Only once have I seen the Aurora Borealis—nature’s fireworks. I remember it vividly: a wave of green ribboning the sky, a tinge of magenta on its tail, the distant crackling of electricity audible above the prairie wind. It was piercing cold that Saskatchewan night, January 25, 1992, after my grandparents’ 65th anniversary dinner. Ever since, […]
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Discovering the literature and poetry of a country we’re visiting: for me this is one of the greatest pleasures of travel. And what a thrill when it happens in your own country like it did in the Yukon this summer.
What fascinated us about the Roman city of ConÍmbriga in Portugal were the intricate mosaics, uncovered and open to the sky— still intact after 2,000 years! Think of it. How will our living room floors look in 4019? Especially if we left them roofless and open to the elements for centuries?
If our marriage lasts, we’ll celebrate our 50thwedding anniversary next Friday!
“And we should call it Latitude 65,” Magellan said five years ago when he floated the idea of a blog about our travels, the black-sky rains of November pelting our windows on the forty-ninth parallel in Vancouver. What places, I’ve always wondered, are on the circle of latitude 65° N of the Earth’s equatorial plane? […]
Orchid Acres. That’s an oxymoron isn’t it? “Orchid” and “Acres” are two words that just don’t belong together. Where in the world do you find acres of orchids? You’re lucky to see a single, wild orchid in an acre of tropical rainforest. Except, except for Orchid Acres, in West Dawson, Yukon, off Sunnydale Road on […]
If you’re a jubilado and you’ve been camping all your life, you may have had a set of flimsy aluminum pots. Like ours, vintage 1970, guaranteed, even at the lowest heat, to burn water, their handles, without a thermal potholder, certain to burn your fingers. When we bought Rove-Inn three summers ago after a camping […]
We were in Telegraph Creek, BC, the old town. Remote and in the wilderness. Requiring a 110 kilometre drive up a steep, gravel, mountain road with double-digit grades. Pulling up alongside a woman driving a van that had passed us on the road up, Magellan asked, “Is there anything here?” “Nah, this town is abandoned. […]
Have you been watching the Netflix series Chef’s Table? Did you see Season 4 Episode 2 about Caffé Sicilia in the baroque hilltop town of Noto in southeastern Sicily? “I knew that I was in paradise,” says Faith Willinger in the opening minutes, describing her first taste of Corrado Assenza’s aromatic, flavourful and creamy almond […]
Because my mother-in-law and I shared the same initials, sometime in the last decade I started addressing emails to her as GS1, signing off as GS2. GS1: the mother-in-law a girl dreams for, a young woman cherishes, a jubilado grieves.
The Great Bears of Hyder, Alaska & Stewart, B.C: The World’s Greatest Bear Display that you can get to by Car Salmon Glacier—the World’s Largest Road-Accessible Glacier Calls for a BC road trip, right?
In mid-June, I drove from Latitude 49 near the American border to Latitude 69 at Tuktoyaktuk on the Beaufort Sea, rescuing Spice along the way from the miners at Dawson City. Connecting the dots on the 9200 km return trip to Tuktoyaktuk revealed a set of spectacles. The natural spectacles and our impressions from the […]
Carcross. Welcome magazine, a publication by Yukon First Nations Culture & Tourism in my seat pocket on the Air North plane to Dawson City, was where I first I heard of this town. “Carcross,” I wrote and underlined in my journal: “Four sacred mountains, migrating swans, Emerald Lake.” (Translation: Magellan, we should go there.) A […]
It was Ruth Ann’s idea for our annual holiday. “I want to go to Dawson City,” she said, quite firmly. We settled on meeting there on June 7 and staying four nights. A few days after we reserved our Air North flights, Magellan said he was going to drive up, meet me on June 11 […]
“It’s Sunday so they’re a bit busy. But we have permission to land,” captain Tom told us as he piloted Ocean Light II to our first stop: the abandoned ancient village of Skedans sheltered on the northeastern coast of Louise Island in Haida Gwaii. Would you be surprised to learn that permission may have been […]
From sea to sea, a visual collage of beauty shots taken on our travels in Canada last year between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.
