Podcast and Book: Backtracks: The White Heart of Mojave

Travel to Death Valley in the early 1920s and discover what has changed (and what hasn’t) in the last hundred years in this gorgeous travel narrative with a modern twist. Written in 1922 by Edna Brush Perkins, The White Heart of Mojave tells the story of two friends who decide to go on an adventure in the Mojave desert before southern California’s empty spaces turned into tourist hot spots. A hundred years later, Lisa McNamara updates the original story with what the characters went on to do, what the places later became, and how she has experienced Mojave herself. Any lover of the desert will get lost in this poetic adventure story.

The White Heart of Mojave (Annotated) is available in two formats:

  • Good old fashioned book: available on Amazon as a Kindle ebook and a paperback, the text version features additional details not included in the podcast and full color photographs.
  • Podcast: available in Series 3 of the Road Tripping in America podcast.

Podcast: Road Tripping in America – Life on the Road

Road Tripping in America is a podcast about life on the road, written, recorded, and produced by me, with additional editing and recording by Paul Olson. The podcast follows us as we explore the United States in a pickup truck with a camper named The Bobs.

If you daydream about long-term travel or overlanding or #vanlife – or maybe you’re already on your own adventure – join us for some entertainment from the road.

Road Tripping in America Podcast Cover

The Road Tripping in America podcast is available on all major podcasting apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube. The Road Tripping in America website also hosts the podcasts and extra content like transcripts and links to things I mention in the episodes.

Here are some of my favorite episodes:

S4:E7 – Montana’s Most Wanted: What happens when you get pulled over in the middle of the night by what feels like the entire police force of Missoula, MT? It’s a Driver’s Ed segment featuring three dads from upstate New York who, for a few hours in 1993, found themselves in the kind of situation they never expected to be in when they had left home for a northern Rockies backpacking trip 40ish hours earlier.

S2:E8 – Third Time’s a Charm in Death Valley: After previous attempts were thwarted by Maruchan lunches, underpowered rental cars, unusual rainstorms, distracting flowers, flying tents, and snow, we finally managed to climb a big mountain. And why we’ll never stop returning to Death Valley, no matter what it throws at us.

S2:E3 – Ruins, Rats, and Realizations: What are ruins, really? A trip to Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico digs up memories of Lisa’s favorite childhood playground. And, Hartman Rocks is an amazing place to mountain bike in Gunnison, Colorado but…be prepared with rodent repellent if you’re there in pack rat nesting season! It was a battle of Paul vs. the pack rats – and the pack rats won.

Check out roadtrippinginamerica.com for more.

Blog: Driving Inertia – In Search of the Continuous Road Trip

Driving Inertia is a travel blog written by Paul Olson and me.

Here are some of my favorite stories that I’ve written from the road:

The Idaho Drive: Ketchum to Boise via Stanley, Boise to McCall and Back Again: hot springs, campgrounds, real towns, ghost towns, and more.

Writing Haiku in Glacier National Park: enjoying the moments of boredom that lead to inspiration. Whatever that inspiration may be…

Hiking and Camping in Canyonlands National Park’s Needles District: one of my favorite places to get lost.

A Night at the Bug Bar in Tate’s Hell: I wrote a short story to cope with one of the creepiest campground bathrooms I’ve every experienced.