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From Yellowstone to the Everglades, and Ecuador to Orcas Island, this issue of explores a plethora of park destinations along with spring and early summer travel planning guides covering Arizona, Nevada, California and Kentucky. History and the arts shine the spotlight across America from Gettysburg to Natchitoches, St. Augustine to Oxford, Mississippi, and from monolithic Devils Tower to Arizona’s beautiful Sonoran Desert. Other features include ‘sense of place’ in tourism, community wildlife conservation, employment laws regarding sick leave and vacation time, and summer camp options for teens. Want help planning your next park adventure? Check out our site and subscribe to our weekly which is also the best way to get your copies of our digital and bi-monthly and Big . We’d love connect with you on , and too!

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 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.

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From the infamous Old Faithful Geyser and the magnificent Grand Teton Peak to watching elk and bison and soaking up the views of pristine lakes, waterfalls and wildflowers, travel writer Debbie Stone enjoyed a summer hiking vacation in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, as well as the park gateway communities of Cody and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Hear all about Debbie’s experience on Big Blend Radio and watch the short accompanying video of her adventures. Established on March 1, 1872, Yellowstone is known for being the world's first national park, and it’s linked to Grand Teton National Park via the scenic John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. Situated on a volcanic hotspot, Yellowstone encompasses approximately 3,472 square miles of one of the largest, nearly intact temperate-zone ecosystems on Earth. Breathtaking views offer rugged canyons that reach down to cool rivers surrounded by beautiful sub-alpine forests, along with geothermal features that include colorful hot springs, mudpots and geysers.

A popular hiking, backpacking and mountaineering destination, Grand Teton National Park is approximately 310,000 acres, and is home to the Teton mountain range including the magnificent Grand Teton peak, the winding Snake River, beautiful Jenny Lake and Jackson Lake, and the lush Jackson Hole valley. Home to the largest concentrated population of mammals in the lower 48 states as well as over 300 bird species, these parks and their surrounding forests and wilderness areas are popular bird and wildlife viewing destinations.

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In the movie , Richard Dreyfus acted like a madman. He built a towering edifice out of mashed potatoes and when that didn’t satisfy his vision, he hauled mud into the house and built his tower. His family didn’t understand and neither did he. He was driven to this place, it talked to him, and he found an answer at Devils Tower. It had been a very long time since I’d watched the movie, but when my husband and I drove within viewing distance of Devils Tower, we understood its power. Devils Tower or Bear Lodge (Mateo Teepee) is rich in Native American history. Several Great Plains tribes, the Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne, Shoshone, and Lakota lived in the area and have their own stories of how the Tower came to be. In 1868, a treaty was signed which guaranteed that the lands around Mateo Teepee would stay in the Tribes’ control. Unfortunately, the treaty was short lived. In 1874, General George Custer violated the treaty and by 1875, settlers and miners moved in fueled by gold fever in the Black Hills. The Native Americans were pushed back into smaller reservations and the country around Devils Tower was left to speculators.

Charles Graham filed a preemption application in 1890 and the General Land Office rejected all claims to acquire the land for personal gain. From there it took another sixteen years for President Theodore Roosevelt to turn Devils Tower into the first National Monument. It took many more years for the site to be developed with roads and a bridge across the Belle Fourche River. Today, visitors marvel at this natural wonder as they drive on Wyoming’s Highway 24. Several pullouts are provided so people can stop and view the monolith. The remarkable geology reveals its different aspects as you drive up to the Tower and the Visitors Center.

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The igneous rocks that make up the Tower are known as phonolite porphyry. The rocks formed a hexagonal fracture pattern as they cooled creating the unusual look of the Tower. From a distance, the columnar joints aren’t as noticeable, but as you drive closer, you can see how amazing they are. My husband, whose first degree is in geology, objects to my description of them as giant French fries all aligned together to form the monolith, however, to me that’s what it looks like.

We arrived in the afternoon and there were long lines to get into the park. Once in, we were unable to find parking for our large pickup truck and ended up in an RV spot. The Visitors Center, an old log cabin, is packed with information about the area. The Devils Tower Trail and the Red Beds Trail are accessible from the Visitor’s Center parking lot.

I could relate a lot more history and information about this monument, but I recommend that it’s better to visit it yourself. There are several RV At the base amongst the trees and scrub, huge parks and campgrounds in the area. You should angular boulders are scattered everywhere. It call for availability and reservations because seems like the magma pushed its way to the sky, everything seemed filled up when we were there. then stopped. Current theory says the magma I would love to spend a couple of days in this pushed up between the sedimentary rocks laid beautiful area and explore the trails and some of down by inland seas that rose and retreated over the Ranger programs. millennium. Erosion took care of exposing the Devils Tower National Monument is located at harder rock of the Tower and left what we see WY-110, Devils Tower, WY. You can find more today. If you look at the summit of the Tower, information at you can see how the top is fractured and weathered. It is a continuous process of building up and breaking down. Devils Tower sees most of its 80,000 visitors during the summer months. If you plan to visit during their busy season, be aware that parking is limited. PAGE 9


There are 172 named islands in the San Juan archipelago and Orcas, at 57 square miles, is the largest. Viewing the island from the deck of a Washington State ferry as it plows the Salish Sea, it becomes clear why Orcas is dubbed “The Emerald Isle”. Rocky cliffs, hills and mountains, adorned with Douglas Fir, Juniper, Madrone, Cedar, Dogwood and Hemlock, rise abruptly from the sea. Even the curved, crescent shape of the land is welcoming – like a pair of open He worked on steamboats, opened a machine arms – ready to make you feel relaxed, at home shop in the city, and by 1880 he was Mayor. and part of the calm that is island life. Moran Brothers Company received a Orcas is dotted with quaint villages, many set government contract in 1900 to build the USS along the seafront. As you move inland, sunny Nebraska and by the time the ship was open valleys reveal orchards, fields, and a host completed in 1906, Moran’s life was, by all of farm-stand markets that supply many of the accounts, a success story. But there was a price: local restaurants. Orcas is the epicenter of the his health had deteriorated and doctors gave ‘hyper local’ food scene and chefs are proud of him only a few years to live. It was time for a their ability to utilize the bounty of the island. It’s lifestyle change. a beacon of unpretentious, self-sufficiency While on a pleasure cruise through the San where nature is embraced and respected. Juans, Moran discovered Orcas Island. This, The island’s most famous resident, Robert thought Moran, was just the place to find Moran, embodied many of these qualities and tranquility and peace for the precious last years his story is a classic American tale. In 1875 he he had left. In 1906 he purchased a small left his native New York State, arriving in the sawmill on the shores of Cascade Bay, along with rough-and-tumble logging town of Seattle with the surrounding 7800 acres of mountains, just a dime in his pocket. forests and lakes. PAGE 10


He set about designing and building his new home with a distinct vision of self-sufficiency and preservation. He created a hydro-electric system to supply heat and light for the house and channeled water from a nearby spring. Moran refused to alter the indigenous forests, so lumber was brought in from further afield; teak from India and Mahogany from Honduras, to create a home that melded the philosophies of the Arts and Crafts Movement and Moran’s shipbuilding sensibilities. In the United States, the most famous proponent of this design movement was Frank Lloyd Wright, but it was Gustav Stickley, a furniture designer, who, through his magazine ‘The Craftsmen’ brought the vision to the masses. The bywords ‘honesty, simplicity and usefulness’ really encompass the trend that lasted from 1895 to 1920.

When completed in 1911, at a total cost of $1,500,000, Rosario became known as the ‘San Simeon of the Northwest’.

By 1932, Moran decided to sell. He was 75, his wife and brothers had passed on, and his children showed no interest in maintaining the house. It was the height of the Great Depression After the over consumption and clutter of the and interested buyers were few. In 1938, an Victorian era, designers looked for clean lines, industrialist from California purchased all 1339 natural materials and objects that offered form acres of land, the fully furnished mansion and as well as function. Moran took this to such an extent that he had no paintings on the wall of the surrounding buildings for $50,000. house. At Rosario, you need only look out the window and soak in the beauty of nature. PAGE 11


A series of owners have called Rosario ‘theirs’, and the mansion served as a hotel for many years. Miraculously, all the original furnishings are still there- a time capsule of a bygone era. The current owners consider themselves The new owner, Donald Rheem, used Rosario as ‘caretakers’ and have plans to bring the resort a part-time resident for 23 years, but his wife into the modern era while honoring Rosario’s Alice chose the island as her full-time home and history and unique character. A newly expanded was infamous for her rather flamboyant marina, waterside restaurant and General Store lifestyle. Rumors circulated that she hosted ‘men were among their first additions. of the armed services’ at the house while her husband was away. She was known for speeding The Rosario Resort and Spa currently offers relaxing, comfortable and thoughtfully appointed around the island on her motorcycle and taking accommodations enhanced by breathtaking trips into nearby East Sound, wearing a red views of the bay and the famous mansion. nightgown, to play cards ‘with the boys’ at the Guests to the Spa can swim in the original indoor General Store. She died in 1956 but many say salt-water pool or enjoy a massage in one of the her spirit lives on in the mansion! vintage guest rooms. PAGE 12 Moran moved to a smaller home near the ferry landing where he lived out the remainder of his days, until he died in 1943 at the ripe old age of 86.


The Moran’s living and dining rooms are now the beautiful setting for The Moran Lounge and Mansion Restaurant. Chef Raymond Southern is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia and brings years of international culinary experience to Rosario along with a sincere love of everything fresh, local and tasty. Don’t be surprised if the vegetables on your plate were harvested only a few hours ago from Chef’s garden overlooking the bay.

In 1911, Robert Moran wanted to gift the State of Washington with 2998 acres for the creation of a State Park. He was very influenced by the Conservation Movement and became a good friend of John Muir, the Scottish naturalist who was the first President of the Sierra Club and considered the ‘Founding Father of the National Parks’.

In 1924 the state finally accepted and once the park was officially dedicated, Moran began to design and build walking trails, roads, concrete General Manager Christopher Peacock, who is bridges and gateway arches, many of which are also the official historian, has worked at Rosario still in use today. The work was done by the CCC for 38 years and conducts fascinating historical -Civilian Conservation Corps, a relief program set tours. A highlight is the Music Room, home to Moran’s pride and joy, a mammoth Aeolian Pipe up as part of President Roosevelts ‘New Deal' Organ. When it was originally purchased in 1913 that completed environmental and National Park at a cost of $16,000, the instrument was a ‘player’ projects throughout the country. organ. Moran used to ‘play’ every morning and would often invite guests to ‘concerts’. The console is housed in the balcony, and guests could only see him at the ‘keyboard’ from a distance – never suspecting that he couldn’t actually play at all. Bordering Rosario, you’ll find another of the philanthropist’s ventures – Moran State Park. PAGE 13


At the center of Moran State Park is Mount Constitution, the highest peak in the San Juan Islands at 2405 feet. Atop the summit is an observation tower created from local sandstone blocks and hand-crafted metalwork. It was built by the CCC from a design by well-known Seattle architect Ellsworth Storey to emulate a 12th century watchtower from the Caucus Mountain region of Georgia. But the biggest attraction is the breathtaking, 360˚ view that encompasses Vancouver Island and the Canadian Coast Mountains, Rosario and Juan de Fuca Straits, the Olympic Peninsula and the Cascade Mountains. The park has grown to 5252 acres of unspoiled, Northwest wilderness with 38 miles of hiking trails, lakes, waterfalls and a variety of outdoor recreation. Blacktail deer, river otters, raccoons, Bald Eagles, Kingfishers and Great Blue Herons are just a few of the abundant wildlife. Mt. Pickett Natural Area Preserve, in the centraleastern area of the park is the largest, contiguous tract of natural, unlogged forest in the Puget Sound region. Due to its fragility, the area is only open to organized environmental or scientific groups, but there is a perimeter trail open to the public. Camping ranges from Spartan to glamorous! Stay overnight in one of the many campgrounds, go ‘Glamping’ or reserve one of the heated cabins with private bath. Doe Bay borders Moran Park to the south. This cozy cove has hosted a trading post, a major ferry stop in the 1910s – 20s, then Twin Cedars Fishing Resort. PAGE 14


New ownership in the early 2000’s saw a rejuvenation of the property retaining the old Northwest Vibe. Stay in a quaint cabin or go camping in one of the domes or yurts that overlook the tranquil bay. Explore the ‘clothing optional’ spa and soaking tubs, peruse the General Store and pescatarian cuisine at the fabulous Doe Bay Café. Chef Jon Chappelle is in charge of the ultracreative, incredibly fresh menu, growing many of the ingredients in his own garden on the resort property. Options change daily – sometimes more than once – depending on what comes into the kitchen. Perhaps there’ll be some freshly harvested clams from neighboring Buck Bay, served with tomatoes, sweet pepper, roasted garlic, Calendula flowers and crusty sourdough bread from Ends Well Bakery! This restaurant draws locals and city-dwellers who come for Jon’s surprising spins and the restful vibe. The bustling village of Eastsound is the commercial epicenter of Orcas, where you’ll find tree and flower lined streets with a myriad of shops, restaurants, and delicious temptations.

