Feb. 5, 2016
We leave Rochester, traveling in the mighty diesel Jetta.
Feb. 7, 2016
We arrive in Boca Raton, FL, which seems to be full of people magically transported here from New York and New Jersey. They appear to be very angry that this has happened to them. They are angry about something, anyway. I did find some nice old Jewish ladies to visit though.
Feb. 15, 2016
On our way out of Florida, we find the worst motel on earth to stay in. My mommy wouldn't let us step on the floor and we had to use our own blankets, but we survived
Feb. 16, 2016
We make it to Apalachicola, after a nice hike in St.Mark's NWR. Prior to the hike, we are warned that I will probably be eaten by an Alligator or perhaps a bald eagle. So I do most of the hike in my shoulder bag, and only briefly on a short leash. Fortunately, I am not eaten.
Feb. 17, 2016
We decide to stay in Apalachicola until my mommy can pronounce it on the first try. This town is Key West without a Hemingway. This is me at the nightly happy hour at the Bowery Station Bar. Fun people and great live music.
Feb. 18, 2016
A long walk on the beach, every man's dream.
Feb. 23, 2016
Ocean Springs , MS. They make their donuts out of potato flour here, I prefer them made out of beef, so I let daddy have mine.
Feb. 24, 2016
We tour Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis, and now his presidential library. Inexplicably, we find a Nazi flag to pose in front of. Incidentally, I wore my red fleece to honor the CSA, not the Nazis.
Feb. 25, 2016
In Natchez. Signage in a culvert warns me not to harass a cat. He wasn't home, but I kept my distance anyway.
Feb. 26, 2016
It wouldn't be Friday night without Shabbat Service.
Feb. 27, 2016
So many amazing antebellum town homes to tour. Apparently, if you were a wealthy cotton grower, this was the place to come if you wanted to escape the plantation for a while.
Feb. 28, 2016
Today we drove on part of the Natchez Trace Parkway (it goes all the way to Nashville) and also played on an ancient Indian mound. A nice local couple invited us to tour their home and then took us on a nice driving tour of the town (thanks Bob and Sherri Crabtree).
Feb. 29, 2016
We left Natchez today and I am sure going to miss all those nice ladies who wanted to take me home. We followed signs to Cat Island NWR, which is way off the main road and seems to be abandoned and mostly underwater. So no hike for me. Later on we found the Mary Ann Brown nature preserve which was equally hard to find but not under water.
March 1, 2016
Apparently Louisiana is closed today so we've been driving West all day. So far, Texas can best be described as stuck in between where we were and where we are going. Upon entering this armpit of a State we were presented with a sign that told us El Paso was 865 miles away. So I'm just posting a picture of Daddy and I at the bar in happier times.
March 2, 2016
Fredricksburg is the historical family home of WW2 (that's the big one) Admiral Chester Nimitz. That's a life sized statue of him with us. He's a big guy. No wonder the Japanese surrendered. Anyway, we've decided to go hiking in Big Bend for a few days so are now staged in Ft Stockton planning our assault. The bikes got donated along the way.
March 3, 2016
Short tune-up hike in Big Bend. Mountain lions active in the area so I had to ride. Great food, drink and live blues at the Starlight Theatre in Terlingua ghost town and then back to our desert cabin for the night. Big huge sky full of stars close enough to touch. Tomorrow the serious hiking begins at sunrise.
March 4, 2016
Big morning hike with lots of elevation and great views, scenic drive with hares, bunnies, deer and a coyote, afternoon hike along a steep canyon of the Rio Grande followed by more mediocre local food. The picture is on the banks of the Rio Grande. That's Mexico behind us. Looks like they already have a wall. Someone should inform The Donald.
March 5, 2016
Saw a bobcat on the way to our morning hike in the desert. Then a scenic drive and picnic at a desert oasis under a huge cottonwood tree. After nap and before we had the worst pizza ever we were discussing what kind of person aspires to settle here when we discovered that the bartender went to school with mommy's sister. He wanted his name withheld
March 6, 2016
Driving from Big Bend to El Paso, there is nothing. We passed a sign saying "No services next 74 miles" and right in the middle of that stretch we find this masterpiece of Italian designer retailing. Perhaps "No Services" means they don't have the full range of sizes. In any case we survived El Paso (Texas' other armpit) and are now in Las Cruces.
