The Needles District of Canyonlands NP is our go-to place when we are looking for a desert experience. It is beautiful, close to home, and not as crowded as Moab, which has become a Mecca for bicyclists year-round. While the campground in the park often fills up during peak season, the close-by Needles Outpost usually has spots available and the view of the Needles from there is breathtaking.
Taliesin West is unlike any house I’ve ever seen. Of course, I’ve never seen another Frank Lloyd Wright house before so that would explain it. And, to be fair, Taliesin West isn’t just another Frank Lloyd Wright house.
First of all, the grounds are home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and School of Architecture so in addition to the house there is a gift shop, theater, classrooms, etc. Thus, it feels a little more like a compound than a home.
It is difficult to describe the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, AZ but I think it’s safe to say that if you like rugged beauty, prickly things, and the best flora the desert has to offer, then you should definitely check it out. In addition to the trees, grasses, succulents and cacti, we saw owls hunting, frogs swimming, rabbits doing whatever rabbits do, and quail wandering around making that funny little quail sound. Note, these were not critters in cages. These were wild animals that have made the gardens their home.
Pole Creek Mountain is fairly typical of many San Juan Mountain peaks. It starts on a trail, moves to an off-trail meadow, then to a steep grassy section, on to a section that can really only be described as a slog and finally, a rocky cap that can be ascended in a few different ways.
Mushroom hunting has become somewhat of a sport in southwest Colorado. A popular sport. We know a number of friends who spend hours looking for those somewhat soggy, slimy wild fungi pushing out of the ground. Telluride and Durango Mountain Resort both have their own mushroom festivals. And, just a few weeks ago we passed three hunters on a trail with huge smiles and blue plastic shopping bags full of chanterelles. As for Suzy and I, we prefer to hunt for mushrooms the same way we hunt for elk, with a camera.