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Ted was a busy chef who wanted to spend more time with his wife Susan and daughter Kathryn, so 11 years ago he decided to switch gears and craft chocolate. His creations were a success and Kathryn Taylor Chocolates became a reality. Susan and Kathryn open each morning and fill the glass cases with unusual candy combos like pistachio, fig and Sauvignon Blanc in rich milk chocolate, Garam Masala coconut and rosemary caramel. A lovely family with binge-worthy treats – a classic island fusion. Cross the street and venture into Brown Bear Baking where you’ll be warmly greeted by the cheerful staff and delicious aromas of homebaked goodies. Croissants, muffins, breakfast buns, aromatic coffee and even homemade granola – this is the Pacific Northwest, after all. How can one resist a visit to an establishment called ‘Girl meets Dirt’? New York natives Audra and Gerry moved from Manhattan with no specific plans. Audra’s interest in culinary history was peaked when she discovered the many abandoned heirloom orchards on the island. In 4 short years, ‘Girl meets Dirt’ has gone on to win Good Food Awards and gain a stellar reputation for preserving heritage and heirloom orchards, trees and fruit. Everything is made in their small shop which is often packed to the rafters with brimming boxes of freshly picked produce. Ingredients are simple: fruit, organic cane sugar and lemon juice. Simply fabulous! Should all that strolling build up a thirst, venture a short distance from the village to Island Hoppin’ Brewery. Open only 5 short years, this is the only Orcas brewery with a tasting room – and it’s a cozy, lively space! Wooden cubby-holes line the walls, where stoneware mugs sit in numbered spots, waiting for their Founding Member owners to fill them up with Madrona Red or Elwa Rock IPA. Great vibe and popular local spot. For more information visit .

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I greedily drank from the Fountain of Youth and patiently waited, but, alas, the wrinkles and crow’s feet remained etched on my face. The magical spring that was said to restore the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters didn’t have the powers of transformation I had hoped it would, but I could see how such a belief would motivate Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon back in 1513. Imagine what it would be like to have the wisdom that comes with age and the vibrant exuberance that represents youth? No need for creams and lotions, or Botox and face-lifts! The famed conquistador was so obsessed with discovering these special waters that he set sail from Puerto Rico determined to find them, and landed on the coastline of St. Augustine, Florida, in what is now known as Ponce De Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. The park’s colorful history dates back more than five centuries. It’s the original site of Spanish Colonial St. Augustine, the first successful European settlement in the U.S., which was founded by Pedro Menendez de Avilés, a whopping 55 years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock. The list of historical firsts in the park is impressive and includes the 1587 Mission of Nombre de Dios Church, the first Christian church built-in the continental U.S. Additionally, the first documented Thanksgiving feast between Europeans and Native Americans occurred here. This site is also Florida’s oldest attraction with signed guest books that go back to 1867. Today, visitors can enjoy the park’s numerous exhibits and educational presentations on everything from archaeological research and nautical traditions to live cannon and weapons demonstrations. And, yes, you can still drink from the waters. Perhaps, you’ll have better luck than I when it comes to results! One thing is for certain: the springs that brought Ponce de Leon to Florida’s shores were valuable hydration sources for the Timucuan Indians for several thousand years and later served as impetus for Menendez’s settlement. They have brought the city much fame and plenty of bragging rights.

St. Augustine is a treasure trove of historical attractions with more than sixty points of interest. Two National Monuments reflect the prevalent Spanish and Minorcan heritage: The Castillo de San Marcos (1695), the nation’s oldest masonry fortress, and Fort Matanzas (1742), which guarded the city’s southern river approach, as European nations battled for power and control of the area. Currently, the latter, reachable only by ferry, is closed as both the boat and dock were damaged during Hurricane Irma. However, the visitor center and surrounding grounds remain open.

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History buffs will also enjoy a guided tour of historic Flagler College. Built in 1888 by railroad As you approach the Castillo de San Marcos, magnate and Standard Oil co-founder Henry you’ll see a moat surrounding the place. The Flagler, the place began as St. Augustine’s Hotel Spanish kept it dry and during sieges, used it as a Ponce de Leon. It was an exclusive resort pen for domestic animals. Note the drawbridge property like none other and an architectural and the portcullis, the heavy sliding door, which wonder where presidents stayed and the is an indication of the building’s strength. Built of wealthy played. coquina stone, an almost indestructible material, the fortress stood as a mighty sentinel and served as a military warehouse, as well as a refuge for the townspeople. Inside, several exhibits introduce visitors to the Castillo’s history, design and construction, with rooms dedicated to guards’ quarters and ammunition storage. There’s also a chapel, where a priest conducted mass for the soldiers. The British Room is indicative of the period (1763-1784) when British troops moved to St. Augustine after Spain ceded Florida to Great Britain in exchange for the city of La Habana, Cuba. Outside, make sure to climb the stairs to the tops of the bastions and look out upon the waters of Matanzas Bay. From this commanding position, a garrison of Spanish troops safeguarded St. Augustine during the turbulent colonial era. Later English and then American troops also saw service here. All stood watch faithfully over the land Ponce de León named “La Florida.” PAGE 20


And the Flagler Room, the piece de resistance, is decked out in Tiffany chandeliers and coated in Tiffany paint. This room was once the Ladies The entire structure was completed in only Parlor, where women would come for tea upon eighteen months at a cost of $2.5 million, and arrival, while their husbands dealt with payment was wired for electricity by Edison himself. in another area. The doors were purposefully Designed in the Spanish Renaissance style by a thick to shield the women from hearing any prominent New York architectural firm, it features four different themes: nautical, Spanish, conversations about money. The belief of the day was that womenfolk had weak constitutions religion and the lion. You will notice and would faint if they were privy to such representations of frogs, turtles, Spanish flags and coats of arms, angels and cherubs, ships and matters. Take a moment to look at the portraits of Henry and his wife Mary. Because she was so dates of explorations, lions and other symbols much younger than him, Henry insisted that her scattered throughout the property. portrait reflect his wrinkles! The main lobby boasts carved oak pillars and a The hotel closed in 1967 due to a decline in domed ceiling painted in twenty-four carat gold profitability. A year later, Flagler College was leaf. The floors are made of hand laid African established, first as an all-women’s institution; mosaic title. If you look closely, you’ll see that there are a few imperfections in the tile. These later, it became coed. Today, there are 2,600 flaws were purposefully created because students attending the four-year private liberal according to Flagler, “only God is perfect.” arts school. It offers thirty-three majors and is especially known for the strength of its The ballroom, now the college’s dining hall, has education and business administration fields of the largest collection of Tiffany windows in the study. world. PAGE 21


It includes such eclectic pieces as a mummy, shrunken heads, human hair art, cigar labels, salt and pepper shakers, Tiffany glass, porcelain, fine art paintings, furniture and sculpture. A recent special exhibition, “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times,” was a crowd favorite at the museum. The costumes came from the wildly popular British period drama, The hotel became a museum in 1948 when Otto “Downton Abbey,” an award-winning series that Lightner purchased it. Lightner was a collector, was recognized for its outstanding costume who believed “everyone should have a hobby” design, among other distinctions. The exhibition and “everyone should collect something.” When explored fashions in Britain between 1912, the Chicago mansions were put up for sale during year the Titanic sank, and the early 1920s, the the 1930s, he had the opportunity to buy dawn of the Jazz Age. By showing period treasures for low prices. Soon his possessions costumes in historical context, visitors were able outgrew his Chicago museum-home. While in to see the progression of style in the country. Florida for health reasons, Lightner noticed the Thirty-six costumes and accessories (both those vacant Alcazar Hotel and decided to buy it as a worn by the aristocratic inhabitants of the show showcase for his collections. and those of their servants) were paired to The museum consists of several galleries on four perfection within engaging vignettes, immersed amid pieces of Lightner’s collection. It was a floors, with displays of artwork, antiques and masterful presentation of costume history curios from the 19th century. Lightner’s surrounding WWI, an era that changed the social collection is impressive and extensive. fabric of Great Britain. PAGE 22 Across the street is the Lightner Museum, once the grand Alcazar Hotel of the Gilded Age, another of Flagler’s projects. This property featured the largest indoor swimming pool at the time, a grand ballroom, sulfur baths, a steam room, massage parlor, tennis courts, bowling alley and gymnasium.


If you’re lucky, you’ll also see folks working on site with Heritage Boatworks, a volunteerpowered program dedicated to keeping alive the wooden boatbuilding traditions of our ancestors.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum is often at the top of many visitors’ lists of attractions. This light station has been host to centuries of maritime history and is a unique landmark and pivotal navigation tool that still remains in working order today. Climb the lighthouse’s 219 steps to the top for a breathtaking 360 degree view of the city, the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean. Ascend another twelve stairs to enter the lens room, where you can see the original 1874 Fresnel lens. It stands nine feet tall and was built from 370 handmade prisms.

St. Augustine’s Old Town is another must-visit locale. This section of the city was the site of its first community and the link to its 16th century roots. It is remarkably preserved and resplendent with architectural landmarks, beautiful pocket gardens, interesting shops, eateries, galleries and accommodations. The narrow brick streets and walkways, stone walls and overhanging balconies create a distinctly European ambiance. In the heart of Old Town is Aviles Street, the oldest street in the nation and an original art district, as well as the location for an early church, historic well, cemetery, jail, hospitals, boarding houses and schools. The area exudes charm and authenticity and is a showcase of architecture with examples of Victorian, Medieval Revival and Spanish Revival styles.

