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CONTENTS 5. Editors Block PARKS & DESTINATIONS 8. Exploring Greeley & Weld County 18. Rocky Mountain Magic 24. Great Sand Dunes 30. Find it in Florence 34. O’ahu, Hawai’i 42. Castle Park in Yuma 46. Longleaf Vista Trail FALL TRAVEL & EVENTS 52. Anacortes, Washington 56. San Benito County, CA 58. California Sequoia Country 62. San Diego Mountains 64. Experience Yuma, Arizona 68. Yerington, Nevada 70. Greeley & Weld County, CO 72. Natchitoches, Louisiana 76. Springfield, Kentucky HISTORY, CULTURE & THE ARTS 78. Hawai’i Artists-in-Residence 82. DeGrazia Paints Casa Grande 84. Wolf Creek Pass 86. Mount Holly Cemetery 90. Moundbuilders of Ancient America 92. Following the Footsteps of Fremont PAGE 3


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EDITORS BLOCK “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” F. Scott Fitzgerald From Rocky Mountain National Park and California’s Sequoia Country, to Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana and historic Little Rock, Arkansas, this early fall issue of Parks & Travel Magazine covers a number of stories from just a few of the places we’ve experienced on the Love Your Parks Tour this year. Our ever growing story list is thick with tales of America’s natural, historical and human treasures. As we travel, we are constantly reminded of the immense beauty our country holds, how deep and layered its history is, and how friendly and hospitable we are as a people. All such valuable assets and qualities to be cherished. Celebrating the change of season, this issue covers a number of fall events and destinations, along with island getaways, and shares stories and interviews that showcase history and culture, genealogy and roots travel, music and the arts. Watch for our next issue covering historic lodging destinations, Yosemite and Dinosaur National Monument, Northern New Mexico and Santa Fe, “The City Different,” Louisiana’s historic No Man’s Land, and much more. To keep up with our new stories and destinations, visit NationalParkTraveling.com and subscribe to our weekly Big Blend eNewsletter, or follow our Social Media channels. Happy Fall Travels & Park Adventures, Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s motherdaughter publishing, radio team

FRONT COVER PHOTO: Rocky Mountain National Park, by Lisa D. Smith. See the story on page page 18. BIG BLEND MISSION STATEMENT: Big Blend is a company based on the belief that education is the most formidable weapon that can be waged against fear, ignorance and prejudice. It is our belief that education starts at home and branches outward. Education leads to travel, and travel leads to understanding, acceptance, and appreciation of cultures and customs different to our own, and ultimately to world peace. Our company is further based on the principle that networking, communication, and helping others to promote and market themselves leads to financial stability; thus paving the way to better education, travel, and the spirit of giving back to the community. This magazine is developed by Big Blend Magazine™, copyrighted since 1997. No part of it may be reproduced for any reason, without written permission from Big Blend Magazine. Although every effort is made to be accurate, we cannot be held responsible for inaccuracies or plagiarized copy submitted to us by advertisers or contributors.

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Poudre River Trail at the Poudre Learning Center PAGE 8


Relax riverside at Platte River Fort Resort & Event Center

Adventures Abound in this Off-the-Radar Destination By Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid Just an hour north of Denver, scenery replaces the city and stretches into a lush valley region dotted with farms, ranches and historic towns, along with wide open prairie country, beautiful gardens, rivers and wetlands, and amazing panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains. Welcome to Greeley and Weld County in northeast Colorado, the setting for the novel “Centennial,” by James A. Michener. An agricultural oasis, and a recreational paradise, it is a place where family and quality of life are high priorities, as is maintaining historical integrity. As part of our Love Your Parks Tour, we spent a week exploring Greeley and Weld County. The list of what to experience in the area is astounding. Their motto is, “You’ve Just Gotta Get Here…” and it’s true. So, here’s a little taste of some of the unique adventures you can count on having in this fabulously fun and off-the-radar destination. Continued on Next Page… Greeley Farmers Market PAGE 9


Greeley Continued‌

St. Vrain State Park

GO WILD IN WELD COUNTY Like most of Colorado, this region is a recreational haven for nature and outdoor enthusiasts, offering camping and picnicking, hiking and cycling, fishing and boating, photography, bird and wildlife watching, and much more.

Spanning 193,060 acres of short grass plains, activities. If glamping is your style, Platte River Pawnee National Grassland is a popular Fort Resort & Event Center has wonderful luxury destination for bird watching, hiking and spring camping facilities along the South Platte River. wildflowers. St. Vrain State Park is a great family destination boasting spectacular mountain The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a must-visit for all views, over 600 acres of terrain, and over 150 animal lovers. This esteemed non-profit acres of ponds. Home to the Poudre River Trail organization rescues animals from horrific and part of the Cache la Poudre River National captive situations and rehabilitates them so that Heritage Area, the Poudre Learning Center offers they can live the rest of their lives in a relaxed a variety of educational programs and and natural habitat. PAGE 10


Explore the ponds at St. Vrain State Park

Pawnee National Grassland Canadian Geese at St. Vrain State Park

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SAVOR THE FLAVORS Early in the region’s development, an irrigation canal became priority construction, turning the high desert into an agricultural oasis. Throughout its history, this area has been known for growing sugar beets, corn, and onion, among many other crops – all made possible on irrigated farmland. Today Weld County rates ninth in agricultural production in America, and you can get a taste of this rich farm history in the food prepared and served at local restaurants, farmers markets and annual events. Greeley, the county seat, has a number of breweries and distilleries, and is home to the first ‘Go-Cup’ District in Colorado! Our recommendations in Greeley: At Cottonwood Square, check out Fat Albert’s for a relaxed vibe with home-style cooking, and My Place Coffee for breakfast or lunch. If you love fresh, authentic Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, go downtown to Luna’s Tacos & Tequila and Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, or check out Coyote’s Southwestern Grill. Cables Pub & Grill has a fabulous mac and cheese, and burgers. Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom has all your pizza and pub favorites, plus a great selection of local Colorado brews. Doug’s Diner downtown, serves up delicious and hearty breakfast plates.

Fresh flavors and margaritas at Rio Grande in downtown Greeley. Continued on Next Page…

Our recommendations in Weld County: Wholly Stromboli in Fort Lupton is a destination restaurant with a super cool speakeasy downstairs! If you want to enjoy dinner with a view, check out Platte River Fort, it’s a really unique resort and event center in a beautiful natural setting. Wholly Stromboli in Fort Lupton

Margaritas at Luna's Tacos & Tequila PAGE 12


Tacos en Fuego at Coyote’s Southwestern Grill in Greeley

Hearty Breakfast at Doug's Diner in Downtown Greeley

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Greeley Continued…

CELEBRATE MUSIC & THE ARTS If you ever get the chance to experience the Greeley Blues Jam, do it! We’re talking top acts performing on two stages (just twirl your chair around for each act,) in a relaxed hometown setting. The whole event kicks off at Friday Fest, a free summer concert series in downtown Greeley. This year’s Blues Jam featured performances by Shemekia Copeland, Larkin Poe, Mr. Sipp, “The Mississippi Blues Child,” Cha Wa, Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings, Watermelon Slim, Kara Grainger, Taylor Scott Band, and Mojomama. Downtown Greeley is a hub for the arts with galleries, concert and performing arts venues, murals, sculptures, and even a musical mural alley and a piano keys pedestrian crossing! In addition, the James A. Michener Collection at the University of Northern Colorado is a popular destination for literary enthusiasts.

Cha Wa at the Greeley Blues Jam Mural in Downtown Greeley

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Mr. Sipp at the Greeley Blues Jam Greeley Continued…

Larkin Poe at Greeley Blues Jam

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Blacksmith shop at the Centennial Village Museum in Greeley

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STEP BACK IN TIME Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, popularized the phrase, “Go West young man, go West,” but it was his visionary agricultural editor, Nathan C. Meeker, who spearheaded one of the most successful colonization experiments ever attempted in the “Great American Desert.”

Recreated Fort at South Platte Valley Historical Park in Fort Lupton

When the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, a spur from Cheyenne to Denver was built, opening this part of the country for settlement. Meeker was inspired to create an agricultural utopia. Where the railroad crossed the confluence of the Platte and Cache la Poudre rivers, the city of Greeley was born – an ideal location where both natural resources and transportation were abundant.

We stayed in a private condo, however the region offers numerous hotels and lodging facilities including resorts, vacation rentals, and RV parks and campgrounds. Fabulous and Fun? Yes! Unexpected Experiences? You bet! Worth a Return Visit? For Sure! You’ve just “Gotta Get to Greeley and Weld County!” Check it all out at www.VisitGreeley.org and www.DiscoverWeld.com.

