Jan 15, 2015

Seeking The Sound Of Silence – My Story On The BBC

My photo and story – about winter-camping in continental America's quietest place – hit the front page of the BBC today.
Meteors streaked behind the silhouettes of 250ft-tall Douglas firs. The night sky over the Hoh Rainforest burned bright, achingly beautiful. Still, I closed my eyes.

I hiked here to listen, not to look.

Read more... or check out the photos.

Dec 31, 2014

My Best Of 2014: 3 Stories & 14 Images That Made It Sing!

Amanda Castleman swimming with Poco Blonde Princess of Rancho Washikemba, Bonaire. Image copyright Lisa Sonne.

This year brought some excellent adventures, from swimming with horses in Bonaire to diving the world's most concentrated sockeye salmon run in British Columbia. Here are three of my favorite stories and 14 top images from 2014. I can't wait to see what's next!

  • Vanishing Barns On The Backroads
    Travelgirl Magazine: This marriage of art and Americana may be headed for hard times. The Palouse’s beloved, historic barns are succumbing to age, weather and upgrades such as metal siding: practical, but not so picturesque. Expensive renovations can cause farmers to flinch — a new roof can cost $50,000. So when up-cycling companies bid on the distressed timbers for bars and restaurants, it’s hard not to sell out.
  • Eyeball to eyeball with Canada’s migrating salmon
  • BBC Travel: My brain froze as I submerged into the cold water of British Columbia’s Shuswap Lake. But the discomfort paled as I watched sockeye salmon – hundreds of cherry-tinted fish with moss-green heads – swirl overhead like a kaleidoscope. At the end of an epic 4,000km journey, they were waiting to swim the final leg upstream to spawn and die.
  • Contraband Cuisine: Why Pork May Be the Number One Threat to American Borders
    Bon Appetit: Pigs always make customs officer Chris R. Richards’s blood run cold. He can confiscate bush meat, $5,000 bird nests—even grave dirt—without much drama. But anything involving pork tends to get heated…and to skid quickly toward combustion. “Take away their ham, and people shout, bang the table, and throw things," he says.

Favorite images from 2014 by Amanda Castleman (www.amandacastleman.com)

Dec 30, 2014

The Great Tortilla Race: Store Run Vs. Homemade.

So we ran out of tortillas today. My fella Doug – hugely wonderful guy that he is – instantly saddled up for a grocery run.

"Wait, we could make them!" I said.

"We could. But I could also run to the store. Much easier," he replied.

"My dad made tortillas from scratch all the time, when he hiked the Appalachian Trail. He's famous for it in all the books about the first through-hikers. How hard can it be, if he managed in the wilderness?"

Thus began the Great Tortilla Race.

I found a recipe, knocked out these homely-but-delicious babies, cooked and consumed a quesadilla, and cleaned the kitchen. Doug's still in a sluggish checkout line, then has to face three miles of rush-hour traffic home.


Thanks for the inspiration, Dad! And bravo to Doug for dealing with holiday hubbub!

Dec 26, 2014

Gifting Only Art For The Holiday: Achievement Unlocked!

My fella Doug framed a David Alan Harvey photo and I coaxed a book-art shadow box from the fabulous Michelle Andrea Chaves. This Christmas will keep us smiling for years...

Jake the Tabbycat approves! Images copyright www.amandacastleman.com.

Dec 25, 2014

Our Day Was Merry And Bright. Hope Yours Were Too!

View from our yard -- the Olympics and Puget Sound -- Xmas Day 2014. Image copyright www.amandacastleman.com.

Dec 21, 2014

Winter Solstice: A Very Welcome Turning Point

After the tumult of 2014, I'm ready for the light to return. Let it shine!

Sunset at Kalaloch Lodge, Olympic Peninsula. Image copyright www.amandacastleman.com

Dec 18, 2014

Time Out (Briefly) In A North Cascades Sanctuary

The calm before the storm: an assignment sent me to a treehouse on Mount Rainier's slopes, just before work stress and holiday chaos really ramped up. ‪#‎RememberingToBreathe‬

The pond outside Turiya cabin at Wellspring Spa near Mount Rainier. Image copyright www.amandacastleman.com.