the Telluride/Ridgeway area, I was seriously regretting my decision to come back here this summer. By the time I got to Salida, I was already over being here. But then I settled into Salida and trail runs and unexplored mountain passes and 14ers and aspen trees and all the beauty that this state has that just doesn't exist in any other state I've been to. Seriously. Other states have their own beauty, but nothing is Colorado. When living in Boulder and having to battle the god awful tra