You can learn about the founding of Greeley and the historic pioneer and agricultural communities and their railroad history, at these various museums and historic sites: Centennial Village Museum where docents dress in period costume on weekends, Meeker Home Museum and Greeley History Museum. The South Platte Valley Historical Society in Fort Lupton has recreated the original Fort, and is host to numerous annual events. Located in downtown Greeley, the Colorado Model Railroad Museum is a 5,500 sq. foot destination that features hundreds of railroad sceneries, more than 500 scale locomotives, 80 scale miles of train track, thousands of handmade artifacts including around 28,000 handmade trees, plus, a 1919 Colorado and Southern Caboose. PAGE 17


ROCKY MOUNTAIN MAGIC Following the Trail Ridge Road and Beyond By Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid

Rocky Mountain National Park PAGE 18


Glacial Remnants at Sheep Lakes Overlook In the wee morning hours we packed up the car and said our goodbyes to beautiful Greeley, Colorado, and headed west to Rocky Mountain National Park. We were on our way to Florence in southern Colorado, and decided a park detour was in order. Besides, the legendary Trail Ridge Road had just opened up for the season. We headed west on Highway 34 through Loveland and Estes Park, and entered the park through the Fall River Entrance Station.

along with the sighting of even more grazing elk and deer. We spent some time at the Beaver Ponds, enjoying the fresh air and scenery, then stopped for a while at Hidden Valley (9,400 ft.) where there’s a picnic area, restrooms, and an interpretive trail.

Many Parks Curve Overlook (9,640 ft.) offered amazing panoramic views of Beaver Meadows, Horseshoe Park, Moraine Park and Little Tuxedo Park, as well as Long's Peak (14,255 ft.) and Deer Trail Ridge Road, which is Highway 34 and also Mountain (10,013 ft.). This is where the “Rocky known as Beaver Meadow National Scenic Mountain High” started to kick in altitude wise. Byway, is the highest paved through-road in the We really started to feel the climb when we state, as well as the highest paved road that reached the snow laden Forest Canyon Overlook crosses the continental divide in Colorado. (11, 716 ft.). From there we passed Rock Cut Overlook (12,050 ft.) and continued along over The route led us through three main ecosystems: Iceberg Pass, crossing the highest point of the Montane (below 9000 ft.), Subalpine (9000-11,400 road at 12,183 feet. We were above the tree line, ft.), and Alpine (above 11,400 ft.) We stopped at and at 12,010 feet. Gore Range Overlook quite a few scenic overlooks, picnic spots and provided spectacular views of the Never Summer trailheads. Our first was Sheep Lakes Overlook Mountain Range and numerous other mountain near the entrance, where we watched elk and a summits. The Alpine Visitor Center was next, as very chirpy magpie. West Horseshoe Park was Medicine Bow Curve & Overlook (11,660 ft.) overlook provided incredible mountain views Continued on Next Page… PAGE 19


Rocky Mt. Continued…

Grazing deer at West Horseshoe Park Overlook

Of course, we had to make a stop at the iconic Continental Divide sign, at the frozen over Poudre Lake at Milner Pass (10,758 ft.). The altitude was decreasing and our stomachs were calling for a brunch picnic. The picnic sites at Lake Irene were a little too covered with snow, so we opted for the picnic site at the sunny forest setting of the Colorado River Trailhead. Big shout out to the folks at My Place Coffee for loading up our picnic basket with delicious and hearty sandwiches, along with cookies and pastry snacks. Of course, we had our trusty PortoVino backpack with us, for yet another lovely “PortoVino with a View” moment, and our new collapsible Tahoe Cooler from CleverMade. If you need to travel light like we do, both of these cooler bags are stellar! After taking a post-picnic walk along the Colorado River Trail, we continued along Trail Ridge Road to beautiful Beaver Ponds and then on to the Holzwarth Historic Site. Back in 1917, John and Sophia Holzwarth used the Homestead Act of 1862 to make a home in the Kawuneeche Valley. As tourism to the park grew, they opened a guest ranch called Holzwarth Trout Lodge, and then a few years later, opened the Never Summer Ranch on the east side of the Colorado Beaver Pond Area - Eastern Side of Trail Ridge River. PAGE 20


Holzwarth Historic Site We stopped for a little more walking and a Colorado River “PortoVino with a View” moment, at the Coyote Valley Trailhead, where we gave a special toast to the fifth longest river in the US. It flows south to the Sea of Cortez, passing through Yuma, Arizona which is our Love Your Park Headquarters. We kept our eyes peeled for a moose sighting, especially in the Harbison Meadows area, but unfortunately didn’t get to see them this time round. After a quick stop at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center, we headed out of the park towards Grand Lake and Grandby. It was a gorgeous drive through the Arapaho National Recreation Area with even more stunning lake and snow capped views.

meadows and forest areas, wildflowers, reflective ponds and rushing waterways, roaming elk and deer, bustling marmots and squirrels, and all kinds of birdlife.

From there we headed south with some stops at Shadow Mountain Reservoir, White River National Forest, Blue River State Wildlife Area, and South Park National Heritage Area. As we neared Cañon City and Florence, past the Royal Gorge, the landscape melded into a lovely, lush high desert region. This epic experience went from jaw dropping and magnificent mountain views, to snowfields and frozen waters, lush PAGE 21

Continued on Next Page…. Magpie


Rocky Mt. Continued… Rocky Mountain National Park was designated as one of the first World Biosphere Reserves. From elk and moose to bobcat and black bear, the park is home to almost 70 mammal species, around 300 bird species, and over 140 butterfly species. With over 300 miles of hiking trails to explore, along with rock climbing and mountaineering opportunities, wildlife viewing and bird watching, camping and picnicking, horseback riding, fishing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, scenic drives and ranger led programs, it’s no wonder that Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most visited parks in the nation. For more information call (970) 586-1206 or visit https://www.nps.gov/romo This Love Your Parks Tour “Picnic and PortoVino with a View” Story was assigned by Ruth Milstein, author of the Gourmand award-winning recipe book “Cooking with Love: Ventures Into the New Israeli Cuisine,” and Marisa and Gunnar Hammerbeck - co-founders of PortoVino.

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An Immense Experience By Eva Eldridge

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When I was young, around twelve years old, our neighbors invited me to go with them on an excursion. I don’t remember the three-hour drive, but where we stopped amazed me. Surrounded by tall mountains, was an ocean of sand. Khaki colored waves grew larger and larger as the dunes reached for the mountains. The dunes seemed endless and immense and I couldn’t imagine how all that sand got there. The neighbor’s two younger boys ran towards the dunes, splashing through the meandering steam and up the nearest dune. I followed reaching the summit only to see there were so many more summits to reach. We tumbled down the dune in laughing balls of legs and arms, only to climb up the next dune and summersault down. When that exhausted us, we played in the wet sand, digging holes and making sandcastles with moats that filled with water. I loved it there, surrounded by pine trees, sand, and mountains. I don’t remember the trip home, either, but I suspect I fell asleep, exhausted by the day in the sun and sand. The smaller details didn’t make an impression, but the wonder of the place certainly did. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 25


Great Sand Dunes Continued… Fifty years later, I paid attention on the drive to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. We drove from Canon City, Colorado, up Highway 50 to Salida along the Arkansas River, until we turned south at Poncha Springs on Highway 285. The mountain highway lined with pines and aspens wound over Marshall Pass at 10,842 feet. We made our way down the mountain and turned off on Highway 17 towards the San Luis Valley. The San Luis Valley is about 8,000 square miles surrounded by mountains. It seems like a low basin used for agriculture, but the average elevation is 7,600 feet. As we traveled south on Highway 17, we saw small ranches, fields where crops are grown in circles—dependent on central irrigation, and a lot of scrub vegetation. And there were signs. Lots of signs suggesting, we are not alone. Of course, we had to stop at the UFO Watchtower north of Hooper, where psychics say there are Vortexes—gateways to other dimensions. I didn’t feel the Vortex power, but I’m not sure I’m open to vortexes. However, I do believe there are UFO’s. We didn’t see one during our visit, but there are many testimonials

to sightings in the area. There is enough activity to attract the show Vice https://video.vice.com/en_us/video/valley-ofthe-ufos/55e0d8649c5cd45279592f07. The UFO Garden area was filled with an interesting collection of items, artful and weird. If extraterrestrials visit the UFO Watchtower garden, they will see American culture in bits and pieces, along with homage to our alien friends. From the UFO Watchtower looking east you can see the beige smudge of the sand dunes which made us eager to continue our trip. We turned off Highway 17 onto north Lane 6. This straight road took us past San Luis Lakes State Wildlife Area. We decided it was time to have a picnic and turned in. The area changed designations from a state park to a state wildlife area in 2017, which left the entrance booth deserted and forlorn. The picnic areas were nice with overhead shelters and big picnic tables facing the water. The lake and surrounding area are home to coyotes, rabbits, elk, songbirds, ducks, and other high desert species. It is a nice place to relax and watch the ducks play in the water.

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UFO Garden After lunch, we headed to our main destination. We turned north from Lane 6 onto Highway 150. The Great Sand Dunes rose against a backdrop of tall mountains and looked out of place with the flat grasslands in the foreground.

The heat didn’t detour people from climbing and children sliding down the dunes on pieces of cardboard. I didn’t have the energy to hike up one of the larger dunes but walked to a low dune covered in vegetation.

We parked in the visitor lot and headed for the dunes. First, we had to cross Mendano Creek. The area looked like ocean-front beach with water running parallel to the beach instead of flowing back to the ocean. The sand felt like ocean sand. I wanted to take off my shoes and socks and start making sandcastles but left that for younger people.

Indian rice grass, blowout grass, and scurf pea, grow predominately on the dunes along with prairie sunflowers. The dune I stood on was covered in Indian rice grass and scurf pea. The little spots of muted green that seem isolated until you looked at them from a distance, soon blended into swaths of green. Vegetation has a difficult life on the dunes, with temperature extremes, wind, and inconsistent water. A hostile environment, yet it survives and grows.

