Travel Letters

Saint Vincent: Passage to Bequia


December 30, 2017

Fill the fuel tanks, cast off the lines, and motor out of the harbor at Rodney Bay and into the Caribbean Sea.

Captain Bill and I are sailing south.   My first trip on a sailboat.

The prevailing northeast winds are behind us.  Main sail raised.  Head sail raised.  Destination plotted.  Auto pilot engaged.  Motor disengaged.  We “fly” south along the west coast of St. Lucia, past the mountains and the Pitons on the southern tip of the island.

The Karakorum Highway


Tajik Autonomous County

Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region

People’s Republic of China

July 6, 2017

My Dear Friends,

What a splendid, albeit cloudy and misty, ride along the Karakorum Highway to Tashkurgan and an equally splendid, sunny and clear, ride back to Kashgar the following day.

The last town in China before the border of Pakistan, Tashkurgan Town has a long history as a major stop on the ancient Silk Road along the Karakorum Highway.  The Highway runs from Kashgar, China in the north to Islamabad, Pakistan in the west.

Kashgar: The Sunday Livestock Market

Kashgar (Kashi)

Xinjiang – Uyghur Autonomous Region

People’s Republic of China

July 2, 2017


My Dear Carnivorous Friends,

Kashgar is “The End of the Line” for man and beast.  (Mostly beast.)

Unless and until I venture further south and west, towards Tashkurgan and the Pakistan border, Kashgar is “the end of the line” for me and for other Silk Road travelers in China.  

But for most of the four-legged domesticated creatures here at the Sunday Livestock Market, Kashgar truly is “the end of the line.”

Aksu to Kashgar

Aksu to Kashgar



July 1, 2017

Highway 314, a modern road, runs 286 mi (460 km) southwest from the city of Aksu to the city of Kashgar.  It takes almost five hours by car.

It’s a colorful drive.  The Tianshan mountains to the right. The Taklimakan desert to the left.

And what colors!

Have you ever seen orange mountains?

Me neither.

Tianshan: Grand Canyon

Tian Shan Grand Canyon

Kuqa County

Aksu Prefecture

Xinjiang – Uyghur Autonomous Region

People’s Republic of China


June 28, 2017

Dear Friends,

The Tian Shan Grand Canyon is a 5.5-kilometer-long canyon (3.4 mi) characterized by tall, thin pinnacles, massive buttresses, overhanging walls and heavily eroded red rock.

The canyon is 53 meters (58 ft.) at its widest point, but only 0.4 meters (16 inches) at its narrowest.

It’s quite easy to hike through the canyon.  There are some stairs to climb and some water to avoid.  But basically, it’s easy.

However, it’s quite difficult to describe the scenery.


Here is one description I found: