Corps of Discovery-ish


With one week to explore the lands around the mouth of the Columbia we listened to stories of the Lewis and Clark expedition, tried to learn the verses to “Roll on Columbia”, hiked, paddled and had a great time.

Mt St Helens, Johnston Ridge
Silver Lake near Seaquest State Park
Mt Hood
Sacajawea Park, Longview
Julia Butler Hansen Columbia Refuge for the White Tailed Deer
Dr Forsstrom’s parrot at the Flavel House
North Head lighthouse, Cape Disappointment State Park
Fort Canby at the mouth of the Columbia
Lewis and Clark River near Fort Clatsop
Tallow candle demo at the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. The crew spent the winter of 1805 – 1806 here.
Cannon Beach, we didn’t find a whale carcass like Lewis and Clark but we did see this!
Tualatin River

A Visit to Italy



Visit with Anna and Claudio. Urbino is in the background.

Urbino church paintings.

San Vitale, Ravenna

Garibaldi biking in Ravenna.

Latin palindrome graffiti.

Madonna and child

Prayer wheels in Pennabilli honoring a visit from the Dalai Lama.

Theodric, King of the Ostrogoths, enjoys biking in Ravenna.


Pennabilli countryside, the backdrop to the Mona Lisa painting.

Dante’s tomb

Urbino church painting.

Ornate door in Urbino.

Floor mosaic Ravenna.

Mosaics in Ravenna.

Sweet salt from Cervian seawater pans. This salt is reputed to have medicinal properties.

Historic salt storage building in Cervia.

Seafood pasta

Emilia-Romagna countryside

Beach at Cervia.

A Tonino Guerra poem; the first time he recognized being happy after release from a German internment camp was when he saw a butterfly and didn’t want to eat it.

Vitoria-Gasteiz, Capital of Spanish Basque Country



In Vitoria-Gasteiz since yesterday.​ The city was founded over 900 years ago and the old town has an ancient feel.

Here’s a video of traditional dancing:

Open the door and build gardens (per Google translate).


Art museum

There was a fair recreating the time of the Peninsular War against the French.

More great graffiti.

Writer Ignacio Aldecoa. Bookstores and monuments to writers and poets are all over Spain. People read!

Adorable tiny dogs in jackets abound; “los mascotas”.

Old city wall

Traditional bread

Wall art

Window display


Traditional dancers

We took a tour of the under-renovation cathedral.


Old town

Garden at the base of the Cathedral.

The Basque freedom organization, ETA, has disbanded but political prisoners are still held all over Spain. There is an effort to have them moved to prisons closer to families and to get proper medical care.

Main square

San Sebastián 



We’ve been in Donastia (San Sebastian), for the past couple of days. It has a Belle Époque feel; walking along the beach promenade I could picture women with parasols and men wearing straw hats.

I had some truly delicious slow cooked pork pintxos (small dishes) at La Cuchera de San Telmo.

All signs are in Spanish and Basque and it does sound very different from anything else I’ve ever heard. Our hotel receptionist was patient enough to teach me a few phrases:

  • Kaixo (kaysho) – hello
  • Eskerrik asko (eskerry asko) – thank you

We took the funicular up to the high point.


Playa de la Concha


Traditional women’s wear – banned by the church for being too suggestive!



City services

Old town

River Urumea – incredible tidal flow



    Burgos is one of the provincial capitals in Castille – Leon with a lovely river walk and amazing Gothic architecture.

    El Cid

    City gate




    Yes, cathedral!

    Other city gate

    View from castle on hill destroyed by Napoleon’s forces.

    Río Arlanzon


    Las Huelgas Monastery – worth visiting!

    Favorite son – El Cid


    Stained glass

    Letter slot

    Yup, Cathedral!

    More fabulous doors.