Summer 2012 - Nomads with Wings Clipped

Hawaii must be the most "foreign" state in the USA! With its volcanic origins, Polynesian culture, amazing isolation, unique ecosystems and tourist based economy, Hawaii has much to offer visitors. Yet, after a month surrounded by the incredible natural beauty of the four larger islands, it was time to travel on. So, we flew from Honolulu to Albuquerque to vote in the Primary. We then picked up our truck and drove to Denver, a lovely journey through New Mexico and Colorado's front range.

Our next home was a comfy well equipped studio apartment above the garage of a large house in Stapleton. Yes, Stapleton, the unique master planned community we had admired for nearly a decade, and now we'd have the opportunity to experience life here for ourselves!
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Denver also offered the opportunity for additional research on Climate Friendly Cities, with the expanding RTD transit system and the increasing numbers of homes with rooftop solar installations.

In late June, we returned to Albuquerque, our home base where duty called - Grand Jury duty, that is. Being available to be called for jury service 'clipped our wings' for a lot of the summer. Yet, in spite of the need to stay close, we decided that we would make the best of our time.

Having more time to catch up with friends has been awesome, plus we've volunteered to work on the campaigns of Martin Heinrich for Senate and President Obama's reelection.

Another project that we've undertaken while here is yet another round of downsizing. Even Nomads tend to accumulate STUFF and ours was saved in a storage space. We spent days going through boxes of files, other papers, photos, and various assorted remnants of the past. With persistence, we recycled, donated, or sold quite a lot of this and repackaged the rest. Now, feeling lighter, our next downsizing event will be to return to Phoenix to deal with our trailer, now in storage, and little used for the past few years. Yes, we intend to clear it out and sell it!

Early in August, we had a window of opportunity between jury duty, visits to doctors, downsizing, and other tasks, so we took a road trip. We traveled north to Chama, NM to ride the Cumbres and Toltec steam train; continued on to the little mining town of Creede, Colorado way up in the watershed of the Rio Grande; and then to Mesa Verde and Hovenweep National Monuments where we marveled at the great skill and ingenuity of those architects and stone masons who built the cliff houses, towers and mesa top pueblos more than 700 years ago.

In late August, we spent a week end immersed in Bluegrass music at the Santa Fe Bluegrass Festival, our ears overwhelmed and our hearts filled with joy to hear the music made by these talented and dedicated musicians.

Now our summer of staying in place is nearly ended. Grand jury is over and France beckons; we plan to visit Normandy and Brittany and end up back in Paris. Yes, we'll return to the US in mid-October long enough to deal with the trailer. Perhaps even more essentially, we'll return to VOTE! The coming election may be the most important in our lifetimes. After November 6, we'll decide on the next journey for us and attempt to imagine what the future will bring for our country and the world.

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