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Hiking Monocacy Natural Resource Management Area

Living in the Washington area has a lot of advantages.  One advantage it doesn’t have is easy access to the wilderness I seek out for solitude and relaxation.  The closest really satisfying wilderness for me is Dolly Sods, in West Virginia, but that’s a 3-4 hour drive, so I don’t go often. But there are […]

Valle de las Animas

  The Valle de las Animas, or Valley of Souls, is seriously misnamed.  It is not a “valley” but a region, and I for one fail to see why there is any reason to believe that the rock formations therein have any resemblance to “souls.”  After all, isn’t their lack of a physical form a […]

Up The Khallapa River Valley

Many of my favorite memories of my first time in Bolivia, 25 years ago, involve days spent hiking, fishing, and floating around on the lakes (lagunas) in the Andes above La Paz.  When I returned to Bolivia, two of the questions in the back of my mind were, “Will they still be there?” and “Will […]

Sary Chelek

Sary Chelek lives up to its billing as one of the gems of Kyrgyz natural beauty (a pretty tall order). A large alpine lake set in a deep mountain bowl and surrounded by pines, Sary Chelek reminds me of the rugged beauty of the mountain lakes high in the American Rockies (specifically, since they were […]

Week at Lake Issyk Kul

We had a great week visiting Lake Issyk Kul. Issyk Kul is the centerpiece of the biosphere reserve of the same name, and one of the most famous sites in Kyrgyzstan. At more than 5,000 feet above sea level, 113 miles long, up to 37 miles wide, and more than 2,000 feet deep, it is […]

Christmas Parties

Over the past few days we’ve been getting seriously into the Christmas spirit! The Embassy’s local employees organized a major party at a local cafe for the adults of the embassy, with plenty to eat and drink, and lots of dancing and partying. It was a blast! And then we hosted, at our house, Breakfast […]

First Snow

We hadn’t seen it snow for five years, so it was exciting to see the white stuff come down for the first time in Bishkek. It snowed for two days straight, but was so warm that only a skiff of snow actually stuck to the ground. So we took a trip up Ala Archa canyon […]

Around Bishkek

Here are a few photos from around Bishkek. For starters, in Ala Too Square on Independence day, these kids were having a great time with the fountains.

Kok-Boru

Kok-boru is the national sport of Kyrgyzstan. On September 1, Independence Day for Kyrgyzstan, top diplomats were invited to watch the finals of the President’s Cup, the national championship. Here are some photos I got and a bit of explanation. For starters, maybe a bit of an explanation of the game. Here is what Wikipedia […]

Tam-awan Village

Tam-awan Village is one of our favorite places in Baguio. We go there about every time we go to Baguio. It’s fun to crawl into the indigenous houses and walk up the hill through the forest.