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 MSN.com, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Delta Sky magazine, Westways, YourLifeIsATrip.com, Michelin Maps & Guides, and many other periodicals. My expertise is North American and European travel; enterprise and innovation; wildlife; sustainability; regional cuisine; outdoor recreation; travel logistics. I am also an expert copy editor and proofreader.
I like to squash myths, tell stories, explain novelties, honor achievement; 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 inveterate reader
of suspense fiction. I love the
West, the smell of sagebrush,
sockeye salmon, 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
Near Jordan Valley, Oregon
From Alaska to Beirut, I'm on the trail of truth, justice and purple taro.
• MSN X 9:
while you still can
Harvesting taro, Moloka'i January 2013
(photo by Lani Turner)
Golden Oldies &
• Journey of understanding on the Danube • Peace and union for all in Europe • Is there a prayer for me after this?
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.
4) More than 50.
B) Plane flights per year?
4) More than 75.
C) New stamps in your passport, past 12 months?
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?
4) More than 6.
E) In how many points/miles programs are you an elite member?
4) More than 6.
F) Do you have a half-packed suitcase in your closet?
G) How many nights a year in hotel rooms?
4) More than 100.
H) Car rentals, past 12 months?
4) More than 20.
I) Most exotic food you ever ate?
1) Frozen custard
2) Smoked eel
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wild horses, Hogback Rd., Oregon, July 2009