A Window Into Montana

“You couldn’t take a bad picture here,” Jonathan said, looking out the car window. He was right. Everywhere you look driving into the mountains around us are stands of lodgepole pine, narrow avalanche chutes blanketed in grass, and bare faces of stone bordered by undulating piles of scree. The day was overcast and cool, quiteContinue reading “A Window Into Montana”

Curiosities of the OH/PA border.

What makes Ohio different from other places we’ve visited? There are a few things that have impressed and surprised us. One is grass–there are huge lawns around many houses, and tracts of open land covered by grass without a house nearby. These are often lovely, but who mows all that acreage? True, there are lotsContinue reading “Curiosities of the OH/PA border.”

Northern Ohio begins to reveal its secrets

Symbols on a local tourist map turned out to be covered bridges, and on a perfect sunny afternoon we set out to see three that are all very near Conneaut. Whizzing by on the highway, Ohio is flat and featureless. The creeks that wind their way into Lake Erie are invisible. In contrast, covered bridgesContinue reading “Northern Ohio begins to reveal its secrets”

Guest Post: Visiting Chernobyl

by Joyce Heard I am delighted to introduce my good friend, Joyce Heard. A fellow Harvard grad, Joyce worked in journalism in the US, then moved to France after meeting her husband Jean-Marie while on a Rotary International fellowship. Now a long term European observer, Joyce and Jean-Marie divide their time between Aix-en-Provence and southernContinue reading “Guest Post: Visiting Chernobyl”

Uluru: A Wonder of the World

We planned to skip the Ghan’s Uluru option (crowds, distance, expense) and tour Alice Springs, where the train stops for the day. We changed our minds when we found that the scenic flight from Alice to Uluru included a stop on the ground to see Uluru up close, a drive around the rock, and someContinue reading “Uluru: A Wonder of the World”

The Ghan: Railroad Adventure to Katharine, NT

We wanted to see the interior of Australia, that vast dry landscape that fuels novel after novel, starting for me with The Thorn Birds, on through the mysteries of Arthur Upfield (The Bone is Pointed). Everyone in Australia knows the true stories of exploration by Burke and Wills, who completed their crossing of the continent,Continue reading “The Ghan: Railroad Adventure to Katharine, NT”

The Indian Pacific Raillway Takes Us Across

We spent a peculiar four days and three nights crossing Australia from Sydney to Perth. The trip included days of being glued to the train window watching the scenery as it went from tall trees to flat, dry, and empty, liberally dotted with kangaroos and emus. On the other hand, we took this trip toContinue reading “The Indian Pacific Raillway Takes Us Across”