Mendano Creek is seasonal. Usually in August, the Colorado water table is low, and the stream dries up leaving only sand. This year, 2019, Colorado had enough snow and rain to move it out of drought stage. The water meandered through the sands making it the ideal playground. In the spring and early summer, the creek can be deep enough to create waves. After the pleasure of the cool damp sand, we walked towards the dunes. The sand was hot from the August sun and reflected back on us.

The Visitor Center has good information on how the sand dunes were formed. It involves the uplift of one of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains through plate tectonic movement and the volcanic activity of San Juan Mountains to the west. Over millenniums, an inland ocean formed and receded, leaving mostly volcanic sand particles that were blown eastward and trapped by the Sangre De Cristo Mountains. Continued on Next Page…

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Great Sand Dunes Continued….

Mendano Creek

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a special place high in the Colorado desert. It’s worth a visit to experience the uniqueness of immense piles of sand next to 14,000-foot mountains. There are lovely campsites in the park and other lodging available in Alamosa, Colorado, which is only thirty-five miles away. I’m planning my next trip for either the middle of winter so I can see snow on the dunes or for a nighttime stargazing experience. Maybe I’ll have a UFO experience and can add my story to the UFO Watchtower. You can find more information on the Great Sand Dunes at: https://www.nps.gov/grsa/index.htm

Eva Eldridge is a contributing writer for Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and Parks & Travel Magazine. Along with travel and lifestyle articles, she also writes fiction and poetry. Visit her at www.EvaEldridge.com

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Wildflowers


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FIND IT IN FLORENCE: ART, ANTIQUES & ARCHITECTURE Discover “The Antique Capital of Colorado” A Love Your Parks Tour Shopping Story by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva’ Florence may make headline news for being home to the Supermax prison, but the sheer beauty of the region, coupled with its small town charm, should be the main focus of media attention. We discovered Florence through our friend Eva Eldridge, a fellow traveler and writer. Along with the area’s scenery and easy-going atmosphere, we soon found out that Florence was a popular weekend shopping destination for those who appreciate art, antiques and collectibles, love to browse eclectic shops, and enjoy a stroll through a downtown lined with historic architecture.

Today the downtown is a National Historic District that’s made a name for itself as the “Antique Capital of Colorado.”

The downtown area and tree-shaded neighborhoods offer a showcase of architecture Florence is located in Fremont County, just west styles that range from craftsman bungalow to of Pueblo in southern Colorado. Originally built Victorian, along with beautiful flower-filled as a railroad hub for trains hauling coal from gardens and a myriad of wood sculptures nearby Rockvale and Coal Creek, Florence was crafted out of dead trees. Boasting a wonderful an agricultural community that made history in collection of art galleries and antique, 1862 as the first oil center west of the consignment and boutique shops, as well as a Mississippi. PAGE 30


nice selection of restaurants and a brewery, downtown Florence makes for a true shopping adventure. If you are looking for that perfect gift, ideal décor item, matching accessory or piece of jewelry, this is the place. It’s a shopping destination where every treasure is going to have an interesting back story.

retreat, however, Florence does have a Bed & Breakfast, some vacation rentals, and hotels in neighboring Cañon City.

The town’s motto is “Find it in Florence,” and we think that once you get there, you’ll find a bevy of experiences to enjoy, along with those unique finds! For more about the area, see While you’re there, you may also want to visit the www.FinditinFlorence.com. Bell Tower Cultural Center for a local art experience, the Pioneer Museum for regional history, the historic Rialto Theatre for an evening show, or some recreational fun at the bowling alley. Home to the Arkansas River and near the San Isabel National Forest, Florence also has some great parks and trails to explore, including Pathfinder Park which was named after explorer John C. Fremont, Florence River Park which has become a river surfing destination, and Florence Mountain Park that features spectacular mountain views, pine forests and meadows, and the Newlin Creek trailhead. Brush Hollow Reservoir in Penrose and the Arkansas Riverwalk in Cañon City are just a short drive away. The unique topography of the region makes it a fantastic bird watching destination, as well as a recreational hub for hiking and biking, nature walks and picnics, whitewater rafting, river surfing, fishing, and more. Scenic drives are another way to enjoy the region’s diverse landscape. We stayed at Eva’s which is becoming a writer’s PAGE 31


ONE ISLAND, MANY ADVENTURES by Debbie Stone

Statue of Olympic surfer Duke Kahanamoku PAGE 34


Sunset on the beach

Soaring high above O’ahu, from my comfy perch in a Blue Hawaiian helicopter, I marveled at the diversity of the island. From craggy cliffs and mountains to dramatic coastlines, verdant valleys and lush rainforests, this special slice of paradise has it all. And a helicopter ride is one of the best ways to appreciate such vast natural beauty. On a Blue Hawaiian Helicopters O‘ahu Complete formations in Kaneohe Bay, as well as fly above Island tour, you’ll experience the full range of the the Nuuanu Valley rainforest and the panorama landscape, from the turquoise reefs of Waikiki of the Dole Pineapple Plantation. The ride and iconic Diamond Head to pristine Hanauma concludes with sweeping views of Pearl Harbor, Bay and white sand Waimanalo Beach. You’ll get the Arizona Memorial and the Battleship to see Mokoli’i Island, otherwise known as Missouri. “Chinaman’s Hat,” Sacred Falls and the coral Continued on Next Page… PAGE 35


O’ahu Continued…

Waterfalls drop hundreds of feet right outside your window and there are times when you’ll find yourself flying low over deep and impossibly tangled canyons. As you take in this jawdropping scenery, the pilot identifies the various sights and provides interesting details about the island.

Helicopter View

filming location for numerous movies and T.V. series, including “Jurassic Park,” “Godzilla,” “Pearl Harbor,” “50 First Dates,” “Hawaii Five-O” and “Magnum P.I.” The valley is part of Kualoa Ranch, a 4,000-acre working cattle ranch that dates back to 1850.

It’s hard to know where to look first, as you’ll be Crescent-shaped Hanauma Bay, for example, is a presented with a nonstop hit parade of stunning nature preserve and the first Marine Life vistas. The ride offers plenty of glorious eye Conservation District in the state. Famed Sacred candy, but it also gives first-time visitors a useful Falls is a hallowed place for the Hawaiian people perspective of the island, which can help them and home to many ancient legends, myths and create a plan to explore it once on terra firma. superstitions. Diamond Head was so named by British sailors in the 19th century, who mistook Beaches figure prominently on O‘ahu – more calcite crystals embedded in the rock for than 130 grace the island. Possibly the most diamonds. And Chinaman’s Hat, a cone-shaped famous in all of Hawaii is Waikiki Beach, an outcropping of lava off Kualoa Point, is one of epicenter for tourists, who camp out on the busy the most photographed landmarks in all Hawaii. two-mile strand. The place teems with sunbathers and watersport aficionados, who Areas such as the breathtaking Ka'a'awa Valley want to see and be seen. Umbrellas and chairs might look familiar to many, as it has been the PAGE 36


USS Arizona Memorial stretch as far as the eye can see. And if you think the beach is crowded, try strolling the walkway alongside it, which is home to restaurants, entertainment and a gazillion shops. When you’re ready to do some beach-hopping, head to Waimanalo Bay State Recreational Area and Beach Park. This four-mile stretch of whitesand bliss is perfect for sunbathers and boogie boarders, though less suitable for inexperienced swimmers due to its rougher waters. Further north is Kailua Beach Park, a mecca for those who like to bodysurf, windsurf or sail. Swimmers will enjoy nearby Lanikai Beach (my personal favorite), with its clear turquoise water and powdery sand beach.

same scenario at Waimea Bay, which is the ultimate North Shore surf competition amphitheater. With well over a million visitors per year, Pearl Harbor is the number one attraction on O‘ahu. This national memorial is a place of remembrance, understanding and respect, and often evokes many emotions in visitors. Sights include the sunken USS Arizona and viewing platform, the USS Missouri Battleship, the Pacific Aviation Museum and the retired USS Bowfin Submarine. Currently, the USS Arizona Memorial is closed to the public until repairs are completed to the loading ramp. In the interim, U.S. Navy shuttle boats offer narrated tours around Battleship Row, with prime viewing of the USS Arizona.

Along the coast to the North Shore are several notable beach parks: Kualoa, Kahana, Hau'ula and Malaekahana. The North Shore itself is You can spend several hours touring the area. home to renowned Sunset and Waimea Bay The best place to start is at the Pearl Harbor beaches. Sunset has been popular with both Visitor Center, where there’s a museum with locals and tourists for decades. In summer, exhibits detailing the history of this tragic event – swimmers and snorkelers are abundant, but an event that changed not only the U.S., but the when winter arrives, the large waves roll in and world. Continued on Next Page… experienced surfers take over the place. It’s the PAGE 37


Diamond Head

O’ahu Continued… December 7th, 1941, marks the fateful day that the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the unsuspecting base on O‘ahu. This shocking offensive left 2,403 dead and over 1,000 wounded. It forced our country out of its isolationist stance and into war, eventually shifting the course of history. An excellent film gives additional background and dramatic weight to the event, with true tales of heroism, valor and heartbreak.

the geological and military history of the place. You’ll go through a lighted 225-foot tunnel to enter the Fire Control Station. Completed in 1911, the station directed artillery fire from batteries in Waikiki and Fort Ruger outside of Diamond Head. Once you reach the summit, you’ll see bunkers and a navigational lighthouse, still in use after a hundred years. The view of the shoreline and surrounding area is postcard extraordinaire.

