Shi Shi Beach

The Ark Saucer of Sauvie Island

On a quiet stretch of Columbia River beach, an unexpected ark sends us to discover the life of the maverick inventor who built it.


Notes from the Road


Imagine that you're careening through the city on an old bus, and you find a notebook wedged in the corner of the seat. Open it up. Dusty sketches of swampy backwaters, photographs of foreign lands, illustrations of exotic foods. No destination reviews, no top 10 lists and no industry guest posts. It appears to be written merely for the joy of curious explorers and travelers.

This was the reason I set out to create Notes from the Road in 1999. If you enjoy reading about travel, dive in: Notes from the Road rewards readers who enjoy digging deep and exploring even while surfing the web. Check out my Roam section, where I write about everything from organizing for travel, to the importance of science to travel bloggers, to traveling through the deserts of Mexico and the fight to save the marine wilderness of Guana Cay.


Recent Travel Notes


About Erik Gauger


You can learn more about me and the history of Notes from the Road in the about section. You can also catch up with my radio interview, where I talk about experimental travel writing, the future of travel blogging and my lessons on learning to travel. I also keep a list of great imrprovised road trip music from the Grateful Dead and Phish.

"Be Inspired!" – Lonely Planet

"Unexpected frontier of the travel blogosphere" – Boston Globe

"Sumptuous Site" – Time Magazine

"The Best Looking Blog We've Seen" – Forbes Magazine

"Best of the Travel Blogs" – National Geographic Traveller

"Stands out for Hard Journalism" – Lowell Thomas Awards in 2012

Travel Photography Blog

Travel Sketches & Maps


I illustrate my travel blog with sketches in marker, watercolor, pen and pencil. Travel sketches and travel journals have a way of capturing a place in a way that travel photographs cannot. And they can illustrate a particular thing about a place from the subjective mood and perspective of the traveler. If you're interested in creating your own travel sketchbook, here is a post on creating lightweight travel sketchbook supplies. You can also check out my travel maps, like my West Indies Map, my Portugal map, my Nicaragua map, or my Salton Sea map.

  • Cuba Journal

    Cuba Sketch Journal

    Sketches and illustrations, as well as notes on the U.S. conversation about Cuba, and its effect on Cuba and the Caribbean.
  • Barcelona Sketches

    Barcelona Journal

    Drawings, sketches and illustrations from Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
  • Sicily Sketches

    Sicily Sketches

    Drawings and Moleskine sketches from my travels on the island of Sicily.
  • Paris Sketches

    Paris Sketches

    Notes, drawings, sketches and illustrations in different mediums from Paris
  • Bahama Yellowthroat Bird Sketch

    My List of
    Life Birds

    An updated list of every species of bird I’ve seen in my travels, with sketches and drawings.
  • Moleskine Travel Journals

    Moleskine Travel Journals

    Look inside my travel moleskine journals, which I use to make notes and reference my itinerary.
  • Rock of Gibraltar Apes

    Ernest and the
    Barbary Apes of Gibraltar

    Notes on Gibraltar and its famous macaques, plus an interview with one of their protectors.
  • Map of Abaco Islands

    Map of Abaco Islands

    My Copic and watercolor map of the Great Abaco and Little Abaco in the Northern Bahamas
  • Cuba Map


    My watercolor map of Cuba, featuring the cities on my itinerary.

Strange Creatures on the Road


I witnessed the strangest thing in the damp forest east of Odell, Oregon. Check out my notes on fairy moths.

Fairy Moth Macro Photography

Online Travel Blog


I don't like to tell people how to travel, how to pack or where to go. But, I think we can learn from each other when we share how we do things. Below are some of my most recent stories on how I organize for travel. Also, Notes from the Road features the Guana Cay Blog, which focuses on a specific example of how megadevelopments can play a negative role in travel destinations. I also keep notes on my bird life list, butterfly life list, reptile life list, dragonflies and damselflies list and amphibian life list.

"Beautiful, Edge to edge."


- Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, at the 2017 Apple Keynote Address.

Apple featured Notes from the Road to introduce the Apple iPhone X, another example of how we have been innovating the look and feel of the future of the web here at our little travel blog. I encourage you to take a look at the site, coded by hand by my brother and fellow traveler, Hans Gauger, on a high-resolution screen. My photographs and illustrations are meant to viewed in a horizontal format on smartphones.

Notes from the Road and Apple iPhone

More Travelogue Notes


Did you know that I created Notes from the Road before the phrase 'travel blog' even existed? In 1999, when I started writing this blog while traveling on a shoestring budget, they called travel blogs, 'online travelogues.'