Wednesday, August 20, 2014

As Fargo the eye can see: the great water tower of Fargo, North Dakota

 I ramped up the color contrast...cue the dramatic music.

 I never met a water tower I didn't like, but this one takes the cake.

I love looking at water towers on a cross-country trip. Their grand scale and proud proclamation of each hamlet's names break up the monotony of traveling through places where there isn't all that much to look at. One of my all-time favorites is this beauty from Fargo, North Dakota. The very name Fargo gives you the sense of being somewhere you wouldn't normally expect to be (unless, of course, you live here). And the fact that the eccentric Coen brothers made a famous movie with this same name adds to the je ne sais quoi. We hit it under perfect conditions: dark clouds in one direction, bright sun over the shoulder illuminating the white huge bulbous monolith and gray Times Bold lettering. Thanks, Fargo, for such an awesome water tower, so Fargo from the maddening crowd.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

West stop ahead: Scenes from Durango, Colorado

We had the pleasure of staying the night in the southwestern Colorado town of Durango a few years ago on one of our long, cross-country treks and were delightfully surprised at what a cool place it is. As is the case with many of our trips, we wished we had budgeted more time to see this awesome city, with its authentic old west feel and retro vibe. Much of it looks as it would have a hundred years ago to this untrained eye, and a grizzled Walter Brennan riding down the main drag saying the word "pie-annie" instead of "piano" would not have been out of place. There are lots of amusing signs and great storefront windows to peek into. All of our usual budget motel suspects were booked the night we pulled in, so we ended up staying at the General Palmer Inn, a fabulous downtown old west hotel from 1898...the kind of place you picture Wyatt Earp frequenting. We salute you're the rootin'-tootin'-est, six-gun shootin'-est, cowboy bootinest town this side of the Rio Grande (and I don't mean Mahatma Gandhi).