I can’t say what an honor it is to see The Coyote’s Bicycle nominated as a finalist for the California Book Awards, one of oldest and most prestigious awards in the country, and the first to recognize the talent of my hero, John Steinbeck. Many thanks to the Commonwealth Club of California.
Lit Reactor says it “makes every reader feel affected by the plight of human trafficking.”
The paper back release finds a #1 in Latin America slot on Amazon.
For most of my career, I’ve written for publications that are dominated by photography. While writing The Coyote’s Bicycle, I wanted to recreate the rarified worlds I’d discovered, in words only. I realize this can be a futile task, because we are such visual creatures. And in the end, it’s fun to see images of people and places behind the story. So I’ve decided to start publishing shots from the years of research it took to get this tale. I think people who’ve read the book will get more out of them, but hopefully the unique atmosphere of our southern border finds wider interest:
Last April, I traveled to Papua New Guinea to profile the work of Medevac pilot Mark Palm and his family. In an area with few permanent roads, great distances and lots of water, the Palms help patients from remote villages get to medical care. During the trip, tribal tensions ran high, revealing what’s at stake.
West Coast cities do way too little to treat or effectively manage street runoff caused by average winter storms. As one source put it, we basically use the same technology for managing runoff that the Romans did: pipes and ditches that get polluted water to the ocean as fast as possible. This means gas, oil, heavy metals, insecticides, pesticides, viruses, and bacteria from animal and human waste are making their way to our beaches unabated. According to the Los Angeles Times, even super-bugs normally associated with hospitals are making their way into the system. Ocean use and tourism are some of the biggest economic drivers in the state of California. But swimmers and surfers are getting sick, some are even dying. As I found in my research, there are relatively cheap and effective infrastructure solutions that cities could put in place right now. The question is: why accept the current the 72 hour ban on ocean use after a storm? Why not work towards an ocean environment that is healthy most of the time? Read more about in my Surfer magazine article “Contagion Present.”
A few months ago I traveled with crazy Basque surfer Kepa Acero and Californian Dane Gudauskas to surf the central African coast. Thanks to the hard work of conservationists like Mike Fey, in parts of Gabon, primal forest still laps up on white sand beaches. Elephants and hippos walk on the sand, and at times, the land seems more wild than the sea. Surfer magazine made a short clip about the trip: