New Mexico Steam

During our trip to Santa Fe last week, we took a day trip to Abiquiu, where we had some excellent green chile cheeseburgers at Body’s, and then drove on up to the Ghost Ranch, and then further north, to Chama. The latter is a nice little town that seems to specialize in tourism, but it has one excellent attraction; it is a terminus of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. A very helpful woman at the visitor information center told us that the train was scheduled to return to Chama at 4 p.m., and suggested we drive a few miles north of town to see it coming through the woods. Since it worked pretty well for our schedule, we decided to take her advice.

The C&T travels between Chama and Antonio, Colo., a distance of 64 miles, through some …Keep reading

The Land Of Enchantment

Maybe it’s just the intoxicated feeling caused by the lack of oxygen at 7,500 feet. Or maybe it’s the universal friendliness of the people. Maybe it’s the rich history—both human and geological—of the land. Maybe it’s the mystical undercurrent of spirituality from the region’s many Native American tribes.

Whatever it is, New Mexico has a strange attractive power over me. I’ve now been there twice: two years ago, and last week. Both were short four-day visits. (These photographs are taken from both trips. Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.)

Now, returning to Missouri, I feel like a visitor here, longing to …Keep reading

List: My Last—And Next—Five Books

It’s been a pretty good reading year for me. Accent on the “for me. ” There have been years recently when I probably haven’t read more than four or five books the whole year. Well, I’m well past that number already for 2011, and we still have a couple of months to go, so yes, it’s been a pretty good reading year.

And hey, they’ve been some good books too! Here are the last five books I’ve read, in order, starting in the spring:

1) Jan’s Story: Love Lost to the Long Goodbye of Alzheimer’s, by Barry Petersen. Petersen is a CBS News reporter; his wife, Jan, was also a reporter, until she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 55. I saw a piece that Petersen did on CBS’ Sunday morning program and …Keep reading

The 2003 Chicago Marathon

Eight years ago this morning, I took part in the Chicago Marathon. It was my first — and so far only — attempt at the marathon. Here is my mile-by-mile account of it, written a day or so later.

To set it up, this was written for the “V-Team” bulletin board, which was made up of a loose-knit bunch of runners nominally led by Hal Higdon, a former elite runner who now makes a living writing books about running. Some of us, including me, were wearing yellow running caps with the V-Team logo, so we could find each other in the crowd. You’ll see some references …Keep reading