thestoryofmylifeabroad

Latest

The Isaac Freeman Blog in the news!

I’m honored that one of my pictures was recently selected as the cover photo for the Dutch veterinary magazine Archaeopteryx Veterinaris.

I took this photo of a wallaby while backpacking in Tasmania in the remote (read: no road access) Walls of Jerusalem National Park.  The original blog entry is located here.

The most recent edition of the Dutch veterinary magazine Archaeopteryx Veterinaris.

The most recent edition of the Dutch veterinary magazine Archaeopteryx Veterinaris.

The publication isn’t available online (or in English), but the organization that publishes it is called Archaeopteryx.

Thanks again for reading,

Isaac

Fall in New England

Expectations are funny things.  They can be big or small; of great import or little consequence; obvious or, frankly, unexpected.  For instance, I didn’t really appreciate my expectation that Santa Claus be dressed for wintry weather until I saw a picture of him in red shorts and a short-sleeve shirt when I studied abroad in Australia.  Similarly, I had a friend, born and raised in New England, ask me recently if it was strange growing up in Texas and not having brisk weather on Halloween.  I told him that I didn’t realize it was supposed to be cold on Halloween.  There is something interesting about these little dissonances; they usually aren’t even noticed until something calls them into question.

It’s fall again in New England.  We’re in the back half of October.  Halloween is just around the corner (sure enough, the weather is getting appropriately chilly) and everywhere you look, the foliage is astoundingly colorful.  I moved from Texas to Massachusetts for college six years ago and have been living in the state ever since.  I’ve still got quite a soft spot for Texas (and expect I always will), but even I find it hard to deny the beauty of fall in New England.

I didn’t realize just how much I have come to appreciate this time of year up here until very recently. My current consulting engagement is with a client based in sunny South Florida.  I’ve been spending Monday through Thursday onsite for the last month or so, and expect to be here for some time to come.  And as wonderful as the sunshine and the palm trees and the warmth may be, it just doesn’t feel like fall is supposed to feel.  Dissonances like this, I find, really make me appreciate things that I had previously taken for granted; the discovery of an unexpected expectation.

All this to say that four days a week in Florida has made me appreciate my weekends back in Boston even more than I might have otherwise.  I’m making it a point to get outside before this fleeting season fades into winter.  And winter, for a Texan, is a topic for a blog entry all its own.

Below are a few of my favorite photos from some of these recent fall expeditions:

Panorama from the summit of Mount Pemigewasset (Indian Head) in the White Monutains.  It was a beautiful day, and others were there taking in the view as well.

Panorama from the summit of Mount Pemigewasset (Indian Head) in the White Monutains. It was a beautiful day, and others were there taking in the view as well.

Hank and me hiking at Barre Falls near Hubbardston, MA.  It's a great feeling to see him having so much fun.  I'm very lucky that he sticks close by, even off leash.

Hank and me hiking at Barre Falls near Hubbardston, MA. It’s a great feeling to see him having so much fun. I’m very lucky that he sticks close by, even off leash.  Barre Falls is a enormous (10,000+ acre) wild area in central Massachusetts.  Technically, it is set aside as an area for sportsmen to hunt and fish, but that wildness also makes it a great spot for a leisurely hike.

One of the swamps at Barre Falls WMA.  I recently found out that it is pronounced "Berry" not "Bar".   Oops

One of the swamps at Barre Falls WMA.  I recently found out that it is pronounced “Berry” not “Bar”. Whoops!

My dog, Hank.  He's over 7 years old now, but he doesn't let it slow him down.  He's always looking for his next adventure.

My dog, Hank. Another Texas transplant. He just showed up at my parent’s cabin out in the woods one day and wouldn’t leave. It didn’t take long for him to endear himself to my family, and he’s been with us ever since. He’s over 7 years old now, but he doesn’t let it slow him down. He’s always looking for his next adventure.

Another view of Barre Falls.  The fall colors were just astounding.

Another view of Barre Falls. The fall colors were just astounding.

Thanks again for Reading,
Isaac

4th of July in the North Maine Woods

It probably isn’t too difficult to tell from the rest of this blog that I’ve got a soft spot for the outdoors. I try to get out into the woods as often as I can and had had a great opportunity to do so over the 4th of July. My girlfriend, two of my buddies, and I spent 4 days out in North Woods of Maine canoeing the Allagash River.

