Travel tip #192…Mingle with spirits

In a sad twist of fate, I stopped drinking bourbon the day before visiting a historic distillery in Kentucky. In all honesty, I had only started the night before that. 90% of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky. Aged at least four years in oak barrels, the distilled spirit can only earn its name…

Travel tip # 34…stretch your season

When you have kids in school, you sort of know when you’ll take your vacations. Summer’s good. You can ski or hit the beach in that little window between Christmas and New Years. Spring break is a given, and then there are a few long weekends sprinkled throughout the year when the schooled masses migrate…

One little phone call…

On a warm summer afternoon a decade ago I finished reading a book called PrairyErth by William Least Heat-Moon. It was a beast, weighing in at just over 600 pages. It was a sweet affirmation of my own belief that good stories surround us and the author had plopped himself in the middle of Chase…

Travel tip #9…manage your risk

I was scheduled to travel to Tanzania in 2001. Africa would have been my 4th continent and the trip was built to include time location scouting for building a boarding school, a visit with a prominent AIDS physician, a few days with a missionary in the Ngorongoro Crater who worked closely with the Massai. and…

Travel tip #108…Know when to say goodbye

It’s my last night in my childhood home. I’m getting ready to sleep in the basement bedroom that my dad built for my brother in the 1970s when he needed teenage privacy. The rest of the basement is unfinished, and as a child I would run up those stairs at a sprint to avoid the…

Travel tip #31…Get all farm-y

I live in the city, but my heart is on the farm. Soft dirt beneath my boots, the morning dew wicking up my denim-clad legs as I wade through prairie grasses…standing in silent awe beside the silhouette of tall corn as shooting stars cross the sky…the city lights shining somewhere beyond the horizon and memory….

Travel tip #18…Wave.

It was about this time last year that I drove across the middle of our country. The morning started in Moab, Utah. I passed through Denver, Colorado, and made a brief stop in Ogallala, Nebraska to check on the ailing van I had left there the week before. (or rather, it had left me) The…

Travel tip # 43…Stay with strangers

When it comes to lodging, I like an adventure. I’ve slumbered in a vibrating bunk above the engine room of a Mississippi River barge. I’ve pitched my tent in a farmer’s field and rang the doorbell of the friend of a friend of a friend, hoping to beg spur-of-the-moment accommodations. (it worked) Last month I…

Marching into Selma

Drive north on US-80 and you’ll cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge into downtown Selma. Cross the bridge in that direction and the first block on the right you will find the Selma Interpretive Center. When I got out of my car, I could feel the weight of history. Or maybe or was the heat. Just…