Campus Martius – Heart of Detroit

old“After the great fire of 1805 which destroyed most of Detroit, Judge Woodward was appointed to oversee the city’s rebuild plan to lay out the streets, squares and lots with the assistance of the best surveyors from Canada. They placed their instruments and astronomical devices on the summit of a huge stone from which they viewed the planets and meteors in order to determine “true North.” Today, we still call this the “Point of Origin,” which is located in center of Campus Martius at the junction of Woodward and Monroe. It is from this point that the City of Detroit’s coordinate system was created.

Continue reading “Campus Martius – Heart of Detroit”

Getting Gassed at the Pumps

oregon-woman-pump-gasHas anyone figured out the method to the madness of gas pricing across the Province of Ontario? It surely doesn’t have much to do with the price of a barrel of oil anymore. I used to think greedy petroleum companies jacked their prices up on the weekends and then slowly lowered them during the week, but there seems to be no master plan.

Driving through the eastern states and provinces this summer I noticed fairly consistent prices in each area. In Ontario prices can vary up to fifteen cents a liter between Windsor and Toronto. Where we used to hate having to gas up on the 401, now the prices along the route can be cheaper than in the city.

Continue reading “Getting Gassed at the Pumps”

The People We Meet

IMG_0398When Cathryn and I travel it’s not all about the journey or the destination, or even the food and drink. Granted, those are all good reasons as to why we travel, but we also love to meet new people and share in their culture. People are one of the reasons you’ll see us perched on stools at the bar instead of sitting at a table by ourselves.

It’s not that we don’t enjoy each other’s company, we do, and we travel well together. Spending days or weeks together 24/7 can be trying for any couple or even close friends. Consider yourself lucky if you can get along with your travel partner.

Continue reading “The People We Meet”

The Country of Quebec

IMG_5906

Look closely at this picture and you’ll see one of the very few Canadian flags hanging limp, in the province of Quebec. The lovable red maple leaf is notably missing from government buildings, businesses, and homes across the French section of Canada. Are separatists still at work there, trying to divide our country.

Cathryn and I spent twelve days on the road, motorcycling from Windsor to Quebec City, and back. We spent the Canada Day weekend in the Kingston/Gananoque area, where civic and country pride were evident everywhere. Red and white banners, Canadian flags, and the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary flag were everywhere.

Continue reading “The Country of Quebec”

A Casual Traveler – 2nd Edition

Layout 1

          * NEW RELEASE *

SECOND EDITION – Re-edited, with More Stories

A Casual Traveler is a collection of short stories and poems that chronicle my adventures and misadventures around the world.

Let me take you to exotic countries in Southeast Asia, and Central or South America, to explore great cities like Buenos Aires or Seattle, and ancient sites like Angkor Wat or Machu Picchu.

I’ll introduce you to interesting people from around the globe, and share my culinary experiences with strange and gourmet food.

Sail with me on a wooden Junk boat in Ha Long Bay. Take an exhilarating motorcycle ride across the country or to the top of Pike’s Peak in the Rocky Mountains.

Get off the beaten path, I dare you. Follow me to places that you have only dreamed of. Take a trip with A Casual Traveler.

Unintended Adventures

img_5003

            What exactly is an adventure and where do you find one? Touring companies offer them all the time—they must know. Usually, for a tidy sum of money, they promise unique adventures that anyone can go on. Is that being adventurous—going where everyone else has gone before? Sure it is, but we don’t need to spend our hard earned money to have someone else show us something different, off the beaten path.

            We call ourselves tourists, when we venture off to discover something new and different from the norm. Unfortunately, many of us become sheep, using travel agents and guide services to tell us how and where to find what we seek. For hard working individuals who need to get away from it all, there is nothing wrong with that.

            For real travelers, or adventurers, we know what is required. We know that you have to get off that beaten path, peek over that fence, look around the next corner, and drive down that next road to see where it leads. It’s not rocket science, it’s a yearning, curiosity, and desire to enrich ourselves and learn something new. It’s enlightenment.

Continue reading “Unintended Adventures”