Author Archives: kirkphillips


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

Parks and rec

Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. –Edward Abbey Over four-hundred parks, preserves, forests, seashores, rivers, monuments, memorials and historic sites make up the … Continue reading

Posted in United States | 3 Comments

Too tough to die

In 1881, Tombstone, Arizona, was the site of the most famous gunfight of the Old West. On one side were the Clanton brothers, the McLaury bothers and Billy Claiborne, members of a loose-knit gang of part-time cowboys and part-time cattle … Continue reading

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Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people. –Thor Heyerdahl I left Palm Springs, where the streets are named after stars, and drove east to Phoenix. In some stretches, sandstorms … Continue reading

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Wandering in the desert

Oh, and I remember something you once told me And I’ll be damned if it did not come true. Twenty thousand roads I went down, down, down And they all lead me straight back home to you. –Gram Parsons, 1973 … Continue reading

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Death Valley days

Funeral Mountains. Starvation Canyon. Deadman Pass. The names are not subtle, as Death Valley is not a hospitable place. Hottest, driest, lowest–it is a land of extremes. In July 1913, the highest temperature ever recorded anywhere, 134 degrees, was reached at … Continue reading

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Town and gown

English cities York and Cambridge were both settled in the Stone Age and ruled in turn by the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans. Over the centuries, a fascinating cast of characters walked their streets while making history. York, a quintessential … Continue reading

Posted in England | 1 Comment