CONTENTS 5. Editors Block LOVE YOUR PARKS TOUR 8. Conquer Change & Go on Tour! 10. Home Sweet Home in Yuma 12. Generals & Giants 14. Porterville’s Centennial Plaza Park 16. Wildflowers of Pinnacles 18. Farm Fresh in California 24. The Claiming of Nova Albion 26. Ash Meadows Picnic 28. Robert J. Moody Garden 32. Walking West Wetlands Park 36. Shoot-Outs & Cemetery Stories 38. Arizona’s Ore Cart Trail 40. Arizona Artist Ted DeGrazia 44. Tastes & Treasures 46. Collision Over the Canyon 48. Historic Rapides Cemetery PARKS & DESTINATIONS 52. Boating in the Bahamas & East Coast 57. Parks & Waterways of the South 58. Epic Yellowstone 60. Saguenay Fjord National Park 64. Exploring Newfoundland’s Parks 66. Beautiful Breckland, England 70. Chobe National Park & Victoria Falls 76. Namibia Desert Safari FESTIVAL & EVENT DESTINATIONS 82. Celebrate Natchitoches, Louisiana 84. Experience Springfield, Kentucky 86. Festival Fun in Anacortes, Washington 88. Spring Fling in Exeter, California PAGE 3
CONTENTS Continued FESTIVAL & EVENT DESTINATIONS 90. San Diego Mountain Magic 92. Greeley, Colorado’s Got it Goin’ On! 94. Silver City Red Dot Artists Studio Tour CELEBRATE HISTORY, CULTURE & THE ARTS 96. Authors in Nature 98. Meet the Park Artists-in-Residence 102. Grand Canyon Movies 104. Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens 108. Arizona Family Research
TRAVEL, TOURISM & HOSPITALITY 110. Are You a Difficult Traveler? 113. Heart Healthy Travel 114. Online Safety Tips for Travelers 115. Workplace Disability Laws 116. Putting the “I” Back in Community 119. Responsible Travel & Tourism
EDITORS BLOCK “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide From wildlife safaris in Botswana and Namibia to boating adventures in the Bahama’s and America’s East Coast, this spring/summer issue of Parks & Travel Magazine is chockful of park destinations and travel stories, along with event and festival news, responsible travel and tourism advice, and all kinds of interesting interviews with park artists-in-residence, authors and travel writers, filmmakers and history experts. We’re excited to announce that we are officially on the Love Your Parks Tour, traveling full-time to document America’s parks and public lands, and to share their community stories. From California’s sequoia country to the desert southwest and historic Louisiana, many of the articles featured in this issue are part of the new Love Your Parks Tour ‘Mission Possible’ Stories assigned to us by our Big Blend partners. To map and document the parks we have visited (currently over 100) as well as the towns and cities, we launched LoveYourParksTour.com. We also have a fun new Love Your Parks Tour Blog with posts by Priscilla, our pink sock monkey travel mascot! Have you seen our Love Your Parks Tour Tshirts? We now have three designs, and along with the art and gifts in our new Love Your Parks Tour Fine Art Shop, 50% of the proceeds of all sales are being donated to non-profits like the National Parks Arts Foundation and The Independence Fund. To keep up with our new stories and destinations, visit NationalParkTraveling.com and subscribe to our weekly Big Blend eNewsletter, or follow us on our various Social Media channels. Happy Travels & Park Adventures, Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s mother-daughter publishing, radio and travel team
FRONT COVER PHOTO: Colorado River at the East Wetlands, a part of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area in Yuma, Arizona. Photo by Lisa D. Smith. Story on Page 10. 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.
CONQUER CHANGE & GO ON TOUR! A Love Your Parks Tour Story by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith, assigned by Ralph Masengill Jr., author of “Conquer Change and Win.” As Ralph Masengill “Mr. Change Agent” always reminds us, “Every one of us is constantly affected by change. Change never stops, and whether it’s positive change or not, our first reaction is usually fear. The truly successful people of the world have a good understanding of change and how to make it work to their advantage.”
It was a check in the positive and moving forward department of the plan. The result turned out to be about one thing: simplifying our lives. Less is more. By traveling light, you not only have a better chance of reaching your destination, you’ll get to truly experience the journey.
Take a listen to our Big Blend Radio conversation on change with Ralph Masengill, which aired less Making the change from being all cozy at home with a solid routine, to going back on the road to than a week before we started the tour. Along travel full-time on our Love Your Parks Tour, well, with some good laughs, we chat about the changes we had to make to go on tour, and the it was a big one. While we were riddled with consistent process of change. excitement, fear liked to sneak in the backdoor to tempt us with a nasty case of the “what ifs.” Let’s face it, moving generally isn’t fun. It’s tiring, emotional and hard work. But once you’ve gone through it, the new adventure begins. The new chapter starts its story.
“Follow the Love Your Parks Tour Blog!”