March 7, 2016
We had agreat hike in Organ Mountain Desert Peaks National Mon., climbed up to the dripping springs, once a mountain resort in the late 1800's and then a sanatorium for TB patients in the early 1900's. Excellent ruins and history, and views of the peaks and Las Cruces 2000 feet below. Saw a family of Mule deer on the way up.
March 8, 2016
Today we went to White Sands National Mon. It was cold and very windy. We started a 5 mile hike but it quickly began to feel like a death march, so we turned back after only a mile or so. Then we toured the sprawl of Alamogordo, where it seems that no durable consumer good ever leaves once it enters. It's all just abandoned around the double wide
March 9, 2016
Sorry excuse for a farmers market in Las Cruces, and then a nice walk around old Mesilla where the town square is dominated by this church. This is also where Billy the Kid was tried and sentenced to hang. Sleepy place on a Wednesday.
March 10, 2016
History day. Out past the border patrol checkpoint, and the linear garbage dump that is Alamagordo lies the petroglyphs of Three Rivers and then Ft. Stanton, home of Kit Carson, Buffalo Soldiers, Black Jack Pershing, TB sufferers, Interred German Sailors, incarcerated women, drug addicts, and the mentally challenged (not all at once). And this...
March 11, 2016
We may have the wrong equipment, not enough time, and a lack of ability, but we hiked today anyway. First on the west side of the Organ Desert Peaks to an old hermit's cave and then on the east side up the mountain to a nice ponderosa forest. To cap it all off, we found a great local Greek cafe where I was better behaved than the baby next to us.
March 12, 2016
Lazy day. Still tired from yesterday's hiking. A much better farmers market and then laundry and reorganization. I got a bath in the sink which I did not enjoy in the least. Tomorrow we go to Albuquerque to establish a new base of operations for the coming week. Here's another picture from yesterday's hike.
March 13, 2016
Traveling to Albuquerque visiting ruins along the way. Ft Selden (pretty ruined, boyhood home of Douglas MacArthur) and then well preserved 17th Century Franciscan mission and pueblo at Salinas. Left as it was closing, tourists arriving said "we're from back east", ranger said "that matters why? Don't you have 5 o'clock there?" Classic.
March 14, 2016
Staying in a former yoga studio. Reading comments from prior guests, one said they enjoyed doing their morning movements outside in the courtyard. When in Rome I guess... Maybe that's why there is only one roll of toilet paper. Oh yes, we walked to the zoo today. Pretty good little zoo. Iranian Kurdish food for dinner - delicious. More hiking tmrw.
March 15, 2016
Visited Pecos National Historical Park. Excellent ruins of this once important trading center. Also the ruins of the Spanish church that was erected in order to destroy the Pueblo culture, economy, religion, etc. so that by the time Manifest Destiny reached here, there was nothing left but these crumbling adobe walls.
March 16, 2016
Today's hiking covered two vastly different landscapes. At El Malpais NM, it was the volcanic terrain with a steep climb to the top to view the caldera, and then at El Morro, the towering sandstone bluff which dominates the high valley. Great views from both. Although this hiking at above 8000 feet may be getting to all of us.
March 17, 2016
Yep. Altitude sickness has laid us all low. All the classic symptoms. Repaired to the former yoga studio for much needed R and R. Namaste indeed.
March 18, 2016
A day of maintenance. Me in for grooming (I had become rather a mess) and the car in for an oil change and a wash. Found a trader joe's and did our shopping for the next four days (we will be in the remote Gila Mountains region of northwestern NM). Tomorrow we're back on the road...
March 19, 2016
Today we travelled to our remote cabin in the Gila Mountains. Over Emory Pass in the Gila National Forest (the 1st one, thanks to the work of Aldo Leopold, who worked here in the early 1900's) through silver mining country (an ugly contrast to the forest) and up a long winding mountain road. This puts us close to the cliff dwellings for tomorrow.
