MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).
Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.
Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.
Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.
Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

MISSIONARY RIDGE FIRE - DURANGO, COLORADO 2002

The Missionary Ridge fire began on June 9, 2002, and burned until about July 15, 2002, when containment was declared. The fire occurred during the height of a severe drought in Colorado (Pielke and others, 2005) and was one of 30 wildfires within the State in the spring and summer of 2002 (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2002) … The resulting fire was responsible for the death of one person, burned about 73,000 acres (29,000 ha), and destroyed 83 structures (Burn Area Emergency Rehabilitation Team, 2002; La Plata County, 2006).

Mass Wasting Following the 2002 Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colorado, a Field Trip Guidebook, a USGS publication by Jeffrey A. Coe (editor) et al. 

The Missionary Ridge fire started about two miles from the house we live in now.  You can see parts of the burn scar from our yard.

Until the last year or so, the Missionary Ridge fire was the second largest wildfire in Colorado history (after the Hayman Fire, which started one day earlier and burned 138,000 acres northwest of Colorado Springs).  Now it’s the third largest fire, after the Hayman Fire and the West Fork Fire Complex of 2013.

Gambel oaks and aspens have grown back since the fire.  Pine and spruce trees, not so much.  Most of the burned area is public land,  open for camping and recreation.  It is a haunting landscape that offers both hope and warning as we move into an era of bigger, hotter, more destructive wildfires.

Read about the history of Colorado wildfires here.

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

INSECTS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO 

In all sections of the State are bugs and beetles, varying in size from the two-inch dark-shelled cockroach to the small round ladybird decked in her bright colors.  (…) 

Butterflies, moths, and flies of many colors and varieties occur throughout the State.  (…)  Lightning bugs hover over the prairie meadows, and Colorado’s dry sunny climate and abundance of flowers find favor with more than seven hundred kinds of bees.

—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

A bug-eye level look at Colorado State insects for Field Assignment #2 - Flora and Fauna from Amadee Ricketts, your Guide to the West:

Southwest Colorado is a funny mix of high desert and mountains. With milder winters and fewer violent storms than the Front Range (east of the Rockies), it is home to an incredible variety of insects and spiders, though most of them aren’t as showy as these.

In summertime, bees and butterflies are everywhere, drawn to wildflowers and waterAnts and ant mimics, dragonflies, weevils, and sneaky little mosquitoes turn up where you least expect them. Flies and spiders stay around even after the first frost. 

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…
—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

WILDFLOWERS OF SOUTHWEST COLORADO

The columbine, Colorado’s official flower, reaches perfection in the cool shade of tall aspens but is found from the lower foothills to timberline.  Its specific name coerulea means blue, but its sepals are sometimes purple, pale lavender, and even white…

—Colorado: A Guide to the Highest State (WPA, 1941)

Your out West Guide Amadee Ricketts takes account of Southwest Colorado flora for Field Assignment #2: Flora and Fauna:

In southwestern Colorado, as in other parts of the mountain west, flower varieties and seasons vary by altitude.  But from the valley floors to the high windy peaks, look for wildflowers in the spring (April to June, later at high elevations) and late summer, after monsoon rains.

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
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HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 
—Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.
Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.
The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.
After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   
Editor’s Note: Read More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com
Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself — 

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532
Phone: 435-686-2250
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

HOLE N” THE ROCK - SOUTH OF MOAB, UTAH

Even today, as the State settles down to gray hairs, there lingers something wonderful and outrageous about Utah, a flavor of the mysterious and strange. 

Utah: A Guide to the State (WPA, 1941)

Many roadside attractions look interesting from the highway, and disappoint when you pull over.  Hole N” the Rock is not one of them.

Located twelve miles south of Moab, Utah, on Highway 191, Hole N” the Rock is a unique 5,000 square foot home carved out of a red sandstone monolith.  The attraction also includes historic sculptures by founder Albert Christensen, a gift shop, and a small but tidy zoo.

The excavation of the rock began as part of a family home for Niels and Jean Christensen, who settled in the area in the 1920s.  The Christensens had five sons and two daughters.  They blasted out a small alcove in the rock to serve as a bedroom for their boys.

