Trail Talk Blog

Archive for 2013

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I have been writing a regular monthly blog now for the past four years. It has been both challenging and rewarding. But it is also time-consuming, and as I so often protest, I am a tour operator, not a professional blogger. If my writings produce more business for my tour… read more >

History Lite

If you have ever surfed the upper reaches of the cable channels in desperate search of semi-literate diversion, you have probably run into the numerous channels which seem to be determinedly devoted to “history lite”. You know the ones I’m talking about. They feature shows called “Ten things you didn’t know… read more >

The Day I Climbed Spirit Mound

I should probably preface this by stating that “climbed” is a definite overstatement of what I did last August.  More accurately, I “strolled”, or maybe even “ambled”.  Spirit Mound is not exactly Mount Everest.  No climbing gear was involved, no harnesses, no spiked boots, no rappeling ropes, not even a… read more >

Circling the Wagons

At a recent history conference I learned – among other things – that the stereotypical movie depiction of circling the wagons against an imminent Indian attack (a plot device used in countless Hollywood movies and TV westerns), originated not on the Oregon Trail but with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show…. read more >

Following the Lewis & Clark Trail

I have been leading modern-day explorers over the Lewis & Clark Trail more or less regularly since 1997, and as you read this I have embarked with another enthusiastic group on our own great journey west. As I prepared for this year’s expedition and found myself growing more and more… read more >

Deer Trails

There are well-worn deer trails in my back yard. For some reason it’s important to me that as I look out beyond my deck – although I’m not exactly in the country – it’s not the city either. One side of my wraparound deck overlooks a large valley dotted with… read more >

Can Money Buy Happiness?

Confucius didn’t think so. Neither did Gandhi nor Mother Teresa. Of course, taking a vow of poverty kind of takes money out of the equation. (Confucius didn’t actually take any vows of poverty that we know of, but as a teacher he probably still qualifies.) My point is that it’s… read more >

Less Is More

There is a wildly popular restaurant near me that offers only two entrees on its evening menu: big steak and little steak! In this day of proliferating options in every category from soup to nuts (pun intended), it’s kind of reassuring that sometimes the simplest choice is the best. Downsizing… read more >

Anticipation

When I was growing up I couldn’t wait for summer vacation so that I could escape my parents’ contentious and migratory household to spend three glorious months on my grandparents’ ranch in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  I was only seven years old when I made my first solo… read more >

Spring Has Sprung

For many people, myself included, the most joyous words in the English language are “Pitchers and catchers report!”  I have been fortunate for many years to spend two weeks in the normally dreary month of March, basking under the Florida sun in as many Major League Spring Training ballparks as I… read more >

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Happy Trails!