Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Flattery Works

Bert Gildart: Friends in Montana forward our mail as we travel, but because we’re seldom in one place long, sometime its arrival is very much delayed. Yesterday, almost a month’s worth caught up, and in the box were four magazines to which I had contributed stories.

Three of the magazines containing my stories are published by the Affinity Group, the organization that represents the Good Sam Club. The firm appreciates my work, and has provided me with the type of flattering comments that all people in the arts absolutely require. An editor at the Affinity Group once told me that the receipt of my stories is like opening Christmas presents, and that she always looks forward to reading my articles and seeing my photographs. She’s a good psychologist, and knows the value of keeping contributors happy; and I believe if employers everywhere offered more flattery rather than criticism, productivity would increase.

Specifically, the three stories appeared in Trailer Life and Motorhome magazines. The January and March issue of Trailer Life contained my stories on Madison, Wisconsin and Grand Portage respectively. Two years ago, the Outdoor Writers Association of America held their annual conference in Madison, and during the time, we came to appreciate the bicycle and hiking trails this metropolitan area has included in its development.

GRAND PORTAGE: Grand Portage National Monument preserves an old fort not far from the Pigeon River, all of which are located along the west shore of Lake Superior. The monument also preserves portions of the old trail, and because of the trail, which I hiked, I was able to compare my capabilities to those of the “engages,” perhaps one of the toughest groups of men to walk the face of the planet. However, when I hiked the trail for my story, I cheated a bit, and rather than carry a load that might exceed 200 pounds, I carried a small day pack and camera. And at the end of the day, I was back at my camper, where the screen door shut out the mosquitoes.

Engages hiked the 8-mile-long trail as it provided a “grand portage” around Pigeon River Falls. Upon completion of the portage, they’d then strike out into the wilderness to trap and hunt for furs, primarily the beaver.

The third Affinity story was about the Alamo and the famous River Walk, which I spoke about the other day in a posting. That story with photographs is in this month’s issue of Motorhome.

The forth story concerns Bosque Del Apache, and it is entitled Flights of the Snow Geese, spectacles of the Cranes. The story appears in Airstream Life magazine, and like the editors at the Affinity Group, Rich is also a good psychologist, and periodically forwards me flattering comments. One of his readers wrote and said that the photography accompanying the story was “worthy of the Geographic.”

Rich knew that would make my day.

EXPLORE! Finally, advanced copies of our book entitled Explore! Glacier National Park and the Flathead Valley, were waiting, and we were delighted with its appearance—and delighted with the hard work Julie Marsh, our editor, expended. Janie and I always enjoy hearing Julie’s upbeat comments, which elicit our best efforts.

Essentially, the book is a guide to the huge backyard that Janie and I explore when home. Content and material come from hours and hours of work Janie conducted spelling out the nitty-gritty of trail locations and the features each area offers.

As well, the book distills from the many essays and stories I’ve been writing about Glacier and the Flathead for the past 25 years. Though the stories have been modified for this publication, some came from publications such as Field & Stream, Smithsonian, Trailer Life and Motorhome—and also from stories I wrote during my newspaper years.

The book is a Falcon Book, published by Globe Pequot, and in a few weeks when general shipments arrive at Globe Pequot, I’ll tell where to obtain copies.

At the moment we’re still in Tucson, preparing for a day at the Sonora Desert Museum. Tomorrow we depart for Organ Pipe National Monument.

Leave a Reply