CONTENTS PARKS, ROAD TRIPS & DESTINATIONS 6. Camano Island, Washington 12. Biodiverse Pinnacles National Park 14. Locals Insider: Exeter, California 16. Following the Anza Trail 28. The “Original” Las Vegas 36. Epic Zimbabwe Road Trip
HISTORY, CULTURE & THE ARTS 40. History of Plein Air Painting 44. The Arts in Hawai’i Parks 46. Louisiana Hollywood History
TOURISM & HOSPITALITY 48. Putting the “I” Back in Community 54. Addressing ‘the Elephant in the Room’ 56. Tour Guide Insider: Glynn Burrows 58. Harassment in Hospitality & Tourism
CONTENTS Continued TRAVEL GUIDE & MARKETPLACE 61. Spring in Springfield, Central Kentucky 62. Movie Magic in Natchitoches, Louisiana 64. Spring Fling in Yuma, Arizona 68. Giddy Up to Yerington, Nevada 70. Discover San Benito County, California 72. Adventure in Californiaâ€™s Sequoia Country 76. Coastal Ka-Bloom in North San Diego, California 78. Spring Mountain Magic in San Diego 80. Marketplace: Mobile Healthcare, Luxury & Wine!
EDITORS BLOCK From an epic road trip across Zimbabwe to following the southwest desert portion of the historic Anza Trail, this early spring issue of Parks & Travel Magazine takes you on a journey to a multitude of park destinations throughout California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, Louisiana and Kentucky. The spotlight also shines on the arts with features on plein air painting, artist-in-residence programs, film history, and regional festival and event news. Boosting local economies, responsible tourism plays a major part in building healthy communities. See the launch of our new Excellence in Tourism series ‘Putting the “I” Back into Community’, as well other hospitality industry features that focus on animal welfare, harassment in the workplace, and bespoke tours. As part of Park & Travel Magazine’s commitment to promote park destinations and help travelers discover park gateway communities and their local parks and public lands, we are proud to announce our special (and free) new tourism marketing program offering complimentary regional profile page listings on our travel planning site NationalParkTraveling.com, for select non-profit / government operated visitor information / welcome centers; parks, museums and attractions; activities and events. See NationalParkTraveling.com for details!
Front Cover Photo: Lake Kariba Yawnings by Elizabeth Willoughby. See her Zimbabwe travel story on page 36. From radio shows and new articles and videos, one of the best ways to keep up with all things Big Blend is to subscribe to our weekly Big Blend e-Newsletter. That’s also the best way to get your free copies of our digital, bi-monthly Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and Parks & Travel Magazine. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Happy Travels & Park Adventures, Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s mother-daughter publishing, radio and travel team; along with Priscilla, the pink sock monkey travel mascot for the Big Blend Spirit of America Tour!
BIG BLEND MISSION STATEMENT: Big Blend is a company based on the belief that education is the most formidable weapon that can be waged against fear, ignorance and prejudice. It is our belief that education starts at home and branches outward. Education leads to travel, and travel leads to understanding, acceptance, and appreciation of cultures and customs different to our own, and ultimately to world peace. Our company is further based on the principle that networking, communication, and helping others to promote and market themselves leads to financial stability; thus paving the way to better education, travel, and the spirit of giving back to the community. This magazine is developed by Big Blend Magazine™, copyrighted since 1997. No part of it may be reproduced for any reason, without written permission from Big Blend Magazine. Although every effort is made to be accurate, we cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies or plagiarized copy submitted to us by advertisers or contributors.
Nestled in the curve of neighboring Whidbey Island, separated by the shimmering Saratoga Sea, Camano Island is a laid-back escape from the big city hubbub. A mere 60 miles north of metro Seattle, Camano feels much further away in both time and the pace of life. A short drive over the Camano Gateway Bridge means you don’t need to wait for a ferry to enjoy its varied temptations ranging from quiet beaches, romantic seaside accommodations and locally inspired cuisine to family friendly zip-lining and vintage fishing resorts. Like much of this region, the first known inhabitants were indigenous peoples, who used the area a base for harvesting bountiful supplies of fish, shellfish and berries. And so it remained for thousands of years until the Pt. Elliott Treaty of 1855 removed the natives to reservations and made room for a prosperous logging industry to envelope the island. The town of Utsalady, on Camano’s northern edge, was one of the busiest ports in Puget Sound, exporting lumber to far away France and Shanghai.
Nothing encapsulates that nostalgia better than Cama Beach Historical State Park. It all began in 1934 when Iowa native LeRoy Stradley moved to Seattle and used some of the profits from his theater and real estate holdings to create a small family fishing resort on Camano’s southwestern shore. Using local materials and employing many island residents, he turned the property that once belonged to a lumber company into an affordable holiday retreat.
Although Stradley died in 1938, his family, daughter Muriel, her husband Lee Risk and her two sisters, kept the dream alive. For decades, nothing changed and families flocked, year after year, to the cedar cabins. Days were filled with As logging dwindled, farming and small resorts boating and beach-combing, fishing, swimming began to take over the local economy. With no and crabbing. You could play ping-pong or main ‘city center’ the island still retains the rural tennis, enjoy the weekly movie night or swap charm and peaceful vibe that has made it a ‘wellstories around the campfire. kept secret’ for generations. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 7
Camano Continued… By the late 1970’s, visitors began to dwindle and the Risks were getting older. In 1989, the resort closed. The family searched for a way to retain the character of Cama Beach Resort and were loath to sell to developers. They began to work with the State of Washington to create a park that would honor the history of the area. Fundraising began, the family sold the land to the state for 60% of its commercial value and donate a further $10 million in land. In 2001, Cama Beach Resort was added to the National Register of Historic Places and is now run by Washington State Parks and 150 dedicated volunteers. Visit today and you’ll find that, true to the Risk family tradition, not much has changed. The small cedar cabins now have electricity and microwaves and each bed has a quilt, hand crafted by volunteers. Accommodations range from small standard cabins with hot and cold water in the kitchenette (shower and bathroom facilities are in the nearby boathouse) to larger cabins and bungalows with private baths. Think of it as ‘glamping’ as you need to bring your own bedding, towels, dishes and cookware. And, in another nod to days-gone-by, you won’t find wi-fi or televisions either.
This is a destination for stepping back, chilling and tuning out. Bring along that stack of books you’ve been meaning to read, meet your neighbors, play cards or just sit back and soak in the view – you might even see local Orcas or migrating Grey Whales. Go birding, or stroll along the shore looking for sea shells. Walk the one mile trail to neighboring Cama Beach State Park or expand your mind with classes on the environment and nature, local and indigenous culture, or park history. Park Ranger Jeff Wheeler is a font of entertaining information. The Cama Beach Store is filled with nostalgic treasures and has hardly changed for generations. Kids are encouraged to borrow books and toys while they visit. Ranger Jeff or one of the volunteers are available for tours and are a treasure trove of tales. Visit the Center for Wooden Boats where you can rent classic wooden sailing and rowboats and sign up for sailing lessons. The center also has classes in traditional boat building skills and is happy to share their love and history of this Pacific Northwest tradition.
Continued on Next Page…
Continued on Next Page…
Camano Continued… One ‘modern’ addition is the Cama Center, located on the bluff above the beach. It’s home to the Cama Beach Café where you can savor a made-from-scratch breakfast or enjoy one of their special theme events, ranging from ‘Learn to Make Perfect Pies’ (just before Thanksgiving) to ‘Greek Feast’ or Valentine’s Dinner. They also cater for weddings and other events. Kristoferson Farm reflects the island’s agricultural history but with a decidedly modern and fun, twist. Founded in 1912 as a dairy and timber farm, Kristoferson’s is now an organic grower of hay, lavender and pumpkins. Several years ago, the current generation (four sisters and one brother) was pondering ways to stay relevant and keep the farm as a viable, family enterprise. Inspiration struck while the sisters were on vacation in Hawaii and went zip-lining. Why not have a zip-line on the farm? Visitors could ‘tour’ the farm while getting an adrenalinerush, plus learn about the forest eco-system at the same time. Canopy Tours NW was born.
Camano Continued… There are 6 lines interspersed with informative forest walks. Guides are certified so you can relax and enjoy the ride as well as the scenery. Lavender lemonade, made with Kristoferson’s own organic herbs, is served along the trail in the warmer months, while hot cocoa warms up the night zipping experience. ‘Zip and Sip’ offers up an afternoon of adventure with sampler flights at nearby Naked City Brewery. For those who’d rather stay earthbound, Farmhouse dinners are held in the old, red barn. Local winemakers and chefs create seasonal, five course menus, sharing their stories along with the island’s culinary treasures. There may not be an official ‘town’ on the island, but the Camano Marketplace is a great substitute! Located next to the library, you’ll find a vibrant collection of restaurants and shops, including Camano Island Coffee Roasters, butcher Del Fox Custom Meats (their BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich is outstanding), a tempting French bakery, Dusty Cellars wine bar, Naked City Brewery and a small shopping area devoted to local crafts and antiques. Accommodations on the island are varied, with many bed and breakfasts or homestays available. Should you feel like spoiling yourself, the Camano Island Inn is worth investigating. The building began as a boarding house for workers at the local lumber mills and their families. Today, most of the structure remains and has been converted into one of those small, charming hotels that oozes hospitality. With only nine individually furnished guest rooms, all of which offer views of the sea, you’ll feel as relaxed as if you were staying in a private home. The steps leading to the beach are lined with succulent berry bushes and the surrounding gardens are delightful with sculptures and innovative plantings to catch the eye. A great spot to relax with a glass of wine!
Continued on Next Page…
Hilarie Larson’s passion for wine began in the 1970’s while in the European hospitality industry. In 2003 she began her wine career in earnest in her There’s also a full service spa and the ‘Bistro Restaurant’ where Head Chef Dylan Alexander is native British Columbia, Canada, working at several Okanagan Valley wineries. Along the way, she in charge of creating inspired dishes from local ingredients, many of which come from the Inn’s acquired her certificate from the Court of Master own organic garden. The restaurant has become Sommelier, worked for an international wine broker and as ‘Resident Sommelier’ for wineries in known as a bit of a breeding ground for young, Washington State and California. Hilarie’s greatest up-and-coming chefs – the previous holder of joy is spreading the gospel of wine, food and travel. the position, Kris Gerlach, is now in charge of the In addition to her own blogs at café and catering for Cama Beach. www.NorthWindsWineConsulting.com, she contributes articles to a number of online Camano Island is truly a spot where you can publications. She was awarded the 2013 Emerging return to quieter times and be tempted to never Writer Scholarship from the International Food, leave. Wine and Travel Writers Association, for whom she is now the Administrative Director. Camano Continued…
Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Park Ranger Elizabeth Hudick, who discusses Pinnacles National Park’s incredible ecological biodiversity that ranges from bats to butterflies, California condors to blacktailed deer, wildflowers, ferns and lichen! Located east of Monterey in central California, Pinnacles National Park is known for its geological significance, as well as its disparate landscape that stuns visitors with its seasonal meadows, meandering creeks, springs and waterfalls, that are all set within a spectacular maze of rock spires, monolithic boulders, cool caves and rolling hills. Sitting within a crossroads of ecosystem zones, and home to a unique topography and microclimate, the park boasts a diverse blend of vegetation and habitats that range from spectacular spring wildflowers to oak woodlands and chaparral scrub, caves and rock spires. These protected habitats are home and refuge for species representative of the central California coast, including over 140 birds species of birds, 49 mammals, 22 reptiles, 8 amphibians, 71 butterflies, 41 dragonflies and damselflies, more than 400 bee species. According to Western scientific knowledge, Pinnacles National Park has the highest bee diversity per unit area of any place on earth!