March 20, 2016
They left me hanging in this tree all day while they went off and did God knows what. Just kidding. We climbed up and toured the Gila Cliff Dwellings and then had our first post altitude sickness epic hike. This one was an 8 mile trek that took us into Little Bear Canyon. Great terrain and habitat variety, mountain and bottom of canyon views.
March 21, 2016
On the move to the other side of the Gila Mountains. Wanting to balance our nature and hiking with some hoity toity, knee-slappin, entertainment, we thought we'd go to the opera. We checked TripAdvisor for the 10 best Opera Houses in Los Pinas, NM and only this one showed up. Unfortunately, it had closed (in the 1870s). So no fat lady for us yet.
March 22, 2016
Today's hiking started off with a real comforting sign, but we were able to find the trail and had some of the usual mountain climbing, followed by a great walk down the canyon of a dry creek. Lunched at a beautiful spot with the canyon walls towering over us. The afternoon hike rewarded us with a hidden beautiful river oasis. Worn out and happy.
March 23, 2016
We left New Mexico today and arrived in the old Arizona mining town of Bisbee. I immediately got a job in the mine, working for someone named 'The Man'. Surprisingly to me, I seem to already be in debt to the company store. Tomorrow we are going on something called 'a strike'. Maybe they said 'hike', I'm not sure. I like hikes.
March 24, 2016
Spent the day exploring Bisbee. It appears that if you live here, the sole activity available to you is to sell art and antiques and general crap to the tourists who wander the streets. Not in the outwardly commercial way of, say, Tombstone(just up the road) but still. The Bisbee residents would call themselves a funky artist colony. Sure, whatever
March 25, 2016
San Pedro River Riparian Preserve. Started out on a long hike along the river shaded by huge cottonwoods. Realized we were all tired. So it was more of a drag-ass than a hike. Looking for the Kingfisher pond and went way off the map, finally backtracked and found it and sat down for a relax. Seeing Vermillion Flycatchers feeding was the highlight.
March 26, 2016
Hi boys and girls, little Tye here with a fire safety message(court-ordered PSA): Don't leave a pile of clothes next to your hot water heater, unless you are doing a mafia-style hit. Since we have a few more days here, we don't want the house to burn down...after we leave, sure, fine. But not just now, we're enjoying it here. Lazy admin day.
March 27, 2016
Another lazy day. Spent the morning visiting with our new friends Sue and Phil (and Kira) Sue turned me on to the best dog treats on earth so naturally I wanted to go home with her. Mommy sent me to my room for most of the day, but I was able to get out for a walk and a meeting with Clark Kent at the Bisbee Daily Planet Building this evening.
March 28, 2016
Started this lovely Bisbee day with a wonderful breakfast at Ana's Seasonal Kitchen (they cooked me my own scrambled egg). Then it was off to the dog biscuit store, which was closed today, unfortunately. There was some additional, inconsequential (to me at least) shopping and strolling and then the customary (here in Bisbee, at least) relax.
March 29, 2016
Today we went to see where the Clovis People lived and hunted woolly mammoth 13,000 years ago. That's a lot in dog years. Apparently they have moved on but I'm pretty sure I saw some later in the grocery store hunting packaged food. Then we toured the other side of Bisbee and ended up once again at Ana's for a delicious lunch. Oh, and I got treats!
March 30, 2016
Big hike at Chiricahua NM. Started at 5400ft and 3 miles later we were at 6900ft ready to start our real reason for being there, the loop up and down through the balanced rocks. These giant rocks on top of other giant rocks seem to defy not only gravity but also physics. Then back to Bisbee. Silly road sign of the day: Slow, Earth fissures possible
March 31, 2016
Today we decamped Bisbee and moved to Tubac. Nice fancy little town home. Our dear friend Nazneen arrives tomorrow for hiking and general fun. We spent the day laying in groceries and shopping. Only had to go through one border checkpoint between here and the grocery store(our nation's food supply must be protected from the people who pick it).
April 1, 2016
Aunt Nazneen has arrived! Looking great after surviving Delta's flight 279, which from the time it took could have been to New Zealand and back. Busy figuring out our plan of attack on Tubac's fancy tourist area of shoppes, and 'history' (strip mall).
April 2, 2016
Spent the day shopping for crap in Tubac. They didn't have any of the kind of crap we wanted so we went out for drinks instead. Here's a preview of tomorrow's exciting adventure.
April 3, 2016
Today we went to the Coronado National Forest for a big hike. Started at 5000ft and 3.5 miles later we were at 6700ft. Quite a climb with stunning views and changing habitats. The way back was a treacherous downhill ramble along a creek. Foot placement was too important to allow for much looking around, but we did stop here and there for viewing.
April 4, 2016
Another nice time with Sue and Phil, this time in Tucson. After a late lunch we toured the old part of the city. Interesting architecture and a nice walkable area. I was surprised at such a heavy Easter Island influence, but I think it really works in this desert environment.
April 5, 2016
Little Tye spent the day visiting his friends Sue and Akira, so Phil came along to fill in on today's hike through Sugaro NP. It was going to be hot so we got as early of a start as we could given a mix-up in camp counselor assignments. The hike was also longer due to park service spaghetti-mapping, but we all survived. Desert in all its bloomness.
April 6, 2016
Today we moved camp to Winslow, AZ, via Scottsdale (dropping off Nazneen for some posh pampering). Tired after the long drive. Here is the rattlesnake from yesterday's hike. We had to wait for him to cross our trail. He was probably following a park service map and so was as lost as we were. Anyway, we were more interested in him than he was in us.
April 7, 2016
Toured the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert with it's unique geology and huge 225 million year old trees rendered in solid rock. A line of telephone poles marks where old Route 66 passed through, carrying the likes of Kerouac, bound for fame and glory. There's an old Studebaker there now, pointed east for some reason. A triumphant return perhaps.
April 8, 2016
He should have known better than to let them make a statue of him.
April 9, 2016
Rainy day. Said so long to our wonderful hostess, Eloise. A true original, she has been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. From jail time in Civil rights-era MS, to welding nuke plants, ranching cattle, historical preservation, college professing, and world-class quilting. Wrong statue standing on the corner there in Winslow, AZ. Take it easy.
April 10, 2016
Moved to our new base camp, this one central to Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyons as well as, apparently, radical fundamentalist nut job polygamists. For total disregard of Women's rights, the Saudis have nothing on these clowns. Pretty area, ironically. Here's a preview of tomorrow's hike:
April 11, 2016
To get to Water Canyon from where we now temporarily live, you drive through Colorado City and Hilsdale, polygamist heaven, with their large unadorned houses slapped together and designed solely to hold lots of wives and progeny. Forget minivans, they use the real thing here. But then, hikers, after a nice upward scramble, you are rewarded thusly:
April 12, 2016
Took a break from our Road Scholar program on apocalypse-proof sacred underwear wearing polygamists to hike in Bryce Canyon NP. Started on the rim at 8100ft and went all the way down into the canyon, around the amazing formations and then a brutal climb back up for a walk back along the rim. According to our guidebook the best 3mi hike in America.
April 13, 2016
Zion NP is beautiful. Until you get to the visitor center parking lot where it begins to resemble Disneyworld. But then with surprising efficiency, the park service whisks you away in shuttles to hiking spots. Our choice today took us up a thousand feet in a mile. Near the end, one wrong step and the mountain takes back all those feet at once.
April 14, 2016
A lazy admin day here (bad weather.) Plotting our next course. Next week is National Park Week so everyone gets in for free. That should help the crowd situation. Perhaps we should get in line for the Grand Canyon now. In the meantime, here's another shot from yesterday's hike.
April 15, 2016
Tax day. We hid from the IRS all day. The weather was not cooperating anyway. Tomorrow, another exciting episode of hiking with Tye. Here's a preview:
April 16, 2016
Back in Zion, but in a lesser used part of the park. Lovely canyon hike up Taylor Creek in Kolob Canyon. The trail crisscrosses the creek (about thirty times) for about three miles before reaching a spectacular set of arches. We went further up the canyon until the need for climbing equipment stopped us. Then a scenic drive and back to the ranch.
