Land of the Free

Everything I did on my summer vacation was free. Well, everything except for the daily bags of ice I purchased for my cooler from a groovy local café at $2.25 a pop. (Because heat). All of it was on public land in the West, and all of it was magnificent. On a mostly solo 10-day trip I hiked on the Continental Divide Trail, peered into lava tubes, watched thousands of bats emerging from their cave, passed dozens of elk grazing amidst Ponderosa pines, and added a few new birds to my list. I climbed Read more [...]
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Where did the West go?

The road stretched straight and flat before me, like you’d see in a sports car commercial or a Dennis Hopper movie. On either side, the land spread wide and open. Not quite flat--with a bit of a roll here and there--dotted continuously with juniper and other unidentifiable desert shrubs. I had been traveling out West for almost six weeks since leaving my home in West Virginia, staying with friends in Albuquerque, visiting National Parks with my husband John, and searching for someplace in this Read more [...]
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