The Latest From Our Authors

Walking in Stockholm Over a Bridge, and Over Another Bridge, and Into an Ice Bar
Published 10/9/2017 in Shoes of a Nomad Author Melanie
I took a morning flight from Bergen, Norway, to Stockholm Sweden after exploring the fjords in Norway the day before. I had to giggle at the lightheartedness of the airport restrooms. I have to admit my ignorance, though, as I had no idea the population of Stockholm is three times bigger than Oslo. This fact was quite offensive to my taxi driver, who proudly told me he was a Turk and had lived in Norway for over thirty years now. His three grown children were born in Norway, and they all still lived... read more ❯

Avoiding Vacation Remorse
Published 10/6/2017 in Traveler's Recital Author Nathan Lake
I would guess a fair number of us have had vacations that did not live up to our fantasies. When you got home, somebody asked you if you would go there again and there was at least some hesitation if not an outright "Hell no!!!". And, if you were asked why not, and you were completely honest, you would probably identify one or more of four common issues that contribute to a vacation you would not want to repeat. Let me suggest you give some thought to these things before you leave in order to reduce the likelihood you have to think... read more ❯

Exploring the Fjords in Norway.
Published 10/1/2017 in Shoes of a Nomad Author Melanie
My second day in Norway found me shuffling to the central train station in Oslo at the break of dawn. I broke one of my general rules about traveling (don't patronize American based chain establishments) and got coffee at Starbucks inside the train station before boarding the train. The good thing about jet lag is that the constant exhaustion makes the actual local time completely irrelevant. Nonetheless, it still hurt to catch the 6am train after only sleeping a handful of restless hours the night before (the first sleep I really had in over 30 hours). Oslo... read more ❯

Off the Beaten Path at the Taj Mahal
Published 10/1/2017 in Stan Lee Pengelly's Travels Author Stan Pengelly
A good guide takes you to the places you expect to go and ensures you get the experience you paid for. A great guide digs deeper into your mind and finds out what you REALLY want and gives it to you. My guide Shashi at the Taj Majal was a great guide.   After a few minutes of working with me, he figured I didn't just want to see the usual sites at the Taj Mahal but that I wanted to see it from an unusual perspective. Standing... read more ❯

Proper Attire for Indian Color Festivals
Published 10/1/2017 in Stan Lee Pengelly's Travels Author Stan Pengelly
Holi Festival in India is a lot of fun because it is very light-hearted and intense and most of all filled with COLOR!  The challenge for a photographer who wants to get inside the action is dressing himself/herself and camera.   Without the correct clothes on yourself and covering for the camera at the end of the day both will be saturated with yellow+green+red powder and paint. Covering the Photographer I wore a ball cap, white long-sleeve hoodie, jeans and for my eyes goggles and a dust mask.  The hoodie kept the powder out... read more ❯

Postcard from Penny - Who is She?
Published 9/29/2017 in Penny's Travels Author Penny Frederiksen
Recently I was interviewed by the editor of Battleface-WORDS AND IMAGES FOR PEOPLE WHO GO TO DANGEROUS PLACES. My name is Penny Frederiksen and I live on a cattle property in Australia. I am a farmer, school teacher, travel-writer and photographer. I am in my 50s with four independent children who live and work all over the world. I am fortunate to really enjoy my job as a teacher and the added bonus is the ability to travel every 10 weeks, so I take full advantage of the holidays. I have a lovely balance of a quiet, comfortable life at home on... read more ❯

Finding the Vikings
Published 9/24/2017 in Shoes of a Nomad Author Melanie
From the sculpture park, I wandered over near the water, to Bygdoy, a peninsula region of Oslo facing downtown across the water. The walk was farther than I had expected, but it was a nice day and I enjoyed seeing the Royal farm along the way. The heavy clouds gave way as I walked, and the warm sun came out. I came upon the Viking Ship Museum, with a tourist bus parked out front. I cringed, thinking it would be too crowded inside, but the crowd was just coming out as I was going in. Inside were several Viking age... read more ❯

Feet Down in Oslo, Norway
Published 9/10/2017 in Shoes of a Nomad Author Melanie
When my feet touched down in Oslo, Norway, it was 5 am local time. The airport was deserted except for those from my flight. I flagged a taxi at the airport to get to my hotel. I love to talk with taxi drivers. They are usually fascinating people, and always have good stories. This driver was no exception, he told me his family had all come to Norway from Pakistan in the early 1970s, and he was born in Oslo. He said he loved living in Norway in the summer when the sun was in the sky for 20 hours... read more ❯

Flying Forward to Norway
Published 9/6/2017 in Shoes of a Nomad Author Melanie
I never sleep well the night before a trip.  I'm too excited to start my adventure, too nervous that I'll oversleep or forget something, too tired from running through my checklist in my head for all the things I have to arrange at home before I go. This time, as I lugged my backpack onto the scale for the Icelandair agent, I was sure I would sleep on the plane.  I didn't. I watched movies, read a book, and eagerly chatted with the young woman next to me. She had just graduated from high school... read more ❯