There’s a little bit of a backstory here. My father grew up in Arkansas and got into canoeing as a kid. He spent quite a bit of time on the Buffalo River with his dad in an old Grumman aluminum canoe. It was an 18 footer with deep keel that was perfect for tracking straight on windy lakes. But what made it so great for flat water made it terrible for the quick turns and tight spaces found in swift rivers. But that was their canoe, and they made the most of it. In fact, I’d argue that having less than ideal equipment made them better canoeists because they had to pick up the boat’s slack.

My father and grandfather on the Mulberry River in Arkansas

My father and grandfather on the Mulberry River in Arkansas.

That Grumman has stayed in my family and I grew up paddling it. My father still has it down in Texas, and although it doesn’t see much use these days (I live up in Boston), I’ve still got a soft spot for big aluminum canoes.

My father and I in my grandfather's canoe back in 1999.

My father and I in my grandfather’s canoe back in 1999.

Fast forward a few decades and suddenly my buddies and I catch the canoe bug. After spending too much money to rent a canoe for a trip near Saranac Lake in New York last 4th of July, we decided it probably made sense to just go ahead and buy one of our own. We had grand plans for future trips and anticipated that it would quickly pay for itself. Lo and behold, Craigslist came through with a great deal on an 18 foot Grumman, just like my grandfather’s.

As it turns out, aluminum canoes don’t get much respect these days and can be had very cheaply online. They’ve been superseded by super-light Kevlar composites for lake service and ABS plastic boats for whitewater. Even many of the old-timers have moved on, leaving boats like the one we found generally un-loved and under-appreciated. But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure: the seller finally got rid of his old dog of a canoe and I, along with my buddies, became the proud owners of a 1974 Grumman with a few dings, a lot of character, and a collection of 1970’s bumper stickers.

**********

So this 4th of July weekend, off we went, north from Boston to the North Woods of Maine with our gear in the trunk and our new toy on the roof. Since there were going to be four of us and 4 days’ worth of food and gear, we decided to rent a second canoe. Even once we arrived at the local outfitter after 8 hours of driving, it was still another 3+ hour shuttle ride over dirt roads through the North Maine Woods to finally get to the put-in site. But what made the river so difficult to access also made it beautiful. It was pristine; the photos don’t quite capture just how serene it is up there.

The river was incredibly serene and beautiful.

The river was incredibly beautiful.

Surprisingly, even though it was a holiday weekend, we only saw a handful of other paddlers, which added to the solitude. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that we probably saw moose almost as frequently as we saw people.

A moose feeding out in the river.  Her baby was hiding in the bushes on the other bank (see below).

A moose feeding out in the river. Her baby was hiding in the bushes on the other bank (see below).

Baby moose hiding in the bushes.

Baby moose hiding in the bushes.

**********

Most of the camping I’ve done in recent years has been leave-no-trace wilderness-type backpacking. It means that I pack in everything I need (with the only exception being water), and leave as little evidence of my presence as possible. But doing so effectively means no campfires and limiting myself to camping-style, freeze-dried meals.

But this trip was different. Each of campsites we stayed at had a fire ring and plenty of nearby driftwood to burn. And since weight wasn’t an issue in the canoe, we were able to splurge a little bit on our meals. It meant eating things like fire-grilled corn-on-the-cob and biscuits cooked over hot coals instead of freeze-dried beef stroganoff. What a treat. It’s hard to adequately explain just how tasty even a simple meal can be when enjoyed in front of a fire after a long day of paddling – it’s borderline magical…

Spenser cooking biscuits over a campfire.

Spenser cooking biscuits over a campfire.

****

It is easy to forget though, that for as remote as the area feels, it has been logged in various capacities since the 1800s. In some spots, huge machines have been long abandoned and stand as relics from bygone logging camps. Rusting away and being overtaken by the forest, these machines are incredible reminders of rough-and-tumble existences eeked out surrounded by vast tracts of wilderness.

The remains of a gas-powered logging tractor used to pull cut logs from the forests into the river to be floated downstream to waiting mills.

The remains of a gas-powered logging tractor used to pull cut logs from the forests into the river to be floated downstream to waiting mills.

The rusting carcass of an even older steam-powered logging tractor.

The rusting carcass of an even older steam-powered logging tractor.  Asbestos was originally used to insulate the boiler and was disintegrating with age.  Some of the rangers had put up the fence to keep visitors from unknowingly disturbing it.

