Trail Talk Blog

The Sixties

Recently I watched a PBS documentary on Daniel Ellsberg and his seemingly suicidal attempt to make the government accountable during the tumultuous sixties. For reference: Daniel Ellsberg leaked the so-called Pentagon Papers – which exposed massive governmental misconduct all the way up to the Presidency – to the New York… read more >

Red or Green?

They grow a lot of chilies in New Mexico, which is a good thing because the 47th state is also the largest consumer of chilies in the country. They even have a “state question” to go with their state bird, motto, tree, etc: which do you prefer, red or green?… read more >

The Surprising Lewis & Clark Trail

No one questions the historic significance of the sites along the Lewis & Clark Trail – the first trans-continental exploration designed to fill in the blanks on the map and hopefully stimulate commerce.  Following the trail is educational – the opportunity to walk (or paddle) where history happened, and all… read more >

The Yellowstone Myth

It will come as no surprise to regular readers that I am a big fan of America’s National Parks. With all its flaws (mostly attributable to under-funding) they collectively constitute our “best idea”, and the rest of the world has endorsed the concept by copying it. I was therefore intrigued… read more >

Happiness

I read recently that, according to a Netherlands travel study (plus followup research conducted by psychologist and consultant Shawn Anchor), anticipation of an upcoming trip gives travelers the greatest satisfaction on the happiness scale.  It’s nice to have reinforcement, but I don’t need research to tell me that people look… read more >

Coincidences

History is rife with coincidences that are simply too amazing to make up. Although Lewis & Clark’s Corps of Discovery spent considerable time in the current state of Montana (coming and going) and experienced many adventures here, I have a particular favorite which just might be the most fantastical of… read more >

Fred and Me

In case you haven’t heard yet, we are going back on the trail again this year. Actually, we follow some historic trail or other every summer, but I’m talking about THE trail, the Lewis & Clark Trail – my favorite. Fred and I have traveled the Lewis & Clark Trail… read more >

For Public Consumption

In this age of social media, with millions of people posting their innermost thoughts on Twitter or Facebook, in blogs, or some other internet outlet daily, we tend to think that writing for mass public consumption is something new. So I was somewhat startled to hear recently that Abraham Lincoln’s… read more >

Hiding in Plain Sight

People are funny. You can quote me on that if you’d like. As a travel professional I have frequent opportunities to indulge my passion for people-watching as I mingle with visitors at America’s great natural wonders and attractions. It’s both enlightening and useful. It can also be frustrating. The misconceptions… read more >

New Year’s Open House

The custom of paying New Year’s calls originated in New York, or as it was then styled, New Amsterdam, where the Dutch held open house on New Year’s Day and served cherry bounce, olykoeks [doughnuts] steeped in rum, cookies, and honey cakes. (Notice that these treats are all sweet, not… read more >

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