What More Could I Want?


An old bike. A mural. Fall leaves.

What more do you need?

This was taken in Marietta, Ohio last fall – a place that I love to visit and rarely go. The last time I was there,  I did this and wrote about it. 

There’s a lot to see and do in this area so I’m planning a couple of quick day trips this fall. Maybe I”ll make it back to this antique store  but more than anything, I just want to wander around with my camera!



City of Presidents

Rapid city downtown (8)

Rapid City, South Dakota is known as the City of Presidents. It’s a convenient place to stay if you’re visiting the region and is a nice place to spend your time. It’s a city that has a small town vibe.

The downtown area is vibrant with locally owned shops and restaurants, museums and things to do outdoors. Parking is free in their garage on holidays, Sundays and evenings so we never paid to park here.. You see plenty of law enforcement as well as security cameras making it seem safe enough. Abundant flowers, plentiful outdoor seating and a fun park are anchors here.

We did see a few homeless people and a particularly aggressive panhandler but you’ll unfortunately have that no matter where you go.

This is a very walkable downtown and motorists seem to respect the rights of pedestrians, a far cry from how motorists in Ohio seem to feel about them.

One thing that makes this city special is that each former US President and some Native American leaders have been immortalized with life sized statues throughout downtown. They were paid for by donors and each one is unique.

Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

I’ll share more pictures from Rapid City. Meanwhile, have a look their tourism site if you’re interested in knowing more about visiting.

Hiding In Plain Sight

z old lancaster church.jpgA recent work assignment found me on foot in Lancaster looking for photo ops. The thing about walking is that you notice things that you might miss from the car. Case in point: this old church, tucked in between two houses on a street about a block from downtown.

Check out the window and the patina on the brick!

z old lancaster church 3.jpg

It appears to be a private residence now and I would love to see inside but obviously had to settle for a couple of exterior snapshots before moving on and getting back to work. It was hot that morning and I was too warm and tired by about 10 a.m. so this little shaded area was quite inviting and I could imagine sitting down under the tree with a cold drink and a book.

What a cool place to live.


These Shoes

These shoes. I love these shoes.

They’re nothing fancy. Just some New Balance trail runners I found cheap on clearance. But they’re comfortable and sturdy and they have good grip for climbing and hiking. Yet they look like a tennis shoe so they transition well to walking around town too.

They’re like old friends, these shoes. We’ve been to a lot of places together. In these shoes, I followed my friend Johnna up giant boulders in Canyonlands National Park and waded through ankle deep sand at Utah’s Great Salt Lake. If you look close they’re still stained red from Utah’s sandy terrain.

I’ve worn them lots of other places including the gritty streets of Pittsburgh and the muddy trails of Ohio’s Hocking Hills.

I like to think that I’m carrying with me a little piece of all the places I’ve been when I wear these shoes.

Alas, their days are numbered. They’re getting enough miles on them they will soon be too worn out to be useful or healthy even though the tops still look good.

One of these days I will be forced to replace them with a shiny new pair that I hope will take me on even more grand adventures. But I’m hoping to wear them on one more big adventure to Wyoming this summer.

By the way, I’m also grateful for the feet inside these shoes that take me everywhere I want to go and occasionally some places that I’m not sure I really want to go. If you’re able to get out of bed every day, walk around and do things for yourself, count yourself lucky.

Regardless of the shoes you wear, you are lucky.

Doors of Marietta

One of the best things about being on foot is that you notice things you would miss from a car. I love to park my car and just wander around a town – even one that I know well – looking for things that interest me.

I visit Marietta several times a year, usually to antique or to see a show, but walking around with my camera is fun sometimes too. I’m sort of obsessed with doors so it comes as no surprise that I produced a substantial amount of door pictures this last trip.

Here are a few.

Is there something you always seek out? Sometimes I feel like a broken record, looking at all my door pictures, but I really don’t care. A good door makes me happy.

Stepping it up

It is no secret that I am trying to get healthy. Unfortunately my dedication to exercise and healthy eating comes in fits and starts. The one thing that I try to do each and every day is to walk at least 10,000 steps.

I have a fancy pedometer that measures my steps, miles walked, flights of stairs climbed and even how many calories I burn. But you really just need a cheap little $7 department store pedometer to help you track steps.

Why 10,000? The American Heart Association says this is the number of steps we need in a day to improve health and reduce our risk of heart disease. Given my family medical history, I need all the help I can get in this area.

So I try not to ever go to bed without logging at least this amount and on days of devotion to my healthy lifestyle it isn’t uncommon to have 15,000 or more. Problem is that my job keeps me tied to a desk, meeting table or steering wheel for much of the day. So I always look for excuses to get up and move or to walk a little further than necessary. Here are a few suggestions that work for me:

  • Park at least twice as far from the door as you normally would. At the mall, work, the library….wherever you go go, don’t park at the front door. I park more than a block from my office most days and enjoy a nice walk before I start the day.
  • Make housework count as exercise. Folding towels doesn’t take much skill or concentration. March in place while you fold. Take an indirect route to the next room or pace while you dry dishes. My favorite? Sweep or vacuum the floors! That’s a lot of extra steps at my house.
  • Like household chores, yard work is a great way to get in extra steps and make your home look nice.
  • Walk the perimeter of your yard on the way to the mailbox.
  • I don’t have kids but if I did we would play outside every day the weather was good! Go to the park, play tag, just move with them. You are helping yourself and promoting active living for them!
  • Along those lines, I don’t have a dog but my parents do so I borrow their dog for a walk every day.
  • Never, ever take the the elevator when there are stairs!
  • If all else fails, march in place while you watch tv.

I also try to fit in at least a walk every evening. Sometimes just a mile, sometimes two, depending on time and weather. It sounds like a lot but walking makes me feel better physically and helps to clear my mind. Follow these tips and you’ll be cruising past that 10,000 mark before you know it!