It is difficult for me to imagine the experiences of those loggers. Four days in the wilderness with a definitive end-date is one thing, but to build a life and live in such a wild place takes a special breed.

**

Below are a few selected photos from the trip. The trip was incredibly relaxing, which makes for a great vacation, but a boring play-by-play narration. So I think I’ll let the photos speak for themselves as much as possible, but please feel free to leave a comment if you want any more detail about any of the photos.

 

Sunset 1

One of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in a long time…

 

 

Sunset 2

The same sunset a few minutes later.

 

Paul and Kenzan Standing in Grumman Canoe

Kenzan and Paul stretching their legs in a calm section of the river.

 

Kenzan's Crawdad

The river was teeming with life, including this little guy, who we let go after this photo was taken.

 

Kenzan in Rain

Kenzan in the Rain

 

Canoes on Bank

The canoes pulled up for the night.

 

Kenzan Fishing

Kenzan fishing. And our retro bumper stickers.

 

Kenzan & Paul in Rapids

Kenzan and paul shooting rapids in our rental canoe.

 

Kenzan and Paul in Rapids in Grumman Canoe

Kenzan and paul navigating rapids.

  

 

Paul and Kenzan in Grumman Canoe

 

 

Spenser & Paul on Allagash

One of my favorite photos from the trip.

**********

On the way back to Boston, we stopped briefly at Baxter State Park.  While less remote, it did make for some nice photos:

Isaac Freeman at Little Niagra

Taking in the view.

Little Niagra 

Stacked Rocks at Big Niagra

Just a cute little rock cairn – It couldn’t have been more than 2 inches tall.

 

As always, thanks for reading!

 

Best,

Isaac

A Flashback to Tasmania

I was going through some college papers this weekend and came across some old issues of the Tufts Traveler, a travel-related magazine for which I wrote  and was the Literary Editor while an undergraduate at Tufts University.  It occurred to me  that the articles fit well with the travel theme of this blog, and since many of my readers would not have had access to paper copies of the magazine, it made sense to re-publish here as well.

Here is an article I wrote for the Fall 2011 “Australia and New Zealand” issue.

Enjoy!

Tasmania and the Spirit of Solitude | Excerpt from the Tufts Traveler | Isaac Freeman Tufts_Page_1Tasmania and the Spirit of Solitude | Excerpt from the Tufts Traveler | Isaac Freeman Tufts_Page_2Tasmania and the Spirit of Solitude | Excerpt from the Tufts Traveler | Isaac Freeman Tufts_Page_3

Full text:

I don’t remember where I first heard about the Walls of Jerusalem, but the brochure I found online was enough to grab my attention: “This remote park is not accessible by road, and there are no facilities for shortstop visitors.  Bushwalkers should be experienced and well equipped for alpine conditions”.  I was intrigued.  It continued: “The wild weather characteristic of the ‘Walls’ is as much part of experiencing the region as the landscape.  As visibility can be reduced to zero, it is important that all walking parties carry a map and compass and be able to use them”.  Oh, but wait, “Walkers should note that magnetic mineral deposits in the region may affect compass readings”.  Before I had even finished the brochure, I was hooked

There I was, sitting in the library at the University of Queensland watching my computer’s clock count down my last remaining days in Australia as I worked my way through an essay.  I had time for one last trip before heading back to the US, and right then, I decided it would be Tasmania.  It didn’t matter that Tasmania and The Walls were halfway across the continent from where I was Brisbane; when you are already on the other side of the globe, what’s an extra few thousand miles?  I figured out that if I timed it just right, I could squeeze in a four-day trip and still be back in time for my exams.   Based on the description, I couldn’t figure out why none of my friends seemed interested, so I just decided to go it alone.

As reckless as this trip probably sounds, it was actually very calculated.  I was to spend two nights out.  I would hike in on the first day and set up camp.  The next day, weather permitting, I could explore further into the park before returning for the night to my campsite, and hiking out the next day.  I would have a GPS recording my tracks the entire time, and the car-park was only a few miles from where I was camping.  Even better was that it was all uphill on the way in, which meant it would be all downhill on the way out.  It was the perfect mix of remoteness and safety:  I could get way off the beaten path, while still spending my nights only a few hours walk from my car (in case of emergency).

