Greenhorn Goes to…

It started with a trip to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: 16 days rafting through 30,000 square miles of wilderness that I hoped would transform me from a Greenhorn into a seasoned adventurer. I expected to return, satiated, to my civilized life. Instead of satisfying my wanderlust, however, the trip made me hungry. Hungry for more adventure. More discovery. More exploration of myself and this great planet of ours...

  • After a weapy goodbye with Nancita and Raulito, our group drove southeast along the Avenue of Volcanoes to the town of Shell. Yes, that Shell. As in petroleum. A town that wouldn’t exist except for the world’s hunger for fossil fuels. As we enter the town, we are greeted by a billboard exclaiming “Shell! Working […]

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  • Steve and Joanne and I are speaking quietly in the darkness, marveling at the sky. The Andean fog has settled in the valley below us, blocking the lights of the town that climbs up the lower slopes of the volcano. The mist reaches toward us over the vine covered rock wall that encloses the garden, […]

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  • Dateline:  Quito, Ecuador I can’t say I had ever really thought of traveling into the Amazon. All those creepy books and movies about violence and insanity deep inside an unforgiving jungle, spied on by menacing natives just never made it seem all that appealing. But in the past few months, I’ve been dreaming, literally, of […]

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  • Breathe in…1…2…3…4…Breathe out…1…2…3…4…5…6… Breathe in…1…2…3…4…Breathe out…1…2…3…4…5…6… I place my masked face in the water, continue breathing through my snorkel … in for 4 counts…out for 6… My arms and legs dangle loosely at my sides, gently swaying with the swells. I feel my heart rate slow, watch the light paint the sandy bottom of the […]

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  • Liminal Space. It’s a term I had never heard before. It means being betwixt and between. No longer what you were and not yet something new. For the caterpillar it is the time in the cocoon, for the human it is the moment when old certainties dissolve. It is the time of transmutation: the cells of the […]

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  • A minor miracle happens here every afternoon: a herd of goats materializes out of the sand. One by one they climb over the dune behind our huts nuzzling along our porches for any food left foolishly unguarded, or cling their way along the sandy slope above the shore browsing the fleshy, thorny brush that determinedly […]

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  • It’s a reasonable question. One I received a lot before leaving on my trip. Most people come to Madagascar to see its strange and wondrous creatures. Perversely, what brought me to Madagascar is the environmental degradation. Most of the country’s mammals, insects, and plants have been driven into, or are under threat of, extinction. The […]

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  • I am swinging in a hammock in the shade of an abandoned hut that is being consumed by dunes. Its thatched roof has collapsed, and the sand pressing against its walls makes it list dangerously, but the porch still provides the respite from the tropical sun as originally intended. There is no shade here other […]

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  • I had an unusual visitor at my campsite along Jack Creek: Homesickness. After all the wonderful people I had met in Alaska, I was finally enjoying some stationary time to myself. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t spent any time alone over the summer, but that time had been while driving Daisy from one place to the next. […]

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  • I am writing this along the banks of Jack Creek deep inside Wrangell St Elias National Park…in Alaska! It has again been a long time since you have heard from me. When I arrived back in the Bay Area in May, wet and wobbly from my misadventure in Costa Rica, my only instinct was to keep […]

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