Thoreau’s Cape Cod

On the map, Cape Cod has a singularly distinctive outline. It juts deep into the open Atlantic from mainland Massachusetts like a bent, arthritic arm.


A Message for The Cabbage Head Man

No flowers—only paint, ink, and paste-ups. It was early September as we explored the wall of graffiti soup on the exterior of the house of Serge Gainsbourg.


Wales Is Rock

Land masses forming and splitting, plates colliding, magma intruding, mountain ranges ripping upward then wearing down, all those warm shallow seas that come and go, come and go.


The Kings of Cake

In Atlantic City, the sinning will commence with gluttony. Today’s cakes represent a break in tradition: there's no hidden trinket. The baby Jesus is a choking hazard.


Overlooked Travel Writing

Recently, I asked Carry On contributors to write a paragraph or so about travel writing that they considered forgotten or overlooked.


The Shack-Up Inn

Set outside of Clarksdale, Mississippi on the vast flats of the Delta, the Shack-Up Inn lurks within a thick, subtropical darkness. No signs beckon highway travelers.


The Island Wilds of Cres

Then the car was afloat. Having rolled aboard a ferry, we waved goodbye to Europe—specifically, mainland Croatia—and pushed away from the cliffs. Here we were, at sea.


Stalking the Firewalker

This was my fantasy, Plan A: I rent a shabby-chic room in town, with a gingerbread balcony and a view of the Presidential Palace. There was no Plan B.


Story From Siberia

At 4:45 PM we crossed the International Date Line and the Arctic Circle simultaneously. On the horizon, to the north, were the islands of Big Diomide and Little Diomide.


Happy Thanksgiving

I am not posting a new piece today, as I assume everyone is traveling to and preparing for family confrontations.


Snakes Alive in Yangshuo

I wanted to eat the snake, but I drew the line at drinking its blood. The Chinese might claim that it's good for virility, but I thought it would be better for picking up a virus.


Road Map to Spontaneity

In the summer of 2008, my family and I embarked on a coast-to-coast road trip across the United States. The trip represented something for all of us.


On the Trail of El Tirano

"When I saw the vessel with full sails sailing away, I felt like one born again. I gave thanks to God for having saved me from the clutches of the monster."


A Tale of Two Trains

It's been dark for two hours now. A suspicious darkness for the 21st century, almost medieval in its depth. Not a single watt of electricity interrupts the night.


The Lake Cabin

In late summer 2002 I went to stay at the lake cabin for a week by myself. The lake was important to me.


Going Home

In the heart of the steering column of my father's 1947 Plymouth Deluxe "Mayflower" there was indeed a Mayflower, a cunning model of the ship.


Don't Think, Just Buy

It's Friday morning at the biggest outdoor antique show in the United States and the whole place feels hungover. No bright lights. No yelling.