The Camden House at Christmas. Photo: Eden, Journal of the California Garden & Landscape History Society, Winter 2021, Volume 24, Number 1. pp. 52–3.

“Success was called LUCK by those that failed. From observation, nine-tenths of the ‘luck’ came from hard work and judgment.” — Charles Camden [1]

Orchards of the Tower House Historic District

Levi H. Tower (1820–65) purchased land and a lodging house on Clear Creek in western Shasta County in 1851. He expanded the…

Fishguard, Lower Harbor. Photo: Courtesy of The Manor Town House

Story by David A. Laws

With fewer than three million people, the whole country…

Abandoned Cold War Naval Facility (NAVFAC) building with view of Point Sur

“We had heroes in the Cold War” — Carol O’Neil, State Park Volunteer Historian

Story and photographs by David A. Laws

Read BATW members’ stories without using your three free Medium reads per month

BATW Travel Stories is a publicly-accessible magazine supported by subscribers to Non-subscribers may read three articles per month or, using the embedded links, all of the articles listed below.

July 2021

How to Avoid the Crushing Napa Valley Traffic by Ginny Prior

Stepping out Solo in Paris by Stephanie Levin

Rhine and Moselle Fairytale Cruise aboard AmaPrima by Carol Canter

Spanish Dancers by Erin Deinzer

Even the Logo was Phony: Big Sur Naval Base Cold War Secrets Revealed by David Laws

Wine Country Villages Lost in Time by Karen Misuraca

California’s “Galapagos” — plus Adorable Foxes by April Orcutt

Ogunquit: A…

A ranch in “the wilder hills” from Old Stage Road

“I would like to write the story of this whole valley, of all the little towns and all the farms and the ranches in the wilder hills. I can see how I would like to do it so that it would be the valley of the world.” [Steinbeck: A Life in Letters]

Story and photographs by David A. Laws

In The True Adventures of John Steinbeck, Writer, Steinbeck’s biographer Jackson Benson explains that “scene and setting assume a far heavier burden of meaning in his work than in the fiction of most other novelists.” …


“One of the most haunted lighthouses in the country” — Travel Channel

The volcanic outcrop of Point Sur stand high above the beach
The volcanic outcrop of Point Sur stand high above the beach
Point Sur Lightstation from Highway One. The lighthouse is on the right shoulder of the rock. Photo by the author

Story by David A. Laws

Inhabited by chickens, a cow, and families with children until less than 50 years ago, the deserted barn, houses, and workshops of Point Sur Lightstation cling to the edge of a great, volcanic rock with spectacular views of the Big Sur coast and marble-topped peaks of the Ventana Wilderness. Lovers of the paranormal claim the lighthouse is one of the most haunted in the country.


How a signature Silicon Valley start-up’s success decimated the company but led to “the greatest legal accumulation of wealth in history”

The first Fairchild integrated circuit contained four transistors. Photo: Fairchild Semiconductor

Under the title “In Tiny Devices a Revolution,” a photo in LIFE magazine compared Fairchild’s new chip to the size of the letter “D” on a dime. It said “their job is to switch…

Artist’s rendering of a futuristic off-planet settlement floating in space.
Artist’s rendering of a futuristic off-planet settlement floating in space.
Image: VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images

Sixty-five years ago, William Shockley laid the foundation for the region’s domination in tech

Over the past decade or so, we’ve gotten used to new tech startup founders hyping bold promises that they’ll change the world. But none have had the same…

“Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Hail Mary …”

British European Airways (BEA) Viscount. Photo: Courtesy The Flight Detective

Story by David A. Laws

I’m typically…

By David Laws

“What’s in a name?” — Romeo & Juliet, William Shakespeare

First use of the name in print. Electronic News, January 11, 1971 page 1.

As the fleshpots of San Francisco 60…

David A. Laws

I photograph and write about Gardens, Nature, Travel, and the history of Silicon Valley from my home on the Monterey Peninsula in California.

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