Entries from Journal tagged with 'travel'

How I Met Ursula K. Le Guin

For years I harbored a fantasy, one that I did absolutely nothing to bring closer to coming true, that I would someday meet Ursula K. Le Guin.Curiously, I do not know when or where this fantasy began. My brain's peculiarities...

50/50 Project Map Update

Howdy, all. I thought it was time to post an update of the map I posted a few years back showing my progress on the 50/50 Project. (You can make your own map right here.) For those of you who...

LBJs: Weightless, Formless, Blameless, Memeless

After two solid months of meme-related material, perhaps it's time to take a moment for updates on the writer's life. *The biggest news is the change of address for Dixon, who moved to his new digs in Carrboro, NC, three weeks...

Old North Escape

I took advantage of several things last week: my summer schedule, my wife's patience, and my parents' generosity. Basically, I decided I needed a week out of the house to make a big push toward finishing the book. My parents...

You Brexit, You Buy It

I suppose the term "Anglophile" fits me pretty well, what with so many of my favorite writers, musicians, and other folks hailing from the Sceptred Isle. I've certainly spent time there, though not in recent years; there was the 1982...

PacNW 2016: Episode VII: Arts and Leisure

And so, after two full days and two half-days of birding, I was reunited with my beloved. Kelly, Q, and Jaspher were sharing a room in the Issaquah hotel where the con had been, and I would be spending my...

PacNW 2016: Episode VI: Deception and Reunion

For the third morning in a row, I met Tina at the door of my AirBnB, but this time was a bit different, as I was leaving for good. By dumb luck, Tom and John (and Buster) were already up...

PacNW 2016: Episode VI: Stone and Sea

To recover from Friday night's pizza-related disappointment, I slept in an extra hour. Okay, in truth, Tina had agreed to meet me at 6:00 a.m., rather than the previous day's 5:00. I needed the additional strength because today I had...

PacNW 2016: Episode V: High and Dry

If there's one experience shared by every birder, it's that of waking up in the dark, packing one's gear, and waiting for headlights to appear outside. That Friday's experience was therefore a familiar one, with the added deja vu of...

PacNW 2016: Episode III: Q and Jaspher

Kelly and I are both introverts by nature, but we are capable of adjusting our psyches to extroversion on a temporary basis. At parties, for example, one of us can often chat in a convivial manner for several hours before...

PacNW 2016: Episode II: Earth and Sky

Our first Monday in Seattle saw an unexpected development, one which the natives could not stop discussing, often in incredulous tones: the weather cleared up.It would stay this way for the rest of the week: sunny and pleasantly breezy, with...

PacNW 2016: Episode I: Food and Lodging

In a perfect world, this journal would have been updated daily, even hourly, while I went through a whirlwind of a week of travel, socializing, and intense birding, but the combination of a) whirlwind and b) recovery from whirlwind left...

The March of Time

I have never taken this long a break from this journal. I have also never had a month like this past March. I've tried writing about it several times, and every attempt has seemed hollow and incomplete. Instead of writing,...

Not the Center of the Universe

As Saturday, September 13th, dawned, I was already on the move, loading my gear into the Subaru and streaking eastward on I-16. There was time to get a little gas, and to snag a chicken biscuit at Hardee's, but I...

The Center of the Universe

It's been a week of new experiences. On Tuesday, September 9th, the school year began here at Woodberry Forest School, and less than 36 hours later I was behind the wheel and heading south. That in itself wasn't a particularly...

Georgia on My Mind

Yes, I'm thinking about the Peach State, where I'll be in only a few days. On Thursday night, September 11th, at 7:00, I'll be doing a reading of my work in Statesboro on the campus of Georgia Southern University. If...

Reminder: McIntyre's on Saturday

If you're going to be in North Carolina on Saturday, June 14th, I'd love to see you at McIntyre's Books at 2:00.Boost the signal!...

Keeping Up Appearances

Well, honestly, it's just the one appearance so far. But I'll keep you up to date about others.Still, if you want to come see me read from and sign copies of Along Those Lines, meet me at McIntyre's Books in...