Hawaii’s most recognized landmark is Diamond Head. Comprised of a broad, saucer-shaped crater, this state monument creates a unique profile on the edge of Waikiki’s coastline. For many, hiking to the summit is a bucket list activity (Hint: make the climb early to beat the heat and the crowds). The trail was actually built in 1908 as part of the island’s coastal defense system.

Waimea Falls, located within Waimea Valley, is another favorite hike on the island, though it’s more of a pleasurable stroll. As you walk through lush botanical gardens with oversized tropical plants, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a primordial world. Posted signs along the way describe the grounds, history and plant life that exists in this sacred valley. The reward is a 30foot waterfall that cascades into a large pool below. Cool off with a plunge into the pool.

As you walk up from the crater floor, via a series of steep switchbacks, you’ll get a glimpse into

For a change of pace, delve into island culture.

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Polynesian Cultural Center Shaved Ice You’ll get a crash course on all things Polynesian Preparations range from macadamia nut crusted at the Polynesian Cultural Center. This 42-acre to soy glazed and blackened. Japanese and Asian extravaganza brings to life the traditions, history fusion restaurants are in abundance, as are the and hospitality of six island villages of the South omnipresent poke bowl establishments. Sample Pacific through a series of exhibits, performances the variety of pupus available at happy hour, and interactives. Hundreds of Polynesian accompanied by a coconut mojito or Tropical islanders share their customs, food and cooking Itch. The latter is a rum and bourbon libation techniques, crafts, home-building skills and with Lilikoi (passion fruit) juice for sweetener. It’s games. There’s also an award-winning luau, served with a bamboo backscratcher instead of canoe celebration and the critically-acclaimed a swizzle stick – to scratch your “itch.” live evening show, “HĀ: Breath of Life.” When on the North Shore, stop for lunch at one Additionally, various hotels on the island, provide of the shrimp trucks, like Giovanni’s, Honos or opportunities for guests to learn about Hawaiian Fumi’s. Get these tasty crustaceans scampi style culture. Offerings may include ukulele, hula and with plenty of garlic or boiled and steamed in lei making sessions, and even beginning lemon butter. You’ll be licking the sauce off your Hawaiian language classes. You can also try fingers! Make sure you also try an acai bowl. The paddling a Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe or rent a best ones are at Island Vintage Coffee in Waikiki, board and take a surfing lesson. To early where the creations are swoon-worthy, and Hawaiians, surfing was much more than a contain such ingredients as fresh tropical fruit, recreational activity. It was a deeply spiritual and granola, honey, cacao nibs, almond butter or honored tradition with rituals involving praying almond milk. for good surf and building a surfboard. The chiefs used it as a training exercise and as a Shaved ice deserves a category of its own in means of conflict resolution. Hawaii. Over the years, it’s become an art form. And if you haven’t had any in a while, be When hunger calls, it’s a challenge to decide prepared for an array of concoctions that puts what to eat and where, as the choices are the old traditional sno cone to shame. extensive. Seafood reigns supreme, as expected, with such fresh fish as ahi, Mahi Mahi, Ono and Continued on Next Page… Opakapaka typically found on the menu. PAGE 39


O’ahu Continued… Syrups are often homemade, many with natural flavors, or fresh fruit is used instead of syrup. Most come with the option of soft serve ice cream or frozen yogurt as the base. Toppings are extensive with azuki beans, mochi, lilikoi seeds, popping bobas (flavored jelly balls filled with juice) and more. And the ice is so fine, it feels like snowflakes melting in your mouth. Popular local shops and stands on O‘ahu include Matsumoto, Island Vintage, Waiola, Island Snow and Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha. If you want to know whether a place is any good, just look for a long line of swimwear-clad people.

Windsurfing

For everything O‘ahu: https://www.gohawaii.com/islands/oahu Debbie Stone is an established travel writer and columnist, and regular contributor for Big Blend Radio and Big Blend Magazines, who crosses the globe in search of unique destinations and experiences to share with her readers and listeners. She’s an avid explorer who welcomes new opportunities to increase awareness and enthusiasm for places, culture, food, history, nature, outdoor adventure, wellness and more. Her travels have taken her to nearly 100 countries and to all seven continents. PAGE 40

Small waterfall along Waikiki Beach


Stewart Vincent Wolfe Playground in Yuma, AZ A Love Your Parks Tour Youth Success Story by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith, assigned by Bobbi DePorter, Co-founder of SuperCamp and President of Quantum Learning Network.

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Harrier Jet Also known as Castle Park, the Stewart Vincent Wolfe Creative Playground is a unique ADA playground located in West Wetlands Park, which is part of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area in Yuma, Arizona. It has been recognized as one of the largest creative playgrounds, as well as one of the top 20 playgrounds in the country, for being “impressive, accessible and inclusive.”

Sadly, in late 2015, most of the playground was destroyed by an arson fire. The community Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with June immediately pulled together again to rebuild, and while the insurance helped fund most of the Wolfe who shares how in 2007, around 8000 volunteers and the City of Yuma worked together new playground, it was the donations that to build and fund the Stewart Vincent Wolfe helped make it “Bigger, Better, and Safer.” The Creative Playground, which was named in honor Stewart Vincent Wolfe Creative Playground reopened in May 2018 with some fun and fantastic of her late husband. The idea and initial seed ADA additions that include a zipline, a giant money of $100,000 came from Ron Martin, a close friend of Stewart Vincent Wolfe. The TriNet climbing structure, and a comfort swing. balance was funded by community contributions. The Stewart Vincent Wolfe Creative Playground is Local school students provided input on the located in West Wetlands Park, at 282 N. 12th playground’s design, and the volunteers of all Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364. Info: (928) 373-5200. ages worked together on the actual construction. PAGE 43


The Little Grand Canyon of Louisiana A Love Your Parks Tour #OneHourWalk story by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith, assigned by Dr. Jacqueline Eubany, author of “Women and Heart Disease: The Real Story.”

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Located in the Kisatchie Ranger District and accessed off the Longleaf Trail Scenic Byway, it’s a relatively easy 1.5 mile interpretive trail that gives a good introduction to the area’s geology, natural wilderness and various habitats. Now usually this distance should only take 30 minutes Kisatchie National Forest lies in the north-central or so to walk, however, on this particular morning we were slogging through some muddy region of Louisiana, and is the only national forest in the state. Encompassing 604, 000 acres patches and towards the end, managed to get of diverse habitats, this beautiful public land is a caught up in a fast moving summer storm. popular outdoor destination boasting over 40 Continued on Next Page… recreation sites and over 100 miles of trails. Recreational activities include hiking and backpacking, cycling and mountain biking, bird and wildlife watching, kayaking and canoeing, fishing and boating, horseback riding, picnicking and camping, scenic drives, and more. Ever since our initial visit to Natchitoches back in 2013, we’ve wanted to get out feet out on the trail in Kisatchie National Forest. We finally did on our return visit this summer, as part of our adventures in Louisiana’s No Man’s Land.

The landscape is made up of ancient caves and rock formations, longleaf pine forest and flatwoods, bogs and prairies, lakes and rivers. The forest is home to approximately 155 species of resident and migrant birds, 48 mammal species, 56 reptile species and 30 amphibian species, and plant species that range from orchids to carnivorous plants, azaleas and wildflowers. Longleaf Vista Interpretive Trail is one of the more popular forest destinations. PAGE 47


Kisatchie Continued… It made for a fun walk with quite a few giggles and grins as we navigated our way through the forest and wildflower meadows, across a little waterway, and up to the top of the craggy buttes and mesas. The start of the trail led us through the dappled forest of tall Longleaf Pines. Wildflowers poked their heads up towards the streaming rays of sunshine. Bluestem grasses hugged tight to the cliffs and sides of the trail, along with what looked like bunches of green needles. These turned out to be Longleaf Pine seedlings. Unlike other southern pines, Longleaf develops slowly above the ground for the first several years, spending its energy to develop a large root system. After this “grass stage” Longleaf grows very rapidly. As we trudged through the thick humidity, and passed swinging vines, lush ferns, and bending tree branches, the Longleaf forest slowly changed landscape, and morphed into a tropical jungle-like setting. PAGE 48


Creeks with rocky bottoms are common in this area, and we crossed a babbling one called “Waterfalls.” This small waterfall was formed by water washing away the soil in the underlying bed of sandstone. The water has a milky color to it, which is caused by tiny suspended particles from the surrounding clay soil.

Wilderness Area. This called for a “PortoVino with a View” moment. Yep, a little sip of wine (only 4 oz. as per Dr. Jackie’s recommendations for women) to take in the view that earned the title, “Little Grand Canyon of Louisiana.”

