Be adventurous!

What is one minute from home?

Feb 9, 2011  ·  Deanna Keahey  ·  7 Comments

It's so easy to ooh and aah over wonderful scenes when we're on vacation or out in nature. But do you ever look at things around your home with the same eye and appreciation for beauty you use when you're traveling?

A photography group I belong to gave us an interesting challenge: take interesting photos of things within one minute walking distance of your home. Their suggestions included smoke curling upward, a photo of your spouse, or a back lit spider web. I didn't find any spider webs, and dust bunnies didn't seem nearly as photogenic.smiley So I went looking for other possibilities.

It was really fun looking at everything around me in a different way - with an eye toward what would make an appealing photograph.

A single branch against the sky took on its own artistic qualities, and seemed to tell me something, instead of standing there blandly as I walked right past, like every other day.

Branch against the sky

Branch against the sky


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An orange on a plate was no longer just an orange on a plate, but became a bright, juicy subject to be photographed in the sunlight.

Orange on a blue plate

Orange on a blue plate


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What's one minute from your home? It's worth taking some time to look around, and see what you find. And if you come up with any lovely photos, feel free to share them on our facebook page!
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This fits right in with my ideas about everyday adventures, even close to home. We don't need to travel around the world to find adventure, or to discover beautiful subjects to photograph. Of course I still want to travel the world, but in between trips, learning to appreciate what's right in front of us can be a wonderful experience!
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Categories: Just for fun · Local adventures · Observations
Posted from:         Photo credit:   Deanna Keahey

Mini-trekking on Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina

Jan 18, 2011  ·  Deanna Keahey  ·  7 Comments

The surface of Perito Moreno was more rugged than I'd expected. The glacier guides were daredevils with stories to tell.  And scotch on the rocks is different here!

My previous "walking on glacier" experience had been at the Columbia Ice Field, in the Canadian Rockies.  While that was interesting (and shocking, to see how quickly that ice has receded), it didn't prepare me for Perito Moreno glacier, in Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina.

Mini-trekking on Perito Moreno glacier, Argentina

Mini-trekking on Perito Moreno glacier, Argentina


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Perito Moreno was one of the stops on our Patagonia tour, and our aim for the day was to strap on some crampons, and go out "mini-trekking" on the glacier. We took a boat across Lago Argentina in front of the glacier, and a short walk through the woods, then emerged at the edge of the glacier, where we donned our gear.
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The first surprise was how rugged the surface of the glacier was.  It was all steep hills up and down, with jagged peaks of ice towering over our trail. You can tell from the pictures this is no smooth field of snow!  As we walked along, we passed holes in the ice filled with frigid water and the distinctive blue light of the glacier, and crevasses that went down who knows how far...
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Perito Moreno glacier is one of 48 glaciers connected to the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, high in the Andes mountains of South America. The ice field straddles the border of Chile and Argentina, with glaciers reaching out in both directions. Only three of the glaciers are growing, and Perito Moreno is one of them.

The front of Perito Moreno glacier

The glacier moves several feet/day, constantly breaking off at the front edge

The glacier is a slow-moving river of ice, advancing several feet per day. At its front end, at Lago Argentina, there's a vertical wall of ice about 200 feet high. Enormous slabs of ice are constantly falling off the front of the glacier, so that the ice keeps moving, but the front stays in pretty much the same place. With this constant shifting of ice, every morning, the glacier guides have to scout out a new route for the day's tours.

The guides are experts, who straddled crevasses cavalierly, as though it was the most natural thing in the world. Their stories of off-duty adventure were astonishing.

One guide said the most dangerous thing he ever did was free climb up the face of the glacier. (He said he would never do that one again - unless somebody bet him a lot of money!) This is 200 feet up a wall of ice that's constantly breaking off! We saw numerous huge chunks calve off and crash into the lake while we were there, testament to the constantly shifting nature of Perito Moreno.

Scotch on the (very old) rocks!

Scotch on the (very old) rocks!

But the tale of derring-do that took my breath away was scuba diving in the glacier.  Those holes in the blue ice we passed that were filled with freezing water?  They'd find a large hole that looked promising, and scuba dive into it, following wherever it would lead.  I get shivery and claustrophobic just thinking about it!  And with the ice continuing its relentless forward march, who knows how long the hole you came through will be there?

Ah well, there's a reason they're out there doing glacier diving, while I'm sitting with my laptop writing a blog post about it! smiley

At the end of our Perito Moreno mini-trek, we got a nice surprise - a little scotch on the rocks.  In this case, the rocks were "millennial ice" - glacier ice that's a thousand years old.  Most places the scotch is older then the ice, but not here!

