For this article, Mike Starling and Gene Purcell were tasked (perhaps by themselves) with writing an A to Z guide to the Mississippi River for visitors to La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Riding High: Once the Hard Work is Done on the Ground, Nothing is More Exhilarating than a Trip in a Hot-Air Balloon
A hot-air balloon floating gently through blue skies. What could be more peaceful?
Not much. But getting the balloon in the air – now that’s another story, which happened on a sunny, breezy day last month.
One day this summer I woke up and realized I was in South Dakota. Then I remembered the really scary part. I was there on purpose.
Let me tell ya, the things I do to get a story… I’ve slam-danced, spelunked, bungee-jumped, stayed awake through an entire Third District Congressional Forum and stopped at Wall Drug. But I think you’ll agree that on Saturday night, I went above and beyond the call of duty when I ate a two-inch mealy worm. Raw.
New Zealand is doubly blessed with spectacular natural beauty and some of the most fearlessly creative people ever to embark on careers in the tourism industry. These were a few of the most memorable places/adventures on my two-month trip to the islands down under.
We felt a little like Lewis and Clark, paddling our canoe down uncharted waters, seeing all sorts of wondrous new sights.
Of course, Lewis and Clark didn’t have shuttle bus rides, number 15 sunscreen, coolers full of soda, or blaze orange life preservers, but what the heck. This is the ’90s. You do what you can.
So few of us do, says Drake Hokanson. We run from meeting to meeting in our busy daily work schedules. We drive from place to place and seldom take time to talk to a stranger or notice the texture of a wheat field or even just look at the sky.
Hokanson is on a quiet crusade, of sorts, to change that.
I am sometimes lost, often mute, and usually ignorant, and I’ve just got to get used to it.
I’m an American in France. An American who doesn’t speak French.
This is the perfect opportunity to look stupid in all sorts of neat places, from the Riviera to the Notre Dame Cathedral to the Palace of Versailles, at the train station, a restaurant, a hotel, or just plain walking down the street.
“It wasn’t real until the light disappeared.” That’s how Billy Curmano described his feelings on being buried alive outside his studio in Rushford, Minnesota, on Sept. 16.
Kiwis are famous for their "no worries" attitude and easy-going hospitality. But I found one way to get their dander up. Just suggest their homeland of New Zealand is a part of Australia.
I REMEMBER TRAVEL
Journeys in sight and sound by Mike Starling
All text, images and music in the I Remember Travel weblog ©Mike Starling unless otherwise noted. Music published by Bean Hoy Music (BMI). All rights reserved.