The Long and Winding Road: Mythic Highway, Honeymoon Beach

Paul McCartney, so the story says, retreated alone to a farm in Scotland once where he sat at the piano gazing on the trace of a road meandering wild heather, the moors and lochs beyond – in short, his life – and penned a ballad: ‘The Long and Winding Road’. Were there a list of … More The Long and Winding Road: Mythic Highway, Honeymoon Beach

The Die Is Cast: No Friends But the Afghan Mountains

Come September 11, 2021, by presidential decree, the last troops of a Western alliance will strike their regimental colors, stow their gear and board massive transports for rear bases in Europe, the Middle East, and North America.  They leave behind razor-wire perimeters, bunkers, the tangled wreckage of warfare, frightened collaborators, and trauma as far as … More The Die Is Cast: No Friends But the Afghan Mountains

In A Potato Cellar: Beneath the Sign of a Ropey Tornado

Spring may be the season of daffodils and birdsong, but a shift in the jet stream also lifts a curtain on the annual drama of tornadoes.  We once sat enthralled while listening in disbelief to the nonchalance of friends in a Tulsa, OK suburb who described the ravages of a storm that passed within hailing … More In A Potato Cellar: Beneath the Sign of a Ropey Tornado

Mother of All Roadtrips XI: Herati Hookahs and Heady History

In a class by itself as historical crossroads go, within Herat’s crumbling walls and precincts hangs a brocade of culture with few equals in the world.  Where else might you find cheek by jowl a citadel of Alexander the Macedonian, records of Nestorian evangelists, tombs of Timur’s martial descendants, traces of Persian poets and philosophers, … More Mother of All Roadtrips XI: Herati Hookahs and Heady History

Mother Of All Roadtrips (MOAR) – VI: Grand Trunk Road

On the cusp of summer monsoon, but still swirled in dust and heat, our caravan assembled in the town of Raiwind outside Lahore.  Behold! a three-passenger, improvised roof-rack atop the little red VW station wagon, a small trailer with hitch, an assortment of personal and camping gear, four school-leavers, two adults, their young daughter and … More Mother Of All Roadtrips (MOAR) – VI: Grand Trunk Road

The Mother Of All Road Trips (II): A Schoolboy Fantasy

Almost all epic travels begin in innocence.  The prospective miseries, perils and vagaries of a journey are dwarfed by promise: of discovery, breathless tales, companionship, of besting challenges.  So it was that four school-leavers from an Indian boarding school began dreaming of a Eurasian crossing in the winter of 1965. Our imaginations were aflame with … More The Mother Of All Road Trips (II): A Schoolboy Fantasy

The Mother of All Road Trips: Beyond Route 66 (I)

Got a fantasy road trip squirreled away in the imagination?  Tiptoeing the spine of the Rockies? Tracing the shores of the Great Lakes?  Driving US Route 1 the length of the Eastern Seaboard?  The fantasy jaunt of the American soul would have to be a ramble down U.S. Route 66 – in a tail-finned convertible … More The Mother of All Road Trips: Beyond Route 66 (I)