Category: Essays

My Traveling Blues: A life on the road

Blues guitarist Charles Baty (“Little Charlie and the Nightcats”) is a friend of HI Travel Tales. Although Baty semi-retired in 2008 (his co-founder continues with the award-winning Nightcats band), he stills steps into a gig or a tour now and then which takes him on the road. He has offered some of his personal journal entries to HI Travel Tales during this Golden State-Lone Star Revue tour with Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors.

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Make travel important in your New Year’s resolutions

Sometimes you get stuck in a grind, a life that sucks you into a day-to-day routine that leads to being unfit and unhealthy. Sometimes, if you make travel important, travel can be your lifesaver, leading you to a fresh start or exposing you to a mind-opening experience that affects you deeply and changes your life forever.

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It’s my mum’s birthday … I miss her

Today is Mother’s Day for me, my mum’s birthday. Though Mary passed away on May 27, 2001, following a painful battle with cancer, I still take time every Dec. 12 to honor her. I miss my mother, but today, as I do on every birthday of hers, I smile at the many wonderful memories, and thank her for all she gave to me.

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iPad Art: Watercolors From Michael’s Travel Journal

As a traveler, adventurer, and artist I have long enjoyed sketching and painting, but it was not until a bucket-list trip in 2012 where I crewed on a sailboat for the crossing from Fiji to New Zealand that I discovered a passion for channeling my creative side on the iPad and creating unique pieces of iPad art. My original pieces were quick sketches and watercolors created with the program Paper53. I also draw and paint, favoring oil pastel, ink and watercolor, working primarily in the program Procreate as I enjoy the numerous brushes and pens and wide color pallet to choose...

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A Traveler’s Shanghai – We are the people

Rain slick streets of Shanghai lie worn but resolute under two millennia of bare feet, sandals, hooves and wheels. The people run to work, hurry to school, linger in produce shops; peddling bikes, racing scooters, driving beat-down cars and over-stuffed delivery trucks. We are packed onto buses, waving for taxis and queuing for the metro.

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Messing About in Boats: White water rafting on the Green River

“Hang on,” yelled our river guide Kevin with a grin. Leaning hard against the river’s pull, the oars bent slightly and the raft heaved to, taking a line that would carry us clear of the rocks, but right into the heart of the maelstrom. Heartbeats kept pace with the increasing speed of the raft as Kevin launched us into the jumble of waves. The raft bucked and heaved, so much so that in the middle of the rapid I managed to execute a nearly perfect back flip with a twist, landing smack in Kevin’s lap.

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A road with irons: Dolomites Via Ferrata Tridentina

I stood at the bottom of the cliffs, staring up at my first Dolomites via ferrata, or “road with irons,” — the Via Ferrata Tridentina.

“Where does it go?” I asked the others with me as we slipped on our harnesses and helmets to head out on the Tridentina route in Italy’s Dolomites. I squinted into the sun, trying to make out any of the iron stairs, cables or ladders along the route on the rock face stretching to the sky above. “Can we see it from here? It doesn’t go straight up THAT, does it?”

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Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run: I think I can, I think I can…

It was only 7 a.m. and we were still in the Sierra high country making our way over snow banks when the first warm gust of wind brushed my eyelashes. “Well, that’s a harbinger of things to come,” I mumbled aloud to no one in particular although the comment elicited grunts from the Western States 100 competitors who happened to be near me only two hours after the pre-dawn start in 2006. Per Murphy’s Law, the temperatures just days before the 33rd running of the granddaddy of 100 milers on June 24, 2006, suddenly spiked to about 106 degrees...

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