The interpretive trail signs taught us some fascinating facts about the geology and plants in the forest. We learned that the leaves and the bark of the Sweetleaf plant can be used to make a yellow dye; the Indians used the roots of the Yucca to make soap; that Magnolias are amongst the most ancient broadleaf trees in existence; and that in September the leaves of the sumacs turn scarlet, and are mostly likely the first species in the forest to herald bright autumn color. The “jungle” slowly opened up and we were back in Longleaf country, with the rocks and wildflowers, and a heavy sky. Rain was imminent but we climbed to the top of the first butte anyway, and were rewarded with a magnificent panoramic view of the adjacent Kisatchie Hills PAGE 49

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Kisatchie Continued‌ Most of the rocks we saw jutting out on the trail are mostly composed of sandstone. These sedentary rocks are part of the Catahoula formation formed thousands of years ago. Some rocks are darker than others because of the degrees of weathering.

Longleaf Vista Trail was an incredible experience. There are benches along the trail, and up by the gazebo you will find picnic sites and clean restrooms. You may want to catch the Azalea bloom season, which depending on the species, can run from early spring to late summer.

We climbed the second butte, then headed up to For more about Kisatchie National Forest visit: the gazebo and vista overlook and made it just in https://www.fs.usda.gov/kisatchie/ time for the sky to open up with a dramatic and impressive downpour. The forest was rejuvenated and alive!

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The change of seasons doesn’t mean you’ll be trapped indoors on your Fidalgo Island getaway. In fact, Anacortes is in the “Banana Belt” of Washington State which receives less rainfall than Seattle, plus it has around 23 more days per year of sunshine than Seattle. Depending on what type of island adventure you want, you can fish for salmon, stand-up paddleboard in lakes or bays, climb or hike on a mountain, and walk through miles of trail paths.

HIGH FIVE TO FALL FUN IN ANACORTES, WASHINGTON Plan your Anacortes Adventure at https://anacortes.org/

FIVE FUN ACTIVITIES 1. Go Fishing – Charter companies like R&R Charters, Highliner Charters, Catchemore Charters, and Jolly Mon Charters, provide all fishing gear, one-day fishing licenses, and have covered and heated boats.

2. Stand-Up Paddle Board – Sound Yoga and SUP offers stand-up paddle board lessons and guided tours. It’s best to call and talk over the details of your desired experience. Continued on Next Page…

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Anacortes Continued… 3. Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Anacortes – This self-guided tour identifies 30 historic buildings and takes about 1.5-hours. Along the route some of the highlights are a century old park the community built, a historic Carnegie library turned museum, and a 126year-old building that was rolled eleven blocks to its current location back in 1904 – it is now the Majestic Inn & Spa. 4. Take a Hike – Anacortes has almost 2,800 acres of forests lands with 50 miles of multiple use trails. What can one expect when hiking the trails? Patches of old growth forest, extensive woodlands, marshlands filled with bird song, and breathtaking seascape and island views. Anacortes Forestlands include Whistle Lake, Cranberry Lake, Heart Lake, and Washington Park. 5. Go Rock Climbing – Climb in the great outdoors! Mt. Erie’s eight south-facing wall groups draw rock climbers from Canada, Montana, and California. The rock has a variety of routes, like beginning top rope routes, multipitch triad, and 5.13 sport routes.

FIVE FUN & FESTIVE EVENTS

Bier on the Pier member of high society. His subject turns out to be the lovely Eliza Doolittle, who agrees to speech lessons to improve her job prospects. Higgins and Eliza clash, then form an unlikely bond- a bond that is threatened by an aristocratic suitor. Presented by Anacortes Community Theatre. Directed by Sam Guzik with music direction by Katie Jennings. 2. Bier on the Pier is October 4-5 – 30 breweries, 10 cider houses, 5 food vendors. 3. Vintage Market is October 18 & 19 – All vendors will be fully stocked with spring home décor items, garden goodies, antiques, repurposed and handcrafted Jewelry, clothing, furniture, and vintage finds plus up-cycled items ready to find a new home with you! 4. Brewgrass is November 1 & 2 – Rockfish Grill and Brown Lantern Ale House each feature bluegrass bands from 8pm to around midnight. 5. Sip & Shop is November 22 – Start your holiday shopping in downtown Anacortes with Sip & Shop. From 5-8pm, businesses downtown will be serving select wine and beer while helping you get started with your holiday shopping

1. "My Fair Lady" runs September 27-October Plan your Anacortes Adventure at 26 - In Lerner and Loewe's beloved musical, https://anacortes.org/ pompous phonetics professor Henry Higgins is so sure of this abilities that he takes it upon himself to transform a Cockney working-class girl into someone who can pass for a cultured PAGE 54


Gateway to Pinnacles National Park in Central California Boasting cooler weather and a sky that stretches out in a brilliant bright blue, Fall in San Benito County is absolutely stunning. The golden hillsides roll down into the vast ranch grasslands that shimmer lightly in the afternoon breezes, and lay low as the foundation for rustic barns and stately oak trees, and as the running ground for coyotes and local wildlife. Home to the eastern entrance of Pinnacles National Park, a variety of state and regional parks, and historic downtowns and ranching communities, San Benito County in central California is the ideal fall destination for those who like to get out and take a walk – and you don’t have to be an Olympic gold medalist to participate. There’s something for everyone – for all ages, all fitness levels, and even specialty interests like history, geology, bird and wildlife watching, art and architecture.

Festive Fall Events Sept. 29: Vertigo Day in San Juan Bautista Oct. 3-6: San Benito County Fair Oct. 19: Discovery Classic Bicycle Event Oct. 26-27:San Juan Bautista Ghost Walk Nov. 11: Veterans Day Parade in Hollister Nov. 30: 29th Annual Lights On Celebration San Benito County is located less than 2 hours from San Francisco and 4 ½ hours from Los Angeles. For up-to-date event information and to plan your San Benito County adventure, please contact the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at (831) 637-5315 or visit www.SanBenitoCountyChamber.com or www.DiscoverSanBenitoCounty.com.

The region is a popular year-round destination with outdoor activities such as bird watching and hiking, golf and tennis, as well as a wonderful wine tasting trail, a delicious selection of dining options, boutique shopping, historic parks and museums, and a full calendar of events, fairs and festivals, and parades.

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Home to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest, California’s Sequoia Country makes for a fabulous fall getaway offering a variety of outdoor activities, a full calendar of events and seasonal festivals, and an eclectic selection of shopping and dining opportunities in the local gateway communities.

EXPLORE THE GREAT OUTDOORS

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. Learn more about both national parks at (559) 565-334 or www.NPS.gov/seki. 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.

Spanning 461,901 acres, Kings Canyon National 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 Along with the magnificent giant sequoias, the trees, the famous General Grant Tree, and the area is home to a myriad of plant, bird and Redwood Mountain Grove which is the largest remaining natural grove of giant sequoias in the animal species. There are limestone caverns to explore and granite domes and spires to see, world. One of the first parks in the country, along with archaeological sites. The activities are Sequoia National Park is famous for its giant endless and include hiking and camping, sequoia trees and black bears. Visit the General mountain biking, horse riding, bird and wildlife Sherman Tree (the largest living organism and watching. tree in the world), climb Moro Rock, take in spectacular views of Mt. Whitney (the highest Continued on Next Page‌ mountain in the contiguous 48 states), and hike through glacial canyons, and oak woodlands. PAGE 59


Sequoias Continued‌ When it comes to viewing the Giant Sequoias, one of the more popular and easy-to-reach groves is on the Trail of 100 Giants in the Long Meadow Grove, which is estimated to have trees that are approximately 1,500 years old in growth. This 1.3 mile trail is paved and accessible, with several loop options, interpretive signs as well as the impressive site where two giant sequoias fell in 2011. Learn more at (559) 784-1500 or www.FS.USDA.gov/sequoia.

FOOD, SHOPPING & FESTIVAL FUN! Celebrate the fall season by exploring the Tulare County communities of Exeter, Three Rivers, Visalia, Tulare, Porterville, Springville, Lindsay, Dinuba and Woodlake. There are numerous shops and boutiques, restaurants and breweries, as well as museums, galleries and performance venues to experience.

Regional lodging choices range from hotels and inns, to campgrounds and vacation rentals. Don’t miss these upcoming annual events and seasonal festivals: Sept. 26-29: Dinuba Raisin Harvest Festival; Sept. 27: Visalia Oktoberfest; Sept. 28: Porterville Art Festival; Oct. 8: Taste of Downtown Visalia; Oct. 12: 106th Annual Exeter Fall Festival; Oct. 19: Visalia Taste of the Arts; Oct. 26: 40th Annual Harvest of the Handwovens in Exeter; and Nov. 16: Exeter Chili Cook-Off. East of Fresno, the area is an easy 4-5 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area and 3-4 hours from Los Angeles. For up-to-date event information and to plan your Sequoia Getaway, visit www.DiscovertheSequoias.com.

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Get a Taste of Fall in Julian, California

Julian is a popular historic gold mining town located up in the Cuyamaca Mountains of Southern California. From art and crafts shows to concerts and music festivals, wine tasting and culinary events, and seasonal festivities, there’s always something happening in this charming mountain hamlet! Fall is all about u-pick orchards, apple pie, wine and brew, forest walks and the changing of the leaves, shopping and popular annual events like Oktoberfest, Julian Melodrama, and Country Christmas.

Fall Celebrations Oct. 5: St. Elizabeth’s Oktoberfest Oct. 18-20, 25-27: Julian Melodrama Nov. 30: Julian Country Christmas Tree Lighting For up-to-date event information call (760) 765-1857.

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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


Visit the Gateway to the Great Southwest this Fall!