When I landed, I discovered that Tasmanian airports are funny things.  There are police dogs onsite to sniff you.  But unlike in the US, where they sniff you for bombs, in Tassie, they sniff you for fruit.  Realistically, the risk of unintentional bioterrorism from a wayward apple seed or grape is a much greater threat to the tiny island than a bomb.  Kind of a refreshing change of pace, actually.

At any rate, I collected my giant duffle and picked up my rental car.  I drove until the pavement ended.  From there I took a smaller, gravel road until it forked, and I ended up on an even smaller road.  It was beautiful, but the quaint, one-lane, wooden bridges made it easy to tell that I was out in the middle of nowhere.

Unfortunately for me, I got a late start that day.  By the time I bought my food and camping fuel and made it to the trailhead, it was well into the afternoon—not exactly the best time to be starting a hike.  But armed with a pair of sturdy boots, my overnight gear, and my sense of adventure, I started up the trail.  Less than an hour into the hike, I passed an older couple in the opposite direction.  They were polite about it, but I think they thought I was nuts for getting such a late start.  They were probably right.  I kept second-guessing myself as I continued to climb.  It got dark right as I hit the snowline, but the trail was more or less discernible (most of the time), so I kept going.

As I kept hiking, the snow got deeper and icier, and as the hours wore on, I was beginning to worry if I’d missed my campsite or taken a wrong turn.  But there’s a fine line in backpacking: it’s prudent to be aware and cautious, but if you spend all your time worrying, you’ll miss out on the beauty all around you.  Be that as it may, I kept getting progressively antsier, until, much to my surprise, I noticed a flashlight shining in the distance.

This meant a few things for me.  First, it meant that I hadn’t missed my campsite, and second, it meant that I wouldn’t be out there completely alone.  As much as I love solitude, there is certainly something nice about knowing that you aren’t completely alone.  Just mostly.

That night was cold.  Cold enough in fact, to freeze my boots solid.  Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t quite ready to get out of bed in the morning.  Instead I slid my sleeping bag down just enough to get my arms out and cooked my oatmeal in the snow right outside the door of my tent.  I lay there, sipping on a steaming mug of Earl Grey, and looked up to the mountain ridge.  I really couldn’t have asked for a clearer morning.  After warming up, I decided to leave the majority of my gear in my tent and go on a day hike up onto the ridge.

As often happens, nature got the last laugh.  The further up I went, the heavier the snow became and the less obvious the trail.  Before too long, it was gone altogether, and that marked the end of the line for me.  Without a buddy and without snowshoes, I decided pushing any further would have been foolish.  As it was, I was post-holing up to my mid-calf, and I knew it was only going to get worse.  I gave up on Mt. Jerusalem and decided instead on a lesser peak, right off the trail.  It wasn’t as high, but the view from the top was incredible, made even more so by my solitude.  There I was on the top of a ridge, and I was truly alone.  In my entire 360˚ view, there wasn’t a single person in sight.  Just me and the snow and the rocks.  And it was glorious.  Yes, I had to get back to camp before it got dark, and yes, within two weeks I would have to be back home in the US, but for those few minutes, I was completely taken aback by the beauty of Tasmania.

The full publication is available for download here.

Thanks again for reading!

Cheers,

Isaac

Goodbye Tufts University, Hello Prague

It’s now been almost a year since I started my new job as a consultant, and it has been quite a busy year.  An absolutely fantastic year, but a busy one nonetheless.

To start with, my immediate connections to Tufts University are fading.  It’s sort of a strange feeling.  My longtime girlfriend just graduated, and now that she’s no longer based in Medford, I’ll likely be moving in the next few months.  In fact, I was just back on campus for her graduation in May, and I realized just how much I miss spending time at Tufts daily.  Maybe I’m too young for nostalgia just yet, but I still love the quad, the cannon is still covered in an ever-thickening layer of paint, and it will be a long time before I forget all the hours I spent in lectures and studying in the various buildings that dot the hill.  As I continue my shift from a Tufts student to a Tufts alumnus, keeping up to date and involved is getting harder, but it’s something I think is worthwhile.  It’s a challenge, and I like challenges.

