Chasing Sunsets

Time seems to pass quicker as we get older, or so they say…. and the days tend to run together in a blur.   I am determined to avoid looking back and wondering where the time went.  With that as a goal, there are a few things that I like to do to make each day a little more memorable:

My motto:
**go somewhere you haven’t explored before – as often as possible (daily is best, but at least once a week… Geocaching is a great way to discover places… even close to home!)**

And… along the way…

1) take lots of photographs – at least one a day, posted now in a photo-a-day album.. and included in my rotating screen saver so I am reminded of adventures long after they are history (digital photography makes this so much easier than it once was)

2) make notes about location and activities on calendar… I have a stack of calendars that mark events in my life through the decades- easy to leaf through and recollect.  The calendars we used as my kids were growing up are full of appointments and meetings.  Now they reflect more places and events.

3) celebrate daily transitions- take time to pause and watch the sun come up or go down over the horizon.  I’ve been stopping to sit and enjoy the sunrise or sunset since I was in high school.  Fortunately, I share my life with someone who appreciates this time of day, too.

As a matter of fact… Scott and I have been chasing sunsets together for over 35 years…. it’s something we can do wherever we are… set aside the craziness and rush, stop the car or venture to a scenic spot…. and slow down for a few minutes together.

You might think that sunset photos would tend to look alike… not true. As I searched through these, I smiled at the time and place each one recalled… The conversations, the adventures of the day, the shared memories.

Here are a few mementos of shared sunsets that we have gathered over the years:

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How do you slow down? Want to catch a sunset together? … Sure…. Let’s go!

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Historical Places and Times

History was not my favorite subject in school.  So steeped in detail and far removed from my experience…. it was something I memorized long enough to ace the test.  It was not until I had lived enough years to feel a part of history that I could internalize some of the related details of familiar events.

Northern Arizona is a part of my life.  The changes that have happened since I left are recent history. . . sharing memories with “old timers” is an interesting pleasure.

Yesterday we visited the old mining town of Jerome… a small artisan community of free spirits when I was in college, now home to pricey galleries and shops catering to tourists as well as local craftsmanship.  Perched on a steep hillside, this town still flaunts its history.  It is rustic, rough and charming.  I love that local artists continue to create here.

The “new age” spiritual movement has drastically altered this region.  Sleepy, quiet towns and wilderness have become more well-known and popular than any of us could have imagined thirty years ago.

While I was mostly unaware of the infamous “Day of Harmonic Convergence” … August 16-17, 1987 was a particularly significant date in Sedona’s history.  I have  heard several local people talk about the day’s events with disbelief and humorous recollections. All I know is the sudden popularity drastically changed this region.  Luckily, they continue to cherish the landscape and have made much of it off-limits to further development.

I wonder if December 21, 2012 will have an additional impact on this community?

Eventful Days

Eric Clapton in concert- we got great seats!

My travel motivation is generally the location or the bargains (or both)… but I always like to check out what will be going on in the area while we are there.  One year we snagged tickets to an Eric Clapton concert happening  in Phoenix the weekend we arrived in Sedona… definitely worth a two hour drive!

 

This year I stumbled upon information about the Phoenix Open.  Since my husband is an avid golfer I knew he would be interested, so naturally I looked around a bit more to make sure there weren’t any other conflicts before sharing the news with him 😉

San Antonio River Walk Christmas Display

 

Some resources to check out include TicketMaster and Chamber of Commerce websites for towns within about 100 miles of “home base” (more or less depending on your travel interests).  A google search for “(name of town) events” can also reveal other interesting options, often sponsored by local businesses.

New Year's Eve downtown Nashville

 

While you are at it, don’t forget social media options… search Twitter for info or send out a tweet using a hashtag to target locals with a request for ideas.  I hooked up with a friendly geocacher/follower in Nashville last month who became my local expert consultant while we were there!

 

Another resource to not overlook is any state or national parks in the vicinity.

Ranger-led hike on Fruita Dugway Trail - CNM

Awesome sketch class at Colorado National Monument

 

Ranger-led activities can be a great way to explore and learn new things about the area.

Events can be a reason to go somewhere or a reason to get out of town… I look at them as optional activities in my weekly menu.  Try to mix it up and include a few things just out of your comfort zone…. makes life a bit more interesting.

A Heavenly Event! The total lunar eclipse

Ok…. Phoenix Open? Sure…. Let’s go!