Spring Cleaning

Whew. As of noon yesterday, I'm done with my responsibilities for the winter trimester, giving me a moment to look around the ol' website and realize that I haven't cleaned up in OH MY GOD PEOPLE ARE COMING OVER AND...

Birdlands

Sometimes the Internet is good to me.I have been waiting, for some time, to find an interactive map of the US that I could color-code. Why? Because I'd like a visual guide to my continuing quest to see a life...

LBJs

*The trip to Richmond and back has become familiar to Kelly and me in recent years, but never quite so familiar as in recent weeks. We drove to Richmond and back on Friday the 20th of September (to see the...

The High Country, Part 11

Our stay in Idaho Falls had been disappointing from a sushi standpoint, but we did at least have a nice hotel clerk who hailed from Ogden, Utah. This was advantageous because we would be spending Thursday night in Salt Lake...

The High Country, Part 10

We had a mission in Missoula: find a t-shirt that Mom had once seen, one that reads "MISSOULA, MONTANA: A place.. sort of..." Why this was her quest I don't know, but it was important enough that she tracked down...

The High Country, Part 9

Tuesday morning brought some changes. For one thing, we had to pack for traveling again, since we were leaving the Dancing Bears Inn after two pleasant (for me, anyway) nights. For another, we were facing, for the first time, weather...

The High Country, Part 8

Lunch was made more pleasant by a Moose Drool Brown Ale--one of a number of tasty western microbrews I sampled during the trip--but after I'd reached the bottom of the glass, it was time to head for the Two Medicine...

The High Country, Part 7

Here's the thing about Glacier National Park: scale.Grand Teton NP is stunning from the very first glimpse--a visual slap in the face. The spectacular ridges of the Teton Range bursting forth from the treetops cannot be ignored. Your head whirls...

The High Country, Part 6

Our Sunday-afternoon trip north toward Glacier National Park was accompanied by a variety of interesting features, including the obligatory snow-capped mountain, but also some puzzling, if undeniably whimsical, historical signage at some of the rest stops:The road took us east...

The High Country, Part 5

Warm Springs is, among other things, the home of Montana's state mental hospital, so naturally there were some cracks from online friends when I mentioned our birding destination for Sunday morning. Still, my friend and host David Abrams had done...

The High Country, Part 4

Awakening on Saturday, we had one plan in mind: to get to Cody's Sierra Trading Post outlet store so Mom could look for... clothes, I guess. I mean, she could have bought a tent or a canoe, but it would...

The High Country, Part 3

Our interaction with Yellowstone Park on this trip should be understood in the light of several important facts:1) We were coming into the park--probably the most popular in the National Park System--on a Friday afternoon. In other words, we were...

The High Country, Part 2

Waking up in Wyoming showed me three things. First, I knew now that the cool dry air in the mountain west makes for terrific summertime sleeping. Summer in the south, even in the relatively northern state of Virginia, produces air...

The High Country

Feeling rushed and frazzled at the end of the school year, I knew some time away from my usual stomping grounds would help me get my head together. Luckily, my parents and I had been planning a trip away from...

Bad Blogger! No Biscuit!

Okay, a month off is excessive, even for me, the uncrowned king of long-term blogging. I'll just dispense with the excuses, if you don't mind, and note just a couple of things that have drawn my attention over the past...

Twitness

As I mentioned earlier, I've created a Twitter account (@PeterCashwell if you're interested), and after a couple of weeks, I must say I'm finding it an enjoyable way to interact online. Mind you, I've had an interesting few weeks in...

Driver's Seat

Look, I like driving as much as anyone who isn't actually paid to do it (except my father, who's in a whole different category altogether), but this is starting to get ridiculous.For the last nine days, I have risen from...

PC + KD 2012

Five summers ago, we were in San Francisco.Twenty-six years ago today, we were in Fayetteville getting married.Best traveling companion I could ever have....

Important Lessons from Last Night's Trip to Baltimore

1) No matter how reasonable it seems, never take ANY route to ANY city that involves spending ANY time on the Washington Beltway.2) If you're in north Baltimore, you owe it to yourself to eat at the Golden West. Dixon...

I Aten't Dead

Back from my whirlwind tour of Chapel Hill, a four-day stretch so busy that I never actually remembered to take my camera out of my backpack. The main event, my Aunt Susan's somety-somethingth birthday party, went off smoothly thanks to...

