Driving down a forested hill, the ocean appeared reaching to the horizon. Wait! Not an ocean, but Lake Superior! I’d never seen this largest of the Great Lakes. Once on the main north-south highway along Minnesota’s North Shore, my exploration started. I had with luck reserved five nights in three different state park campgrounds, giving me plenty of time to hike to waterfalls, past cascades, and to explore historic sites in between. My journey would cover 110 miles of Gichigami’s shore, the Ojibwe tribe’s name for the lake.
“Welcome to my world, the world of a forager! It is a world filled with free, nutritious, and delicious fruits, flowers, roots, tubers, shoots, nuts, mushrooms, and foliage, all within walking distance of your front door. ~ Mark Vorderbruggen, Ph.D.
They call him Merriwether. Friends dubbed him with the nickname in honor of the famous American explorer Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It is a fitting moniker. Meriweather is a research chemist with a M.S. in medicinal chemistry and a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry. He is recognized as an expert in wild edibles and medicinal plants, having spent his life foraging and learning the correlation between foraged foods, their nutritional and medicinal values, and how to use them to optimize health. He holds sixteen patents and is a master gardener.
I can still hear the crunching sound of tires on white gravel as the car slowly turned into the long driveway toward the stone farmhouse. But my preoccupation was with the tree. Was it still there? Was it the same?
As RMOWP’s 47th conference drifts into the mists of memory, we’re thankful we were able to gather together and share experiences once again. Alamogordo gave us the opportunity to see some remnants of the old West at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, photograph numerous petroglyphs at Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, and witness a double rainbow shortly before sunset at White Sands National Park.
One of the highlights of this year’s RMOWP conference was a self-publishing panel discussion. Self-publishing a book is a multifaceted endeavor where success comes in many forms. This subject was explored by a panel of experienced self-publishers. As moderator, I was asked to provide a summary of their discussion. The panelists were Ron Belak, John Hanou, Peter Kummerfeldt, and Virginia Staat.
A Cecil, according to RMOWP’s own photographer Jack Olson, is a sunrise or sunset photo named in honor of Academy Award-winning producer Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959), whose Biblical films featured characters such as Moses atop a mountain, arms raised to the fiery sky. You don’t capture Cecils very often, Jack tells us. They must be special in one way or another, a spectacular show in the sky, reminiscent of DeMille’s epic films.
The Pie-O-Neer Pie Bar in Pie Town, New Mexico, has closed after more than 20 years in business, a victim of the Coronavirus pandemic. The announcement was made by owner Kathy Knapp, according to an article in the Socorro, New Mexico, newspaper “El Defensor Chieftain.” She told the newspaper that she opened the pie shop for the season this year on Pi Day (March 14), but because of the pandemic closed the next day. More on Pi Day below.
You’re going to Antarctica, what many refer to as the “seventh continent,” as if it’s a collector’s item accrediting them with significant prestige in a time of global travel. But the first two days of your trek are not particularly auspicious. You’ve spent them forging a labored trail through the infamous Drake Passage, rolling from side to side in the heaving swell of the Southern Ocean, the forbidding gateway to this “last and final continent.”