My Favorite Road

“What’s your favorite road?” That question comes up a lot from people who find out I’ve driven every mile on the map.They’re curious. What’s my favorite restaurant? Favorite bed and breakfast? Favorite state park? The question came up in Trenton. … Read More

Mystery Among Trash

Pumping water out of the ground at 26 gallons a minute, Palm Springs, California, is an oasis in the American desert. And the desert surrounds this oasis like an ocean surrounds a life raft. I hiked out into the desert, … Read More

Georgia on my mind

Stopped in Albuquerque to pick up 400 pounds of floor tile. Passed Sandia Mountain and drove up to Santa Fe’s rarified air. At 7200 feet, we got a boost from a bowl of fiery green chile chicken soup. Then Cheryl … Read More

Snakes? Shamrocks? Patrick’s Real Story Is Better

Researching for a novel about my Irish priest great grandfather, I’ve come face-to-face with the real St. Patrick. Two tales make him less caricature, more saintly. Every Irish child knows the first story: Patrick ascended Clough Patrick (the Irish Mount … Read More

les bon temps

The clock strikes midnight. Fat Tuesday melts away. From two thousand miles I visualize a distant time when Columbia’s Most Raucous and Rollus Krewe held court, transforming our town’s most storied Cajun/Creole cafe into a Bourbon-soaked Carnival, slinging oysters and … Read More

Want fries with that?

Damn…this traffic jam, From Cardiff by the Sea to Palm Desert we glided for the most part in the carpool lanes because most Californians drive a car like they ride a horse: alone. Nowhere is more backed up than the … Read More

Skull Rock

We heard about Skull Rock, and we set out to find it, among some elephantine boulders in a legendary spiritual preserve bigger than the Bootheel, where two great American ecosystems bump into each other in Southern California. The highland Mojave … Read More

Turquoise, Green Chiles and the U.S. Treasury

Gallup, New Mexico. Stopped at Jerry’s Cafe for the chiles, specifically New Mexico hatch chiles rellenos. We slid into a cozy two-top booth across the aisle from a spittin’ image for Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin. No shit. Doppelganger. I didn’t … Read More

Sitting with the Bard

The one-two punch of Santa Fe’s rarified air (7200 ft elevation) and Canyon Road shopping kicked my ass. I spied a bench, only partially occupied by an old friend from back home. Tipped my cap to this bronzed bard. He … Read More

Canyons of the mind

The sign startled me, on this bridge over the Rio Grande Gorge. The river cuts a deep canyon through the high plain, and attracts many visitors, mostly sightseers, a few on a mission. We watched a family release balloons to … Read More