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City of Rocks State Park

Faywood, New Mexico – January 8, 2023 One day – I think it was a Tuesday but I could definitely be wrong – about 35 million years ago, a volcano began erupting in what is now southwestern New Mexico. Somewhat later, on January 8, 2023, Nancy, Gunther and I visited City of Rocks State Park,…

Strataca

May 30, 2022 – Hutchinson, Kansas In addition to the Cosmosphere, a world-class space science museum, the city of Hutchinson, Kansas, features another prominent attraction: the only salt mine in the country that’s open to the public. Have I got your attention yet? Read on! Formerly known as the Kansas Underground Salt Museum, Strataca is…

The Cosmosphere

Hutchinson, Kansas – May 28, 2022 Hutchinson, Kansas, seems to be an unlikely place for a world-class museum devoted to space exploration. The state’s main economic driver, by far, is agriculture: Kansas ranks in the top 10 states in the country for revenue from beef cattle, corn, hay, hogs, soybeans, sunflowers, and wheat (40 percent…

White Sands National Park

Alamogordo, New Mexico – November 24, 2022 (Editor’s note: alert readers may note that I haven’t posted any updates on this blog for several months. We did lots of things between visiting the Barbed Wire Museum in May and White Sands National Park in November, but I’m going to post this now and fill in…

Kansas Barbed Wire Museum

May 26, 2022 – LaCrosse, Kansas It’s bold to call a town the Barbed Wire Capital of the WorldTM, but that is indeed what La Crosse, Kansas does. The designation came about because of another of La Crosse’s claims to fame: it’s the home of the Post Rock Museum. But before we get into post…

St. Vrain State Park

Firestone, Colorado – May 2022 St. Vrain State Park had its beginnings in 1958 when the Colorado Department of Transportation bought some land around St. Vrain Creek to mine gravel needed for the construction of highways in the area. The mining projects left wide but relatively shallow holes in the ground, many of which filled…

The National Museum of World War II Aviation

April 30, 2022 – Colorado Springs, Colorado The city of Colorado Springs is home to a number of U.S. military installations, including the U.S. Army’s Fort Carson; the U.S. Air Force’s Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, and Air Force Academy; and the U.S. Space Force’s Cheyenne Mountain Station, Space Command, and Space…

Spring Birds of the American Southwest

March and April, 2022 The Goddard spent the fall and winter of 2021-2022 in New Mexico and then Arizona, and in the spring we headed back north to visit Colorado for a while. Spring is a great time to watch birds: they’re very active as they gather material for nests and later find food for…

Petrified Forest National Park, Day 2

Near Holbrook, Arizona – March 26, 2022 We made our first visit to Petrified Forest National Park on March 25, 2022, restricting our time to only the northern, smaller section of the park. That part doesn’t have much in the way of petrified wood, but it has plenty of awe-inspiring views. We returned the next…

Petrified Forest National Park, Day 1

Near Holbrook, Arizona – March 25, 2022 Progressing east and west, Interstate 40 divides Petrified Forest National Park into northern and southern sections. The interstate generally follows the path of historic U.S. Route 66, which connected the midwestern United States to the country’s west coast in the first half of the 20th century. Although Route…

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