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I'm not sure when we'll be back in Argentina, but the next time we do our women's trip to Patagonia, I definitely want to include Perito Moreno again. It was quite a highlight, and so much fun. Definitely recommended! :-)
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Categories: Destination tidbits · Patagonia · Travel photos
Posted from:         Photo credit:   Deanna Keahey

The Year of Living Adventurously

Jan 3, 2011  ·  Deanna Keahey  ·  14 Comments

That's my plan for 2011, but it's not what you might think. The fortune cookie saying taped to my mirror is

Life to you is a dashing and bold adventure".

While I certainly believe that in a big-picture way, there's a reason I have it on my mirror.

It's one thing to think this way while you're off viewing wildlife in the rainforest, or exploring ancient Greek ruins.  But what about the rest of life? What about the dull days spent toiling away at the office, or even (heaven forbid!) doing the accounting?  What about the difficult days, when disappointments arise, problems loom large, and tears well up?  Are those days part of the adventure, too?

Path through the treetops in Peru

This looks like a fun adventure!

Adventure
"1. A risky undertaking of unknown outcome. 2. An exciting or unexpected event or course of events." ~ Collins English Dictionary

Adventure and the dull days

Adventures don't have to be dangerous, physically challenging, or geographically distant.  You don't have to follow in the footsteps of Indiana Jones, searching for long-lost treasure, while evading jungle natives and outwitting German spies.

Walking around the block can be an adventure, when you first arrive in Hong Kong, you're jostling through the crowds, absorbing all the strange and fascinating sights and sounds, and you don't know what's around every corner.  Walking to the mailbox the same way you do every day - not so much.

But even then, are there ways you could add adventure to it (aside from darting between the cars on a busy street)? Perhaps set a goal to discover one new thing on the way every day, or take a daily photograph, and create a photo montage for the month.  A cloudy sky, reflections in a puddle, or recording a flower as it blooms and fades - there's beauty everywhere, if we take a moment to look for it. Discovering something new every day would bring lots of unexpected things, and the challenge and creativity would add a lot more fun and excitement.

Adventure and the difficult days

Problems are part of adventures, too. They go with the territory. After all, you don't get to the top of Mt. Everest without enduring plenty of difficulty and hardship on the way up. Even Indiana Jones got beaten up, captured, and thrown in a pit with a thousand snakes. That's the risky part of adventure.

Indiana Jones, Temple of Doom

Hmm, temple of doom....

In terms of travel, I've always found that the worst experiences at the time can make the best stories later. If you're going to laugh a year from now about the time you spent 2 days sleeping at the airport, or your bus broke down in the middle of nowhere, why not take it in stride, and laugh about it right away?

But it's a big step from there to viewing challenges and hardships in our "normal life" as part of the adventure. When you're in the middle of the snake pit, it's scary, and it's not where you want to be. It's hard to step back from there to see the larger view, where this is one of the ups and downs that make life exciting. (I'm not speaking of real tragedies here, but the many types of obstacles we have to overcome.)

It's difficult to get that perspective, even though we know that in the long run, the hard times are just part of life. They build ability and confidence, as you know that you've made it through another trial.  The next time you're in trouble, you can think "I can do this - it's nothing compared to the snake pit." They make the good times that much sweeter, as you suddenly appreciate any day without snakes. And sometimes they make great stories later, too!

Attitude is the only difference between an ordeal and an adventure." ~ Larry Hazan

So this year, my goal is to keep that adventurous outlook, regardless of what's happening.  I intend to have adventures afield, adventures close to home, and even adventures on days when I have to do accounting. ;-) And when I hit a difficult patch, I'll do my best to picture it as a yawning chasm or a pool of quicksand - all just part of the adventure!

What do you think? Do you see life as an adventure, or would you like to?  There's nothing required except an adventurous spirit.  I'll keep you posted on how it goes - I foresee one awesome, rocking year ahead!

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For 2011, my resolution is to explore the concept of adventure.  I'm not spending the year trekking unexplored mountain passes, but wherever I am, and whatever I'm doing, I'll be looking for the adventure in it.  Can every day be adventurous, even the dull and difficult ones?  That's what I aim to find out, in the Year of Living Adventurously!
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Categories: Inspirations · Life experiments
Posted from:         Photo credit:   anoldent (flickr)

Women know the weight of every item

Dec 27, 2010  ·  Deanna Keahey  ·  3 Comments

Women know the weight of every item of clothing they own, so we don't have to get on the scale naked. We just deduct. For instance, I know that my sweats weigh in at exactly 21 pounds."
~ Christina Irene

Now how much is that really?

