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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Technology Investor. Harry Newton

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9:00 AM EST, Monday, June 15, 2009. Back from The Grand Canyon. 500 million years of volcanoes, upheavals, erosion, more upheavals, more erosion. As we sat under the stars one evening, our guide gave us his The Zen and The Grand Canyon lecture. We should return to civilization with our new clear thinking. Since we're only "the blink of an eyelid" in Grand Canyon terms, it was time to focus.

My new clear thinking makes me fearful of serious inflation. We are printing money and more money, and even more money. The goal is to arrest deflation and depression. But the result must be a damaged dollar and much higher interest rates. We already see signs -- China warning us. Much higher interest rates. Oil and commodity prices escalating.

How to protect yourself?

Twofold: Stay away from bonds, for now. Own hard assets. That means gorgeous land, commodities, miners, etc. More on this later.

Meantime, watch this interview with author Peter Schiff on The Daily Show.

It's hurting out there in the hinterlands. I met people who had to skimp on food. I met older people who had given up dreams of retirement. Everything is down -- from travel to retail sales. I heard the word "job" a lot -- the genuine joy of having one, no matter how little it paid, the difficult of finding one. They blame no one. They are muddling along, shell-shocked, praying for a recovery. It's a hurting world out there.

Travel tips. Air travel remains awful. Ways you can mitigate the awfulness:
+ Your flight will be delayed. The best strategy is a good book and a strong cup of coffee. Some airports, like Phoenix, actually have free Wi-Fi.

+ Exit row seats have more room. SeatGuru will tell you which ones are best.

+ Many planes don't have laptop outlets. Bring large and extra batteries. Stretch your battery by turning down your screen's brightness.

+ Don't book anything in advance unless you're 100% sure. Cancellation fees these days are horrendous -- often 100%.

+ With the travel slump, you can always get a hotel room, a shuttle or whatever at the last minute.

+ Don't believe them when they tell you the next flight is full. It's not. Check the Internet or the phones.

+ Travel is way down everywhere. You can get cheap deals on everything -- from Baltic cruises to Las Vegas gambling weekends. Simply ask.

Camping tips:
+ Sun is your enemy. Keep sun off your face. My eyes puffed up and my face burned, despite oodles of sun screen and

a huge hat from

+ Sunscreen really works – if applied liberally several times a day.

+ Be slow where you walk and careful how you handle things. My legs have scratches. My hand got cut. My hand hasn’t closed up yet. Remember you’re now in a world where it’s easy to scratch yourself. Be wary. Do things slower.

+ Bring a mix of slow-dry cotton and fast-dry nylon clothing. I climbed 5200 vertical feet out of the Grand Canyon in a cotton shirt I kept wetting in streams. It made a huge difference.

+ It's amazing (at least to me) how much water I drunk the day we climbed out. Close to a gallon, I bet. I saw many hikers without sufficient water.

+ Don't mess with the animals. Nothing in the wild will hurt you unless you aggravate it. If you feed the squirrels they'll grab your food and bite your fingers. The rangers told me of drunken men daring each other to catch rattlesnakes. They got bitten.

+ Take Band-Aids and New Skin with you.

Technical hiking tips:
+ Poles really help. Leki makes the best. These are Leki's Thermolite.

They're basic (i.e. without antisthock). They're all you need. $120. Click here.

+ There is a technique to hiking. The books talk about "rhythm." When climbing, the key is to fully straighten one leg -- never keep both bent. By straightening, you give that leg a moment to relax. It makes a huge difference. Trust me. On the final day, I hiked 11 miles and 5,200 vertical feet to get from the river to the rim. It took eight hours. The trail was hot, steep and exhausting.

This is part of the Bright Angel Trail. It's all switchbacks.

+ You'll never do scenery photos as well as the pros. Stick with taking photos of your friends, your family and the scenery in the background.

Without people.

With people. Michael and Harry, looking exhausted after long climb up to this stunning gorge.

+ The new waterproof, shockproof $320 Canon PowerShot D10 worked like a charm.

We made movies of us forging the rapids. They were fun -- better than the still photos. I guess that's why they have YouTube, so everyone can post amateur movies of their latest "adventure."

The unreal story of the Yellowstone Club. The world's only private ski and golf community. You needed a net worth of $3 million to join. Now bust -- a victim of greed, incompetence, stupidity, a messy divorce, etc.

You must read The Yellowstone Club Story.

Making it to the top:
"Now you've made it to the top, Mr. Jones, what's the best thing about being there?" the interviewer asked the new CEO.

The new CEO replied, ""These days when I bore people, they think it's their fault, not mine."

This column is about my personal search for the perfect investment. I don't give investment advice. For that you have to be registered with regulatory authorities, which I am not. I am a reporter and an investor. I make my daily column -- Monday through Friday -- freely available for three reasons: Writing is good for sorting things out in my brain. Second, the column is research for a book I'm writing called "In Search of the Perfect Investment." Third, I encourage my readers to send me their ideas, concerns and experiences. That way we can all learn together. My email address is . You can't click on my email address. You have to re-type it . This protects me from software scanning the Internet for email addresses to spam. I have no role in choosing the Google ads on this site. Thus I cannot endorse, though some look interesting. If you click on a link, Google may send me money. Please note I'm not suggesting you do. That money, if there is any, may help pay Michael's business school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.