Friday, April 30, 2010

Airport security pointers for US travel

Ahhh, the life of an explorer. Discovering new places is a great way to live, but it comes at some cost, and I'm not talking about just the airline ticket price. Making your way through security at the airports can be a downright messy process, and on more than one occasion has contributed to me missing a flight. In my many travels, I've noticed that many complications in the security line could be reduced if travelers knew a little more about what to expect at the checkpoint. Those of us who come prepared probably won't be "that guy" who halts all 200 people behind us in cue because security has to stop us to tell us to take out our liquids. If we know how to avoid such hiccups at the checkpoint, we breeze through, on to the anxiously awaited destination less stressed, while also helping those behind us enjoy their own travel adventure just a little more. In light of that, be sure to check out the TSA Travel Assistant web page before your next trip in the US. It has some great pointers and might save you some hassle. Happy travels!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Doing a Little of A Lot in Moab

And on the eighth day he created Moab. In fact he’s still tweaking it!

Named after the “Plains of Moab,” which are spoken of in the Bible and are found along the Dead Sea beside the Jordan River, Moab, Utah is located on an ancient sunken salt pad adjacent to solidified sand dunes beneath the towering Volcanic LaSalle Mountains entertained by the nearby Colorado River.

Moab is a surreal, geologic oddity that yields some of the most scenic and challenging whitewater rafting the West has to offer, the world’s most legendary slick rock that is a Mecca for bikers and jeepers, and is completed with high alpine lakes accompanied by peaks that are upwards of 12,600 feet, not to forget national parks and abandoned movie sets.

This strange land has an almost spiritual aura that seems to have an affinity to artisans, miners, soul-searchers, and adrenaline junkies. This makes for a dynamic, shifting, almost transient population. Few stay for good in Moab; most just move on through. In fact, it seems most just squeeze what they can out of it, then go. Some enjoy Moab in a hurried race, never to return.

But Moab is one of those places that you should return to. I have been returning since I first went mountain biking there as a boy scout. I returned again last Spring for biking, and again in the Fall to go rafting with my sister Brenda, who is one of the lucky few who “eddied out” in Moab, racking up 15 years guiding the river. I have done a little of a lot of things in Moab, but the thing that I keep going back for is the mountain biking. And if you’re planning on going there for biking, the latest story at is one you should read.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Mighty Mean Fowt Fight

I am, it has to be said, a war buff. World War II, if you want to get specific, though I'll read just about anything about any war, from World War I to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Civil War, too, is of interest, certainly because of brave men like Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee, insitgators like Harriet Beecher Stowe, characters like John Brown, and the shame of Jim Crow. So to walk these battlefields -- Gettysburg, Arlington, and others -- is solemn. Introspective. And fills one with thankfulness that all is quiet at these sites today.

That's what Uncharted staffer John Milligan discovered in Missouri, exploring the battlefield at Bloody Hill, Wilson's Creek, Missouri. Men died there, where groomed grass and placards stand. Men fought there, where the visitors center stands and where the flag flaps. It's holy ground. It's part of our uncharted legacy.