• J. Darris Mitchell

Road Tripping

On Desk

Good afternoon!

I write this Bubblephone from my cousin’s basement in Detroit! We have started our road trip across America this week, so as you might imagine I have not been terribly productive. I still need to finish writing the last two episodes of Mesa Segura. We’ll be recording on Friday, and I will be remoting in. Should be awkward. Yeah!

Personal Note

I had hoped that I could use 2021 to jumpstart my writing career, but my fellow science-denying Americans have made that impossible. So instead of going to conventions and selling books, I am going to be spending a lot of time writing about our adventures living in an RV and traveling the US of A for a year.

You can read all about them at

I’m not going to post the full-length articles here but will tease you with tantalizing details.

You can read about our first day on the road right here.

Or you can explore the harrowing twists and turns of the mountain range between Arkansas and Oklahoma that I had not known existed before driving down it, hauling 7000 pounds of trailer behind me! Was it terrifying? Yes. Did I survive? Click here to find out!

Bird of the Week

Excerpted from

On our way down to the Brazos River I spotted a yellow warbler. This banana bird is yellow with brownish streaks that make it look like an overripe banana. They’re not terribly uncommon, but I find them pretty and they’re one of the few warblers you can find in central Texas in the summer. A great bird to see to start our trip!

Past the warbler, we saw some of the usual suspects: cardinals singing, chickadees saying that onomatopoeic name, an eastern phoebe bobbing its tail. I also tried out Merlin’s new sound ID feature on a familiar chupping call I heard from some brush and was pleased to see that even with my kids making a bit of a racket, it was able to pick out the call as that of a Northern Mockingbird. Cool feature. Hopefully it will be quite useful in the north, where I am less familiar with the locals and the sounds they make.

Down at the Brazos, we swam and found incredibly well-preserved raccoon tracks in the mud. Leo and Xander both screamed bloody murder when we made them climb out of the river, though eventually, they calmed down, and Leo vowed to go on a track hunt the next day.

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