Two of my favorite things about Tufts: The Cannon and The Mountain Club.
Photo Courtesy of Tufts University Admissions

For more information on Tufts’ tradition of painting the cannon:

An article from Tufts’ Alumni Magazine

A sample of Cannon paintings 

************

Although the consulting firm I work for has a relatively low travel model, I still have the opportunity to travel at least once a year for the firm’s annual, international training conference.  The conference brings together all of the firm’s global offices for training, and also provides a fantastic opportunity to get to meet international colleagues and explore other parts of the world I might not otherwise have an opportunity to visit.  While the location varies yearly, this year it was in Prague.  Any to make a good trip even better, I also managed to fly in a few days early with some co-workers to spend the weekend in Budapest.

I’d never been to Eastern Europe before this trip.  In fact, the only two times I’d been to Europe at all before this were with the same consulting firm.

I don’t know a lot about Budapest’s history, but the little that I do know is pretty interesting.  For example, Budapest, as such, didn’t exist formally until 1873 when the cities of Buda and Obuda on the west bank of the Danube River, and Pest, on the East bank, were officially unified.  If you ignore the technicality, however, the city is extremely old and has an interesting mix of architecture to offer visitors.  It also has some interesting flavors of what appears to be Capri-Sun to offer visitors as well.  I don’t speak the language, but based on the photo, it appears to be apple and unicorn flavored.

Isaac Freeman Drink

All jokes aside, the architecture warrants a few photos:

An interesting dome

An interesting dome

Isaac Freeman Blog Statue

Although I don't know the couple in the photo, I found the photo too picturesque to pass up.

Although I don’t know the couple in the photo, I found the photo too picturesque to pass up.

Isaac Freem Blog Blue Sky

Isaac Freeman Bridge

A very short tram (you can see both termini) leading up to the castle in Budapest.

A very short tram (you can see both termini) leading up to the castle in Budapest.

The New York Café may be one of the most ornate buildings I’ve been in.  Certainly the most ornate restaurant.  We stopped in briefly for a light breakfast and a coffee just to take it in.  I’m glad I did.

Isaac Freeman New York Restaurant

A flower arrangement at the New York Restraurant

A flower arrangement at the New York Cafe

The Chain Bridge, built in 1849, was the first permanent bridge built in Budapest, and joined, well, Buda and Pest.  It’s quite impressive.  And imposing.

Isaac Freeman Chain Bridge

Isaac Freeman Rivets

I guess this is technically graffiti, but I thought the sentiment was cute and thus warranted a photo.

I guess this is technically graffiti, but I thought the sentiment was cute and thus warranted a photo.

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve always been fascinated by trucks (please see my entry on the Brisbane Truck Show), especially designs that are driven primarily by function rather than form.  I think there is a certain beauty to things that were designed not to look a certain way, but to do a certain thing.  For this reason, I really like (the original) Hummers, and also the Mercedes-Benz Unimog.  They aren’t available in the states, and I’d never actually seen one before, so I thought this one was worth a quick photo.  They may not be the most sexy vehicles, but I find their utility quite elegant.

A Mercedes Unimog

A Mercedes-Benz Unimog

With training less than two days away, my friends and I took an overnight train to Prague.  It wasn’t the most restful night I’ve ever had, but travelling by overnight train was a fun and unique experience.  As an aside, I’ve found central train stations much easier to get to than airports, and generally, because of their age, the architecture is usually quite interesting too.

One of Prague’s main attractions is it’s astronomical clock.  Installed in 1410, it is the oldest astronomical clock that is still use, and the third oldest overall.  Every hour, on the hour, it has a little show that’s worth seeing if you’re ever in Prague.

A short video of the hourly show (the video is not mine).

For a small fee, it’s also possible to climb the tower, which we did after watching the clock’s performance.  In addition to outstanding views, it also has a really interesting looking elevator that runs all the way up to the top.

Isaac Freeman Clock

Isaac Freeman Clock 3Isaac Freeman Clock 3-2

One of the views from the top of the clock tower.

One of the views from the top of the clock tower.

Apparently, others were also taking in the view.

Apparently, others were also taking in the view.

The elevator

The elevator

Isaac Freeman Clock Tower Elevator 2

One of the other obligatory things to see in Prague is the Prague Castle, and it is absolutely worth a trip.  The cathedral is gorgeous.

Isaac Freeman Cathedral

The Prague Castle Cathedral

Isaac Freeman Stained Glass

Isaac Freeman Organ

Thanks again for reading.

Isaac

So that we may never forget

With all of the demands of daily life, it is easy to forget those who serve, and those who have served, so that we may have the privilege to live in a free America.

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced”

-Abraham Lincoln

 

Thank you for your service.