We are Wandering People
Published 8/8/2017 in Shoes of a Nomad Author Melanie
When I was 19 years old, I boarded a plane with a rack full of test tubes and flew off to Germany to work in a research lab for the summer. I was so nervous that I was literally shaking. Nervous from seeing my parents’ sad faces as I walked through security at the Minneapolis airport and headed off into the bustling chaos. Nervous from carrying bacteria in various tubes and vials (pre-9/11 this wasn’t questioned even though the tubes filled my backpack) and nervous that the bacteria might not grow once I reached the lab in Germany. Nervous to... read more ❯

Astrophotography Up High
Published 7/12/2017 in Stan Lee Pengelly's Travels Author Stan Pengelly
Since about the time I was a zygote, I've been impressed by stars.  I can't get enough of looking at them and with a digital SLR I can take their photo.  The problem is I live at live near sea level and immersed in light pollution.  I am lucky to see any nebulae (gas clouds in the sky) or the Milky Way where I live.  So when I was on a little island named Isla... read more ❯

Searching for The Eagle and The Hawk
Published 7/12/2017 in Stan Lee Pengelly's Travels Author Stan Pengelly
Tucked away in a corner of a park in Aspen, CO, is The John Denver Sanctuary.  It is a meandering trail open to the public that is lined with huge boulders on either side as you walk it.  On these rocks has been engraved lyrics from John Denver's songs, and I went there in search of one particular song that has been most inspirational to me:  The Eagle and the Hawk. John Denver, like me, was an aviation nut.  In his case, it was in his DNA.  His father was the late Lt Col. Henry J. Deutschendorf who flew USAF jets... read more ❯

The Folding and Twisting of a Miocene Lava Flow
Published 7/7/2017 in Exploring Wildness Author Thomas Bancroft
The basalt rocks rose from the roadside to the ridge on our right and ran down the hill to the valley below. Endless red-brown blocks the size of basketballs scattered the hillside with no vegetation growing between them. A few dead trunks had slid from the ridge top where hemlocks, pines, and firs dotted the crest. The slope dropped down to a ravine, and Manastash Creek was out of sight over the edge of a steep bank. Then an abrupt cliff rose... read more ❯

Ferreting for Fungi in an Ancient Rainforest — Main Range National Park, QLD, Australia.
Published 5/7/2017 in Penny's Travels Author Penny Frederiksen
How much do you know about fungi? Probably not much at all or your answer could be that they are usually found after rain, growing out of cow patties and taste great on pizza. WARNING: Don’t eat any fungi growing out of animal manure! Only a small percentage of fungi, worldwide, are non-poisonous and as the saying goes,”All mushrooms are edible but only once in a life-time.” Farmers grow great fungi, so it is best to leave it up to them and buy your mushrooms at the shops. Most people think fungi are plants but they don’t have chlorophyll and do not conduct photosynthesis.... read more ❯

My Thoughts for 2017 – Let Conscious Be Your Guide but Beware of Manipulation and Guilt
Published 1/3/2017 in Penny's Travels Author Penny Frederiksen
Many of us set goals where we hope to improve ourselves both physically and emotionally in the hope that the new year will somehow be an improvement on the previous. We reflect on conversations which could have been handled with more respect and consideration and feel shame by our behaviour. Basically, we all want to be better people and a good rule of thumb is to listen to our inner voice before we open our mouth or type that email. Often we strike out at something or someone because we feel threatened. Pause, and take a while to think about your... read more ❯

Please Take Me Out To The Ball Game...and I Promise Not To Mention the Goat!
Published 11/3/2016 in Penny's Travels Author Penny Frederiksen
Now let's get this out in the open – my knowledge of baseball was limited until my daughter and I were invited to fly to Chicago to attend a Cubs game. My old friend, Jerry Cohen from Ebbets Field Flannels, Seattle, did his best to advise me on the finer points of the game and warned that the Cubs had  a history with a certain farm animal.  Jerry even arranged a vintage jersey for our host  but with the gentle reminder, not to mention the word, "goat." Goat or no goat, I was secretly hoping baseball would not be as boring... read more ❯

Osoyoos, British Columbia
Published 10/25/2016 in Traveler's Recital Author Nathan Lake
Osoyoos, British Columbia is fast become a wine lover's destination. Still relatively unknown in the grand scheme of things, the Osoyoos wine industry has grown rapidly in the past 3 years. There are easily 50 vineyards within 25 miles of downtown. Despite the relatively young age of the vines, they are producing some fine wines, especially their desert and ice wines. A small town in the Canadian desert (that's right, they have a desert) Osoyoos is a summer tourist destination for those in the know. The environment is perfect for growing wine grapes and the sunny days extend well into fall. It... read more ❯