Day 10. Always Bring an Onion

I once called Colorado home, but over the years I’d forgotten its breathtaking beauty. Day 10 was spent driving 350 miles from Kittredge CO to Moab Utah through some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. I don’t say that lightly. I’ve been to the Andes and the Alps, seen Mt Kilimanjaro and the Atlas mountain. All gorgeous, but our very own Colorado is right up there with them.

A camera, or at least my iPhone, hardly does it justice. Unfortunately, in the interest of efficiency, I took I70. Much of the most spectacular can’t be photographed while driving 75 mph, or at least it shouldn’t be.

As I was making the drive, I was sure today’s rule of the road was going to be a reminder to look up and enjoy the view.

I finished off the day by following the suggestion of my Airbnb hosts and veering off of I70 after the Utah border to take state highway 128. Talk about spectacular. Then I headed in Arches National Park to top off of a day of gasping out loud at what I was seeing.

My plan for the evening was to have a quiet night at my lodging, making a simple noodle thing I had in my car and getting organized for the adventures ahead. The thing about dried noodle dishes is they are so much better if you can add something fresh to them. Anything, really. But for all the supplies I have in my car, there was nothing.

This is ridiculous, I thought. I already travel with a towel (thank you Doug Adams), a pocketknife and a hand powered flashlight. Why the hell don’t I keep an onion in my car? I mean, they last forever, and one little onion would have made a huge improvement in my meal.

Then I realized, no one needs a rule of the road that says look up at all the beauty around you. We know that.

My rules of the road are meant to be an informal list of what I’ve learned from that day’s journey. So, today’s rule of the road is the silly, simple “always bring an onion.”

Is an onion that important? No. It isn’t. This day was that perfect.

Today’s song is the one I played twice as I drove. I’m willing to forget that it was used in a Citibank commercial, because it’s that good, too.

The Women of 2015: Beauty matters but so does so much more

Candice-SwanepoelWe do like beautiful women. As a society, we buy products from them, watch movies staring them, and we lavish attention upon them. But I’m a glass half-full kind of lady, and I see some positive trends in all the various recently released lists of top women from 2015.

  1. Beauty matters, but so does being tough, or making lots of money.

rhonda-rousey-435On the tough front, Ask Men ran a list of the Top 99 outstanding women of 2015. I was surprised to find mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey in the number two spot, along with the comment that “there’s no bigger role model in all of sports than this woman right here.” She also is launching an acting career, with upcoming roles in Furious 7 and Entourage.

HolmesGallery1As to making lots of money, check out number six on the same list. Elizabeth Holmes gets the honor for being the youngest female billionaire. Holmes is the youngest woman and third youngest person on the list of global billionaires thanks to Theranos, her health tech company.

2. We are expanding our definition of beauty to include older women, women from more ethnic groups, and women with at least some size variation. Not every women of note is expected to look Padukone_in_2009like Victoria’s Secret angel Candice Swanepoel, a South African model who came in 4th on Wonderlist’s ranking of the 10 most beautiful women of 2015 and is pictured at the top of this post.

Number two on the list was forty-six year old Jennifer Lopez, gorgeous and talented but also a mature woman. Number three on the list was Deepika Padukone, an Indian film actress and model who is the recipient of three Filmfare Awards and one of the highest-paid Bollywood actresses. She is shown to the left.

3. Talented women who make enough of difference get included on some lists, at any rate. Leading a lot of people will get you the number one spot on the Forbes list of the World’s Most Powerful Women of 2015, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel discovered. Dealing with Mediterranean migrants, Russian sanctions, homegrown spying scandals, and Eurozone stability also got her named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year and she was the first female to gain the title after it was given non-gender specific wording in 1999.

Hillary Clinton, who took the number two spot on the Forbes list, has appeared on the Forbes ranking every year since 2004. Forbes notes that in 2015 Clinton is just a breath and a ballot away from “leading” the world.

4. Finally, I am glad to see that having a kind heart and a strong social conscience will get a woman noticed as well. Melinda Gates made number three on the Forbes list, at least in part due to her emmaphilanthropic work. And a personal favorite of mine, Emma Watson, took the number one spot on the Ask Men list, not only for being “rich, successful, famous, stylish, beautiful, intelligent, personable, kind” but also for her alignment with the United Nations’ HeForShe campaign, an effort to shift the way our society treats women. Ms. Watson also snagged the fifth position in the Wonderlist’s ranking of the 10 most beautiful women of 2015, fueling my belief that real beauty is much more than skin deep and that at least some people in this world know it.

For more year end fun see some of the oddest predictions for 2016, catch My Best New Years Resolution Yet, read about whether it is an honor to be person of the year, and take a look at world peace activities planned for 2016