Posts in roadtripping
Nepal, a few moments in a country of millenia

I am just back from Nepal, and starting to process an amazing month, and thousands of photographs, taken across the beautiful and ancient country. I am not sure what I expected as this was a particularly seat of the pants trip, in spite of months of planning (more on that soon) and so every plan had to be reworked, leading to better outcomes than anything we could have imagined.

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Ireland Roamings

There are places whose beauty defy photography, which can be frustrating, as a photographer. Or you can relax into the immersive impossible beauty and occassionaly shoot from the hip, embracing the novelty of an experience which cannot fully be captured or conveyed. And so instead you simply are present.

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A Four Legged Christmas

Exactly 7 years ago, I adopted Mia at Christmas (actually I fostered, and then foster failure followed but that’s another story) and a few years later realizing I could not foster, I had the opportunity to help out Paws New England in a pinch. Just in time for Christmas we transported a dozen animals from Tenessee to New Hampshire, from a place which did not want them to homes in time for the holidays and it was the most wonderful experience of the true holiday spirit.

This year I was able to head to a different type of rescue operation. Little Brook Farm in Old Chatham New York is one of the oldest horse rescues in the country, and has 96 worthy equine souls in their care as well as dozens of cats and a pig, who scared the daylights out of me when it emerged from under a tarp.

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The freedom of the "Most Disgusting Version of Yourself"

When I arrived in Livingstone, Zambia to join African Spokes, Jen Gurecki gleefully warned that I should be prepared to be “the most disgusting version of myself.” An organizer and veteran of the 70 day trip, riding from Nairobi to Cape Town, she was on to something.

Each morning of Leg 4 started like every other day in camp; shuffling into cycling cloths in the dark, we broke down heavy canvas tent by headlamp, packing up camp while stuffing in calories and water to be ready for first light. When the sun started over the horizon we were off, covering 90km on a short day and up to 214km one special day, aiming to cover as much ground in the early post dawn desert cool as possible to avoid the intense heat to come. And the relentless lack of shade. Leg 4 which crossed a bit of Zambia, all of Botswana and northeastern Namibia had particularly nice tarmac, for Africa.

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A woman's right to choose

A few weeks ago I had the extraordinary opportunity to direct a film about women exercising a vital American freedom, the right to choose with Windy Films and Planned Parenthood.  Although it is very hard to believe that we are in a moment when progress could roll back, but the defense of women's reproductive health and choice stands in the hand's of two senators, Sen Susan Collins of Maine and Alaska's Sen Lisa Murkowski. 

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Camp, Home Sweet moving Home

One of the greatest joys of cycling across southern Africa was camping. Camping out under the African nights, which gold colder the further south we went towards winter, in start contrast to the desert’s hot days. We wild camped some nights and other nights found ourselves in deluxe campgrounds with showers and cold beers.

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Cycling, the Long and the Short of it

Days were measured in kilometers traveled, and wildlife spotted, and the butt pain meter. But most exciting was this day, and the 14 elephant day, including many babies, almost white from the salt pans.  When we passed most they raised their trunks in unison, trying to figure out what we were, bicycles not being very familiar.  For this reason we rode in packs when in elephant territory.

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Chobe National Park, Botswana

Chobe National Park in Botswana is famed for its abundant wildlife, best seen from a water safari, and is an amazing region where Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe all come together along the mighty Zambezi River - the only intersection of four countries in the world.  This is one of many areas I hope to return to, and travel west across the Caprivi region of Namibia.

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Maple Sugar Shack, in upstate New York

On a ride in upstate New York two collies sitting in the seat of a tractor caught my attention and I stopped to meet the pups, Massey and Fergie-named for the tractor they sat in, and their owner Richard, who invited me back to see the maple syrup making process.

Today Ron, Richard and friends from his paper mill days, as well as the new generation, showed me the age old process of boiling down maple syrup into the sweet sugary goodness. 

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Roadtripping, Part 3, Heading up the Bay of Fundy

When a road appears passable on google maps only half of the day, and is "subject to extreme tidal conditions," meaning underwater, you have to drop everything and head to this road! 

So Mia and I headed straight for the road to Minister’s Island, in Saint Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick.  She was far less excited than I was by driving out into the Bay of Fundy, but by this point had gotten into the spirit of the trip fully.  As 90’s baby in an 80’s Mercedes came on the radio, we rumbled out across the cobbles of the “road” and enjoyed the otherworldly aspect of a road which is underwater and then not. 

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Roadtripping, Part 2, Crossing the Border into Campobello Island

When we crossed from Lubec, Maine onto Campobello Island, New Brunswick we discovered that it was Canadian Thanksgiving Day, although I had not realized when I decided to head to the island and Canada for the day.  There was something so apt about this, and it is beautiful the way life speaks up when you let go and listen.

The border patrol agent just after the bridge over the Lubec Narrows greeted us, and also let us know much of the island was closed for the holiday.  I showed my passport and Mia’s vaccination papers, and then went on to the tourist center, the sole visitor there. We were arriving right one time.  I picked up a map and asked about place off the beaten path with remote beauty (as if we hadn’t already arrived there.)  If there was a bumper sticker, or life goals club around this, I would definitely be in this, if not a chapter leader.

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