I hope you will visit my photo galleries to enjoy the best images. Your purchases of my photos and books help support my conservation work with young scientists in Latin America, as well as my work with kids in North America. ¡ Muchas gracias !
Galleries include wildlife (especially birds), seashores, and mountain travels. You’ll find more photos from my Peru conservation work. And yes, there’s even a gallery of boats (featuring many types of boats, and even human-powered ones like kayaks, paddleboards and (wind-powered) kite boards. See also my blog:
To support my conservation and educational work, I sell my photos. So I hope you’ll be inspired to donate, every little bit helps! At my photoshelter site (below), you can purchase downloads and prints of any image, and specify the size you want. Feel free to contact me for specific requests (things you know I have photographed, but haven’t posted publicly), or if you have any issues with the site. Your satisfaction is guaranteed! Thank you.
I was fortunate enough to be born in the 1960s in “Alta California”*. In spite of growing up in Los Angeles, I was a sheltered, Anglo kid of the suburbs. I knew surprisingly little about México beyond clicheed stereotypes. I had no Mexican friends, nor had I ever set foot on Mexican soil. I knew there was more, a mystery, and thus began my dreams. This story is about my re-education, with the “real world” as my teacher. Armed with basic Spanish language skills, my backpack, and a sense of great openness and determination, I set out on the path of adventure.
Getting off the beaten path in Mexico
I seek out the far-flung places, far off the beaten path of mass tourism. These places require extra effort to reach–hitched rides on produce trucks or long hikes into the backcountry. The rewards are finding the authentic México experience, where the warmth and friendliness of the local people are matched by their generosity. Such remote villages are often located in beautiful surroundings, usually in the mountains. For the self-reliant pioneers of the Sierra, not changed has much since the Spanish introduced the axe and the plow in the 17th Century, so my journeys have felt like going back in time, as well.
Between 1985 and 1995, I made 12 trips to the mountains of México, forging friendships while wearing out many pairs of walking shoes. This book recounts those adventures, as reconstructed from journals, letters, photos, and memories.
Interwoven in the narrative arc of Sierra Madre Adventures is the unfolding of Eduardo, my Latino personage who “appears” just as we cross over the border: the outgoing, bilingual adventurer who ably straddles the cultural divide, spontaneously adapting to circumstance. Eduardo’s warmth and ease mirrors the Spanish-speaking people he gracefully meets. And in a joyful way, he brings people together with music, belting out a Mexican folk song while accompanying himself on the guitar.
Over the years, Eduardo has brought back the experience of México, absorbed into his pores and soul. Paramount among the many gifts that traveling offers is the opportunity to build intercultural bridges of friendship (amistad) between “todos los Americanos”, North and South.
* Upper California (part of the U.S. since 1849) and distinguished from Baja (lower) California, México.
Adventures well-lived have provided the raw material for my stories, and as years pass, the memories have aged–perhaps gaining a richness of flavor, like a fine wine. I’ve discovered themes as I’ve retold these stories, enthralling listeners around campfires, in living rooms, and even in classrooms and auditoriums. But still, no book published.
Finally, after much simmering and procrastination, I am delighted to share with you, dear reader, these first-hand accounts of wilderness backpacking, rugged mountaineering, and intercultural explorations I’ve made on three continents. Woven together, these adventures have formed the tapestry of my life, and reveal the parallel transformation within, my discovering of “Eduardo”. My sincerest hope is that in reading, you’ll be inspired to explore new frontiers, appreciate natural beauty wherever you journey, and generally expand your own comfort zone.
Giving back: A portion of the proceeds from the books and music will be donated to grassroots organizations working to overcome the environmental and/or social challenges in Latin America. Thank you for your support! ¡Gracias por su apoyo!
Click on any title below to find a summary and some photos.
Sierra Madre Adventures: Walking village to village in the mountains of Mexico
Bamboo Jungles and Untouched Summits: Exploratory Mountaineering in Patagonia
Escape Artist: Twenty years of adventures off the beaten path