Travel Undaunted

Bangkok, Thailand, terrorist bombing

News of terrorist bombing this week in Bangkok hit me like a sock to the stomach! Thailand, the “Land of Smiles”, and truly wonderful people, doesn’t deserve the brutality brought on by crazy anarchists! My immediate thought was…”We have to plan a trip soon to come back to Bangkok and Thailand!” We will travel undaunted and not be scared off because of this horrific event! I thought the same thing after the 2002 and 2005 bombings in Bali. We returned to Bali in 2005!
Mark Jenkins wrote, “Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it.”
I love the emotion of this picture of Marla giving a “wai” to the owner of a shop in Chiang Mai we did business with for Wesco Fabrics.

Wat Pho, Buddha, Bangkok

We will definitely come back to Bangkok soon! I’ll never forget the majesty of the Reclining Buddha in Wat Pho.

Marla Gentry, Wesco Fabrics, Thailand

We made many good friends sourcing products for Wesco Fabrics in Thailand over the years.


Travel to favorite locales like Thailand and Bali is very special. It is the people and culture first, and the architecture….but then it is the cacophony of motor scooters, birds, sounds of people enjoying themselves, and prayers in a temple. Everything appears more intense. Colors are so saturated you can almost taste them. You encounter smells of sandalwood, charcoal, sweat, and scents indescribable in my vocabulary.

BaliRidge Trail, Ubud


And then there is Bali, an island so rich in visual beauty, but sadly not immune to terrible acts of terrorists. We still return, and return again! The laughter of girls walking home from their school in Bali, and an image of a woman walking the Ridge Trail near Ubud after selling her wares at the market.

temple, Bali, New Year

A temple procession in rural Bali before the New Year festivities.

Goa Gajan Temple, Bali

Prayers at the Goa Gajah temple in Bali.

jungle, Balinese architecture

The wonderful juxtaposition of modern Balinese architecture and the impossibly green jungle below.

lotus flower, Buddhism

I close with an image of a lotus flower. In Buddhism it symbolizes the rising above the murk to achieve enlightenment. The red lotus also symbolizes compassion and love. We really could use a lot of compassion and love right now!

All images by Dick Gentry.

Adversity Friendship Victory

Taylor Phinney, U.S. Pro Challenge

Pro cyclist, Taylor Phinney, burst from the pack in this week’s first stage of the U.S. Pro challenge in Steamboat Springs, and claimed an amazing victory! It’s a great story, but it was not supposed to happen. In fact, after a horrific crash 15 months ago at the U.S. Cycling Championships in Chattanooga, TN, doctors thought he might lose a leg or at the least never ride a bike again! Obviously they had not experienced the fortitude and drive of a Taylor Phinney! This is also a story of a friendship manifesting itself in a time of crisis!

Taylor Phinney

A motorcycle race official, underestimating racers going 50 miles per hour plus on a downhill section,  caused Taylor’s terrible crash.  In 2014 a training friend from Boulder Colorado, Lucas Euser, was behind Taylor when he crashed. Seeing the severity of the injury, Lucas got off his bike to help.  Amazingly, Lucas was on a competing team and subsequently quit the  race to be with his friend, even after Taylor told him to get back in the race! This is real friendship!

Taylor Phinney

Taylor’s left leg was in terrible shape with multiple compound fractures. Many surgeries and months of physical therapy did not deter Taylor from getting on his bike. Fifteen months later Taylor had his victory, something he only dreamed about during his rehab.

Taylor Phinney, David Phinney, Connie Carpenter Phinney

Taylor has unique competitor’s DNA as the son of Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter Phinney. Davis, now battling Parkinson’s Disease, was the second American to win a stage in the Tour de France. Connie won cycling gold in the ’84 Olympics.

I love stories of fortitude and the road to success as people battle adversity. We wish Taylor and his family all the best.

***Very interesting video on his crash, rehabilitation, and chat with Taylor’s friend, Lucas Euser.

***Must see video of Taylor Phinney’s victory in this week’s race in Steamboat Spring, Colorado!