August Roundup: Shall we dance, Arizona?

arizona canyon

Not long ago I decided to end my one-man boycott of Arizona. You may recall that I refused to visit the Grand Canyon state because of all the bizarre political stories coming out of there.

Things have cooled off quite a bit since then. The governor has become more sensible, and nobody’s paying attention to that wacky sheriff anymore. Plus, other states are really going out their way to take over the “crazy” title (hey there, Florida!)

The boycott post was more of a frustrated rant than anything, and as I’ve been browsing Arizona content on other blogs, the lure of the state’s natural beauty has been calling me back. So, Arizona, I’m open to visiting again. Can I call you for a date? Maybe a leisurely stroll through your Grand Canyon? Or is that coming on too strong? We could start with a quite coffee in Tempe instead – I’m fine with taking it slow. (Just not too slow, because word on the street is that New Mexico and Nevada have been eyeing me up, and since we’re not exclusive yet, I’m still free to see other states…)

Here’s my monthly roundup of the travel articles I was reading in August.

Featured personal link:

Meet Sid, the man behind the quirkiest museum in Canada

It’s hard to choose a favorite of the articles I published from the Yukon. I covered a lot of ground, from quirky small towns to wildlife and natural beauty to the history of the Yukon River and the territory’s First Nations.

One post that I think deserves more eyeballs is this one about Sid, who runs the Bordertown Garage and Museum in Beaver Creek. The museum is strange but fascinating, much like the man himself, who rides around on a 1937 bicycle and visits the town dump twice a week to seek out lost treasures.

If that whole “reading” thing is too taxing, you may instead want to check out my 60-image photo essay of the character of the Yukon.


August travel links of interest:

Where’s Pablo: A Colorado ghost town

Ghost towns are always cool. Pablo presents the northern Colorado ghost town of Dearfield. There’s not a lot left of the place, but the historic markers and broken-down buildings make for some great photography opportunities. Dearfield was a predominantly African-American community, which makes it somewhat of a rarity among ghost towns.

Savoir Faire Abroad: Canada: I’ve been cheating myself

Pamela is a Canadian who hadn’t seen nearly enough of her home country and rectified that with a big cross-country trip. This post covers the early portion of her travels, through Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Quebec. She went on to visit Churchill, which makes me insanely jealous!

Unbrave Girl: 5 things to do in Niagara Falls, USA

Or, “Why the American Side is Way Better. So There.” Sally is a total Niagara Falls geek. But she’s a geek who got to view the Falls from above in a helicopter. And from below, at the Cave of the Winds. Incredible! This post is great because it focuses on the sometimes-neglected American side of the Falls. Plus, you get to see Sally posing with a wrestling championship belt. I dare you to pretend you don’t want to see that.

niagara falls

Upworthy: One look at the United States-Canada reveals some ridiculous things

If you thought the border between the U.S. and Canada was a straight line, think again! There are a ton of irregularities along the way, including one bizarrely-located town in Washington in which kids must cross the international border four times a day to go to high school. Not mentioned in this amusing video is a town in Alaska that I really want to visit called Hyder. It’s cut off from the rest of Alaska; the only way in is by road from British Columbia. Culturally, it’s Canadian, and in fact, most of the town uses Canadian money.

Geogypsy Traveler: Monsoon visits Grand Canyon and what to do when it rains

Speaking of Arizona, Gaelyn was at the Grand Canyon when a rainstorm ripped through. Those conditions sound less than ideal for seeing the famous gorge, but they resulted in some great pictures. Click through for some views of the Canyon you don’t often see.

Wandering Educators: Eating your way through the woods

Have you ever been hiking deep in the woods and wondered, ‘What could I eat if I got stuck out here?’ Kristen learned all about forest edibles during an adventure trek in an Ohio state park.  A tour guide showed which plants and leaves were fine to eat. Who knew that sassafras tastes like root beer? I could go for a sassafras float right about now…


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About Scott Shetler

Scott is a Seattle-based journalist and blogger who puts a quirky spin on travel adventures around the world. He has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Connect Magazine, Matador Travel, and the Washington Post.

4 comments on “August Roundup: Shall we dance, Arizona?

  1. When I hear of people boycotting Arizona because of what the stupid politicians have done it really pisses me off. Yes I live in Arizona. No I do not agree with everything the politicians do.

    If we boycotted every place because we did not like what the politicians are doing we would never go anywhere.

    You live in Chicago and there is no shortage of crazy politics going on there. Should it be boycotted because of that?
    Jeff @ Go Travelzing recently posted..Dale Chihuly Exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens

    • Hi Jeff, of course boycotting every place where politicians are misbehaving is not practical. I would only take such a step in the most extreme circumstances, and in my judgment Arizona fell into that category at the time. It no longer does, hence the change of heart.

      To answer your question, if the politics of Chicago upset people so much that they don’t want to visit, then by all means they should boycott. It’s up to each individual to decide where he or she feels comfortable spending his/her money.

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