From Our Authors

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
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 ❯

Ferreting for Fungi in an Ancient Rainforest — Main Range National Park, QLD, Australia.
Published 5/7/2017 in Penny's Travels Author
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 ❯

The Hornbill Festival - Nagaland & North-East India. Dec 2017
Published 2/3/2017 in Penny's Travels Author
Every year, The Travel Writers offers an opportunity for likeminded photographers to join us in traveling to interesting and "off the beaten track" destinations. This year we are heading to the Hornbill Festival and North-East India from Dec 02-10, 2017 with photographer Shankar Subramanian and Mirza Zulfiqur Rahman (North-East India Expert & Tour Lead) The Hornbill festival celebrates the gathering of 16 tribes for a week of traditional dance, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. The tour, from Darter Photography, includes visits to the most colourful festival of the North East in Nagaland, interaction and photography with aboriginal people, witnessing... read more ❯

The Hornbill Festival - Nagaland & North-East India. Dec 2017
Published 2/3/2017 in Penny's Travels Author
Every year, The Travel Writers offers an opportunity for likeminded photographers to join us in traveling to interesting and "off the beaten track" destinations. This year we are heading to the Hornbill Festival and North-East India from Dec 02-10, 2017 with photographer Shankar Subramanian and Mirza Zulfiqur Rahman (North-East India Expert & Tour Lead) The Hornbill festival celebrates the gathering of 16 tribes for a week of traditional dance, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. The tour, from Darter Photography, includes visits to the most colourful festival of the North East in Nagaland, interaction and photography with aboriginal people, witnessing... 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
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 ❯

My Thoughts for 2017 – Let Conscious Be Your Guide but Beware of Manipulation and Guilt
Published 1/3/2017 in Penny's Travels Author
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 Nathan Lake
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 ❯

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 Nathan Lake
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 ❯

Why Donald Trump’s Words & Actions Affect Us All.
Published 10/15/2016 in Penny's Travels Author
Isn't it interesting that so many women have suddenly come forward, after all these years, to tell their stories and in just the last few weeks of the US election? I hear people asking: “Why now?” “What do these women hope to gain from digging up something which "supposedly" happened in the past?” Whether you support Donald Trump or not, it is the issue of touching someone without consent which should be addressed. I am now 58 years old, and this week realised that I should have made a complaint about the primary school teacher who touched me, and probably most of the girls in... read more ❯

Why Donald Trump’s Words & Actions Affect Us All.
Published 10/15/2016 in Penny's Travels Author
Isn't it interesting that so many women have suddenly come forward, after all these years, to tell their stories and in just the last few weeks of the US election? I hear people asking: “Why now?” “What do these women hope to gain from digging up something which "supposedly" happened in the past?” Whether you support Donald Trump or not, it is the issue of touching someone without consent which should be addressed. I am now 58 years old, and this week realised that I should have made a complaint about the primary school teacher who touched me, and probably most of the girls in... read more ❯

Iguazu Falls Trip
Published 10/7/2016 in Stan Lee Pengelly's Travels Author Stan Pengelly
For our 25th wedding anniversary, my wife and I visited Buenos Aires and Mendoza, which were lovely and fun.  However, the big surprise was visiting Iguazu Falls.  I guess I'd hadn't done my homework about the falls because it was more majestic and impressive than I'd envisioned.  What's more, the Argentine and Brazilian governments had done an excellent job of making these beautiful falls accessible to just about anyone able enough to walk and climb stairs. The Iguazu River forms part of the boundary between Argentina and Brazil.  The crown... read more ❯