Unheralded

CLAY JENKINSON: The Jefferson Watch — In Search Of America

The last time I wrote to all of you I was about to embark on my John Steinbeck Jr. camper truck journey in Colorado. I had no idea what to expect. The rig I rented in Denver was really designed for back country exploring — heavy tires, a very powerful engine, shovels and other equipment latched to the side and …


CHRIS ALLEN: Morocco Journal — Marekech: Yes It Is

Whatever you might have thought about Marrakech, it is. At least in the market at Jama al Fna square. There are actually two markets. One, during the day, is busy, but somewhat laid-back. People wander though the huge square on their way to the covered souks, stopping to buy a smoothie from the many carts lined up end to end, …

CLAY JENKINSON: In Search Of America — Trying To Make Sense Of It All

Well, here are my preliminary thoughts. My rig is the smallest, most pitiful in the whole KOA complex. I’ve walked around once — several more to come as the night lights up here at Weedpatch Camp! Some of the RVs are so luxurious and massive that the pickup-like vehicle that pulls them is more like the cab of an 18-wheeler …

CLAY JENKINSON: In Search Of America — Leadville, Adventure And Gratitude

To all of you who are following my little journey in search of America (or a bit of it), I am having a splendid evening. I arrived at this remote and understated camp, not far from Leadville, Colo., about 2 p.m. I did the minimum to set up camp. Only one other couple is here. They have a pickup on …

CLAY JENKINSON: In Search Of America — Traveling With Each Of My Characters

UNDER TWIN PEAKS, NEAR ASPEN, Colo. — What would each of my characters think of this trip? Starting with John Steinbeck: He would be amazed at how much more comfortable pickup trucks are now, with tilting steering wheels, heated seats, air conditioning, better shocks, tinted glass, etc. And how much more convenient a truck camper is. The one I stepped into the other day …

CHRIS ALLEN: Morocco Journal — The (Female) Face Of Morocco’s Future

The future of Morocco may look a lot like Fatima. This 28-year-old dynamo took on the Fez establishment — the “all-male” Fez establishment — to fulfill her latest goal. She opened her five-room inn inside the medina last July and is already looking to do bigger things. Fatima (she uses only her first name), got a degree in hotel and …

CLAY JENKINSON: In Search Of America — I Fell In Love With America All Over Again

ASPEN, Colo — Last night, I camped about a dozen miles from Aspen, but you would not have known that billions, even hundreds of billions, of dollars were spending themselves nearby. This morning, I drove in to check my email and post this report, but I will leave soon. I wanted a Starbucks because I knew there would be free WiFi. But, …

CLAY JENKINSON: In Search Of America — I Know The Path Well Enough

Sundays always remind me of my father, Charles Everett Jenkinson. He has been dead for a quarter of a century now, but Sundays, I often miss him acutely. But he would never come on such a trip, not for all the money in the world. He thought camping was very silly: Why jettison 10,000 years of improvements in comfort to …

CLAY JENKINSON: In Search Of America — Water, Stubble And The Enlightenment

No internet last night, which is mostly good. But it is amazing how wired in we are and “helpless” when we are off that grid. Starbucks in Silverthorne, Colo. I thought of staying two nights at the Blue River campsite, but part of this experiment is trying a variety of experiences. I am even determined to do time in a …

CLAY JENKINSON: In Search Of America — The Rig Under A Billion Stars

GRANBLY, Colo. — So I survived the first night in the Steinbeck rig. Lots of little rituals are required. You scout your camp site. Almost nobody accepts the first option, so you circle the campground a couple of times. Later, when you have chosen the best available site or what in your panic you think is the best available site, …

MICHAEL BOGERT: Photo Gallery — Lake Bemidji State Park

Lake Bemidji State Park offers a variety of things to do for people in search of outdoor adventure. Located on the north end of Lake Bemidji in northwestern Minnesota, the park touts a sandy beach; hiking and biking trails; boat, canoe and kayak rental; a children’s playground; volleyball court and year-round naturalist programs as well as wildlife viewing and marvelous …

