Storyknife #2 Halfway There

It’s a rare day when the phone call comes. The phone call. The one that marks a before and after. When the phone rang that day for me, I remember glancing at my phone and seeing a number I didn’t recognize and “Alaska” as the caller’s location. Immediately, names started cycling through my head. Who did I know in…

Storyknife #1: Arriving Alaska

Old guy. Cane. Black fleece vest. Black trucker’s cap. Black slacks. Black leather orthotic sneakers. He veers my way. I think he’s going to ask for help. Directions somewhere. How to get to baggage claim, maybe. His cane click clacks with every step. “I don’t know,” he says when he gets a few feet away…

Vote for Hawaiian Monk Seals!

I submitted this photo to the annual Nature Conservancy photo contest. Last year, they received over 17,000 entries. This year, I made their Top 100 list, and I’d love for you to vote for this photo as your favorite.

Why Go to the Desert?

“Why go to the desert,” Edward Abbey once famously asked. “Really, why do it?” He had his reasons for not going. And I had mine.

My Year of Tracking Twain

For four months now, I’ve been tracking Mark Twain’s movements around Hawai‘i. Tomorrow marks the 150th anniversary of his departure from these Islands. During Twain’s time in Hawai‘i, I made visits to the same islands as he during the same weeks he visited. Just 150 years later. I went to O`ahu, Maui, and Hawai`i Island….

Tracking Twain into Hawaiian Language Newspaper Archives

One hundred and fifty years ago today, Mark Twain was back on O‘ahu, after five weeks on Maui and three weeks on Hawai‘i Island. When I was on O‘ahu a while back, I met James E. Caron outside Morning Glass Coffee in Manoa Valley. He’s tall—taller than I am—with grey in his beard and bushy…

How Extreme Birds Inspire Us to be Better Humans

Memorial Day. Graduation. Father’s Day. The solstice. For most people, one of these marks the beginning of summer. For me, these calendar events signal the coming completion of albatross season. Albatross? You mean those big white birds with wingspans longer than I am tall who glide over the surface of the sea as gentle as…