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Notes from the Road

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The Muddy Backwater of the Travel Blogosphere

Ghosts of Celestún Biosphere Reserve:

April 17th, 2018

Into the mangroves and pink lagoons of Mexico's Yucatán Coast.

Sancti Spiritus and the Psychedelic Flyer:

January 27th, 2018

Through colonial towns, mangrove forests and wet jungles, I look for the mysterious and multicolored Pedorrera bird.

Habana Vieja and the Little Farter:

January 2nd, 2018

In pursuit of a lifelong dream to find the Pedorrera, literally, Cuba's Little Farter, I set up base camp in Habana Vieja, Havana.

Here is How U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Can Help Protect Elephants:

November 21st, 2017

In this open letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I use a moral foundation and a data-driven argument for why trophy hunting is no way to protect elephants. In my argument, I offer three alternatives for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to pursue.

Best Phish Jams for Travel:

November 14th, 2017

Travel and big jams go together. The cowfunk-psyschedelia-shredding-ambient jams of Phish are like nothing else, and they go well with the most active parts of your travels. Here are my recommendations for some of the best Phish jams to go along with long backpacking trips in foreign countries, long train trips and other travel and road explorations.

Best Grateful Dead Jams for Road Trips:

November 14th, 2017

Road trips are excuses to listen to long, lazy Grateful Dead jams. I've compiled a list of the best Grateful Dead jams for road trips and travel.

Learning Lake Chewaucan:

October 15th, 2017

Dragonflies, shotgun shells and alkali lakes. Welcome to the ancient lakebed of Lake Chewaucan, where my son and I attempt to find an arrowhead.

Traveling with Watercolors:

September 13th, 2017

Travel paint palettes get messy real fast. When I close my palette up after using it, excess water swishes about inside, applying a film of gray and brown over each color. This article describes how I organize my colors while traveling.

How Many Birds are in North America?:

August 25th, 2017

Notes on the actual count of species that can be seen in North America, a number that was never definitely described until now.

Sea Cats of Cap de Creus:

May 7th, 2017

Notes on itinerary-free travel in a road trip to the Spanish Mediterannean headland, Cap de Creus.

Wax-tail Hopper:

September 23rd, 2016

What is that weird, red-eyed bug with white flames coming out of its rear?

Crossing the Sixes:

September 23rd, 2016

Notes on hiking the Oregon Coast from Bandon to Port Orford, including an interview with Snowy Plover biologist Dave Lauten.

Hand-drawn Map of the Osa Peninsula:

August 26th, 2016

I just sketched this hand-drawn map of the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica, to support my story on the region.

Malheur and the Golden Age of Travel:

June 11th, 2016

Observations from Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge just after the end of the Bundy occupation.

Osa Peninsula, Primeval and Protected:

May 20th, 2016

Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula is a wild gem of protected lowland forest, teeming with life. What can it offer the rest of the world?

Graphic Novels for Travelers:

April 1st, 2016

Consider traveling with a travel graphic. Here are some of my favorites.

Palermo, Sicily Taxi Sketch:

November 3rd, 2015

New sketch from Sicily. A three-wheeled taxi carrying local passengers in Palermo.

Corals off Guana Cay Golf Course showing Coral Disease:

October 22nd, 2015

New photos from the north end of Great Guana Cay and adjacent to the Bakers Bay golf course is evidence of a marked increase in coral diseases. I caught up with the team that has been monitoring and studying this reef before and after construction at Bakers Bay began.

Road Notes from John Day Country:

October 6th, 2015

A Minimalist road trip through drought-scorched desert canyon roads of Oregon's interior.

Moving Castles of Clatsop County:

August 24th, 2015

Thoughts on road trip habits from the end of the American road.

Scarlet Starsong on the Tambopata River:

July 11th, 2015

Notes on perception through the lens of synesthesia, and the value of global biodiversity, from one of its prime hotspots in the Peruvian rainforest.

How I Extended the Range of the Pearly-eyed Thrasher:

February 27th, 2015

Some thoughts on how to pack a cooler so you can stay out exploring throughout the weekend.

How to Pack a Cooler for the Weekend:

February 27th, 2015

Some thoughts on how to pack a cooler so you can stay out exploring throughout the weekend.

Open Letter to Daily Norseman on Bird-safe Glass at the New Vikings Stadium:

February 20th, 2015

Minnesotans should join the efforts of the Minnesota chapter of the National Audubon Society in calling on the New Vikings Stadium, and its skyway, to protect migrating birds.

Building a Traveler's Gear Shelf:

January 31st, 2015

Keep your travel gear organized at home. One of the best things you can do for yourself as a traveler is to maintain some sort of a gear shelf at home. Because I carry different gear configurations for different sorts of trips, from car camping, to backpacking, to international travel, I need a small quiver of packs and carry-ons.

Creating a lightweight Travel Sketchbook:

January 22nd, 2015

What art supplies do you need in your backpack for your travel sketchbook and journal? For me, shaving weight from my pack is always important, but just as important is the ability to carry a miniature studio with me everywhere I go. I've developed a variety of lightweight, big color sketchbook supply setups for my travels. I'll share them with you here to help you develop your own.

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