Tuesday, March 31, 2015


If a picture is worth a thousand words, this post is very wordy.  I’m going to take you on our recent tour of the Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos, New Mexico area through my photos, and, of course, their captions.  
        First, some general information about the trip.  It was an eight day excursion to revisit the area and reconnect with some of our friends from Debate Camp days—I taught in a high powered debate summer camp for high school students in the late 1980s and early 1990s in Santa Fe (College of Santa Fe) and Albuquerque (University of New Mexico).  We flew to Albuquerque where we stayed one night and then drove to Santa Fe and stayed in our Santa Fe WorldMark timeshare for a week.  We explored both Petroglyph National Monument (near Albuquerque) and Bandelier National Monument (near Los Alamos).  We visited Taos to connect with friends as well as to do some sightseeing.  But enough with the generalities, let’s get right to the pictures.

The trip started with flights from Portland to Seattle then on to Albuquerque.  Anne in 1st Class and me in economy.

I made up for it in Albuquerque by making our first stop at the Gruet Winery, which specializes in sparkling wines.  Thanks for the recommendation Terry Joe.

We climbed the rocks at the Boca Negra Canyon site of Petroglyph National Monument outside of Albuquerque.

This petroglyph (rock art) from about 1000 years ago probably represents birth.

Twin Birds, among others, decorate this rock.

The climb down the hill was even more of an adventure for Anne than climbing up.

The next site was at Piers Marcadas Canyon and was about a two mile hike without as much climbing.  The petroglyphs were just as impressive.

A typical Santa Fe-style house.  The entire city of Santa Fe is adobe.

It's about 60 miles from Santa Fe to Taos and the scenery is spectacular.

In Taos we had a great lunch with our adopted niece, Jasmine, and her husband Zack.  Jas is the daughter of  the director of the debate camp I worked at for a dozen or so summers.  Jas and Zach are creating an organic sustainable farm.  We were wonderfully amazed with their enthusiasm and commitment.  
Back in Santa Fe we visited a couple of great museums.  First, we toured the Andrew Smith Gallery on Photography.  What a treat to see original photographs by greats such as Ansel Adams, Elliot Porter, and Annie Leibowitz.

Next door to the photography gallery was the Georgia O'Keefe Museum.  Only one room was open for touring--they were in the process of changing exhibits--but the visit was free.

One of the days we had lunch in the Santa Fe Cheesemonger's shop.  A special hot Raclette for lunch and cheese to take home to have with our sparkling wine from Gruet.  Oh, did I fail to mention we bought some at the winery?

As fascinating as the art, ancient and modern, were the people we saw in Santa Fe.

A cold native set up to sell her homemade jewelry on the Governor's Palace in the Santa Fe Plaza.  Anne did some buying there. 

We saw this interesting fellow several times in Santa Fe.  He asked for money for food; so I traded him  cash for a photo.

This lady is dressed for a walk along the art galleries of Canyon Road in Santa Fe.

A man and his parrot on the streets of Santa Fe.

This poor soul occupies a corner in the local Starbucks--a warm spot on a cold morning.  Nobody bothered her.

We did play golf several times on the trip.  The first was at Towa Golf Club about 12 miles north of Santa Fe toward Taos. The snow on the mountains was from the night before, but the course was dry.

Towa GC was on one of the numerous Indian Reservation in the area.  Golf was still winter rates and very inexpensive.

Our digs in Santa Fe was at Santa Fe WorldMark (our timeshare).  We had a studio apartment--cozy and comfortable.

Sunset in Santa Fe.

Part Two will follow with more golf, Bandelier National Monument, doors of Santa Fe, and more.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rambling Adventures Coming from Starbucks

About the New Book:

The Rambling Adventures of a Traveler and Golfer is now available on amazon.com or amazon.co.uk, both in print and on Kindle.  The Rambling Adventures of a Traveler and Golfer is not a travel guide, although through the stories and vignettes you will get plenty of suggestions for what to see and do (or what not to see and do) on your own trips.  After reading about St Ives and St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall you may want to visit one or both.  Perhaps I’ll entice you to find more ghosts than we did in the English pubs or to hunt for different haunts.  I certainly hope that any readers who golf will make the long trek to Scotland’s northwest corner for the great small course there (Durness GC).  You’ll also read about Scottish, English, and Irish B&Bs—that’s where all the action is.
Rambling Adventures contains more than 170 stories about travel (land and air), attractions (the famous and the out-of-the-way), eateries and food, lodgings and lodgers, the people, the golf courses and the people who play golf, the culture, and even some good old family road trips. The stories are illustrated with more than 30 black and white photos.  Rambling Adventures is the companion volume to Ten Years of Travel in Scotland, Ireland, England, and Wales (also available from Amazon). 
All these small vignettes were gathered by two retired teachers who began traveling (the British Isles, the European continent, Canada, and throughout the US) and writing when they retired from teaching.  A three week retirement trip to Scotland for golf and whisky, and a two week train tour of Germany, Austria, and Hungary have turned into a love affair with self-guided travel.  The stories Rambling Adventures are the results of those travels.  

About Writing the New Book and my Other Books:

Canby Starbucks Crew
A long time ago in a world far removed from today, I developed the habit of doing my best writing (assuming any of it is good) in a diner or coffee shop.  Late night writing sessions in the Rocket Cafe in McMinnville just down the street from my fraternity house on the Linfield College campus were what got me through college.  Position papers, analyses, term papers, debate cases, oratory and expository speeches were all written while munching the famous Rocket Burger, drinking pots of coffee, and chain-smoking (cigarettes, of course).

After college, the habit stuck.  I would leave early for work and spend an hour in a coffee shop, whether I was teaching or working in the retail sporting goods industry (two years), writing poor poetry or writing magazine articles (sled dog racing, backpacking and hiking, or anything else I thought I could sell).  As I worked on my Masters degree at (then) OCE, hours were spent in Jay’s Restaurant in Monmouth writing papers for professors Baker, Walking-Bull, and Rossi preparing for that degree. While teaching at Canby High I frequented the Cottage Kitchen and then Denny’s to write five books on debate and public speaking for Championship Debate Enterprises.  Next came retirement and Starbucks.

I'm at work in my Starbucks office, my photos hanging on the wall for the month of March.
On our retirement trip to Scotland in the fall of 2000, Anne suggested we write about the  pubs, the B&Bs, the attractions, and the small golf courses in Scotland.  At that point the Canby Starbucks became my office.  I have now written, edited, proofed, and rewritten seven books almost entirely in that coffee shop.  I’ve been asked, “How can you write with all the distractions in a Starbucks—the noise of the coffee grinder, the called orders, the people, the sweeping and cleaning?”  For me it’s easy.  For one thing, I’ve been ignoring those kinds of distractions for years.  I‘ll let myself be distracted for a while if I want a break.  I find, also, that the distractions at Starbucks are much easier to ignore than the distractions at home—the phone, the cat who wants out (or in or out or in), 

Anne at work with me.
Anne (the one who should not be ignored) calling out to me, the door bell, and any number of other homey interruptions.     
Although the Canby Starbucks may not be as famous as The Elephant House in Edinburgh where Harry Potter was written,  let this post be my thanks (my book dedication) to the Starbucks’ culture that has given me the place to write in an office away from home. In fact, on my last visits to Starbucks I have already started my next major writing project, a complete rewrite and update of our Ireland golf guide. 

Canby Starbucks where all my latest books have been written.

Next Blog Post: Our road trip to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.