Burro races

Get your ass over the pass! Pack burro racing has been called the official summer heritage sport in Colorado. In the early days of mining in the Rocky Mountain west, miners used burros to carry their supplies. They couldn’t ride since the animals would be laden down with goods, so they would walk, leading theirContinue reading “Burro races”

Decades

Change has been a constant in my life. Sometimes I think about various periods of my life in terms of a cat’s nine lives. Right now, though, I’m thinking about decades, as I turn seventy. How is that possible, a voice in my head asks? I keep thinking I must be doing the math wrong;Continue reading “Decades”

Monet in Giverny

From the train window on the way from Paris, fields of brilliant yellow bordered by ones of deep green unfurled along the landscape. I could picture Vincent or his cronies sitting out with their easels and paints, feeling the color fill them up and overflow onto the canvas. This post is continued from Cézanne inContinue reading “Monet in Giverny”

Rouen and Le Havre

Rouen It was a gray day with intermittent drizzle when I visited Rouen. That wonderful, vibrant Impressionist sunlight remained hidden behind blanketing clouds, elusive. As I wandered dark cobblestoned streets with crooked Tudor painted-wood framed houses, outlined in deep colors with light between borders, I pictured shadowy figures slipping in between doorways. This post continuesContinue reading “Rouen and Le Havre”

Van Gogh in Auvers

Vincent Van Gogh, a Dutch artist and probably the best known of the Impressionists today, came to Auvers-sur-Oise in the last year of his life, yet he painted seventy-seven paintings there before he died of a gunshot wound. Debate still continues as to whether his death was a suicide or murder. This post is continuedContinue reading “Van Gogh in Auvers”

Paris as a base

Paris was my base for visiting towns that inspired the Impressionist painters in the north of France. Each of the sites I chose were within a day’s round trip by train. This post is continued from Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence. The taxi from the train station climbed the steep street to my little studio apartment inContinue reading “Paris as a base”

Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence

 “I was thinking of you while I stood in Cézanne’s studio, looking at all the little things on his shelf that appeared in his still life paintings… it felt kind of spiritual being there. Thank you for encouraging me to do this journey,” I wrote to my artist friend, who helped me decide what citiesContinue reading “Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence”

Semana Santa

No one celebrates Easter the way Antigua, Guatemalans celebrate Semana Santa, Holy Week, with rituals that date back to old Spain. Magnificent, ephemeral festival art comes to life and is lovingly trampled. Along the streets, people cluster in groups around artists creating beautiful but fleeting works of art in the form of carpets on theContinue reading “Semana Santa”

Hiking Mt Fuji

The recommended way to climb Mount Fuji, or Fuji-san as it is called in Japan, is to begin at midnight in the summer months when the weather is less volatile and extreme. Hikers carry flashlights or don lighted headbands to illuminate the trail. The goal is to arrive at the top for sunrise, then descendContinue reading “Hiking Mt Fuji”

Reading on the road

In a recent post about Iceland, I mentioned that I often purchase books as part of my further education while traveling in a country. I look for a local bookstore, peruse the English translations, and inquire about notable classics. Often, it’s a volume that’s studied in school by students of that land. These stories provideContinue reading “Reading on the road”