The Writer’s Craft – A Real Character

(Silverdale, Washington; Oct. 6, 2019) – There is a moment in the Disney version of Pinocchio in which the titular character characters declares, “I’m a real boy!” The moment marks his transformation from being an enchanted wooden puppet to a flesh-and-blood human being. The whole story of Pinocchio is, effectively, of an inanimate object being … Continue reading The Writer’s Craft – A Real Character

Mental Health: Into the Volcano

(Silverdale, Washington; Jun. 23, 2019) – I debated for a long time whether this column should go under “Travel” or “Mental Health,” but the mental health analogy won out. However, that does not alter the fact that, last Saturday (June 15) I accidentally hiked right into an active volcano’s crater. I know, I know—you’re wondering … Continue reading Mental Health: Into the Volcano

Mental Health: Where I Have Been

(Silverdale, Washington; Jun. 9, 2019) – I’m back. I was able to finish the Grand Tour properly and a bit early (all 50 states, and a bit of Canada, from Nov. 2017 – Oct. 2018). But I had to lop off a lot of stops in order to see all 50 and get home in … Continue reading Mental Health: Where I Have Been

Travel Log: The Loneliest Place on Earth

(Port Ludlow, Washington; Sept. 4, 2018) - I know what it's like to feel alone—the kind of alone that crushes the spirit, forces the mind into a numbing panic, and sucks the oxygen from the soul. I am one of those people who sometimes suffers a horrible feeling of being alone even when I'm in … Continue reading Travel Log: The Loneliest Place on Earth

Travel Log: Meeting Adam

(Port Ludlow, Washington. Sept. 4, 2018) – A confluence of events and problems ranging from a very ambitious travel schedule between Montana and Washington State, and the loss of Internet connectivity temporarily in Washington, has put me behind in my columns. But I’m back! Meeting colorful and incredible characters is one of my favorite experiences … Continue reading Travel Log: Meeting Adam

Travel Log: A Plainly Great Education

(Miles Creek, Montana; Aug. 18, 2018) – Montana is on fire. Glacier National Park is burning, so Montana joins California, Idaho, and Canada in the wildfire club of 2018. These fires are sending a nasty haze all the way east to Minnesota (where I was yesterday). Today I did get some clear skies early on, … Continue reading Travel Log: A Plainly Great Education

Travel Log: The Devils Tower in the Details

(Gillette, Wyoming; Aug. 12, 2018) – I have stood underneath a great stone titan and been struck dumb in awe and wonder only once before. In 2004 I stood at the base of Uluru (Ayres Rock) in Australia and found myself transported to speechlessness by the sheer magnitude of size, beauty, and ancient spirits embodied … Continue reading Travel Log: The Devils Tower in the Details

Travel Log: Breathless on the Oregon Tail

(Gillette, Wyoming; Aug. 12, 2018) – The Oregon Trail is famous for its brutal line of passage across the untamed, unforgiving North American west for settlers crossing Indian land, climbing vast mountains, and facing utterly harsh winters. To a lesser extant in history the California and Mormon Trails also inflicted similar hardships on their travelers. … Continue reading Travel Log: Breathless on the Oregon Tail

Travel Log: NOW It Gets Serious

(Le Claire, Iowa; Aug. 7, 2018) – Ok, NOW it gets serious. Check out the map at bottom; I’m in Iowa. I am officially out West. The eastern half of the continent was tricky enough, but the distances involved tended to be shorter. A four-hour drive usually landed me in another state...or across two states … Continue reading Travel Log: NOW It Gets Serious