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Yuma, Arizona welcomes you to step back into old west history, rejuvenate in the great outdoors, feel the rush of athletic competitiveness, and delight in seasonal shopping, local flavors, festive community events and artistic celebrations.

classes and youth sports activities to festivals and parades, the City of Yuma hosts a full calendar of educational, athletic, and familyfriendly community events that celebrate the region’s culture, the arts, and local sporting opportunities.

Located along the lower Colorado River in southwest Arizona, Yuma borders Mexico and is halfway between Tucson and San Diego. 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 Historic Park, Yuma Art Center & Historic Yuma Theatre, and a charming historic downtown district that bustles with an eclectic array of shops and restaurants.

FALL EVENTS & CELEBRATIONS

Celebrating its listing in the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘Sunniest Place on Earth’, and boosting quality of life for Yuma’s local families and visiting communities, the City of Yuma’s Parks & Recreation Department manages over 600 acres, and over 30 parks that include neighborhood basin parks, athletic complexes, golf courses, a gymnasium, outdoor basketball courts, and volleyball courts.

Oct. 4-5: Cocopah Speedway Racing Series Oct. 5: YumaCon 2019 Oct. 12: Zombie Fun Run and Fun Walk 2019 Oct. 19: Bridget's Gift Western Dance & BBQ Oct. 26: Desert Sun Show ‘n Shine and Swap Meet! Oct. 26-27: Rocky Horror Picture Show - Midnight Madness. Oct. 31: Trick or Treat on Main Street Nov. 22-24: Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival Nov. 30: Ken & Betty Borland Holiday Pageant & Tower Lighting Ceremony

Events are also a big component in keeping Yuma’s fun meter running on high. From art PAGE 65


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


Celebrate The Arts, Relax in Nature, and Step Back in Time, in Northwest Nevada’s Pony Express Country! Located in northwestern Nevada, just off the Pony Express National Historic Trail and on the California National Historic Trail, Yerington is the epitome of “Small Town America.” The historic downtown is a popular resting point for folks traveling Highway 95 between Las Vegas and Reno, and the entire region is a great getaway for nature lovers and history enthusiasts. Yerington’s historic downtown district is charming with antique shops, restaurants and casinos. Spend a few hours taking in the exhibits and artifacts at Lyon County Museum, and visit Yerington Theatre for the Arts to see the current art exhibits, and grab a quick bite.

Tour the ruins, visit the museum and cemetery, picnic, hike the nature trail, and enjoy various ranger programs. Buckland Station is just down the road from Fort Churchill, and was a supply center and boarding house. You can tour the house and picnic outside. Both sites are part of the Pony Express National Historic Trail and California National Historic Trail.

Fort Churchill State Historic Park is a 30 minute scenic drive from Yerington. It was built as a U.S. Army fort in 1861. PAGE 68


The surrounding Mason Valley and Smith Valley areas are beautiful with lush farmlands that stretch out to natural areas complete with rugged high desert hillsides and desert shrub lands, wetland ponds and meadows active with birdlife, and wind carved canyons that dip down to cool running waters. With the changing colors in the trees and vegetation, along with the seasonal bird migration, fall is a fantastic time to explore the Mason Valley Wildlife Management Area, Walker River, Walker Lake and Wilson Canyon. If you’re looking for an authentic yet unique “Small Town America� experience, put Yerington on your travel list!

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VISIT GREELEY & DISCOVER WELD COUNTY Your Northeast Colorado Destination! From food festivals to heritage events, fall fun in Greeley & Weld County includes a variety of festivals that honor the region’s history and culture, while celebrating food and farming, music and the arts. Public art murals and statues add an extra dose of charm to the region’s natural beauty, and there’s plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation including bird watching, hiking, golf, camping and fishing. History buffs will love the numerous forts, historic sites and museums. Fall Events in Greeley & Weld County * Sept. 27-28: Greeley OktoBREWfest * Sept. 28: Frederick Miners Day * Oct. 5: Erie Miners Blast * Oct. 25: Greeley Trick or Treat * Oct. 26: Frederick Tiny Terror Town * Oct. 31: Hudson Haunted House * Nov. 9: Hudson Veterans Memorial Service * Nov. 22: Erie Pilgrimage Run * Nov. 29: Evans Tree Lighting Ceremony * Nov. 30: Greeley Lights the Night Parade Plan Your Adventure at www.VisitGreeley.org and www.DiscoverWeld.com. PAGE 70


CELEBRATE FALL IN DOWNTOWN NATCHITOCHES Explore Louisiana’s Oldest City

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Founded in 1714 by Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, Natchitoches is the original French Colony and oldest city in Louisiana, and celebrates a vibrant blend of French, Spanish, African, Native American and Creole cultures. Home to the Cane River Creole National Historical Park, it is part of the Cane River National Heritage Area, and is the final destination on the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail. The downtown National Historic Landmark District is a 33-block area that runs along the beautiful banks of Cane River Lake, welcoming visitors into a charming mecca of historic sites and museums, art galleries and specialty shops, restaurants and quaint Bed & Breakfast lodgings. Along with experiencing the city’s popular and festive seasonal events, one of the best ways to explore the district is on foot, whether selfguided (maps are available at Natchitoches

Convention & Visitors Bureau), or on one of the self-guided tours hosted by the Cane River National Heritage Area. Buildings in the district are constructed in several architectural styles that range from French Creole to Queen Anne, Italianate to Spanish Revival, Art Deco to Victorian.

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Cane River Queen

Natchitoches Continued…

Ten Distinct Experiences in Historic Downtown Natchitoches – Taste a famous Natchitoches meat pie. A Natchitoches tradition since 1967, Lasyone’s Meat Pie Restaurant is an authentic soulful Creole Cuisine experience not to be missed – and their famous meat pies are simply scrumptious!

– Get your motor running at the 13th Annual Natchitoches Car Show. Held Oct. 4-5, 2019, The event features a poker run, fish fry with live music, a car show in downtown, and even more live music.

– Explore the historic American Cemetery. – Start your holiday shopping! Established in Established around 1737, the cemetery is said to 1863, Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile is the be the oldest cemetery in the Louisiana oldest general store in Louisiana, and the oldest Purchase. Legend has it, that St. Denis, the business in downtown Natchitoches. From town’s founder, is buried somewhere on the hardware to kitchenware, folk art to toys and grounds. Oct. 11 is the American Cemetery Tour holiday décor, this general store truly has event, where guides dressed in period costumes something for everyone! The Art Guild is another will share the history of the cemetery. downtown highlight and is a unique shopping destination, along with the other antique shops Meat pies and boutique stores. – Get your Louisiana sports fix on! Be wowed at the achievements of over 300 legendary Louisiana athletes, coaches and sports figures at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. This $23million museum complex is also home to the Northwest Louisiana History Museum. PAGE 74


– Step into history at the 63rd Annual Fall Tour of Homes. Held Oct. 12-13, 2019, this popular event features themed tours of historic Natchitoches homes, buildings, and plantations.

– Celebrate Christmas at the 93rd Annual Christmas Festival of Lights. Held from Nov. 23-Jan. 6, this celebration of lights, fun and festivities is set along the backdrop of downtown Historic Natchitoches and Cane River Lake. Cane – Tour some of the filming sites of ‘Steel River is illuminated by more than 300,000 Magnolias’. Robert Harling grew up in twinkling lights and 100 set pieces. Highlights of Natchitoches, and lost his sister to diabetes in the Natchitoches Christmas season include the 1985. He turned that experience into the iconic 93rd Annual Natchitoches Christmas Festival Day stage play ‘Steel Magnolias’. The 1989 film – always held on the first Saturday in December, adaption directed by Herbert Ross was filmed in The Holiday Tour of Homes, Natchitoches-NSU and around Natchitoches. On Nov. 7-10, Christmas Gala, and spectacular fireworks celebrates Steel Magnolias 30th Anniversary with displays over Cane River Lake. the Blush & Bashful Weekend. To learn more about the greater Natchitoches – Delight in flowers, waterfalls, and twinkly area’s attractions and events, lodging lights. The Beau Jardin Water Feature & Garden establishments, shops and restaurants, visit overlooks beautiful Cane River Lake and along www.Natchitoches.com. with being a wonderful area to take a romantic stroll, it’s also a popular wedding and event venue. – Cruise beautiful Cane River Lake aboard the new Cane River Queen, a wonderful experience for the whole family!

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VISIT SPRINGFIELD, KENTUCKY Celebrate Fall in the Heart of Central Kentucky’s “Land of Bourbon, Horses & History!”

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Springfield is the seat of Washington County, and is located near the cities of Lexington and Louisville, in central Kentucky’s land of ‘Bourbon, Horses & History’. The city is on the Lincoln Scenic Byway, and being the ancestral home of Abraham Lincoln’s family, is part of the Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail. Springfield is also part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, the Barn Quilt Trail and Kentucky Fiber Trail.

Dec. 13-15: Press Start: Central Kentucky Theatre Dec. 14: Ice Skating Festival with booths For up-to-date event information call Springfield Tourism Commission at (859) 3365412 x1 or visit www.VisitSpringfieldKY.com.

Boasting four gentle seasons, numerous historic and cultural sites and attractions, a full calendar of events and celebrations, beautiful scenery and plenty of opportunities for nature and outdoor adventures, the area is a charming and fun destination.

