Thursday, August 28, 2008


Northwest of Lubbock, Texas is a little place that everyone calls home: Earth! I was surprised to find that a town with such a monumental name could be so small. In fact, there’s not even a traffic light in town. An Earth without traffic lights… hmmmm… Maybe that’s not so bad! On second thought, maybe we should keep the traffic lights for safety’s sake.

Earth is actually a good name for the town, as it is a town that supports a community of farmers. You can overhear the farmers discussing how many bushels of corn they planted or how well their tractors are running at the popular lunch spot. They till the soil and tend to the crops which spring up from the ground, depending on the Earth for their livelihood. What better way to honor that dependence than naming the town after the Earth?

Just about ten minutes to the west is a slightly larger town called Muleshoe. Muleshoe, of course, being named in honor of the workhorse, err, work-mule, that helped to cultivate the surrounding fields. Also in the environs around Muleshoe are several cattle feedlots. In fact, this region of Texas has one of the most densely feedlot-populated areas in all of the United States. Cows upon cows upon cows are lined up at the feed troughs. If the wind blows just right, the scent that greets you makes you suddenly lose your appetite for beef products of any kind.

This restaurant is in Earth and is voted to have the best burgers according to the sign. So does it have the best burgers ON Earth or the best burgers IN Earth? Burgers in Earth does not sound good. Flat Stanley is not a fan of dirt burgers, though he can make a mean mud pie!

Earth: Population 1109 + ~ 6 Billion

In between Earth and Muleshoe, there was a farm that was practically converted into a prairie dog city. All of those white patches of sand in the photo mark entryways into prairie dog burrows.

In Muleshoe, this town mascot fiberglass Mule is famous for having been sent to the Whitehouse for George W. Bush’s first inauguration celebration.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Colorado National Monument

Between Fruita, Colorado and Grand Junction, Colorado is Colorado National Monument. You know it’s got to be good if the monument shares the same name as the state it’s in. The monument showcases some of the prime canyon lands in Colorado on the Colorado Plateau. In a state that is mainly known for its snow-topped Rocky Mountains and alpine wilderness, the desert landscape of these canyons stand in stark contrast to the popular image of Colorado.

Flat Stanley enjoyed the monument, taking in the views first from a short hike on Serpents Trail. This trail was actually a road at one time, and came to be known as “the Crookedest Road in the World”. This is because the road/trail climbs the not-so-gradual slope of a canyon wall using more that 50 switchbacks!

After the hike, Flat Stanley continued exploration of the park by the main road that meanders through the park, stopping as several beautiful vistas along the way. It was quite a wonderful way to start the morning.

Serpent Trail Hike

Serpent Trail Hike

Serpent Trail Hike

Canyon View

Canyon View