So it begins: American Identity Tour

A red metal x rises out of the concrete in the distance. “That’s Juarez” Dwight says. Even though I know this, the way that El Paso and Juarez almost intermingle always surprises me. You could accidentally end up in Mexico if you take the wrong exist off the I-10. But that is an adventure for another day and another time. As I stood and looked out the window of our hotel room, Juarez stretched out into the distance. A large American flag loomed large in Continue reading →

Packing for long distance train travel

As the NAPL American Identity Tour comes closer (less than 3 weeks now) I am focused on pulling the practical details of the trip together. This includes a packing list for 28 days. This includes 12 segments on Amtrak trains. On one hand I want to make the final packed luggage as light as possible, but on the other I do have some additional freedom and needs because of the train travel scenario. I also have one flight from Portland to Lousville on this trip Continue reading →

Race Report, Bryce Canyon 50K: When Things Fall Apart

When I figured out I was off course, I was at mile 24 with maybe 30 ounces of water left. My legs were on fire and the oppressive heat made the air feel like I was breathing fumes. At one point I found it peculiar that the distinctive pink course marking were gone. See, the big climb was just like the previous climbs, on a dirt road straight up a mountain. My mind lied to me and I was convinced that this was okay. Being in Continue reading →

Travel Philosophies and Going Beyond the Obvious

Yesterday I mentioned my travel philosophy is about mindfulness while exploring new cultures and places. Dwight is just as passionate about travel as I am, but has a different approach. His perfect day would begin before 6am and end after 8pm with food mixed in the day. He would see as much as possible – preferably on foot hiking through the bush. He is fun to travel with! Sometimes I have to ask him to reassess his plans for the day because I don’t want Continue reading →

Post Bryce Canyon Ultras to Zion National Park

The morning after race day we ate a great breakfast with Dwight’s parents before packing up camp and parting ways. We have a pretty good routine for packing up camp. I focus on packing our “camp kitchen” and beginning to pack the car and Dwight pulls down the tent and roll our sleeping mats and pack away everything else we had in the tent. It usually takes us about 30-45 minutes depending on how focused we are and how much we had prepped the night Continue reading →

Bryce Canyon Ultras 50k: Team Rabe Crew Race Report

Race Day. I slept until about 6:30am. It was a nice change not to have to be up at 4 or 5 to get to a race start. It was an almost an accident that we stayed so close to the start – we don’t usually like first come, first served campgrounds when we have to be somewhere. But, we figured out the afternoon before when race markers (like plastic strips tied into trees and on stakes by the side of the road) appeared on Continue reading →

From New Mexico to Utah via Arizona: heading to Bryce Canyon 50k

We drove over 600 miles on the first day of our Utah camping trip. 600 miles from Southern New Mexico to northern Arizona. That’s about 1000 kilometres. We drove via Carizozzo, Pie town, Magdalena, Socorro, the Petrified National Forest, and Flagstaff, before ending up in Page, Arizona. Page is on the edge of Lake Powell and Glen Canyon – with both Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon within only a few miles. We wouldn’t normally have driven into Flagstaff on this route, but we had to Continue reading →

We admit it, we are food people

We’ve never talked about it here before, but we have a bit of a confession. We love good food – interesting, well thought out, beautifully delicious food. We love to cook, but we also enjoy fine dining and a good “hole in the wall” local hangout. As someone with celiac disease, eating out isn’t always easy, so when we do hit up the restaurant scene we want it to be a wonderful experience that leaves me happy and not unwell. We thought it was about Continue reading →

A Las Vegas option outside the hustle and bustle: Aliante Hotel and Casino

About 6 miles north of the Las Vegas strip you will find an oasis in the desert, Alliante Hotel and Casino. The hotel offers complimentary valet service. We chose to self-park anyway because the self-park lot was about 100ft from the front door of the hotel, so it didn’t take any effort to walk to our car ourselves whenever we needed it. The valet staff were the friendliest of all the staff we encountered at Aliante. The ground floor on the hotel side is a Continue reading →

Prepping for Utah

In three days we head to Utah for the Bryce Canyon ultra marathons. As he mentioned yesterday, Dwight is running the 50 Kilometer race at Bryce. What is a little different about this trip is that we will be camping before and after the race. We have camped as volunteers for an ultramarathon, but never when Dwight is running. This could either be a fabulous idea or a spectacular failure! As I write, Dwight is running in the Sacramento mountains – his final long run Continue reading →