Wupatki National Monument

  The Wupatki National Monument protects 56 square miles of dry, rugged land on the Southern Colorado Plateau. Here, a part of the Puebloan people called Wupatki lived in the midst of this vast dry area, which included trading routes both north and south, east and west. The choice of a place seemed brilliant from my observation,…

Sunset Crater Volcano

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is one of the less known, but extraordinary places, where we have an opportunity to learn much about Nature and Humanity. The experience was special because Hilary Clark had made arrangements for the presentation of the Olmsted Play at the Amphitheater located in a magnificently beautiful and an educational marvel for all…

Petrified National Forest

Here’s a scene which really gets you to thinking about history, the present and the past. The Petrified Forest is a rock solid door into the incredible past of Planet Earth. Clearly, my mind has never been as focused on the ancient history of humans and the movements of air, rock, and water, which have…

Painted Desert National Park: Remembering Naomi & Isaac

Here words do not find sufficient substance sublimity to capture the rare beauty of the landscape. As I have traveled now for the fourth time across America, I am grasped how differently the scenery is observed, and how important are the dimensions of the geological history and human history for understanding.   However, no matter…

Red Rock Park

Arriving in Gallup, New Mexico, my mind and heart again went back to 1962 when I was traveling through Gallup and stopped on my way to the Grand Canyon. Visions of the experience floated through my mind. The one clear image was visiting an Indian Reservation. Having read much about the conditions of poverty and…

“El Malpais”: The Bad Lands

Once again, the drive off the highway was a long, winding, slowly climbing experience. Along with the magnificent Sandstone formations, there were fields that appeared to be covered with black rock. Philip at the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge (read about it here) had spoken of volcanic activity at this place, which he had recommended. A…

New Mexico: Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge

Driving again about 10 miles off the highway, I arrived at the turn leading to the highest elevation of a very large plateau surrounded by mountains, which appeared to be anywhere from 15 to 20 miles away. I had arrived at the Visitors Center at the Las Vegas Wildlife Refuge. A sign on the door…

New Mexico: Fort Union

In leaving Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge (read about it here), the thoughts of visiting Fort Union National Monument had become the mission. How interconnected the landscapes and humanity had become in my mind, heart, and spirit. The geographic and geological features of the land had been great motivators for the movement of civilizations. Strong forces…

New Mexico: Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge

Leaving early in the morning the day after the fabulous immersion into the history and scenic wonders of Pikes Peak (read about it here), I drove through Raton Pass, entering New Mexico. No stops had been scheduled, but in previous travels through New Mexico, I had been drawn to both the dramatic dynamics of history,…

Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak, and Garden of the Gods

Leaving the northern-most planned destination in Colorado, I headed south on Route 25, perhaps to reach New Mexico. However, the traffic was congested in the Denver area. My thoughts went back to my travels in 1962, when I circled and crisscrossed around America for 7 months and over 20,000 miles. Today, at age 80, I am…

A Morning Conversation and Heading up and into the Rockies

I was ready to head up into the mountains, but the coffee wasn’t quite ready, and I asked the other person waiting where he was heading. “Just finished my delivery of Kia’s. Headed back to the St. Louis.” Burt, a truck driver, was a delight to speak with as he readily shared his life as a…

Lincoln Home National Historic Site: July 23

Reflecting upon a day’s immersion at the Lincoln Home in Springfield, IL, the impact and meaning grips me with more power than I realized. Interacting with so many people, from the visitors to frontline Park Rangers to Supervisors to the Director of History and Education to the superintendent, brought multiple moments of fun-filled exchanges that…