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If there's one thing I love about holidays (almost any holidays, but especially those in November and December), it's the food! :-) Unfortunately, there is a downside to all this culinary extravagance, and I don't mean just the stack of dishes. The food and the hectic schedule (Workout? I have shopping to do, presents to wrap, more food to prepare!) combine to lead one astray from previous healthy regimens.
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I have a feeling this is how New Year's Resolutions came about...
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Back in the days of King Arthur, all the knights of the round table overdid it for the holidays, feasting, making merry, and generally carrying on. (You know how knights can be!) After a few weeks of that, they had trouble getting back into their suits of armor, and the horses couldn't run as fast with the extra weight aboard. The King, seeing his forces thus disabled, issued a proclamation, that starting January 1, each of his subjects must take an oath: "My liege, I do solemnly swear that in this new year, I shall eat less, exercise more, and lose weight." :-)
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I'm busy making my New Year's resolutions right now. That gives me a few more days to delay the actual implementation!
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Categories: Just for fun · Quotations
Posted from:   Phoenix, AZ       Photo credit:   Thinking Tree (flickr)

Fox on a Rock, on San Juan Island

Dec 3, 2010  ·  Deanna Keahey  ·  2 Comments

It was a quiet morning down at South Beach, on San Juan Island.  As usual, we had the whole place to ourselves.  The group was strolling down the deserted, driftwood-strewn beach, while I was back by the van.  I saw a red fox run through the grass, then he jumped onto a rock. He sat perfectly still, watching intently for prey in the grass (and posing for this picture at the same time!)

San Juan Islands - Fox on a rock

On a rock? With a fox?

That was last year.  This year, we were back at South Beach - we go there every year on our San Juan Islands trips (up in the Pacific Northwest, near Seattle). Every trip is different, and you never know what you'll see, but I was keeping my eyes open for foxes.

This year, we saw a black fox, nosing around near the same spot.  The black one looked scrawnier, and seemed to be hoping for scraps around someone's picnic table, rather than hunting for wild prey like the red one from last year. 

I read that all the foxes on the island are red foxes, but that they come in different colors, including black.  So that would mean last year we saw a red red fox, and this year we saw a black red fox!  :-)

Another week at South Beach this year, we saw an otter cross the beach, and take off into the water.  Just minutes later, he came back out of the water and across the beach, with a fish in his mouth.  It sure didn't take him long to find breakfast!  It was wonderful to see, but unfortunately, I was camera-less.  We also saw orca whales, quite close in to the beach, and easily visible from shore.  We normally see orcas out whale watching, but this was a first for me, seeing them from the beach here.

Driftwood on the beach

Driftwood on the beach

If "South Beach" makes you you think of Miami, this is the complete opposite.  This one isn't about neon and nightlife - it's about wind and wildlife.  It may be foggy or blue, chilly or warm, but it's a beach where you can stroll for miles, rarely encountering anyone else.  It's a place to feel the wind and smell the sea, and contemplate the patterns of the waves.  All that, and the biggest piles of driftwood you could ever hope to see.

This is also the site of the American Camp, during the "Pig War" vs. the British in the 1800s.  But that's another story!

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If you ever feel like getting away from the rat race to a place that's exceptionally peaceful and beautiful, the San Juan Islands is a good choice. As soon as I step onto the ferry heading out there, I can feel it, and just writing this post makes me want to go back. That's one danger of writing a blog! :-)
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Categories: Destination tidbits · San Juan Islands · Travel photos
Posted from:         Photo credit:   Deanna Keahey

Tombstone, Arizona and Clanton Days

Nov 28, 2010  ·  Deanna Keahey  ·  3 Comments

So there I was... with a notorious gunfighter!   Well, actually with his namesake relative.  The old Ike Clanton died back in 1887, before my time. The new Ike Clanton is alive and kicking, and hosting Clanton Days, an annual event in Tombstone, Arizona - "The town too tough to die".

Tombstone is a fun place to visit any time, and this weekend had some special extras.  It's an event that ties back to Tombstone's main claim to fame - the Gunfight at the OK Corral.