The restored Keepers’ House across the way is For an immersive journey through centuries of now a museum that illustrates the stories of past the town’s rich history, head to the Colonial lightkeepers, sailors and fishermen who shaped Quarter, off of St. George Street. This two-acre and protected the coast of Florida for hundreds living museum is devoted to showing life in the of years. And make sure you check out the newly city in the 1740s. There are historic opened Maritime Archaeology & Education demonstrations, musket and cannon drills, tours Center, with its conservation lab, research library of an authentic soldier’s house, print shop, and x-ray room. The lab provides a walk-thru blacksmith and more. viewing room with a television to help zoom in on detailed processes that may be occurring during your visit. PAGE 23


You can climb to the top of a 17th century watchtower replica and dine and drink in 18th century style at the Bull and Crown (British fare) or the Taberna Del Caballo (tapas and Spanish favorites). Re-enactors depicting soldiers and citizens from the time period are known to make occasional surprise visits while you dine. Adventure seekers will love the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum. The history of the city is tied to the grim and bloody reality of piracy in the 16th and 17th centuries when the rivalry between England and Spain led to attacks on each other’s shipping and settlements. St. Augustine was an important stop on the trade route, which made it a target for English privateers and pirates. Though you might initially think such a museum would be full of kitschy displays, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn there are a host of authentic artifacts on display, including a piece of Sir Francis Drake’s Ship.

Captain Kidd’s family bible, Thomas Tew’s original treasure chest, one of the three original Jolly Roger flags still in existence, the original of the first “Wanted” poster in the world, dating back to 1605, and the sword used by Johnny Depp in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film are also on display. There are over 800 items and nearly two dozen interactive exhibits, as well as detailed written information on the history of piracy.

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For some outdoor fun, explore the waterways with St. Augustine Eco Tours. The company offers boat tours, kayak excursions and catamaran sails on the inland waters surrounding the city, ranging from ninety minutes to two hours in duration. Owner Zach McKenna and his staff are interpretive naturalists, dedicated to the environment and passionate about sharing it with their guests. They will explain the elements of the estuary and introduce you to an array of fascinating creatures that might include double crested cormorants, brown pelicans, osprey, egrets, herons, and the ever-popular bottlenose dolphins. You’ll come away with a plethora of information about animal behavior. The dolphins, for example, travel about ninety miles a day and never sleep. They also have the largest neocortex of all animals, making them the world’s second most intelligent creatures, with only humans displaying greater brainpower. “Peduncle” was Captain McKenna’s word of the day on my trip. This term refers to the muscular area or tail stock that provides the power behind the dolphin’s up and down swimming motion. Anastasia Island, between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean is a vacationer’s paradise for all outdoor activities. Sandy beaches reign supreme here and the Anastasia State Recreational Area with its miles of nature trails is a haven for hikers, birders and campers. The island is also home to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. It’s the world’s first of its kind zoological park with the only complete collection of crocodilians, not to mention, snakes, monkeys and birds. With all this activity, you’ll need sustenance. Not to worry, St. Augustine’s got you covered. Restaurants and bars dot the city and surrounding areas, offering a variety of cuisines. Head to intimate and trendy Catch 27 for some of the most delectable seafood in town. The establishment prides itself on preparing and serving fresh, locally caught seafood, and everything is made from scratch.

Another special place is Michael’s Tasting Room, which emphasizes fresh, local and seasonal Spanish and Mediterranean inspired creations. This St. Augustine gem resides in a converted historic home dating back to 1764. Also memorable is lunch at Café Alcazar. This elegant eatery is situated in the Lightner Museum in a space originally designated for the largest indoor swimming pool of the Hotel Alcazar. The menu emphasizes entrees made from the freshest ingredients, local and organic. For great “fast seafood,” make a beeline for newly opened St. Augustine Seafood Restaurant in the Colonial Quarter. There you’ll feast on such dishes as conch fritters, spicy Minorcan clam chowder, shrimp tacos and freshly grilled fish. The restaurant even lists which boats brought in what seafood for the day.

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Food tours, which have become all the rage these days, are plentiful in St. Augustine. To appease your sweet tooth, check out Whetstone Chocolate Factory. You’ll be introduced to the history and making of chocolate, as well as to the Whetstone story. The best part is the fourtiered tasting, which brings out the characteristics of dark, milk and white artisan chocolates. It’s a decadently delicious experience! For aficionados of craft liquors, take a tour of the St. Augustine Distillery, which includes a visit to the company’s museum, distillery, barrel room and tasting bar. You’ll learn how locally grown Florida agricultural products are turned into award-winning vodka, gin, rum and bourbon. And of course, you’ll get to imbibe a variety of cocktails such as a Florida Mule, Rum Tiki and Old Fashioned. The building itself is notable, as it was Florida’s first commercial ice plant and dates back to 1917. The distillery has received much recognition for its preservation and restoration efforts, which accompany the many awards its spirits have earned.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get guide extraordinaire Donna Cowley, a St. Augustine native, who attended Flagler College. Donna is incredibly enthusiastic about her town and its food and wine culture, and is delighted to share her knowledge with visitors. Our tour stopped at five establishments, including The Gifted Cork, a wine and gift boutique, where we tried a variety of different wines from Australia and New Zealand (the wine destination of the month), along with a few cheeses.

In the evening, join highly rated The Tasting At the Old City House, a well-known upscale Tours, for its Corks and Forks Tour. It’s a threeestablishment in an elegantly restored 19th hour strolling experience where you eat and century building, we were treated to a tasty dish drink your way through St. Augustine. You’ll of swordfish and crabmeat, followed by a sample learn where the foodies like to dine, sample of the restaurant’s NY style strawberry farm fresh ingredients in creatively prepared cheesecake. dishes and sip boutique wines, while exploring the city’s beautiful historic streets. PAGE 26


The Floridian was next on our “crawl.” This casual, popular restaurant focuses on high quality, local and sustainable ingredients in traditional Southern dishes with a twist. We sampled cornmeal dusted fried green tomatoes and cheesy polenta grit cakes. At Odd Birds, an eclectic neighborhood bar, where “chill” is the mantra, craft cocktails take center stage, along with a smattering of bites like ceviche bowls and yucca fries.

When it comes to accommodations, St. Augustine and the surrounding area offer a myriad of properties from full service resorts and boutique hotels to charming B&Bs and quaint, historic inns. I stayed at The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens, a collection of nine historic houses conveniently located on the edge of Old Town.

Once the home of St. Augustine’s Dow Museum of Historic Houses, The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens weds contemporary luxury with The tour ends with dessert at Peace Pie, my impeccable historic preservation. Each of the favorite stop of the evening. This family run property’s houses is different, as is each of the establishment has several locations in New individual thirty rooms. All have been artfully and Jersey, South Carolina and now Florida. Each stylishly restored, and contain several historic Peace Pie has a layer of ice cream and another of features as coquina walls, original stained glass pie filling that are anchored between two hearty windows, refurbished hardwood floors and other shortbread cookies. Flavors abound with such period decor. These details blend seamlessly delights as pecan pie, salted brownie, peanut with such modern amenities as rainwater butter chiffon, key lime pie, cookie dough, showerheads, flat-screen LCD HDTVs, luxurious pumpkin latte, cinnamon bun and many, many bed linens, bedside interactive iPads and more. These unique and ginormous ice cream kitchenettes with microwaves and mini-fridges. sandwiches are simply amazing! PAGE 27


If you go: The property’s grounds comprise a one-acre For everything St. Augustine: oasis of live oaks, lush gardens, outdoor sculptures, stone fountains, wrought iron gates and brick pathways. Sit by one of the outdoor fire The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens: pits at night for the ultimate in cozy. And if you want a before or after dinner drink, stop in at The Well, an intimate gathering spot in what was once St. Augustine’s first two-car garage. You can opt for a classic cocktail or something totally unique like an herb-infused elixir made especially to your taste. In the morning, enjoy the European Continental breakfasts; later in the afternoon, munch on the snack offering of the day in the Star General Store. This building was constructed in 1899 by a local dry goods merchant and served as a general store. Today, it’s the lobby and reception area. The warm welcome you’ll receive at the inn is indicative of the gracious, southern hospitality you’ll be shown throughout your stay in the nation’s oldest city. PAGE 28


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When in Southern Florida, one must make sure to visit Everglades National Park‌.and on one bright, sunshiny winter day, it meant playing hooky from the conference we were attending in Fort Lauderdale. Little did we know that we were about to embark on a magical nature adventure amid the largest tropical wilderness in the country. This enchanting wetland bustled with an astounding array of plant, bird and wildlife species. We watched as vibrant purple gallinules skittered across floating lily pads right next to alligator families lazily lounging waterside, soaking up the sun. We strolled through shaded pine and hardwood forests, and saw beautiful bromeliad airplants hanging in trees with their fiery spikes of color shooting up to the sky. We gazed out across the ocean, sawgrass marshes and swampy sloughs, all teeming with avian and aquatic life. PAGE 30


Everglades National Park protects an extraordinary and uniquely biodiverse landscape, a critical and fragile habitat that’s home to an abundance of birds and wildlife, including rare and endangered species such as the American crocodile, Florida panther, West Indian manatee and leatherback turtle. The park encompasses 1.5 million acres of wetland, making it the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi River and the third largest national park in the lower 48 states. It’s a global natural and geographic treasure that’s been declared an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site and a Wetland of International Importance. After our short visit, we want the park to be designated as the 8th Natural Wonder of the World!

From kayaking and canoeing to hiking and backcountry camping, the park offers a wide range of activities. But if you are on a tight schedule like we were, make sure the Anhinga Trail is on your to-do list – no hiking boots required. Located near the Royal Palm Visitor Center, just 4 miles from the main park entrance, this popular self-guiding and wheelchair accessible 0.8 mile trail leads you along a paved walkway and boardwalk over Taylor Slough.

Once an ancient shallow sea bed, this freshwater sawgrass marsh is packed with fish and amphibians, making it a favored feeding station for alligators, turtles, and birds. There have been over 360 different species of birds sighted in the park, and the Anhinga Trail is a birdwatcher’s paradise with opportunities to view hunting herons, egrets, ibises, storks and roseate spoonbills, as well as bitterns, grebes, loons, limpkins, snail kites, pelicans and cormorants. PAGE 31


This is a popular feeding, breeding and nesting area for Anhinga birds, the trail’s namesake. Part of the darter family, the anhinga is also known as a snakebird or water turkey. With its long neck above the water, like a snake ready to strike, it hunts in shallow waters by spearing fish and small prey with its sharp sleek beak. Anhinga feathers are not waterproof like ducks, making it difficult to fly. To dry their wings, they stand with their wings spread and tail feathers fanned open in a semicircular shape, similar to a turkey.

- There are daily guided tours at 10:30am (contact the park first). - Pets and bicycles are not allowed on the trail. - While the Royal Palm Visitor Center has restrooms, vending machines and a drinking fountain, bring your own food and water. - Bring binoculars and a camera. - Don’t feed the birds or wildlife. - Leave no trace, take only memories. - For park information, visit

The Anhinga Trail is a premier wetland trail within the National Park Service, and is also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It’s an excellent bird and wildlife viewing destination year-round, but especially good during the dry winter season when the shrinking slough provides a concentrated view of the local wildlife. As you can see from our video, it’s truly amazing the diverse variety of birds and wildlife species you can see up close up on this super easy and wild wetland walk! If you have time, the nearby 0.4 mile paved Gumbo Limbo Trail offers another unique experience, meandering through a shaded, sub-tropical and jungle-like hardwood hammock of gumbo limbo trees, royal palms, ferns, and air plants. PAGE 32


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Visitors entering Oxford, Mississippi’s historic Square will come nose-to-nose with its famed Courthouse. The stately white building stands in the heart of town, creating a scene that looks like it came right out of one of John Grisham’s legal thrillers. The well-known author is actually one of many writers who lived in Oxford, a town with an impressive literary heritage and more published writers per capita than most big-time American cities. As a state, Mississippi boasts such distinguished wordsmiths as Richard Ford, Willie Morris, Eudora Welty, Donna Tartt, Jesmyn Ward, Larry Brown and Curtis Wilkie. Perhaps the most acclaimed, however, is William Faulkner. Regarded as one of the greatest writers in the twentieth century, Faulkner made Oxford his home after briefly attending the University of Mississippi, and lived in his antebellum-style house, Rowan Oak, from 1930 until his death in 1962.

