Bargaining in Nepal ~ 1977

Text & by photos Jack Olson

Before I went to Nepal I’d never bargained for anything in my life. See the price and either pay it or walk away. I mean, easy, isn’t it? Then, Nepal changed everything.

Hindu symbols carved into wood
Wooden block of hand-carved Hindu symbols

We’d only been out a day or two on our trek, still in the foothills. We made camp and were just sitting around when a boy, maybe eight years old, wandered in and displayed this wooden block with Hindu symbols and said 12 rupee. I didn’t know how to respond but was still thinking dollars. I said 8. He said 11, I said 8. He looked about to cry. One of our party said, “Jack, you’re supposed to go up.” We finally settled on 10. Even then my troubles weren’t over. I pulled out a 10 rupee note and he shook his head. Paper money had recently been introduced and people in the back country didn’t trust it. They wanted coins. Fortunately, I had ten metal rupees.

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Text & photos by Jack Olson

Alpine sunflowers on Shrine Ridge.

Around the year 2000 I read a wildflower hiking book for the Colorado mountains. It profiled a feature called Shrine Ridge and, furthermore, bestowed upon it the title of Century Hike. That would be at least a hundred different wildflowers in the course of a season. What the authors had shared would turn out to be life-enriching for me.

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Rocky Mountain Dreamin’

By Jack Olson

Moraine Park
The Big Thompson River flows through Moraine Park.
© Jack Olson

I sure hope you’re planning to attend the RMOWP conference in Rocky Mountain National Park in September. It’s stunning, inspiring, magical. That’s just a few adjectives. Supply your own when you come. I taught up there for about a dozen years at the RMOWP photo workshop and I figure I’ve been in the park two hundred or more times.

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The Sound of Silence

By Jack Olson

Listen. Carefully. What do you hear? As I write this I can hear the motor in my refrigerator freezer humming. It does that from time to time. I live in an apartment building and there are all sorts of noises from the many functions of the building. You might call it “building noise.” I can hear a little traffic on Broadway and someone putting trash in a dumpster in the alley. None of this is bothersome. A person gets used to some sounds, and they don’t interfere with life going on, or even thinking.

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A Yukon Dream Come True

Article & photos by Jack Olson

“There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.”
~ Robert Service

I had a beloved, eccentric speech teacher in high school who first enthralled me with thrilling tales of the Yukon. Continue reading A Yukon Dream Come True