“Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel’s immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing first hand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way.”
Ralph Crawshaw

This TRAVEL blog details some of the amazing trips I have taken in recent years almost all of which were with my fabulous wife and traveling companion Michelle. Michelle is adventurous, curious, loves fine dining, is fluent in many languages, and she is a superb travel planner. I have learned from Michelle that while you can leave some room for spontaneity, working out the details beforehand makes all the difference in the world. —Richard Whittington 7.10.12


“The best coffee in Europe is Vienna coffee, compared to which all other coffee is fluid poverty.” –Mark Twain

Vienna, The City of Dreams, is like a jewell box – compact and loaded with history and treasure. Vienna’s history is rooted in it’s geography in the foothills of the Southern Alps where it straddles the Danube River. The Danube marks the Eastern frontier… Read more.

Birding Across America by Train

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”—John Muir

When I was younger I was skeptical about people that hired guides or traveled on guided trips. I used to think guided trips were for people that had little imagination, were risk adverse, or lacked initiative. As I have become older I have changed my way of thinking about it. I don’t think of it as hiring a guide, I think of it as… Read more.

North Dakota

“There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.” ― Aldo Leopold

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect of North Dakota when we boarded the Amtrak Empire Builder in Chicago at dusk on 24th of May. North Dakota had always been kind of a blank spot on the map for me. The trip packing list included shorts but when we got to Minot we found ripping winds and rain in the 40’s. Cold, blustery, and wildly beautiful. Read more.

The Empire Builder

Amtrak’s Empire Builder train route runs 2,206 miles from Chicago to Seattle through Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Washington. The vast expanse of wide open space with ever-changing dramatic cloudscapes was special.   From the observation car we spotted raptors, assorted ducks, Grebes, Grouse, Ring-necked Pheasant, Magpies, Fisher, Elk, White-tailed Deer, Pronghorn, Read More

The Olympic Peninsula

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” ― John Muir

Dawn light found us in eastern Washington state with the Cascade Mountains looming overhead—our last range to traverse by train before disembarking in Edmonds, Washington. By late morning, we had collected our rental vans and crossed Puget Sound on an enormous commuter ferry. Read more.