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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

Going the Places You Probably Never Will

The time for me to head back west arrived at last, and two weeks ago I embarked on another 1,000 mile journey back to stop briefly in Boulder, just to make sure my condo hadn't burned to the ground. Well,  maybe to say hi to some friends too. I only stayed eight days before driving another 900 miles down to Tucson, Arizona where I am for the next six weeks, so I could have saved myself 750 miles of driving by going straight from Hot Springs to Tucson, but look at all the Americana I would have missed! Arkansas Ozark Highlands Trail . A 218 mile trail through northwest Arkansas. Tired old Trotsky and I only saw about a mile of it, but I'll go back someday.  Van Buren . A small town with a cute historic district and that still had a standing video rental store on the outskirts of town, though it was covered with "going out of business" banners. Fort Smith . One of many places in this area with a sad history of housing troops who forced American Indians off their land.

Living the Good Life

My time in Arkansas has passed, and you might have noticed that I didn't post very much about places I went or things I did. Well, that's because I didn't do much. Not because there isn't stuff to do, but more because I felt so damn comfortable and at-home in my adorable Hot Springs rental  and in the area. The house itself was perfect, exactly what I would want if I ever bought a house. Two bedrooms, a separate dining room, a separate office space, a nice deck off the back, a carport, a dog run, and good landscaping. The neighborhood was quiet and friendly, the main downtown drag was just an easy mile walk away and the trails of the national park were one block from my front door. The town has plenty of amenities, since it's a tourist town, and the surrounding Diamond Lakes region offers endless hikes, all less than an hour away. I fell really quickly into a normal life there. Some other reasons contributed to my failure to explore as much. My visitors came in the

Yes, Ma'am

The diversity of accents and dialects in America is well known. If I name any of the following regions, you can likely instantly conjure up some corresponding speech patterns: Boston, Long Island, the Bronx, Wisconsin, and "the South."  The South, however, does not have a monolithic accent. Where I was in West Virginia, for example, the people had a very mild accent, even though I was in the far south of the state. The same was true of Coastal Mississippi; the accent was often barely perceptible. I imagine, though, that people in the Mississippi Delta speak quite differently. Then I got to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Everyone I talked to had a deep southern accent. You know the one I'm talking about, but in case you don't, here's a great example from the dialects archive. The full archive for Arkansas provides examples of the range of accents in this state, but there's something about Hot Springs that gives people a really southern sound. Maybe it's the water.

Bathtime at the Buckstaff

When I lived in Russia between 2002 and 2006, Soviet Union traditions were neither forgotten nor gone. One of those traditions was the sanatorium , government run resorts where good Soviets could go to relax and restore their health through a number of spa-like treatments, a strict diet, forced exercise, and other activities. A holiday designed, funded, and managed by the very government you worked for. So creepy. Many sanatoriums were still in business, and I consciously avoided them.  But "taking the waters" and other such pseudo-medicinal activities were not unique to the USSR. Sanatorium type places were all over the world, including several in Hot Springs, Arkansas where mobsters, outlaws, and baseball players alike would strip down and spend an afternoon dousing themselves half a dozen different ways in the steamy mineral water. A few bathhouses here still operate, decaying and desperately-in-need-of-renovation like their Russian counterparts. Now that I'm a bit old

We Need to Talk About My (Deeply Red) Choices

West Virginia? Mississippi? And now Arkansas? You might be starting to wonder about my politics. Well, I can't deny that I'm partially engaging in a purging of the independent-thought-squashing, treat-anyone-who-doesn't-think-like-us-as-an-idiot, holier than thou, hypocritical NIMBY, I-hate-all-Republicans-even-though-I-don't-know-any-but-I-still-claim-I'm-open-minded-and-tolerant, ultra nonsensical liberalism of Boulder.  Phew. I had to get that out. I've been holding it in a long time, writing it into posts, deleting, rewriting. Seriously, I feel like I've gotten out of an emotionally abusive relationship. I was sucked in, bit by bit, and indoctrinated - like into a cult - into the "correct way" of thinking and being. I genuinely feel like I've escaped a variety of oppression. While these feelings were simmering deep beneath the surface for a while, COVID-19 broke the spell (so many  people like this ), cracked the fa├žade, and allowed the sti

Overpacking, Justified

My beat up but much loved and very ugly compact SUV has 75.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats. Counting the front passenger seat and floor space, a bit more. Counting my ancient dog and his staircase  and other necessities, a bit less. I use it all when I travel between states. The front passenger seat is so piled up with items that the car  ding ding dings incessantly if I don't buckle the seatbelt. I've traveled enough to know how frustrating it is to find yourself on the road really needing an object or article of clothing you have back at home in a closet. I detest having to buy something I already own. And since I'm not limited to two fifty-pound checked bags on my current travels, I packed everything I possibly could. I am prepared for any weather, any circumstance, and any opportunity this adventure presents, even if I'm on the road for the next three years. I don't need anything. That hasn't stopped me from buying a few things (my tsundo

I'm Probably Never Coming Back Here, But...

At 2:08 PM Central Time on February 7, I found myself west of mighty Mississippi once more. I'll be on this side for the next six months, and when I head back east, it won't be to Mississippi. If for no other reason than the litter absolutely everywhere, I could never see myself living there. There's also the open racism and the lack of mountains. But even though I didn't fall in love with the state like I did West Virginia, its charms didn't escape me either. There are many things about the state that I enjoyed, besides being able to run in a tank top and shorts in January. The live oaks. I've never been anywhere else in the world where immense, moss-draped oaks come right up to the sea. This is because the beach is man-made , but the how and the why don't matter at all. The contrast of majestic oak to pristine white sand is magnificent. Internet options. This is a random one, but I noticed there are a lot of internet providers in Mississippi. There are adv