After that, the timeline gets a little hazy.   

Editor’s NoteRead More Hole N” the Rock history — from prohibition bootlegging all the way to the modern-day — over at your Guide to the West Amadee Ricketts’s Tumblr, textless.tumblr.com

Guide Note: See Hole N” the Rock for yourself —

Address: 11037 S Hwy 191, Moab, Utah 84532

Phone: 435-686-2250

Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
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MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 
Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains. 
If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.
During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.
Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.
Guide Note:
From The Durango Herald, more about collecting forest products in San Juan National Forest.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
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MUSHROOM SEASON - SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS, COLORADO 

Southwest Colorado is a mix of high desert and mountains.  It is generally arid, though winters can be snowy and summer monsoons can bring sudden, soaking rains

If the monsoon is good, dozens of varieties of mushrooms will pop up in the San Juan mountains in late summer.  Some mushrooms will still be around after the first snow, but the peak of the season lasts from mid-August through early September.

During mushroom season, you’ll see huge patches of Amanita muscaria, and king bolete (or porcino) mushrooms as big as a plate, along with puffballs, chanterelles, and so many more.

Permits are required to take more than three pounds of mushrooms from the national forest, but the cost is nominal.  And looking is free.

Guide Note:

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 

Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.

County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).

But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
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SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO
Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.
I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 
I have not done any of those things.
For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.
Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.
* * *
Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

SUMMER IN PURGATORY - DURANGO MOUNTAIN RESORT, COLORADO

Purgatory Ski Area opened in 1965, and helped Durango, a small town in southwest Colorado, move from a summer tourist destination to a prosperous town with a year-round economy.  After decades of ups and downs, the resort was sold in 2000 and renamed Durango Mountain Resort.  Locals still tend to call it Purgatory.

I love to go up during the off season. Of course the resort offers all kinds of official summer activities…  You can ride up on the ski lift and slide down a giant slide, or go mountain biking on a huge network of trails.  You can ride a bungee trampoline or a zipline, or climb into a plastic ball-shaped thing that lets you walk on water. 

I have not done any of those things.

For me, DMR means spectacular views, great hiking, and unparalleled access to the San Juan National Forest.  The flowers and wildlife are pretty great, too.

Once you get a few hundred yards from the main roads and attractions, you rarely see another person.  But you may see a bear, or a herd of deer.  And you will definitely be glad you came.

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

FOURTH OF JULY, USA

The village…has not forgotten how to celebrate the Fourth of July in the old-time way. Early on the morning of the holiday, a crowd gathers from the hills as if by magic: old folk who remember when the big lumber mills operated and there was an abundance of money; young people who know only that the land has been washing away ever since the mills “cut out,” and that the crops are poor; and, of course, a speaker who addresses the milling crowd from a flag-draped platform. The speaker knows that his listeners believe emphatically, as did their fathers before them, in democracy and individualism, and it is of these he talks. After the speech, there is a barbecue, at which everyone helps himself to anything he wants. The women visit, discussing rural news or exchanging recipes, and the men engage in hog-calling contests and horse-shoe tournaments. The boys try to win the admiration of the girls by climbing a larded pole or catching a greased pig.

Missouri, A Guide To the Show Me State (WPA, 1941)

In the afterglow of the fireworks, we here at A/G HQ are wiping our hands from the larded pole and greased pig contests and wanted to share a big thanks to all the folks who are our Guides to the US of A. We are constantly amazed, astounded, and awestricken by their work and feel privileged to be able to share it with our audience. (Audience, we hope you’re following each and every one of their respective Tumblrs. Seriously, get on that.)

Above—Independence Day through the lenses of some of our A/G guides (from top to bottom, left to right):

Tammy Mercure 

Amadee Ricketts 

Jon Creamer 

Brandon Getty

Stephen Dyer

Tara Wray

James Orndorf

KC O’Connor

Jordan Smith

Ken Kornacki

You can find the rest of our unbelievably fantastic Guides and their respective Tumblrs, Flickr pages and various other websites on our Guides pageLearn how to be a guide yourself here.