Do you know what’s wonderful about sitting down to write a story about some place we’ve travelled? The waves of memories that roll in. And low tide when they don’t, which leads to long conversations when I ask Magellan, “What happened after we left …?” And the quirky stuff we discover when researching a story, […]
“Everything starts with Chaco,” writes archeologist Steve Lekson. Chaco: built in the northwestern corner of New Mexico between 850-1150 AD—the most advanced civilization in North America until the nineteenth century. Chaco: never before had semi-nomadic people built anything of this scale—200 great houses, some the size of the Roman Coliseum. Chaco: constructed in astonishing alignment, […]
Sicilians have a special word for silence, Antisa. “Like the silence as you wait to hear the call of a bird…before you shoot it,” Matteo explained as he toured us around Tasca’s vineyards. You’d be wrong to think Matteo, who’d just completed his masters’ degree at the University of Bologna, is some sort of crazed […]
It’s a banner year for the Grand Canyon—a national park since 1919 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site for 40 years. This iconic park attracts six million visitors annually, most of them “cone-lickers” according to Brian, our guide when Magellan and I hiked there. Brian estimates 98% of visitors buy an ice-cream cone, peer over […]
It was early evening by the time we arrived, our hopes of getting a campsite diminished given that Natural Bridges Campground is highly desirable and has only thirteen spots. “Campground Full,” the sign read. “Let’s drive in and see if there’s a space,” I said. “This is the nicest campground for miles. And we want […]
“Where are you going next?” A common Q&A among jubilados isn’t it? Often followed by “What’s on your bucket list?” A day after a friend (a younger jubilado) said he was done with travel and going green, I was lying on a yoga mat at Granville Island thinking about his decision when the topic of […]
Mothers’ Day The last time we visited our mothers was in April. The long, Saskatchewan winter stalled out for the week we were there. Flocks of geese v’d through the clear-blue living skies, clouds as scant as the patches of snow on the prairie fields below. A natural world invisible to my mom, who sadly, […]
A generous gift certificate from George and my income tax refund were burning a hole in my pocket. And I had been lusting for a drone to take panoramas of the Mackenzie Delta and pingos near Tuktoyaktuk this June and images of us hiking this fall along ridges and cliffs above the fjords of Norway.
More than three decades ago when we lived in Calgary, Magellan and I thought we’d go to Japan in the spring for the sakura (桜), the Japanese word for cherry blossoms derived from saku 咲, which means to bloom. I even studied Japanese in anticipation. For some reason that I don’t recall, we didn’t go. How foolish […]
Are you a pasta fanatic or rice aficionado? Either way, here’s a story for you from Valencia, Spain.
Were I four decades younger and had the means to live in any city in the world, the white cobblestones of Lisbon would be a strong contender for my wandering feet. Magellan agrees. Lisbon is in his triumvirate of top cities. But a decade from now, the seven hills of Lisbon could be too much […]
The sun and the movement of the earth—the oldest phenomena our naked eyes can see. Imagine an artist whose life’s quest is to show us that phenomena. An artist who wants us to be “a little more aware than you were the day before of how beautiful the world is.” That artist is Robert Irwin.
Magellan’s pretty good about guessing his gifts. But an easy time he was not having with a heavy present under the tree the Christmas before we went to Haida Gwaii. He did look surprised, even a little bewildered, when he opened the largish box… A pair of brown gumboots. (Hidden away in our garage was […]
Not all of our travel bursts with adventure. There are days of long drives, laundry baskets, local planning. And unexpected, small pleasures—like a honey festival in Spain’s Picos de Europa.
Today, St Patrick’s Day, is our daughter Lynn’s birthday. Not wanting to embarrass her with some sappy tribute, we’re turning the words over to one of my favourite poets, Linda Pastan.
In his book NZ Frenzy, Scott Cook starts off his discussion of Paturau (Pah-too-rau) Beach with these words: “Oh my god, no way, oh wow, I’ll be damned.” He says it took him seven summers of travelling to New Zealand’s South Island before he made it to Paturau. We’re almost as tardy—it’s taken us four […]
We didn’t know we’d be going to the “Most Improbable Village in Oman.” After camping for several nights in Hannibal, the name we gave to the rooftop tent on the Land Cruiser we’d rented, our plan was to drive up to the Sayq Plateau and luxuriate for two nights at the Sahab Hotel (A real […]
Mixtecs, indigenous Mexicans, have been in the news lately. Half a millennium ago around February 18, 1519, Cortés and his crew landed at Cozumel. Mexico’s new president announced he’s going to improve relationship with the Mixtecs. Yalitza Aparicio, the lead actress in the movie Roma, is Mixtec. And a recent article in the Globe and Mail talked […]
“You’ve got to come hear this,” I said, phoning Magellan and asking him to meet me at the Power Plant to hear Forty Part Motet as soon as his meeting was over. I was happy to spend an extra hour listening to the art (yes, listening) until he arrived. It was in Toronto in 2004, the […]
After too much wine at dinner last February just before Valentine’s Day, Magellan said to Ginger, “I’ll drive your stuff to Saskatoon.” “Dad wasn’t serious was he?” Lynn asked on the walk home. “There’s no way,” I replied. “Driving a big rental truck through the mountains at this time of year would be ludicrous. Plus there […]
I can’t remember seeing a Buddha’s Hand when we were in Bhutan. Or in Bangkok. Not in Japan either. Nor do I remember noticing any in California. Where I have found lots of them is at Whole Foods in Vancouver. Believe me, they’re worth searching for.
