I hear a chorus of cautious and concerned voices in the mainstream media warning Democrats to refrain from pushing their agenda too far to the left. When you’re on the inside looking out, I suppose you’ll do that. Here’s what I believe: Hesitation kills and this is the absolute worst time in American history to […]

Texas Hill Country is the second most visited wine region in the United States today. Only Napa Valley receives more visitors on an annual basis. The expansive multi-county area west of Austin is home to dozens of wineries and the Highway 290 corridor from Johnson City to Fredericksburg is literally packed with possibilities. The question […]

Place shapes people and people shape culture. Texas writer and literary lion, Larry McMurtry, knows all about this premise. In fact, he has spent several decades making this geocultural reality his own truth and his books are both products of and reflections of The West. In a Narrow Grave: Essays on Texas is a book […]

Last March, we sold our house in West Linn, Oregon and moved to Austin, Texas. Positive change and forward motion have been a big part of 2018. We call it our year of the pivot. When it was time to move (after months of preparation), we embarked on an epic road trip from the Pacific […]

I wrote this poem after visiting a photo exhibit at Mexic-Arte Museum in downtown Austin. Maria from Monterey It’s not terribly far, as a bird flies, from Monterey to Laredo Young Maria’s journey was wingless She moved at night, her thirst unsatisfied Coyotes and owls shared their star-lit canyons When she slept she had bad […]

Military spending in the United States eats up more than half of our nation’s “discretionary spending,” or the portion of the budget that the president requests and Congress appropriates every year. Yet, you don’t hear cries for change when it comes to military spending. We can’t deprive the American military its right to might. That […]

Austin makes a strong impression on the newcomer. It’s sunny and warm, the people are warm and friendly, and there are seemingly a million places of interest for the food and beverage lover to consider and discover. Both Zagat and WalletHub rank Austin high on their lists of best cities for foodies. And Easter Austin […]

When you live in or near a big city, it’s crucial to get out of the city and reconnect with the outside world. I’m pleased to report that we found several adventurous ways to do just this in 2017. Coast-to-Coast in 2017: Cannon Beach Roseburg Ashland Omaha Gleneden Beach Boise McCall Walla Walla Seattle Eugene […]

This Husker fans know: It’s Mike Riley’s third season in Lincoln and he continues to lose well, which he did again this past Saturday in Eugene. What we witnessed in person at Autzen was football ugly. From the opening kickoff, the game seemed like a painless scrimmage for the Ducks. Here’s one honest press report […]

Boise, Idaho and Walla Walla, Washington are inland agricultural empires that have famously produced potatoes, wheat, onions and other staples of the American diet for generations. Today, the farmers in these areas are increasingly growing viniferous grapes and the impact that this crop is making on the local farm-based cultures is significant. Earlier this month, […]

Extraction. American industrialists posses a voracious appetite for it. In fact, their hunger for more precious metals, oil, and coal is so great, they want to find these untapped riches in our National Monuments. Thankfully, REI is taking a strong leadership role in the resistance, and actively encouraging its members to step up and help […]

When you live in the Portland area and want to travel, point yourself in any direction and win. We started 2016’s explorations with a closer look at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument—a three-site paleo wonderland in Eastern Oregon. The Clarno Unit is the nearest to Portland, at about four hours. It’s well worth […]

I gave myself the gift of digital detox and no TV news for Christmas. After one week, I feel better already. Which begs the question, what am I doing with my head so far up the machine’s ass? Why are any of us willing victims to the manipulations of media? The obvious answer is we […]

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is a journey through time. Forty million years backwards in time, to be exact. The National Monument features three separate but related units: Painted Hills, Sheep Rock and Clarno. The three units are all located in Eastern Oregon, yet they are hours apart by car. Starting in Madras, the […]

There are people who live in Portland who find it difficult to leave their neighborhood for another part of the city. One could blame parochial attitudes, poor transportation options, or a simple lack of curiosity. This post isn’t for them. This post is for the adventurous. West Linn (population 26,000) and Oregon City (population 34,600) […]

I started tracking my movements about the country a decade ago (and logging them here) as an annual exercise meant to encourage memory, cataloguing and in the best cases a bit of travel writing. Looking back on it, 2015 wasn’t a big year in travel, although quality and quantity are two different things. Here’s a […]

“Not the victory but the action: Not the goal but the game: In the deed the glory”. We flew out to Omaha last weekend for a Labor Day family gathering. It was a sweet way to spend the last muggy days of summer. It was also an amazing opportunity to witness the dawn of a […]

Last Saturday, Restore Oregon hosted a tour of six homes in Lake Oswego and SW Portland, all designed by noted Portland architect Van Evera Bailey (1903-1980). Brian Libby of Portland Architecture argues, “if Northwest midcentury-modern houses are arguably the most significant and unique contribution that Portland has contributed to world architecture, then Bailey not only […]