Monthly Archives: March 2017

//March

Dogs: A leading Indicator of Man

You may read a guidebook, or just as well judge a people in a new land by their dogs. In rainforest Iquitos, five years ago, all the dogs were friendly, and so were all of the 700,000 citizens I encountered during multiple visits from 1999 through five years ago, 2010. As the new decade swung [...]

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Bud Road

What happens when three Berkeley intellectuals drop into Mexico’s Copper Canyon with a spaced out guide? The trio includes Cathy, author and advisor to the White House on western literature, Liz, a Boca Rotan yoga instructor, and Neil the anthropologist. Four months ago on learning that I live in a hole, wear rope suspenders, and [...]

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Hoboing a Banana Boat

2013 I´ve been hoboing cargo boats around the Amazon for three weeks, and the other morning found me on another jungle riverbank with my thumb out in a light rainstorm flagging a ride. Sunrise is the prime time to hitch rides because Peruvians, including fishermen and captains, are early risers to beat the heat of [...]

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Deep in a Biscuit Mine

March 20, 2006 I throw a rock into the hole.  ‘One, two…three,’ counts my partner in climbing gear.  A wind whistles up the 5-foot diameter portal. Underground Civil Defense shelters were placed strategically around the country during the Cold War scare of the 1960’s.  I grew up in the prior decade listening to the Duck [...]

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Last Sail of El Gato

On December 20, 2012, the day before the end of the world by the Mayan calendar, a notice fluttered in a steamy breeze whipping past a rotting Colon telephone pole: PANAMA TO COLOMBIA The Last Sail of El Gato I followed its little map down the street to a hole-in-wall travel office with an open [...]

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Fantasy Island

I’m leaving Fantasy Island Iquitos, Peru in the heart of the Amazon after seven months in the rainforest Big Rock Candy Mountain, where everything has gone right, including:         15 hands on fights without suffering a loss.         13 dog bites without turning rabid.         Chased by a hundred senoritas without stumbling.         All drugs are legal but haven’t [...]

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Summer Warm-up

Practicing for summer vacation is like preparing for a sports tournament. In the past month I’ve ventured in an ever-widening radius from remote oasis, Blythe, California to get ready. The technique is drive desert flats and mountain back roads in my 63 VW bug pickup until spotting a prospect Sometimes its an animal trail, old [...]

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White Mountain Crash

Clomp, clomp across the Golden Gate bridge in a Bay Area 10k race that began one week ago with a crash on White Mountain. I am bicycling 1500 miles from Canada to Mexico along highways #101 and #1 on a Peugeot PX-10. ´Bikeman!´ is relayed for two weeks up and down the Pacific coast to [...]

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Easter Break

 I´m bouncing up and down off the ground six inches up and down with Ross Perot´s In His Own Words in my hands. It’s a 7.2 Richter earthquake off the Sea of Cortez! On the Richter Magnitude 7.2 is a ‘major earthquake’ with damage to most buildings, some shake and completely collapse, and the vibration [...]

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Coffin Keeley

The lesson from these survivals is don’t believe anyone who tells you, ´You´re gonna DIE!´.  But I had to put myself in the coffin after one cold freight trip in 1985. That winter, I returned to my alma matter MSU seeking two things: warmth and money.  I spent my last $50 on a simple pine [...]

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