The Nobel Prize Laureate, who is best known for such novels as, “The Sound and the Fury,” and “As I Lay Dying,” made his mark on the literary scene for his masterful characterization and rich language. He was a skilled storyteller and moved many a reader by his deep probing of the mysteries of human life.

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While living in Oxford, Faulkner discovered that his “own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about.” He created fictional versions of Oxford and Lafayette County, calling them Jefferson and Yoknapatawpha County, respectively. These locations were used in several of his books, along with a slew of colorful characters, some modeled after actual Oxford residents. The most interesting room on the first floor is the Office/Writing Room, where the plot outline Literary aficionados can visit Rowan Oak to get a of “A Fable” is written on the wall in Faulkner’s glimpse into this special haven that brought hand. He used graphite pencil and a red grease Faulkner so much inspiration. Originally known pencil to set down this working plan of the novel, as “The Bailey Place,” the author renamed his which is about Holy Week set during WWI. estate Rowan Oak after the Rowan tree, a symbol of security and peace. Upstairs, you’ll find Estelle’s Bedroom, which was Faulkner’s wife’s private space for painting and During your self-guided tour, you’ll see the birdwatching. In Faulkner’s own bedroom, you’ll Library, which is decorated with paintings by the note a bedside bookshelf with a collection of writer’s mother, Maud Butler Falkner, an tomes ranging from biographies to mystery accomplished painter. As an aside, William added novels, reflecting the author’s varied reading the “u” to his name in 1918 for a nom de plume. interests. The bookshelves, built by Faulkner, have locking compartments on the bottom to store his He also enjoyed photography, evidenced by the shotgun shells. This was the room the author cameras on the mantel. And his riding boots and wrote in until he built his own writing room at field boots remain as testaments of his love for the rear of the house. the outdoors. Other rooms are dedicated to his daughter Jill and an assortment of other children Nearby is the Parlor, the site of many special in the extended family, who came for visits. Of occasions for the family, and the Dining Room, additional interest is the glass case in the hallway which leads to a porch and a patio, also a favorite with assorted Faulkner memorabilia, such as writing spot. Take a peek in the kitchen and writing instruments, a pipe, bottle of Jack pantry. The latter has numerous phone numbers Daniel’s, photos and remnants from the author’s written on the wall near the telephone – Hollywood days as a movie writer. Faulkner’s convenient, low-tech directory! PAGE 35


The grounds contain several outbuildings, including a barn, stable, servants’ quarters and smokehouse. The landscape is lush with gardens, arbors and a cedar walkway. The trees lining the path were planted after the yellow fever epidemic that swept the South. It was believed that cedars “cleansed” the air. Faulkner fans will also want to stop by St. Peter’s Cemetery, where the graves of William and Estelle are located, along with the family plot. Visitors occasionally bring small bottles of bourbon to pour near Faulkner’s grave, as the author was known to favor his libations. Contrary to public opinion, he never drank and wrote, explaining that the only thing he could do when he was drinking was to be a drunk. You’ll see empty bottles and often several pens and pencils, as well as pennies (perhaps as a nod to the adage, “a penny for your thoughts”) lying atop his gravestone.

Another section of the store specifically focuses on other Oxford and Mississippi literary greats, of which there are many. The prolific number reflects a rich tradition of storytelling that is deeply valued in this region. If you have questions, need recommendations or are interested in signed copies of books, the shop’s friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to assist. While you browse, grab a cup of java at the café upstairs and take it out on the porch for a nice view of the Square.

If you’re inspired to read one of Faulkner’s novels after your visit to Rowan Oak and St. Peter’s Cemetery, head to Square Books, the iconic and beloved independent bookstore in town. An entire area is devoted to the author and his works. PAGE 36


When you’re ready to move from this comfy spot, make your way to the Oxford Visitor Center and pick up a Walking Tours guide to use as your companion as you stroll around the charming historic district. You’ll discover trendy restaurants and cafes, along with unique boutiques and galleries that make their home in this vibrant downtown. Note the impressive number of buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Square itself is a National Historic Landmark, with the Oxford Courthouse as its anchor. This Italianate masterpiece replaces the 1840 structure, which was destroyed along with all but one of the buildings around the Square by Union troops in 1864. A variety of architectural styles are present in town, including Greek Revival, Victorian Gothic, Italianate, Gothic Revival, Romanesque Revival and others. Make sure to check out City Hall, formerly the Federal Building and Post Office. Originally constructed in 1885 in the Romanesque Revival style, it is a handsome red brick structure with intricate detail and decorative work. A bronze statue of Faulkner sitting on a park bench outside the building is a popular attraction for literary enthusiasts. Nearby, a sign explains a bit of the town’s history, noting that it was named after the British university city of Oxford in hopes of having the state university located there, which it did successfully attract. A red, London-style telephone booth stands at the corner to complete the picture. And to top it off, the city even bought several red double-decker buses, which are used as transportation for special events and private occasions. J.E. Neilson Co., another historical building, is the oldest continuing department store in the South, and traces its origins to a log cabin trading post north of the present Square. Its Colonial Revival exterior has remained unchanged since 1897. St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is the oldest religious structure in Oxford with the spire completed in 1893. Stained glass windows behind the altar are original. PAGE 37


History buffs will also find the L.Q.C. Lamar House Museum of interest. It’s a National Historic Landmark dedicated to the story of Mississippi’s most noted 19th century statesman, who served in both houses of Congress, as Secretary of the Interior and as Supreme Court Justice. Lamar was a pre-war Congressman turned secessionist, who became a post-war Congressman determined to reconcile North and South. Nearby is Burns-Belfry, built in 1910 for Burns United Methodist Church, organized by former slaves in 1869. After the congregation sold the building, it was converted to office space and subsequently owned by John Grisham. The author later donated it to the Oxford-Lafayette County Heritage Foundation, which restored it as a museum and multicultural center.

Professionally designed exhibits in the museum present Lamar’s life within the context of the entire Civil War era. A special section is devoted to JKF’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Profiles in Courage,” which featured Lamar as one of eight prominent politicians who defied the opinions of their party and constituents to do what they felt was right in the face of extreme opposition.

Ammadelle House is one of three homes in the city with National Historic Landmark status. An A visit to Oxford is not complete without a tour oft-photographed site, this well-preserved of the University of Mississippi, commonly Italianate mansion was designed by noted known as “Ole Miss.” When it chartered the architect Calvert Vaux for resident Thomas Evans university in 1844, the state legislature laid the Bedgegood Pegues, a trustee of the University of foundation for public education in Mississippi. Mississippi. Construction on the house started in Four years later, the school opened its doors to 1859, but ceased during the Civil War, then later eighty students. Today, the number is over resumed. The home has a secret room in which 21,000. Walk the grounds of this picture-pretty Confederate soldiers were hidden during the historical institution, which is dotted with war. It’s also notable for having closets and a numerous grand, old buildings. The Lyceum, for kitchen that isn’t separate from the rest of the example, dates back to 1848 and was the only house – two unusual features for residences survivor of the institution’s five original built at that time. The house is privately owned, structures. so you’ll have to do your drooling from the street. PAGE 38


With its handsome Ionic Greek Revival style architecture, it has become an Ole Miss trademark. Check out the Grove, the University’s eleven-acre tailgate area where throngs of fans amass for every home football game to cheer the heirs to Archie Manning’s quarterback throne. There’s even a street on campus that bares the Manning name. Set aside time to explore the University Museum, home to several impressive, permanent collections including the Robinson collection of Greek and Roman antiquities; the MillingtonBarnard Collection of 19th century scientific instruments; the Seymour Lawrence collection of American Art with works by 20th century masters such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Man Ray, Marsden Hartley and Arthur Dove; and an extensive collection of the work of Theora Hamblett, a wellknown folk artist from Oxford. Art thrives in Oxford to the extent that the town is often referred to as “the cultural mecca of the South.” The creative spirit is embraced in galleries, studios and at special events and festivals. On the fourth Tuesday of each month, for example, there’s an Art Crawl, where the public is invited for a tour of Oxford’s art spaces from the traditional to one night only pop-up shows.

Another special event is Pop Up Oxford. Held in late January, Pop up Oxford is a weeklong, Chautauqua-style series of events and programs celebrating the town’s rich literary, musical, artistic and cultural heritage. There are theater Double decker buses take participants to the and dance performances, artist lectures and various stops along the route, which include such exhibits, a songwriters’ concert and author venues as the University Museum, Southside signings. Attendees can also participate in a Gallery on the Square, the Powerhouse Hotel Hop, where they can check out a number Community Arts Center and Gallery 130 in the of different accommodations in town, while University of Mississippi’s Department of Art. enjoying appetizers and drinks. Exhibits change every month to keep things interesting. PAGE 39


Just a few short miles from the Square is the Oxford Treehouse Gallery, a unique art space that you won’t want to miss. As you drive up the wooded road, you’ll immediately experience a sense of peace at the bucolic scene. The gallery is actually a spacious, airy house with two rooms devoted to works by twenty plus regional artists representing an array of different mediums. Owners Walter and Vivian Neill opened the place a few years ago to share it with other artists, while providing the public with a fine art experience in an unconventional gallery setting. Wander the grounds and take a peek in Walter’s blacksmith and wood shop, check out the B&B apartment for rent, or simply sit on the gallery’s screened porch nestled among the trees. Chickens roam freely, along with occasional cats and dogs. You might get so comfortable, you won’t want to leave!

You’ll find these pieces in the garden at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center, at Rebel Sculpture Park on the campus of Ole Miss and at Lamar Park, an outdoor arboretum. When your stomach starts to make noise, grab sustenance at any one of the town’s appetiteenticing cafes and restaurants. Finding good food in Oxford is not a problem, as the city has a reputation for innovative chefs and an eclectic culinary scene.

If you like to enjoy art while getting some activity at the same time, take a walk along the Yokna Sculpture Trail, a rotating exhibit of eighteen large-scale sculptures by locally, regionally and nationally renowned exhibiting artists. PAGE 40


Start your day at Big Bad Breakfast with a skillet scramble, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits and an order of house-cured Tabasco brown sugar bacon. Make sure to get the bruléed grapefruit, too. Or if you want the best baked goods and pastries in town, head to Bottletree Bakery, where you can indulge in delectable scones, croissants, brioche and more.

At Snack Bar, where the food is a marriage of French Bistro and North Mississippi Café, feast on such dishes as Collard Green Wrapped Catfish, Royal Red Shrimp Mac & Cheese and Grouper with Smoked Pecan Purée. Ask if the Black-Eyed Pea Grits are available – they’re swoon worthy!