Stagecoach in Tombstone

Stagecoach on Allen Street in Tombstone, Arizona

Tombstone was one of the true wild west mining towns. After prospector Ed Shieffelin discovered silver here in 1877, the town quickly sprang into being and grew to about 15,000 people in just a few years.  There were over 100 saloons and a large red light district.  Oddly enough, I haven't seen how many churches there were. smiley

There was a lot of money here, and the town had a public swimming pool, ice cream, and even ice skating!  Like many other mining boom towns, the people who got rich weren't the miners, but the bar owners, merchants, and even lawyers.  I was surprised to find out that lawsuits were a big business in Tombstone even way back then.  Who knew our proclivity to litigation was going strong back in those gunfighting days?

Though the main business of Tombstone was tied to silver mining, it was in the middle of the desert, surrounded by wild country.  Groups of "cow-boys" from the area around town didn't always get along with the city folk.  It was a dangerous place, to the point that the city council had outlawed carrying guns in town. Since the Bird Cage Theater (/ saloon / brothel)  has about 140 bullet holes in the walls and ceilings, it seems like either there was a good reason for this law, or it was a major failure!

Gunfight at the OK Corral

A cowboy is hit at the OK Corral

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp - the man and the mustache

The most famous event in Tombstone was the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral, between Wyatt Earp's group, and the Clanton group (the cowboys). Over the years, the story has been dramatized and romanticized, with Wyatt Earp played by Burt Lancaster, Kevin Costner, and Kurt Russell. He's the iconic wild west lawman, bringing justice to lawless towns, and saving the people from ruffians and killers.

According to the newspaper of the day, the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday went to the OK Corral on that October day in 1881 to disarm the Clanton brothers and their friends. "a lively fire commenced from the cow-boys against the three citizens. About thirty shots were fired rapidly."  At the end of this, Billy Clanton and 2 of his friends were dead.

But what of the other side of the story? If you fast-forward to today, and head to Tombstone for Clanton Days, you can hear Terry Ike Clanton telling a different side of the story, on the spot where the action took place.  I can't do justice to the whole thing, but it revolves around Doc Holliday (a friend who accompanied Wyatt Earp to the OK Corral).  It seems that everyone agrees he was a drunk, a gambler, and a gunfighting dentist (surely an unusual combination, even then)!  But just how much of a villain was he?

This Clanton-view historical tour of Tombstone is just one of the interesting activities during Clanton Days.  There are also costume events and contests, dinner with old-timey entertainment, a re-enactment of the OK Corral (starring Ike Clanton as Ike Clanton), a mounted shooting demonstration, and a ghost tour.   For 2011, they're also talking about a mountain bike race through the mine-studded hills.

Clanton Days schedule of events...

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I don't know when this will happen in 2011, but probably around the same time in mid-November, and I'm sure they'll be posting info on TombstoneArizona.com.  If you're thinking of touring a bit of Arizona history, this is a fun event to catch!
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Categories: Arizona · Destination tidbits · So there we were...
Posted from:         Photo credit:   Tombstone scenes - Deanna Keahey, Wyatt Earp - unknown

Wisdom from a Facebook birthday

Nov 23, 2010  ·  Deanna Keahey  ·  4 Comments

I'm not sure why, but I just don't greet birthdays these days with the same unmixed enthusiasm I used to.

Wait - back up... It's not good to start a blog post with a lie, is it? :-)

I DO know why birthdays evoke such a mix of emotions. First off, phrases like "getting older" - well, let's just say I live in a world of denial where this doesn't exist. Then there's the annual question - "another year, and what have I accomplished?" No matter what I've done, it's never as much as I could have or should have. And finally, there's the loss of something irreplaceable - one year of a finite life is gone forever.

On the plus side, I'm always happy for any reason to celebrate!! It's just that this particular party comes with a bunch of baggage.

birthday cake

Birthday wishes and wisdom

Fortunately, we now have Facebook! Getting birthday wishes from boatloads of Facebook friends around the world, and replying to each one, inspires new feelings of gratitude.

It reminds me of all the friends I've made over the years, the places, the adventures, and all the fun times I've shared with people.  Though I prefer counting my birthdays backwards, it reminds me that I really wouldn't give up a single one of those years.  (Days and weeks, definitely, just not years!)

And nestled in this deluge of birthday greetings were a few nuggets of wisdom, that are good to remember not only on a birthday, but throughout the year, too.

May you blow out all the candles and may all your dreams and wishes come true! - To me, this is a reminder to never let your dreams fade away.  They'll only come true if you keep them bright, refer to them often, and remember them when the candles are in front of you.

