High-altitude training in Flagstaff

May 16, 2007

altitudetraining4.jpgLocated at an altitude of nearly 7,000 feet, Flagstaff, Arizona draws world-class athletes from around the world, who come here to train. The reason? Because there’s less oxygen up here, exercising is a lot harder. The athletes believe the high-altitude training gives them an edge in terms of speed, strength and  endurance when they return to lower altitudes to compete — though the scientific evidence on the subject is mixed. Still, many endurance athletes believe in the magic powers of thin air, and so The Center for High Altitude Training at the University of Northern Arizona is an official training site for the U.S. Olympic Team.

Flagstaff battles forest fire

May 16, 2007

Joe Haughey needs no time to think about what this mountain Arizona towns biggest worry is.

From Zane Grey to Karl May: Germans on Route 66

May 16, 2007

For many Americans RoGermans.jpgute 66 is the ultimate road trip, but the 2,500 mile highways appeal goes well beyond the borders of the United States and nowhere more apparently than Germany.

Following the Santa Fe main line

May 16, 2007

Desert-train.jpgOut here, youre never far from a freight train.

For most of the journey so far from Santa Monica, California all the way here to Gallup, New Mexico, trains up to a mile long and more have been our constant companions.

Road signs on Route 66

May 16, 2007

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Photos: James Kelleher/Nick Carey… May 14-15, 2007

Best bar in Flagstaff, or so they say

May 16, 2007

MuseumClub2.jpgLocals — including a top fire department official — insist the Museum Club on E. Route 66 on Flagstaff’s east side is the city’s best bar. MuseumClub1.jpg

Not standing on a corner in Winslow, Ariz

May 16, 2007

The lyrics seem to leave little room for debate. In “Take It Easy,” the 1970s country-rock song written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey that The Eagles recorded as their first singlTakeItEasy.JPGe, the second verse is… 

Cannes opener a risky business

May 16, 2007

As far as opening films to the Cannes Film Festival go, Chinese director Wong Kar Wai’s “My Blueberry Nights” was a risky business all round. Wong was directing in English for thJude Law, Norah Jones and Wong Kar Wai in Cannese first time, and set his story in the United States, unfamiliar territory. He also cast singer Norah Jones as the central character, an ambitious screen debut if ever I saw one. She took the plunge having seen only his acclaimed “In The Mood For Love”, and seems to have just about pulled it off. For the organisers, there was also the worry of getting the film to Cannes in time for the grand opening ceremony tonight. In 2004, Wong had them sweating in their tuxedos with “2046″, which he only just got to the Riviera resort in time. This time it was not much better. The director, wearing his trademark dark shades and close-cropped hair, told reporters he was in LA two days ago finishing the mix. Little wonder neither Jones nor co-star Jude Law have seen it yet. They get their first view at the opening tonight on a giant screen on which any flaws in their performances will be painfully exposed to a large, expectant and knowledgable audience. Rather them than me.

Musing on America in the Zane Grey Bar

May 16, 2007

WeatherfordHotel2.jpgA trip down Route 66 provides travelers with a rose-colored view of the early automobile era, an age that also consisted of institutionalized discrimination against blacks and anti-Communist hysteria. A reading of Zane Grey’s works connects readers with the Old West an Old West that is often free from ambiguity.

One of the more appealing mysteries along Route 66…

May 16, 2007

Dino2.jpgIf you take the trip along old Route 66 in Arizona, you will inevitably come across old business ventures that once enticed tourists to visit and break up the monotony of a long journey.