|Subject: Re: Happy Birthday!|
Hello and Happy Birthday from a (fairly) new Travelziner. Allow
add my thanks as well for a wonderful resource. I confess to
been entirely too passive, as I (like Martha in Middletown)
realized how much Clare and I have already travelled ... we've
busy 'surfing' Travelzine while planning the next trip (Portugal
early May). We've learned much from so many individuals that
the 'zine family . . . but up to now, we haven't given anything
so here goes . . .
Last month we drove from Seattle to Salt Lake City, Phoenix and Tucson, visiting friends and family. Southeastern Utah has to be the loveliest, and most awe-inspiring corner of all these 50 states. From Moab to Kanab, from St. George to Page, AZ, it's all unbelievably grand. Of course, Zion and Bryce Canyon and Arches are impressive and well visited by lots of tourist buses in Summer. But too many travelers overlook places like Cedar Breaks and Canyonlands ... perhaps because there's just so much to see.
Driving through Canyonlands gives one the feeling of being inside the Grand Canyon looking up, rather than standing on the edge looking in. And it seems to go on forever with, nearly every dozen or so miles, another small but significant roadside site . . . an ur-indian ruin, a geological feature, or historical landmark, each different and each with so much to offer the curious traveler. Northern Arizona,
especially around Monument Valley and Lake Powell (and Glen Canyon dam) are not to be overlooked either, though the area seems more parched and dry as one drives further south. But the vermillion cliffs of red rock and Navajo sandstone never lose their magic, changing from minute to minute as the daylight changes, between local shower-clouds or the lengthening afternoon sun. We chanced on to Dreamkatcher's B& B about 10 miles northwest of Page, (in Big Water, UT). Friendly folks, 3 large, comfortable bedrooms at reasonable prices, and a delicious breakfast at sunrise over the Kaibab Plateau.
No visitor to Arizona should overlook Sedona and the beautiful Oak Creek valley. Not the town so much . . . central Sedona is one tourist shop after the next, and if that's all you find when you go there, you will have missed some awesome scenery in the old village just north, or along the river. But in the little and nearly forgotten mining town of Jerome (about 25 miles south of Sedona), gold has been rediscovered gold jewelry, that is. A number of artists and artisans have found a home here, and are in the process of remaking their hilltop 'village' into an active, thriving community . . . with a couple of excellent restaurants and a small hotel . . . it's charming and it works!
Phoenix, unfortunately, is just one big traffic jam. The city fathers are making a valiant effort by adding new sections of freeway at every turn. But it seems a hopeless task, as each new freeway seems only to beget more cars than the system can handle. The trials of Phoenix traffic, though, are at least somewhat offset by the wonderful Heard Museum near downtown, and Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home and school at Taliesin West (northeast Scottsdale). The school continues with Wright's work . . . there are about 24 students currently, from all over the world, and the restoration of the home is nearly complete.
It's $18 (for seniors) for an hour and a half tour of the entire complex, which was for us very informative and worthwhile.
At any rate, we'll still keep looking for more information about Portugal. Perhaps our newest member, Joao, can offer some suggestions, or arrange a GTG. We'd love to hear from him . . . or anyone who can offer some tips about Lisboa and Porto and the back country.
Ferd in Clyde Hill (Seattle) where it's raining . . . again.