Marijuana-What Happens in Vegas Won’t Stay There

When I was younger and dumber, I used to read High Times and agitate for the legalization of marijuana.  Now that the day has come, I realize just how bad an idea that was and is.

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Havana Days, Tropicana Nights

The Cuba of my imagination-of a moonlit stage with sultry beauties swaying to sizzling salsa-of art deco hotels, royal palms, and pastel American cars-of Al Capone, Bugsy Seigel, Hemingway, and Sinatra-is long gone, obliterated by the last vestiges of that great scourge of the 20th century known as Communism. 

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Murder in Organ Pipe National Park

Have you ever heard of Kris Eggle?  I’d be surprised if you have.  I hadn’t, either, until I visited Organ Pipe National Monument this year.  That’s where I saw a small plaque that, God forgive me, made my blood boil.  

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Sedona

Sedona is a pleasant town.  The streets are clean and the water right out of the tap is good.  There are excellent restaurants, chic shopping venues, and a host of outdoor activities to enjoy…and you can enjoy all of it throughout the year.  

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Saguaro National Park

I grew up around cacti.  Once, while riding my bike, I fell into a barrel cactus that adorned a corner of our house in Tempe, AZ.  This resulted in my Dad setting me down at the kitchen table and pulling dozens of the hooked barbs out of my thigh with some needle-nosed Vise-Grips.  Years later, I found a small piece of one of those needles still stuck under my skin.  By then, it was too deep to pull out with pliers, so off to the doctor we went.  You might think, given that story, that I’d have a certain amount of fear and loathing for the spiny succulents, but no: in reality, I admire them.  They’re survivors, living in crappy soil, no water, and 120+ degree days.  Anything that can survive those conditions deserves my respect.  

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Antelope Canyon in Pictures

Antelope Canyon surprised me.  I lived in Arizona for a good part of my youth, and I’d never heard of it, even though I camped out quite a bit as a Boy Scout all over the state.  Later, I’d come back to raft the Grand Canyon, which is an easy drive away from Antelope.  I only included it in my March 2019 Western parks itinerary because I just happened to read about it on the Internet.  

So imagine how I felt when I entered this amazing slot canyon for the first time. 

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National Park Itinerary-Arizona and Utah

If you want to see the world’s greatest geologic features and don’t want to drive more than one day to see them, you could do a lot worse than head to the the Utah-Arizona border. 

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The Grand Canyon-Nature’s Reality Check

I love the Grand Canyon.  I grew up in Arizona and hiked all the way down to the bottom three times and camped out twice: once at the base of Havasu Falls and once near Phantom Ranch off Bright Angel Trail.   My Dad took me on those hikes when he was the Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout Troop, so it seemed perfectly natural that, decades later, I took my own son on a two week river raft adventure that brought us all the way through the canyon on the mighty Colorado.  You could say I have a lifelong familial connection with the Canyon, which is why I was thrilled to go back and see it one more time last March when there was a bit of snow on the ground. 

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Moab and the Grand Tetons in Pictures

I’ll let the pictures do the talking here. We went to Jackson Hole to do some skiing after we left Yellowstone in February 2019 and continued south through Moab to see Arches and Canyonlands National Park. The “cover” picture is of Landscape Arch.

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Life and Death in Yellowstone

In February and March, I took a trip through the frigid landscapes of some of our most famous national parks, and it gave me the opportunity, once again, to observe the unfiltered and uncompromising brutality of the natural world as opposed to the safe, politically correct, and very unnatural lives that most of us live today.  For example:

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