2012
10/29

COMMENTS:

Contributors

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Tony Tedeschi

“Let me understand this,” she said with a quizzical look on her face, “you write term papers for a living.” Naturaltraveler.com editor, Tony Tedeschi, admits that the analysis of his life’s work by his youngest daughter had given him pause. “But,” he replied, “look at the places I get to visit.” Tedeschi does plead guilty to an almost insatiable sense of wonder that has taken him to places far and wide, in many cases simply because he hadn’t been there yet. As a result of these
explorations, he has contributed to dozens of newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including
The New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, New Hampshire Telegraph, Christian Science Monitor, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune. He has had numerous articles published in magazines and currently writes all the special travel sections for Audubon. His photography has appeared in such publications as The Atlantic Monthly, American Way, Brides and Travel & Leisure. Tedeschi is author, co-author or a major contributor to more than a dozen books, including his latest novel, Unfinished Business, available through online book sellers.

James Rosenthal

Contributing food writer James Rosenthal has traveled the globe for several years in pursuit of the perfect hot lemon pie—a dessert so idyllic, so bathed in divine evanesce, that it defies any ordinary classification. His search ended briefly after discovering what passed for “perfection” in a small, exclusive restaurant on the outskirts of Siena. Within the walls of a former convent/monastery, he supped on locally-produced Chianti and Italian cheeses until the dessert course was presented and—alley oop—the hot lemon pie (no more a tarte au citron than a home-baked apple pie) appeared on the table a la Godrick Gryffindor’s sword in Harry Potter’s latest epic. In the end, the joy of this culinary experience seeped out of its container rather quickly-it raised the bar ever higher for perfection, but could not end his silly and expensive quest for a glorified pastry. When he’s not searching the globe for desserts, James Rosenthal is often checking out top-of-the-line kitchens at posh resorts and urban gastronomic centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Western Europe. His first installment in a monthly column on food and beverage takes us to Vancouver’s Lumiere, where a spectacular meal came accompanied by the wit and banter of its chef/owner Rob
Feenie.

Skip Kaltenheuser

In the decade he has mostly written for a living, Skip Kaltenheuser’s work has appeared in more than 100 domestic and international publications, due in part to maintaining his strict standard of writing for whomever will have him. A recovering lawyer and a former assistant attorney general for Kansas, he migrated to Washington, D.C. in 1979 to do “guvmint work” after his former boss, the AG, lost reelection after being seen in a Joplin motel with a woman who vaguely resembled the AG’s wife. When told he’s not in Kansas anymore, Kaltenheuser asks “Are you sure?” Kaltenheuser’s young son and daughter, Jack and Katie Jane, 7 and 10, have spent their entire lives in the middle of D.C., yet remain unindicted. Most of Kaltenheuser ‘s topics focus on business, law, politics and ethics, with occasional op-ed pontifications, but when lucky he works in travel and culture, rounding off much of the world’s loosely defined four corners. He is partial to adventure/eco travel, and also pursues carnivals across different cultures, admiring their unique melting pots and common themes of renewal and a clean slate. He was recently invited to be a featured photographer for a camera company website. Kaltenheuser also does media consulting – Have Pen Will Travel. Despite a highly varied career, he has never been accused of exercising undue influence in Washington, and denies all responsibility for the current mischief. Occasionally he observes elections in far flung countries, from the Balkans to Kazakhstan, trying not to take a small comfort in others’ mistakes. skip.kaltenheuser@verizon.net

Bill Scheller

Bill Scheller’s first piece for naturaltraveler.com came about while he was on assignment for Islands magazine in the Dominican Republic. While there, Bill decided to take a road trip through the Cordillera Central, the highest and most rugged mountains in the Caribbean, so far off the beaten path he described it as “real adventure, the kind where you’re a damned fool who doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.” While this may have been a bit “over the top,” even for Bill, it was part of a lifetime of adventure and award-winning writing about his journeys. Like almost everybody else in his adopted state of Vermont, Bill Scheller comes from New Jersey. In a travel writing career that he has been stubborn enough to drag out for more than 20 years, he has canoed through northern Ontario and around Manhattan Island; retraced much of Christopher Columbus’s 1492 route through the Bahamas; twice completed the transcontinental “One Lap of America” road rally; driven the entire Italian coastline from France to the former Yugoslavia; covered a 700-mile route through Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula by snowmobile; bicycled the length of Prince Edward Island; and crossed North America seven times by train. With his friend Chris Maynard, he is co-author of the legendary “Manifold Destiny, a guide to cooking on car engines,” and of “The Bad For You Cookbook, a collection of high-calorie recipes.” Bill lives with his wife and son at the end of a dirt road 17 miles south of the Canadian border, which he finds handy because his student deferment has expired and you never know when they’ll call up 53-year-olds. In his office, he has a Frederick Remington print of two Canadian voyageurs in a canoe and an 18th-century engraving of the Grand Canal, reminders that one of his ambitions is to paddle through Venice – if his 16-foot Merrimack will fit in one of Alitalia’s overhead compartments.

Ostdick NT bio photo 2013 updatePhoto: Don Knight

John H. Ostdick

John writes about and photographs places and people and their passions wherever his journeys make take him.

During the past 30-plus years, John has worked in newspapers (The Dallas Morning News: various editing positions, 1979-1993), magazines (American Way magazine: editor-in-chief, 1993-1998), and as a freelance writer contributing to various print and online publications (through his company, The Write House, 1998-present). He has also contributed to book projects (my bug [Artisan Books, 1999], Boone Pickens: The Luckiest Guy in the World [Beard Books 2000] and Fodor’s USA. Much of John’s work involves travel, outdoor adventure, and culinary topics (he likes to hike, bike, and camp — not to mention eat) but he’s also written extensively in the past about consumer technology, business people and trends for both corporate and editorial publications, and on environmental issues.