A major highlight of the Park is that it also manages a release site for captive bred California condors – so keep your eyes open when you visit! The best way to experience this exquisite biodiversity is to hit the trails! With over 32 miles of hiking trails, there’s something for everyone’s fitness level and interest, including the occasional ranger-led night hikes! There are also picnic and camping sites, a visitor center, shop and a swimming pool for those warm summer days. Pinnacles is about 50 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean and 140 miles south of the San Francisco Bay area. Learn more about the Park at www.NPS.gov/pinn. To plan your visit to the Park’s eastern gateway communities within beautiful San Benito County, visit www.DiscoverSanBenitoCounty.com.
Click Here to do the Online Jigsaw Puzzle of a Swallowtail Butterfly in Pinnacles National Park!
What it’s Like to Live, Work & Play in California’s Charming Citrus Capital! Nestled in the famous San Joaquin Valley in central California, Exeter was named after the settler and Southern Pacific Railroad representative D.W. Parkhurst’s hometown of Exeter, in England. In the early days, before the European settlers, this area was part of the vast plains that boasted herds of grazing antelope, and deer, and profusely blooming wildflowers. Established in the late 1800s, the Gill Cattle Ranch was the largest cattle ranch in the US, owning or leasing over 6 million acres in 9 western states. Today, Exeter is a quaint art and agricultural community known for its abundant supply of citrus, deciduous fruit and table grapes.
Listen to the Big Blend Radio Locals Insider segment on Exeter, with Sandy Blankenship – Executive Director of Exeter Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Teresa Boyce – Sr. Credit Assistant at Bank of the Sierra, Ben Garcia – Home to about 10,000 residents, the town Manager of Exeter Hobbies. Plus, sits at around 500 feet above sea level, at Steve Schneickert recalls the the base of the Sierra Nevada foothills of Hollywood History of Exeter! the San Joaquin Mountain range. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 14
Gateway to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest, this area is famous for the General Sherman tree, which is the world’s largest tree, and Mount Whitney, which at 14,494 feet in elevation is the highest peak in the continental USA. The scenic region is surrounded with snowcapped peaks dotted with lakes, offering some of the finest hiking, camping, fishing, and sightseeing in the state. Exeter’s quaint downtown district has a charming small town atmosphere, and boasts a beautiful series of murals that reflects the town’s history and culture, a variety of casual and fine dining establishments, and wonderful boutique and antique shopping opportunities. Local events include festivals, parades, arts & crafts fairs and exhibits, garden walks, car shows, marathons, and more. Learn more at www.ExeterChamber.com.
Click for the Online Jigsaw Puzzle of Exeter’s Orange Harvest Mural!
16 Must-Visit Parks & Trails, Historic Sites & Side Trips on the Arizona & San Diego Portion of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail Compiled by Lisa D. Smith & Nancy J. Reid With great fanfare, a young, dashing military man rides boldly into town, his entourage following. He speaks loudly with conviction... he is looking for families, not soldiers... He is promising fertile lands and bountiful resources to peasants who are living a hopeless, meager existence. Would you go? In the early 1700s, while the American colonists fight for their independence from England, the Viceroy of New Spain, (Mexico), fights to secure its own claims on this land they grabbed two hundred years before. Known as Alta California (now Modern California, Nevada, Utah, parts of Arizona, New Mexico, western Colorado and southwestern Wyoming), the Spanish fight to keep the Russian and English forces at bay.
There are sporadic Spanish settlements throughout the Alta California region, but they are mostly posts with military men, no families, no farms, no real settlement or way of saying “this land belongs to us”. Although the Spanish had explored the coastal area of Alta California since the 16th century and considered the entire area part of the Spanish monarchy, they had not yet managed to really settle the region. Sea routes had proven costly and dangerous, land routes meant crossing arid, rugged deserts and possible encounters with hostile indigenous peoples, and New Spain struggled with both the money and people to settle outposts so far away. In 1774, Juan Bautista de Anza, a Captain in the Spanish military stepped forward to offer his services in helping to colonize Alta California. His own father had once dreamed of discovering an overland route from Mexico to Alta California, but he was killed in an Apache ambush when Juan was only 3 years old. At 24 years old, Juan already captained the Presidio of Tubac. He knew the importance of really settling Alta California, as well as the challenges to be faced in crossing the region and opening it up for families. Continued on Next Page…
Juan Bautista de Anza, from a portrait in oil by Fray Orsi in 1774 - public domain
Anza Trail Continued… With permission from the Viceroy, Juan paid for, and organized, an exploratory trip taking a small group of soldiers, priests, and translators with him. He was smart enough to chart his way and make friends with the indigenous peoples he met. His success in finding a route was followed by permission for a second expedition that would be comprised of pioneer-spirited families who would cross the rivers and deserts, make their way to Rio San Francisco, and make the San Francisco Bay area their new home–securing Spanish ownership.
This 1,200 mile auto and recreation trail commemorates the route followed by the 1775– 1776 expedition led by Juan Bautista de Anza, connecting history, culture, and outdoor recreation from Nogales, Arizona across southern Arizona and California, to the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Arizona portion of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail takes you on an auto tour that leads you through the dramatic and diverse terrain of the Sonoran desert, with historic and scenic stops along the way. The Southern Dust kicked up by stomping, impatient horses, California portion eases into the Colorado Desert children laughing, babies crying, horses snorting of the vast Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and men yelling – the sights and sounds of a named in honor of Juan Bautista de Anza. Sans breaking camp permeates the hot air as a town- the side trips, it’s about a 550 mile one-way trip on-the-move begins another day’s journey from Tumacácori, in Southern Arizona to through the desert. Over two hundred men, Borrego Springs in Southern California, which women and children, promised a better life, can take about 7-10 days if you plan to spend strike out, seemingly fearless of what lies ahead quality time at the exhibits and sites, take part in as step-by-step, they traverse unknown territory. area activities that include hiking some of the recreational trail, and exploring the regional The Anza Trail Road Trip Experience towns and cities. This year America is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, Continued on Next Page… and the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail is definitely one to put on your ‘must follow’ list! PAGE 17
Tumacácori National Historical Park Anza Trail Continued… Offering the glimpse of desert wildflowers and blooming cactus, spring is a beautiful time of year to follow the trail. Summer heats up with thrilling electric monsoon storms that provide the riparian areas with water and create lush desert landscapes, and fall features bright blues skies and cooler temperatures. Winter is crisp and sunny with an occasional dusting of snow and views of the snowcapped mountains.
There is a short video on the mission’s history to watch, and then you can take a self-guided or guided tour of the mission and mission grounds, and wander through the historic gardens and orchard. The Anza Trail passes through the park. The park hosts a number of cultural demonstrations and special events throughout the year. 1891 East Frontage Road, Tumacácori, Arizona, 85640. Tel: (520) 377-5060 or visit www.NPS.gov/tuma.
For maps and details visit www.NPS.gov/juba and www.AnzaHistoricTrail.org.
Tubac to Tucson Established in 1752 as a Spanish Presidio, Tubac is a vibrant and historic art village that features an eclectic collection of galleries, boutique shops, restaurants and bars, and unique southwestern lodging. This part of the route takes you north on 1-19 towards the city of Tucson. 1. Tumacácori National Historical Park This historic site is home to one of the chain of missions founded by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino in 1691. Start your visit in the Visitor Center & Museum that features informative exhibits, artifacts, murals and statues that cover the history of Santa Cruz Valley, the mission period and the Anza expedition. Father Font held mass here on October 17, 1771 as the expedition moved toward Tubac. PAGE 18
Continued on Next Page…
Anza Trail Continued… 2. Tubac Presidio Arizona State Historic Park El Presidio Real San Ignacio de Tubac was established in 1752, to protect the European settlers from the area’s native Pima Indians. Even with the protection of adobe walls, over the years, the Presidio was abandoned and rebuilt nine times. In 1958, the Tubac Presidio became Arizona’s first state park and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Highlights of this extraordinary park include: underground archaeological exhibit of the Presidio ruins, Presidio Museum, Washington Hand Press used to print Arizona’s first newspaper, the 1890s Rojas House, Arizona’s second oldest school, and a new Ethnobotanical Garden. The Presidio is also a trailhead for the Anza Trail. Juan Bautista de Anza served as the Presidio’s second commander from 1760-1766. One Burruel Street, Tubac, AZ 85646-1296. Tel: (520) 398-2252 or visit www.TubacPP.com.
Leading you through beautiful riparian areas with cottonwood and mesquite trees, the trail is a popular birding and geocaching trail. Watch for interpretive panels about Anza’s expedition. Trailheads are at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park and Tumacácori National Historical Park. Managed by the Anza Trail Coalition of Arizona, Inc. Visit www.AnzaTrail.org.
4. Arivaca Cienega Trail About 40 miles west of Tumacácori National Historical Park, in the small community of Arivaca, this trail is in the eastern portion of the 117,500+ acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, a spectacular bird and wildlife watching destination. A bird watcher’s paradise, the Arivaca Cienega Trail is an easy and level 1.25mile trail that circles a rare and seasonal desert wetland, and leads you through hackberry groves and grass areas. There is a bird viewing station overlooking Willow Pond, some benches 3. Anza Trail Providing an opportunity to walk in the footsteps along the trail, as well as shaded picnic areas and restroom facilities. Call (520) 823-4251 or learn of Anza’s expedition party, the Anza Trail is a more on NationalParkTraveling.com. non-motorized, 7.3 mile hiking, bicycling and equestrian trail that follows the Santa Cruz River. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 19
Mission San Xavier del Bac Anza Trail Continued… 5. Madera Canyon About 35 miles northeast of Tumacácori National Historical Park, this popular birding, hiking and wildlife viewing spot is nestled within the Coronado National Forest and Santa Rita Mountains, and is one of the largest of the Madrean Sky Islands. Boasting over 256 documented bird species, Madera Canyon is rated the third best birding destination in the United States! There are campsites, picnic areas, hiking trails, handicap-accessible trails, and walking paths. Visit FriendsofMaderaCanyon.org.
Deer at Madera Canyon
6. Mission San Xavier del Bac Founded by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692, the mission was under Franciscan control when the Anza expedition stopped here on October 25, 1775. Father Thomas Eixarch of the expedition baptized baby José (his mother died while on the de Anza expedition) at the mission. Known as ‘The White Dove of the Desert’, it is the oldest European structure in Arizona and widely considered to be the finest example of Spanish Colonial architecture in America. The mission still serves the Tohono O’odham community. Located off I-19 and only 10 minutes from downtown Tucson, you can tour the church, museum and gift shop. 1950 W San Xavier Rd, Tucson, AZ 85746. Tel: (520) 294-2624 or visit www.SanXavierMission.org.
Tucson to Casa Grande Sprawled across the high desert valley and surrounded by four mountain ranges, Tucson is the second largest city in Arizona. Known as ‘The Old Pueblo’, the area is known for its rich southwest history, diverse scenery, and dedication to the arts. The main Tucson site on the Anza expedition is Saguaro National Park. This part of the route takes you west towards San Diego, on and off of I-10, to I-8. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 20
Saguaro National Park
Ironwood Forest National Monument
Anza Trail Continuedâ€Ś 7. Saguaro National Park Featuring the iconic giant Saguaro cactus, the largest cactus in North America, Saguaro National Park has two sections that are about 30 miles apart. The Anza expedition traveled through what is now known as the Tucson Mountain District, the western section of the park. A protected environment, one can really imagine what it must have been like to travel through this area on the expedition. A trip to Signal Hill Picnic Area offers the chance to view hundreds of ancient petroglyphs, and the Visitors Center has some informative exhibits and area information. 2700 N. Kinney Road, Tucson, Arizona 85743. Tel: (520) 733-5100 or visit www.NPS.gov/sagu.
