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“Two Duck Suppers”

Excerpt from Knee Deep In Fish

“Our half-hour ride takes us down small country roads. By preference and design, we have plotted a course that leaves four-lane highways completely out of sight and out of mind. Our chosen course is a collection of stitched together, lane and a half, tar and gravel, farm to market roads. Thus, named such by the federal government during the depression to create work for, and provide assistance to farmers for moving their crops to rail heads and market outlets. This path to our farm takes us longer. No matter. The beauty of the drive on this crisp clear day is more than adequate compensation. 

Old trees, many different varieties, push in against the gentle curves and rolling hills. Now and then, the early afternoon winter sun shoots sharp shafts of bright warm light across our path. The autumn leaves are not quite yet done. Here and there, a wild cherry or white oak showers the road. The light breeze pushes double armfuls across our way like wee small children holding hands and scurrying across our path to the opposite side. As the truck whisks through the procession, dozens more of gold and caramel-colored leaves gleefully spring high, swirl, and dance in the rear-view mirror. Every mile traveled, the winter light paints a unique scene of colors, textures, and movement. 

I find it hard to describe the beauty and magic of these moments. Old fence lines of rusty hog wire are nailed to handsplit cedar posts silvered by age. Sections of barbed wire long ago grown into forty-year-old oaks, hickories, and sweetgums line unused pastures. Driving further on, we pass mustard yellow ragweed that has taken over the center of the dirt two track lane. Then we round a sharp curve with yellow flames of hickory or a splash of sumac so vibrantly scarlet that you might declare it unreal. The farm, our destination rises on our left. Will knows this place, remembering well barn-burner dove shoots and icy morning duck hunts. He bounces back and forth using his eighty pounds to sway the truck from side to side, telling me, “Hurry up, Boss. Let’s go!”

This passage appears in the chapter “Two Duck Suppers” in the book Knee Deep In Fish by John P. Faris, Jr. To read additional excerpts from John’s book collection, to include a complete chapter from his first book, click here.

“Two Duck Suppers”2024-06-12T16:25:44+00:00

My Egypt Visit

Unveiling the Wonders of Egypt
Egypt is a treasure trove of archaeological marvels that transport you back in time. Stand in awe before the towering pyramids of Giza, marvels of human ingenuity that have stood for millennia. Explore the enigmatic temples of Luxor, where hieroglyphs whisper tales of a bygone era. Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the Valley of the Kings, where the tombs of legendary pharaohs await discovery.

As an avid world traveler, I’ve had the privilege of exploring countless destinations, but my recent sojourn across Egypt stands out as a truly transformative experience. The land of the pharaohs, pyramids, and ancient mysteries captivated my senses and left an indelible mark on my soul.

The Triumphs

From the moment I set foot in Cairo, I was enveloped in the mesmerizing aura of this ancient civilization. The bustling streets, vibrant markets, and towering minarets whispered tales of a rich and storied past. The highlight of my visit was undoubtedly the awe-inspiring Pyramids of Giza. Standing before these colossal structures, I felt a profound connection to the ingenuity and ambition of our ancestors.

The Joys

Beyond the iconic landmarks, Egypt offers a myriad of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. I ventured deep into the Western Desert to witness the surreal beauty of the White Desert, where wind-sculpted rock formations resembled otherworldly landscapes. In Luxor, I marveled at the grandeur of Karnak Temple, its towering pylons and intricate hieroglyphs transporting me back to the era of the pharaohs.

Must-See Sights

For any traveler embarking on an Egyptian adventure, certain sights are not to be missed:
• The Pyramids of Giza:
A testament to ancient architectural prowess, these iconic structures are a must-see for any visitor.
• The Egyptian Museum in Cairo:
Home to an unparalleled collection of ancient artifacts, including the treasures of King Tutankhamun.
• Luxor Temple:
One of the most well-preserved temples in Egypt, its towering columns and vibrant reliefs offer a glimpse into the grandeur of the pharaohs.
• Aswan High Dam:
A modern marvel that transformed the Nile Valley, creating Lake Nasser and providing vital irrigation and hydroelectric power.
• Abu Simbel Temples:
Carved into a mountain cliff, these colossal temples dedicated to Ramses II are a breathtaking sight to behold.