Upcoming Fall Festivals & Events Oct. 4-5: 11th Annual Jim Beam BBQ Championship Cook-off Oct. 5-6: Washington County Sorghum Festival/ Praise Fest Oct. 18: Bourbon Chase Oct. 31: Downtown Halloween Trick or Treat Nov. 8-17: West Side Story HS Edition – Central Kentucky Theatre Nov. 22-23: Christmas Crafters Market & Merchants Open Houses

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Conversations with Composer Andy Jarema and Painter Alice Leese

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park showcases the results of at least 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution in the Hawaiian Islands. Created to preserve the natural setting of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, the park is also a refuge for the island’s

native plants and animals and a link to its human past. The National Parks Arts Foundation offers a unique month-long artist-in-residence opportunity in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, and it’s open to artists of all mediums.

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Kilauea-iki Crater

COMPOSER ANDY JAREMA Detroit-based musician and composer Andy Jarema was selected as the August (2019) artist in residence at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. This young and innovative composer creates sitespecific work by using a mix of sound-collage techniques, his trumpet, and traditional scoring to make music inspired by the park’s fauna and geology. The musician/composer’s compositions are In 2018, Jarema was an artist in residence at defined by sharp contrasts, both in tone and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In texture. Jarema says his creative aim for the addition to hosting workshops, he recorded residency is “to sonically capture the natural natural sound throughout the park and created landscape of the park with my recording device: electronic soundscapes and nature beats with the quiet hiss of a steam vent, the screech of an computer software, and collaborated with artist ‘io flying overhead, the rush of the waves striking Alyssa Coffin. He is known for integrating hip-hop Hōlei Sea Arch. From there, I would integrate nature beats, music videos and classical music these recordings into various forms of music to into his work. More at www.AndyJarema.com stitch together a sonic portrait of the natural Continued on Next Page… beauty of the park.” PAGE 79


Artists Continued…

ARTIST ALICE LEESE Alice, raised on the ranch which has been in her family for 100 years, says that the solitude and rhythm of this particular landscape is essential to how she approaches her art: “Living out here has also given me a frame of reference for time and patience, some days we are horseback from sunup to sundown, ranches here are large and pastures are sometimes 15 square miles, it takes some patience to not rush the cattle, they go at their pace and we just follow when we are roundingup or working them.”

She says that the ranch is very remote, and even requires the occasional climb on a windmill to grab spotty cellphone reception. Though she loves being a managing partner at their ranch, she often doesn’t get the focused time to paint, PAGE 80


so being able to focus for a solid month on her art is an amazing opportunity. In addition to her full-time job, she is also completing an M.F.A. She usually paints plein air, sketching in watercolors, then taking that sketch and any other resources gathered on site, and executing a finished work in the studio most of the time, in oil. Painting on location in oil lets her capture a certain feeling, a way of seeing that has sometimes prismatic qualities. “Painting outdoors in oil, a slow drying medium, lets the artist get to mood and details, or lets the artist capture quickly the essence of an area. Don’t remember who said it but painting on site is a way to let the viewer feel what it is like to be in a certain spot. I’m not painting a specific area but what it feels like to be there.”

Keep up with Alice at www.AliceLeese.com

The Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park artist-inresidence program is sponsored by the National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF), the National Park Service, the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and other generous benefactors. NPAF is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to the promotion of the national parks by creating dynamic opportunities for artworks that are based in natural and historic heritage. All NPAF programs are made possible through philanthropic support. More at www.NPS.gov/havo and www.NationalParksArtsFoundation.org

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“Padre Kino at Casa Grande”

DeGrazia Paints Casa Grande Ruins National Monument A Love Your Parks Tour ‘Following in the Footsteps of Artist Ted DeGrazia’ Story by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid Traveling across the southwest and into parts of California, it’s not unusual for us to either find some of artist Ted DeGrazia’s work or to meet someone with a DeGrazia story. Well it happened again in the museum at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument where we saw the DeGrazia painting, “Padre Kino at Casa Grande.”

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 Father Eusebio 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. Located in Coolidge, just 1 ½ hours west of Tucson in Southern Arizona, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is an historic site that

Famed Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia, most likely the most reproduced artist in the world, is PAGE 82


Casa Grande Ruins National Monument features the fascinating and mysterious ruins of an ancient Sonoran Desert People’s farming community. Here you can view the ruins of the impressive ‘Great House,’ and what was once an extensive system of irrigation canals. Father Eusebio Kino was the first European to see and document the site in 1694. In fact, he was the one who named the site Casa Grande. In 1775, Juan Bautista de Anza documented Casa Grande, when the expedition stopped and camped about 5 miles northwest from the site. Anza and Father Font visited the ruins to check Father Kino’s prior descriptions and measurements.

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, “DeGrazia and Padre Kino.” You can learn more about the Gallery and Ted DeGrazia’s work at www.DeGRazia.org. For more about DeGrazia’s Padre Kino art collection, take a listen to our archived Big Blend Radio interview with Lance Laber, Executive Director of DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, on our site NationalParkTraveling.com.

The first archaeological preserve in America, these ruins were integral to the creation of the Antiquities Act which gives the President power to set aside valuable public natural and historic areas as park and conservation land. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Casa Grande Ruins to be a National Monument on August 3, 1918, and the site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. This historic site is also a main destination on the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Learn more about Casa Grande Runs National Monument at www.NPS.gov/cagr PAGE 83


“Me and Earl was haulin' chickens… On the flatbed out of Wiggins… And we'd spent all night on the uphill side… Of 37 miles of hell called Wolf Creek Pass… Which is up on the Great Divide…” C. W. McCall

A Love Your Parks Tour Music Story by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by Rob Ridgeway, creator of Spontuneous ‘The Song Game.’ PAGE 84


We were heading up to Greeley, Colorado from Gallup, New Mexico and had just driven through Shiprock and visited Aztec Ruins National Monument. As we crossed over into Colorado, the high desert landscape gave way to a view of mountain ranges with snow capped peaks, and fresh green meadows with wildflowers along the roadside. From Hwy. 550 north to Durango, we took Hwy. 160 east. The road started to wind around the mountains as we headed east through the Rio Grande National Forest towards Pagosa Springs. The temperature started to drop as the road started to started to climb, all the way up to over 10,000! We were on Wolf Creek Pass, and there was snow on the sides of the steep road. This called for palm sweat, a tight white knuckle grip on the steering wheel, and deep breaths.

country artist C. W. McCall’s truck driver song “Wolf Creek Pass.” “Wolf Creek Pass” was the title track of McCall’s 1975 album on MGM Records. Another popular song on the album is "Old Home Filler-up an' Keep on a-Truckin' Café," which was used in a popular TV commercial that helped make McCall famous. He wrote and performed the 1975 hit “Convoy” which was the inspiration for the 1978 Sam Peckinpah movie. Born in Audubon, Iowa on November 15, 1928, William Dale Fries Jr. is an American singer, activist and politician best known by his stage name C. W. McCall. You can hear “Wolf Creek Pass” on YouTube.com and learn more about this American legend at http://www.cw-mccall.com/index2.html

Reaching 10,857 feet in elevation, Wolf Creek Pass is on the Continental Divide in the San Juan Mountains. It’s significantly steep on either side with a 6.8% maximum grade, and is known for being especially dangerous in the winter. The pass was named after Wolf Creek, which starts near the top of the pass and flows down to a confluence with the West Fork San Juan River. Travelers can view Treasure Falls just west of the pass, and go through a 900 ft. tunnel on the east side, which is also home to the Wolf Creek ski area. From sunshine and lush meadows, up into the chilly snow country and then back down to the forest floor where there was a rushing waterway, craggy rock formations and brilliant blue sky, it was a spectacular drive through the wilderness. It was also a gentle initiation of what was to come in our Colorado road trippin’ adventures: Trail Ridge Road (12,183 ft.), Monarch Pass (11,312 ft.), and Million Dollar Highway (11,018 ft.) Perhaps it would have helped to listen to PAGE 85


MOUNT HOLLY CEMETERY IN LITTLE ROCK “The Westminster Abbey of Arkansas”

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This Love Your Parks Tour Family History and English Connection Story by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith, was assigned by Holly T. Hansen of Family History Expos and Glynn Burrows of Norfolk Tours in England. From the Quapaw migration to the Civil War, the state of Arkansas is a hub of history, with Little Rock right in the heart of it all. Notable sites to visit include the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, Arkansas State Capital, Historic Arkansas Museum, Old State House Museum, MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History, Firehouse Museum & Hostel, Arkansas Korean War Veterans Memorial and nearby Toltec Archaeological State Park.