Vacated

Okay, so the plan to record all my dining experiences for the week kind of fell through. To be fair, that wasn't the only plan that fell through; my initial hopes of logging life birds in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Oklahoma...

2011: The Year in Birds

The fact that I saw more kinds of birds in 2011 was not because I had declared a Big Year in the traditional sense; that would have involved making deliberate plans to see as many species during the calendar year...

Do I Need a Reason?

Common nighthawk on a post, near Oshkosh, Nebraska....

The Plain Truth

Sadly, my photos from our Great Plains trip are pretty bad--lots of focus issues. Of course, you won't believe that without evidence, and they do say a picture is worth a thousand words...Okay, here are a few of the least...

Torpor at 20,000 Feet

The thing about living in the future is this: it's intensely cool to be able to log onto the web from my airplane seat.Unfortunately, the future is currently running way behind; we were supposed to take off from Atlanta at...

Skylarking

Like Kansas, Nebraska turned out to be far more interesting than I might have expected from its portrayal in popular culture. Sure, there are plenty of places where fields of grain stretch into the distance, which is surprisingly distant in...

Not in Kansas Anymore

Whew. Twenty-five miles.That's how much of Kansas we had left when I finally logged a life bird there.It wasn't the only reason for driving through Kansas, but it was certainly high on my list, and I have to say I...

Big Rivers

For the third time in my life, I have driven over the mighty Mississippi River, but I topped that today by crossing not only the Big Muddy, but the Missouri as well--twice.In our trip from Evansville, Indiana to Emporia, Kansas,...

My Old Kentucky Birds

There are lessons that need to be relearned from time to time, and today I learned another again:It is very hard to bird in a forest during high summer.Not impossible, mind you, but hard. As a result of that difficulty,...

Dateline: West By God

I'm reporting from Charleston, West Virginia, where Dad and I are holed up in the Fairfield Inn, watching the College World Series (South Carolina clings to a 3-1 lead over Florida in the top of the 6th, if you were...

College Town, Week Seven Pics (with bonus New Jersey!)

Here's how birders differ from other people: we take New Jersey seriously.Thanks to a series of geographical features unappreciated by the layman, the Garden State's south end fills with extraordinary concentrations of amazing birds every spring and fall. And, as...

Gorged

I'm back. You may not have noticed my absence, but I'm back. In the course of trying to set up a little project that I hope to be telling you about shortly, a few days back I took a little...

Crappy Pictures

Back in Big Bend, knowing that we'd exhausted most of our spring break travel possibilities, at least as far as finding new life birds in warm-weather areas goes, Dad suggested that we consider summer trips as well. Thus, with a...

More from the Shore

Sunday's trip in and around Blackwater NWR on Maryland's Eastern Shore was a good one, not just because of my first Long-tailed Duck, but because of a wide variety of other cool birds, good company, and quality steamed shrimp from...

PC Slept Here

One of my resolutions for this year is to write in this thing more often. I need the practice. Unfortunately, it doesn't mean you're going to get a fully-formed and in-depth essay every day. Some days you'll just get goofy...

Jinxproofing

I got a bit of promising news yesterday, but I'm not going to say anything else because that will make it go away.Instead I will simply note that I am headed to Washington this weekend to catch my old partner...

Elevation 3291 Ft.

Living as we do only about 30 minutes from the Shenandoah National Park, it's become something of a family tradition to hike parts of it from time to time. When visitors arrive from out of town, a trip up White...

Hey, It's Good to Be Back Home Again

I am not often moved to quote John Denver here (though I went through a long period from roughly age 10-12 where I was a very definite fan, having reached the age where the Jackson Five's star was beginning to...

The Distance

As I prepare for my annual long-distance haul across the U.S., I'm reminded of one big difference between Americans and Europeans: we view distances in completely different ways.This was first brought to my attention when I arrived in Manchester in...

The 2008 Travel Meme

Various and sundry folks have started lists of cities where they spent the night in the last year, and I'm nothing if not shameless in my appropriation of other people's ideas.  So:1 Woodberry Forest, VA2 Chapel Hill, NC3 Las Vegas,...

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