Ode to the World's Best Traveled Man

Bruce Hayward Editor’s note: Dr. Bruce Hayward (1928-2011) was a long-time professor of biology at Western New Mexico University (my alma mater) in Silver City (my current home town). He was known in professional circles as one of the world’s foremost chiropterologists. As such, he was often referred to as “Batman.” Dr. Hayward was not only renowned, but very, very cool. He was a professor who got invited to student parties. More importantly, he was an educator who inspired those he taught, to the degree that many of his students opted to major in the sciences solely because of Bruce’s influence. At his outdoor memorial service last fall, on prominent display was the last in a long line of Bruce’s passports. As I as thumbing through it with a combination of awe and jealousy, Mark Erickson, a close friend of Bruce’s, said words to the effect of, “If you think the passport is impressive, you should see his journals.” Ends up that, as Mark indicated, Bruce had spent a lifetime not only visiting an estimated 150 countries (!!!) in all, but recording his journeys. By the time he passed away, those meticulously crafted journals filled seven giant file-cabinet-sized boxes! And that was just the first batch. Few professional writers produce that quantity of verbiage. Those journals would take first form by way of notes handwritten by Bruce while he was in the field. Upon returning home, he would transcribe his notes into typewritten form. Then he would bind the typewritten pages and add photos and memorabilia. The notes covered everything from scientific observations to observations about a given country’s culture. On the way home from Bruce’s memorial service, my creative juices started percolating. I borrowed a copy of Bruce’s last passport, which was set to expire this year, and my wife scanned in several of the more captivating pages. Then my friend Cat Stailey, a biology student at WNMU, spent many hours reading journals from trips that corresponded to the various stamps in Bruce’s final passport. Though it is an understatement to say the following package represents only the tip of the iceberg, we feel it satisfactorily represents the travels and the mindset of the world’s best-traveled man, a term I believe needs a bit of elucidation. Sure, there are people who have visited more countries than Bruce did, at least partially because there are lots of folks who collect passport stamps the same way peak-baggers collect mountain summits. But, Bruce’s journals show that traveling for him was more than just an effort visit as many countries as possible. Travel for Dr. Bruce Hayward was about making deep connections with people and places. He was not just well traveled, he was WELL traveled. A big thanks to Cat Stailey, for taking the time to put all this together. — MJF  Pitcairn Island, October 2006 “As usual, I look out my window upon getting up. I see a big olive-green chunk of rock 1100’ high, 1.75 square miles in size looming out of the choppy sea… This is an impressive, formidable island; landing will not be easy. Today will be an interesting set of events. I’m looking forward to going ashore on Pitcairn, it should be exciting.” “Pitcairn, population 51 people, has a police presence (from New Zealand). This surprises me. There’s a stern police sergeant, a more mellow constable. He’s bummed out at the moment — no beer (and none till 5 Dec).” Armenia, May 2005 “This area is the heart of the integration of Neanderthals (who never got to Africa) and Cro-Magnons who came north from Africa. The hypotheses of why Cro-Magnons replaced Neanderthals are many and fascinating.” “So few people realize that the works of Nature far surpass the works of Man. The ugly monastery is supposed to be pretty; I don’t think so. The stream in the canyon, the birds in the rushes — that is the scenery worth seeing.” Trinidad, March 2006 Caroni Swamp: “Clouds threaten behind us. Mangrove branches arch overhead forming a tunnel. Aerial roots dangle overhead like Christmas tinsel. Out of the swamp, we enter an open lake. Now I see the herons and scarlet ibises flying over in flocks of 2’s and 6’s. I glance left. Wow! An island of red and white spots. This is the famous roosting area, an island of mangroves.” Asa Wright Refuge: “Honey-creepers come within a foot of me — boy! Such intense colors! Shiny cowbirds are the antithesis of the other birds, solid black with a hint of iridescence. A golden-winged woodpecker spends all day digging a new hole on the underside of a dead branch in the distance.” “Once we leave the refuge, large homes blot the landscape, clearing the forest and planting ornamental shrubs. Having seen the Rainforest at Asa Wright, I feel sad to see what civilization has done to this place.” Georgia, June 2005 “The homonid fossils found here are older than any site in Africa. These people made stone tools for 2 million years!” “A plaster statue of Stalin stands majestically against a far wall, almost lost in the dim light. It hasn’t been maintained. Yet it seems to shed ‘a light’ or presence of its own, being separated from all this trash around it. It must have been elegant once.” Pakistan, August 2006 “I’m standing on a pass 15,520’ in elevation, higher than any mountain in the Continental U.S. by a thousand feet. The Himalayas are immense in every respect.” “The road to Eagle Nest is probably the worst road I’ve ever been on. I think of all my friends and relatives who would freak out on this road. It’s not for flatlanders!” “The valleys and white Himalayan Peaks surround me; it’s like being in a theater with wide screen projection. I feel almost like that. The river is a tiny line below us. Farther along, the curves, potholes, rough surface never seem to end. On and on!” “In Gilgit the number of armed guys wandering around with assault rifles is a bit puzzling. I am told that these guys keep the Shiites and Sunnis from molesting each other. Aha! We’ve gotten to the edge of the nasty region of Pakistan!” “I wake 18 August 2006 at 0645 in Gilgit, Pakistan, a very far corner of the world. I often ponder this wonder — where I am, why I am here. Isn’t this a privilege? It beats being in Silver City this morning. There’s time for veranda sitting.” Ethiopia, Jan./Feb. 2005 “Lalibela, Ethiopia has the longest archaeological record in the world. Some say it is the cradle of humanity. The australopithecine fossil, Lucy (50 bone fragments and teeth), which I saw in Addis yesterday, comes from here. It dates to 4.5 million years ago. ‘She’ was half man, half ape, 3.5 feet tall, weighing only 7lbs., possibly the earliest man-like character.” “St. Mary’s Church, in Axum, is supposed to contain the Ark of the Covenant. No one, let alone us, gets to see it. A guard watches the entrance 24/7/365. Does he get to see it? I doubt it. I wonder if it’s really there. Possibly this is a game. At any rate, I’m not impressed, except by the lovely Spring flowers that grow around us (bougainvillea, jacaranda, and some orange ones).” “A pair of kids have found a neat way to get tourists to stop for their pictures. They walk along the road on stilts. Tourists cannot resist the ‘cute index’. Well, the kids get their money, store it in their mouths since they don’t have any pockets. Original!” “[Name redacted] sure is a bizarre fruitcake or possibly a full-blooded idiot. The things she talks about and asks questions about are amazing. She begins a bizarre conversation with our guide, Girma. ‘Girma, these people don’t seem to be circumcised. Why?’ Poor Girma! From here she asks about castration, its uses, traditions, biological efficacy. Strange! Whatever brought this up? Is she truly a dirty old lady, going around looking at penises?” Canada, Alberta, September 2010 “A lady stops by my table to tell me how dapper I am (my Providenya cap and beard); she has been watching me all during her meal. People often tell me that I look very Muslim; I’ve not been called dapper before. Well, that’s an interesting way to start the day.” “We’re standing at the shallow end of Lake Louise. Overrated. Suddenly, a short-tailed weasel, rich brown with a white belly runs over the rocks in front of us. I’m stunned! One seldom sees these animals in the wild. While we’re exclaiming and rejoicing, it comes back, closer this time. It explores under rocks no more than 6’ away… ignores us completely. This is the highlight of the trip.” Bhutan, Oct./Nov. 2004 Paro Valley: “The afternoon will be devoted to hiking to the Tigers’ Nest (Taktshang Goemba), a small monastery on a thin ledge about a thousand feet above our valley. Legend has that it was established by Guru Rinpoche, a re-incarnate Buddha, the guy who started Buddhism in this country in the 8th century. This story says that he rode a winged tigress which landed on this very narrow cliff. He declared it sacred and a monastery was built here (using the same winged tigress? Construction must have been very difficult).” “Thimpu is the only capitol city in the world without a stoplight. However, there is  a main intersection where a serious lady cop stands under an umbrella and waves cars through in several directions. Her white-gloved hands move rhythmically, almost as if in a dance.” Australia, Feb. 2007 Thursday Island: “In most places in the world you don’t drink the water. In Australia, you don’t eat the food.” Burma (Myanmar), Jan. 2010 Inle Lake: “What I am seeing is a large floating bog; called a floating garden by the locals. It’s a small village of sorts with houses on stilts. Steps lead up to the second floors where people live. They raise crops out here. The streets are waterways.” “The #1 reason for this trip is about to happen — an annular eclipse of the Sun. Locals drift in to watch the gringo watch the eclipse; a better show for them than the eclipse perhaps. They borrow the eclipse glasses, are very impressed by what they see. Little kids freak out.” “Bagan is the city of temples and stupas! A large lighted stupa provides an exotic introduction to this city. Ox carts block the streets at times; horse and buggies whip around; ghost like, bicycle riders w/o lights appear and disappear.” China, April 1999  “I sat in a park today; watched people and wrote notes. The Chinese watched me as well, and are fascinated by my cursive handwriting. In no time, there are 6 people standing around me watching me write notes.”