BURNING OLD MAN GLOOM - AZTEC, NEW MEXICO 
Each June, people gather to burn an effigy of Old Man Gloom in Aztec, New Mexico. The event is a symbolic way to banish the worries and cares of the previous year, which are written on slips of paper and burned along with the Old Man.
The burning of Old Man Gloom has been part of Aztec Fiesta Days for at least forty years. It was inspired by the burning of Zozobra, also sometimes called Old Man Gloom, an annual event in Santa Fe since 1924. The Zozobra is nearly 50 feet tall with moving arms. (The one that burned in 2007 found a place in the Guinness World Records as the biggest marionette in the world, though it was displaced by a taller Canadian marionette the following year.) Aztec’s Old Man Gloom is smaller and not animated. But it is still an impressive 14 feet tall: a metal frame wrapped with chicken wire and mounted on metal poles for lifting and carrying. Before it is burned each year, it is dressed and decorated by members of the Aztec High School Key Club, with help from faculty advisor Debbie Klein. The Key Club in Aztec participates in all kinds of civic events, particularly fundraisers for charities benefiting kids. Dressing and burning Old Man Gloom is just one more way for the Key Club to give back to the community.Tens of thousands of people attend the annual burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. Aztec draws more like a hundred people, which means you can put your gloom directly in the figure and stand right in the front row for the lighting. The whoosh of heat when it catches fire is startling. People bang drums and cheer while it burns away. Then they go home.Aztec Fiesta Days also features a carnival, a car show, a community breakfast and a parade for children and pets.  Guide Notes: 
Several of the photos of Old Man Gloom burning were taken by fellow At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf. You can see more of his work at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Read more about the record-setting Zozobra.
Read more about Aztec Fiesta Days 2013.  
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
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BURNING OLD MAN GLOOM - AZTEC, NEW MEXICO 
Each June, people gather to burn an effigy of Old Man Gloom in Aztec, New Mexico. The event is a symbolic way to banish the worries and cares of the previous year, which are written on slips of paper and burned along with the Old Man.
The burning of Old Man Gloom has been part of Aztec Fiesta Days for at least forty years. It was inspired by the burning of Zozobra, also sometimes called Old Man Gloom, an annual event in Santa Fe since 1924. The Zozobra is nearly 50 feet tall with moving arms. (The one that burned in 2007 found a place in the Guinness World Records as the biggest marionette in the world, though it was displaced by a taller Canadian marionette the following year.) Aztec’s Old Man Gloom is smaller and not animated. But it is still an impressive 14 feet tall: a metal frame wrapped with chicken wire and mounted on metal poles for lifting and carrying. Before it is burned each year, it is dressed and decorated by members of the Aztec High School Key Club, with help from faculty advisor Debbie Klein. The Key Club in Aztec participates in all kinds of civic events, particularly fundraisers for charities benefiting kids. Dressing and burning Old Man Gloom is just one more way for the Key Club to give back to the community.Tens of thousands of people attend the annual burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. Aztec draws more like a hundred people, which means you can put your gloom directly in the figure and stand right in the front row for the lighting. The whoosh of heat when it catches fire is startling. People bang drums and cheer while it burns away. Then they go home.Aztec Fiesta Days also features a carnival, a car show, a community breakfast and a parade for children and pets.  Guide Notes: 
Several of the photos of Old Man Gloom burning were taken by fellow At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf. You can see more of his work at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Read more about the record-setting Zozobra.
Read more about Aztec Fiesta Days 2013.  
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
BURNING OLD MAN GLOOM - AZTEC, NEW MEXICO 
Each June, people gather to burn an effigy of Old Man Gloom in Aztec, New Mexico. The event is a symbolic way to banish the worries and cares of the previous year, which are written on slips of paper and burned along with the Old Man.
