Acceded to peer requests and gave a talk at work yesterday. I talked about my travels around the 4 corners. I had PowerPoint slides of photos, stones, and a stack of books.
This is what I told them.
First I plan. That is some of the fun. I choose my flights, rent a car, and find little motels. TripAdvisor is great for finding motels. I make lists of museums, bookstores, restaurants, rock shops, and hikes. I research petroglyph and pictographs. I plan to drive about 4 hours/day. It takes me about 8 hours to do a 4-hour drive because I love to stop and explore. I plan days with my son and DIL.
I pack light. One carry-on whether it's one week or three.
I take the bus to Logan airport in Boston and fly to Salt Lake City, Denver, Albuquerque, or Phoenix. I rent a car and head to the first motel. I stop at a grocery store for jugs of water and bags of snacks.
Every morning I get up before dawn and head to a spectacular spot for sunrise. I hike til noon. I take lots of pictures. When it gets hot, early afternoon, I go to a museum, bookstore, thrift store, or a rock shop. Then I head back to the motel for a shower and a meal. I rinse my clothes in the shower. Some days I drive, stop to explore, and sleep in a new motel. Sometimes I stay at one motel for several days, as I explore the area. I get coffee from the motel lobby in the afternoon or evening, and stick it in the car for the morning. Sometimes the lobby has books to trade.
I like independent bookstores, and look for local biographies. I like farmer's markets, grocery stores, and botanical gardens. I don't like crowds; I despise tourists. I recognize the irony. I like wild animals: antelope, elk, horses, turkeys, vultures, hawks, coyotes, and rabbits. I like flowers, lakes, sunrises and sunsets, cacti, ruins, arches, and easy hikes. I like to look up the altitude and the humidity wherever I am. I like to be alone in nature. I like to chat with people I encounter. Narrow ledges, steep drop-offs, and narrow steep windy roads are scary.
So that's what I told them, as I showed them gorgeous photos of some of my favorite places: national parks, ruins, and petroglyphs of our 4 corners. Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Already planning my trip for this summer.