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About the Author
Gary McKechnie

Gary McKechnie
  • Entertaining Media Guest
    Watch Gary in:
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  • Featured in USA Today, Southern Living, Orlando Sentinel, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Denver Post, Dallas Morning Herald, Southwest Airlines, Lake & Sumter Style, Orlando magazine, Road Trip, CNN, CBS radio and newspapers and magazines across America.
  • Two-time Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award Winner
  • Benjamin Franklin Award Winner
  • Cunard Line (Queen Mary 2) Insights Series Speaker
  • Booklist Selected Author
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An Entertaining Presenter

Having followed in the footsteps of Charles Kuralt, Gary's own epic travels have given him an unparalleled education in our nation's history, culture, and pastimes. Visit AEI Speakers to arrange for Gary to share with your group fascinating stories of American humor, heroism, and inspiration.

READ: Gary's Road Trips

Prairie Hog
Vacationing for a Living

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Great Plains

Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota,
Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming

Great Plains Highlights

Little Big Horn - General Custurd's Gravesite
LITTLE BIG HORN
Crow Agency, Montana

Was it bad intelligence? Hubris? Karma? Whatever it was, on June 25, 1876, fate descended like a hammer on the soldiers of the 7th Cavalry. Ironically, the battle known as Custer’s Last Stand also signaled the last stand for the nomadic lifestyle of the Northern Plains Indians. When the government learned what had happened here, their traditional existence was on the fast track towards extinction.

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas
THE ALAMO
San Antonio, Texas

The odds were definitely against the defenders of the Alamo, a mission on the outskirts of circa 1836 San Antonio. For nearly two weeks fewer than 200 volunteers attempted to hold back thousands of trained Mexican soldiers to advance their drive for the independence of Texas.

In hindsight, it seems these men were always destined for immortality. Had they succeeded, we would celebrate how a small army achieved victory despite overwhelming odds. But that didn’t happen. They didn’t succeed. Every single one of them died and so we remember them for that, and we still remember the Alamo.

Mount Rushmore, Keystone, South Dakota
MOUNT RUSHMORE
Keystone, South Dakota

In addition to the honor it bestows upon the men featured here, another facet of our fascination with Mount Rushmore is the audacity it took. Who knew it was possible to chisel out a monumental monument like this? Until you go there you cannot fully appreciate the skill, nerve, daring, and determination of the workers who labored at this. All in all, it’s one of the most stirring testaments to America’s spirit.

Dealey Plaza, Texas
DEALEY PLAZA
Dallas, Texas

John F. Kennedy’s murder is unusual because of its magnitude and the scene of the crime -- right here on the streets of Dallas. To this day the merely curious and those still grieving come to Dealey Plaza to see where the future of a family, a city, our nation, and the world changed in a dramatic 4.6 seconds.

Dude Ranch, Shell Wyoming
DUDE RANCH
Shell, Wyoming

For me, the images of America that stir my soul are most often visions of the American West. I’m seduced by the ‘magnificent desolation’ that’s foreign to my life. Maybe I’ve picked up the connection to the Native Americans who created nations in this endless land, or just admire the pioneers who continued driving west not knowing that even if they survived the journey if life would get any better. When you invest some time at a dude ranch, it will only take a little imagination to take you back to the days of the wide open west.

Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Wyoming

In the middle of America, in the middle of nowhere it seems, is one of the most beautiful places on earth. You may only see a portion of Yellowstone’s 3,500 square miles of pristine and undeveloped wilderness, but even a glimpse of it will remind you that our nation is truly blessed with some of the world’s most incredible real estate.