The burning of Old Man Gloom has been part of Aztec Fiesta Days for at least forty years. It was inspired by the burning of Zozobra, also sometimes called Old Man Gloom, an annual event in Santa Fe since 1924. The Zozobra is nearly 50 feet tall with moving arms. (The one that burned in 2007 found a place in the Guinness World Records as the biggest marionette in the world, though it was displaced by a taller Canadian marionette the following year.) Aztec’s Old Man Gloom is smaller and not animated. But it is still an impressive 14 feet tall: a metal frame wrapped with chicken wire and mounted on metal poles for lifting and carrying. Before it is burned each year, it is dressed and decorated by members of the Aztec High School Key Club, with help from faculty advisor Debbie Klein. The Key Club in Aztec participates in all kinds of civic events, particularly fundraisers for charities benefiting kids. Dressing and burning Old Man Gloom is just one more way for the Key Club to give back to the community.Tens of thousands of people attend the annual burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. Aztec draws more like a hundred people, which means you can put your gloom directly in the figure and stand right in the front row for the lighting. The whoosh of heat when it catches fire is startling. People bang drums and cheer while it burns away. Then they go home.Aztec Fiesta Days also features a carnival, a car show, a community breakfast and a parade for children and pets.  Guide Notes: 
Several of the photos of Old Man Gloom burning were taken by fellow At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf. You can see more of his work at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Read more about the record-setting Zozobra.
Read more about Aztec Fiesta Days 2013.  
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
BURNING OLD MAN GLOOM - AZTEC, NEW MEXICO 
Each June, people gather to burn an effigy of Old Man Gloom in Aztec, New Mexico. The event is a symbolic way to banish the worries and cares of the previous year, which are written on slips of paper and burned along with the Old Man.
The burning of Old Man Gloom has been part of Aztec Fiesta Days for at least forty years. It was inspired by the burning of Zozobra, also sometimes called Old Man Gloom, an annual event in Santa Fe since 1924. The Zozobra is nearly 50 feet tall with moving arms. (The one that burned in 2007 found a place in the Guinness World Records as the biggest marionette in the world, though it was displaced by a taller Canadian marionette the following year.) Aztec’s Old Man Gloom is smaller and not animated. But it is still an impressive 14 feet tall: a metal frame wrapped with chicken wire and mounted on metal poles for lifting and carrying. Before it is burned each year, it is dressed and decorated by members of the Aztec High School Key Club, with help from faculty advisor Debbie Klein. The Key Club in Aztec participates in all kinds of civic events, particularly fundraisers for charities benefiting kids. Dressing and burning Old Man Gloom is just one more way for the Key Club to give back to the community.Tens of thousands of people attend the annual burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. Aztec draws more like a hundred people, which means you can put your gloom directly in the figure and stand right in the front row for the lighting. The whoosh of heat when it catches fire is startling. People bang drums and cheer while it burns away. Then they go home.Aztec Fiesta Days also features a carnival, a car show, a community breakfast and a parade for children and pets.  Guide Notes: 
Several of the photos of Old Man Gloom burning were taken by fellow At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf. You can see more of his work at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Read more about the record-setting Zozobra.
Read more about Aztec Fiesta Days 2013.  
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
BURNING OLD MAN GLOOM - AZTEC, NEW MEXICO 
Each June, people gather to burn an effigy of Old Man Gloom in Aztec, New Mexico. The event is a symbolic way to banish the worries and cares of the previous year, which are written on slips of paper and burned along with the Old Man.
The burning of Old Man Gloom has been part of Aztec Fiesta Days for at least forty years. It was inspired by the burning of Zozobra, also sometimes called Old Man Gloom, an annual event in Santa Fe since 1924. The Zozobra is nearly 50 feet tall with moving arms. (The one that burned in 2007 found a place in the Guinness World Records as the biggest marionette in the world, though it was displaced by a taller Canadian marionette the following year.) Aztec’s Old Man Gloom is smaller and not animated. But it is still an impressive 14 feet tall: a metal frame wrapped with chicken wire and mounted on metal poles for lifting and carrying. Before it is burned each year, it is dressed and decorated by members of the Aztec High School Key Club, with help from faculty advisor Debbie Klein. The Key Club in Aztec participates in all kinds of civic events, particularly fundraisers for charities benefiting kids. Dressing and burning Old Man Gloom is just one more way for the Key Club to give back to the community.Tens of thousands of people attend the annual burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. Aztec draws more like a hundred people, which means you can put your gloom directly in the figure and stand right in the front row for the lighting. The whoosh of heat when it catches fire is startling. People bang drums and cheer while it burns away. Then they go home.Aztec Fiesta Days also features a carnival, a car show, a community breakfast and a parade for children and pets.  Guide Notes: 
Several of the photos of Old Man Gloom burning were taken by fellow At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf. You can see more of his work at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Read more about the record-setting Zozobra.
Read more about Aztec Fiesta Days 2013.  
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
