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Join me in figuring out "what now?"

See America First, Then the Rest of the World

I will start this post off with the note that by the time I started ninth grade, I had gone to as many different schools as years. For some odd reason, we moved. A lot. And never very far, once the move constituted less than five miles. We always joked that my Dad had gypsy blood or some kind of wanderlust.

I still feel that way. I cannot seem to feel content to stay in any one place for long. I’ve done better than my father, but I also seem to have the itch to go somewhere.

On our last adventure – our recent trip to Moab, UT and Arches National Park – we started chatting about what was next. And the best way to fill in the open spots of our travels, it helps to have an accounting.

I found a simple black and white drawing of the U.S. and started filling them out. Purple states are those I have lived in, the dark purple is where I was born (Iowa). I also did this for The Kid. The blue states we’ve visited. White are those left to explore.

Mom States

Streets States

For the most part, I will be revisiting states with The Kid and am hoping that sometime this year we will try for Alaska. I am excited to see Denali National Park before Trump releases the drilling morons into that pristine landscape and the final frontier we still have left in America!

MacCupcake

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Arches National Park (Moab, Utah) Part II

Today’s post is really just a continuation from yesterday… I hadn’t gotten The Kid’s photos and he took quite a few. It is interesting to see the difference between our perspectives and interests.

So the less said, the better. I will just allow you to enjoy the photos:

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We’re busy figuring out where to head next. If you have any suggestions, please comment!

MacCupcake

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Arches National Park (Moab, Utah)

So, The Kid and I got back about a week ago from a trip to Utah. Originally when we moved from California to Missouri, our plan was for the two of us to take a week to make the trek. But at the last moment, it was deemed that I needed to be in Kansas City the next Monday (it was Thursday). If we did a lot of driving each day, we could make it in time.

So, recently, I decided we needed to see some more of America, I opted for those gorgeous lands that we passed through doing seventy miles an hour. On an almost whim, we packed some bags and a cooler and headed west. It was an early Saturday morning and as we punched the button to open the garage door, we were met with a heavy snowfall! As it was just a few days from spring (and just a few days before we had to kick on the A/C), this was surprising to say the least. A quick check of the weather of our destination (high 60’s / low 70’s) and we were off.

(I have to mention that I loved driving through Kansas, as much of the freeways had an 80 mph speed limit!)IMG_4030

Words cannot describe the sheer awe that this place inspires. When you think about the time and process that created this space. My words won’t help either. I think, rather, I will leave you with photos and videos that we took (although I might add some facts as you scroll through them).

The only downside for the park started the second day we were there. For the next nine months (or more) are going to be replacing all the roads in the park. Literature given to us, indicates that the original roads where built between 1958 and 1962 and was designed for about 100,000 to 150,000 visitors annually, where today’s count is closer to 1.5 million!

This means that the park closes each evening at 7:00 pm and stays closed until 7:00 am, although the park is open around the clock starting Friday evenings and remains that way until Monday evening. The other thing to consider is that the only in-park campground is completely closed for the time being – I think they expect at least through the remainder of 2017.

As we stayed through Thursday, the early closing (I think) resulted in less people in the park. We were able to take photos without strangers and spend a lot of time investigating areas that might have been much too crowded before.

The Kid was instrumental on persuading me to walk many of the trails, I think I did them all with the exception of any labeled “strenuous” or “difficult”. I expected my knees to be screaming each day, but really only felt pain on the final day of hiking. Icing my knees helped with that.

So, without further ado:IMG_4050Its difficult to judge the size of these stones… but this might help.

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IMG_4055It was very green, due to the snow melt. Loads of cacti and scrub trees and brush.IMG_4054

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IMG_4061This is my favorite “sculpture” called “The Three Gossips” as it resembles three women walking together.

I’m having some difficulty getting videos off my phone. I also have yet to receive The Kid’s photos and videos, so I may write another post with those.

This is absolutely worth visiting. The Kid and I have decided that we’re going to try and visit more of them. Gives me an excuse to spend quality time with him before he deigns to be ‘too cool’ to hang out with his Mom.MacCupcake

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The Real Value of Government Regulations

I just finished watching a documentary about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. And it reminded me the value of government regulation.

In it, it spoke of the primary reasons for the number of young women dying – as well as some men – that it was largely the result of blocked stairwells, doors opening in and not providing information about fire escape in the form of drills or documentation.

And these were because prior to the fire, they weren’t “regulations” but rather “safety suggestions”.

Triangle-Fire-gs-1024x659Let me back up a little. The year is 1909, the city is New York. Hundreds of young women are working in the garment factory, cranking out clothing by working 60, 70 and even 80 hours a week. Sitting in row upon row of sewing machines, nearly elbow to elbow, without the benefit of union representation. Don’t want to work 10 or 12 hours a day? Quit and they will fill your spot before you reach the front door. Complain about the cramped conditions and maybe they will move you to the machines were accidents take hands, arms and even your life. Stop coming to work and lose those meager paychecks and you and your family starve or lose your home.

Now think a little about the conditions under which (mostly) women work: there aren’t any fire drills to show you how to exit the building should a fire break out. Sprinklers? Fire 9d6c9ce683dae7ef81e118676dec96a7alarms? They’re available, but not mandated, so of course the wealthy company owners aren’t going to spend money to have them installed. Fire escapes? Ditto for those as well. And to make things worse, lock optional escapes because it is mandated that someone had to check those women as they left, in case they opted to try and take home scraps of fabric.

146 young and not-so-young women and men died. Many of them by jumping from the ninth floor windows. Because New York wasn’t equipped to deal with buildings with so many floors, their ladders reached only to the third level. Once the fire broke out below them, they literally had no options.

Fortunately, something good came out of this. Regulations. Yes, REGULATIONS. Something to help safeguard the lives of the 99%. Something that the current administration in Washington wants to start chipping away at. To save money for the 1% (and worse, the ├╝ber rich .01%). Because basic regulations don’t really apply to them other than it costs them money.

Trump is calling for the repeal of two regulations with the proposal of any new regulations and has been quoted as saying regulations need to be cut by 75%. All Americans should be aware and fight this. Once the regulations are overthrown, you will start to see things happening that common sense once mandated as against the people as a whole.Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 6.40.41 PM.pngWanna see drilling in the Arctic, the wild places of Alaska, Yellowstone National Park? Want to see fracking in every corner of America? Want to see Americans without safety protocols in place in constructions, mining, drug production, farming, manufacturing, automobile emissions, etc., etc., etc.

I’m really worried about our future. How about you?

MacCupcake

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