The Buffalo Incident

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Before I tell you my story, let’s clear up one thing: the correct term is bison, not buffalo, for the North American branch of the bovidae family. Early American settlers called them ‘buffalo’ because of their similarity to the African cape buffalo and Asian water buffalo. And still today, locals in South Dakota and Wyoming continue to use the term buffalo to refer to what are actually bison – even though it is a different animal, not merely an interchangeable name for the same animal.

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An American Pilgrimage

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I had crossed most of South Dakota, passing not far from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s little house on the prairie, paused in the Badlands, and was now heading into the Black Hills with the Beatles song “Rocky Raccoon” running through my head. I couldn’t resist a look at Mt. Rushmore – […]

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The Middle of Middle America

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I love the term Middle America, however vague it may be. It describes the place where the Average Joe and Average Jill reside, the everyman (and everywoman) archetypes who this elitism-averse culture reveres as the quintessential Americans. Where better to experience Middle America than in the Midwest? It is a […]

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Contemplating Canada

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Back in August 1988, then presidential nominee George H. W. Bush called for a ‘kinder, gentler,’ America. “Wait a minute,” said those of us living north of the border. “That’s us. It’s Canada.” I remembered Bush’s catchphrase when I crossed the border and immediately felt a subtle shift in culture […]

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The Road Through Kansas

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The day I crossed the State of Kansas I saw… Green pastures and golden fields White clouds and blue skies Grain silos Cell telephone towers White wind turbines Jesus smiling at me from the side of the road The first piece of the national Interstate highway system ever built, in […]

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Storm Chasing in Colorado

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Upon awakening in Santa Fe it was heartening to read that some rain was expected that afternoon, since the Southwest is drought-stricken. “We’ll see if we get more than a few drops,” said a friend, whose home we visited midday near Taos. Even the hint of some weather (as they refer to […]

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Footprints in New Mexico

For many of us, the Santa Fe area is inextricably tied to the legacy of Georgia O’Keeffe, a 20th century pioneer of abstract modern art. Though married to famed photographer Alfred Stieglitz, O’Keeffe left him in New York in order to dwell in the American Southwest, where she felt most […]

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Meet Gunter

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In June, 2014, my dog and I are setting off on a 10-day trip across the continent from of Ojai, California to my hometown of Toronto, Canada. In August, we’ll drive home along an entirely different route.  This is our summer on the road, a couple of middle aged pals […]

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