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Travel stories, location reviews, day trips, getaway stories.

Solo Traveler: Dangerous Walking

on April 4, 2014 - 8:02am
A typical San Miguel de Allende street, complete with a hole. Photo by Sherry Hardage
Solo Traveler: Dangerous Walking

One afternoon I walked down the andador in San Cristóbal de las Casas. It is a street that has been closed off to traffic and repaved with nice flagstones for pedestrians. It’s always full of tourists, buskers and indigenous women selling crafts.

A tall European woman turned to watch a street performer but continued walking forward. If I hadn’t stepped aside she would have walked right into me!

When I lived in San Miguel de Allende for a short time,

Santa Fe Trail Association Hopes to Keep Rail Access Open

on March 30, 2014 - 8:00am
The view from the Southwest Chief as it travels from Lamy to Las Vegas, N.M. Photo by Inez Ross

Ron Kemp entertains passengers on the Southwest Chief Amtrak Train. Photo by Inez Ross


Members and friends of the End of the Trail Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association took the two hour train ride from Lamy to Las Vegas, N.M. and enjoyed the joys of train travel as they lunched in the dining car, took in views from the observation car and got to meet travelers on their way to Chicago.

The group was also raising awareness of historic sites along Apache Canyon and Glorieta

Reiss: Travel by Air…Part of Our Infrastructure

on March 21, 2014 - 9:31pm
By County Councilor Rick Reiss

In April, we will celebrate the one-year anniversary of re-established commercial airline service between Los Alamos Airport and Albuquerque’s Sunport. Many of you may recall that, last November, I voiced my support for this new service to remain operational until September 2014 by voting with five of my fellow councilors to approve a flight subsidy of $365,000 from the County’s general funds.

In case you missed that Nov.

Solo Traveler: Sustainability

on March 21, 2014 - 8:12am
A home at the permaculture community. Edible plants are grown with flowers and grasses to eliminate the need for pesticides. Photo by Sherry Hardage
A composting toilet used at the permaculture community. Photo by Sherry Hardage
Solo Traveler: Sustainability

I have mentioned in earlier columns that one of the huge benefits to solo travel is meeting people you probably wouldn’t have met if you’d traveled with a friend. While friends are great for security, companionship and sharing costs, traveling alone forces you to connect with locals and other travelers.


Climbing Cotopaxi Volcano Subject of Mountaineers Talk at Fuller Lodge March 19

on March 16, 2014 - 9:01am
Cotopaxi Volcano. Courtesy/
Los Alamos Mountaineers

Southern living continues as the theme for the Los Alamos Mountaineers’ March presentation. Following February’s presentation of a trip to Antarctica, March features a talk on a trek to the high volcanic peaks of Ecuador in a travel tale told by Kelly Gallagher and Don Krier.

The presentation is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 19 at Fuller Lodge. The talk follows the business portion of the Mountaineer’s meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

Ecuador features the greatest concentration of volcanoes in the world,

Highway Signs Direct Visitors Into Area

on March 15, 2014 - 5:15pm

The black Bandelier sign stands out against the green Los Alamos and White Rock signs helping direct visitors coming into the area. Photo by Carol A. Clark/

Unitarian Church Forum: 'Folk Art in Cuba' Sunday

on March 13, 2014 - 8:02am

Ann Shafer in Cuba in January. Courtesy photo



The Forum at the Unitarian Church: "Folk Art in Cuba" presented by Ann Shafer at 9 a.m. Sunday, March 16 at the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos. 1738 N. Sage Loop.

In January Ann Shafer went to Cuba on a trip sponsored by the International Folk Art Market. During this remarkable trip, the group went to the studios of all the folk artists who come to the Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, plus they had special dance and music performances as well as speakers on a variety of topics.
Shafer will show photos of her trip

Middle of Nowhere: Looking for 'Moonrise'

on March 12, 2014 - 8:02am
The Hernandez church appears in a famous photograph by Ansel Adams. Photo by Kirsten Laskey
Los Alamos Daily Post

Ansel Adams’ “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico” is one of the most popular photographs ever taken. Maybe just as impressive as the image he captured is the story behind it.

Websites report Adams was driving toward Española when he happened to see a church and cemetery the size of thumbprints against massive mountains and the moon hovering high in the sky. The scene made him stop his car on the shoulder of the road.  

Wikipedia claims Adams yelled at his

NCRTD Sees 5.8 Percent Ridership Hike in 2013

on March 10, 2014 - 9:29am


The North Central Regional Transit District (NCRTD) has seen a 5.8 percent increase in annual bus transit ridership in 2013 over 2012. A record total of 201,368 riders used the service in 2013 over a total of 190,186 passengers in 2012. 

Among the factors contributing to the increase are greater awareness and acceptance of public transit overall in the predominantly rural region where public transit options are a relatively recent phenomenon.

Solo Traveler: Battling Loneliness

on March 5, 2014 - 7:40am
A typical room in a hostel. Courtesy/Sherry Hardage
Solo Traveler: Battling Loneliness

Recently, while traveling across the Yucatan I spent a bit of time with a lone Dutch backpacker. During our bus layover, we ate lunch and I lent her my Mexican phone to call a couple of hostels in Valladolid. She would be arriving quite late that evening. I asked how often she stayed in hostels and she said “most of the time but not always. They are very social places and sometimes I want to be alone.”

I have rarely stayed in hostels, or pensiones, as they are sometimes called in

Mandatory Meeting for Students Going to Washington, D.C. Over Spring Break

on March 3, 2014 - 7:52am

Los Alamos Middle School students visiting Washington, D.C. over spring break in 2013. Courtesy photo

D.C. TRIP News:

There will be a mandatory meeting at 3 p.m. Friday, March 7 in the Los Alamos Middle School Media Center for students going on the anual Washington, D.C. trip over spring break. 

Students may still sign up for this educational trip to the nation's capitol. The trip is open to all LAMS 8th grade and home school students.

Contact Roberta Cocking at 505.670.0679 with questions or for more information about the trip.

Vietnam Has Changed

on February 28, 2014 - 8:23am
Cindy Eaton speaks to the Los Alamos Kiwanis Club about her trip to Vietnam. Photo by Don Casperson/Kiwanis
Los Alamos Kiwanis Club

What a difference 46 years can make.

Cindy Eaton, treasurer of Los Alamos Kiwanis and the club’s speaker Feb. 18, recalled that in 1968, she was a senior in high school in Alameda, Calif., who subsequently enrolled at the University of California-Berkeley. She watched the news every night, and it was dominated by stories of battles and body counts in Vietnam.

“All of the years I was there,” she said, “the war was the primary focus.”

Solo Traveler: Planning a Trip from a Distance

on February 20, 2014 - 7:56am
Ceremonial center at Caracol. Photo by Sherry Hardage
This toucan is one of the many tropical birds found in Belize. Photo by Sherry Hardage
Solo Traveler: Planning a Trip from a Distance

I was asked by a friend to put together a trip to Belize for five or six people. I’d never been to Belize so it was quite a challenge to figure out where we might go, and more importantly, how we would get there.

He didn’t want to spend a lot of money and suggested we stay in a rented house together so we could cook.

Venturing into the Valley of the Moon

on February 18, 2014 - 7:13am
Kerri Frasier in the desert in Wadi Rum. Photo by Jason Frazier
Sydney Frazier pets a baby camel. Photo by Jason Frazier

Editor’s note: Kerri and Jason Frazier and their 8-year-old daughter Sydney are traveling around the world. So far, they have visited Europe and the Middle East. They are currently traveling in Thailand. Kerri is the daughter of local storyteller, ecologist and artist Teralene Foxx of Los Alamos.


Venturing into the Valley of the Moon

At the mere mention of Jordan, Petra immediately comes to mind with its’ ancient tombs carved into sandstone rock,

Mountaineers Present ‘Antarctica: A Bucket-List Destination’

on February 17, 2014 - 9:30am
Melissa Bartlett and Bill Priedhorsky up close with an ice chunk in the southern-most wilds of the world. Courtesy/Mountaineers
Melissa Bartlett's drawing of a chinstrap penguin. Courtesy/Mountaineers

The February meeting of the Los Alamos Mountaineers features a trip report from the Southern-most wilds: Antarctica, the Falklands, South Georgia and Tierra del Fuego at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Fuller Lodge. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The presentation will be given by Bill Priedhorsky, longtime LA Mountaineer and outdoor trip leader, and Melissa

Los Alamos County Airport Hosts Information Table in LANB Lobby Feb. 20

on February 13, 2014 - 1:46pm

New Mexico Airlines' Cessna Caravan. Courtesy/NMA


Los Alamos County Airport Manager Peter Soderquist will have an information table set up 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday in the lobby of Los Alamos National Bank at 1200 Trinity Dr.

Peter Soderquist

He will hand out flight schedules for the new commercial airline service being offered between Los Alamos Airport (LAM) and Albuquerque’s International Sunport.

Explore Patagonia with Los Alamos Guide

on February 7, 2014 - 10:57am
A lakeside lunch stop in Patagonia. Courtesy/Guanaco Adventures
Hiking amid snow-topped peaks. Courtesy/Guanaco Adventures
Los Alamos Daily Post

Betsy Raichur grew to love Chile when she served as a Peace Corps volunteer there in the 1980s. While visiting the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park, she found a job as a research assistant collecting data for a project conducted by Iowa State University to study the guanaco, a threatened species related to alpacas and llamas.

