As I look west out of the Illinois clubhouse I see trees losing their leaves and corn husks swirling around the dark harvested fields in the chilly wind. The polar vortex is spreading a blast of cold air over the entire Midwest and we are getting out the storm windows and changing the filters on our heaters. We don’t need to visit the North Pole, it has come here to us! Meanwhile I am planning to fly to the Arizona clubhouse at the end of November. Canadian WEX manager and crystal skull researcher Jim Honey and his wife Jill are planning to visit the Arizona clubhouse and bookstore around then. I’ll introduce them to the new Ripley’s Believe It or Not pinball game now at the clubhouse.
On October 19 we left for a nearly three-week expedition to examine megalithic Ethiopia. Our group of eight people, including filmmaker and WEX member Lee Sullivan, fit nicely into the bus that careened the steep mountain roads as we visited Lake Tana, the castles of Gonder, the baboons of the Simien Mountains, and fabulous Axum with its fabulous megaliths. Here we visited the church that is reported to hold the Ark of Covenant, but we couldn’t see the precious relic, which is only on display once per year and even then hidden by a cloth. Finally we visited the rock-cut churches of Tigray and the mysterious monolithic granite churches of Lalibela. Later Jennifer and I flew to Dire Dawa on the rail line to Djibouti and went to the ancient walled city of Harar near the Somali border. Here we had encounters with locals feeding hyenas on the edge of town! Look for an article in a future issue of World Explorer!
Our next trip is a 10-day expedition to Colombia beginning on February 6, 2015. We fly down to Bogota and visit the museum with the famous gold airplanes. We continue on to the megalithic ruins at San Agustin in the west of the country and then fly to the old colonial city of Cartagena with it's awesome fortress. There should even be time for a leisurely dip in the beautiful Caribbean. It should be an exciting trip and we hope you will join us.
In July I went to Paracas and Nazca along the southern Peruvian coast to be with Giorgio Tsoukalos and the crew of his new television show on The History Channel called In Search of Aliens. We flew over the Nazca lines and viewed the fascinating Mandala etched onto a hill in another valley called Palpa. We checked out the conehead skulls in Paracas as well, and the strange “band of holes” mentioned in one of Erich von Daniken’s books (literally a line of strange holes in the desert hills, best seen from the air). The team had a cool drone with a camera that was able to capture some amazing footage. Look for Giorgio’s show on Friday nights!
Jennifer and I took a road trip through Winslow, Holbrook and Concho to Zuni and Gallup to film some footage for an episode of The History Channel’s popular show Ancient Aliens. We stayed at the historic El Rancho hotel, home to the stars of many early Westerns being filmed on location in the in the surrounding desert landscape. John Wayne, Errol Flynn, Doris Day and about 150 other A-listers stayed at the inn; our room was the James Cagney (yes, he was more than a mobster). You can buy the Ancient Aliens DVD sets from Adventures Unlimited. Collect them all!
Jennifer and I also took a whirlwind road trip in April through beautiful Zion National Park in southern Utah. We visited the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, Nevada, on the Extraterrestrial Highway, the only watering hole for miles. Whenever you’re in the “Area,” stop by to stock up on a good selection of Adventures Unlimited books and DVDs, not to mention alien mouse pads, shot glasses and wine!
Our Ancient Aliens trip to Mexico in March was a great time. It began in Mexico City where we saw the huge pyramids of Teotihuacan, and went on to the ancient Toltec capital of Tula, and the strange Waldemar Julsrud Museum in Acambaro. Our small group really enjoyed the delightful town of Queretaro, where we stayed in an atmospheric converted convent and met up with (now-local) WEX member Steve Garcia. We then went to Oaxaca in southern Mexico to visit the megalithic mountaintop city of Monte Alban, the (seemingly) Mediterranean-influenced complex of Mitla, and more. It was a great group and fun trip! Check out the AUP book Mystery in Acambaro by Charles Hapgood.
The Adventures Unlimited bookstore in Cottonwood, Arizona, is still going strong. The Thunder Valley Rally was held in Old Town in late September, and our employee Jeri (a.k.a. Siren) took second place in the Miss TVR contest. Keep fingers crossed, and keep checking the bookstore’s webpages. Drop in at 1020 N. Main Street when you are in the Sedona-Cottonwood-Jerome area, or give the staff a call at: 928-639-1664. Sorry, the store is closed on Sundays.
We are still thinking of WEX trips to Tibet and Mount Kailash plus a yeti expedition—perhaps in 2015. Keep checking the webpages, or book a trip there with Adventure Pilgrims Trekking in Kathmandu. You could experience the mysterious temples of Kathmandu and the majestic heights of the high Himal. Govinda, at the WEX Club offices in the tourist-friendly Thamel neighborhood, can help plan every aspect of your visit. Check out the latest adventure travel news and expeditions offered by Adventure Pilgrims Trekking, or give them a call at: 977-975-107-7190. Get our popular WEX Kathmandu T-shirt from the Wexmart pages at www.wexclub.com.
The Frontier Bookshop in Amsterdam is near Anne Frank’s House, located on a canal just north of the Westerkirk. It is located in the trendy Jordaan neighborhood, full of popular cafes and one-of-a-kind shops selling unique merchandise and art. The address is Leliegracht 42, 1015 DH Amsterdam. Tel: (+34) 020-3309151. Visit the website at: www.frontierbookshop.nl.
As always, keep a keen eye out for possible World Explorers Club future establishments—is your future entwined with spreading the fun of discovering the mysteries of our fabulous world? Is there a WEX clubhouse to be acquired in your town? Be sure to contact us with any ideas about starting a retail outlet or clubhouse!
Also, send in your classified ad; remember up to 25 words are free for WEX members. We are always looking for stories or news clippings, so send those in, too! I recently got my own web domain and you can check it out here: www.DavidHatcherChildress.com.
So, get a hot cider spiked with your favorite spices and enjoy the new issue of World Explorer!