Travel Essays

Priced Out of Nature: The High Cost of a National Park Vacation

Travel Essays

“$30 park fee?” That’s what my wife said after reading an article in our local newspaper about what it costs to “get in the door” at Grand Canyon National Park. That sounded high to me, so I checked the park’s Website. Yep, it’s $30 for a 7-day pass for a single non-commercial vehicle and its […]

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9/11: Where We Were, Where We Are

Travel Essays
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It’s been fifteen years. Fifteen years since hijacked airliners crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in rural Pennsylvania. But sometimes it seems like those incomprehensible events took place just yesterday. Today is, of course, the fifteenth anniversary of what the world simply calls “9/11.” Where where we then, and where […]

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“Venice Never Changes”

Travel Essays
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“Venice Never Changes,” Samantha Durell replied in response to my observation that compared to other Italian cities, such as Florence or Rome, the famous city of canals on the Adriatic Sea looked like a down-at-the-heels in-desperate-need-of-a-cobbler “repair job” to the fading facades of its houses and palazzos. What Venetians meant, she said, is “We like […]

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Yellowstone: Mother of All Parks

Travel Essays
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When I made a guest appearance last month on the award-winning NPR podcast, “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer,” the show’s host and my travel writing colleague, Tom Wilmer, and I discussed visiting U.S. National Parks during this year’s centennial celebration of the establishment of the National Park Service. Both the general news media and […]

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RVing “On The Road Again”

Travel Essays
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Now, a month into Spring, maybe, just maybe your mind is beginning to focus on where to go on a summer vacation and how to get there. Flying? Oh, that’s so expensive, and the airlines squish you into a narrow seat with little legroom, and then there’s the TSA torture gauntlet to get through! So […]

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Take a “Journey of Discovery” with Tom Wilmer

Travel Essays
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Join Tom Wilmer, award-winning producer of the NPR podcast “Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer” for a two-part conversation with multi-media travel journalist, and Tales Told From The Road, publisher, Dick Jordan. In part one, you will learn how a two-week journey through the remote “Panhandle” of Southeast Alaska launched Dick’s post-retirement career as a […]

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“Disconnected” Destinations

Travel Essays
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I recently took a 10-day loop trip from my home in the San Francisco Bay Area with stops in Long Beach, Santa Catalina Island, Oxnard, and Morro Bay. Before leaving home, I knew the hotels where I’d be bunking at during the first three stops on that road trip. But what I didn’t know, but […]

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Santa Brings You A Gift: Air Travel, The Way It Was

Travel Essays
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“Dear Santa, “All I want for Christmas is two front seats. That is, seats ‘up front’ in the plane. You know, having a first class travel experience by flying in First Class. “But I know that maybe I haven’t been a good enough boy this year to qualify for such an extravagant gift. “So I’d […]

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Home (to Seattle) For The Holidays

Destination Updates
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Seattle was a bit of a culinary and cultural backwater when I was growing up there in the middle of the last century. There was plenty of fresh seafood at downtown restaurants like Von’s where I’d lunch on sole with my grandmother before we went grocery shopping at the Pike Place Market, many years before […]

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Flying Is Fun (To Watch)

Travel Essays
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The “Golden Age of Air Travel” when flying was fun is long, long, gone. Back then, even if you weren’t hopping on plane to take off on vacation, you could hang out at an airport and just watch other people do so. Today, the only reason to subject yourself to the aggravation of air travel […]

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The Right to Bear Cameras

Travel Essays
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“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” That’s the protection citizens gained when the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified on December 15, 1791. That amendment, of course, makes no specific mention of a freedom to photograph. Nearly a decade would pass before anyone […]

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