Glacier National Park from the Dome Car of Amtrak’s Empire Builder!


enlarge video

Our snowy early morning trip had us glued to the windows of The Sightseer Lounge of The Empire Builder as we snaked our way through… CONTINUE READING >>


enlarge video

Our snowy early morning trip had us glued to the windows of The Sightseer Lounge of The Empire Builder as we snaked our way through… CONTINUE READING >>

What in the Sam Hill is a Yosemite?

OK, show of hands. How many of us first heard of Yosemite from Looney Tunes? C’mon, reach fer the sky fragnabbit! On those childhood Saturday mornings Yosemite Sam introduced us to the name but he had nothing to do with the National Park. Friz Freleng just liked the plumb western sound of California’s premier park for his loud-mouthed, sourdough, going-off-all-half-cocked, six-shootin’ little fella. Fifty-odd years of Saturdays later yer flea bitten GypsyNestin’ varmints finally met Sam’s namesake… CONTINUE READING >>
OK, show of hands. How many of us first heard of Yosemite from Looney Tunes? C’mon, reach fer the sky fragnabbit! On those childhood Saturday mornings Yosemite Sam introduced us to the name but he had nothing to do with the National Park. Friz Freleng just liked the plumb western sound of California’s premier park for his loud-mouthed, sourdough, going-off-all-half-cocked, six-shootin’ little fella. Fifty-odd years of Saturdays later yer flea bitten GypsyNestin’ varmints finally met Sam’s namesake… CONTINUE READING >>

Balls to the Wall

Ever since I was a kid growing up in the Colorado Rockies, I have heard the lore of the “oysters” but never had the balls to try them. Suddenly my opportunity was just over the horizon.

Pressing across Montana, we began to travel through another dimension — a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind, mountains and cooked animal parts… CONTINUE READING >>

Ever since I was a kid growing up in the Colorado Rockies, I have heard the lore of the “oysters” but never had the balls to try them. Suddenly my opportunity was just over the horizon.

Pressing across Montana, we began to travel through another dimension — a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind, mountains and cooked animal parts… CONTINUE READING >>

Big Heads, Badlands & Bear Claws

After the seemingly endless trek across the windswept northern prairie, the landscape suddenly changes. On second thought, suddenly hardly describes it.

Abruptly, immediately, instantaneously the topography dramatically goes from flat grassland besieged with billboards to the spectacularly gnarled Badlands.

Out of nowhere the South Dakota plains give way to layers of soft shale, clay and limestone that wear away at a rate of about an inch a year… CONTINUE READING >>

After the seemingly endless trek across the windswept northern prairie, the landscape suddenly changes. On second thought, suddenly hardly describes it.

Abruptly, immediately, instantaneously the topography dramatically goes from flat grassland besieged with billboards to the spectacularly gnarled Badlands.

Out of nowhere the South Dakota plains give way to layers of soft shale, clay and limestone that wear away at a rate of about an inch a year… CONTINUE READING >>

Antelope + Jackrabbit = Jackalope

Once the mighty Mississippi disappears in the rear view mirror, there’s not much to look at for the next thousand miles except corn. An insane amount of corn. It goes on and on and on and then, the corn turns to wheat. An ocean of wheat. Amber waves of grain. Then, a few hundred miles farther West, the wheat turns to tumbleweeds and we can drop the “mid,” we are in the West.

To break up the monotony along the way, or perhaps because of it, there are signs. Millions of signs. This is the home field of the billboard. Every business garishly competes for attention. Out there, you’ve got to have a gimmick. See the World’s Largest this, five-legged that, First Ever this or two-headed that. Almost any collection becomes… CONTINUE READING >>

Once the mighty Mississippi disappears in the rear view mirror, there’s not much to look at for the next thousand miles except corn. An insane amount of corn. It goes on and on and on and then, the corn turns to wheat. An ocean of wheat. Amber waves of grain. Then, a few hundred miles farther West, the wheat turns to tumbleweeds and we can drop the “mid,” we are in the West.

To break up the monotony along the way, or perhaps because of it, there are signs. Millions of signs. This is the home field of the billboard. Every business garishly competes for attention. Out there, you’ve got to have a gimmick. See the World’s Largest this, five-legged that, First Ever this or two-headed that. Almost any collection becomes… CONTINUE READING >>