Art at its most significant is a distant early warning system… Marshall McLuhan In the Chihuahua Desert the light is intense, the silence severe. The landscape planes, stretches horizontal, on, and on, and on, into a thin horizon line penciled above the empty plains. El Despoblado, The Uninhabited, is the name of the distant hills. Having […]
“I’m stranded here,” my mother said when I called her one evening last week. An eye infection in her good eye has left mom totally blind, in a sea of darkness in her room at Birchview Home. It made me think of Pesuta. She’s been stranded for ninety years, since 1928, the year mom was […]
“I don’t know if I can do this.” Rare words from Magellan. It’s in my double helices to be timid when confronted with a physical challenge—but this time it was him. We’d reached an embayment on the Peekaboo hike in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. Our guidebook cautioned about it in three bolded words: “very steep […]
Have you ever lost your luggage? “Can you please describe it?” “It’s black!” Your valuables are far more vulnerable to theft while travelling abroad than when at home. And if you want to make an insurance claim, you’re going to need a police report. Are you capable of describing in detail what was stolen?
Across the street from us is the Maritime Museum. Thanks to its harbour master, for the first time in the twenty years we’ve lived here the boats moored at its dock have been lit up for the holidays. Sparkling nightly, these lights and the Christmas trees across English Bay inspired Magellan’s photos and my poem.
In this season, in the silence of night, who among us doesn’t pause, rewinding time back to childhood on Christmas Day? Among those memories, there’s often a grandmother. In my case, Grandma Danchuk. Alice. Born 110 years ago, on Christmas Day in 1908.
One of our best experiences this year was on the OceanLight II in the remote Gwaii Haanas (the southern part of what used to be called the Queen Charlotte Islands). Onboard was a crew of three: Captain Tom; first mate Jennifer; and cook Luise. And four jubilado couples: Stewart, the eldest, and Denise; George (a […]
A week ago we wrote about the Valle dei Templi in Sicily’s Agrigento region. Expecting to be awed by the grandeur of its Classical Greek temples, instead we came away feeling a bit “meh.” The next day we headed back to the Museo Archeologico, (it had been closed the day before as you may recall […]
It is said you can see more Greek ruins in Sicily than in Greece itself. Which isn’t surprising. When it was part of Greater Greece, Sicily’s population exceeded three million, more than that of Athens and Sparta combined. Some experts even claim the Temple of Concordia in Sicily is the best-preserved Greek temple in the […]
It takes backbone to sue the Trump Administration. Especially if you’re women. And you own a restaurant in Boulder, Utah, one of the most remote areas of the US, elevation ~7,000 feet, population ~ 180 people. Where the geology’s so rugged that early explorers declared “no animal without wings could cross it.” When the […]
Evening rose. Carmine crimson. A duality of colours, our twofold experience of Albarracín, Spain. Evening rose in the labyrinth of medieval buildings in the town. Carmine crimson in the Stone Age rock-art in Albarracín Cultural Park. It was Marc and Anne, a Belgian couple we met on our first trip to Spain, who recommended Albarracín. […]
That something extraordinary might happen any minute, any day, any month is the peculiar sense you feel in New York, writes Joan Didion. It happened to my friend Myra on her first trip there. “I just had a sense when you and I were at the Writers’ Festival that I wasn’t through with New York, […]
“Indisputably the best walk on the South Island,” says Scott Cook about Hooker Valley Track in his guidebook NZ Frenzy. There’s even higher praise—many references cite New Zealand’s Hooker Valley as the best day track in the entire country. After hiking it in late April, NZ’s autumn, Magellan and I gave it five stars. But […]
“To know the character of a community, I need only visit its cemeteries.” (Benjamin Franklin) Judging by the thousands of prehistoric burial chambers (some with porches) honeycombed into limestone rock high above the rivers In remote Mount Iblei, the air honeyed by wild flowers and herbs, silent save for the buzz of honeybees and singsong of […]
At this time in autumn twenty-five moons ago, we were bashing around on the “living husband-and-wife bridges” in Japan’s most secluded wilderness in a “wild monkey cart.” Needs explaining doesn’t it?
