When I can’t travel, it’s time to pull out one of my small collection of travel guidebooks. I’ve picked them up in used bookstores and antiquarian book fairs over the years to allow me to time-travel backwards. Other travelers at other times saw new sights differently; if they had a camera their viewfinder found different angles; and as they moved from place to place their mode of transport was often different than anything I’ve experienced. What could be better on a rainy day than to imagine myself somewhere else in location and time?… Read more
“Rumors are they’ve found a big vein of gold.” We were huddled under blankets on a freezing morning when Dorothy, our golf-cart driver and guide set the brake at the top of a hill to respond to my question about the fate of long-abandoned mines near the town.
We, and two friends were on an early-morning tour of Bisbee, a town in southeastern Arizona with houses clinging to steep barren hills above the commercial area down in a gulch watered by a clear stream.… Read more
Explorers of the West in the 19th Century like John Wesley Powell marveled at the scattered ruins of pueblos and strange volcanic landscape that makes up the area called Wupatki one of the many National Monuments in Central Arizona. So did we.
The scenic road from Sedona led us north winding around hairpin turns through Oak Creek Canyon and up over the Mongollan Rim at 8000 ft altitude. The road widened as we continued through wildflower-carpeted Ponderosa Pine woodlands to Flagstaff.… Read more
The second historic site near Sedona, Montezuma Castle National Monument has more to capture the eye and thoughts of the past than the meager remains of Tuzigoot. Early Spanish explorers thought the “castle” was built by the Aztecs. An offshoot of the monuments is called Montezuma’s Well, a watering source used by the local people for irrigation. Both parts are misnamed as the Aztecs lived thousands of miles south and the castle is a cliff house and there is no well.… Read more
Who can resist visiting a National Park Service Monument with the curious name of Tuzigoot? The word means Crooked Water in the Apache language but it preserves remains from peoples who arrived around the year 1000 AD to take advantage of water resources to grow corn, beans, squash to supplement their diet of deer and other game. And they also grew and wove cotton for garments and trade—the prized Pima cotton label we now look for on clothing and bedding labels.… Read more
Everyone says don’t miss Sedona. They were correct!
We turned off the freeway about two hours north of Phoenix to follow the road to Sedona winding through desert plants surrounded by small yellow butterflies flittering around flowering shrubs.
Another few turns brought us to a halt to stare in awe at the magnificent sight of orange and dark red sandstone sculpted into giant spires, plateaus, canyons and massive rock escarpments all constructed by the gods of wind and water over eons.… Read more
A barefoot man wearing a loincloth and a traditional short cape made of ti leaves walked by me as if deep in thought. When I turned to watch him, I could see his black hair cut high on the sides and left long on top to fall around his shoulders. Without looking to right or left he strode away from the Great Wall defining the Pu’uhonua, Place of Refuge, during ancient Hawaiian times.
He projected power and I could not help but wonder if he was a chief or priest.… Read more
Hilo isn’t exactly what one typically pictures of Hawaii – white sand beaches, luxury hotels, blue sky. Instead, it’s truly tropical with rain, clearing, and more rain – ten feet a year on average. BUT, it has food, a foodie’s idea of heaven along with parks hosting enormous banyan trees and bamboo. On the Island of Hawaii (known as The Big Island) it’s a world away from the condos and golf courses that dot the dry, Kona Coast, side.… Read more
While I would never count the number of statues on display in any other museum I’ve visited, it’s hard not to count when describing the Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland’s work on display in the 80-acre sculpture garden set in the lovely Frogner Park in Oslo. To sum up: the individual works total 220 bronze and granite human forms plus some strangely compelling wrought iron work. The entrance gates were the first to capture my eye.
Vigeland, was a well-known sculptor in Norway by 1924 when he began his monumental effort to depict the naked human form from childhood to old age in all its beauty and ugliness.… Read more
The wrinkled sea shining in the damp silvery dawn made me think of dragons’ skin and old Norse gods as the ship glided slowly into the harbor at Torshavn. The sun pierced dark clouds to illuminate buildings and harbor.
I imagined the characters from Norse myths: Grendel, Beowulf, Thor, Odin, and all the rest were hiding somewhere in the hills overlooking the harbor.
Torshavn is the capital of the Faroe Islands, a self-governing country within the Kingdom of Denmark (which also includes Greenland).