~Meniscus Archives~
Spring 2005
Issue #7
The Mojo Issue

Issue #7 Home


Ralstonian Update
Find out what is happening with mountaineer and author Aron Ralston. He is always up to something, and this update is monumental.

Eastern European Tour
Erik Johnson
Breaking the routine is the best way to energize our spirits— and there is no better way to recharge the mojo than by grabbing a friend or two and heading out to new places where you can immerse yourself in new surroundings. Join Erik Johnson on a photo tour of Eastern Europe.

Peace Rally in Boston Common
Photography by Jon Heinrich
Two years after the first bomb was dropped on Iraq, thousands of peace activists gathered around the world to protest the U.S. led war in Iraq. See photos from the March 20, 2005 rally in Boston, MA.

Chronicles of a Redneck Fisherman—
An Interview with John Hendrickson

Kristi Spurrier
Mojo, as H describes it, is the magic stick (singing it of course); mojo is what drives you. Mojo is passion, obsession, and yearning for more. The mojo issue is a perfect place to introduce Johnny H to the world, to laugh and learn from his enthusiasm, devotion, and most of all the art of angling.


Erik Johnson
Published 3/31/05

Life is a magnificent adventure with new and exciting developments each passing year. As a child, everything is new and wonderful; the taste of ice cream, summer rain, and the first snow. As we grow older, it becomes more and more difficult to regain the naivety of youth where each experience offers us something new. The easiest way to have new experiences is to get out there and go to new places—travel. Whether it is going to the urban jungles of Tokyo, the villages, canyons and mountains of South America, or the old world of Europe, there is no better way to submerse yourself in something new than by traveling.

In spring 2004 I returned with a couple friends to travel through Eastern Europe. While no longer forbidden to Western tourists, many of the Eastern countries are not as overrun with tourists that their Western counterparts are—yet. The Czech Republic contains some of the oldest cities and towns in Europe. Largely untouched by World War II, Cesky Krumlov and Prague are incredible towns largely composed of structures that are 2-3 times older than the United States. The food in the Czech Republic is outstanding, providing you are not vegetarian: potato or bread dumplings; ham or pork, usually smothered in gravy. You cannot go wrong with the beers in the Czech Republic. Not only are they great (they invented Pilsner beers afterall), they are quite cheap. Definitely try Budvar (original Budweiser from Cesky Budejovice—pronounced "bud weis"), or Pilsner Urquell. The local spirit is slivovitz, a plum brandy that is often taken after a meal.

Croatia and Slovenia, of former Yugoslavia, are two of the gems of South Eastern Europe. Largely overlooked or avoided by western—especially American—tourists because of the conflicts with Serbia and Kosovo, are starting to become more popular tourist destinations for many good reasons. Slovenia is often described as a "little Europe" because it has the Alps to the north offering hiking and skiing and the coast to the south with Venice-like towns on the northern Adriatic Sea. Croatia, due south of Slovenia, is a largely coastal country including thousands of islands that make up the Dalmatian coast. The Croatian coast rivals scenery I've seen anywhere in the world. The southern town of Dubrovnik is paradise on Earth with narrow streets of marble lined by lavender trees. It smells nearly as good as it looks. The food is diverse: fresh seafood (often right from the boat) is common in the coastal towns of Croatia and Slovenia, and the food in Slovenia draws influence from its neighbors for pastas, goulash, and sausage/dumpling dishes. While the pilsner style beers are good, the wines are phenomenal.

As we go through life, it is easy to follow the routine day-to-day life, but without new experiences, the human spirit weakens. Breaking the routine is the best way to energize our spirits—and there is no better way to recharge the mojo than by grabbing a friend or two and heading out to new places where you can immerse yourself in new surroundings. Bring out that inner child to see things again for the first time.

Erik Johnson

Meniscus Magazine © 2005. All material is property of respective artists.