Slice of Life – NCTE and more biking

14 November 2023

A few weeks ago we met a new friend at Starbucks. He’s a fellow bike rider and lives in the town of Joshua Tree. He has literally ridden every highway and road–paved and dirt–as well as all the trails. He helped us find a new shortcut to Joshua Tree on a three-mile trail to his house. Now, he has taken us on several adventures seeing the landscape and sites. This week we went on two 20-mile rides. Just some of the sites we saw were beehive homes, a split rock, a suspiciously-not-really-contaminated “high energy microwave field”, a mirrored egg embedded on a mountain, a train museum (where the train has never passed through) and more. He estimates it will take two more months to finish seeing the sites he has to show us. Here are some photos of our last two bike rides.

Those are full-sized train cars in the background. In the foreground are tracks for a narrow-gauge train that goes around the grounds.
Is this warning sign really something? There was no fence around the area, and “Security by Julia.” Do you see the egg-shaped light in the background?
Here is the egg up close. I’m wondering if the warning is to protect this beauty.
How do you suppose this rock split?
A working fire hydrant in the desert (There was a house behind me)
These little cabins are made with socks of dirt with cement powder arranged in concentric circles.
My husband riding up ahead
We made it home just in time for the sun to fully set



I’m working on my own personal schedule from the NCTE Conexiones schedule. Have I missed any that you are leading or that you are attending?



7:00 a.m. – One Line Coffee with Ethical ELA friends
F.14 – “Building Networks: Bringing Together Teachers, Researchers, Families, and Communities to Explore, Expand, and Interrogate Writing Instruction” with Sarah Donohue and Margaret Simon and others
H.10 – “Acts of Assemblage: Bringing Art, Science, and History Together in the Storytelling Classroom” with Glenda Funk and others
I.18 – “Connecting English Language Arts and the Climate Crisis” with Trish Emerson and others

K.19 – “Authors are Real People: Connecting Students to Children’s Book Creators” with Margaret Simon, Sally Donnelly, Mary Lee Hahn, Heidi Mordhorst, Amy Ludwig VanDerWater, Laura Shoven, and Laura Purdie Salas and others.
L.29 – “Relational Poetic Practice: How Poetic Thinking Empowers Teachers to Author Their Own PD” with Sarah Donohue, Mo Daley, Jennifer Guyor Jowett, and me, Denise Krebs
M.34 – “Planning with Purpose: Nuts and Bolts for New College Classroom Teachers” with Anna J. Small Roseboro, Glenda Funk, and others and 4:00-4:30 – Laura Purdie Salas signing Finding Family

P.11 – “Connections within Research in Young Adult Literature” with Leilya Pitre and others


5 thoughts on “Slice of Life – NCTE and more biking

  1. Denise, these photos are amazing! The rock has me wondering, and so does the egg background. How neat to meet a friend at Starbucks who shares your joy of riding. I will miss everyone at NCTE this year, but I’m cheering you all on in spirit. Safe travels, friend, and I know you’ll rock your sessions.

  2. Denise,
    As Kim says, the photos are amazing. This is the best time to enjoy the desert, yes? I’m thrilled you have a tour guide for your bike rides. It’s not often I get top billing over Carol Jago. 😉 I know you’re gonna love our session. Jennifer Fletcher’s part is gonna be fantastic. I’ll be at your poetry session at at the coffee get together. See you soon, my friend.

  3. While the photos are so compelling, the questions which caption the photos had me pausing. The sessions you are hosting look so enticing and make me wish that I were able to be there. Best of luck, Denise!

  4. There are so many wonderful folks going to NCTE! I hope you have an absolute blast! I look forward to hearing more about your workshop(s).

    Oh, how I love every single photo you have shared. How exciting to have a new friend that is leading you to all these new biking adventures. What exactly is that “mirrored egg embedded on a mountain” ? It looks surreal and magical – how I would love to see that for myself. Please keep sharing about these new nature finds – absolutely exquisite.

  5. This is an awesome post, Denise, and how generous of you to include all the slicers in your NCTE at-a-glance.
    Now for the encounter with a knowing bike-tour-guide…phots insane and captions perfect (what is that sign protecting? Certainly the egg is worth it). I have found a hiking partner, and what a gift it is to travel with someone who knows the treasures of a place and loved to share each and every one. (Your weather is a bit more consistent for outdoor adventures, too, by the looks of it. I’m not complaining. Our green, green world is thirsty.) Enjoy the ride(s). See you at NCTE!

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