The Dark, Glorious, and Purportedly Vaccinated City of Rochester, Photo by Author

A Cautionary Tale

I ended the Zoom class a little early, my sinuses felt like they were filled with candle wax. My students wouldn’t mind, half of them attending on their phones driving to work anyways.

Teaching in the same room I slept in whenever I stay with Mom, I laid down on…


Where East meets West, Photo by Author

Totally arbitrary rules for hosting out of town guests

Some tips and etiquette for providing a compelling experience for that out-of-towner who will probably stay too long.

Part of the reciprocal relationship with the road in which many travelers participate involves staying with friends, and having friends stay with you. …


Clines Corners Travel Centers are unavoidable in New Mexico, Photo by Author

An expressly biased ranking

You’re on your way to Minneapolis. It’s late, you’ve been on the road for a while and headlights of oncoming traffic play with the inky darkness in ways that suggest you’re getting tired. You’re partner is asleep. There is nothing but the orange light of the dashboard to help you…


Town of Sodus, NY, Photo by Author

New York State and Traveling Among Political Opposites

Annie recently posted on this publication a piece reflecting on our time in New York State, and some of the isolation that one feels when surrounded by a political culture that is not only different from their usual day to day experience, but directly conflicts with some of their world…


The route we traveled this summer, Photo by Author

And Here’s Why

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to confront only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I come to die, discover that I had not lived. — Henry David Thoreau

Annie and…


Little Jerusalem Badlands, Photo by Author

Exploring Kansas

Recently I went out into Western Kansas with Rick and Mary to explore the relatively new Little Jerusalem Badlands and try out both my new Nemo Hornet 1 person tent. …


Ciudad Juárez, Photo by Author

Ben’s Totally Biased and Hindsighted Ranking of Cities In Which He Spent No More Than 72 Hours This Summer.

Annie and I ranked the cities we’ve visited during our Hot Girl Summer travels. She has a few other cities contending for number 1, check her ranking here!

1) Tucson, AZ


Morning Coffee at Crescent Harbor, Photo by Author

Adventures in Alaska

This is a continuation of my travels in Sitka, Alaska. If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, do it!

* * *

Green false hellebore, Veratrum viride, aka, itchweed, poor Annie, and tickle weed is a knee-high, extremely toxic plant, loosely resembling a hosta. …


Mountains Through the Clouds Leaving Seattle, Photo by Author

Adventures in Southeast Alaska

Never do I feel my connection to home landscapes more than when I find myself on an island, and this happens in two ways.

First, I feel it in the locals’ commitment to their place. It’s like a small-town vibe, but times 10.

Second, I really feel the distance from…


Strange Places, Photo by Author

The Value of Community on the Road

Let me tell you mister
you should always talk to strangers
because you never really know the brilliant things that you might hear
like all of the fall of civilizations caused far off constellations
or we all aren’t really here, we’re just quantum sized good vibrations

“In a Perfect World,”…

Ben Carpenter

A New Yorker in Kansas City. Social scientist, fiction writer, a planter of very fine trees. Follow me on Twitter: @Foster8243 and Instagram: FosterCarpenter346

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