“I’m Mary,” she said, hesitating, a wry look on her face, like she wanted to say “Mary, Mary, quite contrary.” “And I’m Tyler Crosby. Nephew of Sid Crosby. (Pause.) You know, Sid Crosby, (Pause) the Skidegate Chief of Chiefs.” I knew immediately why Captain Tom had worked so hard at the wheel fighting waves and […]
Kindling Jan 12, New Zealand so… as to our annual holiday… as far as galiano goes, gabriola too, i’m over them. really, when i look out at the ocean here for five months of the year, i don’t find the gulf islands all that attractive. too damn many trees! i am willing to be convinced […]
The Golden Age of Discovery. Such a good tagline for Lisbon with its many attractions linked to world explorers, like Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan. We loved this city of light (three thousand hours of sunshine per year!) bouncing off cobblestones of pearly white, of famed attractions like the Discoveries Monument, Jeronimos Monastery and […]
Every September since 1995, we’ve been making a shell bean soup recipe from a cookbook by Alice Waters. Today we’re travelling back in time to when I first made this autumn bowl of Italian earthiness—a soup so good it’s usurped the event of that fateful day.
Think of your favourite cities to visit. What do they have in common? Vibrance. Culture. Events. Economic stability. A unique sense of place. Chances are they’re university cities. Like Coimbra in Portugal, where Magellan and I were last year on homecoming weekend in early September.
“I think he’s alive and living in the bush in Alaska like hundreds of other guys,” said Dale, the volunteer at the Port Clements Museum in his black fisherman’s cap and black T-shirt when I asked him if he thought Grant Hadwin was dead. “He left his pack above the high-tide mark; that’s the giveaway,” […]
Forget the Gregorian calendar. For as long as I can remember it’s the first of September that heralds the new year on my calendar. The fall harvest ripening into hearty soups and long-simmering stews, festivals for writing and films with premiers of new novels and movies, dahlias in russet and gold, magazines thick with fashions […]
The first dish cited in our Insight guide to Sicily is Sarde a beccafico. I didn’t pay much attention, not being overly fond of sardines. But when I read in that same guidebook that you could stay at Via Butera 28 in Palermo, part of Palazzo Lanza Tomasi where Prince Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa lived while […]
What is it about mountain goats? Perhaps it’s their cross-species sociability. Their curious nature. Their direct gaze. And their amazing agility on steep mountainsides. If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, you know that goats have been our travel companions on quite a few hiking trails. Their presence equalled the splendour of everything else on […]
“People of conspicuous elegance” is how the Ancestral Pueblo people of Mesa Verde have been described. Rarefied living, 8,300 feet above sea level on the Colorado Plateau, their cliff dwellings were the largest in the Southwestern US—there were thirty-eight rooms and three plazas in the Balcony House that Magellan and I toured. If Architectural Digest […]
Driving in Sicily was just like Spice and me sailing with our friends Don and Marg years ago, ninety percent boredom and ten percent panic; or in Don’s case, ninety-five percent boredom and five percent amusement. Or if his son Geoff had the helm, pure instinct. Not the case for Magellan in Sicily—“Please Help Me!” […]
In the early 1970s Magellan and I bought a print of Emily Carr’s “Haida Totems.” Its presence followed us through a succession of homes, creating an immanent longing to visit what was then called the Queen Charlotte Islands, now known as Haida Gwaii. Or Islands Emerging From (Supernatural) Concealment or The Islands on the Boundary between Worlds as […]
In the Haida language, Gwaii (they prefer Gwaay) means islands, Haanas means beautiful and K’yang.ga is the word for a jellyfish with tentacles. Gwaii Haanas is the short version for Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve covering the islands and waters and Haida villages in the southern area of Haida Gwaii, which was formerly known as the Queen Charlotte […]
There’s something about Texas, especially West Texas. I know, it’s not too fashionable to like the lone-star state. Too many guns. Too many red necks. Too black-gold-centric. Too near Breaking Bad country. For years, West Texas has been calling us long-distance, saying “Come visit.” The quirky town of Marfa. Big Bend National Park. And the legendary Gage […]
“Lisbon Has Become One of Europe’s Hottest Art Capitals. How Did That Happen?” Last year shortly after this headline appeared on ArtNet, Lisbon bookended our visit to other destinations in Portugal and Spain’s Picos de Europa. At the beginning of our trip In the cab on our way into Lisbon, we stopped at Zest Books […]
At our age, we’ve got a lot of baggage; I mean luggage. Big and small. Two-wheeled and four. Heavy and light. Burgundy and rusty orange. And black, lots of black. You might be surprised to see what our favourite piece of luggage is now. A small cooler!
