Close Calls

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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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Funeral via a Bombing Range

The Chocolate Mt. Bombing Range, 2nd largest in the world covering a few hundred square miles, lies adjacent to my Sonora desert property.  The main target of cardboard tanks, green dummies on posts, and stacked pallets is 2.5 miles from my burrow.  When a 1000lb bomb goes off the ground shakes, but I shored up [...]

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Wish You Were Here

It was my first ghost hunt and I didn’t know what to expect.  The site last night was the Kelly, New Mexico ghost town with focus on the church, graveyard and a 1000’ vertical shaft where it is said many miners perished when the town boomed at the turn of the century.  It was dark, [...]

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July 4th Rescue

On the Fourth of July (2008) driving across the New Mexico Rockies, I thought to climb away from and above the crazy noisemakers.  I selected from a tattered guidebook the alpine Serpent Lake, far and high that it’s stocked with fish by air. I drove into a mountain cloudburst so thick the wipers failed, and [...]

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Hit and Run

The motorcycle is scarcely warm between my legs approaching the signal, rolls through green, into the intersection and out of the San Diego night an old Caddy accelerates along University Drive trying to make the light. It broadsides the sidecar hack and the attached Honda 450 tumbles over twice while I hover above it having [...]

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Itchy and the Most Wanted

A few years ago, I got hungry on the trail and pulled into a convenience store at a remote road crossing that didn't even offer a stop sign. I dropped my backpack at the entrance and abruptly heard, as if an echo, ''He's the most dangerous man I've ever seen. Yes sir, Sheriff, I'm looking [...]

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