Category: vacation

Vietnam: 10 things I learned in Saigon

Vietnam: 10 things I learned in Saigon
This summer I was in Saigon Vietnam doing research for a class I’ll be teaching in Southeast Asia next summer. I am very excited about this class. Southeast Asia has long had a complicated pull on me, sparked by the U.S. war in Vietnam which raged during my early childhood. Complexities from that conflict are... Read more »

Resolutions and Best of the Year lists: Twelve Best Places of 2012

Door County’s as good a place as any to start an adventure by land and by sea.
Joining the spate of year-end round-ups; I thought I’d offer my list of 12 favorite and fantastic places I had the joy of being in at some point during this passing year. Below are images I made at each one along the way. Some of these places I’ve written about and some I plan —... Read more »

Welcome the Return of Light at an Ancient Wisconsin Effigy Mound Solstice Observance

New Year’s day; I love it. All the holiday parties are done, all the expectations met in one way or another. This is a day I can do whatever I want. Half the population is staying in with a headache or a football game, (or both); the streets and byways are quiet. With any luck there’s been some snowfall…. It’s a wondrously quiet day. Just me and my resolutions.
Every solstice and equinox, an observance ceremony is held on a small Native American Effigy Mound known as Frank’s Hill in southwestern Wisconsin. The site is on the National Register of Historic Places, and considered sacred by many. The hill – part of the Shadewald Group – is owned by a local farmer named Frank... Read more »

Independent publishing and bookselling in the heart of Wisconsin’s Driftless Area

The rolling hillsides typical of Wisconsin's driftless area.
The independent book publisher is alive and well in Wisconsin. Tucked into the southwest corner of the state, a lively, smart and diverse group of writers and publishers gathered on Thanksgiving weekend at the Southwest Wisconsin Book Festival in Mineral Point, Wisconsin’s creative beehive in the heart of the driftless area. I drove to the... Read more »

Swimming in the shadow of the nuclear tower

Red car in the driveway, cooling tower in the yard.
I’ve been making the rounds on Lake Michigan this summer; doing a version of the “Circle Tour”… in pieces. Part 4 of the journey took me south to Mt. Baldy Beach in Michigan City, Indiana. This is a great beach, crashing waves, lovely sand, families, dogs … and a looming power plant cooling tower. That... Read more »

Wilderness, the Frontier and the Chicago Marijuana law

Wilderness, the Frontier and the Chicago Marijuana law
I’m researching a trip into the wilderness for some R&R soon, and I came across a headline on a National Park website about staying safe from bears and marijuana. Intrigued and slightly bemused, I clicked on the marijuana warning. I figured I’d find a ‘Reefer Madness‘ sort of imagined terror. Instead, the warning raised a... Read more »