Monday, October 3, 2011

what we bring with us

I am writing these stories from old travel journals and do not attempt to be timely or even particularly helpful, as I think the trick of travel is not where you go or what you see or how thriftily you do these things, but the attitude you bring with you.  This is why one of my fondest-remembered trips could be a week spent in late February in southeastern Iowa, where I wandered through the villages of the Amana and visited the site of the Skunk River War and the Great Wapallo County Gold Rush and found wonders at every hand.

I do now and then look something up on line, to check a spelling or see if a place is still there, or how it may have changed.  This is why I give so few names: there’s no sense in having people go off looking for a wonderful little place that isn’t there anymore.  The point of my stories is what I did with what I found: your story will be what you do with what you find.  None of us will have been there and done that, as “there” and “that” are constantly changing, and each of us bring our own baggage and so for every one of us it will be different.


  1. I am enjoying your posts. I am taken back to a place, tres de junios i believe, on the Pan American Hwy in the 1970s. A parked Rolls Royce with its trunk up and two men fitting their Purdeys into leather cases, an afternoon's pidgeon shoot over. Then later at Tres Guarantias being told of the chicklet workers seeing the tops of temples in the jungle. Costa rica and quintana roo in the old days. Alas. Keep writing, please

  2. @Michael. Oh, yes: when the going was good. The next trip I plan to write about will be to the Yucatán. I never made it to Quintana Roo, though I thought the name itself would have completely justified the trip.

    And there are still places hidden in the jungle. I remember walking by a stone wall beside a cornfield and noticing that it was built with carved stones from some old structure. I know they wouldn't have carried stones far, but looking around I only saw cornfields and forest.