BURNING OLD MAN GLOOM - AZTEC, NEW MEXICO 
Each June, people gather to burn an effigy of Old Man Gloom in Aztec, New Mexico. The event is a symbolic way to banish the worries and cares of the previous year, which are written on slips of paper and burned along with the Old Man.
The burning of Old Man Gloom has been part of Aztec Fiesta Days for at least forty years. It was inspired by the burning of Zozobra, also sometimes called Old Man Gloom, an annual event in Santa Fe since 1924. The Zozobra is nearly 50 feet tall with moving arms. (The one that burned in 2007 found a place in the Guinness World Records as the biggest marionette in the world, though it was displaced by a taller Canadian marionette the following year.) Aztec’s Old Man Gloom is smaller and not animated. But it is still an impressive 14 feet tall: a metal frame wrapped with chicken wire and mounted on metal poles for lifting and carrying. Before it is burned each year, it is dressed and decorated by members of the Aztec High School Key Club, with help from faculty advisor Debbie Klein. The Key Club in Aztec participates in all kinds of civic events, particularly fundraisers for charities benefiting kids. Dressing and burning Old Man Gloom is just one more way for the Key Club to give back to the community.Tens of thousands of people attend the annual burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. Aztec draws more like a hundred people, which means you can put your gloom directly in the figure and stand right in the front row for the lighting. The whoosh of heat when it catches fire is startling. People bang drums and cheer while it burns away. Then they go home.Aztec Fiesta Days also features a carnival, a car show, a community breakfast and a parade for children and pets.  Guide Notes: 
Several of the photos of Old Man Gloom burning were taken by fellow At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf. You can see more of his work at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Read more about the record-setting Zozobra.
Read more about Aztec Fiesta Days 2013.  
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
BURNING OLD MAN GLOOM - AZTEC, NEW MEXICO 
Each June, people gather to burn an effigy of Old Man Gloom in Aztec, New Mexico. The event is a symbolic way to banish the worries and cares of the previous year, which are written on slips of paper and burned along with the Old Man.
The burning of Old Man Gloom has been part of Aztec Fiesta Days for at least forty years. It was inspired by the burning of Zozobra, also sometimes called Old Man Gloom, an annual event in Santa Fe since 1924. The Zozobra is nearly 50 feet tall with moving arms. (The one that burned in 2007 found a place in the Guinness World Records as the biggest marionette in the world, though it was displaced by a taller Canadian marionette the following year.) Aztec’s Old Man Gloom is smaller and not animated. But it is still an impressive 14 feet tall: a metal frame wrapped with chicken wire and mounted on metal poles for lifting and carrying. Before it is burned each year, it is dressed and decorated by members of the Aztec High School Key Club, with help from faculty advisor Debbie Klein. The Key Club in Aztec participates in all kinds of civic events, particularly fundraisers for charities benefiting kids. Dressing and burning Old Man Gloom is just one more way for the Key Club to give back to the community.Tens of thousands of people attend the annual burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. Aztec draws more like a hundred people, which means you can put your gloom directly in the figure and stand right in the front row for the lighting. The whoosh of heat when it catches fire is startling. People bang drums and cheer while it burns away. Then they go home.Aztec Fiesta Days also features a carnival, a car show, a community breakfast and a parade for children and pets.  Guide Notes: 
Several of the photos of Old Man Gloom burning were taken by fellow At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf. You can see more of his work at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Read more about the record-setting Zozobra.
Read more about Aztec Fiesta Days 2013.  
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
BURNING OLD MAN GLOOM - AZTEC, NEW MEXICO 
Each June, people gather to burn an effigy of Old Man Gloom in Aztec, New Mexico. The event is a symbolic way to banish the worries and cares of the previous year, which are written on slips of paper and burned along with the Old Man.
The burning of Old Man Gloom has been part of Aztec Fiesta Days for at least forty years. It was inspired by the burning of Zozobra, also sometimes called Old Man Gloom, an annual event in Santa Fe since 1924. The Zozobra is nearly 50 feet tall with moving arms. (The one that burned in 2007 found a place in the Guinness World Records as the biggest marionette in the world, though it was displaced by a taller Canadian marionette the following year.) Aztec’s Old Man Gloom is smaller and not animated. But it is still an impressive 14 feet tall: a metal frame wrapped with chicken wire and mounted on metal poles for lifting and carrying. Before it is burned each year, it is dressed and decorated by members of the Aztec High School Key Club, with help from faculty advisor Debbie Klein. The Key Club in Aztec participates in all kinds of civic events, particularly fundraisers for charities benefiting kids. Dressing and burning Old Man Gloom is just one more way for the Key Club to give back to the community.Tens of thousands of people attend the annual burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. Aztec draws more like a hundred people, which means you can put your gloom directly in the figure and stand right in the front row for the lighting. The whoosh of heat when it catches fire is startling. People bang drums and cheer while it burns away. Then they go home.Aztec Fiesta Days also features a carnival, a car show, a community breakfast and a parade for children and pets.  Guide Notes: 
