Intrepid Traveller

Not Quite Alone in the Desert

The highest peaks of the Animas mountains in the east are already colouring light pink. As the road dips slightly through an arroyo, there are broad rolling hills to the west. We haven’t made many miles today, but it’s time to set up camp. Carefully I drive off the highway, navigating to avoid cacti and …

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Snake for Supper

Creosote bush as far as the eye can see. We are driving out of Animas in the far south-west corner of New Mexico. Only small towns here. Animas active, almost buzzing, things do happen here. Haticha almost deserted, an abandoned church where people obviously have slept for a night, an old locked-up trailer with beautiful …

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Wind’s Abaft the Beam: Pt. 3

Sailing terms irk me. Wind’s abaft the beam? What’s wrong with “the wind’s from behind”? Coming about, prepare to gybe, helm’s alee? How about, “The boom’s coming for your head. Duck!” Simple. To the point. I sat in Nanaimo reading sailing books with all their silly jargon while waiting for that perfect weather forecast to …

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Wind’s Abaft the Beam: Pt. 2

Currents, tides, winds. It is a lot for me to keep track of while trying to remember how to hoist a mainsail (loosen the mainsheet, release the boom vang, tighten the topping lift, pull main halyard, release the topping lift—and so on and so on). While honing our sailing skills around B.C.’s Gulf Islands National …

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Wind’s Abaft the Beam, Pt.1

Impetuous. Reckless. Hasty. That’s how my partner John and I ended up in Victoria, British Columbia in early June last year, purchasing a sailboat when our plans had been to spend the month backpacking in Kluane. Instead, we spent June gripped with a fear that shed pounds off our frames quicker than any backpacking trip. …

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Intrepid Traveller: Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

t was the wise Dr. Seuss who wrote, “Oh, the things you can find if you don’t stay behind!” And what finds there are to be had in Europe… evocative images of Tuscan towns bathed in golden light, lavender fields swaying in the Provence breeze, Bavarian storybook castles, and ancient monuments that never tire of …

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