In the tradition of John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, and his own bestseller Illusions, Richard Bach’s new book Travels with Puff recounts his journey from Florida to Washington state in a small seaplane he christened “Puff.” With the humor, wisdom and insight that could only come from one of the world’s favorite writers, Travels with Puff challenges our ideas of fate and our futures and asks us how can we prepare for the emergencies in our own lives? Can we ever really be safe? And…is being safe always what we want?
I didn’t know it as I wrote, butÂ Travels with PuffÂ turnedÂ out to be a story hummed about the theme song for my brief stay on this planet.Â Same song’s shared by I don’t know how many hundreds of millions: What isÂ it toÂ become free, and how do I express my freedom to choose my own life, every day?
The mavericks among us, our wanderers, our explorers, they handÂ us examples all the time. Willing to give up convention, willing to cast offÂ from visible security for the invisible, or for no security at all? “Hi-ho,Â adventurers, fellow mavericks, steer this way!”
Not me. I’m no maverick. My only claim to mavericity isÂ twofold: I do not own a tie; and I have never worn a tuxedo. Further,Â in stubborn defiance, I intend never to do either, for so long as I may live. NotÂ claimÂ enough to become an Alpha Maverick, I’m somewhere down the list among theÂ Lambdas, or the Upsilons.
For this reason, some suspect that I may bend the truth, in myÂ books, play fast with it, if not loose.
I have no smallest doubt that this story would be subject toÂ those claims, as well; you’d think I made it up. I knew before ever I metÂ Mister Toad, or even Puff herself, that others would doubt these meetingsÂ reallyÂ happened, doubt that anything on these pages was more than the idleÂ writer rising an inch from his feather-pillows to pen his imaginings.
Enter my humble cell-phone camera for the first sketchyÂ evidence: photographs. Next enter Dan Nickens, his matching spirit, his ownÂ experimental seaplane, sister to Puff, and his unmatched one-of-a-kind CanonÂ EOS 5D Series II Full Frame CMOS Digital Single Lens Reflex Compact BodyÂ Super-Camera, the better to fasten upon the truth of each word, every day’sÂ adventure which you may very well be about to read.
Destiny brought us together for this flight, and for love ofÂ you, dear reader, to prove once and always that every event, every idea uponÂ the following pages or upon your high-tech visi-screen pseudopage is everyÂ single one of them true, and here be the photographs to prove it!
Not wild adventure, through this volume, but gentle, of theÂ sort that anyone can assay, with near certainty; no requests for dying alongÂ the way which can’t be declined.
A few years ago, someone asked me by way of their T-shirt, “GotÂ Freedom?”
Here’s, a bit delayed and by way of two small seaplanes and aÂ continent ten thousand horizons wide, my answer.