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Balabanova All Over

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[Taos, NM, Sep 2/3, 2018] After two days exploring around Taos, we finally had time to stay in town. After a great breakfast at our B&B, we headed out to visit two of its major sights. Our first stop was the Rio Grande Gorge bridge, just north of town. The bridge is roughly 600 ft (182 m) above the river and it is a quarter-mile long (388 m). It was built in… Read More

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[Ojo Caliente / Abiquiu / Taos, Sep 1, 2018] We got up early the next day to travel about an hour to Ojo Caliente, where we’d made arrangements to tour the Ra Paulette cave at the Origin resort. This was a very unique experience I have to thank B for finding and arranging. I wasn’t familiar with Ra Paulette, but this 39-minute documentary describes his work pretty well. He started hand-carving caves… Read More

[Colorado Springs, CO, Jul 5, 2018] I spent four days in Colorado Springs last weekend for my friend May’s one-year wedding anniversary. May moved to Colorado about two years ago from LA. She is an avid picture taker/selfie queen, so in that time, we’ve observed all the fabulous places Colorado Springs has to offer thanks to her photos. I met May through my friend Olivia, and in the three years since I’ve… Read More

[Tucson, AZ] It is now JUNE, and as I was transferring my blog to WordPress in the past couple of weeks, I realized I never did write that last entry from my conference in Tucson I promised! So here is a very belated recap of my last days in Tucson! My conference started on Monday, April 24th. In the evening, the usual networking dinners took place. The conference chair makes reservations around town, then we… Read More

[Tucson, AZ] Today, I headed to the East side of Saguaro National Park today in the Rincon mountains. My hike there did not disappoint. I hiked a few miles of the Tanque Verde Rdige Trail, which is a back-country trail that goes way into the Saguaro National Park wilderness. I liked this trail better than yesterday’s; there were many more types of vegetation around, the climb wasn’t as steep, and I got… Read More

[Tucson, AZ] It seems like only yesterday Olivia and I were in Northern Arizona hiding out from a spring snow storm in our Flagstaff hotel. Here I am, mere weeks later in Southern Arizona, waking up at 5 am to beat the heat (it was 80F/26C by 9 am). Sigh. I am here for a work conference, which doesn’t start till Sunday. I arrived yesterday (Friday, 4/21) so that I can get… Read More

[Holbrook, AZ] Our very last day on this trip involved a lot of driving! First, we headed east for almost two hours towards Petrified Forest National Park in Holbrook, AZ. The park is situated on each side of I-40. The Northern part features the famous Painted Desert – a desert of badlands. Badlands are areas of dry terrain where sedimentary rock and clay-rich soil have been eroded over time by wind and… Read More

[Flagstaff, AZ] Mother Nature gave us a rainbow and took away a sunrise. We woke up today to rain in Monument Valley, which meant we were going to do our sunrise tour with little chance of catching the morning light.

[Monument Valley, UT] After our tour of Antelope Canyon, we drove out to Monument Valley, another 2 hours east of Page, AZ. We arrived there around 4 pm – or was it 5 pm? We keep getting confused about the time, because we are supposed to be an hour ahead of LA, but Utah observes daylight savings time and Arizona doesn’t, which means Arizona matches LA time but Utah is an hour… Read More

[Page, AZ] Antelope canyon is a slot canyon located near Page, AZ. The canyon is on Navajo land and they are the only ones allowed to operate tours into the canyon – you cannot tour it by yourself. The canyon has been formed by the erosion of Navajo sandstone primarily due to flash flooding. The rushing water has eroded deep passageways into the stone, forming corridors and smoothing the rock into flowing,… Read More