Several of the photos of Old Man Gloom burning were taken by fellow At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf. You can see more of his work at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Read more about the record-setting Zozobra.
Read more about Aztec Fiesta Days 2013.  
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
BURNING OLD MAN GLOOM - AZTEC, NEW MEXICO 
Each June, people gather to burn an effigy of Old Man Gloom in Aztec, New Mexico. The event is a symbolic way to banish the worries and cares of the previous year, which are written on slips of paper and burned along with the Old Man.
The burning of Old Man Gloom has been part of Aztec Fiesta Days for at least forty years. It was inspired by the burning of Zozobra, also sometimes called Old Man Gloom, an annual event in Santa Fe since 1924. The Zozobra is nearly 50 feet tall with moving arms. (The one that burned in 2007 found a place in the Guinness World Records as the biggest marionette in the world, though it was displaced by a taller Canadian marionette the following year.) Aztec’s Old Man Gloom is smaller and not animated. But it is still an impressive 14 feet tall: a metal frame wrapped with chicken wire and mounted on metal poles for lifting and carrying. Before it is burned each year, it is dressed and decorated by members of the Aztec High School Key Club, with help from faculty advisor Debbie Klein. The Key Club in Aztec participates in all kinds of civic events, particularly fundraisers for charities benefiting kids. Dressing and burning Old Man Gloom is just one more way for the Key Club to give back to the community.Tens of thousands of people attend the annual burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. Aztec draws more like a hundred people, which means you can put your gloom directly in the figure and stand right in the front row for the lighting. The whoosh of heat when it catches fire is startling. People bang drums and cheer while it burns away. Then they go home.Aztec Fiesta Days also features a carnival, a car show, a community breakfast and a parade for children and pets.  Guide Notes: 
Several of the photos of Old Man Gloom burning were taken by fellow At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf. You can see more of his work at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Read more about the record-setting Zozobra.
Read more about Aztec Fiesta Days 2013.  
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
BURNING OLD MAN GLOOM - AZTEC, NEW MEXICO 
Each June, people gather to burn an effigy of Old Man Gloom in Aztec, New Mexico. The event is a symbolic way to banish the worries and cares of the previous year, which are written on slips of paper and burned along with the Old Man.
The burning of Old Man Gloom has been part of Aztec Fiesta Days for at least forty years. It was inspired by the burning of Zozobra, also sometimes called Old Man Gloom, an annual event in Santa Fe since 1924. The Zozobra is nearly 50 feet tall with moving arms. (The one that burned in 2007 found a place in the Guinness World Records as the biggest marionette in the world, though it was displaced by a taller Canadian marionette the following year.) Aztec’s Old Man Gloom is smaller and not animated. But it is still an impressive 14 feet tall: a metal frame wrapped with chicken wire and mounted on metal poles for lifting and carrying. Before it is burned each year, it is dressed and decorated by members of the Aztec High School Key Club, with help from faculty advisor Debbie Klein. The Key Club in Aztec participates in all kinds of civic events, particularly fundraisers for charities benefiting kids. Dressing and burning Old Man Gloom is just one more way for the Key Club to give back to the community.Tens of thousands of people attend the annual burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. Aztec draws more like a hundred people, which means you can put your gloom directly in the figure and stand right in the front row for the lighting. The whoosh of heat when it catches fire is startling. People bang drums and cheer while it burns away. Then they go home.Aztec Fiesta Days also features a carnival, a car show, a community breakfast and a parade for children and pets.  Guide Notes: 
Several of the photos of Old Man Gloom burning were taken by fellow At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf. You can see more of his work at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Read more about the record-setting Zozobra.
Read more about Aztec Fiesta Days 2013.  
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

