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Into the Heartland

In Austin we stayed at the Austen Motel, close to downtown. It is an old motor lodge on a large property, with attractive buildings, lots of colored tile, quirky artwork, and a lovely pool. It advertises itself a “So close, yet so far out.” (See www.austinmotel.com). The room we were assigned smelled very strongly of […]

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New Mexico and into Texas

The drive from Denver to Santa Fe seemed interminable, but the beauty of the New Mexican landscape, from the Raton Pass just across the border with Colorado to the open cattle country after that – helped make up for the long distance. You know you are in a Latin land as you hit more and […]

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Moab to Boulder

Our last stop in Utah was in Moab, a town in which we have spent many pleasant days hiking in the canyons and on the red rocks. Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse State Park, and many other natural wonders await the visitor. The Colorado River winds its way just north of Moab, […]

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Mormon Country

The drive from Bozeman, Montana to Ogden, Utah, takes you along the beautiful Gallatin River and into the mountains of Yellowstone National Park. It was early morning so we didn’t see any rafters or kayakers on the river. Nor did we see any moose as we did in 2001 when we sometimes traveled from the […]

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Montana / History

We made three stops in Montana: Missoula, Butte, and Bozeman. Missoula sits in a bowl surrounded by mountains, and this keeps the climate milder that it would otherwise be. Locals say it is in the Montana “banana belt.” Of course, warm is relative, and it gets cold in the winter, though less so than Butte, […]

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Yakima, Spokane, dams, publishing

Our last stops in Washington were Yakima and Spokane. Yakima is a town of about 80,000 people, nearly 40 percent of whom are Hispanic. One reason for this is that the region is heavily oriented toward the production of agricultural products, especially apples, cherries, grapes, asparagus, and hops. It has been called the “fruit bowl” […]

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Oakland, Sacramento, Nevada City

We left Los Angeles and drove to Oakland, a trip of 370 miles. As she has done throughout this trip, Karen did all the driving. We took Interstate 5 because it was quicker, though 101, the coastal highway would have been more scenic. The highway out of the city passes through stark dry hills for […]

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Tacoma, Lake Forest Park

We had a fine event in Tacoma, at Kings Books. This spacious and well-stocked store in owned in part by Pat McDermott, who was a gracious host. Jim is from Mt. Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh and where my sister and her family now live. Jim’s brother graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, […]

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Into Washington

We drove north across the bridge over the Columbia River that separates Oregon from Washington thinking how odd it was to have been in Portland, where we had lived longer than any other place the past six years, for just one day. We had thought about coming back here to live, but after seeing the […]

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Portland

We visited Portland, Oregon (the subject of chapter Four in the book) on June 5. We checked into a La Quinta motel in the industrial area in the northwest part of the city. The location was lousy; we got lost trying to find it. However, the room was large, and the internet connection was good. […]

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