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Eastern Colorado Electrical Bonanza, May 31st at 5 a.m.


Abundant butterfly weed on the Konza Prairie in Kansas. I’ll admit to a little plant jeaousy, as I have tried growing this both in Oregon and Colorado with zero success.


We took a scenic detour on our way to Kansas City, lush and green and peaceful in its splendor. As a result, we stumbled upon Aggieville Brewing just as the lunchtime rumblies were peaking. They have delicious BBQ, very fine sour beer, and kindly service. Worth a detour, to be sure.

Kansas City – our stay was brief but lovely…

Certainly better than having our touristy plans ruined by rain, but a bit terrifying to drive in, nearly every major day of travel included at least one torrential downpour, several lasting hours. This is the misty final hurrah of our journey to Nashville. Very easy on the eyes…

Yes, definitely.

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken provided two of our most favorite meals in Tennessee, once in Nashville, the other in Memphis. Chicken perfection! Baked beans and grits and pimento mac and cheese! Banana pudding!

I have always wondered how people in the South tolerated the punishing humidity. Despite our trip being rather pleasant, all things considered, I did learn a valuable bit of intel on the matter. The more sultry, the better a slushy drink satisfies. As a result, I enjoyed a veritable rainbow, virgin and heady with booze. Highly recommended!

Suffragette City

Nashville Parthenon

Vanderbilt University

Yes, ma’am!!

I bought a hat here…

Hawkers Asian Street Food was a culinary and visual highlight. As we were in the South, of course we had more fried chicken, this time in a steamed bun. Gah, so good! Equally good vibes and friendly folk.

It’s Pride Month, y’all! Happy, happy…

Since Nashville is all about music and honky-tonkin’, we made certain to get our fill. This is Dylan Smucker and Friends (friend?) on stage. I just have to say, WOW. How lucky the people of Nashville are to have such fabulous music available literally every day.

This was at Jane’s Hideaway, in East Nashville, another terrific spot for a cocktail, appetizers, and really great service.

Even the losers get lucky sometimes…

South Broadway in Downtown Nashville is THE spot for Honky Tonks, so for the loud and crowd averse like us, we made the bright decision to arrive before the madness of nightfall, despite my love for full regalia neon.

Even at this early hour, the sidewalks were chockablock with jostling bodies, many already liquored up and ready to roll. We strolled up and down, ears peeled for the best voice and guitar and found it with Smitty and the Quick Triggers at Rippy’s. What a diversity of sound and songs, the Beatles to Lynyrd Skynyrd, with a sprinkling of fine original tunes. We stayed a long while and were quite impressed. My goodness, the talent in this town!


Moody light over Taos, so beautiful!

Taos Mountain enveloped in snow

Picuris Peak

Sangre de Christos

For our return trip home, we found a cool casita just a “block” away from our Taos land. We know the neighborhood, but this was the first time we actually set foot on the property, having bought it at the height of the pandemic, and walked the gorgeous views.

We also had a wonderful breakfast (how excited I am to have New Mexican style food I won’t have to make myself!) with our delightful realtor and equally kindly person, Yvonne Trujillo and her husband David, talking land and concrete and wells and everything in between. How real this is all becoming, thrilling and frightening, too. Please think good thoughts for us!

I am ridiculously content, sitting in the wood stove warmth of the Sugar Nymphs Bistro in Penasco. We love this place, as the service (our sweet server was named Colleen!!), all the food, and especially the desserts, are top notch. This is my absolute favorite seat in the house, right by the stove and with a great view of the art lined walls.

We also, for the first time, made a couple of wine and cider tasting stops at Black Mesa and La Chiripada. Both were marvelous, with super friendly staff. We bought quite a bit for two people who don’t drink on the regular!

Taos Mountain from Picuris Peak and zoomed from our neighborhood. We’ll have a view of this stunner from our back porch. Huzzah!

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Hi! I’m listening to a super chatty tour guide. Completely unrelated, my very cool necklace charms are Gemini and Cancer constellations (for me and my star crossed love) from the delightful Kayla at Fox and the Fawn. They have the most wonderful jingle! I am also wearing her rings. Here’s to supporting hard working metal smiths.

Greetings from Taliesin West, stop number two on places of architectural interest in Arizona. As you know, if you’ve been with me for a while, I am rather fond of Frank Lloyd Wright structures, and this is no exception. We visited Phoenix in part to see this great place, all stunning angles and sublime views, unlike the hordes of suitcase rollers we encountered post Super Bowl. We didn’t know it was even happening, which gave Cynthia (see below) a good chuckle! The pair of us are impossibly out of touch when it comes to sports and absolutely without apology.

No visit to the Phoenix area would be complete without a visit with Greg’s awesome cousin, Cynthia, who picked up her Texas stakes for Arizona at the beginning of the pandemic. We enjoyed tacos on an eye wateringly hot heated patio, walked in the rain, and caught up on stellar, in-person conversation. We are super proud of all she has accomplished and what is happening next. All the things, indeed.

