Destination: Arizona

The Altered States of Sedona

The Altered States of Sedona iStockPhoto

Laurie Gough looks Arizona's New Age mecca in the vortexes and says, "Sacred energy of the Earth, come and get me."

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Desert Solitaire: Inside an ‘Airplane Graveyard’

Desert Solitaire: Inside an ‘Airplane Graveyard’ Photo by PhillipC, via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by PhillipC, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

A sign that the airline industry is struggling in the poor economy: airlines are putting more planes into storage. “The number of planes in storage has jumped 29% in the past year to 2,302,” the AP reports.

Both this week’s AP story and a February 2006 New York Times story by Joe Sharkey take readers inside the Evergreen Maintenance Center in Arizona, with vivid descriptions of the rows of planes parked in the desert. Each article uses the word “ghost” or “ghosts” to describe the feeling of the motionless planes.

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Morning Links: Walking on Broadway, Fees for Airline Toilets and More

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RVing on the Cheap

Over at Gadling, Anna Brones Alison Brick has dug up a way to go RVing for just $24 a day. The catch? You have to be headed either to or from Mesa, Arizona, where Cruise America’s headquarters are located. Check out the “Rolling into Arizona” and “Rolling out of Arizona” sections on the company’s Hot Deals page to see where the discounted vehicles are currently available; you’ll need to apply three days in advance, and all rentals are first-come, first-served.

What We Loved This Week: London, New Jersey, ‘Heima’ and More

What We Loved This Week: London, New Jersey, ‘Heima’ and More Photo by Rob Verger.

World Hum contributors share a favorite travel-related experience from the past seven days.

Rob Verger
I love my new Canon G10 camera. Hello, 14.7 megapixels. It gave me an excuse to roam around my neighborhood over the weekend, taking pictures. Here’s the 125th Street subway stop in New York City:

Tucson, Arizona: Moments of Zen

Tucson, Arizona: Moments of Zen Photo by Jenna Schnuer.
Photo by Jenna Schnuer.

A long day of flying wiped out the peace and relaxation I thought I’d stored up during two days of horseback riding and mountain biking at Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. So, while there are stories to tell, they’ll have to wait. For now, with apologies to The Daily Show for the slightly more serious take on their daily dose of humor, I present you with two moments of zen. (And apologies to all of you for the sort of mangy shooting. I’ll get a handle and a steadier hand on this Flip camera sooner or later. I promise.) Video after the jump.

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Fly the ‘Green’ Skies With Camelina (and Pond Scum)

airplane propeller Photo by jiazi, via Flickr (Creative Commons).
Photo by jiazi, via Flickr (Creative Commons)..

OK, OK ... it will be many, many years before camelina and algae replace petroleum in jet fuel, but I’m glad the aviation industry is at least exploring environmentally responsible options. Last week, Japan Airlines became the latest carrier to test biofuels on one of its jets, circling a Boeing 747 powered by mix of camelina, jatropha and algae oil over the Pacific Ocean.

By all accounts, the one-hour flight went smoothly, as did previous biofuel test flights by Virgin Atlantic (powered in part by coconut and babassu oil), Air New Zealand (jatropha oil) and Continental (jatropha and algae oil). Greenvolutionaries have been hating for years on traditional (read: fossil-fuel-based) jet fuel, a major contributor of greenhouse gases. So energy companies such as Arizona’s PetroSun and Montana’s Sustainable Oils are loving the good vibes and (so far) good results in developing clean, next-gen jet fuels.

The Finns have predicted that all planes will be running on biofuel by 2093. I know, that’s like 84 years away, but since oil reserves are only expected to last a few more decades, I really hope they’re right.

Meteor Crater, Arizona: National Treasure or Big Hole?

Meteor Crater, Arizona: National Treasure or Big Hole? Photo by Sophia Dembling
Photo by Sophia Dembling

Meteor Crater in Arizona seemed a very long way off the highway. By the time my husband and I reached it and paid our $15 each admission, we could only agree with the little boy who, standing crater-side with us, turned to his mother and said accusingly, “It’s just a big hole.” Truly, it looked cooler when we saw it from an airplane.

Now the The New York Times reveals us as the philistines we are, in this story about the crater’s wonders. Guess we better return with the proper attitude.

Traveling ‘Typo Vigilantes’ Sentenced in Arizona

Photo by Salim Virji, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

When I first heard about Jeff Deck’s traveling typo hunt this past spring, I never dreamed that his quest would lead him to a criminal record. But, as the AP reports, a rogue apostrophe on a vintage, hand-painted sign at Grand Canyon National Park was his undoing: Deck and an accomplice pleaded guilty to defacing the sign (to correct the error), and were given probation, along with a one-year ban from all national parks.