Along with Mount Holly Cemetery, Oakland & Fraternal Historic Cemetery Park and Little Rock National Cemetery, these historic and cultural sites are all destinations for those tracing their Arkansas family roots. Genealogist Holly T. Hansen has sent us on a story mission to find as many family history research repositories across the country, so of course we had to visit Mount Holly Cemetery! Located in the Quapaw Quarter area of downtown Little Rock, this historic resting space was established back in 1843, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Now enter the English Connection part of our story, as assigned by Glynn Burrows over in Norfolk, England. With so many famous and notable Arkansans buried here, Mount Holly This contemporary yet culturally significant Cemetery has become known as "The capital city is also home to six destinations on Westminster Abbey of Arkansas.” This includes: the US Civil Rights Trail, including the Arkansas 11 state governors, 14 state supreme court Civil Rights Heritage Trail, Little Rock Central High justices, 4 Confederate generals, 22 Little Rock School National Historic Site, Clinton Presidential mayors, and two Pulitzer prize winners. There Center, Daisy Bates House, “Testament” Little are numerous military heroes, prominent Rock Nine Memorial, and Mosaic Templars physicians, church leaders, attorneys, as well as Cultural Center. suffragettes, socialites, politicians, businessmen, farmers, laborers and slaves. Continued… PAGE 87


Mt. Holly Continued… How many could have ancestral ties back to England? Interestingly, the first site we stopped at bears the name Lincoln, and President Abraham Lincoln’s ancestors come from Swanton Morley in Norfolk County, where Glynn lives! A visit to Mount Holly Cemetery is like a walk in the park. Stately shade trees stretch over the burial sites, while an abundance of flowers add vibrant splashes of color amongst the monument art. This beautiful and peaceful cemetery is open daily. You can take a selfguided walking tour (brochures are at the Victorian bell house), or make an appointment to take a guided tour. We’d love to make a return visit to take in one of Mount Holly’s themed tours or special events. What a fascinating way to learn about Arkansas history, and the people who lived it! Their themed tours include: Arkansas and Little Rock History, the Cherokee Removal and Indian Territory, Confederate Arkansas, Victorian Funerary Art and Symbolism, African Americans in Mount Holly, Famous Women of Mount Holly, and the Trees of Mount Holly. Special annual events include the Tales of the Crypt in October and Spring Picnic in April, plus they host a monthly Garden Series. If you are tracing your Arkansas family history, Mount Holly sells a two-volume Burial Index that lists burials to 2011. They also have some great resources on their website www.MountHollyCemetery.org which provides details on cemetery tours, events and history. For more about Little Rock’s historic sites and museums, visit www.LittleRock.com. PAGE 88

20th Governor of Arkansas, Jeff David


Toltec Mounds Archaeological State Park near Little Rock, Arkansas Historical author Sufia Giza talks with Big Blend Radio about her latest book, "Moundbuilders of Ancient America: A Legacy Reclaimed." With the recent upsurge of interest in genetic testing, many Americans are eager to learn more about their ancestral roots, however, most pause their exploration after the initial DNA results come back. But for historical film documentarian and author Sufia Giza, genetic testing took her down a rabbit hole of research that has spanned 30 years, uncovering intriguing evidence that not only affects her personally, but also deeply impacts the narrative of this nation as a whole.

A paradigm changer for true history buffs, in "Moundbuilders of Ancient America: A Legacy Reclaimed," Giza traces the legacy of her roots to a people who lived in America and MesoAmerica between 50,000 BC and the present, as the original African descended Ameri-Indians, the authentic indigenous Native Americans, that most people have never heard of before.

Her new book, HeTePu Publications' "Moundbuilders of Ancient America: A Legacy Ancient Americans were called Moundbuilders Reclaimed," self-published in conjunction with because they built monumental man made, the notable Black Classic Press, is not only the story of her Black Amer-Indian ancestors, traced earthen buildings, similar to the pyramids in both Egypt and Mexico. With DNA results that to a heritage of Mississippian Moundbuilders who were chiefdoms and queendoms, but also a trace directly back to the original Mississippian Moundbuilders, Giza was overwhelmed to more deeply complex and revolutionary reveal. PAGE 90


discover direct lineage to the Queen of Cofetazque (Lady of Cifitachikee), who was kidnapped by and escaped from the 16thcentury Spanish explorer and conquistador Hernando de Soto. In his journal, de Soto described the queen as "having the richest Grand Lodge I have seen in all of Peru or Mexico." Another ancestral link led her to a warrior by the name of Tuskaloosa, who de Soto also took hostage and later killed on his 1540 journey, when he arrived in Alabama. But Giza's most surprising reveals were the similarities she began to notice in her research between the cultures of Africa, the ancient Mississippi Delta and Mexico. Her in-depth exploration and research, spanning artifacts, museum exhibitions, textbooks and interviews have led to discovering what she believes is a well-hidden fact, that America's original indigenous people were African migrants who arrived in America first, pre-Columbus and before the Red American Indian. "As an Indigenous American person in search of my ancestral culture, I have been grasping at straws from biased textbooks, survey reports, and outdated scientific paradigms in archeology and anthropology that obscure what is really true. So now, with my book, I have worked to find these hidden linkages to my ancestors, to discover who the original native Americans are, so I can document their past, in order to have a better understanding of myself, and others. Interestingly, after tracking all these generations of my folks being in North America, I am still 90% Sub-Saharan African. My opinion is, with my family still having so much African heritage, my ancestors had to have been African Native Americans, who migrated, from Africa, through Siberia in 50,000 BC," espouses Giza.

chapbooks and produced five documentaries, including, "SANKOFA Study: An Ethnobotanical Research Project on Medicinal Herbs of Tobago, WI.," "Toledo District Eco-Park: An Eco-Cultural Tour of Southern Belize," "REGGAE MILITIS: The Bizness of Reggae Music" and "SANKOFA Study II: Medicinal Herbs of Trinidad and Tobago." Most recently Giza completed the third part in her series on medicinal herbs, "Ethnobotany of the African Diaspora: South Carolina to Trinidad & Tobago." "Moundbuilders of Ancient America: A Legacy Reclaimed" is a fascinating historical resource. Giza lays bare, with meticulous detail, findings that connect the dots to not only her personal lineage, but to a past that has been painted over for centuries.

www.moundbuilderswindclan.com Sufia Giza is a Gullah-Geechee artist from Columbia, South Carolina, who is a native of Riverside, CA. Giza has three degrees, including a master's in Bi-Lingual/Cross-Cultural Educational Counseling. She has written two poetry PAGE 91


Walker Lake Recreation Area A Love Your Parks Tour “Following in the Footsteps of Generals” story assigned by award-winning military historian and author Mike Guardia, who talks with Big Blend Radio about the military and political career of John C. Fremont (January 21, 1813 – July 13, 1890), who was American explorer, politician, and soldier. So far, there are three main destinations on the Known as “The Pathfinder”, he led five Love Your Parks Tour “Fremont Footsteps Map.” expeditions into the American West during the These include Fremont Peak State Park in San 1840s. While working for the US Navy as a Juan Bautista in central California, Pathfinder mathematics professor, Fremont learned to travel by the stars which set him on course for a Regional Park in Fremont County in southern Colorado; and Walker Lake Recreation Area career in the Topographical Corps. His between Yerington and Hawthorne in western expeditions with Kit Carson as guide, allowed Nevada. him to thoroughly document pathways known only by native Indian tribes and trappers. These High up in the Gavilan Range, clear days in maps guided western bound settlers and helped Fremont Peak State Park provide sweeping views advance America’s Manifest Destiny. Fremont of the San Benito Valley, Monterey Bay, Salinas was married to writer Jessie, daughter of Senator Valley and the Santa Lucia Mountains. You can Thomas Hart Benton. In 1856, Fremont made hike in the grass areas and woodlands, watch history as the very first Presidential candidate of local birds and wildlife, go camping and the Republican anti-slavery party. PAGE 92


Fremont Peak California State Park Sign picnicking, and enjoy some star gazing at its observatory, which has a 30-inch telescope, and is open for public programs on select evenings. In 1846, Fremont and Kit Carson planted the first U.S. flag over California on Gavilan Peak (now Fremont Peak). General Castro demanded that Fremont’s group leave Mexico’s territory, which they did after three tense days. More: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=564

Statue of Fremont at Pathfinder Regional Park

Walker Lake Recreation Area, (also known as Monument Beach, is located right off Highway 95 Located right off Hwy 115 between Florence and on the west shore of the 38,000-acre Walker Cañon City, Colorado, Pathfinder Regional Park is Lake. Popular recreational activities include shoreline camping, migratory bird watching and home to a stretch of the Arkansas River, has wildlife viewing, swimming, picnicking, boating walking trails, a fishing pond area, the shaded and water-skiing. Walker Lake was named after Miner’s Pavilion with clean restrooms and a Joseph R. Walker, a mountain man who scouted children’s playground and picnic area, soccer the area with John C. Frémont in the 1840s. fields and equestrian arena. John C. Fremont More: https://www.blm.gov/visit/walker-laketraveled along the Arkansas River during his recreation-area expeditions of 1844 and 1845. Fremont also crossed into Florence on November 25, 1848 Follow the Love Your Parks Tour “Fremont during his fourth expedition. Here he and his Footsteps Map” as more destinations are added! men headed south and crossed the Sangre de Cristo Range via Mosca Pass, which is part of the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area. More: https://www.fremontco.com/parks/countyparks PAGE 93


Profile for Big Blend Magazines

Parks & Travel Magazine - Oct - 2019  

PARKS & TRAVEL MAGAZINE – October 2019: Colorado Adventures, Love Your Parks Tour, Hawai’i Volcanoes and O’ahu, Fall Travel and Events Plann...

Parks & Travel Magazine - Oct - 2019  

PARKS & TRAVEL MAGAZINE – October 2019: Colorado Adventures, Love Your Parks Tour, Hawai’i Volcanoes and O’ahu, Fall Travel and Events Plann...