Once more around the sun. Well done! Hope today is awesome and sets the minimum bar for every day going forward. - Do I have a bar for days going forward, or do I just let day after day pass on by?  If I want more awesome days, it's up to me to make it happen!

Have a great birthday, oh all-powerful wench! - What a great reminder that we're not just helpless victims.  We really are powerful, and we create our own reality!

How time flies....seems like it was just last year you had one of these. If you were here I would have let you celebrate by shoveling snow!! - Now this is a reminder to be grateful for things we don't have, as well as those we do.  Not shoveling snow is now on my gratitude list!

You worked hard all year long to get here, so go out and make some great memories. - It's true - we do work hard all year to get to wherever we are.  This goes with the "powerful" part above - we create our own realities.  Everything I've done so far has gotten me to this point.  And if this point next year is going to be different (with a bunch more happy memories along the way), who's going to make it happen?

Dance, laugh, mainly pamper yourself. Cheers! -  Why wait for a birthday?  We could be nice to ourselves every day.  I don't mean daily facials (though that would be nice!) - but why not dance more, laugh often, and do a little pampering frequently?  How hard would that be, and wouldn't life be happier for it?

Enough philosophizing for now...  I've got some dancing to do!  :-)

Categories: Inspirations · Observations
Posted from:         Photo credit:   Jessica Diamond

Daring young woman on the flying machine

Nov 19, 2010  ·  Deanna Keahey  ·  4 Comments

You've got to see this! Can you imagine anyone doing something like this today?

The video isn't the greatest quality - it's from the 1920s. But what you can see is amazing. She has no safety line, no parachute, nothing but guts!
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Gladys Ingle was a member of a barnstorming troupe called the 13 Black Cats in the 1920s. Ingles was a wing walker; in this film, she shows her fearlessness in a classic barnstorming fashion to save an airplane that has lost one of its main wheels. Ingle is shown with a replacement wheel being strapped to her back and then off she goes as "Up She Goes," a duet from the era, provides the soundtrack. In the video, Ingles transfers herself from the rescue plane to the one missing the main landing gear tire. She then expertly works herself down to the undercarriage only a few feet from a spinning prop. It's certainly a feat many mechanics wouldn't even try on the ground with the engine running."

Barnstorming was popular in the early 1920s. A pilot would fly over a small town to get attention, and then land at a local farm, where they'd use one of the fields as a runway. People could take airplane rides, and there would be an air show, where pilots would do acrobatic loops and rolls, and wing walkers would perform daring feats.

Some wing walkers did indeed die during these shows, and viewers always knew that was a possibility. In the late 1920s, the government began implementing stricter safety standards, and the barnstorming age came to an end.

Barnstorming biplanes

Barnstorming biplanes, with somebody climbing out? ~ 1918

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I'd say Gladys Ingles was an Adventurous Wench of the highest order! She's now on my list, along with Amelia Earhart and other daring, adventurous women. Thanks to Dave for sending this one to me! :-)
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Categories: Adventurous wenches · Just for fun · Video
Posted from:   Tucson, AZ       Photo credit:   Library & Archives Canada, Video by Bomberguy (YouTube)

Trip discounts for 2011

Nov 10, 2010  ·  Deanna Keahey  ·  5 Comments

As promised in our last newsletter, here are some more details on the deal you can get on trips next year.

When I announced our sabbatical, I wasn't sure what reaction we'd get. I was happy, touched and grateful for all the positive and encouraging responses from all you adventurous women out there.

I did get some questions, though, like "So you're just going to leave us in the lurch?" These were always said in a joking way, and I'd reply "We'll be back - 2012 isn't that far away!". But the fact remains, they're right - we were leaving people in the lurch!

So, to take care of this, we've worked out a special deal with another company, so that you can get a discount on any of their trips that you take during 2011. I mentioned this in our last newsletter, and here are the rest of the details, with a letter from Marian Marbury, CEO of Adventures in Good Company.

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While you're waiting for Deanna to come up with amazing new adventures for 2012, Adventures in Good Company invites you to take a look at our trips in 2011. We would love to help satisfy your love of traveling to incredible destinations with other adventurous women next year!

And if you've never traveled with us before, we'll give you 5% off on any trip, in addition to whatever other discounts you might be eligible for. Just mention Adventurous Wench when you sign up.

Like Adventurous Wench, Adventures in Good Company:

  • keeps our groups small, never more than 14 and usually 10 – 12
  • is joined by women 16 to 80, with most women being from 40 to 65
  • places an emphasis on being active, being outdoors, and having fun
  • offers a wide variety of trips in terms of length, price, location, and challenge

Adventures in Good Company is offering 46 trips next year, from Trekking to Everest Basecamp to Waterfalls and Wineries in Georgia. We offer a 5% discount to the first 5 women who sign up for any trip, and there's also a 3% discount if you pay by check. If you combine all three, you can get 13% off on a trip.

Detailed descriptions and itineraries are available on the website at www.adventuresingoodcompany.com or call 877/439-4042 and we'll help you select the right trip for you. Maybe this is the year to walk the back roads of Tuscany or go kayaking in Nova Scotia. Whatever your preferences, don't let Deanna's sabbatical keep you from having an amazing adventure.

Marian Marbury
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Trip discounts

Save some $

So there you have it!  We can't take you traveling in 2011, but we're doing what we can to help you have a great adventure anyway.  And I hope you'll be ready for another one when we're back with more trips for 2012!

~ Deanna, Adventurous Wench
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Categories: Behind the scenes · Travel tips
Posted from:   Tucson, AZ       Photo credit:  

Edge of Taos Desert, a Woman's Adventure in Taos

Oct 23, 2010  ·  Deanna Keahey  ·  5 Comments

I'm in Taos again, a cool, artsy, funky little town in northern New Mexico. It's an adobe town in a spectacular setting, lying between high pine-covered mountains, and a broad sage-brush plain.

Rancho de Taos church

The famous church at Rancho de Taos

The tri-cultural history of New Mexico is strong here.

  • At Taos Pueblo, an ancient lifestyle is maintained, in stacked-cube buildings a thousand years old.
  • The church of San Francisco de Asis at Rancho de Taos, a favorite with artists, is a reminder of the Spanish, who first arrived with Coronado in 1540.
  • Kit Carson's house stands near the plaza downtown, now a museum dedicated to this sometimes friend, sometimes foe of the Indians in the 1800s.

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Moving forward in time, Taos always brings me back to one of my favorite books, by a very remarkable woman:  Edge of Taos Desert: An Escape to Reality, by Mabel Dodge Luhan.

Edge of Taos Desert

Edge of Taos Desert

In the early 1900s Mabel was a high-society New York city socialite. She was used to Fifth Avenue, wealth and privilege, and she was a patron of the arts and the avant-garde. Technically, she was Mabel Ganson Evans Dodge Sterne. Her latest husband, Maurice Sterne, was a painter, and her intention was to turn him into a sculptor.

In 1917, Mabel decided to visit Santa Fe, New Mexico, a place hardly anyone in New York had heard of. Little did she know how this would affect her.

'I want a vacation', I said to myself. 'I've had a horrid time lately. I feel like a Change.'
I got it. My life broke in two right then, and I entered into the second half, a new world that replaced all the ways I had known with others, more strange and terrible and sweet than any I had ever been able to imagine."

Mabel fell in love with New Mexico, and particularly Taos - a tiny little backwater of a place at the time. She decided they should move here, and made it happen.

It's fascinating to read her descriptions of Santa Fe and Taos, and the way people lived in those days - the Indians, Spanish and Anglos all. In the nearly 100 years since it was written, life has changed greatly here, and Mabel has a unique way of viewing and describing things that's most interesting. But no matter how much has changed, every once in awhile, she says something that makes me think "Exactly - I felt that too!"

The sky was a burning, deep blue over us and my heart rose higher and higher until I was thrilling all over. It seemed to me I had never been happy before, just from being in good air and sunshine. Really, it seemed to me, I had never been happy before at all."

Mabel was more than an observer, though. She became involved with one of the men from Taos Pueblo, Tony Luhan, and eventually married him.

She also invited numerous friends from her old New York life to spend time with her in Taos, so they could discover this new world that so captivated her. By bringing artists, writers and photographers to Taos, she changed things for Taos, her visitors, and even us today. A couple of examples.

This is a great book by a fascinating and influential woman - truly an Adventurous Wench! If you're headed to New Mexico, or even thinking about it, this book is highly recommended.

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We've finished our last women's trip to Santa Fe and Taos for the year. I do love visiting New Mexico, and hope to be back there again before long. The big blue skies, fresh crisp air, and remarkable history and culture keep drawing me back - and then there's the delectable food! :-)
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Categories: Adventurous wenches · Reading · Santa Fe
Posted from:   Taos, NM       Photo credit:   Deanna Keahey