The Glory Road

11

January 27, 2016, Walsenburg, CO-  U.S. Highway 160 has long been one of my favourite routes- at least, the part between Tuba City, AZ and this little south central Colorado community has been, since we first traveled it, in 1983.

I lived for 5 years in Tuba City, four of them with Penny.  I was a school counselor, at the public Intermediate School (Grades 4-6).  During that time, we made friends with several people who lived there, and in the Navajo communities further northeast, sheepherding communities like Dinnebito, Tonalea, Cow Springs, and Kaibeto.  Highway 160 runs through Tonalea and Cow Springs, and there are several classic rock formations, throughout the portion of Arizona that is bisected by the 160, all the way to Four Corners, where four states meet.

I will do more with photos, when traveling the route again, in June.  For now, a dead battery in my camera, and a time frame connected with the Essential Oils Winter Summit, which calls me to the Front Range, have interrupted the photographic aspect of driving along this glorious road.

Once past Four Corners, I encountered a series of uniquely beautiful southern Colorado towns:  Bustling and congenial Cortez, agricultural Mancos and Bayfield, riparian Durango and its stately Fort Lewis College, healing Pagosa Springs, ski-oriented South Fork, laid-back Del Norte, commercial hubs Monte Vista and Alamosa, Spanish land-grant Walsenburg.

I pretty much bulled my way along the road today:  I gave a Navajo hitchhiker a ride from Tuba to Kayenta, the gateway to Monument Valley, scene of so many John Ford Westerns.  I filled up the car at City Market’s gas station, in Cortez.  I filled myself up at Junction Restaurant, Pagosa Springs- a favourite of mine, just because it lies at the western edge of Wolf Creek Mountain, whose Pass is frequently blocked in winter.

Not so, this evening, and I marveled at the stars  overhead, once being able to slow down and take them in, atop the massive mountain pass, with no ice or snow on the road.  I was planning to stop in Alamosa, for the evening, but the only non-chain motel had a No Vacancy sign, despite a near-empty parking lot.

It was just as well, though, as I made it to Walsenburg, a town I  visited, briefly, two years ago, whilst bringing furniture further up the road, to the Denver area.  Sands Motel is a gem, small enough to have gorgeous rooms AND be economical.  I will post a photo or two of the motel, when writing about my return trip.

For the next three days, I will be ensconced in a business meeting, so my posts will alternately extol essential oils and address some of the prompts in Winter Scavenger Hunt.  Stay sane and warm, everyone.

The Road to 65: Mile One

6

November 29, 2014, San Diego- Yesterday, I turned the corner on sixty-four years of age.  The next birthday will represent something of a milestone, for what it used to mean, and still symbolizes in many minds:  Old Age.  To me, and to many other Baby Boomers, though, it’s another year to be spent well.

I started this year by kicking an illness to the curb.  It was an upper respiratory matter, and a combination of essential oils, Vitamin C tabs, echinacea/goldenseal in hot tea, more hot tea with lemon and honey, and good Korean kimchi made recovery happen in short order.  I also spent time at one of my favourite spots in San Diego, La Jolla Cove, with one of my favourite people, my son.

As with any new journey, it’s worth looking ahead.  So here is a look at what the next twelve months seem to have in store.

December- A couple of Faith Community meetings, early in the month, then the 30th Annual Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference, right after Christmas.  My growth continues, in learning about Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils. Every day, I will go on site and spend an hour or so, building my store of knowledge.  Travel, within the Four Corners-Southern California sphere, will take me to western New Mexico:  Gallup, Zuni, El Morro, Bosque del Apache, Silver City and Lordsburg; then back around by Tucson and up to Phoenix for the aforementioned Baha’i Conference.

January- Usually, this is a month for laying low, but life close to home continues apace.  Having rung in the New, with fellow revelers in downtown Prescott, I may head up to Las Vegas for the first two days of the new year, to visit friends and walk in the Valley of Fire. I will spend time tilling my back yard, removing the weeds that have largely overcome the small plot on the northeast corner of our back lot.  Hiking more sections of Tonto Natural Bridge and the Black Canyon National Recreation Trail is on the menu.  I will finish the month in Boulder, CO, at a  Winter Summit.

February- This will be another topsy-turvy month, taking me across the southern tier of states, (Feb. 6-17- with stops in El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans and the Panama City area, before spending 3-4 days visiting my mother-in-law, near Leesburg, FL.).

March- Always largely a month largely spent in fasting and reflection, sun-up to sun-down from 3/2-20, the time of Spring Break and NCAA Championships will find me visiting  SoCal, briefly, visiting family, and a couple of friends in OC and LA.  The rest of the time, we Baha’is greet our New Year on March 21 and I will plant some early-sprouting items like peas and tomatoes.

April-   This will be quiet, travel-wise, barring any emergencies.  Most likely, I will go up two small Flagstaff-area peaks:  Kendrick and Red Mountain.

May & June- I will stick close to home until the school year ends, then head northwest- through Nevada, northern California, central Oregon, western Washington, Vancouver (city and island), Haida Gwai’i and southeast Alaska, returning via eastern Washington, Idaho and Utah, in time for:

July- This Independence Day will be spent in Prescott, with a foray over to the venerable Prescott Rodeo.  Then, it’s off to San Diego for another filial birthday, on the 7th.  I will spend a couple of days in Santa Barbara and Ojai, before hunkering down in the Four Corners states, for the rest of the summer.

August- I will have planted squash and pumpkins, after returning from the Great North.  They will show me, this month, how they have responded to monsoon-style dry farming.  A few days among the Navajo and Hopi will be in order, as well.

September- Fall again, so soon?  Not necessarily, in AZ.  The  return of dry weather will mean some late watering of the nearly-mature crops.  My brother may be here, for his own special birthday, in the Grand Canyon.  Also possible:  Salt Lake City, for a five-day Parliament of Religions.

October-  I hopefully will carve a pumpkin that I have grown myself.  Rest assured, anything I grow will be from heirloom organic seeds.  A weekend camp-out in the Inner Basin of the San Francisco Peaks wilderness will be in order.

November- The road to 65 ends here, before branching off to another year of growth and challenge.  My 65 starts on a Saturday, two days after Thanksgiving, so that means another great weekend in San Diego.

Books?  Yes, they are an intense part of my life, still.  In the next post, I will look back at this year’s reading achievements and ahead to those awaiting along the path I have just started.