Stories

Kashgar: Behind the Façade

Kashgar: Behind the Façade

Kashgar: Behind the Façade

The sweet smoky odor of grilled mutton and cumin saturated the surprisingly cool summer breeze as I walked along Aizirete Lu near the famous Yengi Bazaar in the ancient city of Kashgar. The crowded streets were lined as far as my eyes could see with brightly colored umbrellas shading large bags of spices, carts filled with fresh fruit, and butchered meat hanging precariously above crude scales on fragile makeshift tables. …read the full story

Naked by Choice: Owning the Bushmen Myth

Naked by Choice: Owning the Bushmen Myth

Naked by Choice: Owning the Bushmen Myth

We marched for hours through the high grass and endless scrub of the central Kalahari. The “Old Man,” as he is known in the village, stopped only briefly to examine a small dent in the sandy soil or inspect the trace of a passing animal. He moved gracefully over the inhospitable land with a confidence that comes from centuries of accumulated knowledge. We followed at a distance as he scanned …read the full story

The Lure of Greenland’s Icy World

Fog rolled quickly up the fjord enveloping us in a colorless milieu with no visible boundary separating the perfectly still water from the cold wet air. Small surface ripples created by our zodiac boat were the only indication that we were, in fact, moving. Our driver carefully navigated around massive chunks of arctic ice that suddenly appeared and disappeared like an enchanted mirage on the grey, featureless horizon. The baritone …read the full story

Nepal's Everest Highway

Nepal’s Everest Highway

Nepal's Everest Highway

We started hearing our first reports in Namche Bazaar. The news wasn’t promising. Heavy snow had temporarily closed Cho La pass. For almost a week as we journeyed higher into the mountains, the thought of a dangerous 10-hour trek over a snow-covered pass in the Himalaya lingered unspoken as we gathered around dung-fueled stoves in our nightly teahouse sanctuaries. The pass is the shortcut to Everest Base Camp (EBC) across …read the full story

A Lake Ontario Fish Story

A Lake Ontario Fish Story

A Lake Ontario Fish Story

I was excited when Captain Sam Zucco finally reached me late in the afternoon to invite me out on my first sport fishing experience. The following day I would be joining Alan and Rick, two casual fishermen from Ithaca who agreed to let me tag along and take pictures on their annual vacation. Captain Sam said to meet them at his boat Dream Catcher at the Shumway Marine in Rochester …read the full story

Kayak expedition around the Land Between the Lakes

Kayak expedition around the Land Between the Lakes

Kayak expedition around the Land Between the Lakes

Republished in memoriam: Craig Sims, owner of Hooper’s Outdoor Center in Paducah, Ky., lost his battle with cancer on Sept. 10, 2009. He was 49. It sounded like a good idea. I was invited to join Craig Sims, owner of Hooper’s Outdoor Center in Paducah, for a five-day backcountry camping and kayaking trip around the Land Between the Lakes. Maybe it was his effortless stroke, or the tan Tilley Hat the wore …read the full story

Puerto Rico: Beyond the Fortress

Puerto Rico: Beyond the Fortress

Puerto Rico: Beyond the Fortress

It was a warm and moonless night as 15 of us boarded a shuttle in front of the El Conquistador resort for a short ride to the public boat dock at Las Croabas, where we would experience what the brochure described as a “fascinating natural wonder.” The lights of the resort looked like a small city perched on a mountain ridge in the distance. After a brief introduction, the group …read the full story

Old San Juan: A Ghost Story

Old San Juan: A Ghost Story

Old San Juan: A Ghost Story

Just beyond the massive stone walls of the Castillo San Cristóbal a brilliant white cruise ship made her way towards the harbor entrance. “Look down there,” I overheard a tour guide telling his group. He was pointing to a stone sentry box (garita) on a small promontory projecting into the ocean 150 feet below us at the base of the fort. “It is a legend as old as the fort,” …read the full story

Lake Placid: New York’s Olympic Village

Lake Placid: New York’s Olympic Village

Lake Placid: New York’s Olympic Village

It was a chilly February afternoon when I checked into the AAA Four-Diamond, Mirror Lake Inn. As soon as I entered the cozy wood-paneled lounge, I was greeted by the familiar smell of a burning fireplace. It didn’t take long before I found the warm embrace of a comfortable leather chair next to the crackling fire irresistible. I arrived in Lake Placid on a Wednesday. The town was quiet and the …read the full story

Pushkar: Gypsies, Gods & Dromedaries

Pushkar: Gypsies, Gods & Dromedaries

Pushkar: Gypsies, Gods & Dromedaries

I hopped off my camel cart on the outskirts of the fairground, opting instead to walk the sandy corridors between tents and animals where thousands of India’s desert nomads were welcoming a new day. From a distance, it looked like a Rajput-era military encampment with hundreds of tents erected in endless rows. The movement of animals, carts and countless people dressed in traditional tribal colors created a bustle of activity. …read the full story