Archive for January, 2014

Paradise Lost

“Paradise” is always in the “Eye of the Beholder.” For some it may be a harem of never-aging concubines; for others, a long street of boutiques and an unlimited bank account; for others, a box of cupcakes and for others a lake full of hungry fish.  It depends on one’s experiences, needs, likes, dislikes, and ideas of bliss. I once spent a summer riding the backcountry of the Big Horn Mountains that seemed at the time to be paradise. What I needed was solitude; the matchless beauty and uniqueness of the place were added gifts.

For some, a “loss of paradise” is much easier to see.  It can be a decaying city, a power-line stretching out across a mountainside, a string of billboards almost anywhere, or, a really high pollen count.

This post is about a trip I made into the Colombian portion of the Upper Amazon Basin over 25 years ago where the loss of paradise was easy to see. But you won’t find that story here. Once again it is on this Blog’s Bio at “Paradise Lost.”

It is not a new story. Rather it is from a small book that a friend and I edited called The Bottoms Up of International Development which is a collection of stories that friends had been telling one another for years about their experiences in international development.  We blackmailed them into putting them down on paper. The book is worth a look and may still be available on Amazon.



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In Search of . . .

A couple of years ago, I asked a mutual friend if she would introduce me to Forrest Fenn—I wanted to see if I could visit his ruin in the Galisteo Basin. She did and the three of us were having hot chocolate at the Collected Works Bookstore when I began to question him about the predicament he had gotten himself into by being shot down over Laos and he confessed something he had never told anyone before.

I’ll let him tell you what that is if he wants to, but the conversation brought up some interesting questions, one of which was “If he felt that his knowledge of the wilderness around Yellowstone would have helped him survive in the wilderness that surrounded him in Laos?”

He said, “No. Survival didn’t depend on those things.“ What I took from the rest of the conversation was that “You are never lost if you know where you are.”  You can digest that one for a while and then go to my Bio for the next edition of me. Scroll down to “In Search of . . .” in the text. For those of you who lack the interest (understandable) or who have a moralistic prejudice against voyeurism, and haven’t looked in on my Bio, you probably ought to read the last three or four sections of the Bio to understand this one.

Happy New Year all,


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