The Southwest


  Winter is the prime time of the year for visiting Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge’s migrating birds. Built in 1939 along the Rio Grande, the refuge is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Bosque del Apache’s 57,331 acres include a scenic, 12-mile loop road, an observation blind and hiking trails. The terrain contains a variety…


Brian Jewell

River Walks and Runs

Posted by Brian Jewell in The Southwest on June 01, 2012


The San Antonio River Walk is saving me from obesity. I’ve been eating my way across the city for four days now, enjoying the best of San Antonio’s food during the annual Culinaria celebration. The events have included elaborate lunch and dinner affairs, a Mexican tasting event and a fancy soiree that featured some of…

Brian Jewell

Ceviche and the CIA

Posted by Brian Jewell in The Southwest on May 31, 2012


Today I donned an apron, toque and rubber gloves for an intense training session at the CIA. The mission: South American ceviche. I’m not at Langley, but in San Antonio, at the ‘other’ CIA — the Culinary Institute of America. The organization is recognized as one of the foremust culinary schools in the United States….

Brian Jewell

A Border Brunch

Posted by Brian Jewell in The Southwest on May 30, 2012


Sometimes a good meal can take you places. Today, brunch transported me from Texas into the colonial heart of Mexico. I’m in San Antonio for a few days doing research for an upcoming magazine article. It just so happens that my trip coincides with Culinaria, a four-day foodie event that highlights some of the best…


During the second half of February, the “Boys of Summer” traditionally report to training camp in either Florida or Arizona to get in shape and hone their skills for the upcoming Major League Baseball season. March, however, features a full schedule of “practice” games which allows managers and coaches to evaluate their minor league talent…


If you haven’t been to Las Vegas recently, you may be unaware that the monumental traffic jams that formerly accumulated on U.S. 93 at Hoover Dam are now a thing of the past. In the fall of 2010, the extremely impressive Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge opened over the gaping chasm, about 3/10 of a…

Bob Hoelscher

Pima Air and Space Museum

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on March 02, 2012


The extensive Pima Air and Space Museum, in my opinion, is among the top five collections of vintage aircraft in the country, and sure to be of interest to anyone fascinated by the history of flight. Since there are now over 300 airplanes, helicopters and spacecraft on display, in addition to other related exhibits, such…

Bob Hoelscher

Mission San Xavier Del Bac

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on March 02, 2012


Although I am not a religious person myself, I always enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to explore all manner of cathedrals, churches, missions, synagogues, mosques, temples and shrines of various faiths, since the architecture, art and history represented therein tell fascinating and important stories about the existence and progression of humanity worldwide. As such, there…

Bob Hoelscher

Saguaro National Park

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on March 02, 2012


Only a two-hour drive south of my (happily) snowless winter stopover in Phoenix and the “Valley of the Sun” is Tucson, the state’s second-largest city and home of the University of Arizona. Tucson holds one of three exceptional national park sites dedicated to great plants of the desert: Saguaro National Park. The larger section of…

Bob Hoelscher

Big Bend

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on February 01, 2012


One of the country’s most “off-the-beaten-track” scenic treasures is Big Bend National Park in Texas. Unlike many park service units, Big Bend is not a place that one can just “stop by” along the way to another destination. It’s just not “on the way” to anywhere else, but isolated in rugged West Texas along 118…