Category Archives: U.S.A

Minaret to Mansion in Cowboy Country

Civic Center in Moorish Revival

When you first encounter Helena, Montana, you might wonder how such a diversity of architectural lines could happen, from minaret to mansion in cowboy country. We drove into town on Prospect Avenue. About the time it intersected with a street called Last Chance Gulch, we knew we were in mining country. But in the distance, […]

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Cathedral of Saint Helena to Gates of the Mountains

Missouri River, Helena, MT

For our final day in Helena, Montana, we moved from an early mass in Cathedral of Saint Helena to Gates of the Mountains Boat tour on the Missouri River. In a way, the architecture of a Gothic cathedral with the nave and transept below soaring arches and columns appears similar to the placidly flowing Missouri […]

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Visit Utah’s Unique Pando Forest in September

Pando Forest

For patrons of the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City who want to explore the state a little between performances, be sure to visit Utah’s unique Pando Forest in September while the aspens are displaying fall colors. I’ve enjoyed the beautiful aspen groves throughout the Inter-mountain West for years, not realizing what singular organisms they are. […]

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Stolid Forbearance as a National Quality


I hadn’t recognized stolid forbearance as a national quality until I waited in a silent line of passengers that snaked back and forth over a concrete floor for over three hours at US Customs in Washington-Dulles International Airport. Date: Tuesday, 18 September 2018. We arrived at IAD on a two-level Airbus A380-800, which can accommodate […]

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Thrill of Serendipitous Discovery

Lavender and poppies

Detailed travel plans have the advantage of efficiency, but less often do they encompass the thrill of serendipitous discovery. If you turn down one road and not another as a spur-of-the-moment choice, and then discover unexpected loveliness, your most rational self knows that ordinary people make their homes there, work there, die there. Yet, unanticipated […]

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Visiting Seattle from Bainbridge Island

Chihuly 12

Visiting Seattle from Bainbridge Island is an everyday event for many residents, since the island is something of a bedroom community for workers commuting to Seattle. For us, however, the ferry ride held all the delights of a rare experience. The walk-on ferry passage from Bainbridge Island to Seattle is free on the Bainbridge side, […]

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Exploring the Many Pleasures of Bainbridge Island

Wanted poster for Captain Hook

Exploring the many pleasures of Bainbridge Island included attending the musical, Peter Pan, as produced by Kitsap Forest Theater. It began raining lightly in the parking lot, but the trees protected us for the most part as we walked down the trail to the outdoor staging area. During this beautiful 10-minute hike through the woods, […]

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Exploring Bainbridge Island While House-sitting

Reflecting Pool at Bloedel Reserve

Since our duties were very light, exploring Bainbridge Island while house-sitting became a pleasurable afternoon event. Whether it was sprinkling, drizzling, raining, or merely overcast, we ventured out. The Scenic Byway road seems to be carved from a huge, old-wood forest that allowed only infrequent glimpses of the water. Bainbridge Island is sheltered by land […]

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Pleasures of House-sitting on Bainbridge Island

Magnificent Hen

The pleasures of house-sitting on Bainbridge Island turned out to be many and varied. I recently joined a website that lists house-sitting opportunities worldwide. After searching by date and destination–the Puget Sound area–we found the Bainbridge Island opportunity and notified the owners of our interest. On their end of things, they checked out the references […]

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Fly or Take a Road Trip Into the Pacific Northwest

Mount Rainier 6 June

If you’re heading to the Puget Sound, is it better to fly or take a road trip into the Pacific Northwest? When time is less a factor and if you’re coming from the south, the entire west coast is too beautiful to miss by flying over it. However, if you’re coming from a point further […]

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