When I left Canyonlands to go to Mesa Verde due to inclement weather, I found some things to do that were not on my original itinerary. One of them was going cross county skiing. I also spent a little more time looking around the area, including Durango and Mesa Verde. I had the bonus of seeing a unique vehicle, sort of a bus on a railway, the Galloping Goose.
In the middle of June 2023 I went to Brownlee Reservoir to catch catfish.
Brownlee Reservoir is an impoundment on the Snake River. The lake is over 50 miles long, is part of the Hell’s Canyon, and forms the border between Oregon and Idaho in this area. The reservoir is renowned for Channel Catfish. So I gave it a whirl.
I also did a run along an old unmaintained road that runs along the Idaho side of the reservoir. It was scenic and fun.
Since I had the catfish, I had to cook them of course, so here I present two of my favorite methods of cooking fish…. At home in my kitchen!
On my trip through the Southwestern desert states, I had occasion to stop into Las Cruces New Mexico to spend a day mostly doing chores and shopping. But I did get a fun hike in and some video.
I liked Las Cruces. It was probably the nicest place I saw in the state, other than the National parks and monuments I hit.
In May of 2023 I ventured to Delaware to participate in an eight hour adventure race with my daughter Staci, her husband Colin, and his brother Derek. It was a very tough event, but we had a good time and met the challenge….. even if we didn’t win! And while I was there I took a few videos of the local town, Woodstock Virginia, and the Seven Bends State Park.
As I usually do when I visit them, we did a few other things too. We did a 5k with my granddaughter Josie as part of a program called Girls on the Run. I took some boomerangs and we tried them out, not altogether successfully.
As part of my extravagant swing through the Southwest USA I stopped in at Josuha Tree National Park. There were lots of places I could have run, but I only spent a limited amount of time there and did a run on the Crown Prince Lookout Trail. Despite the limited time spent, I really enjoyed this park. It turns out the Joshua Trees are kind of cool!
Near the end of April 2023 I had a really nice trip to the beach. I dug two full limits of razor clams, I did a run in a location that was a little unusual, and I visited three smoked fish stores for smoked oysters and some other fun items.
One of the places I visited on my tour of the American Southwest was not on my original itinerary. But I had some additional time and I picked this at random off the map as I was traveling. It ended up being an interesting run and location, but I had never heard of it prior to this trip.
El Malpais is a National Monument and a National Conservation Area. There is also an El Malpais Wilderness and several other wildernesses and “Study Areas” nearby.
El Malpais means “The Bad Country” and mostly consists of a huge impassable lava field. The run I did was on a rim trail at the edge of the lava flow, and the entire place was surprisingly cool.
In mid-March of 2023 I visited Death Valley. It was an extremely glorious trip, visiting the extremely hot and dry National Park. I didn’t experience those sort of extremes, but I tried to make my run as extreme as I could handle! Badwater Basin, here I come!
In celebration of the Fourth of July I took as many videos of the American flag, and assorted memorabilia, and set them to the John Philip Sousa march The Stars and Stripes Forever. I hope you like it!
Celebrating my liberty to do odd things for exercise and travel, I participated fully in a Naked Bike Ride held in Portland. The Buck Moon Ride is part of a series of naked rides held on the full moon, and happened to coincide with glorious weather and was held on the evening of the third of July. The timing couldn't have been better and I took the opportunity to let it all hang out. It was quite fun, not nearly as awkward as you might think, and I enjoyed it.
Happy Fourth of July!
Chaco Canyon National Historical Park is a relatively small geographic area with a ton of Ancient Puebloan sites. There are huge kivas and lots of falling down walls. The thing that got me interested in seeing these was a book called House of Rain by Craig Childs. It was quite interesting with an extensive analysis of the geographic distribution of the Ancient Puebloans. The backstory and that history was quite a bit more interesting than the actual ruins on the ground. I recommend it!
But the ruins were interesting, and like much of my trip through the SouthWest, it was quite scenic and entertaining for me. I did one long hike and saw almost every other ruin by car. In addition I visited Canyon de Chelly National Monument and the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site.
When I visited the Carlsbad Caverns in February of 2023, I also did a run on the Old Guano Road of almost eight miles. I also biked the La Cueva Mountain Bike trail but didn’t get any video.
The Carlsbad Caverns were amazing, and the video and pictures can’t possibly do them justice….. but I tried! The run was just about the epitome of a great run in the desert.
In late February 2023 I visited the ghost town of Terlingua Texas, and then continued on to Big Bend Ranch State Park. After doing the tourist thing in the ghost town I did two long exercise events. One was a 17.5 mile mountain bike ride in the Contrabando trails system and the other was a nine mile round trip hike up the Rancherias Canyon. It wasn’t all pleasant, and I didn’t have as good a time as usual, but they kept me out of trouble for a couple of days!