Musings from the Mountains

Ruth Rosenfeld’s Blog

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Canyon rim drive

The south rim drive along Canyon de Chelly gives one the big picture of its depth and length. The walls tower over one thousand feet high at its deepest. The wash meandering through it doesn’t seem powerful enough to have carved this spectacular scenery, butContinue reading “Canyon rim drive”

Canyon de Chelly

I began this road trip hiking the red rock canyons of St. George, Utah. Turning north from Tucson, towards my home in Colorado, the stunning red rock Canyon de Chelly National Monument beckoned. I stayed two nights at the Thunderbird Lodge on the grounds, managedContinue reading “Canyon de Chelly”

Desert landscapes

A walk around the grounds of the Botanical Gardens before leaving the Tucson area. The scenery, despite the arid climate, is home to the unusual shapes of cacti and succulents, tall and tiny, rugged and intricate. Not as planned or sculpted as the Desert GardenContinue reading “Desert landscapes”

Butterflies in Tucson

Always looking for an interesting place to walk, I strolled the grounds at Tucson Botanical Gardens. The highlight of the park was the butterfly center. Staff members or volunteers limited the numbers in the enclosed area, and carefully checked for butterflies that may have landedContinue reading “Butterflies in Tucson”

Tucson street art

After a long day’s drive across the desert southwest from California, I spent a few days in Tucson with a friend from younger days. As with my other stops along this road trip, I wasn’t looking for cityscapes. However, since I had arranged to meetContinue reading “Tucson street art”

La Jolla sealife

Just north of San Diego, in La Jolla Cove and adjoining beaches, harbor seals and California sea lions make their home. Carefully warned by signage and rangers not to approach too close, visitors gather to watch their antics and photograph. I spent a glorious fewContinue reading “La Jolla sealife”

California beach walking

A long day’s drive took me from St George, Utah to temperate Carlsbad in southern California, avoiding the glitz of Las Vegas and Nevada road stops with their flashing signs, through desolate desert landscapes with occasional sculpted rock outcroppings. Carlsbad has a comfortable and attractiveContinue reading “California beach walking”

Pioneer Park

North of the town of St. George, Utah, the big draw in Pioneer Park was the Narrows, a slot canyon. I watched while two youngsters squeezed through the stone passage. Their father stood by and encouraged them, then climbed around the rocks to meet themContinue reading “Pioneer Park”

St George trails

The National Parks in southern Utah are spectacular: Arches, Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands. If you haven’t been, that would be my recommended route, a day or days in each. In past years, my son and I hiked every trail in Arches, and I’ve waded through theContinue reading “St George trails”

Glenwood Springs

The ski traffic was already backing up as I merged onto the highway going west. It was Friday morning of a three-day weekend, so I knew I needed to get on the road before bumper-to-bumper creeping set in. I live in the Rocky Mountains, notContinue reading “Glenwood Springs”

Antigua saints and ruins

Christianity came to Latin America with the Spaniards, with missionaries following conquerors and colonizers. In Guatemala, there is an interesting mix between traditional Catholicism and Mayan religions. The stories and beliefs of the indigenous peoples have somehow infused even today’s culture. Every town and villageContinue reading “Antigua saints and ruins”

Antigua

The old, beautifully preserved Spanish colonial city of Antigua was at one time the capital of Guatemala until it was decimated in the 1700s by a massive earthquake. Now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, Antigua Guatemala, or Old Guatemala, sometimesContinue reading “Antigua”

Shirakawa-go

A day bus trip from Takayama to Shirakawa-go brought me to the UNESCO World Heritage village of Shirakawa-go. Weathered brown wood cottages topped by steeply angled, thick thatched roofs have been well preserved, probably because it was so isolated in years past. Gassho-zukuri, the architectural style, meansContinue reading “Shirakawa-go”

Takayama

It was a long ride to Takayama: a couple of hours west to Nagoya by Shinkansen or bullet train, then a couple more on an express. The train headed north into Gifu prefecture to what is known as the Japanese Alps, following the Hida river in aContinue reading “Takayama”

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as of May 16, 2022, since March 2020

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