The Caverns of Sonora

The Caverns of Sonora are a quite attractive commercial cave located 8 miles west of Sonora Texas and about 150' underground. If you've never been that far underground before, this might be a good start. Smaller than the Carlsbad Caverns, there are not hordes of tourists always on your heels. And, the features are quite attractive, including the famous butterfly. and less-famous but interesting wonders like the Frozen Falls.... (read more)

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

Kansas City: Westport or the Plaza?

About the only thing in Kansas City that I found of interest was the architecture. It's got some nice old brick buildings, some run-down areas, and some green spaces. (Lots of pictures here). It's not just one big shopping mall that sprang up out of the prairie like, say, Dallas. But, like other Midwest cities it has a big problem: it's as flat as a pancake.... (read more)

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

Climbing Guadalupe Peak

Believe it or not, Texas is not completely flat. The "hill country" to the west of Austin leaves much to be desired from a topological standpoint: the hike with the greatest elevation gain in the whole Hill Country appears to be in Enchanted Rock State Park, and that only goes up a whopping 425'.... (read more)

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

Clingman's Dome

The highest point in Tennessee is hardly a wilderness experience, but it's quite interesting nonetheless. It's located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the summit contains a futuristic tower giving a 360 degree panorama of the park and the surrounding area.... (read more)

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

High Plains Museum in Goodland

This is a small but interesting museum with basic exhibits about life on the prairie, some antiques, some mannequins, and similar items. It also has dinosaur and mastodon bones which were dug up locally.... (read more)

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

Rock climbing in Griffith Park?

Believe it or not, there is rock climbing of a sort in Griffith Park.... (read more)

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

Hueco Tanks State Park

Hueco Tanks State Park is a famous rock climbing destination (primarily bouldering), a sacred place for Indian tribes, a historical site, and a place of political controversy. It's the only park I know of that makes you watch a twenty-minute video filled with do's and don'ts before you can camp there. The video orientation is because the park is home to still-undeciphered and fragile petroglyphs and pictographs and also because of the park's historical and religious significance to the recently-recognized Tigua and other Indians. Therefore, you're advised to tread lightly and not break anything.... (read more)

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

If only White Mountain Peak was 100' lower...

White Mountain Peak is the highpoint of Mono County and the third-highest summit in California at 14,246'. It's also the easiest 14er in the state, but when I tried for it on August 7, 2005 I got to within about 100' of gain of the summit, and then turned around...... (read more)

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

Signal Hill, highpoint of Arkansas

In November 2003 - shortly after I finished driving through the state and was safely in Texas - I immediately awarded Arkansas with my "Most Creepy and Corrupt State" award. But, it's not all bad and one of the highlights was Signal Hill, the highest point in the state at a whopping 2,753'. Pictured right is my bicycle at the sign marking the summit.... (read more)

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

Weight loss through hiking, Part 1

Here's the secret formulat: Eat less, exercise more.... (read more)

This is the first part of my personal tips and tricks for losing weight. I have no interest in odd diets or nutrional supplements or pills and potions, I prefer to just follow good old common sense. I have trouble abiding by these rules, but I'd have even more trouble abiding by something that wasn't natural for me. On the other hand, you might have no problem meticulously measuring out 3.2 ounces of lean meat and .349 ounces of brocolli. In that case, do that instead.

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

Cheeseboro Mountain Biking

Earlier today I mountain biked in Cheeseboro Canyon, which is part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. It's off the 101 freeway in Agoura, which is generally between Thousand Oaks and the western edge of the San Fernando Valley. I drove a lot of miles to get there, and going back isn't high on my list of priorities.... (read more)

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

Four Corners Monument: where Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico meet

four corners monument... (read more)

It's quite well worth the trip to visit the Four Corners monument where those states meet.

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

Rocky Mountain National Park pictures

Here are some photos from RMNP. Rocky Mountain National Park is about 75 miles from Denver and the nearest town is Estes Park. Visit date: August 2003.... (read more)

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

Dallas ex machina

It's not like Dallas sprung up out of nowhere, it just feels that way to a very great extent. Everything you need to know about Dallas you probably already know: Dealey Plaza, J.R. Ewing, and the Dallas Cowboys. Texas Stadium is partially domed (OK, for my thesis to hold it would have to be fully domed, but play along), they play on Astroturf, and, if you wanted to create from scratch a plastic sports team you'd never do better than what developed naturally. Think Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson, sparkling clean sports uniforms and murderous cheerleader moms. Throw in massive sprawling suburbs with everything and nothing, and you don't need to know much more.... (read more)

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm

Alamogordo NM: Just stay away

Alamogordo is a small city in New Mexico. The English version of its name is:... (read more)

1. a pit or hole that you should avoid even driving through without stopping if possible

May 6, 2006 – 9:43pm