It’s December 2017. I’m at a windswept campground just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, about to travel to Baja California in a three-vehicle convoy of women I barely know. Lori hands me a walkie talkie so we can communicate while we’re driving. “I’m Big Bear. Oso Grande,” she says. “Cami is Little Bear, Osito.” She… Read More Call Me Jenny Quest.
I get this question a lot with the Avion — and now I’m getting it with the Silver Streak. No, it’s not an Airstream. But all of them drew on the same post-World War Two airplane design and technology — riveted aluminum, rounded edges for streamlined aerodynamics on the road. “Famous Aircraft Riveted Construction” They… Read More Is it an Airstream?
As I was scrounging around in my Scrivener archive today, I found this piece I wrote nearly a year ago, in April 2018, as I was gearing up for the Heart of America tour. I’m not sure why I didn’t post it then. It seems even more relevant now that I’m back and have had… Read More Find Myself a City to Live In
Last August, I got an email about the 2019 Key West Literary Seminar. I’d been there ten years earlier, in 2009, when the theme was Historical Fiction and I was looking for help transforming my academic work on Crossfire and the Hollywood blacklist into a historical novel. That workshop a decade ago with novelist-memoirist-travel writer… Read More The Animal Club
We’ve run them, we’ve crunched them, added them up and broken them down, and finally, the numbers are in! For those of you with a quantitative bent, enjoy. For those of you looking for something a bit more qualitative, what can I say…. It was a really big road trip and we need some down… Read More By the Numbers: The Heart of America Tour
I’ll be the first to admit it: I seriously overpacked for my trip to Baja last winter. Anyone who’s ever taken an extended vacation to an unfamiliar (or even familiar!) place will totally understand this: “Oh, just one more pair of jeans. Oh, and that X, and that Y, and maybe both of those Zs….”… Read More Traveling Light: Downsizing for the Road
Say hello to my little friend. Her name is Hymenolepsis. She’s a gut parasite. And she and a whole crew of her little friends recently made themselves at home in my belly. After all the jokes I heard about Montezuma’s Revenge when I told people I was going to Mexico, I would have expected something… Read More Say Hello to My Little Friend: Parasite Woes
When I bought my camper, few of the core systems – plumbing, electrical (except for the refrigerator) – were still in working order. The guy who sold me the Avion had solved his lighting needs by dotting the walls and cabinets with those plastic stick-on LED disks. A perfectly serviceable system, but I wanted more.… Read More Fiat Lux!: Lighting Options for the Road
The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well here in Baja. Whether you’re staying in an RV park or parked on one of the beachside campgrounds, local vendors show up almost daily to peddle their wares out of the back of dusty vans and pickup trucks. Here at Playa Norte, the RV park I’m staying in… Read More Delivered Straight to Your Doorstep: Entrepreneurial Baja
In 1968, when I was six years old, my family joined the wave of American tourists flooding into Baja after the completion of the new highway. Newly relocated to Orange County from the heart of Illinois, my parents were in love with the sun and surf of California and charmed by a neighbor’s tales of… Read More Baja Bound: Heading Back After 50 Years