Save room for dessert, where you’ll have to For lunch, tempt your taste buds at Saint Leo, a decide between the Griddled Cornbread Cake 2017 James Beard Foundation “Best New with Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream or the Nutella Restaurant” semifinalist, which specializes in Mousse…or maybe the Butternut Squash Tart… wood-fired Italian cooking. Try the kale and City Grocery, Currence’s flagship restaurant is a sweet potato pizza or spaghetti with gulf shrimp. landmark in the Oxford dining scene, known for Another spot for great pizza is Proud Larry’s, serving some of the most inventive and which also serves up hearty pub grub along with interesting food in the South. Start with the weekly live music. Notable musicians like Elvis Acorn Squash Soup or the Stuffed Collards; then Costello, John Mayer, Warren Zevon and others try the Bourbon Braised Short Ribs, Grilled Trout have graced the stage here in the past. or Adobo Chicken. You’ll waddle away, especially after finishing your meal with the Cheddar Dinner at either Snack Bar or City Grocery is a Cheesecake or Chocolate Cobbler. Old school real treat. Owner John Currence is a James Beard Southern hospitality is alive and well in Oxford, Award-winning chef/restaurateur whose Oxford whether you’re dining, shopping, touring or establishments also include Big Bad Breakfast staying at one of the hotels in town. and Bourè. PAGE 41


Options for accommodations range from cozy B&Bs and inns to boutique properties and chain establishments. On the luxury end, there’s the Chancellor’s House, an elegant hotel where guests feel like they’re on some majestic Southern estate instead of in a college town hotel. A favorite for Ole Miss fans and alumni is the Inn at Ole Miss. Conveniently located on campus, it’s an ideal spot from which to catch-all the action. Alternatively, Graduate Oxford, the place where I stayed, has a fun and festive vibe. The lobby is laid in pink oak and there’s a variety of colorful artwork on the walls, along with seersucker drapery and sofas. Guest rooms are outfitted with plaid throws, polka-dot carpeting and silhouettes of Archie and Olivia Manning, the town’s king and queen of Ole Miss. The rooftop bar, The Coop, is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, who mix easily in this friendly and welcoming milieu. For everything Oxford: PAGE 42


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Ecuador is among the top 10 most biodiverse countries in the world. Only five other countries have more bird species, and it’s number one when it comes to hummingbird species. All of this is remarkable considering the nation’s small size. Of course, most travelers think of the Galapagos Islands when they think Ecuador, but the country also includes the Amazon River and the Andes mountain range, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers. In December 2017, I visited all What makes the Galapagos so thrilling, however, three regions for a 16-day “wildlife extravaganza.” is that it’s like a natural zoo. The animals aren’t afraid of humans because they have almost no First, the Galapagos. This volcanic archipelago is predators, are well-protected, and often live on isolated in the Pacific Ocean, straddling the islands uninhabited by people. In fact, humans Equator. That isolation made the islands perfect live on only four of the 22 islands. for Charles Darwin to develop his theory of evolution. He could see the slight changes in the The government polices where you go and endemic species of animal life from island to when, so there are never many people on an island – differences that you can often still see uninhabited island. While you aren’t supposed to today, especially in the smaller birds. It does get closer to the animals than two meters, there make species identification downright are times when the animals come closer to you! confounding at times, though. Is that a large, medium, or small Darwin finch? Your guess is as good as mine! PAGE 45


For my visit, I flew from Quito to the island of San Cristobal, where I boarded a Latin Trails yacht for a six-day/five-night cruise around the islands. Our three-deck boutique yacht called the “Galapagos Sea Star Journey” had about a dozen crew members and 14 guests from the U.S. and Europe. It was the height of luxury with unusually spacious staterooms and delicious food. Our stateroom even had a balcony big enough for two chairs. The sun deck contained lounge chairs and two Jacuzzis, where we often sipped Pisco sours while watching the spectacular sunsets and the frigatebirds as they chased each other overhead. Sometimes, the frigates even perched on top of our vessel. Each night, our naturalist guide gave us a briefing about the islands we’d visit the following day and the animals we’d see. We managed to see seven islands, often sailing overnight and climbing into two dinghies just after breakfast. During the trip, we saw giant tortoises, black and red marine iguanas, deep yellow land iguanas, bright red crabs, blue-footed boobies, white and brown Nazca boobies, Galapagos hawks, more sea lions than we could count, including many newborns, and a variety of bird life. It was especially exciting to see the male frigatebirds in full display with their red throats inflated. PAGE 44


After that dream excursion, I flew to the mining town of Coca for my visit to the Amazon, which couldn’t have been a more different experience. While the Galapagos Islands are often rocky and stark with cacti and leafless trees, the Amazon is lush, dense, and deep green. This density makes the wildlife considerably more challenging to find. Binoculars are a necessity, but then, out of nowhere, a group of squirrel monkeys or a pair of large hoatzin birds (which the locals call “stinky turkeys” because of their odor) will suddenly appear out in the open as you ride by in your canoe.

My room at La Selva was on par with any 5-star hotel. I had a balcony that contained a table and chairs, a living area, queen-sized bed with mosquito net canopy, bathroom with two sinks, shower, safe, and bathrobe. (There’s no minibar, however, because food might attract unwelcome animals and insects.) The luxury continued in La Selva’s dining room, where I felt like I was eating at a Michelin star restaurant.

Since I’m a birdwatcher, I had a private guide who took me out on walks in rubber boots or canoe rides each day to find birds and other animals. I was especially keen to see a pygmy I stayed at La Selva Lodge and Spa, which is as marmoset, the smallest monkey in the world, luxurious as you can get in the remote jungle. but my guide, Rodrigo, told me they’re rarely From Coca, we boarded a large motorized canoe seen in the area. Then, lo and behold, within a with a roof for a two-hour ride down-river, half hour, he’d found one for me within followed by a 30-minute paddle canoe ride to the binocular range. I particularly loved our peaceful thatch-roofed lodge, which is thankfully devoid of paddle canoe rides through narrow tributaries malaria. with only the sound of the animals, insects, and water around us.

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After I spent three nights at La Selva, I flew back to Quito and was picked up for a drive to the nearby Yanacocha Reserve at almost 12,000 feet to see birds such as the sword-billed hummingbird with its 4-1/2-inch bill. Then, I was delivered back down at 5,500 feet to Tandayapa Bird Lodge in the Andes. The lodge straddles the hemispheres in a remote subtropical cloud forest 40 miles northwest of Quito and just 200 yards from the Southern Hemisphere.

With so much diversity in a small country, Ecuador provides the wildlife lover with unique opportunities to see animals that can’t be seen anywhere else. What are you waiting for?

The accommodations at Tandayapa are modest compared to the Sea Star and La Selva, but the food is memorable. The chefs from the local village cook Ecuadoran cuisine, which is famous for puréed soups garnished with popcorn. The biggest draw to Tandayapa, however, is its prime location for bird life. At certain times of the year, feeders on the lodge’s veranda attract as many as 100 hummingbirds representing 30 species. It’s truly a hummingbird circus. During birdwatching excursions away from the lodge, you can see avian treasures like the Andean cock-of-the-rock, colorful tanagers, quetzals, parrots, and toucans. PAGE 48


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Built in 1796, Melrose Plantation in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, shares the story of slave Marie Thérèse Coincoin and her ten Franco-African children with Thomas Pierre Metoyer, as well as the Isle Brevelle Creole community, the Civil War, plantation history, and Louisiana folk art. Throughout the generations this plantation, which was first known as the Yucca Plantation, has been built, nurtured and restored by determined, visionary, women. One of the most notable is Marie Therese Coincoin, a slave born into the household of Louis Juchereau de St. Denis in 1742. St. Denis was a French-Canadian soldier and explorer that commandeered forts along the Mississippi River, Biloxi Bay and later the French outpost Natchitoches. Upon his death, all his belongings and properties were inherited by his wife, including the ownership of Marie. Marie was later leased as a housekeeper to a young French merchant named Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer. A nineteen year relationship ensued, resulting in ten children. Eventually, Metoyer purchased Marie Thérèse and several of their children, giving them their freedom, whilst he married another woman.

Marie was given a parcel of land that she worked in order to earn money and pay for the freedom of the rest of her children. She was able to procure a larger grant of land for her son Louis, which is now known as Melrose Plantation. Together they cleared the land and grew tobacco, indigo and cotton, and built the plantation, and even owned slaves. Years later, when her great-grandson lost the plantation in 1847, it was purchased by brothers Henry and Hypolite Hertzog from nearby Magnolia Plantation, who operated it for the next several decades. They managed it through the Civil War until 1881. The property was briefly owned by a New Orleans businessman, then sold three years later to Joseph Henry.

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Cammie Grant Henry, wife of John Hampton Henry, moved into Melrose Plantation in 1898, and she began restoring and making it a center for arts, crafts, and history. She replanted the gardens, restored the colonial buildings, revived local handicrafts and collected and displayed portraits and heirlooms of the past Melrose inhabitants. The plantation became a haven for writers and artists, including famous folk artist Clementine Hunter who originally worked as a field hand at Melrose, then as housekeeper and finally as a cook. She was a self-taught artist who began painting using paints and brushes that were discarded by an artist in residence. Many of her paintings are also on display in the plantation “big house.�

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The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches owns and is further restoring this plantation that is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Located just 15 miles south of Natchitoches, the oldest city in the state of Louisiana, the plantation is near the Cane River Creole National Historical Park, is part of the Cane River Heritage Area, and is on the Cane River National Heritage Trail, a Louisiana scenic byway. The property features nine historic structures dating back to the early 1800’s. African House, which was totally rehabilitated in 2016, has received the honor of being named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The house contains several murals painted by Clementine Hunter. Besides the ‘big house’, Melrose Plantation also features the Yucca House, and a large barn. Melrose Plantation is open for tours, and hosts an annual spring arts and crafts festival.

Held April 21-22, 2018, over 100 vendors will set their tents and tables beneath the gorgeous live oak trees of Melrose. Artists will show and sell their original paintings, stained glass, gourmet foods, jewelry, clothing, photography, plants, toys, woodworking products, pottery and more.

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EARLY 20TH CENTURY ARTISTS: Drawn By A Desert Icon by Victoria Chick

Featured image: Sahuaro, Tucson, Arizona (1940) by Maynard Dixon (1875-1946); oil on canvas board, 16� x 20�, courtesy Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery and Maynard Dixon Museum, Tucson, Arizona .

The tall saguaro cactus with its many arms is an icon representing all deserts to most Americans and people from other countries. Yet, the saguaro is found mainly in the Sonoran desert of Arizona and Mexico in a band whose northern edge is roughly parallel with the city of Tucson.

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A small area of saguaro cacti can also be found in the lower Imperial Valley of California and some naturally occurring saguaros can be found in the Phoenix area. Settlers moved into the area we now call Arizona as early as the mid-19th century. By the time Arizona became a state in 1912, there was already a large group of well-known artists, both men and women, working within its boundaries. Most artists lived in the cool, well-watered, northern Arizona mountains. Some of the artists traveled to and painted in other southwest states as well. In the winter, the Sonoran Desert became a favorite subject due, in part, to the drop in temperature to a comfortable level. The other reason for artists to visit the Sonoran Desert was the dramatic change in scenery and plant life, including the majestic saguaro cactus. Artists included the saguaro in oil paintings, watercolors, and etchings that found favor with Easterners for the exotic and romantic content of their landscapes. The paintings and etchings of these early artists account for the widespread, erroneous notion that if it is a desert, saguaro must grow there. The ability to remain comfortable in southern Arizona desert areas changed after WWII when the development of air conditioning made low desert communities comfortable in the summer. More artists came and a great increase in year round residents created a local market for Arizona art. Up to this point in time, Arizona artists with East Coast connections marketed their paintings by shipping them to dealers in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. There are five desert artists, famous in their own time, of whom you may not have heard. Although there were many self-taught cowboy artists in Arizona in the 19th and early 20th century, they were outnumbered by pioneer women from the East who had some classical art training. The Prescott area had at least a dozen professional women artists who met and supported each other’s endeavors.

Kate Corey, Mable L. Lawrence, Claire Doone Phillips, Ada Rigdon, Jesse Benton Evans, and Lillian Wilhelm Smith are some of the women who painted professionally during Arizona’s Territorial years. Lillian Wilhelm Smith is an outstanding example from this group. Lillian Wilhelm Smith’s life began in Germany, but she immigrated to New York with her parents as a young child. Her advanced skills in drawing earned her a place studying at the NY Art Students League when she was only 12. She was determined to lead an unusual life for a woman of her era by foregoing marriage and children and, instead, pursuing an art career. Aiding her in this endeavor was her cousin-inlaw, a young novelist named Zane Grey. Grey introduced her to the “wild west” at a Buffalo Bill Wild West Show in New York and arranged for her to draw and paint the Indians in that show.

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Grey had great confidence in Wilhelm Smith’s skills as an artist and when he went to Arizona in 1913 on an expedition to find locations on Navaho lands and material for his new set of novels, he asked her be his illustrator. This expedition was supposed to be too rough for a woman, especially one with no horseback riding experience. Wilhelm Smith was befriended by the guide who gave her advice to make the 400 mile trip as comfortable as possible. Back in New York for several years, she tired of the modernist trends being introduced and decided to return to the Phoenix, Arizona area to live in 1916, where she continued to paint in oils and watercolors. Many of her paintings are of distinctive geographical places in Arizona and incorporate desert vegetation, including the saguaro. Two artists with long careers shared early backgrounds in newspaper illustration and cartooning.

A native Californian born in 1875, illustrator Maynard Dixon made his first Arizona visit in 1900, and it fueled his drive to be a western painter. Awed by the mountain shapes, shadows, and cloud formations, Dixon eventually simplified his compositions, and expressed himself with strong color and contrast. By 1930, he was spending his winters in Tucson and summers in Utah. Although he did not live a long life, his art production was prolific and his painting style continues to inspire western artists. Hearst newspaper cartoonist, James (Jimmy) Swinnerton, worked in New York until he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was given a short time to live. Hearst, his friend as well as his employer, sent him to California for treatment in a better climate. Surprisingly, he improved, and began taking painting classes in San Francisco.

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In the 1920’s he began painting trips that took him to deserts in California, Utah, and Arizona. He had a successful 45 year career as a desert painter. Swinnerton is recorded as saying, “Every minute in the desert is all new and completely different than anything that has been or will be. The difficult thing is to catch it quickly before the sands blow or shadows in the hills shift and create a new picture”. In his later years, Swinnerton lived and worked in Palm Desert, California, passing away at age 99.

Albert Lorey Groll was both a painter and a printmaker originally from the East Coast, whose introduction to Arizona came in the early 1900s when he accompanied an ethnologist there. While the ethnologist studied Indian games, Groll sketched the landscape and cloud formations so different from those in the East. Groll’s desert subjects were very well received in Eastern art shows. There is not agreement among sources that he moved permanently to Arizona.

Darwin Duncan is identified most often as a California painter of desert scenes but also spent time painting in southern Arizona. His favorite He felt a tremendous affinity for the desert and places there were near Tucson and in what is some sources say he moved to Arizona around now the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. 1905, even going so far as to adopt an Indian way His need for a regular paycheck sidetracked his of life. Other sources say he always maintained early career into drafting. But he met Sam Clyde an art studio in New York and made periodic Harris and Edgar Payne who invited him on visits to Arizona and New Mexico. Whichever painting trips into the Sierras and to whom he way it was, he became famous for his depictions gave credit for his growth as an artist. Duncan of Arizona and is often credited with being the was a generous teacher himself, taking students catalyst for making people recognize the beauty on paint-outs near Palm Desert, Palm Springs, within the desert. and into the Anza Borrego Desert. His path may have crossed that of James Swinnerton when Duncan painted the dioramas for the Living Desert Museum in Palm Desert during the time Swinnerton resided there. PAGE 57


Another printmaker and painter, this time a watercolorist, was Gerry Peirce who moved from New York to Arizona around 1938 after spending several winters there. Peirce was initially an illustrator and, later, wrote and illustrated books on painting. He had art training from the Cleveland School of Art and the NY Art Students League, and also learned etching techniques while in Nova Scotia. In 1948, his interest turned to watercolor and he founded the Gerry Peirce School of Watercolor in Tucson. His work celebrates the intense Arizona sun, desert topography, plants, stormy summer skies, and architecture unique to the southwest. A third printmaker, and one ahead of his time, was George Burr who made zinc plate etchings as a young man in Cameron, Missouri in the 1870s when etching was just beginning to be adopted as a medium among artists in New York and Philadelphia. Burr left working at his father’s hardware store to take classes at the Chicago Art Institute but, after only three months of classes, went on to a career in magazine illustration. PAGE 58


Beginning in 1892, his outstanding skills were put to use for the next four years making 1,000 detailed etchings of jade pieces in the Heber Bishop collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1924 and spent the rest of his life there with the Arizona deserts and mountains as his subjects. Arizona had many talented artists during its formative years. The artists in this article are only a sample of those early artists drawn to the rugged beauty of the deserts and that icon – the saguaro cactus. If you would like more information or would like to see original work, visit an Arizona Gallery or Museum specializing in early Arizona artists some include: Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe; Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix; Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg; Maynard Dixon Museum in Tucson; Blue Coyote Gallery in Cave Creek; and Hubble Trading Post National Historic Site in Ganado, Arizona.

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Born in Northern Italy on August 10, 1645, Eusebio Francisco Kino was a Jesuit missionary, geographer, explorer, cartographer and astronomer. In 1687, he arrived in northern Mexico on horseback, traveling into what is now Arizona. Mapping the region, Padre Kino explored the vast lands of Arizona and California, making friends and working with the local indigenous Native American population. Unfortunately, with him also came the soldiers of the King of Spain, who brought guns and swords, while the gentle priest brought a simple cross to introduce Christianity without destroying the native cultures. He told them stories of Christ and the Bible, introduced them to Christian ceremonies, and together they built 24 missions in 24 years that stretched from Sonora, Mexico, to Southern Arizona. Located just southwest of Tucson, Mission San Xavier, also known as the “White Dove� of the desert, is one of the most impressive of the missions.

Famed Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia, most likely the most reproduced artist in the world, is known for his art and paintings that trace historical events and native cultures of the Southwest. DeGrazia was inspired by the memorable events in the life and times of Padre Kino. Since childhood, DeGrazia admired Padre Kino for his education, life of adventure and his respect for Native Americans. DeGrazia traveled to every Kino mission as he lovingly studied the life of his favorite Jesuit priest. In 1952, DeGrazia built the Mission in the Sun as the first building constructed on what is now the DeGrazia Gallery in Sun property. The Mission was built in memory of Padre Kino, and dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Following his own building plans, DeGrazia and his friends carefully handcrafted the adobe constructed building. In 2006, the Mission in the Sun was registered as a National Historic landmark. It is currently undergoing restoration due to a fire.

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The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is a 10-acre historic landmark nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson, Arizona. Opened in 1965, it is home to over 15,000 originals of Ted DeGrazia art pieces including oil paintings, watercolors, ceramics and sculptures. There are six permanent collections on display including: , , , , and Showcasing DeGrazia’s other original works, the Gallery hosts different exhibitions throughout the year. Current exhibits include the annual “The Way of the Cross” on display until May 15, and “DeGrazia’s Hot Wax-Encaustic Paintings” on display until September 5. Learn more at

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Born and raised in Phoenix, Johnson completed her bachelor’s degree in anthropology and creative writing at the University of Arizona in 2010. In 2011, she moved to central Pennsylvania to earn a master’s degree in English (Creative Her personal practice as a member of Mennonite Writing) at Penn State. and Quaker congregations will furnish another strand of inspiration, linking the historical Her master’s thesis, a poetry manuscript struggles of these communities with her efforts exploring the history of the nineteenth-century to understand the place of pacifism and faith in iron industry in central Pennsylvania, was the American public life. culmination of two years spent tracking down and visiting the sites of over thirty iron furnaces, “I propose to write poems engaging with the and also conducting archival research at Penn stories of pacifist faith communities around State and county historical societies. Her Gettysburg at the time of the battle. The manuscript went on to be published as experiences of the Sherfy family, owners of the , a collection of poems in the voices of Peach Orchard site (see NPS photo pictured), will people on the fringes of the historical record. provide a central narrative.” the poet commented. During her Gettysburg residency Ms. Johnson shared that she will be writing poetry inspired by stories of pacifist faith communities around Gettysburg at the time of the battle.

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The poet Brian Teare has described his own writing as a kind of “fieldwork,” requiring intense observation and immersion in an environment; Ms. Johnson also envisions her writing at Gettysburg as such fieldwork, relying on close attention to the battlefield through walking, hiking, and exploring. “Gettysburg National Military Park has offered inspiration to artists for more than 150 years,” said Chuck Hunt, acting superintendent at Gettysburg National Military Park. “The Artist-inResidence program engages new audiences and tells Gettysburg’s stories in new and compelling ways.”

The program is offered thanks to the input and support of the National Park Service and the Gettysburg Foundation and the partnership with the Poetry Foundation, whose joint efforts make the park the foremost visitor destination for those interested in the epic history of the American Civil War. Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects and interprets for this and future generations the resources associated with the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, during the American Civil War, the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and their commemorations.

The National Parks Arts Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the arts of the National Parks through creating dynamic opportunities Programs like Gettysburg National Military Park’s for artworks that are based on our natural and historic heritage. All NPAF programs are made artist-in-residence series, in which acclaimed possible through the philanthropic support of artists find inspiration from the beauty and donors of all sorts ranging from corporate history of our national parks, and share their sponsors, small businesses, and art patrons and ideas with park visitors, represent some of the highest aspirations of the National Park Service. citizen-lovers of the parks. .

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GUITARIST MARK VICKNESS: PLACES

After years as the driving instrumental force behind the guitar/vocal duo, Glass House, guitarist Mark Vickness has released his first solo CD inspired by experiences traveling throughout the US. “Places” is a modern fingerstyle solo acoustic guitar CD featuring eight original compositions and an arrangement of the spiritual, “I Must Tell Jesus,” which Mark recorded in memoriam to the woman who raised him who died in 2015 at the age of 99.

Both Jennifer and Will contribute photos to the twelve page color booklet included with the CD. Lucy, who was recently named the Youth Poet Laureate of Oakland, offers one of her poems to accompany the arrangement of “I Must Tell Jesus.”

The places and experiences that inspired these pieces include Thousand Islands Lake in the High Says Mark, “Although the music on this CD is inspired by places I have been, it's also about the Sierra Mountains of California (A Thousand Islands) where Mark got engaged, the Wind River personal journey of delving into modern Range in Wyoming where Mark had many fingerstyle guitar in writing and recording these pieces.” Along the way, Mark enlisted the talents transformative first experiences, Prince William Sound in Alaska, New York City and Hawaii of his wife, Jennifer and his two children, Lucy where he had a magical ocean encounter with and Will, to make this a family-inclusive project. manta rays (Flight of the Rays). PAGE 64


Says Mark, “The only rules I set for this CD were that all the pieces be played on a steel string acoustic guitar and that I be able to perform them live as a soloist. I only broke the rules a few times. Because I come from a background as a composer, my focus was on the compositions themselves rather than on any particular fingerstyle technique.” In addition to writing and performing these pieces on guitar, Mark reached back to his love of composing for string quartet for the coda of the “Wonder Lake Suite.” He also performs the tabla part on “Flight of the Rays.” “Places” was recorded, engineered and mixed by Dan Feiszli at his studio in El Cerrito, CA and at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. The string quartet coda on Wonder Lake Suite was performed by two-time grammy award winning violinist/violist Mads Tolling and cellist Joseph Modern Fingerstyle Guitar is a genre that traces Hebert. The CD was mastered by Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering, Burbank, CA. The CD its roots back to a few early proponents, most notably Michael Hedges. The idea was to expand artwork was designed by Teo Mok. the musical vocabulary for the steel string Mark plays a Michael Greenfield G4 fan fret, a acoustic guitar by employing percussive Greenfield baritone guitar, a Matt Mustapick techniques, broader use of harmonics, unique custom designed eight string and an Ovation tunings and better ways of amplifying the Celebrity Deluxe Double Neck acoustic guitar. acoustic guitar to produce a richer, more layered, orchestral sound. That initial idea In addition to the video of “I Must Tell Jesus”, continues to motivate players to come up with Mark will be recording several more solo guitar new ways to push the envelope including the use videos in the coming months as well as of various effects and looping. Mark employs all performing both as a solo guitarist and with of these techniques in these compositions. Glass House. Glass House is currently in production for its next EP.