8. Ironwood Forest National Monument Home to a variety of native Sonoran desert flora and fauna, this 129,000-acre natural area features camping, hiking, horseback riding, biking, wildlife and bird watching, spring wildflower viewing, fossil and geologicical sightseeing, historic and archaeological sites. This desert monument is located west of Tucson and is accessed off of I-10 in the town Marana, where you follow the Anza Trail auto tour west along Silver Bell Road. Visit www.IronwoodForest.org. Continued on Nest Pageâ€Ś
Picacho Peak Arizona State Park Anza Trail Continued… 9. Picacho Peak Arizona State Park On October 29,1775, Father Font described that the expedition camped at a place “a little beyond a picacho or peak which the Indians called Tacca.” Through the years, Picacho Peak was used as a landmark by Father Kino and the Mormon Battalion. Today, Picacho Peak State Park is located a little west of Anza’s camp. It’s a beautiful hiking, camping, and picnic destination with wildflowers in spring. There’s a LEED certified visitors center with exhibits and a gift shop. Exit 219 off Interstate 10, Picacho, Arizona 85241. Tel: (520) 466-3183 or visit https://azstateparks.com/picacho/.
10. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Located in Coolidge, about an hour east of Tucson and 35 minutes from Picacho Peak, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument protects the ruins of the "Great House”, that represents an ancient Sonoran desert people's farming community. Father Eusebio Kino was the first European to see and document the site in 1694. In fact, he was the one who named the site Casa Grande. In 1775, Juan Bautista de Anza documented Casa Grande, when the expedition stopped and camped about 5 miles northwest from the site. Anza and Father Font visited the ruins to check Father Kino’s prior descriptions and measurements. The ruins were the first archaeological preserve in America. 1100 W. Ruins Drive, Coolidge, Arizona 85128. Tel: (520) 723-3172 or visit www.NPS.gov/cagr. Continued on Next Page…
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument PAGE 23
Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site
Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Anza Trail Continued…
Gila Bend to Yuma Named for the big bend in the Gila River, this popular resting spot for travelers sits at a crossroads with Phoenix to the Northeast, Tucson in the East, San Diego to the West, and Mexico in the South. It’s a great place to gas up, grab a bite or spend the night. This part of the route takes you west towards San Diego, on and off of I-8. 11. Organ Pipe National Monument About 60 miles south of Gila Bend, near the historic community of Ajo and the Mexico Border, this world biosphere reserve is known for having the only Organ Pipe Cactus growing naturally in the United States. The park features a diverse array of flora and fauna, scenic drives, hiking and biking trails, camping, park ranger programs and junior and desert ranger programs. Highlights of this Sonoran desert park include Ajo Mountain Drive, the Arch Rock formation and trail, and nature trail at the Kris Eggle Visitor Center. Call (520) 387-6849 or visit www.NPS.gov/orpi.
12. Painted Rocks Petroglyph Site Just west of Gila Bend, you will see a turn-off for Painted Rocks, which is managed under the Bureau of Land Management. Listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, you will see an incredible collection of early petroglyphs etched on a mound of black rocks. The Anza expedition called this site Agua Caliente, named after the hot spring of water. It was here that Anza selected a Native, whom he called Carlos, as Governor of the Cocomaricopa tribe who later traveled with the expedition to solidify peace with the tribe in Yuma. There are RV and camping sites, a shaded picnic area, and interpretive panels covering the Anza Expedition, as well as the Mormon Battalion and Butterfield Overland Mail expeditions who also traveled through this historic corridor. Info: (623) 580-5500 13. Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Situated along the Colorado River in Yuma’s historic downtown district, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is a popular destination that incorporate the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, Colorado River State Historic Park (formerly the Quartermaster Depot), East Yuma Wetlands, and West Wetlands Park. Prison Hill overlooks the narrows of the Colorado River, where the Anza expedition camped. With the help of Chief Palma and his Yuma Quechan tribe, the expedition safely crossed the river on November 30, 1775. Learn more on NationalParkTraveling.com. Continued on Next Page…
Historic Coronado Motor Hotel Yuma's Destination Hotel Celebrating Over 75 Years of Tradition Where The Past Makes History
Ideal Location Close to Shopping, Restaurants, Attractions & Activities Over 120 Clean & Comfortable Guest Rooms Full Cooked Breakfast at Yuma Landing Bar & Grill Free Hi-Speed Internet & WiFi ~ Work Desk Flat Screen TV & DVD Player Fridge ~ Microwave ~ Coffee Maker Iron & Ironing Board ~ Hair Dryer ~ In-Room Safe Two Swimming Pools ~ 1 Fitness Center 2 Business Centers ~ Guest Laundry Facilities Free Parking for Cars, Boats, Buses, RVs & Trucks Group Rates & Government Per Diem Rates
233 4th Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364 Toll Free: (877) 234-5567 Local: (928) 783-4453 Subscribe to our Captainâ€™s log e-Newsletter for specials!
15. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Named after the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza and the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep, this 600,000 acre desert park features wildflowers, palm grove oases, and a variety of cactus as well as desert bird and wildlife that ranges from roadrunners and Swainson’s hawks to kit foxes and bighorn Anza Trail Continued… sheep. The largest state park in California, AnzaBorrego is an anchor in the Mojave and Colorado Yuma to Borrego Springs Deserts Biosphere Reserve. Here you can go Known as the “The Gateway to the Great camping, hiking, bird and wildlife watching, star Southwest”, and home to the beautiful lower Colorado River, Yuma is a popular destination for gazing, and attend ranger programs and winter sun-seekers as well as a year-round haven interpretive events. The Park’s Visitor Center is on the outskirts of the small village of Borrego for those who enjoy water sports, golf, cycling, Springs, and along with informative exhibits, hiking and birding. The charming downtown features a nature trail through the desert district features a variety of restaurants, garden, complete with desert pupfish. See boutique shops and galleries, and theaters. This http://parks.ca.gov/?page_id=638 portion of the trail heads west on I-8 from Yuma to El Centro, California, then northeast to 16. Historic Julian Borrego Springs, a desert village within AnzaAbout a 45 minute side trip from Borrego Borrego Desert State Park. Borrego Springs Springs, Julian a popular historic gold mining offers specialty shopping, dining, golf and a town located up in the Cuyamaca Mountains of variety lodging establishments. San Diego County. This four-season destination, that includes the communities of Wynola and Santa Ysabel, offers a myriad of activities 14. Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife including farm-to-table dining, wine tasting and Refuge Located near Westmoreland, between El Centro u-pick orchards, art galleries and specialty and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, this unique shopping, museums and gold mine tours, hiking and bird watching in one of the many parks, Refuge is 227 feet below sea level. A migration boating and fishing at Lake Cuyamaca, special stop along the Pacific Flyway and a protected events and festivals. Learn more on breeding ground for birds and wildlife, the NationalParkTraveling.com. Refuge is home to the most diverse variety of bird species found on any national wildlife refuge From here, the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail in the west, and has over 400 bird species on heads west through Hemet and the Southern record. There is a Visitor Center with a selfCalifornia wine region of Temecula, out to Los guided trail, an observation tower and picnic Angeles and Santa Barbara, and north to the area. Presidio of San Francisco. Happy Trails! PAGE 26
Jeremy’s on the Hill CALIFORNIA STYLE BISTRO
Located at the ‘Gateway to Julian’, San Diego’s Four-Season Mountain & Back-Country Destination! Fresh, Seasonal & Outstanding Farm-to-Table Cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Jeremy Manley Seasonal Menu & Favorites Steak, Seafood, Burgers, Salads, Sandwiches Desserts & After Dinner Beverages Vegetarian, Vegan & Gluten-Free Options Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner Indoor, Fireside & Patio Dining Live Music on Weekends Wine & Beer Pairing Dinners Private Banquet Rooms Catering & Group Events for all Occasions
Wine Bar featuring Local & Regional Wines & Champagne Micro-Brews & Specialty Beers
Inside the Castaneda Hotel It’s Vegas, baby! But, if you’re looking for cheesy Elvis impersonators, glitzy shows or swanky casinos lining the streets, you’re not in the right place. This is Las Vegas, New Mexico, or what the locals like to call the “original” Las Vegas. Here, scenic beauty, rich history, eclectic architecture and a burgeoning art community combine to create one of Northern New Mexico’s most fascinating destinations. It’s a hidden gem that’s slowly being discovered by visitors to the region, who seek authenticity in their travels as they Later, when the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe take a trip back through time. Railroad arrived, immigrants from every walk of life came to establish themselves in the region. In this land of legend and lore, you’ll find a city The advent of the railroad rapidly transformed with a colorful Wild West past and deep the town from a rural community to a center of historical roots that are preserved through tales national prominence. Two towns were created – and within the more than 900 buildings listed on East Las Vegas, or New Town, where the railroad the National Register of Historic Places. The area was located, and West Las Vegas or Old Town. was first inhabited by Native Americans before Coronado discovered it in 1541. Residential architectural styles varied dramatically depending on which side of town In 1835, the Mexican government bestowed a you lived. In Old Town, adobe and territorial Land Grant to the inhabitants and eleven years styles were the norm; whereas, in New Town, later, as a result of the Mexican-American War, homes were built to accommodate the tastes of the territory became part of the U.S. The Santa prosperous merchants hailing from the East Fe Trail brought settlers, traders and other Coast. These styles included Victorian, Queen travelers, and by the 1860s, Las Vegas was the Anne, Colonial Revival, Tudor and others. commercial hub of New Mexico. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 28
One of the many Victorian style homes in town
Las Vegas Continued… By 1882, Las Vegas had a population of almost 6,000 and rivaled Denver, El Paso and Tucson in size. During this time, the railroad constructed the magnificent Montezuma Hotel resort, which was initially managed by Fred Harvey. Additionally, New Mexico Highlands University was founded with the original purpose of training teachers. Celebs, U.S. Presidents and other notable figures, as well as gamblers and desperados like Billy the Kid, Doc Holliday and the Dodge City Gang, all made their way to Las Vegas at one time or another in the heyday of this dynamic town.
In recent years, Las Vegas has been making an effort to entice more visitors and reinvent itself as a tourist destination. And the word is gradually getting out that this is a destination worthy of an off-the-beaten-path stop. Local resident Kathy Hendrickson is doing her part to shine the light on the town’s many attractions through her company, Southwest Detours. Hendrickson gives guided tours to folks curious about the area’s history with a focus on the Las Vegas Plaza and Plaza Hotel, Montezuma Castle, Castaneda Hotel and other iconic sites.
Hendrickson proudly calls herself an Indian But, the city’s economic fortune began to decline Detour Courier, reminiscent of the tour guides of in the early 1900s when the railroad moved to the same name, who played a major part of the the south. And then the agricultural depression Fred Harvey travel industry. Their role was to of the 20s and 30s, combined with a lengthy enlighten travelers on the history and unique drought, brought an end to almost a century of beauty of the Southwest. boom town prosperity. West and East Las Vegas continued to exist as separate entities up until Continued on Next Page… the 1970s when the two mayors met each other on the Gallinas Bridge, shook hands and agreed to consolidate into one local government. PAGE 29
Montezuma Castle, now the United World College
Las Vegas Continued…
Harvey established the famed Harvey Houses, a chain of hotels typically located “trackside” for passengers of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway System traveling between Chicago and California. He recognized the need for comfortable accommodations, as well as good restaurants with quick service that travelers could rely on during their journey. To serve his customers, he employed young, “respectable” women, who were then trained to be the epitome of efficiency and professionalism. The Harvey Girls, as they were called, wore black uniforms and white starched pinafores, and lived in dorms complete with a house mother and strict rules. At the time of Harvey’s death in 1901, the legendary hospitality and tourism company operated 47 Harvey House restaurants, 15 hotels and 30 dining cars. Continued on Next Page… Castaneda Hotel, one of the 2 Fred Harvey Houses in town, now under renovation PAGE 30
Las Vegas Continued…
Las Vegas boasted two Harvey Houses at the height of its economic prosperity. The Montezuma, circa 1882, was Fred Harvey’s first luxury resort hotel, located northeast of town in Gallinas Canyon. Designed by well-known Chicago architects, Burnham and Root, and constructed with locally quarried red sandstone and slate, “The Castle” was a Queen Anne masterpiece, complete with turret. It had a grand ballroom, casino, bowling alley, billiards room and many extravagances. The place attracted well-heeled clientele, in addition to those with tuberculosis and other ailments, as the quality of air and water was known to be quite healthy. The nearby hot springs (still in existence and free to the public) also contributed to the hotel’s wellness allure. Over the years, anybody who was anyone stayed at the resort, including such prominent figures as Teddy Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, General Sherman, Emperor Hirohito, Rutherford B. Hayes and others. The resort unfortunately burnt down not once, but twice, and was subsequently rebuilt at the railroad’s expense. Eventually, the place went into decline and closed its doors in 1903. The property then served a succession of purposes – Baptist College, YMCA and Mexican Jesuit Seminary – before being purchased in 1981 by Armand Hammer for the establishment of The United World College of the American West. This campus is the location of the only United World College in the U.S. It is one of seventeen such institutions around the world. Students come from more than eighty countries to attend the college, creating an international educational setting that helps to foster greater cultural understanding. Upon completion of the rigorous two-year college prep program, they earn an International Baccalaureate Degree. Continued on Next Page…
Old safe in the lobby of the castle
Outside the Plaza Hotel looking down the street
Las Vegas Continued… As you tour the place, Hendrickson will recount its history and regale you with a few colorful tales. Purportedly, the Montezuma is haunted. Story has it that years ago an opera diva threw herself from the turret. Some students say they can hear her disembodied voice coming from that area of the building, practicing her arpeggios. When the castle stood empty for a period of ten years, it went into a state of disrepair and the place took on an eerie pall. Hollywood discovered it and used it as the location for the 1978 horror movie, “The Evil.”
Kathy Hendrickson of Southwest Detours Hendrickson will also take you to The Dwan Light Sanctuary, which is on the grounds of the college. Designed by Virginia Dwan, Charles Ross and Laban Wingert, the sanctuary provides the campus and the public with a peaceful refuge from the hectic pace of daily life. The site was chosen to capitalize on the dramatic northern New Mexico light. The orientation and geometry of the building are derived from its alignment to the sun, moon and stars.
Hendrickson will show you the grand ballroom, now the student dining area, with its beautiful woodwork and Chihuly glass sculptures. And in the lobby, she’ll point out an old safe that’s still in existence. There’s a grand piano, which students and faculty are free to play at any time – a nod to when the hotel was filled with the sound of music. In 2000 and 2001, the school invested over $10.5 million into restoring the building and it has won awards as one of the great historical restorations in the country. It is the first historic property west of the Mississippi to be designated one of “America’s Treasures” by the White House Millennium Council. PAGE 32
Continued on Next Page…
Interior of the Dwan Light Sanctuary
Room 310 in Plaza Hotel, purportedly haunted by the spirit of former owner Byron T. Mills
Las Vegas Continued…
Everyone who visits Las Vegas usually heads to the Old Town Plaza, as it is the heart of the city. Las Vegas Harvey House number two is the La The plaza is one of the largest in New Mexico Castaneda Hotel. Built to be a gem in Harvey’s and its major cornerstone is the Plaza Hotel, also famed chain of railroad hotels, La Castaneda was under the ownership of Allen Affeldt. This “Belle one of the earliest properties to be constructed of the Southwest” presides regally over Plaza in the Mission Revival style. Built in 1898, it Park and is the premier place to stay in town, as hosted the first reunion of Teddy Roosevelt and well as the main location for meetings, parties, his Rough Riders from the Spanish-American War conventions and other events. Built in 1882 as a (for more about the Rough Riders, check out the first-class establishment, the property City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider immediately gained recognition as the finest Memorial Collection on Grand Ave). hotel in the state. Though the hotel closed in 1948, a bar operated out of the building until it was bought by Allen Affeldt, a northern Arizona hotelier, in 2014. Restoration plans are in place to bring the grand dame back to life and open it as a twenty-room boutique hotel with an upscale restaurant. Affeldt is well-known for the restoration of another Harvey property, La Posada, in Winslow, AZ, which is now a cultural and tourism attraction.
It is an architectural masterpiece with a grand Victorian façade, three floors of fourteen foot ceilings and huge windows overlooking the Plaza. And it’s topped like a wedding cake with fanciful scrolls. Originally, there were 37 guest rooms, a saloon, dance hall and restaurant. Matching walnut staircases wind elegantly from the lobby to all floors. Then and now, everyone stayed here, from Doc Holliday to Michelle Obama, Tommy Lee Jones and Woody Harrelson.
Currently, La Castaneda is a construction site; Continued on Next Page… however, Hendrickson is able to provide tours of the place to interested visitors who want to take a peek inside. The brick building has a stone foundation, metal roof, stamped tin ceilings and actual steel rails used for trusses. Affeldt aims to repurpose some of the original fixtures and equipment to retain even greater authenticity of this crown jewel. Anticipation is high for this restoration, which when completed will enhance the town’s reputation as a treasure house of New Room 204 is where the Coen Brothers stayed Mexico history. during the filming of “No Country for Old Men” PAGE 33
Dining room in the castle (note the Chihuly glass fixtures) Las Vegas Continued… The place is also known for its resident ghost, Byron T. Mills, a former owner of the property. He reigns in Room 310 and seems to fancy young, single women, especially redheads. Some who have stayed the night in Byron’s room have reported lights turning on and off for no reason. Others have noted the sensation of having someone sit down next to them on the bed and even touch them on the shoulder. There are certain housekeepers in the hotel who won’t clean Byron’s room, as they don’t want to encounter his spirit.
“Convoy,” the trucker action flick starring Kris Kristofferson and Ali McGraw, shot scenes here as well, prominently featuring the Old Town Plaza and the Plaza Hotel as backdrop. Later, “Red Dawn” set the standard by being the first major motion picture to establish shop primarily in Las Vegas. The 90s brought “Wyatt Earp,” “Speechless” and “Vampires,” among others.
In more recent years, Billy Bob Thornton and Virginia Madsen came to town to do “Astronaut Farmer,” an offbeat flick that showed off the local Dairy Queen and a bank building. But, the most acclaimed movie ever shot in Las Vegas The Plaza Hotel has starred in a number of was “No Country for Old Men,” released in 2007. movies and T.V. shows from silent pictures to In regards to T.V., the contemporary Western current productions. Hollywood came calling to Las Vegas as far back as the early 1900s. Among series “Longmire” has been shooting in Las the first documented productions were those of Vegas and the surrounding areas since 2012. Walt Longmire (played by actor Robert Taylor) is actor-director Romaine Fielding. Cowboy great the sheriff of fictitious Absaroka County, Tom Mix arrived in 1914 and shot over twenty Westerns in the area. Flash forward to the 1960s Wyoming and the Veeder Building on the Plaza when Dennis Hopper brought the counterculture serves as his office. It is one of the more epic, “Easy Rider” through town, setting a couple photographed structures in town, as fans of the show love to take their picture in front of the of that movie’s more memorable scenes in the door where it is stenciled, “Absaroka County heart of Las Vegas. Sheriff.” Continued on Next Page… PAGE 34
Las Vegas Continued… Hollywood has realized the town’s potential, as it offers a variety of unique settings in one place, including breathtaking mountains, grassy plains, lakes, a castle and an array of different architectural styles. And there are streets here that have characteristics indicative of cities and towns from Manhattan to Juarez, Mexico. As a result, Las Vegas has created its own Film Commission to continue to court Hollywood. In the process, it has also recognized that film tourism is a big draw, as people want to visit places where their favorite T.V. show or movie was shot.
Pecos National Historical Park
If you go: www.visitlasvegasnm.com www.southwestdetours.com
To enhance your trip to this worthy destination, Deborah Stone is a travel and for an added dose of history, visit nearby and lifestyle writer, who Pecos National Historical Park. Here, you’ll see explores the globe in search evidence of the cultural exchange that has long of unique destinations and been central to this region. There are vestiges of experiences to share with pueblos and missions, dating back thousands of her readers. She’s an avid years, as well as battlefield remnants from the adventurer who welcomes decisive Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass in 1862. new opportunities to Most folks who visit the area are unaware of the increase awareness and park’s archaeology goldmine, as well as its role in enthusiasm for travel and the Civil War. Ranger led walks, self-guided maps cross-cultural connections. Her travels have taken and an informative video help interpret the her to all seven continents, over 65 countries and history in a variety of ways. 45 U.S. states.
Signs of life have been sparse during these two hours of driving in northwestern Zimbabwe. Here and there a dirt path with no obvious destination slinks away from the road through dead grass, dried shrubs and leafless trees, and then a green tree stands out against the brownness. We pass the occasional homestead set upon an area of dirt surrounded by dried thicket. The tiny round dwellings, some brick, some adobe, with pointed, thatched roofs stand back from the road’s edge. Now and then, women in colorful clothing carrying buckets on their heads seem to come from nowhere and head to nowhere obvious. All life is waiting for the rains to begin, but those won’t start for another two weeks. We left Binga at the south end of Lake Kariba at sunrise this morning in order to reach the opposite end before dark. That’s where we will board the Zambuka houseboat tomorrow morning. Although today’s drive is less than 500 kilometers, this road makes it slow going and I’m glad it’s not me at the wheel.
We drive down the centre of the once-paved road that is now cracked, potholed and encroached upon by sand on either side, and then it’s just bumpy dirt. The 4x4 slips and slides through sections of road that are merely sand, and then lunges back out when harder dirt reappears. Behind us are our traveling companions in three more vehicles. “What’s that noise?” says Gail, our navigator riding shotgun. We’ve all vaguely noticed it, despite that it’s no louder than the other squeaks, creaks and thumps. It’s probably cow dung in the wheel well scraping against the tire. Should fall off as we jostle along, staring out the windows looking for color. Continued….
Lake Kariba - Zambuka houseboat
New thatched roof for new brick house
New balls for the boys
But the unfamiliar noise persists and Neil, who is driving, pulls over – we have a flat. The men set to work detaching a spare from the truck’s underbelly in the pre-noon heat. The rest of us stand on the shaded side of the convoy. A cart pulled by two oxen and carrying children of various ages heads up the road towards us, with more kids running alongside it. Smiling, timid and curious, they watch and giggle until the flat tire has been replaced and we climb back into the trucks. Having not anticipated the flat or the influx of children, we regret not having food to distribute to all, so we leave them with only the memory. Eight hours later we arrive, just before sunset, at Lomagundi Lake Chalets where we’re sleeping tonight. The chalets were built in the 1950s judging by the decor and atrophy. In a country with over 200% inflation, and where venders in Victoria Falls were flogging $20-billion Zim notes for a few USD, the reluctance to invest in Zimbabwe is unsurprising. Anyhow, we’re tired and the tenters among us are thankful not to have to set up tonight. The beer, bream fish and chips, and the chicken peri peri are salaciously gratifying. Served at our picnic table at the property’s restaurant that overlooks the port’s slip and wandering hippos, it’s exactly the slow-exhalation needed at the end of this long ‘day nine’ of our 21-day journey around the country. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 37
Saddle-billed Stork at Lake Kariba
Zimbabwe Continued… Next morning, we head into a Kariba suburb to repair the flat and then to the Zambuka for a three-day cruise on one of the world’s largest manmade lakes. This one serves as a border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. The houseboat comes with everything you’d expect, plus Captain Stanley, Joe the cook, Wilson the deckhand and, if the engine is running, gorgeous A/C.
One second, two seconds, three, in a flash I reach down, pluck the hat out by the exposed tip, and hand it to Gail. She looks at me in disbelief. I look at me in disbelief.
There is a loud scrape under the boat and we jerk to a stop. We’re stuck on a submerged tree. Stanley tries to free us using the engine, unsuccessfully. He jumps into the water, pushes us free and climbs back aboard. We stare at him, The Zambuka also has two tenders – platforms on floating steel barrels powered by outboards. gobsmacked. Dusk is our signal to return to the Zambuka. After dinner, we lounge in the boat’s Wilson takes the anglers out on one tender, submersible cage that serves as a refreshing which crocodiles tend to follow hoping for an easy meal. They say a croc can remove a finger in plunge pool. an instant, and if it manages to get a grip on two, Our epic safari continues with game viewing in woe to the body they’re attached to. the remote northern Mana Pools park and the southeastern Great Zimbabwe ruins, and on day The other tender is manned by Stanley, who 19 we arrive at Gonarezhou bordering takes us around points where hippos doze, elephants forage and water buffalos graze. Crocs Mozambique – Gail reserved its best campsite for us months ago. We buy firewood at the wiggle down banks and slip into the lake as we reception hut and drive 28 kilometers through weave around dead tree trunks protruding above the glassy surface. We meander into inlets pristine wilderness. The day is waning when we for intimate nature viewing. A leopard lays down reach Hilaro, only to find five Afrikaner families setting up camp on our site. “Too bad, we’re under a tree on a grassy hill, while yellow-billed storks fish in the shallow water’s edge. A sudden here,” says one. We reason with them and take breeze blows Gail’s cap into the water beside me. pictures of faces and licence plates until they agree to leave, and we take our place. I stare at it, wanting to grab it but I fear for my digits. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 38
Zimbabwe Continuedâ€Ś With dinner cooking over a glowing fire and a glorious setting sun cast upon the red Chilojo cliffs, we toast our cross-country journey that is winding down, and watch as an elephant plods across the riverbed toward us. Since the late 90s, Elizabeth Willoughby has been writing professionally about travel, food and wine, maintaining home bases in North America, South America and Europe.
Hopscotching across the globe to gather stories and photos, she designs the ultimate wine and cuisine road trips for www.WriteShots.com, and for nearly a decade was the author of "Tales from the Road", the adventure travel page at WorldGuide.eu. She is a frequent contributor to insightLMU, Munich university's quarterly ezine, and for the Look to the Stars blog on celebrities and their philanthropic activities. Elizabeth is a long-time member of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association - www.IFWTWA.org.
Claude Monet Painting by the Edge of a Wood, c. 1885, by John Singer Oil paint in tubes, portable easels, and the invention of the railroad â€“ the first two 19th century inventions made early Plein Air painting possible, the last made it convenient. Plein Air is a shortened version of the French term en plein air (in the open air), for outdoor painting that has been done over the last 160+ years and has grown in popularity in the United States, especially in the last 30 years. The history of Plein Air has its roots in the French Realist movement. In the 1850s many artists quit painting historical, allegorical, and posed subjects in their studios and went outside to paint common, everyday people and settings. Corot was a leading painter in this group. He was not totally devoted to Plein Air painting, still doing large paintings in his studio to enter into the French Salon exhibitions, but he did do a great deal of outdoor painting.
Corot was an influence on the painters of Fontainbleau, a forested area about 30 miles from Paris that became an art colony for those interested in working outdoors to capture nature as closely as possible. Both Corot and the Fontainbleau painters used earthy pigments of brown and green, with blue and reddish-orange accents, along with white to tint their colors and provide highlights. Continued on Next Pageâ€Ś
Forest of Fontainebleau, c. 1830, by Jean Baptist Camille Corot Plein Air Continuedâ€Ś
The railroad from Paris had a line that extended to this forested region and provided transportation for many artists wanting to try, what was then, a radical way of working. Twenty years later, the next generation of painters took Plein Air to another level. These were artists who became known as Impressionists. They were interested in the way sunlight reflected off surfaces. They worked outside, often doing the same scene at different times of day or different seasons, to study the effects of light and atmosphere. Instead of the earth colors the Realists used, the Impressionist palette was lighter, leaning toward complimentary, pastel tints. Their outdoor painting locations were often urban sites. Continued on Next Pageâ€Ś PAGE 41
Celia Thaxter's Garden c. 1890, by Childe Plein Air Continuedâ€Ś In the late 1800s and into the first part of the 20th century, many young, American artists went to Paris to study where they were influenced by the Impressionists as well as by artists still working in the Realist style. Childe Hassam and John Twatchman were two of the most notable that returned to the United States and continued painting outdoors. Their success influenced their students as well as a group of their artist-peers at an art colony in Old Lyme, Connecticut. A connection developed between this group and artists residing in the Pacific Northwest who showed their work in East Coast galleries. Communication and exchange exhibits helped to spread the Plein Air way of working.
Matin ĂĄ Villeneuve (From Waters Edge), c. 1905 by Henri Biva
Today, Plein Air painting is practiced by many artists all over the United States and other countries. It offers freshness of vision and is generally characterized by loose brushwork and a limited palette, with detail being suggested rather than exactingly spelled out. True Plein Air painting is done completely on site and not finished in the studio. Victoria Chick is the founder of the Cow Trail Art Studio in southwest New Mexico. She is a contemporary figurative artist and early 19th & 20th century print collector. She received a B.A. in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting from Kent State University in Ohio. www.ArtistVictoriaChick.com PAGE 42
The National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) is the only nationwide non-profit providing Artist-in-Residence Programs (AiR), Workshops, Exhibits and Museum Loans uniquely in cooperation with National Parks, National Monuments, State Parks, World Heritage Sites and other park locations. These unique artist-in-residence programs and locations, offer a dramatic environment for all media to flourish and to inspire new breakthroughs in process and result. Listen to our two Big Blend Radio interviews with recent artists-in-residence at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and Haleakalā National Park.
Will Oldham & Elsa Hanse Oldham in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Acclaimed singer, songwriter and recording artist Will Oldham, who records and performs under the name Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, talks with Big Blend Radio about his experience as the National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) artist-in-residence at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. He shared the residency with his wife fabric artist Elsa Hansen Oldham, who works with quilts and embroidery (art picture on left). The Park boundaries include two legendary and sacred volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, as well as rainforests and mysterious and ever-changing active lava flows. Continued on Next Page…
Hawaii Parks Continued…
Hunter Noack in Haleakalā National Park Acclaimed classical pianist, composer and producer Hunter Noack, talks with Big Blend Radio about how his music connects people with nature, and his National Parks Arts Foundation artist residency at Haleakalā National Park. He spent the month of December 2017 in this volcanic wonderland, working and composing. Haleakalā has some of the most otherworldly landscapes in all of Hawaii. The Park boundaries include the dormant lunar landscapes of Haleakalā as well as rainforests, waterfalls and pools leading down to Maui's legendary coastlines.
Oheo Stream - Kuloa Point Trail - Haleakala. NPS Photo - Jackie Frost
NPAF is always seeking new partners and donors for its wide-ranging artist-in-residence programs. To support or be part of these programs, visit nationalparksartsfoundation.org PAGE 45
Quite a few films have been produced and filmed in and around Central and Northwestern Louisiana over the years. Listen to Steve Schneickert as he recalls the Hollywood History of the classic movies “Steel Magnolias” and “The Horse Soldiers” which were filmed in Natchitioches Parish, and “Blaze” which had scenes filmed in Winnfield. Located on the campus of Louisiana State University in Alexandria, the historic Epps House played a significant role in ending Solomon Northup’s twelve years as a slave. He tells of his experience in his 1853 book, Twelve Years a Slave, which inspired a 1984 documentary, “Solomon Northup’s Odyssey” as well as the 2013 historical drama film, “12 Years a Slave”.
The historic Epps House, Solomon Northup’s Gateway to Freedom, is located on the campus of Louisiana State University in Alexandria.
Continued on Next Page…
The Louisiana Political Museum & Hall of Fame in Winnfield, features the 1951 Chevrolet sedan that originally belonged to Earl K. Long. He used it as a campaign vehicle in the 1950â€™sâ€“complete with a sound system on top. Later it was used in the film, Blaze.
This year, Natchitoches is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the film, Steel Magnolias. The house featured in the film, is now a popular Bed & Breakfast.
Explore Louisiana From the Food, History, Culture and Great Outdoors, the Good Times Roll Year-Round in Louisiana! Visit NationalParkTraveling.com to Plan Your Bayou State Adventure. PAGE 47
After years of working in the tourism and travel industry in five countries (USA, England, Kenya, South Africa and Mexico), we have seen that the benefits of this industry far outweigh any of the negative aspects, and that the negative aspects can be fixed or even avoided all together, if a smart strategy or plan is formulated, put in place, and then attended to with care. The plan should be Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. We’ve added a new Travel & Hospitality Department to our Parks & Travel Magazine and to kick it off, we’ve titled this new series of articles, Putting the “I” Back In Community, because success in tourism requires the input, involvement and buy-in of people interested in the overall health and economy of their community. As ambassadors for the 8 Keys of Excellence, a character education building program co-founded and spearheaded by Bobbi DePorter, we realized excellence in tourism could be achieved by integrating the same 8 Keys of Excellence into a tourism strategy. It makes sense since those who wish to travel usually do so to be educated, entertained and inspired.
8 KEYS OF EXCELLENCE IN TOURISM INTEGRITY – Provide a “Sense of Place” Define your community identity and showcase its positive values.
FAILURE LEADS TO SUCCESS – Make lemonade View negative community attributes as opportunities to enhance, improve and enrich. SPEAK WITH GOOD PURPOSE – Be positive Keep your community story and all communications positive. THIS IS IT! Attention to detail Stay focused and tuned into your community and visitor needs. COMMITMENT – Make your community vision happen Take consistent positive action to maintain your community identity and to fulfill its vision. OWNERSHIP – Be part of the solution Take “ownership” of your community with positive and responsible actions. FLEXIBILITY – Be willing to do things differently Recognize what’s not working and be willing to change your plan of action to achieve your community goals and vision. BALANCE – Build a sustainable and responsible community Consider everything that’s meaningful and important to your community, and steadily grow with that vision. Continued on Next Page…
Total Visitor Spending (All National Parks) in 2016 - 18.4 Billion
“One of our Quantum Learning directives is Everything Speaks, everything sends a message either positive or negative, there is no neutral. Each of us sends a message to our community, either positive or negative. If we want excellence in our community, it begins with each individual taking responsibility for their impact and influence. Together we can create excellence in our lives and our community.” Bobbi DePorter – President of Quantum Learning Network and Co-founder of SuperCamp
Why Should A Community Want Tourism? According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, “The travel and tourism industry generated over $1.5 trillion in economic output in 2016, supporting 7.6 million U.S. jobs. Travel and tourism exports accounted for 11 percent of all U.S. exports and a third (33 percent) of all U.S. services exports, positioning travel and tourism as the nation's largest services export. One out of every 18 Americans is employed, either directly or indirectly, in a travel or tourismrelated industry. In 2016, U.S. travel and tourism output represented 2.7 percent of gross domestic product.
While the majority of activity in the industry is domestic, expenditures by international visitors in the United States totaled $244.7 billion in 2016, yielding an $83.9 billion trade surplus for the year. According to U.S. Department of Commerce projections, international travel to the United States should grow by 3 percent annually through 2021. The United States leads the world in international travel, and tourism exports and ranks second in terms of total visitation.’ The tourism dollar can quickly boost a local economy because it is a labor intensive industry with most of the participating businesses being small and locally run. As the locally spent tourism dollar changes hands throughout a community, it eventually benefits all businesses and residents. Continued on Next Page… Spending by visitors to National Parks provides benefits and generates economic impact in local and regional economies across the nation. Visitor spending effects are the jobs and business activities that result from the direct and ripple effects of NPS visitors’ spending money within gateway economies surrounding parks. Visit Visitor Spending Effects
According to the US Forest Service, birders number in the tens of millions and spend upwards of $20 billion dollars per year on bird seed, travel, and birding. Tourism Continued… “Responsible tourism is a process of short and long term strategic planning producing economical and social benefits to a defined region. Economical benefits include creating new jobs and businesses, sustaining long term employment, improving infrastructure and maintenance of the natural environment by protecting, creating or maintaining National Parks or other protected areas. It's the community's job to get it right from the beginning. It's the tourist’s job to enjoy themselves responsibly.” Travel writer Linda Kissam, President of International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
These jobs stay in the community too, and are not outsourced to other countries. The number of jobs will increase comparable to how successful the community is in growing and maintaining a balanced tourism industry. Responsible, sustainable tourism relies on a balanced plan that protects the local environment, as well as the social community values. The strategy implemented should be based on a plan where the community aspirations are considered; an assessment of the assets and experiences available has been done; and the strength of the infrastructure and local services has been determined.
Input and involvement of residents, local The travel and tourism industry is one of the agencies and those in the tourism industry is largest in the USA and directly provides around vital when forming a strategy, and a way to 5.5 million jobs annually. Compared to extractive evaluate results is key to meeting market industries like mining, or large corporations expectations so that the destination grows where a company can close down leaving many responsibly and is sustainable. Visitors will not unemployed, tourism and hospitality jobs are only want to return, but will become diverse, spreading across various types of ambassadors for the destination and help businesses, providing a built-in safety net for the spread positive publicity. local community economy. PAGE 50
“Shopping for pleasure is no longer a purely incidental activity to dip into while travelling for leisure. Today, for millions of tourists it represents the principal – or one of the principalmotivations for travelling.” World Tourism Association Tourism Continued… Asking the following questions will help keep the community involved and moving forward towards a common goal: ● What does our town/city and surrounding local region have to offer visitors? ● Who is already attracted to our destination and what do they do once they are here? ● What are we offering as a destination right now, and where do we want to be five years from now? ● What do we have in place to reach that five year goal and what do we need to add or change? ● Who will be responsible for managing the plan/strategy and how will we know if we are succeeding?
A Tourism Plan should look at: ● Balancing the development of tourism throughout the region. ● Optimizing the contribution of income and job growth to the community. ● Forward planning so tourism is sustainable by conserving and protecting the natural and cultural heritage. ● Preserving the character of the community. ● Allowing the benefits of tourism to reach all sectors of the community. ● Minimizing any social disadvantages that may occur.
Supply and demand plays an importance in tourism as does targeting the market segments most likely to appreciate your destination. A “Successful management of sustainable tourism unique image is vital to a destination. What requires a complex balancing exercise. This will makes you different? Maximizing and marketing require the involvement of a wide range of a unique image needs to be backed up with authorities, residents and commercial excellent customer service, adequate amenities, interests.” accessibility to reliable transportation services, Peter B. Myles, International Tourism and a community that understands the benefit Consultant, Eco-Tourism Award Winner of tourism so that when the locals and visitors interact, it is a good experience for all. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 51
Tourism Continued… “Today, the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, food products or automobiles. Tourism has become one of the major players in international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income sources for many developing countries.” World Tourism Organization
Over the next 8 issues of Parks & Travel Magazine we will cover each of the 8 Keys of Excellence in Tourism, key-by-key, with tips and ideas of how you can help your community benefit by supporting a responsible and sustainable travel and tourism plan.
The 4 Pillars of Tourism can be summed up as: ● Assets (What you have that makes you different) ● Amenities (What services are available) ● Awareness (Educating both your community and the prospective visitors through good marketing and consistent training for those who interact with customers) ● Action (constantly optimizing and working your Tourism Plan to help understand and deliver your visitor’s needs and expectations) ‘It is easier to feel than to realize, or in any way explain, Yosemite grandeur. The magnitudes of the rocks and trees and streams are so delicately harmonized, they are mostly hidden.’ John Muir PAGE 52
Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with wildlife conservation expert Adam M. Roberts “The Compassionate Conservationist,” who discusses travel and animal welfare, and how a new tourism consultancy, ANIMONDIAL, works in partnership with travel businesses, not-for-profit organisations (NGOs) and governments so that tourism brings greater protection to animals, their natural environments and the people that depend upon them. Riding an elephant features on many people’s bucket list when visiting Asia and, more recently, Africa. While some may consider riding on top of the largest land mammal to hold an air of romance, few recognize that this practice actually compromises the welfare of these magnificent animals and potentially places people at risk.
All these activities can impact the welfare of animals, and due to the unpredictability of wild animals, threaten public safety. This is why a new tourism consultancy, ANIMONDIAL, has been established. It provides impartial advice and bespoke guidance to travel businesses to help them make informed animalfriendly choices and manage their impacts on animals. It is lead by Daniel Turner, who has over 20 years of experience developing and delivering strategy to bring about meaningful change for animals.
Washing captive elephants, swimming with a captive dolphin, walking with lions, riding an ostrich or cuddling a tiger cub for a selfie – are just some of the many tourism excursions and activities involving animals. PAGE 54
Continued on Next Page…
Elephant Continued… A 2016 study by University of Oxford’s ‘Wildlife Conservation Research Unit’ has revealed that 110 million tourists a year and 550,000 animals are involved in tourism activities around the world. It is therefore not a surprise that animal welfare concerns dominate the postbag of many travel companies. This heightened concern led the British travel association, ABTA, to create the Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism to inform travel businesses of the issues and guide them towards best practice.
Importantly, there is significant guidance and advice available, from both ANIMONDIAL and ABTA, which includes a review of existing excursions and identification of those activities known to cause animals and people harm and an understanding of alternative activities that may exist. Now is the time for all travel businesses to consider and address this ‘elephant in the room’. Learn more at www.ANIMONDIAL.com.
Failure to manage these risks and address detrimental tourism activities involving animals can damage a company’s reputation and turn away customers. This has been corroborated by a ComRes survey (Born Free Foundation, 2017), where 49% of respondents confirmed that their enjoyment of a holiday would be reduced if they observed animal abuse during their stay, whilst 71% said that they would more likely buy holidays from travel companies that care for animals. Although numerous travel businesses have already made decisive decisions to remove certain detrimental animal activities from their travel itineraries, the majority of tour operators and travel agents have yet to consider the impacts of their tourism activities on animals and associated risk. PAGE 55
Glynn Burrows started his tourism business, Norfolk Tours in 2010. Having been researching local and family history since 1977, he decided to concentrate on tailored family history tours of Norfolk and Suffolk in England, but it soon became apparent that no other company was offering such custom tours, taking people exactly where they wanted to go and offering the complete package. Norfolk Tours offers visitors all transport, accommodation, meals and visits and, as well as having their own private guide, visitors are able to leave everything in England to Glynn. All areas of mainland UK are covered and Glynn excels at digging out amazing family stories, often taking visitors to the actual houses where their ancestors lived and the Churches where family were baptized, married or buried. Standing by an ancestorâ€™s grave is something quite special. As Norfolk Tours offers totally tailored trips, Glynn is able to put together tours for any interest.
Past guests have visited and experienced stately houses and gardens, castles and churches, ruins and villages, birding and wildlife, World War II airfields, and general area taster tours too. Accommodations can be in all types of establishments, from character buildings such as windmills, thatched cottages and castles, selfcatering or five star luxury - just say what you want and it can be arranged. Nothing is too much trouble for Glynn! Visit www.NorfolkTours.co.uk.
Continued on Next Pageâ€Ś
5. What is your pet peeve in regards to the tour operator industry? My pet peeve is the hotels that serve rubbish food for breakfast. I detest “plastic” sausages, especially when there are so many fantastic local butchers around. (One hotel, which sells itself as top class accommodation in a town, famous for its sausages, served us mass-produced, factory made cheap sausages for breakfast, missing the chance of a great unique selling point miserably.)
Glynn Continued… So what does it take to be successful in the tour company industry? Listen to our Big Blend Radio discussion with Glynn Burrows and read his answers to our 10 Tour Guide Insider Questions about his career, including the challenges he faces, as well as his inspirations.
6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career? The only change I have had to make is that I sometimes need to stay away from home for a few days but that isn’t a problem because my wife has no problem with being home alone. 7. What do you consider your biggest challenge? My biggest challenge is organisation of my accounts.
1. What led you to a career as a tour guide? I have always been interested in family and local history and had previously shown people around places connected to their family history on a voluntary basis, so when, due to personal reasons, I had to leave my job and set up a business myself, following something which I’m passionate about was an obvious choice.
8. If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be? One of my ancestors William Bear who died in 1705, because I would love to know where he came from. Admiral Lord Nelson because he is a real Norfolk Hero. Boudicea because she is one of the most amazing women who ever lived. She 2. What attributes do you have that make you fought the Romans and, although we know some things about her life, I’d like to hear it from a good fit for being a successful tour guide? her own perspective. I am passionate about what I am doing and I enjoy passing on my passion to others. I have 9. If you could switch careers for a day, what been researching local and family history since would you choose? 1977, so I know how to find out interesting I would be the Prime Minister and change the information about people from the past. entire system of government. 3. Who or what inspires you? My own family, past and present, as well as the English countryside. 4. Describe your ideal client. My ideal client is someone who has already carried out a bit of research about their ancestors but want to know more about the real people and their actual lives. Real family history rather than just ancestry.
10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started as a tour operator? Do this job only if you are passionate about showing people what they want to see. Don’t take people’s money if you are just going to do this after rote learning. (I detest going on a guided tour with the guide who just repeats the same things twenty times a day, same facts, same jokes and same wait for the laughs.)
We have seen in the News a recent spate of sensational sexual harassment cases in the entertainment industry, network news, and halls of politics. Famous people have fallen from high pedestals for outlandish acts. Who, besides the people who worked closely with Matt Lauer at NBC, knew that he locked his door by pressing a button on his desk and trapped women in his office? Others have been accused of far worse sexual harassment. Is that type of behavior only part of the culture of the rich and famous in Hollywood, the news media, and politics? Unfortunately, not. We now are hearing about the same type of behavior in the hospitality industry, more specifically, in the restaurant industry. Anthony Bourdain, the chef who wrote Kitchen Confidential and who has starred in several cooking TV series, sensationalized the bawdy work place of a chef’s kitchen in his book. To be fair, not all kitchens are run identically, and many are well run. Still, the restaurant kitchen is a place where both males and females work closely together and at a fast pace. Too often, chefs try to live up to the bawdy lifestyle that Bourdain described. Depending on management and local custom, bawdy behavior can certainly be part of the kitchen culture.
A related work place, the fields where restaurant food is grown and picked, has also recently received scrutiny for its bawdy reputation. As in the kitchen culture, women work closely with men. Many of the men are in supervisory positions. Many of the women are undocumented and work late into the evenings in isolated fields. The reported problems that arose from the agricultural industry’s culture caused the California legislature to pass a law that requires farm labor contractors to provide sexual harassment training to all new employees, in the language understood by each employee, and to train all employees every two years thereafter. (California Labor Code §1684.) Restaurant and kitchen workers are part of the broader tourist industry in many U.S. cities. Of course, so are bars and hotels. Neither of those businesses are immune from the same type of harassment, but, at least at bars, the harassment tends to come from a slightly different place, the patrons. Continued on Next Page…
More than one person may need to see the investigation report, but each person should strive to keep it as private as possible. Confidentiality cannot be perfect during an investigation, but sensitive care can help to keep the investigation as private as possible.
Harassment Continuedâ€Ś In California, harassment from third parties, patrons in this case, can lead to a sexual harassment claim if the business manager or supervisor knew about the harassment and did not take appropriate action. The people in charge of a business have a duty to appropriately deal with harassing acts that alter the conditions of employment, no matter who causes those altered conditions.
Finally, California does not require most businesses to provide sexual harassment training for all its employees. Usually, training is only required for supervisors of businesses that have 50 or more employees. Under the current climate, all businesses should seriously consider providing harassment training for all employees. Based in San Diego, California the Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs represents both employers and employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and his firm litigate cases that have been filed in many different parts of California. Visit www.BestEmploymentAttorneySanDiego.com
What are the owners of restaurants, bars, and hotels to do in this state of heightened sexual harassment scrutiny? First, make sure that the business has a strongly stated written sexual harassment policy. Second, make sure that all required sexual harassment posters are posted in a very visible spot. Third, have a written procedure clearly explaining how an employee may lodge a complaint, and what the company will immediately do once the business receives the complaint. Fourth, describe in writing that if an investigation finds harassment, the business will take swift action designed to remedy the situation. Fifth, have a written anti-retaliation policy for reporting harassment or discrimination. Sixth, encourage employees to report harassment immediately, so the business can investigate effectively and act quickly, if necessary. The business should also describe in writing how it will do its best to keep a complaint of sexual harassment as confidential as possible. Of course, most investigations will require the interviewer to talk to more than one person. At the beginning of the interview, the interviewer should stress confidentiality. PAGE 59
TRAVEL GUIDE & MARKETPLACE
From America’s Southeast to California and the Desert Southwest, Let’s Go Exploring! EXPERIENCE THE SOUTHEAST 61. Spring in Springfield, Central Kentucky 62. Movie Magic in Natchitoches, Louisiana EXPLORE THE SOUTHWEST 64. Spring Fling in Yuma, Arizona 68. Giddy Up to Yerington, Nevada VISIT CALIFORNIA 70. Discover San Benito County, California 72. Outdoor Adventure in California’s Sequoia Country 76. Coastal Ka-Bloom in North San Diego, California 78. Spring Mountain Magic in San Diego TRAVEL MARKETPLACE 80. PortoVino Wine Purse 82. Hello Alvin TeleHealth 84. Brave Era Luxury Silk Travel Sheet PAGE 60
Spring in Springfield in Central Kentucky Celebrate Bourbon, History & The Arts
Photo by Mark Nally Upcoming Performances at Central Kentucky Theatre March 2-11: Peter and the Starcatcher April 6-8: Bring on Broadway! April 13-22: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Continued on Next Page…
From the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to the Central Kentucky Theatre, Stephanie McMillin, Executive Director of the Springfield Tourism Commission, talks about Spring in Springfield, Kentucky. Nestled in the heart of Kentucky, a region known for its “Bourbon, Horses and History”, Springfield is the ancestral home of Abraham Lincoln’s family, and is on the Lincoln Scenic Byway, Kentucky Bourbon Trail, TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, the Barn Quilt Trail and Kentucky Fiber Trail. The region boasts numerous outdoor activities including golf, hiking and bicycling, birding and wildlife watching, along with fishing and canoeing. There are numerous historic, art and cultural sites to experience, as well as events that range from musical performances to a variety of annual festivals. For up-to-date event information call Springfield Tourism Commission at (859) 336-5412 x1 or visit www.VisitSpringfieldKY.com. PAGE 61
Natchitoches, Louisiana’s oldest city, is celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the filming of Steel Magnolias. Katherine Johnson - Natchitoches Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Kelly Jackson - Cane River Film Festival, discuss the region’s movie making history, the Natchitoches film trail, and upcoming events and festivals that celebrate the arts. Founded in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, Natchitoches (pronounced Nack-a-tish) is the original French Colony and oldest city in Louisiana. Home to the Cane River National Heritage Area, Natchitoches celebrates a vibrant blend of French, Spanish, African, Native American and Creole cultures.
Natchitoches retains its European flavor through its architecture, heritage and lifestyle and a full calendar of events. No matter what time of year you visit Natchitoches, you are bound to find a festival to celebrate! This historic city is just 275 miles from New Orleans, 255 miles from Dallas, and 290 miles from Little Rock. For up-to-date event and travel information, call the The Cane River National Heritage Area Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau at encompasses the charming downtown Natchitoches National Historic Landmark District, (800) 259-1714 or visit www.Natchitoches.com. Cane River Creole National Historical Park, as well as the Cane River National Heritage Trail, which is a Louisiana Scenic Byway that runs along Cane River Lake, and links to the Isle Continued on Next Page… Brevelle Trail and El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail, with Longleaf Trail and Kisatchie National Forest on the outskirts. PAGE 62
Spring Events in Natchitoches Feb. 10: Krewe of Dionysus Mardi Gras Parade Mar. 3: Dragon Boat Race Mar. 17: Art Along the Bricks Mar. 17: Bloomin’ on the Bricks Mar. 24: 1st Annual Cane River Film Festival Mar. 27: International Festival of Cultures & Cuisines Apr. 13 & 14: Jazz R&B Festival Apr. 21 & 22: Annual Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival
Continued on Next Page…
Spring Fling in Yuma, Arizona Gateway to the Great Southwest
Located along the lower Colorado River in southwest Arizona, Yuma borders Mexico and is halfway between Tucson and San Diego. It’s a historic, cultural and outdoor adventure destination with attractions that include the Colorado River, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Yuma Territorial Prison, Colorado River State Park (formerly the Quartermaster Depot), Yuma Art Center & Historic Yuma Theatre, and a charming historic downtown district that bustles with an eclectic array of shops and restaurants. Yuma is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the ‘Sunniest Place on Earth’, making it a popular destination for sun-seekers. From art and entertainment events to family-friendly festivals that celebrate Yuma’s rich southwestern history and cultural traditions, there’s always happening in Yuma!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR For up-to-date event information call City of Yuma Parks & Rec. (928) 373-5200, Yuma Art Center & Historic Theatre (928) 373-5202, or Yuma Civic Center (928) 373-5040, or visit www.YumaAZ.gov and see our Yuma Events Calendar on NationalParkTraveling.com.
Special Events, Festivals & Parades Feb. 2-4: Two Rivers Renaissance Faire Feb. 3: Yuma’s Largest Yard Sale Ever Feb. 9: Mardi Gras on Main Feb. 17: Boogie, Brews & Blues Festival Feb. 17: Hank Days Celebration Car Show & BBQ Feb. 23-24: What's Growing in Yuma Festival Mar. 1-4: Midnight at the Oasis Classic Car Show Mar. 17: MCAS Yuma Airshow Apr. 3-8: Yuma County Fair Apr. 13-14: 2018 Tunes & Taco Festival Apr. 28: Fort Yuma Rotary’s Penitentiary Pint Fest Continued on Next Page… PAGE 64
Yuma Landing Bar & Grill Come Eat, Drink & Be Merry where the First Airplane Landed in Arizona!
Hangar Sports Bar 24 Beers on Tap ~ Daily Drink Specials Appetizers & Entrees Televised Sports Events Live Music & Entertainment
Captainâ€™s Lounge Top-shelf Cocktails ~ Fine Wines Specialty Coffees
Yuma Landing Restaurant American & South-of-the-Border Cuisine Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Win! Win! Win! Sign up onYumaLanding.com for our Captainâ€™s Log e-Newsletter and you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a $25 Yuma Landing Gift Certificate, plus you'll get news on other great giveaways, specials, Yuma Landing recipes, events news & more! Located on the same property as the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel, the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill is the site where the first airplane landed in Arizona, and features a state monument, historic photos and memorabilia. Groups of 15 or more diners get a 15% discount on breakfast, lunch and dinner. All Military Personnel Receive a 20% Discount on Meals!
195 S. 4th Avenue, Yuma, Arizona Tel: (928) 782-7427
Yuma Events Continued…
Theatre, Music & The Arts
Sports & Outdoor Adventures
Feb. 3: That's Country Round 2 Feb. 6: Class of ’68 Feb. 8: Blues Brothers Tribute Feb. 9-10: Mountain Shadows Artists Art Show Feb. 9-11: Yuma Square & Round Dance Festival Feb. 10: Romantic Classics Feb. 17: Boogie, Brews & Blues Festival Feb. 14-17: The Games Afoot Feb. 22-24: Yuma Art Symposium Feb. 27: The Orbison Years Feb. 28: Michael Hargis
Feb. 3: “Fantastic” February Canoe Trip Feb. 3-25: Arizona Winter League Feb. 10: Great Yuma Road Race Mar. 3: Sunset Canoe Trip Feb. 11: Family Golf Clinics Feb. 24: “Spring Time Blitz” 5 on 5 Flag Football Classic Mar. 3: Sunset Canoe Trip Mar. 24-25: 13th Annual Men's Gil Rivera Tournament Continued on Next Page…
Mar. 2: 12th Annual ARTRAILS Studio Tour Mar. 7: The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters Mar. 9: Elvis Tribute Concert Mar. 10: ‘Loving Vincent’ Movie Screening Mar. 13: The Day The Music Died Mar. 14: Rave On! Mar. 15: Sons of the Pioneers Mar. 16: Listen to the Music Mar. 17: One of These Nights Mar. 17: Music on Main Mar. 20: Bye Bye Love Mar. 21: The Legendary Songs of the Brill Building Apr. 21: ARTbeat Fine Arts Festival PAGE 66
South of Reno and east of Yosemite National Park, Yerington is located in western Nevada, just off the Pony Express National Historic Trail and on the California National Historic Trail. Built as a U.S. Army fort in 1861, Fort Churchill State Historic Park is a 30 minute scenic drive from Yerington. Tour the ruins, visit the museum and cemetery, picnic, go camping and hike the nature trail, and enjoy various ranger programs. Buckland Station is just down the road from Fort Churchill, and was a supply center and boarding house. You can tour the house and picnic outside. Both sites are part of the Pony Express and California National Historic Trails.
