Sapphire Hunting in North Carolina

For the finest finds in Franklin, North Carolina, wade right into a mucky hillside and start digging for dirt that might score you a gemstone, at Mason’s Ruby and Sapphire Mine

The Persistence of Memory

I walked away from Pittsburgh 12 years ago to shut the door on the most painful chapter of my life, losing my sister to an unbeatable cancer. A flood of memories haunts me on my return.

Finding Trafalgar Square

It was my first overnight in London, a mere 18 hours to soak in the ambiance before I re-entered the United States after a three month absence. Without looking for it, I found Trafalgar Square.

Kalo Paxi!

Celebrating Easter in Corfu with my sisters, I participated in ancient rituals and witnessed the amazing spectacle of the passing of the flame across the city.

Curious about George in Santorini

Yes, I’ve hiked across a volcano, and a historic one at that: the cinder cone in the middle of the caldera on the island of Santorini, Greece.

North Rim of the Grand Canyon

It’s not easy to get to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and it’s a long ways by car from the popular South Rim. But the views are worth the journey.

The Peanut-Wallah

In India, peace is only for a moment. We had many visitors at the beach in Goa, the most persistent – and cutest – being the peanut-wallah.

Marlow’s Sweethearts

Parakeets fly free in aviaries at Vogelspark Marlow, a unique “bird zoo” in northern Germany.

Atop Ancient Akroteri

It is a tough climb to ancient Akroteri out of season, accomplished on foot through loose volcanic scree. But the view from the top, and the treasures to be found, make it worthwhile.

Poland Mining Camps

One of the most enjoyable research trips I’ve done – this one for Rock & Gem magazine – was a few days deep in the Maine woods at a camp for prospectors, Poland Mining Camps.

Ghosts of Gettysburg

Gettysburg is an uneasy place. So much bloodshed. So much pain. And yet there is beauty on the battlefield, the forests and hills, the monuments placed skillfully so as to invite reflection.

Up on a Roof

The roof of the world, standing atop a rooftop in busy Thamel, Kathmandu, looking out across the circle of mountains surrounding the city.