Tips for Travelers

To fully embrace the wonders of Egypt, I recommend:
• Learn some basic Arabic phrases. This will enhance your interactions with locals and add an authentic touch to your experience.
• Respect local customs and traditions. Egypt is a conservative country, so it’s important to dress modestly and be mindful of your behavior.
•Hire a knowledgeable tour guide.
A good guide can provide valuable insights and help you make the most of your time.
• Stay flexible.
Things don’t always go according to plan in Egypt, so be prepared to adjust your itinerary if necessary.
• Embrace the chaos. Egypt can be a sensory overload at times, but it’s also part of its charm. Embrace the vibrant atmosphere and soak up the unique experiences it offers.

Traveling across Egypt was more than just a vacation; it was a journey of discovery, wonder, and personal growth. From the towering pyramids to the hidden gems, the land of the pharaohs left an imprint on my heart that will last a lifetime.

My Egypt Visit2024-06-13T07:57:05+00:00

Fiji: A World Traveler’s Paradise

As I embark on yet another adventure, I had the privilege of exploring the enchanting islands of Fiji. From the moment I stepped onto the pristine shores, I was captivated by the breathtaking beauty and warm hospitality that enveloped me.

Nandi Fiji 2004

The Joy of Discovery

Fiji is a tapestry of diverse landscapes that cater to every traveler’s desires. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, you’re sure to find it in abundance. Pristine beaches with powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters invite you to bask in the sun and swim amongst vibrant coral reefs. Lush rainforests beckon you to explore their hidden waterfalls and encounter exotic flora and fauna.

Cultural Immersion

Fiji’s rich culture is as captivating as its natural wonders. The Fijian people are renowned for their warmth, friendliness, and infectious smiles. They eagerly share their traditions, customs, and stories, weaving a vibrant tapestry of heritage that enriches every traveler’s experience.

Unforgettable Sights

Fiji boasts an array of iconic landmarks that will leave an indelible mark on your memory.

  • The Mamanuca Islands: These picturesque islands offer a slice of paradise with their white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and luxurious resorts. Snorkel or dive to witness the vibrant marine life that calls these waters home.
  • The Yasawa Islands: Escape to these remote and pristine islands for a true Robinson Crusoe experience. Hike through lush jungles, kayak along the stunning coastline, and encounter friendly locals who will welcome you with open arms.
  • The Garden of the Sleeping Giant: Nestled near Nadi, this botanical wonderland is home to over 2,000 species of tropical plants. Stroll through the serene gardens and admire the vibrant colors and exotic fragrances that fill the air.
  • The Fiji Museum: Delve into Fiji’s rich history and culture at this fascinating museum. Discover ancient artifacts, learn about traditional Fijian life, and gain a deeper understanding of the islands’ heritage.

Triumphs of Travel

Traveling across Fiji was not without its challenges. However, the triumphs I experienced along the way far outweighed any obstacles I encountered.

  • Overcoming Language Barriers: Fiji has two official languages, Fijian and Hindi. While I don’t speak either fluently, I found that a combination of patience, gestures, and a few basic phrases helped me connect with the locals and enhance my experience.
  • Adapting to Local Customs: Fiji has a distinct culture with unique customs. By respecting local traditions, dressing appropriately, and being mindful of my behavior, I was able to immerse myself in the Fijian way of life and forge genuine connections.
  • Embracing the Unexpected: Not everything went according to plan during my travels. A sudden rainstorm forced me to change my itinerary, but instead of being disappointed, I embraced the unexpected and discovered a hidden waterfall that I would have otherwise missed.

A Journey to Remember

My travels across Fiji were a symphony of joys and triumphs, a tapestry of unforgettable experiences that will remain etched in my memory forever. From the pristine beaches to the vibrant culture, Fiji is a destination that will capture your heart and leave you longing to return.

So, if you’re seeking an adventure that will ignite your senses, broaden your horizons, and create memories that will last a lifetime, set your course for the enchanting islands of Fiji.

Fiji: A World Traveler’s Paradise2024-06-11T20:56:23+00:00
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