Within an hour of roaming Flagstaff, I "got" this place, it's Burlington, Vermont West. No lie! There may not be a lake, and the mountains looming are certainly larger but trust me, they are sister cities!
Flagstaff impressed me for many reasons but the preservation and renovation of the historic downtown is top of the list. While there are dozens of lovely galleries, restaurants, shops, etc., I still expected to see cowboys ride up to the local watering hole. Flagstaff hasn't lost its personality at all.
A little bit of history that was also of interest to me:
"On July 4, 1876, a party of emigrants from Boston stripped a pine tree of its branches and raised an American flag in honor of the nation's centennial. When they moved on, their "flag staff" became a landmark for those who followed."
Tomorrow, I head into the Grand Canyon for a week and will be off the grid!
Rolled into Albuquerque thinking 3 days would be enough since I'd visited the city once before (1989?). This was the wrong assumption. I'm not sure if the city has changed so much over the years, or I just didn't get it back then.
The photos show some of what I enjoyed this past week but I can't even describe the feeling of this place. It just plain feels comfortable and yes, New Mexico has the bluest sky I've ever seen.
Enjoyed the Route 66 Hostel for its original charm, location. and wonderful people. Thinking of you, Harlan of Coos Bay, Leo of El Paso, Sharon of Biloxi, Silke of Hamburg, Cath of England (see you, Sunday), and Jackie of Alaska (I will hear you play, one day).
I'm convinced that I will be called back to New Mexico; more to do in the city, and much more to stop and take in amidst the beautiful mountains and mesas. The few hours into and out of New Mexico were a continuous photo moment.
Plus, I love that the state bird is the greater roadrunner, a long-legged bird in the cuckoo family.
Left Austin last Saturday enjoying the first 50 miles of gorgeous hillside, spring wildflowers, and flashbacks to 1971. Fast forward nearly 7 hours, and you will hear me screaming, "Let me out of Texas!" Yes, it is a damn big state.
As I rolled into New Mexico, literally, tumbleweeds blew across the highway, the sky was bluer than blue, and the mesas - my best description - like a perfectly seared tuna steak. The first overnight of the "next half" of my journey, Roswell. Makes sense, doesn't it?
Now enjoying Albuquerque; that story will come later in the week.
I've been missing in action for about 2 weeks though by no means stationary. A little work, some final touring, a lot of packing, and planning for the road trips ahead. My list of "things to do in Austin" is by no means exhausted but it's time to go. The photos will give you a glimpse of where I've been spending my time. Stay tuned for what's to come as I push on to New Mexico this Saturday.
I was told by a few East Coast friends that I had to get to a taping of Austin City Limits but I didn't know that you're either a sponsor who gets a seat or it's a drawing. For every live taping, and just one week in advance, you can enter to win 2 free passes. Surprisingly only 2,000-5,000 people enter (or that's where's it's cut-off?)! Over 6 weeks, I entered three times, and surprise, three was the lucky number! Best of all, I heard Cassandra Wilson's tribute to Billie Holiday; most of which was very familiar to me, and beautifully done.
NOTE to Donna Boucher: You are in charge of notifying me (where ever I am) when PBS's 41st season of ACL begins! You know I tried to get on camera!
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover