August 2015

3 Don’t-Miss Sights in Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park
Chuck Sun, 2015-08-30 07:00
The north edge of the Coachella Valley is dominated by Joshua Tree National Park. Only a full-fledged national park since 1994, it has been preserved as a national monument since 1936. The park occupies a bit more than 1,200 square miles of California desert, making it slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. Joshua Tree National Park gets its name from the Joshua trees that are native to the Mojave Desert and common across the landscape. These distinctive trees are also known as yucca palms, tree yuccas, and (to cover all bases) palm tree yuccas. Mid 19 th -century Mormon settlers...

The Mojave National Preserve

Chuck Thu, 2015-08-27 07:00
We could have gone all Interstate highway from Las Vegas to the Coachella Valley, but what would be the fun in that? Sometimes you just have to take the back roads. Being natives of the Gulf South, deserts are about as familiar to us as moonscapes. So naturally we cut through the Mojave National Preserve just to see what we could see. Here are a few of those sights. Mojave National Preserve Old Kelso Post Office Kelso Jail (not a pleasant thought, especially in August. It was used until 1985.) Lunch counter at the Kelso visitor's center (which used to be a railroad workhouse). Old Southern...

Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley

Chuck Tue, 2015-08-25 07:00
We’ve wanted to spend time in Southern California for quite some time. It’s one of the corners (literally) of the country that we’ve scarcely visited. So with an opportunity to spend 7 weeks in the Coachella Valley, the “headquarters” of which could be considered to be Palm Springs, we eagerly signed up. The Coachella Valley is a desert valley running about 45 miles from northwest to southeast. The northwest entrance to the valley is just an hour or so east of Los Angeles, and the southern end of the valley is marked by the Salton Sea, whose shores lie barely more than 20 miles from the...

Hard At Work in Las Vegas

Chuck Sat, 2015-08-22 07:00
At some point in almost any American’s working life, there will be an opportunity to go to Las Vegas. Every industry association, franchise group, non-profit consortium, political group, and even church group will hold an annual conference in Vegas from time to time. There have been perhaps billions of meetings called with bosses by employees imploring the value of attending this year’s Association of Salami Slicers (that’s right: A.S.S.) meeting at the Monte Cristo Rio Oahu Peoria Resort and Conference Center. I have been on both sides of the desk in a few hundred of these meetings, and I...

Way Down Deep at Carlsbad Caverns

Chuck Thu, 2015-08-20 07:00
(Note from Chuck: we're still having some technical difficulties here and there. If you're receiving our blog by email, you might not see the images in the email below. We'll get this fixed soon, but you can always click the link to view our blog and all the images on your browser.) One of the first vacations we took together was to Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Not so many years after that, we returned with kids. We’ve had an affinity for caves ever since, and when we first discussed this Western America road trip, Lori practically insisted on a stop at Carlsbad Caverns. She’s been...

The Briscoe Western Art Museum, San Antonio

Chuck Tue, 2015-08-18 07:00
(Note from Chuck: we're still having some technical difficulties here and there. If you're receiving our blog by email, you might not see the images in the email below. We'll get this fixed soon, but you can always click the link to view our blog and all the images on your browser.) One of our San Antonio experiences merits special mention. On the Riverwalk, opposite the side closest to the Alamo, we found the Briscoe Western Art Museum . Not (previously) being particular fans of Western American art, we wouldn’t have visited, but we noticed a Free Admission Tuesday Nights at the Briscoe...

San Antonio's Riverwalk and The Alamo

Chuck Sat, 2015-08-15 07:00
In hindsight, our two days in San Antonio didn't really do it justice. We had planned on a hard drive from South Mississippi (where we visited with Susan and Randy, not only relatives but also our often-times travel pals as our regular readers know) to San Antonio, but perhaps amped up on hitting the road to see and experience a few months of new stuff in the great American West, it didn't seem to be that hard a drive. Straight down Interstate 10, supplied with a nifty 12-volt powered ice chest and a good audio book ("The Martian" by Andy Weir, soon to be a major motion picture starring Matt...

Introducing the New ChuckAndLori.com!

Chuck Thu, 2015-08-13 07:00
Well, here we are. It seems just a bit anticlimatic to be here, but we have finally arrived at our new platform on the web. For our more techy readers, we moved from blogspot.com to Drupal, but most of you probably don't care about that. Please take a look around and explore. Here are a few new things you'll spot: A simpler, cleaner look. Everyone likes to rearrange the furniture every now and then, don't they? A rotating banner image at the top of the home page. We'll try to keep this updated with fresh pictures, but no guarantees. A nice little search box up in the top right hand corner so...