A potter’s pilgrimage: Bizen

During my third year living in Japan, in 2011, I made a potter’s pilgrimage to three historic towns where contemporary potters, many descended from old masters, still produce mingei, stoneware folk pottery. This trip had been long planned; I had spent years gathering information and improving my Japanese. For a week, I alternately traveled aContinue reading “A potter’s pilgrimage: Bizen”

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, but it becomes a raging river that floods the canyon floorContinue 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, managed and run by Diné (the Navajo name for their people)Continue 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 Garden of Pioneer Park in St George, Utah, or the BotanicalContinue 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 landed on a visitor before allowing each person to leave. FloraContinue 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 meet another friend (her ex) for lunch in town, she toldContinue 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 few hours wandering this shore and sharing their space. These seaContinue 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 attractive suburban feel with twisting roads over gentle hills, rounding pondsContinue 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 them on the other end. I too declined to go throughContinue 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 the river in the narrow canyon in Zion more than once.Continue reading “St George trails”