The way we roll

A rolling chain in red and baby blue. Gritty, dusty but with flowing ease enough to wind and wend those last kays back to the end that had been the beginning. That Patuxay ‘monster of concrete’ whose silhouette lured our peloton with cheery celebration as we rolled on through Vientiane traffic into the sunset. I’d…

Reclaiming the Romance

Today, just as I returned from visiting Bradley’s last home – the one we didn’t share after 6 character-filled places in 12 years – this was the memory Facebook presented me with: a journey of mud and meandering we shared 2 years ago. And it made me smile. And dig up the old journal entry from…

Bradley Schroeder: Free at Last

On the morning of the day I heard the news of your death, this was my Facebook memory: That pic made me smile that morning. It still does. Memories from some special days with good people. Family time. You’d made that your Facebook profile pic until not long before we split 18 months ago. And…

Santar’s Home

Journeys within Journeys. Two of us on hired motorcycles, up somewhere near Laos’ border with China, with a handwritten note we can’t read. Two of us tootling about on New Year’s Eve, looking for Max’s mom. Seeing a group of women sunning themselves outside a small shop, I stop the bike and head over, bowing slightly…

What lies beneath 

In your head, in your Head they are fighting With their tanks and their bombs And their bombs and their guns In your head, In your head they are cryin’ Lady in red. Super-short dress. Looking so stylish in the particular way of stick-figure women. The way they manage to avoid looking sleazy through the mere fact…

The Luck Tour

“You mean that’s it? I feel cheated!” That’s Dominique reaching the top of the forested mountain pass after 2597m of altitude gain over a 22km sustained climb in cold, drenching rain. A happy Dominique. The very same one that whined to Facebookland not two weeks earlier: “Unfitness. It’s a Thing. Not just mere Lack of…

Life’s like that: Lessons learned motorcycling in Laos

1. Look ahead. Edge-suck. Rock-suck. Tree-suck. Every mountain biker, snowboarder, kayaker — and anyone else who attaches themselves to hard physical objects to throw themselves across the earth on a dodge-‘em course of hard physical objects — knows this. I know this. I knew it before I began motorcycling a year and a half ago. I knew it before…

Dreams Afloat

This week, on what was a normal schoolnight in the Western world, we lit candles under a full moon and, with thoughts of future, sent scented flower rafts on a downstream Mekong journey. The festival of Ock Pansa, or known regionally as Loi Kratong, takes place on the evening of the full moon of the…

Most Secret Place on Earth: Long Chen ain’t tellin’

It slowly dawned on me that I had a tail. There I was on the runway of what was once both one of the busiest airports in the world and the most secret places on earth. It were the adolescent water buffalo wot dunnit. I’d been taking pics of the family of ducks strutting across…

In the Clouds of Forever

And they call this work! I went hiking last week in the remote north or Laos. Hiking a brand new trail that’s just been cut, to ‘survey’ it for the Wildlife Conservation Society. I’ll be writing it all up at http://www.NamEt.org, and creating material to send out to media in time for the October launch of…