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MAKING SENSE OF CAMP OPTIONS FOR TEENS

Choosing a Camp That Boosts Learning By Bobbi DePorter, Co-Founder of SuperCamp & President of Quantum Learning Network

Every year, parents are faced with the same question: how to make the summer both fun and constructive for their kids. Many families turn to summer camps, whether for sports, outdoor recreation, nature study, or academic and life skills. The good news from the American Camp Association is that kids benefit from all kinds of summer camp experiences. That’s because young people need to be stimulated and active to keep growing during the months they are not in school. Research spanning 100 years shows that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of the summer. Studies indicate that most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Between 2001 and 2004 the American Camp Association conducted research with over 5,000 families from 80 accredited camps to determine the outcomes of the camp experience.

Results of this landmark study provide scientific evidence that camp as a unique educational institution is a positive force in youth development. Parents, camp staff, and children themselves reported significant growth in positive identity, social skills, physical and thinking skills, positive values, and spirituality.

- Become more confident and experience increased self-esteem. - Develop more social skills that help them make new friends. - Grow more independent and show more leadership qualities. - Become more adventurous and willing to try new things. - Experience spiritual growth, especially at camps that emphasize spirituality.

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We know kids lose academic knowledge during the summer. And, we also know kids grow as learners while at camp. However, there is a gap in research between summer academic learning loss and the positive youth development outcomes attributed to camp. We do know that high quality programs are considered to be positive interventions. James Kim, Assistant Professor of Education at Harvard University, looked at different approaches to summer reading and found that voluntary summer reading programs work best when adults and teachers get involved by helping students to choose appropriate books and employ simple techniques to improve skill and understanding. With this research in mind, it is not surprising that more families are turning to summer enrichment programs that add value to the summer camp experience and that are led by teacher/mentors who are able to build a rapport with students that school teachers and even parents find challenging at times.

As with people, each program has its own strengths. It’s important to match your child to the camp. It’s also critical that you understand each program’s curriculum. If a child expresses interest in a particular field, chances are there’s a camp for him or her. Conversely, many students can benefit from a broader learning experience that can help them in all subject areas.

If a summer program bills itself as providing new skills to participants, make a point to learn about the background of the staff. Are the program leaders teachers themselves or experts in a particular field? Also, inquire as to the training they receive. Seek references from parents of kids who’ve attended.

The last thing a student needs in summer is more school. A good summer enrichment program gives students the feeling that they’re at camp, not back at school. While some programs try to combine learning and fun by giving the campers adequate free time, the best camps incorporate fun right into the learning. When a student enjoys the learning process, the brain does a better job of assimilating and retaining new information.

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When most people hear “summer enrichment� they think of academic enrichment. Look for camps that not only help students acquire new skills in such areas as creative writing, reading comprehension, problem solving and critical thinking, but that also help them grow in life skills that build confidence, motivation and self-esteem, as well as communication and leadership.

There is no set length that is best. Students do benefit from some downtime in the summer. However, camps that last just a few days will have limited long-term value. Teens, in particular, are nocturnal. Some of the best learning can come in the evening sessions of summer programs. Look for enrichment camps held on college campuses. Middle school and high school students enjoy the experience of living in college dorms for a week or more. It can even prove to be inspirational as they begin to think about college.

Sending your son or daughter to the right summer enrichment program can pay long-term dividends for the entire family. Newly acquired academic skills, increased motivation or added confidence can translate into better grades, as well as new academic and personal interests. In turn, this growth can lead to better colleges, college scholarships and rewarding careers.

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About three years ago, California passed a law requiring paid sick leave for employees. That law guarantees all employees get at least 3 days of paid sick leave. Some of the details of that law are below. Before that sick leave law, various laws allowed for unpaid leave for medical conditions, but not paid leave. No federal law that applies to all employees in the United States guarantees vacation time or even regulates vacation time. Rather, each state has its own variation on vacation law regulations. In California, no law requires employers to provide vacation, but it has laws that regulate vacation time once an employer provides it as a benefit. In California, sick leave, unlike vacation or paid time off (PTO), is not a wage. That means an employer does not need to pay an employee for accrued sick leave at the time the employee leaves employment. In contrast, vacation and PTO are wages, and, consequently, employers must pay cash to employees for all accrued and unused vacation at the time they leave employment.

Employers who have PTO policies might want to reconsider them. If those employers have separate sick leave and vacation policies, then the law will not require them to pay out accrued sick leave to employees who leave employment.

Virtually all employers must give employees who work for them in California paid sick leave, assuming the employee has met the bare requirements of the law. The sick leave accrues at the rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. The employer may provide only 24 hours (3 days) of sick leave per year if the employer offers its employees 3 sick days at the beginning of the employment year and allows newly hired employees to use all 24 hours after 120 days of employment. Under those circumstances, the employer need not track the accumulation of sick leave on wage statements or separate sick leave statements.

In contrast, employers may allow employees to accumulate up to 6 days of sick leave per year. Employers may limit the use of sick leave to only 3 days per year, but any unused balance may be carried over to the next year. In this case, Sometimes the lines between sick leave and employers have the burden of tracking the vacation can meld. If an employer has a true accumulation of sick leave and must keep the PTO policy that allows employees to use accrued records that track the accumulation and use of PTO for any personal reason, including sick days, sick leave for a period of 3 years. then sick leave becomes a wage. In that case, the employer must pay an employee for all unused PTO even though the employee might use some of it for sick days. PAGE 70


Sick leave may be used for an employee’s health condition or for the health condition of a family member of an employee. An employee may also use it for preventative care. An employee can also use sick leave if that employee becomes a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Generally, employers can require employees to use vacation time when employees take time off work for personal reasons. In fact, after an employee uses sick leave, an employer can require employees to take vacation time for sick days. Employers can even require salaried employees to take vacation time when the employee takes personal time off. After salaried employees use up their vacation days, employers must be careful about deducting wages from them. If they do it improperly, the salaried person may lose exempt status, and the employer may need to pay that employee for overtime.

An employee may determine the amount of sick leave the employee will use, but an employer may require an employee to use sick leave in minimum increments of no more than two hours. Recently, I had a debate with another lawyer related to that section of the California sick leave law. In an online question and answer session, an employee asked if an employer can tell an employee to take the whole day off with pay when that employee only needed to use a few hours of sick leave. The other attorney said that an employer controls scheduling and may tell the employee what his or her schedule is. I countered and said that the sick leave law allows the employee to determine how much sick leave to use. If the employer requires more time off than the employee wants to take for sick leave, that might violate the sick leave law.

In California, employers are not required to provide vacation for employees. For those employers who do, the law prevents them having a “use it or lose it” policy, but they can cap the total accrual of vacation. The idea behind that is, once an employee accrues vacation, that time becomes an earned wage that must be paid at some point in the future. The employer’s vacation policy governs at what rate vacation time accrues. PAGE 71


This is the second article in the tourism article series. You can read the first article, in the last issue of or on .

Integrity can be defined as how a person responds to a challenge, question, situation or problem. When a person has developed, defined, and lives by their core values, responding and making choices becomes almost automatic. The same can be said for a community, a group of people that live in a particular place because they have roots and are connected to the geographical space, the history, and the people.

This authentic identity is how a community defines and recognizes itself. This is , and we are more than just a physical description. The physical look of a destination is important, but it is the recognition and preservation of the ancestry and heritage that gives the community its authenticity or core values and uniqueness. Communities will always face outside and economic pressures that push for change. It is the management of change that is important to the sustainability of the community. Changes, or actions with intention, need to benefit community needs and values, while preserving and enhancing the in order to have true and lasting sustainability.

Local involvement is key in developing sustainable tourism that has economic benefits When a person decides to travel to a destination, with no negative impacts on the community or it is because they already have roots there, or its uniqueness. their curiosity was piqued by something that created a for them - whether it When developing a destination with the was a conversation, literature or a visual intention of showcasing its unique character, the presentation. This communicated history and historic events of the region are just inspired a desire to visit and experience the as important as the geographic, physical and destination for oneself. natural features. The creative aspect of a destination, the art, music and literature then It is our human response to both the natural and adds the character, mood and feeling. All these built surroundings - what we see, hear, touch, ingredients deliver the visitor the experiences smell and feel - that creates a unique and memories they hoped for when they A creates memories, decided to spend their time and money in a stories and experiences to be shared with particular place. others, giving the destination its unique identity. PAGE 72


The steps to developing a community’s health and economic stability rests with a strategy that allows for education, diversity in business and career opportunities, and a quality lifestyle that is secure, clean and sustainable. Tourism can be the strategy that does this when developed with the intention of including the community’s needs and wishes, preserving and conserving the local historic and natural treasures, and setting up sustainable practices to publicize and manage the destination.

Once the information is gathered from the public and local community, and the resources are assessed, a sustainable and responsible tourism strategy that protects the or of the destination can be outlined. Once the outline is complete, a plan can be put in place.

Gathering input and knowledge about what the destination has to offer is the first step. What is unique? What does the destination have that others do not? What is the local flavor? What has happened in history to shape the destination? What is ‘the look’ of the destination? What are the sites, smells, and sounds? What makes it memorable? What does the destination have that needs developing, protecting or managing? How do current and potential visitors find out about the destination? How are visitors treated? Is the destination easy to get to? Does it have the needed amenities? PAGE 74


Big Blend’s mother-daughter travel team Nancy J. Reid & Lisa D. Smith, along with Priscilla their pink sock monkey travel mascot, are committed to visiting and documenting all 418+ units within the National Parks Service, and showcasing their surrounding parks, forests, public lands, and gateway communities!

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If I were dumped in your local town from outer space, how would I know where I was? What clues are around to give me information about the area I have landed in? This isn’t as mad it seems, most places in England still have ways to identify areas, simply by building materials, local customs and foodstuffs. It is when we lose these things, that places begin to look the same and it becomes more and more difficult to know where in the country, or even the world one is. Local Norfolk buildings are usually constructed of red brick and flint walls, with red clay rooftiles, or sometimes, with older buildings, thatch. Most of our medieval buildings have stone corners and flint walls, with lead or tiled rooves, although thatch is sometimes used on these ancient buildings. Local customs wouldn’t usually be thought of as an indication of location but if you landed in the middle of somewhere and saw men dancing around, dressed in costumes with bells around their knees, top hats and each one carrying a stick which they used in the dance, you could only be in England, or a very English country. Morris Dancing is a very English custom and won’t be seen in France, Germany or any other country without English origins.

Where would you be if you saw a sign advertising: “The world-famous Pork Pie sold here” or what about “The King of Cheeses made here?” In England, local foods are still a very large part of local life. Although Pork Pies are made and eaten all over the country, the worldfamous ones are made in Melton Mowbray and the King of Cheeses is the famous Stilton, which can only be made in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire. Integrity is the quality of being honest, it is also the state of being whole or undivided. Something which is integral is necessary to make a whole complete. Something which is integral is essential or fundamental.

