About the Trail
Don’t wait for the last judgment—it takes place every day. --Camus

I am a widely published travel, business and natural history journalist. I aim to broaden appreciation of our amazing world 
and its people.

My work appears in Alaska Airlines Magazine, WestwaysYourLifeIsATrip.com, Michelin Travel Publications, and many other venues. My expertise is North American and European travel; wildlife;
regional cuisine; sustainability; recreation;
travel logistics. I am also an expert copy editor and proofreader.

I like to squash myths, tell stories, explain novelties, and describe flavors, landscapes, symphonies, scents, freshets and storms.

In my spare time I am an 
organic food grower, avid
bike rider (right, Sunriver,
Oregon) and zealous reader
of suspense fiction. I love the
West, Vienna and Stockholm, 
the smell of sagebrush
sockeye salmon, beautiful
Sweden, dust devils and
old-growth cottonwoods.

In September, 2004, I parked my truck at the top of Steens Mountain, Oregon, to hike down to Wildhorse Lake on an extremely steep, difficult trail. In the trail register, there were comments about good fishing, and this caution:
“Trail Not 4 Sissies.”
I headed down, verified the warning, caught four nice cutthroat trout, and reflected later on how that phrase represented my own life in the West. It was, and is, not for flatlanders, wimps or slackers. Here’s a picture of the trail:
Yes, the path does drop down that snow-covered cliff at the top. The elevation is about 9,000 feet. There is no cell phone coverage for a hundred miles, but eagles and buteos span the gap.

To learn more about Steens Mountain, go here. Or, here:

Old growth cottonwoods,
Big Indian Gorge

September 1983

That month I took my last drink and my last drug. In September, 2014, I celebrated 31 years of continuous freedom from drugs and alcohol. Family and friends joined me in my back yard in Seattle for roast salmon and fresh corn.
We all toasted the occasion with home-pressed apple cider from Sunset Hill, Seattle, Washington.

I do not write about wine, beer or any other alcoholic beverages. Many other excellent writers do so, and if that’s your interest I’ll be happy to refer you to several.

For more about my journey in recovery, please go here.

In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an eternal summer. --Camus

My dad, Peter Lucas, discovered a $5 billion oil & gas field for Royal Dutch Shell ; he survived terminal cancer for eight years, and is one of my heroes.  My great-uncle, Vincent Impelliteri, was mayor of New York City from 1950-1953; I had Thanksgiving dinner at Gracie Mansion in 1953. My grandfather, Kurt Lubinski, was a European journalist who escaped Nazi Germany and took my grandmother on a round-the-
world trip for their honeymoon. 
My great-grandparents died in Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp in 1942 and 1944. My sister, Kristin Lucas, is a world-class folk dancer; in 2006 we visited Theresienstadt together and lit a memorial candle in the crematorium. My other great-grandparents emigrated from Sicily and the Carpathian Mountains to the United States in the late 19th century. Five of my forebears have plaques at Ellis Island.​

What's New: December 2014
Istanbul to Molokai'i, I'm on the trail of truth, justice and purple taro. 

• From Hawai'i to Alaska to... Alaska
• Free parking
• Te amo Mexico DF
• Chiles, corn and World Heritage
• Alaska's wild and colorfully so
• The Paris of the East
• Mountains high Hawai'i
• Easy times in the Crescent City

• MSN X 10:
  - World cultural heritage
  - Peeved? Put a sock in it
  - Sink plugs & other travel mysteries
  - Myth-slaying, cruise ship dep't.
  - Don't waste your time here
  - These myths will cost you plenty
  - Lakes Country... worldwide
  - Airports from hell, on earth
  - A wealth of winter wonders
  - National parks 

• See Alaska's glaciers
   while you still can

Golden Oldies Dep't.:

• I'm a citizen of...
• Sailing Steinbeck's great sea
• The world's last great salmon run
• Don't take your guns to town, boys
• Still not so civil after all these years
• Gone, baby, gone: Glacier Park at 100
• Journey of understanding on the Danube
• Boycott stupidity, not Mexico

Harvesting taro, Moloka'i January 2013
(photo by Lani Turner)

Where to next:


Contact me:

Honey, are you ever coming home?
A few years back I met a fellow who declared himself immune to jet lag--he spent more than 300 nights a year on the road. “Where do you live?” I inquired.
“Hmmm,” he replied. “I keep my stuff in a flat in New York.”
My interlocutor was a so-called “road warrior”--a term I despise. Those of us who travel for a living are not warring. The road is not a battlefield. And the world needs less warrioring, not more. But some of us may be a bit too footloose for our own good.
I have been known to trek off to the wilds of Oregon; return home for a night, then hop a plane to London; return home for a week, then head off to Vancouver. My friend Dave Carlstrom calls this “Lucasing.” “I am ‘Lucasing,’ we are going to ‘Lucas’ next month,” he says. “It’s a verb.” Stunned and chagrined, I’ve devised a test to determine whether people travel too much.
Take the test. Face the truth.
A) How many airport codes do you know?
1) Fewer than 10.
2) 10-25
3) 26-50
4) More than 50.
B) Plane flights per year?
1) 0-24
2) 25-50
3) 51-75
4) More than 75.
C) New stamps in your passport, past 12 months?
1) 0-10
2) 11-25
3) 26-40
4) More than 40.
(Note: If no passport, automatic disqualification. Put down your pen, please.)
D) How many points/miles programs do you belong to?
1) 0-1
2) 2-3
3) 4-6
4) More than 6.
E) In how many points/miles programs are you an elite member?
1) 0-1
2) 2-3
3) 4-6
4) More than 6.
F) Do you have a half-packed suitcase in your closet?
1) Never
2) Sometimes
3) Often
4) Always.
G) How many nights a year in hotel rooms?
1) 0-25
2) 26-50
3) 51-100
4) More than 100.
H) Car rentals, past 12 months?
1) 0-6
2) 7-12
3) 13-20
4) More than 20.
I) Most exotic food you ever ate?
1) Frozen custard
2) Smoked eel
3) Durian
4) Insects (including arachnids).
J) Can you say “Thank you” in:
1) Spanish or French
2) Polish or Mandarin
3) Hungarian or Urdu
4) T’lingit, Suomi or Venusian.
Scoring: Very simple (I’m not a math geek). Add up the total value of your answers--i.e., one point for a ‘1,’ four points for a ‘4,’ etc. If your score is:
• Less than 10: Why did you take this test? Please go somewhere.
• 10-20: Twelve trips a year to Peoria? Get out there more.
• 21-30: What a well-rounded citizen of the world. Please vote in every election.
• 31-39: Does your family know who you are? Please go home.
• 40: Are you crazy?
My score? Send me an email with your score and we'll trade: ericplucas@yahoo.com.
Feral horses, Lake County, Oregon, July 2009