So yeah, I didn’t blog on days 15 and 16. Here they are in a nutshell:

Day 15

I hiked to Angels Landing in Zion National Park. (Except I didn’t go all the way to Angels Landing. I stopped at what is called Scouts Lookout or Scouts Landing. I thought the view from up there was amazing and it was a great hike.) I know I wasn’t going to post pictures from Zion, but above is the view from Scouts Lookout, where I spent about a half hour resting after the climb, chatting with other hikers, and just enjoying the scenery.

Then I did the Riverside Trail, which was a very easy walk along the river. Then I wanted to do two more hikes before departing, but it started to rain, so I left and drove to St. George. Continue reading “Retrospective”

It turns out I didn’t know what a pueblo is. I thought it was a structure. But it is actually a community. In fact, the word “pueblo” comes from Castilian for town or village and has the same Latin root as the English word “people.”

I visited Taos Pueblo today and learned a lot about how the community lives. Taos Pueblo is one of 21 federally-recognized pueblos in the USA, 19 of which are in New Mexico. About 4,500 people are members of the Taos Pueblo, but only a few families actually live in the pueblo; most have modern homes outside the pueblo and also maintain homes within the pueblo that they use for ceremonial occasions. There is no electricity or running water in the pueblo. The homes have outdoor ovens, they use propane lamps and batteries, and they get water from Red Willow Creek, which runs through the community and is drinkable without requiring any treatment.
Continue reading “Pueblo”

I climbed some ladders today.

Bandelier National Monument, about 50 miles northwest of Santa Fe, was on my list of things to do if you have several days to spend in Santa Fe, but since I only had one day, I didn’t anticipate going there. However, since it wasn’t too far out of the way on my drive between Santa Fe and Taos, I thought I’d check it out. And since I bought the America the Beautiful Pass for this trip, the entrance fee was covered.
Continue reading “Ladders”

Today was the first day of my trip that I didn’t use my car at all. I just walked around Santa Fe all day. I can definitely see the allure of this city. It has an arty, healthy, hip, funky vibe and even though it’s a small city (about 75,000 people), it has a lot of culture., good restaurants, and a respect for history in terms of building codes.
Continue reading “Gabby Docents”

I stopped for lunch yesterday (I was too exhausted to blog last night) in Gallup, New Mexico, which seems like it got stuck in time during the Route 66 era.

It was probably 70 degrees in Gallup, and I walked around in a short-sleeve shirt. A half hour further east, I drove through a lightning storm, and then the temperature plummeted into the 30s and the rain turned to sleet, and for one stretch of about 10 miles traffic on I-40 was crawling at 20 mph on icy/slushy pavement. Then the roads cleared and within fifteen minutes it was 70 degrees again. Who knew the weather on this trip would be so interesting?
Continue reading “Fun with weather”

Of the five states I’ll be in on my southwest road trip, New Mexico is the one I’ve spent the least time in. I lived in Colorado for two years, I visited Utah on a long road trip from Illinois in the early 1990s, I went to an ACDA convention in Phoenix back in 1991, and I’ve made work-related and fun-related visits to Las Vegas and Reno. But New Mexico is one of the few states I’ve only driven through without spending any time. So I hope I am allowing myself enough time with two nights in Santa Fe and one night in Taos.
Continue reading “It’s Newer than Mexico”

I have reversed myself and decided to go ahead and book my lodging for the days I was going to play it by ear.

There is something kind of thrilling about the spontaneity of not deciding where to stay until I get there, but weighing that against not having anywhere decent to stay, or being forced to stay somewhere inconvenient, planning ahead has won the day.

So here are the remaining places I’ve booked.
Continue reading “More sleeping”

I love the idea of rolling into some new town at the end of a day of driving around sightseeing, and finding some quaint, charming inn or some cheesy, retro motor lodge or a unique, classic, old hotel and deciding spontaneously where to spend the night.

But I also love the idea of having a place to spend the night when everything is booked. And I love the idea of not setting for a cookie-cutter motel chain because I can’t find anything that I feel comfortable checking into sight unseen. There are advantages to living in the information age. I can research all the options in each location and make a smart decision, and I’ll end up having someplace to look forward to settling in for a day or two.
Continue reading “Hoping for a good night’s sleep”

Southwest road trip?  Say what?!?

Yes, after I did those posts about my Next #1 and Next #2 itineraries, I started thinking about a different Next.

The Galapagos Islands.

Wait, what am I talking about? What do the Galapagos Islands have to do with a southwest road trip?
Continue reading “My Southwest Road Trip”