Travel

I've been encouraged lately about the publication of my latest book, "An Uphill Climb - Survivor's Guilt and the Inca Trail". Although sales continue at a trickle, they do continue - and are starting to pick up a bit. More importantly, the reviews posted on Amazon have been excellent, with 12 out of 13 rating it "5 star" and one "4 star". Even better, only one reviewer was not a complete stranger, and that one was someone I have not...

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Last week we had a chance to get in one more Smoky Mountains hike before the Labor Day Weekend crowds appeared. So Thursday we loaded up our packs and set out for Elkmont Campgrounds to hike the 5.5 mile "Cucumber Gap Loop Trail". First, a word about those packs. On our last hike Rita took her tried and trusted backpack she used for the Inca Trail, an Osprey Mila 34. The "34" stands for the volume the pack will hold,...

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There must be something about the last week of August that causes us to lace up the hiking boots. In 2019 on this week, we were hiking in the Galápagos. 2018 found us exploring Greenways and parks of Knoxville, and in 2017 we were finishing up explorations around Cusco in Perú and about to tackle the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. August of 2016 really started it all, when the mad decision to hike the Inca Trail got us to...

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August 28th, a big day for us. It was on this day three years ago, after over a year of mental and physical preparation, that Rita and I were standing at Kilometer 82 just outside of Piskacucho in Perú, ready to take the first steps on a 26-mile 4-day/3-night hike to Machu Picchu. It is just over a month since the book about the hike and the struggle to prepare for it, "An Uphill Climb", has been available on Amazon...

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Over eleven and a half years ago, on January 10th, 2009, an emotionally broken fat man sat down to try and write out some of his grief. He had lost his wife and companion of over 25 years to cancer just five weeks earlier, and was having trouble dealing with his pain, his job, and the mundanity of life in general. He began to write about what he had lost, and what it had been like to go through those...

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“They say, timing is everything. But then they say, there is never a perfect time for anything.”― Anthony Liccione Well, it seems like half of the country is locked down in self-quarantine while the other half is out rioting and protesting. Nobody is flying to other countries unless they absolutely have to, and many people can't even return to their own nations even if they wanted to. At times like this, what is a sensible thing for a writer to do?...

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For people around the world, a visit to the Galápagos Islands is a common “bucket list” destination. Unfortunately, visiting this unique but out-of-the-way spot can be a very expensive proposition. For example, a family of four visiting from North America may find that between airfare to Ecuador and then on to the Islands, entry fees, accommodations, tours, meals, etc., that the cost of a Galápagos trip can easily approach or even reach five figures, forcing it to remain a dream...

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We are about to leave Knoxville, Tennessee to return to our home in Ecuador, and this time it is a little bitter-sweet. You see, the sun may be setting on our Ecuador adventure. We have our oceanfront condo on the market now, and if all goes well, we hope to have a buyer before the high-season is over. Salinas, Ecuador It is not that we don't love it in Ecuador. In fact, after living there for five years we love...

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Once you have made the decision to move to a foreign country, the next thing most people start to think about is “what should I bring with me?” This is an important question, but like most decisions when it comes to moving abroad, the answer is different for different people. When we decided to move to Ecuador, my wife and I shipped a 20-foot container. But I know several expats who brought only a couple of suitcases and are just...

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There's a moment of clarity, just before you begin, when you think calmly to yourself, "Why am I doing this?" Then the calm is shattered by sheer terror as you are flung out over the abyss. Now your brain is screaming "WHY AM I DOING THIS?!" This was my experience with the "Casa del Arbol" in Baños, Ecuador. Sometimes called "the Swing at the End of the World", this site was made famous by a 2014 photo taken for a...

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