CLAY JENKINSON: In Search Of America — Crazy Horse And Carhenge

All the news is D-Day. The late Stephen Ambrose would be elderly now, had he lived, but he would have been part of this last great celebration of that historic day. I did not get to Sand Creek. I ran out of day. Eventually, I got to Denver — Brighton and then Aurora — and stayed in a dismal motel, …

CLAY JENKINSON: In Search Of America — ICBMs, Wall Drug And The Badlands

I made a false start, but only by a couple of miles, doubled back to gather a few items, then drove south from Mandan, N.D. No destination in mind, but I reckoned I might get as far as Nebraska, certainly southern South Dakota. The great luxury of this sort of travel is that you don’t have to barrel through. I …

CHRIS ALLEN: Morocco Journal — What Is Morocco?

Morocco is the home of Casablanca, the largest city in the country, and the setting for the greatest movie of all time (not one frame of which was actually shot there because the world was having a war at the time). It is a Muslim-majority country with pockets of Christians and an ever-dwindling population of Jews. It is a kingdom …

JEFF OLSON: Photo Gallery — Cache la Poudre Wild and Scenic River

Cache la Poudre River is Colorado’s only wild and scenic river. The upper stretch was designated under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act because of its outstanding recreation, scenic and hydrologic features, including The Narrows, a narrow cleft where the river has cut through rock walls; Profile Rock and Sleeping Elephant, two picturesque granite rock formations; and Poudre Falls, a deep chasm that roars …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Southwestern Splendor

Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, recently returned from a trip to the Southwest, specifically Arizona. Among the sites they saw were a sunrise at Watson Lake, near Prescott. “The lake is surrounded by unique rock structures that make interesting compositions for photography.” Also a sunset at Lake Powell, near Page. Antelope Canyon-Page, Arizona One of the trip’s highlights …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Santa Cruz Island Scrub Jay

My article on the Island Scrub Jay appeared in this Thursday morning’s Bismarck Tribune. Here is it below, with my photographs, including one of the Island Scrub Jay. There are much better photographs of the jay by professional photographs easily found in a simple Google search, so do check that out if you are interested. Having birded for decades, one …

ERIC BERGESON: Photo Gallery — Sabino Snow

It appears not even our country’s warmer climes are immune from snow this winter. A winter storm ravaged the Southwest U.S., dumping snow on parts of Greater Los Angeles and Tucson, Ariz., before moving eastward into the Plains. Northern Arizona was hit particularly hard, with Flagstaff reporting its snowiest single day on record, with more than 35 inches of snow …

JEFF OLSON: Photo Gallery — Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Most people associate the Potomac River with Washington, D.C., but perhaps some other most spectacular scenery along that waterway is at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park in the District of Columbia and the states of Maryland and West Virginia. Photographer Jeff Olson recently spent some time in the national park, on the Maryland side of the Potomac. The park was …

JEFF OLSON: Photo Gallery — USS Constitution

Photographer Jeff Olson and his wife, Joanne Burke Barclay Olson, took time on their recent trip to New England to check out the USS Constitution in the Boston Naval Shipyard in Boston Harbor. Also known as Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the U.S. Navy named by President George Washington after the U.S. Constitution. She is the world’s …

JEFF OLSON: Photo Gallery — Old North Church & Historic Site

The Old North Church & Historic Site, made famous during the American Revolution by Paul Revere’s midnight ride and “One if by land, two if by sea,” is a must see for those visiting Boston. Photographer Jeff Olson and his wife, Joanne Burke Barclay Olson, did just that on a recent trip to New England.

CHRIS ALLEN: Dubai Journal — Dune-Bashing

There is a certain, unequaled thrill sitting in the front seat of a four-wheel drive SUV, its engine roaring like a locomotive as it churns its way up a 15-foot sand dune and slides diagonally down the other side, only to bounce across a valley, take aim again and repeat the scream-inducing ride all over again. This is dune-bashing in …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Fall Colors Road Trip

Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, recently took a two-day northeastern North Dakota road trip to view fall colors, which were in full display. On their way to the Turtle Mountains and the Pembina Gorge, with a final stop at Turtle River State, in Cavalier they found colorful painted bales on display throughout the town.