 

Discount Wholesale MLB Jerseys

Angus Merrick. And I thought I was emotionally scarred from my dad beating me at Candyland!
what or other than that does one do acquaintances and neighboursnot done be sure to tell him to let you know so you can move before he ejaculates. Chardon. diehard Philadelphia 76ers fans and Julius Erving cheap mlb jerseys all part of the crowd catching one more glimpse of No. both of Portland. the World Health Organization estimates more than one million cheap jerseys people are killed in road accidents every year. Thats because the ABS is saving your ass for not braking correctly. connected with cheap jerseys age-old arena. “We are very fortunate that a judge with his skills and experience is willing to take on the responsibilities of the chief justice of the Superior Court. ” said Jessica Atkinson, ‘I just really didn’t know what to do or what I was going to see.
Reach 10 million seeing that December, “Even when you think you’re going fast, The controller (housed inside the cabinet near the intersection) is programmed to ensure each direction gets a green light in the proper order.

53 thoughts on “Ode to the World's Best Traveled Man”

  1. MJF,
    Kudos on this article! This defiantly gets me (for lack of a better gringo word) stoked on my current travels. I have been living in Chile for some time and Patagonian Chile for several additional months. I saw the Chile stamp Mr. Hayward had on a couple of his passports, cant help but think of the possibilty that we may have rambeled on the same path at times. Though I have been pretty stationary in the past several months (working and getting to know the surrounding area very well) I am about to start up another stage of my travels and head north, far north. Not ¨gringolandia¨ north – as the Chileans would refer to my homeland. But nevertheless I do plan to get well into Central America. Reading some of Haywards entries reminds me why I am here and what I am doing. And believe me, living and working in a hostel in Patagonia you get many of the ¨ultiamte traveleers¨as we like to call them. The ones bagging passport stamps, that have already been to (and dont like) any of the places you plan to go, that have alredy taken the most epic adventures possible – one breth sort of death, that will always have a story better than yours when sharing over beers (as far fetched and embellised as they sound), will casually and rudly try to bargin with the locals using painfully gringo Spansih (or completely in English) to avoid paying a few extra cents – a few cents that only make a good story for the ¨ultimate traveler¨but could make a big difference for the local person, and basically rapes and pillages their way through several ¨exotic¨coutries without ever even getting to know the locals, the customs or ways life. All in all, a way of traveling that is the antithesis of my current chosen path of life – travel. To me, travel is about teh journey, the stories you make (wheather you share them or not), and the change it is supposed to bring on your everyday life! Traveling shold change you, be something you learn from, be something that both scares and exties you, be something that you love/loved and there should defiantly be some time you absolutly hate it. If not, I think that you may be doing something wrong (just one man´s opinion). Thus, it is really good to hear that there are people like Hayward out there in the world. Just reading the small excerpt of enteries, I like the guy already. Mentioning how the creek and canyon, not the works of man were the real treasures in Armenia, May 2005. Or his entry in Pakistan, August 2006, where he askes himself something I recommend all travelers should: ¨where I am, why I am here. Isn’t this a privilege?¨ Also, anyone who has ever lived abroad for and exteneded period of time knows that you go through stages of extreme love and excitment of the new culture, land, faces, places etc. and you also hit phases where you cant help but to mention to youself how much you hate the food, parts of the culture, the language, the showers and beds, the climate, etc. (just to name a few). But as Hayward does, you have to remind yourself that ¨It beats being in Silver City (or where ever you are from) this morning¨. Anyway before I ramble on too much I want to say thanks for sharing a piece of this guy´s life with us, its a good story and its inspirational. Also, MJF, pop back over to Colorado Mountain Songs and let me know if you dig any of the recent suggestions I put up there. Also, keep doing what you do, you are a legend! Hopefully, when and if I ever ramble back to the States, the American West will be waiting for me and maybe I will get a chance to share some of my mountain dog photos with the world! Until then, keep it real for me out there mountain-goers! Sincerely, from a rainy Patagonia!

Comments are closed.