In February we took a trip to the Southwest and enjoyed the time and hiking and train ride and scenery and visiting and all that we did while there.
So here are a few pictures to share of what we saw on our travels:
If you ask about our trip, we'll tell you we had a great time – we really did. Pictures can give a sense, and be a reminder, so we took lots of them. But here is a short word summary of our time away from Vermont:
We traveled 4522 miles by train, round trip (Springfield, MA – Albuquerque, NM), 48+ hours each way – plenty of room to sit, sleep, enjoy the country going by, and see an amazing cross-section of people as fellow passengers.
We clocked 1300+ miles in our rental car (a Kia Soul, silver, summer tires – almost made it everywhere we needed to go).
We hiked more than 40 miles of trails in various places – mostly mountains.
We crossed the Continental Divide 4 times.
We spent 6 nights in our tent, with temperatures near or below freezing at night, but much warmer during the day.
We spent one night in a motel, when it was snowing and the temperature was in the 20'sF.
Other nights we were with family or friends, or on the train, of course.
We were at 5 different hot springs venues, and soaked in one hot spring 5 times – conveniently situated near our tent site.
We saw lots of mountains, and lots of cactus, not many green leaves, but some spring wildflowers in the desert.
We visited 2 brothers, one in Tucson, AZ, one near Durango, CO, and a friend from Vermont now in Truth or Consequences, NM. We met countless other interesting folk along the way (in the train, on the trails, at the campsites), and had times where we saw nearly no one.
We visited petroglyphs, cliff dwellings from 700 years ago, Wilderness areas, mountain islands in the desert, high parkland plateaus, a slot canyon, Saguaro forests with blooming wildflowers, the amazing Tree Ring Laboratory in Tucson, and a too snowy for our rental car southwest Colorado. We saw tracks of wildlife (perhaps even a mountain lion), enjoyed a few moments watching a wild mountain stream bird (Dipper), heard stories from fellow travelers, and were impressed by the beautiful and interesting places we found wherever we stopped.
What's not to like about traveling?! Except that being home, in your own bed, has its joys, too. And there is plenty of beauty to find here as well. It's just different!