Author Archives: kirkphillips

High old time (Part 1)

A few days before arriving in Peru, I began taking acetazolamide pills as a precaution against altitude sickness. Some people are not affected by high altitude, but I didn’t want to risk enjoying my trek to Machu Picchu in order … Continue reading

Posted in Peru | 5 Comments

In the animal kingdom

I had every intention of following Galápagos National Park’s simple rule: Maintain at least six feet of distance from the wildlife. However, the animals were not as compliant. Blue-footed boobies waddled right up to my hiking shoes. Sea lions grazed … Continue reading

Posted in Ecuador | 8 Comments

Rocks of ages

The history of the American Southwest is written in stone. It is written in silver ore and petrified wood. In lava flows and cinder fields. On the walls of canyons and caves. In the ruins of pueblos. It is written … Continue reading

Posted in United States | 4 Comments

Bright lights, dark sky

The lights dart across the Texas desert, pulsing, merging and then disappearing. Some people believe they are UFOs; others, the ghosts of Spanish conquistadors. A cowboy first reported seeing them in 1883. He thought they were campfires of the Apache. … Continue reading

Posted in United States | 6 Comments

Prost, y’all

Beef. It’s what’s for dinner in Texas. Unless you’re in Hill Country, where it might be bratwurst. In the mid-1800s, tens of thousands of German immigrants settled in central and southwest Texas, which, at the time, was its own country. … Continue reading

Posted in United States | 6 Comments

Back on the road

This week, I’m starting a four-week road trip from Austin, Texas, to Antelope Canyon Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona. It will be my longest trip in nearly a year. After three years of nearly non-stop travel, I felt a need to … Continue reading

Posted in United States | 10 Comments


Three historic trails lead to Santa Fe, New Mexico. One arrives from Mexico City–El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (the Royal Road of the Interior Land). For centuries, Native North Americans used the sixteen-hundred-mile trade route. In 1598 Spanish settlers first … Continue reading

Posted in United States | 3 Comments