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A Few Photos from Past Travels.

APOLOGIES FOR THE INTERRUPTION IN THIS SITE’S ACESSABLITY OVER THE PAST TWO DAYS. APPARENTLY SOME ESSENTIAL PROGRAM HAD LAPSED AND ALL IT TOOK TO RESTORE ACCESS TO THIS SITE WAS A FLURRY OF TEXT MESSAGES AND $190.

When I have a few minutes or more to kill, I enjoy looking through the many hundreds of photograph I’ve taken on my travels over the years. Some (probably most) lack the kind of quality that a professional photographer or magazine editor would insist upon, but each one—even those that are over-exposed or a bit out of focus—brings back a specific memory, a moment in time when I saw something that was worth remembering. 

This is the Dordogne River in Central France where it flows past the medieval town of Baynac. There’s a castle in Baynac, and the town itself is well worth visiting, but there’s just something about a river. This photo was taken from a restaurant where roast duck was a specialty. (Those are the kinds of details that seem too easy for me to remember.)

I have always assumed this young man was an employee of the Mongolian railroad checking for any problems with our train. What struck me as unusual at the time was that he was not riding one of the small Mongolian horses. They are so small, in fact, that the feet of a normal-sized rider come close to dragging on the ground.

Canada’s VIA Rail runs a train almost 1100 miles due north from Winnipeg to the town of Churchill, located on the shores of Hudson Bay. This photo was taken as I was leaving after a three-day visit. Time of year: mid-October. Purpose of visit: to see polar bears roaming free in the immediate vicinity of the town. The bears’ only diet are seals caught when they come up for air through holes in the ice after the bay freezes over. In the meantime, residents of Churchill have to be very wary because—to paraphrase an old expression—“Where does a polar bear sleep at night? Answer: Anywhere he wants to! (That’s me heading down the platform to my sleeper where a warm berth was waiting.

There is a horseshoe curve just north of San Luis Obispo, California, and on one of my trips, as we left that station, I took up a position in the last coach on Amtrak’s northbound Coast Starlight.   Sure enough, the moment came and I snapped this photo. But it’s a strange feeling: when I snapped the picture, the rail car I was in was moving to the left, while the locomotive was moving to the right.

This photo was taken from a Norwegian train en route to the town of Flam which was–from the point where this photo was snapped–probably 10 to 15 miles ahead of us. During the descent, which took less than a half hour, the train went in and out of several tunnels. Flam is a popular destination for tourists, partly because of this spectacular train ride, but also because the little town is situated on a fjord that is surrounded by cliffs and is almost 2,000 feet deep.

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