This new year, 2015, seems to promise either something auspicious or ominous, depending on who and where you are physically, emotionally, spiritually, economically, and geographically.  

No matter who, how, or where you are on this planet, your journey continues.  

Let's hope that in your experience it will be an auspicious year and a pleasant journey!

 

1

Impressions on reading Stephen Batchelor's Buddhism without Beliefs, a Contemporary Guide to Awakening.

2

A walk toward McKittrick Canyon from the West along Wilderness Ridge (Trail 45).

3

A walk toward Wilderness Ridge from McKittrick Canyon (the Permian Trail).

4

A January 2015 walk to the Devils Den Canyon Wilderness Study Area (WSA). A correction to the previous discussion of the location of the WSA was made on this page and on several of the 2014 Devils Den Canyon hiking pages.  I was simply wrong about its location prior to 30 January 2015.

5

A January walk on Lone Mountain, northwest Las Vegas, Nevada.

6

The Salt Room, a new business in Summerlin, Nevada.

7

Coming back to Carlsbad from Las Vegas: weather!

8

Two short walks in Dark Canyon, just south of Carlsbad, New Mexico.

9

Next to the last (5th) walk to Devils Den Canyon, a complete loop through the WSA and the canyon.

10

Last* (6th) Devils Den Canyon walk, into the outlet.

11

(West) Saguaro National Park by Tucson, Arizona, a colorful walk.

12

Sierra Diablo mountain and its 10,000-year clock project.

13

A first visit to Big Bend National Park, Texas.

14

*One very final (promise!) Devils Den Canyon walk:        Devils Den Springs

15

A walk in Middleton Place, a former plantation in South Carolina near Charleston, home of America's Oldest Landscaped Gardens.

16

A walk near our daughter Rachel's house in Virginia, near Christiansburg.

17

Cloudy and rainy walk to the top of Buffalo Mountain, near Floyd, Virginia.

18

Sunny hike to the Cascades and around Pandapas Pond in Giles County, Virginia.

19

I thought these three books would have no real relationship to each other.   But I was wrong:

  1. 1.       Katherine Boo’s behind the beautiful forevers, life, death and hope in a Mumbai undercity (2014)
  2. 2.       Robert Wright’s The Moral Animal, The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology (1994)
  3. 3.       Victor J. Stenger’s God and the Folly of Faith, The Incompatibility of Science and Religion (2012)

20

A first visit to the Gila Mountains in southwestern New Mexico: with a page about the Apaches of southern New Mexico and several pages about the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.  First page?  YES.  We will be back!

21

A look at Higby Hole (aka Hippie Hole) on the Black River, plus Lake Avalon on the Pecos River.

22

A Summer 2015 (a relatively wet year in Texas) revisit to Smith Spring near Frijole Ranch in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.

23

A southwestern New Mexico walk: City of Rocks State Park.

24

A second visit to the Gila Mountains of southwestern New Mexico, near Silver City.

25

A walk into the very northern start of North McKittrick Canyon starting from the Guadalupe Ridge Road (Forest Roads 540 & 3008 and an abandoned section of Trail 201).

26

Sitting Bull Falls has reopened!  It reopened late in July of 2015, almost two years after the flood of September 2013. 

27

A walk into the very southern start of North McKittrick Canyon starting from the main McKittrick Canyon at Pratt's Lodge

28

Later in August we re-visit the "dancing trees" neighborhood and find it nicely recovering.

29

In 2015 I return to the religion theme (Judaeo-Christian) with three books that happily bolstered my state of unbelief:  Paradise Lust, Searching for the Garden of Eden, by Brook Wilensky-Lanford (Grove Press, 2011);  101 Myths of the Bible, How Ancient Scribes Invented Biblical History, Gary Greenberg (Sourcebooks, Inc., 2000); and Zealot, the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, by Reza Aslan (Random House, 2013).  Each of these books was fascinating and revealing.  I recommend them highly. Aslan's book has much in common with Eric Zuesse's Christ's Ventriloquists (see my Paul, Jewish Christianity, and Islam).

30

Labor Day sunset and rainbow

31

Taos Pueblo in Northern New Mexico

32

The Rio Grande Gorge in Northern New Mexico, and some views from the "High Road to Taos."

33

Northern reach of the Pecos River, Northern New Mexico

34

A third attempt at walking up North McKittrick canyon, cut short because this attempt got to water sooner than expected!

35

London!  Capital city of England (the UK).  Several walks in the heart of the city in 2015.

36

A fourth walk looked down on North McKittrick Canyon from its north rim to estimate the level of difficulty involved in walking down from the northern reach of the canyon; it was a nice walk but useless for judging difficulty.  Will have to try again.

37

London again, in November, with visits to St. Paul's, The Tower of London, the Tower bridge, and a visit to Bath, England.

XX

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