During her eight-month project, Raichur became friends with Oscar Guineo and Gladys


Solo Traveler: Screwed Up!

on February 5, 2014 - 7:28am
Solo Traveler: Screwed Up!

Not too long ago, I wrote about money security and how easy it is to lose one’s debit card in machines that “eat” them.

Well, now on a trip through Belize, I made the mistake of not retrieving my card, so I lost it. What a shock that was! But it’s just the sort of thing that can happen to anyone.

A few days ago, I went to an ATM in Ladyville, sandwiched between the bank and the grocery store. It was 4 p.m. I tried to get a thousand Belize dollars. The machine said I didn’t have enough in my account, which wasn’t true.

Steve Boerigter Shares European Adventure with Kiwanis Club

on February 3, 2014 - 5:46am
Steve Boerigter at the Leadership Los Alamos exposition Friday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center with a Kiwanis poster and handouts. Courtesy/Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos
Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos

Kiwanis First Vice President Steve Boerigter shared his European vacation with club members recently, projecting a series of photos and describing his experiences with his wife and parents during a trip through France, Belgium and England.

His photos included many of the famous sites in Paris—notably the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysees, the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame

Solo Traveler: Red Light Districts

on January 25, 2014 - 6:37am
Hot tamales for sale in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Photo by Sherry Hardage
Solo Traveler: Red Light Districts

When I turned 15, my family lived in the Panhandle of Texas. The town, Dimmitt, wasn't exactly the buckle on the Bible Belt, but it was definitely one of the holes.

The city fathers believed that dancing was a sin-like playing cards and drinking alcohol. Playing cards leads to gambling, drinking alcohol leads to a life of debauchery, and dancing leads to sinful unmarried sex.

We never had a dance at the high school for prom or homecoming but

Antarctica Adventure Subject of Unitarian Forum

on January 23, 2014 - 6:46am
Bill Priedhorsky and Melissa Bartlett on their Antarctica adventure. Courtesy photo


This week, The Forum at the Los Alamos Unitarian Church presents an Antarctica adventure at 10:10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, at the church, 1738 Sage Loop.

Traveling aboard the good ship Sea Spirit, Bill Priedhorsky and Melissa Bartlett of Los Alamos made their way to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and the South Shetland Islands before landing on the continent of Antarctica, a voyage of more than three weeks.

Penguins, seals, whales and sea birds were in great abundance and they

Solo Traveler: Culture Shock

on January 17, 2014 - 6:13am
Solo Traveler: Culture Shock

No matter where you go, even if they speak your language, every country in the world presents something to the traveler that is surprising, possibly even shocking.

Coming home after being away for some time can be a kind of culture shock as well. Each time I return to the U.S., I am struck with how little time people spend meeting my gaze. In many other countries, when people speak to you they look you in the eye the whole time. It’s not meant to be threatening. The steady gaze is just their way of seeing you as a human being.

Sydney’s Corner: Foods of Turkey

on January 11, 2014 - 8:34am

Sidney Frazier dining on frog legs in Turkey. Photo by Jason Frazier

Sydney’s Corner: Foods of Turkey

Introduction: Teralene Foxx. Photos by Jason Frazier

Over the past year, Sydney, our grandaughter, traveling the world with her parents has blogged about different foods: Foods of the Netherlands, Foods of  Poland, and now foods of Turkey. She was eight when then began their travels and turned nine in September. What amazes me is that this 8/9 year old is willing to try all these different foods. When they were in Bulgaria, she tried frog legs, which she proclaimed “They were really good.”

Win Taos Adventure Vacation While Helping Rescue Llamas

on January 9, 2014 - 7:12am

Pack llama on the trail near Taos. Courtesy/Wild Earth Llama Adventures

TAOS—Wild Earth Llama Adventures in Taos is giving abandoned, abused and neglected llamas a second chance while, at the same time, giving one couple a chance to win a five-day, four night vacation package to Taos with their llama rescue adventure raffle.

Only 100 raffle tickets will be sold now through Jan. 15, increasing the odds of winning. The drawing will be held on Jan. 16. The value of the entire package is well over $2,000.

The Taos vacation package includes: a three-day llama trekking adventure in New Mexico’s


Solo Traveler: When Lies Lead to Tourism

on December 29, 2013 - 9:23am
Statue of Zorro in El Fuerte, Sinaloa. Photo by Sherry Hardage
Fort in El Fuerte, Sinaloa. Photo by Sherry Hardage
Solo Traveler: When Lies Lead to Tourism

There is a beautiful little town in Sinaloa, Mexico, called El Fuerte, "The Fort." Situated on top of the tallest bluff along the river, the fort overlooks a forested wildlife preserve on the other side.

It is an old city, the birthplace of Don Diego de la Vega, known as the hero, Zorro. His wealthy parents moved, shortly after his birth, to the Los Angeles area of California, which was still part of Mexico.