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Looking around your own town, is it honest and true to itself? What makes it identifiable? What makes it whole? What is it that makes it fundamentally different to the next town along the highway? The more national and multi-national chains which come into our towns and cities, the less individual identity a place has. The more we keep local architecture, local customs and local foods, the more we keep our integrity and the more true we are to ourselves and our heritage. Buy Local Norfolk is an organisation which encourages all to buy from local, independent, businesses and, one of the tag-lines I use is: “Is buying from multi-nationals costing you more than money.� Is it?

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COMMUNITY WILDLIFE CONSERVATION Along with the recent withdrawal of a ban related to importing elephant trophies from Africa, wildlife conservationist Adam M. Roberts “The Compassionate Conservationist� talks with Big Blend Radio about his recent trip to Tanzania as an adviser to the PAMS Foundation, which is working to help sustain and conserve biodiversity, wilderness, habitats and ecological processes through actions that benefit nature and communities. The PAMS Foundation mission is for Tanzania to be a country where the value of its natural resources and its benefits are understood and upheld by all, and for best practice management principles to be applied in conserving natural resources in an ethical manner in all the areas where they work internationally. PAMS Foundation supports various community based conservation projects in Africa. Community areas surrounding protected areas are also often set aside as conservation areas. They are important for conserving wildlife and habitats, but also act as buffer zones or corridors. Poachers typically need to pass through these community areas and spend a lot of time in villages or in some cases, they are from these villages. Hence, it is common for villagers to get tempted into participating in poaching activities.

The team at PAMS Foundation goes out of their way to work with communities to help them protect their crops and livestock, receive education on sustainable livelihoods and manage their conservation areas. Making best friends of the community leads to many of them becoming the best allies for wildlife protection and conservation authorities. Such communities take better care of their resources and reveal those who assist in poaching activities to the relevant authorities. Learn more at

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In a continued effort to restore the iconic California condor population, the National Park Foundation and the Pinnacles National Park Foundation announced on March 26, 2018, the donation of much-needed GPS satellite tags to Pinnacles National Park, thanks to a generous equipment donation from Microwave Telemetry, Inc. This effort is part of the National Park Foundation’s Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks. To date, this comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of America’s treasured national parks has raised nearly $500 million in private donations from individuals, foundations, and companies.

Over thirty organizations and agencies have been committed to saving the species. In addition to Pinnacles National Park, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventana Wildlife Society, The World Center for Predatory Birds, San Diego Zoo and the Mexican government all manage Due to a number of factors, including lead sites from where condors reared in captivity are poisoning, the California condor was close to released into the wild. The collaborative nature extinction in the 1980s, reaching a low of 22 of the California Condor Recovery Program is individuals. Over the last several decades, one of the keys to its success, along with public conservationists and scientists have committed education and volunteers. At Pinnacles, close themselves to saving the condor from extinction collaboration with the Pinnacles National Park and reintroducing birds to the wild. As of Foundation has increased the number of December 2017, there are 435 condors both in volunteers monitoring condors at the park. The the wild and in captivity. While this is good news, gift from Microwave Telemetry of GPS tags will condors are still endangered due to high bring great efficiencies to the park and its mortality from lead poisoning. partners. The tags will help biologists locate condors quickly, and understand their movements, behavior, and health -- all of which ultimately aid in their recovery. PAGE 79


From America’s Desert Southwest to California and Kentucky – Let’s Go Exploring!

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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 Captain’s log e-Newsletter for specials!

www.CoronadoMotorHotel.com PAGE 81


Located along the lower Colorado River in southwest Arizona, Yuma borders Mexico and is halfway between Tucson and San Diego. Known as the “Gateway to the Great Southwest”, it’s an 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, East and West Yuma Wetlands with gardens and trails, and a charming historic downtown district that bustles with an eclectic array of shops and restaurants. Yuma is also listed in the as the ‘Sunniest Place on Earth’, making it a popular destination for sun-seekers.

From art and entertainment events to familyfriendly festivals that celebrate Yuma’s rich southwestern history and cultural traditions, there’s always happening in Yuma!

– Bring your canoe, kayak or tube and enjoy a day of floating and paddling down the Colorado River. You can get into the water where the confluence of the Gila and Colorado Rivers, or at Gateway Park, and Centennial Beach at the West Wetlands Park. The City of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department offers guided canoe and kayak trips for groups. Centennial Beach at the West Wetlands has a boat ramp.

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– Stocked with striped bass, flathead and channel catfish, tilapia, crappie, mullet and bluegill, the Colorado River makes for a good fishing spot. There are fishing piers at Gateway Park, and the pond at the West Wetlands Park is kept stocked with game fish by Arizona Game and Fish. For fishing licenses and information call the Arizona Game and Fish at (928) 342-0091. – Cycle, skate, jog or walk the trails system in the East Wetlands, West Wetlands, and Gateway Park. There is a 2 mile trail that runs from the West Wetlands Park to Gateway Park, and has a 5-mile extension. You can follow a 3 mile loop around the East Wetlands, as well as an unpaved ½ mile trail that does have a few benches, and leads to an overlook that provides views of the river, and Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge.

West Wetlands Park features a fishing pond, a shaded playground, a grassy area where you can enjoy a game of Frisbee, hummingbird and butterfly gardens, and Centennial Beach where kids can play and build sand castles. To reserve a shaded ramada, call (928) 373-5243. Yuma is a permanent and temporary home to almost 400 bird species that range from osprey and redtailed hawks to bluer herons and great egrets, coots, Yuma clapper rails, stilts, killdeer, flycatchers, roadrunners, woodpeckers, quail, and warblers! The East Wetlands and West Wetlands are both popular bird watching spots, and the West Wetlands also has a butterfly garden and hummingbird garden.

Gateway Park and West Wetlands Park both have shaded picnic areas (ramadas), where you can grill up your freshly caught fish or favorite barbecue fare, and gather for a family picnic. Gateway Park has a shaded playground and lawn area, and a sandy beach sand swimming area for kids to play and splash around in. PAGE 84


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

Captain’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 Captain’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

www.YumaLanding.com PAGE 85


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 Built as a U.S. Army fort in 1861, Fort Churchill running waters. The region is a popular birding, State Historic Park is a 30 minute scenic drive from Yerington. Tour the ruins, visit the museum geocaching and hiking destination. and cemetery, picnic, go camping and hike the nature trail, and enjoy various ranger programs. Other area highlights include: Lyon County Buckland Station is just down the road from Fort Museum, Yerington Theatre for the Arts, Mason Churchill, and was a supply center and boarding Valley Wildlife Management Area, Walker River Canyon, Walker Lake and Wilson Canyon. 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!

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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.

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Discover San Benito County, California

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 or . PAGE 88


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Living History Days, First Saturdays in San Juan Bautista State Historic Park Sidewalk Saturdays, First Saturdays in Downtown San Juan Bautista Downtown Hollister Certified Farmers' Market – Wednesdays, from May 2-Sept. 28

April 7: Cattlemens Assoc.'s Dinner/Dance at Bolado Park Event Center April 15: 4-H Pancake Breakfast at Bolado Park Event Center April 21-22: San Benito Arts Council Open Studios Art Tour April 28: Sip, Savor & Celebrate for CASA, at Eden Rift Vineyards April 28: Hollister Ag Booster's Auction & Dinner/Dance at Bolado Park Event Center April 29: Fremont Peak Day at Fremont Peak State Park

May 4-5: Gavilan Kennel Club's Dog Show at Bolado Park Event Center May 5: Downtown Hollister Wine & Beer Stroll May 5-6: California Indian Market & Cultural Festival in San Juan Bautista May 5-6: BBQ Rib Cook-Off and Arts & Crafts Festival in San Juan Bautista May 19-20: Portuguese Festival & Parade in Hollister May 20: Annual Show & Shine in San Juan Bautista

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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. The region makes for a fabulous vacation offering a variety of outdoor activities, a calendar Starting in late spring and early summer, you can enjoy babbling brooks and waterfalls offset by full of events and festivals, and an eclectic selection of shopping and dining opportunities in towering granite cliffs, as well as lush meadows and glacial canyons. Learn more at (559) 565-334 the local gateway communities. or .

– Located in the southern Sierra Nevada region, and spanning 461,901 acres, the 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 sequoias in the world.

– 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.

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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 summer wildflower, bird and wildlife viewing. Tokopah Falls Trail is a wonderful 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

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– 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 whitewater rafting. Learn more at (559) 784-1500 or .

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A major agricultural hub that feeds America, Tulare County is a leading producer in dairy, citrus and stone fruits, nuts and berries. In fact, local farmers grow over 200 different major crops with produce being shipped to more than 75 countries worldwide. Locals and visitors can get a taste of the region’s bounty, including its dairy products, at one of the many roadside farm stands or community farmers markets, restaurants and gourmet shops, festivals and events. Along with breweries and wineries, the area’s dining opportunities range from tasty Mexican cuisine and delicious European flavors to fresh farm-totable fare and traditional American diner food. If you’re looking for a foodie adventure, look no further!

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- 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. . 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 .

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. .

- 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 .

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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 200- inch Hale Telescope. Visit the museum and take a guided tour. Learn more about Palomar Mountain on

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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. Learn more about Julian on

Sundays: Julian Doves & Desperados Historical Skits April 7-8: Julian Gold Rush Days May 12: Taste of Julian June 16: 20th Annual Julian Blues Bash

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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

www.JeremysOnTheHill.com PAGE 101


DISCOVER 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 travel and up-to-date event information, call Springfield Tourism Commission at (859) 3365412 x1 or visit .

Apr. 13-15 & 20-22: Central Kentucky Theatre and Mid KY Chorus presents “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” at the Opera House. Apr. 20-22: HWY 55 Yard Sale – 147 Miles of Treasure Hunting! Apr. 27: Springfield Green Festival.

Apr. 6-8: Mid KY Chorus presents “Bring on Broadway” at St. Catharine Spalding Hall. PAGE 102


May 18-20: Central Kentucky Kids Theatre presents “Come to the Circus”. May 19: BPW Wine Tasting.

June 2: Farmers Market Opens June 2: Bourbon Bike Ride/Blues, Brews & BBQ Fest June 2: Nightlight Adoption 5K June 15-17 & 22-24: Central Kentucky Theatre presents “Monty Python’s Spamalot” at the Opera House.

July 3: Independence Day Celebration. July 6-8: Springfield Film Festival. July 8-18: Jets Over Kentucky. July 28: African American Heritage Golf Scramble July 29: Manton Music Jam

Aug. 4: African American Heritage Festival.

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From hoorags and bandanas to T-Shirts and decals, Jodi Canter started an online store with gear just for National Park Junkies like her! From Alaska to Acadia National Park, listen to her Big Blend Radio conversation about her park adventures and her company Wanderlust that also helps to support the organizations that preserve and protect our parks for future generations Jodi’s Wanderlust products were created as a way for all of us National Park Junkies to share our love of the great outdoors. The products connect us with our kind, our tribe, people like us who want to leave their mark in the great outdoors. If you’re a wanderluster or a national park junkie, check out

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Love Wine? Browse Big Blend’s Online Wine Shop featuring Reviewed Gifts for Wine Lovers!

Visit BlendRadioandTV.com.

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Profile for Big Blend Magazines

Parks & Travel Magazine - Apr/May 2018  

PARKS & TRAVEL MAGAZINE: April/May 2018 – From Yellowstone to the Everglades, and Ecuador to Orcas Island, this issue explores a plethora of...

Parks & Travel Magazine - Apr/May 2018  

PARKS & TRAVEL MAGAZINE: April/May 2018 – From Yellowstone to the Everglades, and Ecuador to Orcas Island, this issue explores a plethora of...