BURNING OLD MAN GLOOM - AZTEC, NEW MEXICO 

Each June, people gather to burn an effigy of Old Man Gloom in Aztec, New Mexico. The event is a symbolic way to banish the worries and cares of the previous year, which are written on slips of paper and burned along with the Old Man.

The burning of Old Man Gloom has been part of Aztec Fiesta Days for at least forty years. It was inspired by the burning of Zozobra, also sometimes called Old Man Gloom, an annual event in Santa Fe since 1924. The Zozobra is nearly 50 feet tall with moving arms. (The one that burned in 2007 found a place in the Guinness World Records as the biggest marionette in the world, though it was displaced by a taller Canadian marionette the following year.)

Aztec’s Old Man Gloom is smaller and not animated. But it is still an impressive 14 feet tall: a metal frame wrapped with chicken wire and mounted on metal poles for lifting and carrying. Before it is burned each year, it is dressed and decorated by members of the Aztec High School Key Club, with help from faculty advisor Debbie Klein.

The Key Club in Aztec participates in all kinds of civic events, particularly fundraisers for charities benefiting kids. Dressing and burning Old Man Gloom is just one more way for the Key Club to give back to the community.

Tens of thousands of people attend the annual burning of Zozobra in Santa Fe. Aztec draws more like a hundred people, which means you can put your gloom directly in the figure and stand right in the front row for the lighting. The whoosh of heat when it catches fire is startling. People bang drums and cheer while it burns away. Then they go home.

Aztec Fiesta Days also features a carnival, a car show, a community breakfast and a parade for children and pets. 

Guide Notes

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”
-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.
What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.
Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 
Because wow, America.
Guide Notes:
Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 
Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

SOMEWHERE OVER THE WEST

“I really don’t know one plane from the other. To me they are all just marginal costs with wings.”

-Alfred Kahn, airline economist (1917-2010)

Commercial air travel has changed a lot over the years. Since the US airline industry was deregulated in 1978, fares have dropped and lots more people have been flying. Airlines have merged and morphed and vanished. The rise of hub-and-spoke airline systems means that a major delay at one important airport can ripple across the country for days.

What hasn’t changed is the incredible vastness and variety of the country you see out the window. On a recent round trip from southern Colorado to Portland, Oregon (via Phoenix), I saw the Grand Canyon and the Colorado river valley, tract housing as far as the eye could see, and irrigation circles laid out like giant board games in the desert. I saw dormant volcanoes in Oregon and a bird’s eye view of the oil fields of the San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico.

Commercial flight is the only way most of us will ever get to see those wide, wide views. Every time I fly, those views remind me of all the thousands of places in the US that I haven’t been to yet. And that takes the sting out of the scores of little annoyances along the way. 

Because wow, America.

Guide Notes:

Read about the history of commercial flight in the US at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air exhibit. 

Read about Alfred Kahn, who headed up the Civil Aeronautics Board that oversaw airline deregulation, in his obituary from The Economist (January 20, 2011).

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetary groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.