Side Trips: Current Interests & Events

22 June 2023

Our Bucket List Keeps Growing…

Our classmates continue to be busy with new plans and projects.  Here are a few more bucket list items that may interest or inspire you.  Send us a note at and let us know what’s on your own list for the winding road ahead!

  • Unlike a dear classmate, who was gifted with a fertile imagination (see prior newsletter list), I do want to see Machu Picchu (hike up) before I leave this planet. I guess I’m more of a doer. I’ve seen parts of Machu Picchu through my son’s VR specs but want to see the real thing. But Machu Picchu is only #6 on my list. Here are my top few:
    • Spend 3-6 months training in a Japanese pottery studio (ideally in a traditional pottery village) as a glorified apprentice. 
    • Hike the Camino del Santiago with my wife, kids, and their families.
    • Hike the Kumano Kodo in Japan with my wife, kids, and their families.- Chris Helm
  • When Laura and I retired, our top bucket list item was to visit National Parks.  In six years, we’ve visited 25 National Parks in the U.S and Canada, averaging about a week’s stay in each.  Continuing that journey remains our top Bucket List item.  In addition to physical fitness benefits, we have much more to learn about the historical, political, environmental, and future dimensions of these parks.  These trips have an unfortunate urgency: several of the parks we’ve visited have already been ravaged due to climate change, including forest fires and rising sea levels.  We are devastated by what has happened to these recent friends, but carry even greater resolve for advocacy and restoration.  Next-up priorities: Washington’s three parks and Virgin Islands National Park. – Rich Shaw
  • I’m no longer much interested in visiting cities.  Nature is the primary draw.  I’ve made it to most of such places I want to go (e.g., Yellowstone, Grand Canyon by boat, the Galapagos, Hawaii) but the inner passage to Alaska and Alaska itself are still hanging out there.  I’m hoping that Carleton alumni tours will offer a small ship exploration of the inner passage with an extension into Alaska itself. – Tom Phelps

Previous “Bucket List” Entries

  • In recent years I’ve had the time to renew my long-held interest in the pre-history of humankind through reading and on-line resources.  I appreciate the broader perspective it’s given me on life in today’s world.  There are several archeological sites in Northern Spain and Southwestern France where significant evidence of prehistoric life and culture has been found, including some of the most remarkable cave art yet discovered.  I’d like to actually visit these places, where families were tending to many of the same basic life needs that we humans, at the core, pursue today, over 20,000 years later.  (The south of France would just be an added bonus.) – Mary Jones
  • Take our grandchildren on a trip when they get older. My mother took each of her seven grandchildren on a trip that they planned together.  All of her grandchildren cherish the memories from their trips. I would love to think that our grandchildren could have similar adventures with us.-Kris Brown
  • I have no bucket list in terms of places I want to visit.  I don’t care much for traveling, especially nowadays.  But I’m trying to read all the classic books I was too busy (i.e. drunk) to read when we were in college.  I started with Gilgamesh and I’m up to Don Quixote, having read all of Homer and all of Shakespeare along the way.  It’s been a deeply rewarding experience – better than visiting Machu Picchu in my opinion! – R. Armstrong
  • In the fall term of ’72, Ellen joined several classmates on the London Seminar that was affectionately known as the “Bonner and Bailey Circus”. This was long before cell phones and texting, of course, so she sent letters to me on campus describing her experiences living in Cartwright Gardens, doing research at the British Library and the Guildhall Library, and taking in live performances in the West End of London. In recent years, Ellen and I talked about taking a London trip to relive her experiences, but sadly, she passed away before we could make the trip. The dream did not die, however, and my daughters and I hope to visit the London locations that made the experience so meaningful for Ellen and to honor her memory with love. -Dick Marchessault

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