I had my third rear blowout today on Interstate-5. Since there are dual wheels in the rear, there is a bang, and I feel the blow out, but I can just slow down, put my flashers on, and move to the right, find a spot of relative safety, and get off the road. I was on my way to the SEA-TAC airport to pick up my friend, RJ. Fifteen minutes away, and an hour early, but still, I knew it was going to be cutting it close. I’ve never had a roadside assistance guy show up in under an hour. So I contacted the Good Sam number, gave them my location and settled in to wait.Read More
I don't expect that I'll be traveling to Hawaii any time soon, so Mount Saint Helens was an important stop for me on this trip. Volcano. Check! I was mighty curious about what it would be like to stand in the dangerous zone of an active-ish volcano. The 1980 eruption was a powerful piece of history that I witnessed via the six-o’clock news, and I always wondered what it must be like to live with that omnipresent danger on a daily basis.Read More
Reposting this paragraph from my weekly delivery of the Brain Pickings Blog, written by the amazing Maria Poppova. If I get in touch with something well enough to give it voice, it's interesting how The Universe responds.
"Nourish yourself with grand and austere ideas of beauty that feed the soul… Seek solitude,"young Delacroix counseled himself in 1824. Keats saw solitude as a sublime conduit to truth and beauty. Elizabeth Bishop believed that everyone should experience at least one prolonged period of solitude in life. Even if we don’t take so extreme a view as artist Agnes Martin’s assertion that “the best things in life happen to you when you’re alone,” one thing is certain: Our capacity for what psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has termed “fertile solitude” is absolutely essential not only for our creativity but for the basic fabric of our happiness — without time and space unburdened from external input and social strain, we’d be unable to fully inhabit our interior life, which is the raw material of all art.
After my last post about feeling lonely after ten months on the road, I remembered how drained I felt while teaching in a NYC high school, and living in the city, with 24/7 electronic stimulation, 24/7 connectivity, the public transport system, the crowded streets and shops. My perspective shifted, and this solitude feels absolutely blessed today. I also had a quick flight home to see my family, and had my emotional batteries re-charged.
Here's a link to this wonderful blog:
An inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness, spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more.
When I was a youngster, the very first book I remember reading, and then immediately re-reading many times, was James Hilton’s Lost Horizon. I couldn’t bear to leave Shangri-La. There were passages I read every night for a year.Read More
Today is the seventh anniversary of my “heart thing.” In 2009 I developed Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, (AKA) Neurogenic Myocardial Stunning. More commonly known as an attack of Broken-Heart Syndrome.Read More
Amazing? Magnificent? Awesome? Truly there are no words for this place either! My experience of Grand Canyon was from up around the rims; but in Zion, I entered on the valley floor, and hiked along looking up at the cliffs, sky, and monoliths. Seriously, just stunning!
I spent quite a bit of time looking at the giant boulders and slabs next to the path, and then craning my neck to look straight up at the cliff to see where the rockfall came from. The sky was totally Utah crazy, and combined with the red and gold stone, the deep greens of the evergreen trees and the bright spring green of the new leaves budding out on the trees next to The Virgin River, I experienced the whole place in Kodachrome.
At one point I thought I found some cilantro growing out of the rock face, but a botanically astute hiker informed me that it was hanging columbine. I think perhaps she was mistaken, but I need to sit with my western guidebook and suss it out for myself.
Below is a gallery of my favorite photos from Zion National Park.
Sorry about the over-use of the exclamation point, but out here, it accurately reflects how I feel!
This winter, I have been to many places where the geology of the earth is visible out there on the hillside, or in that canyon for us to see. But in Moab, it's all going on: upthrusts, erosion, subduction, and all sorts of metamorphism. You may have begun to suspect, gentle reader, that I am beginning to study geology in my Third Act. There is so much to learn before I am older than dirt.
Below is a gallery of thirty-two photos. See if you can find what I saw in the rocks: a blue-tail lizard, a standing madonna figure with bowed head, an allosaurus neck, selfish selfie-girl, a balancing potato, an elephant weeping a tear of light, Abe Lincoln/Homer Simpson, a group of adults waiting in line, My pal Kath and me, Kath in her car, and sitting on a rock-working on her tan, a tiny window that looks like an eye, a cool arch that looks like the poster for Arches National Park, a precariously balanced rock-on-a-stick, that sort-of looks like a beagle, (no, no, no, not a bagel!), any number of random muppets, and the landscape flipping us the bird. Oh, and if you see any dirty stuff? Please don't mention it.
This was one of the most amazing drives I have done. I found out that I had actually driven all around the geologic Grand Canyon: from Southern California, to Hoover Dam and Las Vegas, to Mesa Arizona. Then up to the South Rim, north past the Vermillion Cliffs up to Zion National Park, then all the way across Utah to Moab, and back to Farmington, New Mexico. I don't even want to know the mileage of this leg of my journey!Read More
This is a little out of sequence. Before I went to Grand Canyon, I completed my spring loop in time to rendezvous at Mesa Arizona, in a big house with my amazing, hilarious family. We had a blast together: swimming in the pool and relaxing, eating out and cooking in (thanks Alice ;-), drawing, coloring and playing tag. We just spent the time enjoying the heck out of being together.Read More
Amazing? Magnificent? Awesome? Truly there are no words. But there are quite a few photos.Read More
A number of people have recently asked me where I’m heading from here. Clearly, I’ve fallen in love with California’s coast. For the spring season I'll be in California, Arizona, and Utah-then back to California.Read More
Well, it finally happened. I awoke to knocking on the rig. 2:30 in the morning. I sat up. Sat very still and listened to see if I’d really heard it, or was it part of a dream?
Nope. There it goes again. Seven or eight sharp raps in quick succession—just the way you’d knock on a door.Read More
I came out here on this trip to transition from a worker person to a retired person. From someone with a Manhattan apartment full of stuff, to a person who lives and travels lighter in a 26 foot motor home.Read More
There is a location on the park map called Skull Rock. There is a sign on the road pointing it out, and always seven or ten cars, or campers parked there, taking photos and pointing, and another sign inside the campground, showing the way to Skull Rock Trail. I hiked over there yesterday, and yes, erosion has created cavities that look sort of skull-like, but this entire landscape is filled with rocks that resemble familiar objects!Read More
At three o’clock this afternoon, I had a very heavy heart. Happy Hour in Quartzsite was about to begin, and I was missing it! I was really missing my pals, George and Suzie, Barb and John. I was even missing Hank and Piper, the dusty canine members of the group, who would rotate from lap to lap while the humans told stories and shared RV tips, best routes, and location information. Oh, and of course we shared recipes, as George was usually beginning to get supper ready.Read More
Hello Dear Readers
I've recently learned that some of you have tried to post comments on the blog but for various reasons were unable to do so. I spent some time this morning on the Square Space Help/Live Chat with a lovely woman, Susana, who was working out of a call center in Dublin. It was still quite too cold and windy to enjoy hiking today, so that was a very good use of my time. I hope we have resolved the issue, so please feel free to post away!Read More
As a general rule, I don’t just randomly shop, as an activity. I do not enjoy walking slowly through a giant flea market, looking at acres of dust-covered stuff. But I have been doing it here in Quartzsite, and I’ve been finding some hilarious stuff. As if marking the packaging, “As Seen On TV!” was really going to encourage me to buy the item.Read More
Successful hike up Q mountain the other day with my friend George. It’s just a big hill, really, that has a giant “Q” painted on the front—hence the name. Much of the landscape is super flat here, so anything that sticks up that much looks like a mountain to me.Read More