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Cabins of the Smoky Mountains

Foreign Funeral – Heartbreak in a Romanian Village


Our arms interlocked tightly at the elbow. We stared downward in the chilly, quiet living room when an improbable question broke the silence. “Did you touch her yet?” my wife, Oana, asked as tears streaked down her high cheekbones. “She’s still warm.” Mama Ana, as she was known, my wife’s 82-year-old grandmother, died hours earlier in her small, century-old stone farmhouse in the Romanian countryside. We journeyed 7,000 miles from … [Read more...]

From Sea to Clouds, Vancouver to Whistler

whistler-blackcomb (1)

With two days in Vancouver before jumping on the Rocky Mountaineer train on the way to Banff, we decided to visit the mountain town of Whistler. Greyhound offers a relatively affordable option by combining a round trip bus journey with unlimited tram/gondola rides on Whistler/Blackcomb Mountains. This makes it quite doable to see Whistler in a day with an early start from Vancouver. As soon as we arrived in Whistler Village (partly home to … [Read more...]

On Trust & Traveling & Treasure Making


Part I ~ Friendship I thought about trust a lot the other day. I was on my way to photograph a house in the Isletas. There are 300+ islands in Lake Nicaragua close to Granada. It is my favorite place to immerse myself in nature and retreat from the stifling heat of the city. I thought to rustle up a group to join me but soon realized with schedules and distances and timelines we were not going to connect. I am always a bit wary when I am out … [Read more...]

Big Bear Jeep Experience Lets its Customers Drive its Jeeps Off Road


BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif./ August 20, 2014 –Big Bear Jeep Experience is a new adventure that gives its customers the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a fully equipped, high-performance Jeep Wrangler JK and drive it off road on rugged terrain into the backwoods. It’s a far-from-ordinary off-road tour because the customer gets to experience firsthand what it’s like to steer a 4x4 Jeep over rocks and boulders. Big Bear Jeep Experience provides two … [Read more...]

River of gold: a personal voyage through Africa’s lagers


When Spain made claim to a small corner of North Africa and christened it Río de Oro – River of Gold – the country’s colonial ambitions for what amounted to a patch of sand in the western extreme of the Sahara Desert were clear. With the third glass of mint tea broiling my insides as I looked across the same area of sand, I considered that perhaps my own intentions in Africa were equally unrealistic. I was a week into seeking as much cold lager – … [Read more...]

Mary Jane, Mopeds, and Metal Bars


When you wake up on a concrete floor with only a bamboo mat between you and the cold you might just wonder what the hell you were thinking the night before.  This was my situation a few years back while I traveled the world for a year or so. Some days it felt longer and this was one of them. I lay there body sore, taught as a fisherman’s net soaked with salt, dried in the hot afternoon sun.  Rubbing my eyes, I dared to take a day light look at my … [Read more...]