Author Archive

The Restored Fox Theater

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The West on August 15, 2014


During my weekend in the Spokane area, I learned about the Expo ’74, which held one of the last World’s Fairs in America. The site of Expo ’74 remains today as the 100-acre Riverfront Park, tucked between the city center to the south and the Spokane River and cataracts of Spokane Falls on the north….



Steptoe Butte State Park

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The West on August 15, 2014


Surprisingly, I think that there is no better place to experience our country’s “amber waves of grain” than Eastern Washington. The rolling hills, prevailing breezes and panoramic vistas here present a scenario of wheat fields that one wouldn’t normally expect to describe as beautiful, but here it most definitely is. One of the best places…



Magnificent Manito Park

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The West on August 15, 2014


Recently, I spent a thoroughly enjoyable weekend in the Spokane, Washington area. I’m sure that flower buffs in other parts of the country (and especially the South) might disagree, but I for one believe that the Pacific Northwest can make an honest claim of having the best total collection of beautiful floral gardens in North…



This spring, I drove my motor home north through Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Oregon to my destination for the summer in Southeastern Washington, where I arrived on May 2. At the Ice Harbor Lock and Dam on the Snake River, I’ll be volunteering in the Visitor Center until mid-September. Ice Harbor Dam Ice Harbor (photo…



Barely 20 years ago, downtown Los Angeles was almost a city center that attracted the interest of few Angelinos, to say nothing of visitors to Southern California. I remember friends from the area commenting that L.A. “doesn’t have much of a real downtown.” Yes, after the big bank headquarters and city government offices closed for…



After an extended cruise of Australia and Indonesia, I returned to the Phoenix “Valley of the Sun” area in mid-March, just in time to catch the final two weeks of the annual spring training season. I was able to see 15 games, visit every Cactus League park and see 13 of the 15 Major League…



Christmas Eve in Old Town

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on March 26, 2014


Last month I discussed several sights that made my winter in Southern New Mexico a most memorable one. However, I also spent a few days during late December in the state’s largest city, as I particularly wanted to see the holiday decorations and Christmas Eve luminaria in Albuquerque’s colorful Old Town. Although luminaria (basically outdoor…



Just east of Albuquerque, the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway and one of New Mexico’s numerous fascinating “back roads,” which takes the traveler through two historic mining communities. Madrid served as a major coal mining boomtown in the 19th century. The town met the energy demands of both the federal government and the Santa Fe…



It is highly unlikely that most readers have ever heard of Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, one of New Mexico’s most fascinating but little known monuments. You won’t find it shown in the Rand McNally Road Atlas at all, and you’ll have to search diligently to locate its listing in the New Mexico TourBook, where…



My Winter at White Sands

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on March 03, 2014


I’ve spent the last couple of months as an interpretive volunteer at magnificent White Sands National Monument, 13 miles south of Alamogordo in Southern New Mexico.  This monument showcases the largest field of dazzling white gypsum sand dunes in the world. It not only offers a one-of-a-kind visitor experience, but its convenient location has allowed…