Day trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado - Air Force Academy chapel, PikesPeak, Garden of the Gods with Camel Rock. So many interesting red sandstone formations. Great day for site seeing - found the Trianon which is now a school - built with the wife’s gold mining fortune as a copy of the Trianon in France. Drove around the grounds of the Broadmoor (an elegant old hotel at the base of the mountains). Couldn’t find the Michelle’s ice cream parlor that used to sell huge banana splits (looked it up on the internet and found out that it has been closed for some time - sad).
Highway 1, California
The slow route between Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area is worth it. At San Simeon you can usually spot some elephant seals napping on the beach and for me a stop at the Nepenthe restaurant in Big Sur is a must. Be warned that this is not where you stop for a quick, budget lunch but the views from the deck and the iconic carved wooden Phoenix are worth it to me.
Coal Mine Canyon, Arizona. A future Grand Canyon about 15 miles east of Tuba City, Arizona. I thought maybe there had been a coal mine there but I was told that it was a uranium mine so it is not a place to pick up souvenir rocks. I had been wanting to see it for some time but it is a dirt road so I waited until a friend was in town. I don’t do dirt roads by myself.
This dog from the neighborhood appears most days when I go out for a walk. I don’t pet it or feed it but it keeps me company. I do talk to it a bit - “silly dog” when it walks out into the traffic or when it teases a dog in a fenced yard. Dogs and horses roam where they want to in this small town on the Navajo Reservation.
Just In Time For Spring
Spring has arrived in Tuba City, Arizona. Trees are budding and the daffodil bulbs I planted in late October are pushing through the soil. Flagstaff is only 75 miles away but it is about 2000 feet higher so it gets snow. There is even a ski area. Glad not to be dealing with snow, ice or too much rain like so much of the country.
Taos, New Mexico Pueblo And Plaza
Let The Holidays Begin on The Navajo Reservation
Tuba City, Arizona
Tuba city, Arizona is a small town on the Navajo Reservation about 75 miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona. The land is scruffy and the horses roam free but the sky is usually deep blue and the subtle greens and browns grow on you. There is a nice library, one grocery store, three dollar stores, a hardware store, an automotive store, all the fast food outlets and a small hospital and clinic. It is cold, dry and about 5000 feet elevation. Not far to the east are the Hopi villages built long before the Spanish arrived. Three years ago I was able to attend a Hopi “basket dance” held in the fall to celebrate and share the harvest. Traditional handmade baskets (and plastic baskets from Walmart) were tossed into the crowd to be fought over by the young men. The ladies danced in the center of the plaza in their traditional dresses and black, red and white blankets woven by the men. I was lucky to have attended this iconic ceremony as this year visitors were not allowed.
Zion National Park And Bryce Canyon National Park (red formations)
The Dam On The Colorado River That Created Lake Powell
Lake Powell is named for John Wesley Powell. He led a small group of men who explored the Colorado River in 1869 and again in 1871. He named this portion of the Colorado River Glen Canyon due to the glen like environment found in the streams feeding into the river. Besides boating and water sports, the area is famous for several “slot” canyons which can be toured with Navajo guides. The town of Page sits above the lake, and it has plenty of new hotels, a Safeway and Walmart for the tourists. It may be a new retirement hot spot, as I saw several neighborhoods of big, new houses with great views overlooking the lake.
Taos, New Mexico
Stopped at Taos, New Mexico. I had hoped to visit the pueblo but it was closed to the public. Instead I drove over to the bridge that crosses the Rio Grande River - the river cuts through a perfectly flat valley so it is a bit of a surprise how deep the gorge is. The restaurant at the motel where I stayed had an interesting “totem” in the center of the room.
Rubber Band Hack
The first cover for my iPad had a elasticized loop for the Apple pencil but when I had to replace that cover, I found I wasn’t using the Apple pencil because it was hidden away in my purse. A few elastic bands and my Apple pencil is where I want it. And if you look closely you can read “signature farms” on the far left purple rubber band - a repurposed rubber band used on produce from the grocery store.
Denver, Colorado Foothills
Pagosa Springs, Colorado Hot Air Balloon Festival
Wonderful balloon festival in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Not the world’s largest balloon festival but we were able to get up close to the balloons when they were launched Sunday morning. A lady on one of the teams even explained how they fill the balloons, etc. The weather was perfect and the drive through the mountains to the southwest corner of the state was amazing as the aspen trees are turning gold.
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
June 25 and 26, 1876 combined Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors defeated General George Custer and his soldiers during a campaign to force the Indians onto reservations. Custer was unaware of the size of the encampment he found on the Little Bighorn River and his men were terribly outnumbered. However, victory was short-lived and the nomadic people of the northern plains were soon forced onto reservations.. The Crow reservation nearby is unfortunately typical of Indian reservations - non-natives have the fertile lands along the river and the Indians have the scrubby land. A bit out of the way, but this National Monument is worthwhile visiting as it really brings home the terrible way the native people have been treated in this country.
Glacier National Park
Glacier Park Fire
Glacier Park fire from Apgar Village on southwest corner of Lake MacDonald. Two “super scoopers” were picking up water from the lake and dumping it on the fire(s). Not a job for the faint of heart. Lots of brave firemen and women on the ground too as they are trying to save a historic lodge and many private cabins.