She and Greg are not only looking good (seriously!) in the wee slice of afternoon sun, but standing in front of one of her multiple citrus trees in her beautiful back garden. She gave us a bag of fruit, and I made marmalade, no surprise. It is all the more delicious knowing the origin.

bird of prey and ocotillo

Fun Valentine lunch at Tonto!

Our final full day in Cave Creek was a cold one, rife with mist and fog, with our cozy Valentine lunch sandwiched midway. It was as delicious at it looks.

Juniper and I cozied up with sweaters and books while Greg did some fast typing. Have I ever told you about this? He is the fastest typist I know. So much so, I often call it fake because he sounds like a child hammering willy-nilly at the keys. He absolutely is not.

Boy howdy, the photos, save maybe the last one, absolutely do not display the horror of being on the roads of northern Arizona on February 15, 2023. We have never seen so many smashed vehicles: lying on their side, heading the wrong direction, upside down. We found, quite literally, the one artery to I-40 that was not closed and inched along at 20 miles per hour. The final photo is a mere smidgen of the at least three-mile long chain of vehicles stopped overnight and hoping to get moving westbound to Flagstaff. Yikes!

Our friend Mary said we must be living right to have such good fortune. Thanks for saying so and big hug.


Another lovely drive, westward along I-40 to Gallup. If you may recall this is where Juniper was found all those years ago. One day we will time everything right to buy some moccasins for Greg (my feet are too poorly now) and some jewelry for me, as we keep arriving on quiet Sundays, when all the shops are closed. The eye candy is still worth a stop, oh, and lunch at Blake’s Lotaburger. Yes, yes.

Navajo Nation Land

Oh, yes he did!

From mountains to desert, and so quickly! My heart was aflutter at the geologic wonder.

Arcosanti has been on our list of architectural places to visit for ages. There is a certain hesitation knowing the whole history of the creator, Paolo Soleri, but for the countless others responsible for the magic of the place, we could not miss it.

A place of solitude and contrast to the desert landscape, yet wholly of it, it is quite remarkable.

So many gorgeous details and stunning views. This is a window to a private residence.

I spy with my little eye…Greg Cooper!

The bells! We did not take a tour, for reasons of timing and thrift, but did by a couple of the exquisite bells. The gallery is church-like, a perfect hall for bouncing sound. We tiptoed through, ringing each that caught our fancy, and after much discussion on size and shape, chose the perfect tones.

The view out our window!

We stayed in a super modern getaway in Cave Creek, well away from the hullabaloo of Phoenix and positively surrounded by saguaro of every height and armature. It was quiet with people and alive with birds and insects. Juniper was wild with excitement at the scent of every new step.

When we arrived, I worried a bit at the temperature. It was in the mid-seventies, and we packed long sleeves and pants for for cooler temperatures. My fretting may have jinxed the whole situation, as the weather took a drastic turn, feeling more like the Pacific Northwest than the desert, with rain and more rain, even a little hail. We made the best of it, however, as you’ll see in the next post!


Rolling along Highway 50 and the Arkansas, gazing westward toward the Collegiate Peaks. With soaring granite walls and the steady rush of the river, this drive is one of our favorite excursions, putting Colorado’s full glory on display: sun, stone, water, sky!

In the awe of people doing what they truly love category: despite what I imagine to be rather frigid temperatures, we spied many a fisher in chest waders out on the water.

Wet Mountains

The sky put on quite the light show as we headed south!

The Mellow Moon was our cozy landing spot, an easy walk to delicious eats at Raisin’ Rye (cinnamon roll, jalapeno & sausage kolache, almond croissant!!), Three Barrel Brewing (Firecracker Pizza, honey kolsch!!), and Chavolos Mexican (carnitas, chile relleno!!). Oh, and a giant-wonderful jar of honey and a bar of bee pollen soap at Haefelis!

It was an equally easy amble from the Mellow Moon to the Rio Grande and all the small town charm. Some large beast, a deer or elk, we guessed, left ample evidence of a hearty roll in the snow. Juniper could not help but to follow suit!

Horizontal snow…

Our trip on Friday was a leisurely three hours, including a stop in Canon City for Indian food at Nirvana and another for marijuana treats in Salida. We are very infrequent flyers and found ourselves agog at the choices! Greg got some Bliss Drops to, as the kindly salesperson put it, have the the equivalent of “three glasses of wine without needing to pee!” I chose Wyld Peach gummies for my annoying migraines. As luck (???) would have it, I did get a migraine while in Del Norte. I could not have been happier. I suffered no headache pain. Woot!

Sunday started as a rather gorgeous, snow coated morning. We made no tracks to rush while still getting on the road at nine. After breakfast in Alamosa (nothing remarkable, sadly), the skies turned, and we inched along in whiteout conditions up and over La Veta Pass (La Veta Loca, as the hubster put it), adding two hours to our normal trip length. Luckily it was beautiful, and there was only one jerk on the road, so it was all good in the end. Life as it should be.

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