April 17, 2016
Today's episode of Hiking With Dave(my name in Navajo) finds us assuming the local Taliban and their underage wives would be in church, and so attempting Zion. There, we ignore the lot full sign and after a short but decisive fistfight, mommy secured our spot. We joined Walmart Nation on a hike up to the Emerald Pools, where an obese squirrel lives
April 18, 2016
Started for the North Rim but found that it is closed because it's still winter there, turned around and headed for Bryce, stopped short in Dixie NF's Red Canyon for a long hike. Many ascents and descents showed us this beautiful canyon from above and below. We're getting used to the steep switchbacks on the mountainsides and the ridge walks on top
April 19, 2016
Employees must wash their hands before returning to work.
April 20, 2016
Had a tourist day in St. George. After you drive through the outer ring of big box stores and chain restaurants, steadily pumping the city's wealth to distant locations, you get to a charming old downtown area with the original big box store that started it all.
April 21, 2016
Left the polygamists behind and headed for Capitol Reef NP. We made it here in time for an afternoon hike up to Hickman Bridge, which was not even discovered until the 1940's. You would think something this big would be pretty hard to hide, but there you go. No crumbling CCC era infrastructure to work around either since this is a newer park.
April 22, 2016
Another day enjoying Capitol Reef, a very under-used park. Two big hikes. First to Cassidy Arch, named after Butch, who occasionally hid out here. The 4 mile round trip felt like it was uphill both ways. Then a spectacular gorge hike with lots of elevation changes and sheer drop offs. Tomorrow's supposed to be cold so we will be moving east.
April 23, 2016
Big travel day. Moving east over the Rockies in rain and snow, we find ourselves now out on the prairie, where the tallest things are the grain silos in the occasional towns. We had almost given up on finding food or lodging when we came upon Ft Morgan. I was able to talk the nice lady cop out of a ticket by wagging my tail. She gave us a warning.
April 24, 2016
Drove through Nebraska, for us the gateway to Iowa. According to the tourist guide there are three things to do in Nebraska. We went to a late lunch, which was one of them. Made a pretty good stab into Iowa as well. The Iowa welcome center was closed when we arrived so we are not sure what the three things to do are. Maybe there are only two.
April 25, 2016
We backtracked to Winterset to see the bridges of Madison County. Yep, the actual ones of book and movie fame, all six of them. Did other things too: played in a hedge maze, met the ladies who own the former jail (they showed us around), and looked at commercial property downtown. Oh, and John Wayne was born here, they have a museum about it.
April 26, 2016
Today on Short Attention Span Theater, we tour commercial properties on the square in Winterset, have Iowa Chinese Food, and then, on our way to the Amana Colonies, we go to Pella instead. They make the Windows there, but more importantly it's Tulip Time (complete with Queen, and children in costume) in this Dutch community. Very festive!
April 27, 2016
Rainy day. We finally made it to Amana for a little shopping. Then it was off to Chicago. But first a stop in West Branch for a visit to Herbert Hoover's(our 31st Pres, and the first of two Quakers - guess the other one) birthplace. Bert, as he was known, presided over the start of the Great Depression, which taught us all frugality. Or should have
April 28, 2016
In Chicago, not the birthplace of Richard Nixon (our other Quaker president), but that of Walt Disney. He has his own world, so there you go. Oh, and lots of lawyers, who will probably sue us for mentioning that without a license. Only thing worse than a Disney lawyer is a Walmart lawyer. I wonder how Disney stuff even got into Walmart.
April 29, 2016
Back in my hometown visiting my aunt, uncles and cousins!
May 1, 2016
No dancing around the Maypole for us. Watching girls soccer in the cold rain.
May 2, 2016
In Detroit. Made it here just in time for cocktails with grandpa and his friends.
May 4, 2016
A great hike with Grandpa at Kensington Metropark. Lots of birds, including this pair of Sandhill Cranes doing a mating ritual for us while an Osprey circled overhead.
May 7, 2016
Another picture from the Kensington hike. Hard to see in the background but there is a Sandhill on her nest.
May 8, 2016
All good things must come to an end. After 3 Months, over 10,000 miles and 21 states, and who knows how many trail miles, we are back home. Already planning our next adventure, this one showed us that there are a lot more things left to see and do, even in those places where we lingered. The new friends we met along the way are our best souvenirs.

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