Road Trippin’ USA: a Brit’s perspective
One of my favourite types of holiday is a road trip in the US. To someone from a small island, the huge empty spaces and relatively quiet roads there evoke a sense of freedom and opportunity. Anything could happen here; anything could be just around the next corner.
‘While you were watching TV’
On the slopes of Sandia Peak, above Albuquerque in New Mexico, we found a most unusual sight. As soon as I read about this quirky museum I knew that it was a ‘must see’. We both love those idiosyncratic places that seem to define a US road trip for us; and this is one of the best we have come across.
Gallery: the Very Large Array
The massive radio telescopes of the Very Large Array, 27 of them, rise majestically out of New Mexico’s vast, otherwise almost empty, Plains of San Augustin like visitors from another world. But these are not visitors from another world, but searchers for such a world.
In the footsteps of the Anasazi: Tsankawi
One reason for our planning to spend several days in Santa Fe on our New Mexico road trip was to visit nearby Bandelier National Monument. I had read a lot about it and knew it was just the sort of place we would enjoy visiting. Then a few months before our visit a wildfire swept through the area, devastating over 146,000 acres, including about 60% of Bandelier’s area. Almost all of the monument was closed to visitors.
Old Mission, one man’s dream
In the quiet Washington State town of Cashmere is a rather special place, the realisation of one man’s dream. The pioneer village, known as Old Mission, brings together a collection of around twenty historic buildings assembled from the surrounding area. It and the attached museum owe their existence to the way that man’s dying wish inspired a town.
A stroll around Las Vegas
No, not THAT one! Did you know that there’s another Las Vegas, in New Mexico? But unlike its more famous glitzy namesake this one is an appealing mix of slightly down-at-heel with trying-hard-to-revive itself.
Gallery: the street art of Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square was once the heart of Seattle, home to the city’s first permanent white settlers. But in 1889 their wooden buildings burned in the Great Fire of Seattle, to be replaced by imposing brick and stone ones in the then-fashionable Romanesque Revival style of urban architecture. Today it is a vibrant district with plenty of street art.
Gallery: the Anacortes Murals Project
Anacortes struck me as an easy-going and slightly quirky small city. It's the sort of laid-back place where a brief stop can easily turn into a couple of hours as you stroll its downtown streets, pause for a leisurely coffee, pop into a shop or two.
Purple Haze: remembering Jimi Hendrix
When we realised that our route back into Seattle at the end of our Washington State road trip would take us through Renton, just to the north of the city, there was one detour we just had to make.
Our Land of Enchantment: the scenic byways of New Mexico
New Mexico dubs itself the ‘Land of Enchantment’ and indeed we were enchanted. What delighted us most was the variety. In two and a half weeks we saw natural wonders and man-made. We followed trails worn down over the centuries by the moccasin-clad feet of early inhabitants; and sat in the cramped confines of a Mercury capsule. We marvelled at the legends of those early Native Americans, and at the tales of aliens crashing near Roswell.