Five long miles off The Loneliest Road in America, US Route 50, in Baker, Nevada, population 68, stands a tiny little coffee cart open six days a week from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm. As I sit down to talk with the owner, Rachel Gale, she waves to every local car that drives by and greets her customers by name. It’s clear that The Magic Bean Coffee Cart is filling more than one need in this small community.
If I asked where your non-profit or small business needs to be, online, what might your answer be? You might say you need a website or a Facebook page, right? That’s what everyone’s telling you – your web-savvy niece, your professional association, the workshops you attend, and more.
But a significant number of small businesses and non-profits already have a website or a Facebook page and they’re not getting found by the right clients or customers. What gives?
Zion National Park is a place that inspires religion, with its cathedral-like mountains and the restrained garden-like feel in its valleys. I wasn’t necessarily inspired to the local religions of Utah, but I could feel how this unique national park made me want to strive for something bigger, loftier, higher. For five days, I chose the park as my idol, worthy as it is.
Standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, I experienced a flood of emotions I didn’t expect. The chasm is enormous – it stretches 277 miles, runs about 1 mile deep, and an average of 10 miles across – but it seemed to signify something much more for me.
I recently visited Tucson, but I basically hunkered down and used the city for a work retreat. I worked on client projects, blogged and made progress on my own creative stuff. Still, the one thing I won’t neglect in any city is the coffee scene. I visited nearly ten coffee shops in my 11 days in Tucson and yet one stood out. Batch Cafe & Bar actually stood head and shoulders above the rest.
As I made my way into the vast expanse of Big Bend National Park, I felt I was on another planet. I was totally unfamiliar with this landscape: the heat, the sun, the prickly plants, and, of course, the sand and stone.
At times, I felt the beautiful expansiveness of this protected area. At other times, death became a pervasive thought. As a pale-skinned Yankee, I couldn’t keep myself from thinking how dangerous this landscape seemed and how awful (and easy) it would be to die here.
How do I even begin to describe my recent visit to Big Bend National Park? The experience was a story of contrasts and expansion.
To start, let me say that I’m a Midwesterner (born and raised in Detroit, Michigan) who went to college and lived in western Kentucky and Tennessee (Murray, Kentucky and Paris, Tennessee). And I’ve lived in Vermont since 2003. I’m used to a few environments: cement, sprawling farmland, and mountainous greenery. Big Bend was really my first experience with a desert landscape.