Visit Enchanting Souss Valley, Morocco


The expansive and raw beauty is evident in the Souss Valley

Morocco had been on my radar and had intrigued me for quite some years.  The images of exotic souks, peddling everything from curries, to wool rugs, to handmade leather slippers seduced me.  If those things call to you too, then your time in Morocco should include at least three or four days in Marrakesh.  And when your thirst for overstimulation has been quenched, then it’s time to head south, for a visit to the rural Souss more…

Posted in Africa, Morocco, Souss Valley
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Enjoying Magical Marrakesh

Marrakesh-Souk-Woolens-Felted-Slippers-MoroccoMorocco is an exotic land.  The smell of spices stewing in lamb tangines.  The brightly colored scarves that it seems everybody wears.  The sticky feel of the midday sun heat against your covered skin.  The cacophony of sound that emanates from the streets and public squares.  Your eyes will grow wide when you walk by snake charmers.  And your ears will perk up to the sound of traditional music, coming from read more…

Posted in Africa, Marrakesh, Morocco
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Why Visit Bordeaux?


Place des Quinconces

Bordeaux is synonymous with wine making and for good reason.  For centuries the region has been a producer of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends.  And for many, that connection is the extent of what they think Bordeaux has to offer.  It is no longer the only reason to visit Bordeaux.

In recent years, Bordeaux has undergone an urban renewal in all the right ways, so the city itself is a destination.  And by this, I mean that is has preserved, read more…

Posted in Bordeaux, Europe, France
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10 Ways to Experience Paris Like a Local

Paris-InvalidesWhen you hear the word “Paris”, the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and Notre Dame instantly come to mind.  And they should!  These are some of the most iconic sights in the City of Light.  And for me, no visit to Paris would be complete without at least a walk by all of the above.

Any city has many layers, but this is especially the case in Paris.  You would need a few lifetimes to peel them back.  I think of the layers more like a beautiful mandala that read more…

Posted in Europe, France, Paris
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Exploring the Strawberry Mountains – My First Backpack


A view of Strawberry Lake from afar

I am embarrassed to say that prior to being 44, I had not backpacked.  I’ve done tons of day hiking.  A slew of car camping.  And I have camped out in the woods for multiple days, at Rainbow Gatherings and when packing with llamas.  But in the strict sense of the word backpacking, it took me a heck of a lot of years to get to it.

I had two obstacles.  Zero desire to eat backpacking food.  And lack of knowledge of how to proceed.  Both of which are totally surmountable.  And after spending two nights and three days trekking and exploring the Strawberry Mountains, a little known mountain range in Eastern Oregon, I am happy to say I feel prepared to do more.  Furthermore, I am also willing to accept a modified diet for a few days at a time.  Although I refuse to eat freeze dried more…

Posted in North America, Oregon, United States
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Planting Seeds For Exploring Eastern Oregon


Sheep Rock Unit in the John Day Fossil Beds

I was recently exploring Eastern Oregon, namely the Strawberry Mountains, on my first backpacking trip. (internal link)  It was glorious in so many ways.  The most obvious ways were being unplugged and far, far away from traffic for a few days.  And I want to encourage you to do the same! 

If you make it all the way to the remote Strawberries, why not take the opportunity to explore Eastern Oregon.  I have driven by the northern edge of the Strawberry Range on several occasions though the years.  Heading to a Rainbow Gathering in Montana back in 2000 and camping out in the Wallowas twice in the last five years, come to mind now. read more…

Posted in North America, Oregon, United States
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The Coastal Olympic Peninsula

Coastal-Olympic-Peninsula-Rialto-BeachWhile I would love to do a post along the lines of “Top 5 Things to Do”, my trip this summer to the Olympic Peninsula focused on exploring the western side, the Coastal Olympic Peninsula versus the breadth of the entire 3,660 square mile Peninsula.  And to be honest, one would need a couple weeks to do the whole peninsula justice, even on the most superficial of levels.

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Posted in North America, United States, Washington
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10 Things You Need to Experience on the Wild and Scenic Rogue River

wild and scenic rogue riverBeing an Oregonian for a couple of decades I have heard the phrase “the wild and scenic Rogue River is my favorite river to raft” more than a few times.  But what makes it so special?  The typical answers included comments like: “dependably gorgeous summer weather, lush scenery, being secluded in a canyon untouched by development, and an abundance of class 3 rapids.” 


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Posted in North America, Oregon, United States
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How to Spend 3 Magical Days in the Faroe Islands

Klaksvik, Faroe IslandsAn archipelago of eighteen islands between Iceland and England, with strong political ties to Denmark, the Faroe Islands charmed me through and through.  The steep snow dusted mountains, the countless roaming sheep, the candy cane colored homes, the Faroese people, the strong relationship to the wind and water.  I found that the Faroe Islands were full of sweet, if chilly moments

If you are making a side trip from another country through Atlantic Airways, you will need to choose your days carefully.  Atlantic has daily flights from Copenhagen and its other routes fly one, two or three times a week year-round.  And you might also check SAS, which also serves the Faroes.  I flew from Iceland on Atlantic, which has flight options that allow for visits of three or four nights.  Having presumed the Faroes would be special, I went with four nights.

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The Friendly Faces in the Faroes

Ever Heard of the Faroe Islands?  No Worries, Neither Has Anybody Else!

In all honesty, I was not sure exactly what to expect.  Yet for some reason I expected to love the Faroe Islands.  I anticipated loving the islands, the culture, and the people.  It came as no surprise that the Faroese people were welcoming, inquisitive, and excellent hosts.

I had read about the Faroes on another travel blog and that planted a seed in my own travel dreams.  And the read more…

Posted in Europe, Faroe Islands
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