John coordinated many award-winning projects while at The Dallas Morning News, and during his tenure as editor-in-chief of American Way the magazine earned many regional and national Best Magazine honors. Most recently, two of his images earned recognition at the 2013 SATW Central States
Chapter Writing Competition.

During 2003, John and Naturaltraveler.com founder Tony Tedeschi instructed bartenders throughout rural Argentina in the proper technique for making the perfect martini. Ever since, they have threatened to return and determine how much their efforts changed the drinking environment there.

He lives in Dallas with his Pastry Chef-writer-editor wife, Michelle Medley.

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Linda Buchanan Allen

Linda Buchanan Allen has been a freelancer since 1986, when she quit her editorial job at Houghton Mifflin to climb a mountain in Nepal. Since then she has written books and articles for college textbook publishers, Yankee Books, Appalachian Mountain Club Books, The Writer, The Boston Globe, Practical Horseman, Horsemen’s Yankee Pedlar and others. She met NT editor and fellow contributor Bill Scheller at the Appalachian Mountain Club headquarters in 1986 (upon returning from Nepal), where they both served on the publications board for the club. Just like Bill, Linda is originally from New Jersey—but she lives in New Hampshire instead of Vermont.

Ken Aiken

Ken Aiken is a native Vermonter who divides his time between
Vermont, Montreal, and being on the road.He was catapulted into a
career as a travel writer when “Touring
Vermont’s Scenic Roads”
for Down East Books was published in 1999. “It
was happenstance,” he says, “the serendipitous collision of two seemingly
unrelated written statements that were read on a particular day that motivated
me to spend two years creating my first book. I had no overt intention to
become a writer.”

With a professional
background as a master goldsmith and gemologist he taught foundry at Goddard
College and Fine Metals at Vermont Community College before taking on the task
of developing jewelry and numismatic products utilizing ancient artifacts for
International Coins & Currency. His work in restoring the treasure
recovered from the 1641 wreck of the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de la Concepción brought him international
recognition. “When Skindiver magazine asked me to write an article about sunken
treasure I had no clue as to how to proceed. I had been writing a weekly column
on gemstones for a local newspaper for more than a year, yet didn’t consider
myself to be a writer,” he states, “and asked a friend, David Edlestein, to
author the piece.” Another decade would elapse before he would write his
next published article.

Although best
known as a motorcycle journalist he claims that two wheels are simply his
preferred method of travel. “When I’m doing historical research in a
museum, searching for fossils, or tasting wine in a vineyard the subject of
what vehicle brought me there simply isn’t germane to these stories, but I
probably arrived on a motorcycle. Flipping these experiences around to
transform them into motorcycle touring adventures is merely another way of
looking at them.”

He’s been listed in Marquis“Who’s Who In The World” (6th Edition)
and “Who’s Who In Finance and Industry” (22
nd Edition), was the recipient of the John T. Amber
Literary Award of 2001, and was recognized by the Vermont Legislature for his
efforts in the adoption of hessonite garnet as the state gemstone. In
2007 he was invited as a guest speaker at the Ward Francillon Time Symposium
(NAWCC) where he presented “New England’s
Revolution in Precision Manufacturing, 1847.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto: Karsh of Ottawa

Steve Bergsman

Steve Bergsman has been an author, freelance journalist, real estate columnist and travel writer for the past three decades. His news stories have appeared in over 100 newspapers, magazines, newsletters and wire services around the globe. Outlets that have published articles by Steve include The New York Times, Barron’s Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. In addition, Steve has been a writer for such news services such as Reuters, Inman News, Copley News Service, and Creator’s Syndicate.

Since all that couldn’t keep Steve out of trouble, he has also written six books: the first five were non-fiction, including the Maverick Real Estate series and his memoir of growing up in America’s first suburb, called Growing Up Levittown. Steve’s last book was his first novel, The Death of Johnny Ace, the fictionalized life of a real person, 1950s R&B singer Johnny Ace.

Well, all that left some free time, so Steve has hit the road many, many times over the past decades — much so that by last count he has touched down in over 130 countries. Whatever his next stop is, you’ll probably read about here on the Natural Traveler web site.

Steve Lagreca

Steve’s dream is to hike and photograph the best trails in the world. To date, this quest has taken him backpacking, camping, and trekking a couple thousand miles to 125 national and state recreation areas, in 8 countries. He’s shared this longtime wanderlust by leading seven 50-100 mile treks through Philmont Scout Ranch, nestled in New Mexico’s Sangre de Christo mountains. Considering this a good start, but feeling pinched on time, he recently retired from his career in information technology to quicken the pace.

He notes that experiencing the panoramic vistas, colorful sunrises, brilliant stars, pine-scented forests, gurgling streams, thundering waterfalls and majestic peaks easily trumped the leaky tents, insect swarms, near-hypothermia, bear encounters, and that pesky typhoon.

When not on the trail, he’s looking for the most scenic highways and byways to get there … in cool cars. He and his wife Sandy recently drove nostalgic Route 66, a.k.a. the “Main Street of America”, in their 1970 Mach 1 Mustang. When asked what part of the 2,541 miles they traveled, he blinked and said: “All of them, of course.”

You can see some of Steve’s recent photography here.