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

New Vision for San Antonio’s Old Missions

©Bert Gildart: Here in San Antonio, Texas, the great good news is that a bicycle trail is being developed that will take cyclists all the way from the Alamo, located in the downtown area, to Estrada, the area’s most distant of missions. That’s a distance of about 30 miles, and an optimistic date for completion is two years.


Cycling to missions is now being made easier with developing trail

Currently a trail that parallels the San Antonio River already exists and it allows cyclist to ride from Mission Concepcion to Mission Estrada, a round trip distance of about 15 miles. That’s what Janie and I did yesterday, and there is absolutely no more enjoyable way to to explore the history of early Texas than to cruise along the river, looking at birds and then taking the spur roads that lead to the various missions.


In short, the missions of San Antonio were more than just churches; they were communities. Each was a fortified village with its own church, farm and ranch. Here, Franciscans gathered native peoples and converted them to Catholicism, taught them to live as Spaniards, and with them, maintained control over the Texas frontier.


Beauty of the missions

The Franciscans established six missions along the San Antonio River in the early 1700s, and five of them survived. Together, along with the Villa of San Fernando, they became the foundation of the city of San Antonio. Today, as the many signs at the missions inform, “they serve as elegant reminders of the Indians and Hispanic peoples contributions to the United States.”


The campground at which Janie and I are staying, Travelers World, provides immediate access to the Mission Trail. Because photography is such an important part of my outings our adventures required the entire day. Each mission offered different vignettes of a by-gone era, and at one place we saw an old grist mill in action. In another, a young lady was using Mission San Jose as a backdrop for her soon-to-be wedding, and few settings we both agreed could be more beautiful.


Bells at the Mission of San Juan Capistrano

Though we toured all the missions except the Alamo, which is also an old mission, we plan a return to several, simply because the lighting was wrong for certain features such an old east-facing wall. As mentioned, we’re also here to visit old friends, so between the two we’re staying very busy.




*Mohave National Preserve

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy

Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy

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