Trail Talk Blog

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

ABA’s Top 100 Events

The annual announcement of the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association (ABA) is eagerly awaited each fall by the group travel industry. The selection process is rigorous and takes a humongous committee a full year to weigh the merits of the nominations, wrangle over their… 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 >

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 >

This message is brought to you by…

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 >

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 >

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 >

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Happy Trails!