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — ‘If You Know Wilderness In The Way That You Know Love … ‘: Two Retreats To The North Unit

It has been my great fortune to have made two retreats to the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park these past few weeks, a place in the Bad Lands that is very dear to my heart.  The North Unit is the heart of wildness in North Dakota and is, right now, awash in autumn glory. My first outing was …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Journey To De Smet, S.D.

Like me, my sisters are fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura’s stories shaped our understanding of the prairie landscape on which we make our homes. This past weekend, my sister, Beckie, and I made the journey to De Smet, S.D., a place, to her friends’ amusement, on Beckie’s bucket list. I’ve been there, but it has been more than 20 …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — My Favorite Cemetery

Accompanied by Dorette’s son-in-law, Paul Kuhns, I’m heading to Paris next week to attend the International Hemingway Conference. I also expect to visit again the most famous graveyard in the world, the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, established by Napoleon in 1804. The cemetery is huge ― 110 acres ― with more than 1 million individuals buried there. Most were ordinary folks. …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Roll On Down The Highway

Travel really does open your eyes. After 2,500 miles on a bus last week, Russ and I arrived home with a far deeper understanding of what really, truly matters in life. Bathroom breaks. We weren’t sure what to expect of our first guided travel adventure aboard a motorcoach. One thing we knew for sure: It couldn’t be worse than air …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — The Spirit Of The Mountains

I spent the last week camping alone in the Rocky Mountains. My home was three miles into the wilderness on a jarring moonscape of a Forest Service road. I pitched my tent above a stream, beneath a canopy of spruce and aspen, just me and trees and  water and mountains folded into one another for as far as I could see. …

CHRIS ALLEN: Mumbai Journal — Asia’s Largest Slum

A staggering 55 percent of Mumbai’s population (12.4 million people in 2011) lives in its dozens of slums, nearly 7 million people. The largest of these is Dharavi. More than a million people live in an area half the size of New York’s Central Park, about 0.8 square miles. Let that sink in for a moment. A million people, less …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Arches National Park

Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, spent quite a bit of time recently in Arches National Park just north of Moab, Utah. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks in a landscape of contrasting colors, land forms and textures unlike any other in …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Moonscapes In The Valley Of The Goblins

Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, were out until 4 a.m. in the morning recently shooting the Milky Way and moonlight on the rock formations in the Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. “Moonlight does diffuse the Milky Way, but the moonlight gave a very eerie feeling to the landscape and the surroundings. We were the only …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Goblin Valley State Park

On their recent Utah trip, Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, visited Goblin Valley State Park. Here is his description: “Journey to this strange and colorful valley, which is unlike any other in Utah. The landscape, covered with sandstone goblins and formations, is often compared to Mars. Explore the geology, among the nooks and gnomes. Goblin Valley includes …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Travels With Tony

Our first Uber driver was a former journalist, so the midnight conversation from Pittsburgh International Airport turned to the unprecedented attacks on the press by the president. Wearied by weather delays, airport sprints and the uncertainty of our travels, India and I were content to let him deliver a treatise I knew by rote — the preposterous notion journalists intentionally …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Mesa Arch — Canyonlands National Park

On their recent Utah trip, Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, visited Canyons National Park, the site of famous Mesa Arch. Here is what he had to say about the experience: “The Mesa Arch sunrise shot is one of the most sought after photographic images in Utah. Every morning at sunrise, if there are no clouds hiding …

JEFF OLSON: Photo Gallery — Historic Ships of Baltimore Harbor

Alexandria, Va., photographer Jeff Olson and his wife, Joanne, recently took a tour of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, which is the site of Historic Ships in Baltimore, created as a result of the merger of the USS Constellation Museum and the Baltimore Maritime Museum. Four ships — sloop of war USS Constellation, lightship Chesapeake, World War II-era submarine USS Torsk and …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings

On their recent Utah trip, Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, crossed over into Colorado near the town of Durango to see the ancient site of Mesa Verde. “This was on my bucket list to see as I enjoy the history of past cultures. On our way, we did stop at Capital Reef National Park, where we viewed …