The Burden of Being Fancy

The Burden of Being Fancy

When I got my Nikon D800 four years ago I thought, this camera is going to change my life. I dubbed her "Fancy" and vowed to travel the world with her, taking once in a lifetime photographs that would have National Geographic pounding at my door. Today, I just think about how much she makes [...]

Ireland’s Most Haunted Castle

Ireland’s Most Haunted Castle

I love ghost stories. From the haunted vaults of Edinburgh to the castles of Ireland, and from New England battlefields to the streets of New Orleans, I've taken every opportunity to scare myself silly. I even went through a phase in which I watched Ghost Hunters every week on the SyFy channel just to get travel [...]

Freedom and the Great American Road Trip

Freedom and the Great American Road Trip

Before flying off on my European adventure a couple of years ago, I sold most of my possessions, including my car. Well, all great adventures eventually come to an end, and when I returned home—halfway through autumn 2015—I had to find alternative forms of transportation until I could afford to buy another vehicle. I moved [...]

742 Pictures Later

742 Pictures Later

I returned home from Ireland in June with 742 new pictures. Some of them will become part of future blog posts, some will end up on Facebook or in my online gallery. Most of them will never leave my computer. One of the challenges I have after each trip is to decide what photo to [...]

Yours to Explore: A Tour of Scattery Island

Yours to Explore: A Tour of Scattery Island

I’ve been fascinated with abandoned monastic sites, famine villages, and other ruins ever since I first visited Ireland seven years ago. Their bones slowing crumbling into the earth, ancient buildings leave you wondering about what life would have been like anywhere from 50 to 1,500 years ago. Achill Island has its deserted village, tucked away [...]

Every Town has its Ghosts

Every Town has its Ghosts

Ghosts are good for business, and Port Townsend, Washington has its fair share of stories. Manresa Castle is haunted by a heartbroken woman, whose love never returned from the Great War, and a Jesuit priest. A Lady in White wanders the grounds of Point Wilson Lighthouse and is, allegedly, a bit of a snoop; she [...]

Oak Alley Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation

When planning my trip to New Orleans, several people suggested visiting a plantation. Oak Alley, an hour outside the city, was of particular interest because of its 300-year-old alley of McDonogh oaks. More than that, though, I felt a trip was important because it would provide a glimpse into the antebellum South's history, juxtaposing the [...]

Grandma

Grandma

I moved away from Minnesota when I was 18 and haven't always been the best at communicating with family members back home. This is especially irksome to my mom's mom, who happens to be a prolific letter-writer. Once, when I returned for my parent's 25th wedding anniversary, Grandma asked me, "Have your hands healed?" "Nothing's wrong with [...]

40 Days

40 Days

My mom turned 40 at Kramer’s Supper Club in Evansville, Minnesota, a no-stoplight town in the West Central farmlands. It was a surprise party. I was 17-years-old at the time and the only one of my 4 siblings to snag an invite because I had a car and agreed to sneak in the cake ahead [...]