The 2017 travel season officially opens today, August 13th. No, I do not, today, step into my shiny new snow-white chariot and drive on up the road, O Brother soundtrack loud and upbeat playing me out of my driveway. That all happens bright and early on Saturday, the 26th. Today however, it is back to blogging mode.

Except for my annual, climbing-Black-Mountain, April birthday trip to San Diego, I have not left New Mexico or, for that matter, strayed further than 60 miles in any direction, this entire year. Because…I’ve been writing a book. Progress with that large and terrifying project has been made so it’s time for a travel/blogging break—or two. There has long been some indication that the left side of my brain, the side emphasizing logic, is mildly atrophied, whereas the right side of my brain has been allowed to run wild, dreaming up scenarios of books written and worlds traveled. Having been busy with the first for awhile, it is now time to let the travel-sphere loose for a few months.

While the result of this right-brain dominance hasn’t led to creative fame and fortune, it has taken me to 102 countries and more than a few almost-countries—with more on the way. And it’s told me I can write whenever and wherever I wish. Therefore I declare the 2017 roaming and blog scribbling officially open for business.


I know the outlines of this year’s trips have been included in a previous post. Ignore that. Pretend this is the first blog entry of this year. Here’s each trip’s “title”: 1) Road Trip to Minnesota via the Wild (Mid)West and 2) Southeast and South Asia. They sound like ordinary trips don’t they? They are not. For the road trip, it will be one that heads west through Utah before a right turn somewhere around Wyoming to get to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Northome, Minnesota. All on Two-Lane Highways. The Asian trip is one of five major journeys I must still make before I die. It begins in New Zealand and ends in India and there are no western hotels or airlines in between. It’s the international version of two-lane highways and mom and pop hotels!


Disclaimer Ahead: Everything I write now seems to occasionally slip into Trip to Bountiful mode—the visit to the old home for the last time or, for me, the visit to this or that place on the globe for the last time. I don’t have enough years ahead to go to every place in the world, and absolutely no time to return to most of places I’d like to see again—so every travel post threatens to take on a sentimental edge (although most won’t)—which you probably won’t mind if you’re older, and perhaps can overlook if you’re not.

Let 2017 Begin!

(With one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s most famous poems—which I’ve included in at least one previous post—Stevenson was the only poet my mom read to me, the only poet with whom I was the least bit familiar until at least high school. Obviously, Travel would be a favorite, maybe even an influence?)

Travel – Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson

I should like to rise and go
Where the golden apples grow;–
Where below another sky
Parrot islands anchored lie,
And, watched by cockatoos and goats,
Lonely Crusoes building boats;–
Where in sunshine reaching out
Eastern cities, miles about,
Are with mosque and minaret
Among sandy gardens set,
And the rich goods from near and far
Hang for sale in the bazaar;–
Where the Great Wall round China goes,
And on one side the desert blows,
And with the voice and bell and drum,
Cities on the other hum;–
Where are forests hot as fire,
Wide as England, tall as a spire,
Full of apes and cocoa-nuts
And the negro hunters’ huts;–
Where the knotty crocodile
Lies and blinks in the Nile,
And the red flamingo flies
Hunting fish before his eyes;–
Where in jungles near and far,
Man-devouring tigers are,
Lying close and giving ear
Lest the hunt be drawing near,
Or a comer-by be seen
Swinging in the palanquin;–
Where among the desert sands
Some deserted city stands,
All its children, sweep and prince,
Grown to manhood ages since,
Not a foot in street or house,
Not a stir of child or mouse,
And when kindly falls the night,
In all the town no spark of light.
There I’ll come when I’m a man
With a camel caravan;
Light a fire in the gloom
Of some dusty dining-room;
See the pictures on the walls,
Heroes fights and festivals;
And in a corner find the toys
Of the old Egyptian boys.



  1. Happy to see your travel post again. going to Utah and then East. Not sure of that route and why. I think the only way to see things when you are driving is to take the road less traveled…no interstates. That is why I love train travel…I get to see the country, as you do on the two lane highways.I am excited about my trip and I can tell that you are as well…Happy Trails.

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