 

Hyman Wishkin Army Air Corps circa 1944 in bombadier position B-17

A photo of my grandfather, Hyman Wishkin.  He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross for his more than 30 missions over Europe in a B-17 Flying Fortress as part of the 95th Bomb Group.  Although he survived WWII, he never forgot it.

Coming Home

As my life has sped up, my blogging has slowed down it seems.  After graduating from Tufts University this past May and taking the summer off (see my last entry), I started work in Boston at a consulting firm.  I’m having a great time; the work is varied and challenging, and the people I work with are smart, motivated, and fun.  I’m learning a lot, honing my analysis (and Excel and PowerPoint) skills, and developing both personally and professionally.  I feel very fortunate to be where I am and am trying to make the most of it.  But even with all the work, it’s important to me that I not lose sight of the other things that matter to me.

Since I was a little kid, I’ve enjoyed spending time outside.  I grew up in the Cub Scouts and then the Boy Scouts, and went on hiking trips with my father (and sometimes even my grandfather).

My grandfather, my father and I after finishing a successful climb of Mt. Whitney

My grandfather, my father and me after finishing a successful climb of Mt. Whitney

Additionally, I spent a lot of time at my family’s piece of land in East Texas.  Although I didn’t actually live there, in a lot of ways, I grew up there.  And even though it isn’t very frequently now, I try to visit as often as I can.  What surprises me every time I go is how fast some things change and how slowly others do.

Spending time there reminds me of just how powerful and persistent a force nature is.  It’s amazing to me how fast fields get overgrown and just how quickly the forest takes back the trails that my family and I have cleared.  It really doesn’t take long for briars to engulf a barbed wire fence, for trees to grow, or for stumps to rot.  It’s hard to appreciate nature’s tenacity without seeing the same plot change over time.  And sometimes, if I’m lucky, I’ll stumble across a relic that reminds me just how much history this land holds.  Small things.  A piece of a mason jar lid; an oak tree with a strand of old barbed wire almost totally engulfed in its trunk; a flowering plant just enough out of place that it must have been planted by hand out in front of some long forgotten homestead.

A 1940s-era map of the area.  New roads have been built, old roads have been abandoned, and many of the homesteads that appear on this map have totally disappeared

A 1940s-era map of the area. New roads have been built, old roads have been abandoned, and many of the homesteads that appear on this map have totally disappeared.  Photo from US Census Bureau

One of the trees on our fence.  It has grown up between the wires in the fence.

One of the trees on our fence. It has grown up between the wires.

There used to be a fence here...

There used to be a fence here…

...Here's a piece of wire from that old fence.  The tree has entirely consumed it.

…here’s a piece of wire from that old fence. The tree has entirely consumed it.

A rusty gear on an old oil pumpjack nearby

A rusty gear on an old oil pumpjack nearby

One of the fields, after mowing.  (Notice the red gate)

One of the fields, after mowing. (Notice the red gate)

The same field, after the grass has grown up.  (The same red gate is visible)

The same field, after the grass has grown up. (The same red gate is visible)

Which reminds me.  For all the things that change so quickly, some things seem to change beautifully slowly.  Take my neighbor, Mr. Turner.  He grew up on this land, and now, as an adult, he’s come back.  Every time I drive by, his jeep is parked out front and it makes me smile.  Or my other neighbor, who lives so far back in the woods that package delivery services won’t make deliveries to his door, and who likes it that way.  Or Mr. Williams, whose homemade tamales and fried pies have been a local staple for years and who, just this month, was profiled in the local co-op power magazine (the article itself can be downloaded here and starts on page 22).  If you ever find yourself in rural East Texas, he’s only 30 minutes north of Interstate 20.  Take FM 14 through Hawkins (if you hit Pine Mills, you’ve gone too far) and take a right on county road 3940.  And make sure you ask him how long his family has been in the tamale business.

It may not look like much, but the food is great and it's licensed and regularly inspected.

It may not look like much, but the food is great and the stand is licensed and regularly inspected.

After a week’s vacation though, it’s time to get back to work.  As much as I miss my family when I’m in Boston, I now also miss my work, my colleagues, and the life that I’m building for myself when I’m away.

My rescue dog, Hank, making himself comfortable on my couch.

My East Texas rescue dog, Hank, making himself comfortable on my couch in Boston.

 

Best,

Isaac

%d bloggers like this: