Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Favorite Runs: Paul Stock Nature Trail

Tucked away in the northeast corner of the wild open spaces of the state of Wyoming, there is a little town.  It's little by rest-of-world standards; for Wyoming, it's a pretty decent size.

It was born in the late 1800s and named in tribute to arguably its most famous resident ever, the American frontier legend William "Buffalo Bill" Cody.

Cody, Wyoming is Cowboy Country.  It sits on the edge of the Absaroka Range of the Rocky Mountains, and guards the eastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park.  It holds a rodeo nightly during the summer months, and is an embarkation point for hunters in the fall and winter.  It's got high plains dotted with sage and cattle, a sulphur-smelling river that carves its way through a canyon marking the edge of town, and mountain sentinels looming on the horizon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Taj Mahal: A Moment of Quiet and Solitude in India

India is a country of color.  Traditional clothing favors vibrant hues, especially for women.  Cherry red, fire orange, peacock blue, emerald green, and sunshine yellow collide in a chaos of scarves and saris.  Buildings tend to be grey, brown, and red because of the stone and earth available to use for construction.  Yellow and green tuk-tuks dart through the streams of modern vehicles.  Food is spiced to shades of yellow and red, and markets abound with sandy-looking mountains of colorful precious flavors like saffron and cumin.  Plants bloom in every available space, providing a backdrop of green even in the most crowded, dusty cities.

India is also dirty.  Many roads are not paved, and a smog of pollution and dust permeates much of the country.  Animals freely roam the streets, even in the most metropolitan and modern of cities.  That's just the way it is for this densely populated country, but it creates a sheen of shabby sameness over the riot of colors that is India.

Against this backdrop of crowds, chaos, grime, and hues, the Taj Mahal is a shock to behold.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Kyiv!

Food: one of the basic requirements for sustaining life.  Yet finding it when you're traveling can be a challenge.  It's intimidating to venture into restaurants when you're new to a country, especially if you don't speak the language.  And it takes practice to enjoy eating alone.  It's no wonder that, when faced with the prospect of taking on both of those challenges at the same time, you'd rather skip the eating thing altogether.

But if you do that when you're in a new place, you miss out on a major portion of the experience of being there!  Half of the fun of traveling is trying new foods in all their local glory, or passing judgment on the new place's attempt to recreate your hometown favorites.  But you have to get yourself through the door and to a table first.

Don't worry, I've got your back.  I find its easier when I've got recommendations from someone I know.  I've already helped you find the best BBQ in Montgomery and best cannoli in Boston.  You can plan a pub crawl or an ice cream crawl in Boston, or a city-wide noms tour of deliciousness in Portland or Charlottetown, PEI.  So tracking down some tasty options in Kyiv?  Piece of paska!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Air Force Marathon in Review

Although I didn't know it at the time, this quest started back in 2009 when I ran my first marathon.

Then there was a two year break before marathon two.  Since I still didn't know I was on a quest, I did a third marathon a year later that in no way contributed to the successful completion of the quest.

It was only on the fourth, and coolest, marathon that I realized there was a quest: run a marathon on each of the seven continents.  As my dad pointed out, Antarctica is the most difficult continent to check off.  It only makes sense to carry on and hit the remaining four!

But it appears that I've stalled.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The CZ Book Club: 2015 Part I

The first six months of 2015 have been a doozy!  I racked up 38,3500 miles on airplanes and over 50 hours sitting in airports, which was the primary reason I managed to tear though so many books.  There were some interesting unplanned themes too .... India, Afghanistan, and Alaska popped up several times, along with the Russian fairy tale Snegurochka.  Several novels, spanning the globe, examined the complex relationships between family members.  There was a lot of the insecurity of being an immigrant transplanted to a completely alien culture.  And there will pretty much always be at least one book with a horse or two prancing around.