“We’re going to Pino Gordo, want to come,” asked my brother-in-law Randy from his home in Chihuahua, Mexico. Sure, why not. So I flew from Seattle to El Paso, Texas, caught a taxi to the central bus station in Juarez, Mexico and made the 4-hour bus ride south to Chihuahua.
Pino Gordo (Fat Pine Tree). Don’t look for it on any map – it’s not a town or village but an ejido (eh-HEE-doe), a land grant to indigenous people in this case the Tarahuamara (tar-ah-MAR-ah), or more properly, the Raramuri (rah-ram-ur-EE). Continue reading
We used to haul around giant, hard-sided suitcases full of clothes we never used. Even the things we used were bulky and high maintenance (jeans, cotton shirts, bulky shoes and jackets). Sometimes we’d wait hours at airport luggage claims for our baggage while the carry-on crowd went on their way. We’d wrestle our luggage down narrow streets, stumble over them in small rooms, dig through them looking for stuff. Now, whether the trip is for a weekend or a month we pack everything into a carry-on size backpack (less than 50-liter capacity), one each. If it doesn’t fit inside of that it either doesn’t go or we buy it there, and we’ve found we’re happier travelers for it. Continue reading
I’d been fascinated with the Tatshenshini River in Alaska ever since I read about it in a National Geographic Magazine years ago. Taking a raft down it is one of those world-class, once in a lifetime trips, like a safari in Africa, or climbing in the Himalayas. It flows 250 miles through the Yukon Territories, British Columbia and finally Alaska before reaching salt water among the fjords and glaciers of Alaska’s fabled Inside Passage. It flows through the largest area of wilderness in the world. There’s no cell phone service, no airplanes overhead, no towns, no roads – just endless forests, glaciated mountains, bears, moose, and wolves. Continue reading