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Rare Air Episode 21 and July 2017 desktop calendar

An original desktop calendar for July appears at the bottom of this post.

In my earliest visions for “Rare Air,” I had a general sense of wanting to share nature with others in the loving spirit of some sage advice my late father-in-law Bill Kiefert gave me often, reminding me to stop and smell the flowers. This simple and essential idea goes a long way in defining what I am aspiring to do here… and yet, today I’m aware of a deeper lesson. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 19 and March 2017 desktop calendar

An original desktop calendar for March appears at the bottom of this post.

For my brave parents and for Beth’s, moving to Florida was a dream that became reality back in the 1970s. While many among their generation of northerners in Wisconsin and Illinois shared their aspirations for the warmer climate – and for adventures that connected with the wild more directly than anything happening in those homelands – only the rare few made the leap of faith to re-cast themselves and their children as Floridians. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 18 and January 2017 desktop calendar

An original desktop calendar for January appears at the bottom of this post.

For Beth and me, our conjoined “life before kids” began in about 1989… and before leaving Central Florida for Southern California on New Year’s Day, 1998, we toured the Sunshine State from top to bottom. Just before Amelia arrived in 2001, we returned to the Southeast. Since staking our claim in the Blue Ridge Mountains and welcoming Riley in 2003, we and our kids have continued to experience Florida as tourists. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 17: Saint John – Underwater

Scroll way down for an original desktop calendar for November.

June 11 is the date we planned to arrive in Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands, before staying on for another nine nights. In the months leading up to that, I spent a lot of time daydreaming about those moments we’d be spending in paradise. My inner photobug also drove me to great lengths to gear up for the trip, as I got serious about capturing more captivating moments to feed into new Rare Air chapters. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 16: Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Scroll way down for an original desktop calendar for September.

Thank you for joining me here to ring in the autumn of 2016 and sample some of the experiences gathered earlier this year in Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands. I have referred to it as our vacation of vacations, giving you a sense of how much fun you’ll have when you go. The day I shot the footage appearing in Rare Air episode 16 is one I will never forget. Read more

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August 2016 desktop calendar


Featured Image: 2016 photo from the ferry ride leaving Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 15: Tongue Point, Washington, Part Three


Scroll on down for an original desktop calendar for July.

Our friends Richard and Heidi Campbell of Boone were other big inspirations for this trip. A couple of years earlier, they and their kids had spent many months settled in Christchurch, New Zealand, and afterward, they shared a photo album with us from their travels. I can still recall the powerful envy I felt seeing them in those heavenly natural locations, where geography defies the imagination, and everywhere one sees water, the heart’s desire is magnetically attracted to be right there. Among those images were tumultuous landscapes pacified by blue and white waves, and something about the tidal pools struck especially deep chords in me.

Of all the National Parks listed in my Stone Road Press guide book, Olympic is the one that seemed to match the picturesque grandeur of New Zealand most closely. That perception locked-up my initial vote… but as our plans took shape and time marched forward to the trip, I was absolutely intrigued by the idea that we were going to the Northwestern-most point of the continental United States. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 14: Tongue Point, Washington, Part Two

Scroll down for an original desktop calendar for May.

Looking back, it seems like fate drew us to Washington State and Olympic National Park in 2014. It all started when we were in Isle of Palms, which is near Charleston, South Carolina, the week after Christmas in 2012. That was the year of our family’s first National Parks tour; all of that had happened earlier that summer. With the kids, we’d decided that we would schedule our next National Parks tour for 2014, and one place we were intending to go was Glacier National Park. While loitering in Barnes and Noble that December, I purchased a new book: “Your Guide to the National Parks” from Michael Joseph Oswald and Stone Road Press (2012).

I found Glacier very quickly in the book, and worked outward from there, imagining how we might spend up to a few weeks visiting that international treasure and others in its area. Soon enough, Read more

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Rare Air Episode 13: Tongue Point, Washington

Scroll down for an original desktop calendar for March.

In this minute of Rare Air, you can join me at the Tongue Point Marine Life Sanctuary in Crescent Bay… part of the Salt Creek Recreation Area where I camped for a few nights with my family back in 2014, while touring Olympic National Park. The spot appears on the map below, snared from the awesome website for The Strait of Juan de Fuca Scenic Byway: http://highway112.org.


Throughout time, the areas all along the Highway 112 corridor have been home to people of the Klallam and Makah tribes: Exploring their cultures and histories are wonderful aspects of visiting. Read more

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Rare Air Episode 12 and January 2016 desktop calendar

You can find an original desktop calendar for January below.

Earlier this year in April, I filled you in on some of the highlights of our 2014 vacation to Olympic National Park in Washington, and shared a video I had captured on June 18. Today, I’m inviting you to join me and Beth on our adventure the next day. Read more

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