I’m lucky to have friends who bring me small souvenirs from their trips to faraway places. On the side of my metal office shelf cling several magnets that tell stories of adventures throughout the world.
I need more adventures throughout the world. I think we all do. Adventures to places we can’t pronounce. Like Tlaquepaque, a city in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. I haven’t been there, but I’d like to just based on the little magnet on the top shelf in the shape of an adobe plate with two colorful breads inside. It must be a good and delicious place to visit.
The word Tlaquepaque refers to a “place on knolls of clay land.” I like a place named after what it is known or what it does best. I read that there is glass blowing and other wonderful creations made there. Bread too. That’s my favorite part.
Most places are named after people, some after conquerors. Not the most worth discovering places. There’s one in New Mexico named after a radio quiz show — Truth or Consequences. I like its old name — Hot Springs. Doesn’t sound too exciting, but at least you knew what was going on there.
There’s a town in Colorado called Dinosaur. Everybody likes Dinosaurs, and every place has to be known for something. Why not be known for its inhabitants from millions of years ago? Less than 300 people live here. I hope extinction is not in its future.
The most interesting places are in hard-to-find corners of communities, out in the boonies, and in middle-of-nowhere locations you stumble upon as you get from one big city to the next. Like Uncertain, Texas; and Whynot, North Carolina.
Whynot is one of those areas that sounds brave. The people, the very few of them, are probably risk-takers. They must be open to almost anything. Whynot has been around since the 18th century. It should keep going and going, and someone should add a question mark. Why not?
Other places seem to be named by people that wanted to make sure you knew they existed, or at least knew where they were located. Like Halfway, Oregon. Giving directions to this place ended up more challenging than the town…