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travel 2019

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If you breath on a creosote bush, it will bring out the smell of the desert in the rain. Climbing up Hayden Butte Reservation in Tempe, Arizona, as the sun began to slip below the mountains and washed the red rocks in a shade of rose, I stopped beside its dry branches along the path to let out a yoga dragon breath. Inhaling deeply, I was struck by the scent of summer rain, drenched over the desert. The last time I was in state forty eight, a common (and very clever) Arizonian tagline, I was fifteen and quickly falling in…

“We have two rules here: calories don’t count, and there is no inherent dignity.” Leigh Melander, the “founding fomenter” of Spillian Estate, tells us this before heading to the bar area and returning with glasses of Pilsner ale from the Catskills Brewery. The group of us–strangers that, within the few hours we’d been together, already felt like friends–sat in the foyer, glowing in the bask of the hearth, sipping beer, and listening to Leigh talk about the house like an adoring mother. “There’s a different energy here, I think because of the woods,” she said. “It almost becomes an instrument…