BIG BEND TEXAS: No Place to Think Small. That’s the truth. With a landmass of more than 135,000 square miles, Big Bend National Park is huge. The southern edge of Big Bend borders Mexico for 118 miles—a stretch #45 would like to see walled. Which is how “Wally,” the talisman you’re about to meet, got […]
Reading Kelly Kelleher’s essay on the colour lilac, the fashion shade this spring/summer, awakened a dormant inspiration to write a poem on lilacs. Going to Saskatchewan a few weeks ago (still lilac season there) to visit our aging mothers provided the second incentive. Re-reading Linda Pastan’s “I am Haunted by Lilacs” was the muse-poem that completed […]
We’ve all seen our share of profound art. But being in a cave in semi-darkness among drawings created 24,000 years ago, astonished our perception of time and human achievement.
Don’t you love rhubarb? Growing up on the prairies, rhubarb signaled that winter was over: dessert bowls of mom’s dull-coloured canned rhubarb with its bracing, teeth-cleaning acidity came to an end, replaced by her fresh rhubarb pies and mini cakes: sugared rhubarb and walnuts topped with a sweet-cream biscuit dough and baked in muffin tins. […]
“Change your money on the black market,” friends who’d been to Argentina advised, “You’ll get 25 percent more than at the banks.” I was all for it, but Magellan was skeptical. “I don’t want to get robbed in some back alley,” he protested.
Letters, from a woman to her hiking boots.
The memory of May: what gladness I felt walking the country road to our one-room school, especially coming to the woodland marshes with their wild marigolds yellowing up beneath a sky of prairie blue. The same feeling we had last May, in Texas of all places, in Big Bend National Park at a place with […]
“I can still taste the simple, pistachio pasta we ate,” was the first thing Teresa said when I told her we were going to Sicily. “Their buttery, fat pistachios are so much better than those we get from the Middle East.” “The food is so good, Clive and I gained ten pounds,” Linda told us. […]
One of the joys of hiking in Europe compared to most anywhere else in the world is the reward of eating lunch at a restaurant in a mountain village enroute. Take, for example, Hike #1 in Teresa Farino’s book Picos de Europa. But first, let me step back in time for a bit.
Starting out as just a waypoint for us between Portugal and the Picos de Europa, the Spanish city of León turned into a highly recommendable destination—as those of you who have hiked the Camino de Santiago already know. León has the energy of a university town, one of the most stunning cathedrals in Spain and […]
Until we started planning our trip to Portugal, I’m ashamed to say I had never heard of the country’s Fernando Pessoa—considered one of the greatest literary figures of the twentieth century. Do you know him—or should I say do you know the four greatest Portuguese poets—all Pessoa writing under different names? Pessoa means person in […]
It was the first place in Nevada to have concrete sidewalks and the first place in the state to have electricity. Founded in 1905, it soon had three railroads, a stock exchange, a hospital, a symphony, a few churches and many brothels. Nope, it’s not Vegas but a ghost town called Rhyolite, named for a […]
I knew that Sunday, as we parked the car overlooking a hay field in the lush green of the Basque countryside and walked by a garden leading to a red-tiled farmhouse restaurant, that our lunch at Mugaritz was going to be good.
Although we followed Namgyel’s guidance and arrived early to get to a good seat at the country’s largest and most popular cultural festival, throngs of Bhutanese and small groups of tourists were already crowding into Paro Dzong ahead of us. Bedazzling. We’d seen photos of the elaborate pageantry at the Paro Tshechu and Namgyel had […]
Have you ever dreamt of painting music? A Bill Frisell concert can do that to you. It happened to me last month after hearing Bill and Thomas Morgan play at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley in Seattle.