Yerington’s historic downtown district is charming with shops, restaurants and casinos, including Dini’s Lucky Club – the oldest family run casino in the state! The surrounding Mason and Smith Valley areas are beautiful with lush farmlands that stretch out to natural areas complete with rugged high desert hillsides and desert shrub lands, wetland ponds and meadows active with birdlife, and wind carved canyons that dip down to cool running waters. The region is a popular birding, geocaching and hiking destination. Other area highlights include: Lyon County Museum, Yerington Theatre for the Arts, Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area, Walker River Canyon, Walker Lake and Wilson Canyon. For more about Yerington, visit NationalParkTraveling.com. Continued on Next Page…
The Bakery Gallery
Popular destination offering a delicious variety of cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, Danish pastries, coffee cakes, biscotti, chocolate truffles, desserts, and breads. They serve coffee and espresso and pre-fixe to-go dinners. 215 W. Goldfield Ave., Yerington, NV 89447 Tel: (775) 463-4070 www.TheBakeryGallery.com
Gateway to Pinnacles National Park and on the Anza Trail Located east of Monterey and Salinas, San Benito County in central California, is the eastern gateway destination of Pinnacles National Park and part of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. This picturesque region is made up of the historic communities of Hollister, Tres Pinos, San Juan Bautista, Aromas, Paicines and New Idria. Less than 2 hours from San Francisco and 5 hours from Los Angeles, San Benito County makes for an ideal travel destination with outdoor activities such as bird watching and hiking, golf and tennis, as well as a wine tasting trail, a delectable selection of dining options, boutique shopping, historic parks and museums, and a fun calendar of events! For up-to-date event information and to plan your San Benito County adventure, please contact the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at (831) 637-5315 or visit www.SanBenitoCountyChamber.com or www.DiscoverSanBenitoCounty.com.
Upcoming Events in San Benito County Living History Days, First Saturdays in San Juan Bautista State Historic Park Sidewalk Saturdays, First Saturdays in Downtown San Juan Bautista Feb 10: 2nd Annual San Juan Bautista Merchants Fashion Show Mar. 13: Farm Bureauâ€™s Farm Day at Bolado Park Event Center Mar. 17: Exchange Clubâ€™s Annual Crab Feed at Bolado Park Event Center Mar. 24-25: San Juan Bautista Spring Arts & Crafts Show Mar. 24-25: Bi-Annual Cactus & Succulent Show & Sale in San Juan Bautista Mar. 31: San Juan Bautista Easter Parade May 5: Downtown Hollister Wine & Beer Stroll
Located in the heart of Central California’s valley region, Tulare County is home to Sequoia and King Canyon National Parks, Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. East of Fresno, the region is an easy 4-5 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area and 3-4 hours from Los Angeles. Sequoia National Park Adventure – One of the first parks in the country, Sequoia NP is famous for its giant sequoia trees and black bears. Visit the General Sherman Tree (the largest living organism and tree in the world), climb Moro Rock, take in spectacular views of Mt. Whitney (the highest mountain in the contiguous 48 states), and hike through glacial canyons, lush meadows thick with wildflowers, and explore oak woodlands.
The scenery is spectacular, offering a rich diversity of bird, plant and wildlife. Covering 404,064 acres, there are hundreds of streams, ponds, rivers, creeks and lakes, and over 200 marble caverns to explore. Crescent Meadow and Big Trees Trail offer wonderful spring and early summer wildflower, bird and wildlife viewing. Tokopah Falls Trail is a worthwhile 1.7 mile spring hike along the north bank of the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River, leading to the 1,200-foot cascading waterfall. Learn more at (559) 565-334 or www.NPS.gov/seki.
Sequoia National Park Video
Continued on Next Page…
Sequoia National Forest & Giant Sequoia National Monument Adventure – Featuring 33 groves of giant sequoia trees, the Sequoia National Forest is home to the biggest concentration of giant sequoia groves. These groves are protected within the Giant Sequoia National Monument, which encompasses over 353,000 acres of diverse landscape, including two wild and scenic rivers, lakes, and six wilderness areas. Along with the magnificent giant sequoias, the area boasts lush forest meadows and a myriad of plant, bird and animal species. There are limestone caverns to explore and granite domes and spires to see, along with archaeological sites. The activities are endless and include hiking and camping, mountain biking, horse riding, bird and wildlife watching, and spring white water rafting. Learn more at (559) 784-1500 or www.FS.USDA.gov/sequoia.
Kings Canyon National Park Adventure – Spanning 461,901 acres, this park is made up of mostly wilderness, forests and spectacular canyons, with Kings Canyon itself being one of the deepest canyons in the United States. The park is known for being home to the General Grant Grove of giant sequoia trees, the famous General Grant Tree, and the Redwood Mountain Grove which is the largest remaining natural grove of giant Kings Canyon sequoias in the world. Starting in National Park late spring or early summer, you can enjoy babbling brooks and waterfalls offset by towering granite cliffs, as well as lush meadows and glacial canyons. Learn more at (559) 565-334 or www.NPS.gov/seki.
Continued on Next Page…
Three Rivers Bathtub Races Video
Sequoias Continued… Trail Riding Adventure - Wood N Horse Training Stables is a full service stable offering trail rides in Three Rivers, California, nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s and just 6 miles to the entrance to Sequoia National Park. Listen to our Big Blend Radio interview with owner, trail guide and world champion trainer Christy Wood who talks about her trail rides, clinics and events happening this spring and summer 2018. Spring events include: Mar. 26-29: Spring Horse Camp for ages 7 to 77! (An Introduction to Horses); Apr. 12-15: Fund Raiser/Yard Sale for the Wounded Warrior Project; Apr. 21: Trail Horse Challenge Clinic. Learn more on NationalParkTraveling.com.
Three Rivers Bathtub Race for Charity Adventure – Held March 31, as the culminating event of the 12th Annual Three Rivers Hero Appreciation Months program, this uniquely fun event is as must! Teams create floatable steerable boats out of old cast iron bathtubs with only the materials provided, and then race across Lake Kaweah for the charity of their choice. An entry fee is required, as all fees are pooled to create the charity “pot”. It’s free and open to all, (or better yet, register to participate). Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Leah Launey who discusses the Bathtub Race and other Three Rivers events. For more information, call Leah Launey or Peter Sodhy at 559-561-4270, or see the Three Rivers Events Page on NagtionalParkTraveling.com.
For more about the area, including upcoming events, visit www.DiscoverTheSequoias.com. PAGE 74
Cruise up North San Diego’s scenic and historic Highway 101 that runs along the coastline from Del Mar and Solana Beach, to Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Encinitas and Leucadia, and up to Carlsbad and Oceanside. Soak up the relaxing beach atmosphere and ocean views, and delight in the colorful flower-lined streets and charming seaside villages. San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas This gem of a garden spans over 37 acres with four miles of trails, and is home to over 3,300 plant varieties from all over the world as well as local California native plants. The Garden also features the interactive children’s garden, art sculptures, and the nation’s largest bamboo collection. See www.SDBGarden.org. Meditation Gardens at Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas This tranquil retreat is known for its incredible ocean views, colorful plants and beautiful ponds, and meditation areas. Located at 215 West K Street in Encinitas. www.EncinitasTemple.org.
Buena Vista Audubon Nature Center in Oceanside - Adjacent to the 220-acre Buena Vista Lagoon Ecological Reserve, the Nature Center features interpretive displays that highlight the local flora, fauna, and habitats. Take a walk by the lagoon to explore the plant communities that comprise a coastal lagoon, and stroll through the native plant demonstration garden. www.BVAudubon.org. The Flower Fields - A Southern California tradition for over for over sixty years, every spring around 160,000 people head to The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch® to experience one of the largest flower displays in the world, with 50 spectacular acres of blossoming ranunculas, along with roses, orchids, sweet pea blossoms, petunias and poinsettias. From tractor rides to live music there are a variety of familyfriendly activities to enjoy within these fabulous fields of color, not to mention the picturesque ocean views. Located off I-5, The Flower Fields spring bloom runs March 1 – May 13, 2018. See www.TheFlowerFields.com.
On Palomar Mountain, you will experience dense forests of pine, fir and cedar, wildflowers, verdant meadows, and stunning panoramic views. A fantastic bird watching destination, Palomar Mountain State Park has a number of hiking trails and picnic spots, a fishing pond, as well as a campground. Bailey’s Palomar Resort, just a few minutes from the park, is a wonderful retreat for those who want to sleep amongst the trees, whether it’s in a historic cabin or luxury campsite. One of the most popular attractions in the region is the Palomar Observatory, home to the famous 200inch Hale Telescope. Visit the museum and take a guided tour. Learn more about Palomar Mountain on NationalParkTraveling.com.
Continued on Next Page…
Mountain Magic Continuedâ€Ś Julian, located just past Wynola and Santa Ysabel, is a popular mountain hamlet known for its gold rush history, apple and pear orchards, spring flowers, wineries, farm-to-table fare and apple pie. The historic downtown district makes for a fun day of shopping and dining, plus there is the California Wolf Center and Julian Pioneer Museum to visit. Enjoy bird watching, wildflowers, picnics, hiking and outdoor adventures at Lake Cuyamaca, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve, and Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve. Mark your calendars for the Julian Daffodil Show, held March 10-11, 2018, and donâ€™t miss the Julian Doves & Desperados Historical Skits held every Sunday in the historic downtown. Learn more about Julian on NationalParkTraveling.com.
TRAVEL MARKETPLACE It’s All About Mobile Healthcare, Luxury & Wine! Bring the Party Along with the Portovino Wine Purse Perfect for spring picnics or summer days relaxing poolside with the gals, the PortoVino is an innovative fashion purse that stores and dispenses up to 2 bottles of wine (or your favorite beverage), all concealed within an insulated zippered pocket. It even has a little spout so you can simply ‘park your purse’ and pour!
The bag is spacious and also has two smaller interior side pockets to carry accessories and personal items like cell phones, keys, and a wallet. Choose from canvas purses striped in white and fire brick red or midnight blue, beautiful leather purses in gold, platinum, black, red or blue, and stylish messenger bags available in camel or slate. Shop online on Amazon or directly on www.Porto-Vino.com. Continued on Next Page…
Hello Alvin Telehealth According to Popular Science, traveling can expose people to all kinds of conditions that could make them more susceptible to illness. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that on average, 20 percent of plane passengers reported to have infections within five to seven days of flying. Behaviors linked to being on the road can also make us more vulnerable to infections. Hello Alvin is the perfect solution to get the healthcare you need while being away from home. Hello Alvin is a doctor in your pocket, where ever you go. Hello Alvin provides you and your entire family direct access to the Teladoc network of more than 3,000 U.S. board certified physicians, pediatricians, dermatologists and behavioral health specialists.
Whether you traveling on vacation or for business, you can have access to a doctor in under 10 minutes, 24/7 from any device. Itâ€™s the smart way to travel regardless of whether you have insurance or not. Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Arif Razvi, co-founder of Hello Alvin, and visit www.HelloAlvin.com.
Continued on Next Pageâ€Ś
Brave Era Luxury Silk Travel Sheet Adventurous days deserve peaceful nights! Brave Era’s 100% Mulberry Silk travel sheet helps you stay clean while protecting you from allergens and even bed bugs and mosquitoes. Bring it with you during your next hotel or vacation rental stay, add extra warmth to your sleeping bag, or use it alone for optimal comfort in warmer climates. Travelers of all kinds love their Brave Era travel sheets: campers, glampers, weekend warriors, extreme adventurers, road trippers, burners, cabin crew, cruisers, hostelers, stargazers, backpackers, music festival-goers, gap-year takers, and luxury seekers. Don’t be fooled by cheap polyester imitation sleeping bag liners that claim to be “silky.” Indulge in the real thing.
Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with musician and educator Nichole Alden “Chief Exploring Officer” at Brave Era, who talks with Big Blend Radio about her world travels and creating her popular Brave Era travel sheet for women. Nichole’s songs featured on this radio segment include: “In Your Hands” and “Anything”. Shop online on Amazon or directly on www.BraveEra.com.
Published on Feb 1, 2018
Published on Feb 1, 2018
PARKS & TRAVEL MAGAZINE: Feb/March 2018 – From an epic road trip across Zimbabwe to following the historic Anza Trail in the desert southwes...