Kyrgyz Trek – Day Three

I awoke surrounded by monsters. Their growls, snarls, and roars made Jurassic Park sound like a petting zoo, and I was very aware that I could see no further than the fabric of… Continue reading

Kyrgyzstan Trek Day Two – Orcas and Golden Spirals

Sometime in the mid-1980’s we went to SeaWorld, in large part to see Shamu the killer whale. (Those were uninformed times and we didn’t know any better, including that Shamu had died in… Continue reading

Kyrgyzstan Trek – Day One in the Mountains of Heaven

On Day One of the trek, at the start of the trail, we left the trail behind. Normally, we would have walked up the Jeti Oguz Valley (or Dzhety-Ogyuz if you’re playing Scrabble),… Continue reading

Getting Oriented in Kyrgyzstan

The goat-thing in front of me was perfect. And I was worried that I’m a bad traveler. For starters, I confess that I wasn’t 100% sure of how to pronounce Kyrgyzstan when I… Continue reading

European spring 2022

The night before my first tour of Europe after two years of covid-enforced sabbatical, I wrote a post about the energy filling my mind and rattling through my body. But then I took… Continue reading

It’s Time

I’ve rarely been so sorry to be right. January 2020, at our annual Rick Steves’ Europe annual guide conference, they asked me to say something about preparing tour members for the crowds. Those… Continue reading

Romania update

The Romanian people have responded to the flow of Ukrainian refugees into their country with a tide of rides given, food donated, and homes shared. In doing so, they have also given us… Continue reading

My Squirrel Teacher

To one degree or another, it’s been One of Those Days lately. You know the kind. Not that bad, not that good, weights on your emotional ankles that make you want to just… Continue reading

Is it safe to go to Europe right now?

To be honest, the war in Ukraine is straining my higher principles of unity, human brotherhood, and tolerance. The reptilian part of me wants to see Moscow become a smoldering ruin. It’s just… Continue reading

International Women’s Day in Cuba

The magazine’s reception desk was empty when we arrived, but we could hear voices not far away. My former partner and I had come to Cuba during the heady days of Obama’s second… Continue reading