Triassic Five

I entered the south gate of the Petrified Forest National Park and rounded the first corner of the dusty road in my shiny blue compact rental car. Based on what I had just witnessed in the park museum, I was expecting to see piles upon piles of magical wood and approximately a hundred senior citizens hobbling around on walking sticks. Instead, I felt like I had been silently transported from an otherwise peaceful spring day in 2012 to a tension-filled scene in the post-apocalyptic 1979 cult classic Mad Max.  Northern Arizona looked just like futuristic Australian badlands. As in the movie, I was determined to hunt ... [Read More]

Rock My Casbah

The following is my recollection of one of my most bizarre airport experiences. Circa 2006: My flight to Buffalo, NY was scheduled to depart Denver at around 8 :00 AM on a wintry Saturday morning. Being in the prime of my party phase, my pre-flight Friday night agenda was tight: A friend of mine was throwing a big bash that I wanted to pop into, but I had to make sure I made it back to my apartment with enough time to throw my bags together and doze off for a few hours before frantically catching a cab to the Denver International Airport (which is actually located in ... [Read More]

Spandex Saturday

When it comes to a place as unique as Phoenix, it's no surprise that people either love it or loathe it. “It’s 120 degrees! You can fry an egg on the sidewalk! There are rattlesnakes everywhere! It's flat and brown!" Perhaps you've heard some of these common misconceptions spewed out by those who have a construed aversion to the Sonoran Desert and its climate. They have undertaken the responsibility of "warning" everyone they come across about how unbearable Phoenix is. Ironically, some of these people have never even set foot in Arizona. Others have simply watched too many reality TV shows and fear they'll uncover a ... [Read More]

Grab your balls!

With a snowstorm quickly approaching Colorado, I packed a bag (ok, four bags) and hopped in a rental headed south towards the sunshine with my little pup by my side. My destination was the year-old MLB Spring Training facility, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, AZ. This 2011 MLB "Ballpark of the Year" (according to Ballpark Digest) is the first to be built on Native American Land and the first to win a LEED Gold Certificate -- color me impressed. I had two goals –- to get my jersey signed by Colorado's star outfielder “CarGo,” and a baseball signed by “Tulo” (as ... [Read More]

Dolphins, Seals and 35 Knots

Never travel with someone who has the bladder of a chipmunk. During the months of December through March, gray whales pass through San Diego's shores of the Pacific from the frigid waters of the Arctic, en route to the warm lagoons of Baja California where they birth their young. The longest migration by any mammal on earth is undertaken by one of the world's largest. Incredible - isn't it? While in San Diego, I made it a priority to sign up for a whale-watching excursion on a “R.I.B.” I had no idea of what that acronym stood for, so of course I created a barbeque party-boat fantasy in my mind. It ... [Read More]