My 6-State Road Trip: Road Photos

Day 1: Norman, Okla. to Gallup, N.M. I can attest to the factualness of the number of construction zones. Breakfast: cold pizza on the road, lunch: Rudy’s Barbecue in Amarillo, dinner: Panda Express in Gallup. Lodging: EconoLodge. Much luxury. Gas mileage was very poor — around 16. Rudy’s’s reliability notwithstanding, least interesting day of the drive (by a pretty fair margin). Entering Texas: And then New Mexico: Somewhere just east of Albuquerque,…
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Capulin Volcano: Monumental and in New Mexico

The last day of this summer’s road trip started in South Fork, Colo., where Cheeto bag explosions are an epidemic (inferentially), worked its way down through southern Colorado into New Mexico, then across the Okie panhandle and then on to Norman, my supposed home. Had lunch in Taos (New Mexican food and the hatch chili sauce on the enchiladas was special), then drove through northeastern NM by way of Angel Fire (has…
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Alpine Loop and Animas Forks: An Off-Road (Sort Of) Adventure

I was getting my hair cut one day a few weeks back at the ol’ University Barber Shop (I’d include a link, but I don’t think they have a webpage) and mentioned I’d just bought a Jeep Wrangler and it turned out one of the other barbers in the shop was a real off-road enthusiast who was planning, this summer, to do some extensive off-road touring in Colorado. Anyway, I thought that…
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The Black Canyon of the Gunnison Is Really More of a Dark Russet Color

One of the primary goals of this summer’s road trip was knocking off a couple of theretofore unvisited national parks. Black Canyon of the Gunnison: knocked off (now). It’s one of the newer national parks and, common with other newer national parks, it’s not quite Yosemite or Yellowstone. It’s sort of like a much smaller, darker colored Grand Canyon to the bottom of which you cannot readily hike. I mean, you can…
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Hiking the Narrows II: The Wrath of Zion

Overnight version of the Virgin River Narrows, undertaken July 23-24, 2016. The weather was warm. River flow was somewhere in the 40s, whatever that means. Ranger said there were no expected thunderstorms but that that could change at any second, and probably would, especially if I didn’t give him the exact license plate number of my brother’s truck*. Ranger was kind of, I dunno, flighty though, so <shrug>. We verified the weather…
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My Morning at Petrified Forest National Park

It’s worth half a day. Heading out to the UT, I figured I ought to get this park checked off my list. It’s sort of on the way if you want it to be (probably added a couple hours to my drive up to Zion NP). The park includes more than just a petrified forest (which, contrary to the image conjured by the name, isn’t filled with wall-to-wall upright trees that block…
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The American Pigeon Museum Is Real

Here’s evidence: The museum plays it all pretty straight. Things I learned: Pigeon racing is a thing and requires specialized time-keeping equipment. Pigeons basically won the Franco-Prussian war for France (well — except that Prussia won that war). The pigeons that are good at their jobs get names (such as Paddy, Gustav, and the one that won the Purple Heart). The others just get numbers. There are breeds of pigeon that are categorized as…
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New Family Member: A Garage without Compromise

Four months ago, I continued my post-PhD annual tradition of buying a new car every February. Establishing and maintaining traditions has value, studies have shown. Anyway: It’s a 2015 Jeep Wrangler in Willys Wheeler trim (basically a less-extensive, less-expensive version of the serious-offroad Rubicon package).  Came to me used, with 1,500 miles on it. The color is called “anvil”, because Jeep. I bought it online, which was an oddly easy, even pleasant experience (from…
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