Welcome! If you’ve thought about retiring and wonder whether travel might be an option for you, read on! I’m curious about our longing for the exotic and our impulse to return to the familiar. I want to learn whether age can bring an augmentation in our perceptions or in our capacity for joy. I like to explore […]

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Bethlehem Pictured in My Mind

Church of the Nativity

I had visited the Bethlehem pictured in my mind over many decades. The sleepy village with shepherds on the hillside. Flocks of sheep bedded nearby for the night. Mary tenderly holding the Infant Jesus. Joseph hovering protectively, a wooden manger off to the side. That’s the Bethlehem created for us in pageants and paintings, stories […]

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Goats in Argan Trees

8 Goats in an argan tree

When I saw the goats in argan trees, we were driving the 207 highway in Morocco from Ouarzazate toward Essaouira. Yes, this surprised me, but I wasn’t  astonished. After all, just last spring I saw goats on a yurt roof in Coombs, British Columbia. With such sightings of goats in unlikely places, the one seemed to […]

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Expect the Unexpected Regarding Animals in Morocco

Last Lion of Ifrane

Like much else in the country, expect the unexpected regarding animals in Morocco. Let’s start with cats. They’re everywhere. We were told that during medieval times, cats were deliberately imported to take care of the rat problem. They were so successful in the task that they’ve been regarded as a clean and useful member of […]

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Legendary Souks of Morocco Figure Repeatedly

My Marrakesh puff

The legendary souks of Morocco figure repeatedly in novels and movies and word-of-mouth tales. But, if you really want to purchase something, all souks are not equal. I care about accuracy and a balanced view when writing about a new experience. But I suspect that goal is indefinable when faced with a souk. Well, I […]

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Morocco’s Liquid Treasure Flows Above and Below

Earthen canal (seguia)

Morocco’s liquid treasure flows above and below ground. And that means WATER. To more fully understand this amazing country, I did a little investigating about the relationship between long sun hours (see my blog on solar power in Morocco) and the ground beneath our feet (see my blog about the sand and gravel Sahara), and […]

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Morocco’s Deserts of Sand and Gravel

Camel in rock desert

Morocco’s deserts of sand and gravel are key to appreciating both the beauty and the dilemma of this colorful country. As I traveled from region to region, I was amazed to see so much dry gravel where I had expected to see flowing sand dunes. I have to confess that I spent most of my […]

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To Understand the Amazing Country of Morocco

Solar panel in Sahara oasis below Erg Chebbi

To understand the amazing country of Morocco, I think you have to begin with the sun above, the sand beneath, and water that flows both above and below. Travelers tend to ascribe a certain mystique to Morocco. Often it focuses on notions of the exotic such as the aromatics of its flavorful cuisine, belly dancers […]

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Moroccan Sahara with Camels and Kasbahs

Entry to Xaluca Maadid

Playing in the Moroccan Sahara with camels and kasbahs and Bedouin hosts used to seem remote and unlikely, also exotic and potentially dangerous. I’m sensitive to what a difficult environment for humans this desert has presented historically, so my experience in the Erg Chebbi seemed somewhat unreal, a little like being on a huge film […]

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Minaret to Mansion in Cowboy Country

Civic Center in Moorish Revival

When you first encounter Helena, Montana, you might wonder how such a diversity of architectural lines could happen, from minaret to mansion in cowboy country. We drove into town on Prospect Avenue. About the time it intersected with a street called Last Chance Gulch, we knew we were in mining country. But in the distance, […]

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Cathedral of Saint Helena to Gates of the Mountains

Missouri River, Helena, MT

For our final day in Helena, Montana, we moved from an early mass in Cathedral of Saint Helena to Gates of the Mountains Boat tour on the Missouri River. In a way, the architecture of a Gothic cathedral with the nave and transept below soaring arches and columns appears similar to the placidly flowing Missouri […]

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