Quietly, our stockinged feet touch the cool, grey floor. Like a water droplet at the moment of landing, this concrete shell elongates. Pillarless. Seamless. Edgeless. There is no boundary between floor and ceiling. An inclusive space. For a single, solitary artwork. The silence is profound. There are no cameras. Talking is prohibited; even children’s voices […]
What did you do to celebrate your retirement? Magellan chose Palm Springs. Figured he’d improve his golf score. Take in the BNP Paribas Open—the tennis tournament in Indian Wells. And enjoy some hiking in the area.
No, this blog is not about rock ’n roll fans screaming their heads off when the Beatles broke into “Oh yeah I’ll, tell you something, I wanna hold your hand.” It’s about Cabo Hornos. Which has no connection to the Beatles. Not that we know of, anyway. The “Screaming Sixties” are the gale-force 60-miles/hour winds […]
We have many friends who plan their trips on the fly. They book their first night’s accommodation and then get the advice of locals on the best side trips and places to stay and eat. They return with stories of many pleasant surprises from their random walk. Spice tends to be a bit more (okay, […]
Of our many hikes in the Southwestern United States, we both look back at one in awe—short, sweet and a palette of pinks—Lower Hackberry Canyon. “There was something out there,” said Magellan.
“We’re trying for the experience we had in Seville with you guys,” said Pat this week describing a trip he and Dallas are planning to Budapest and Vienna. “That apartment we rented was so great.” Readers of this blog may recall that we’ve talked about our trip to Seville with Pat and Dallas before: the […]
Years ago when people thought only les vins français were worth drinking, our neighbour Jim started a little company importing wine from Spain and Portugal. When his son visited this month and inventoried the remaining bottles, I thought back to two Januaries ago and a eulogy at Jim’s Celebration of Life. “I knew nothing about […]
About three-o-clock every afternoon these days when Vancouver’s grey skies darken toward charcoal and heavy rains pummel our flat roof, I need a cookie. The urge is as strong as when I was a kid getting home from school in the subzero cold of Saskatchewan and wanting mom’s warm “matrimonial cake,” gooey dates sandwiched between […]
“When you see a parade of mules coming, move off the trail,” our guide Brian told our hiking group last spring in the Grand Canyon. “Why do you use mules instead of horses?” someone asked. “Mules can carry a lot more weight for one thing. They’re also more sure-footed than horses. It’s the way they […]
“Did you like Milford Sound?” That’s the first question you’ll be asked when you tell people you were on the South Island of New Zealand for three weeks. When Magellan and I answer meekly, “We didn’t go there,” we’re met with the same dumbfounded expression you’d give to people visiting the Rockies and admitting they […]
As 2017 draws to a close, I think the best dessert I ate this year was ______. How would you fill in that blank? You might be surprised to learn that for me, it wasn’t a dessert from our 18 weeks of travelling (like the Pastel de Beléms in Lisbon). In the contest though […]
Since the Middle Ages, dark interior walls of stone cathedrals have been animated by the communion of light and colour on jewel-toned windows of stained glass. People travelled for days to read brightly illuminated stories imprinted on stained glass, stories created to teach and delight: the liturgical canon, local history, political leanings, arts and science, […]
If you think of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSE) as a staircase, imagine it now only half as wide—the new “Liddle” Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Last week we addressed Trump’s December 4 proclamation to shrink Bears Ears National Monument by 85%. On the same day, he cut our favourite place in Utah—Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument—by […]
During our 79-day tour of the southwestern US, one of our favourite wilderness areas was the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) in southeastern Utah. On the weekend of May 13, we hiked into House on Fire, one of the most famous Puebloan ruins in BENM. It’s so dazzling we went twice, on Saturday evening when […]
On Friday afternoon, we got the call. A week later, I locked the door on an almost-empty house. Imagine that like my mother, you’re eighty-nine years old. You’re moving into a single room in a personal care home in less than a week. Look around. What possessions would you take with you?
Do you remember what you got for Christmas thirty years ago? For me, it was One Hundred Flowers, a coffee-table art book of Georgia O’Keeffe’s floral paintings. I was such a fan of her work that Magellan bought this for me in 1987, the year it was first published, the year Georgia O’Keeffe would have […]
“It’s hidden under this vase,” said the young man, pulling out the house key. “A typical Portuguese hiding place,” he laughed. “Good thing we’re sharing the house with a couple who got here before dark and know what’s going on,” said Magellan as we introduced ourselves to Gil and Sebastião. Until we arrived in […]