Being full-time travelers is who we are. It’s part of our DNA. And to get through the change process to reach our goal, we made a plan. The to-do list was long, but each time we crossed something off, it was a check against fear. PAGE 8
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HOME SWEET HOME IN YUMA, ARIZONA “The Gateway to the Great Southwest” is the Love Your Parks Tour Headquarters
We’ve been for covering Yuma for over 20 years, and now we’re proud to call it home. Stationed once again at the historic Coronado Motor Hotel, it’s the place we’ll circle back to when we need a rest from the road, and some downtime to do our production work. Talk about an ideal place to call our tour headquarters! Yuma is home to the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area and is on the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Nestled between Phoenix and San Diego, its located along the lower Colorado River and on the border of Mexico and California. Of historic significance, this portion of the Colorado River was once a water highway and major crossing point at the narrows, which was the easiest place to cross into California. With the help of the local Quechan tribe, many crossed here throughout history including the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition, Butterfield Overland Mail Company, Mormon Battalion, and fortune seekers off to try their luck in the California gold rush.
The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area runs along the lower Colorado River and encompasses the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, Colorado River State Historic Park, the restored East and West Wetlands that offers birding, nature and outdoor opportunities, as well as Yuma’s charming historic downtown district that boasts historic buildings, museums, shops, restaurants, theatres and art galleries. Take a listen to our recent Big Blend Radio interviews with Lowell Perry Jr. - Executive Director of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area; Yvonne Peach - Historic Coronado Motor Hotel, Yuma Landing Bar & Grill and Yuma Historic Society Museum of Aviation and Tourism; and Donna George Owner of The Peanut Patch.
GENERALS & GIANTS Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks A Love Your Parks Tour “Following in the Footsteps of Generals” story assigned by awardwinning military historian and author Mike Guardia, who talks with Big Blend Radio about the accomplished military careers of General Sherman and General Grant. Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks in central California are home to two of the world’s largest trees by volume, the General Sherman Tree and the General Grant Tree. In fact, these two giants are easily accessible by following the Generals Highway that connects the two parks, as well as the Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. The General Sherman Tree, reportedly the largest living tree on the planet by volume, is located in the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park. It is approximately 2200 years old with its largest branch being seven feet in diameter. Every year it grows enough new wood to produce a 60 foot tree of usual size. It is over 275 feet tall and over 103 feet in diameter. Its weight is an estimated 1,385 tons and luckily, this tree is still standing. The General Sherman Tree was named after the American Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman, in 1879 by naturalist James Wolverton, who had served as a lieutenant in the 9th Indiana Cavalry under Sherman.
General Sherman Tree
The Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park is home to the General Grant Tree, declared by legislation as the Nation’s Christmas Tree (1926) and a National Shrine in memory of the men and women of the Armed Forces (1956). It is also the third largest tree, by volume, on the planet. The tree was named in 1867 after Ulysses S. Grant, Union Army general and the 18th President of the United States (1869–1877). Kings Canyon National Park was established March 4, 1940, incorporating lands initially protected as General Grant National Park. Learn more about California’s Sequoia Country at www.DiscovertheSequoias.com. General Grant Tree
Porterville is known for its incredible high school bands with a history that dates back to 1902, the same year that the City was incorporated. They’re a fixture at local parades and festivals, and also travel out to perform. In the late 1980s they made history when the Porterville Panther Dedicated in 2005, Centennial Plaza Park is Band marched in the Annual Tournament of located across from City Hall on Main Street, in historic downtown Porterville, California. We first Roses Parade, Hollywood Christmas Parade, and performed at Disneyland. The Monache Band set foot in this community park as part of our visit to Tulare County in central California, which and Choir also competed in the World of Music Festival in Hawaii, and was awarded first and along with being a major agricultural region, is second place in a number of categories. This home to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National band also marched at Disneyland and Knott’s Parks, as well as Giant Sequoia National Berry Farm, and performed at a San Diego Monument and Sequoia National Forest. Chargers game, Los Angeles Olympic Games, and even went on a summer tour of Europe! The park’s large gazebo and stage were built in honor of Homer W. Wood, the late publisher of Centennial Plaza Park features an 18-foot, fourthe local newspaper, The Porterville Recorder, dial, Howard post clock with a statue honoring which is getting ready to celebrate its 111th the late, great, Frank “Buck” Shaffer, the band anniversary this May. It’s the location for the director credited with his 37 year leadership of popular Music on Main, a free Friday night the noteworthy Porterville High School Band and concert series presented by the Porterville its Fabulous Studio Band. Painted by Three Chamber of Commerce and the City of Porterville during the spring and fall. We’ve been Rivers artist Glen Hill, the double-sided “Marching Through Time” mural shares the fortunate to experience a couple of fantastic blues and rock performances by our friend Pete chronology of the bands with the back of the Grant and his bandmates, and it was great to see mural featuring the snow-capped Sierra Nevada all the families and friends come together for the and musical notes with band member names and years. event, bringing their picnic blankets and chairs, and dancing shoes. PAGE 14 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.’
For more about California’s Sequoia Country, Porterville’s band history is also honored at the Porterville Historical Museum, where you can see visit www.DiscoverTheSequoias.com. band memorabilia and a life-size mannequin of Frank “Buck” Shaffer.
A Love Your Parks Tour Garden Story by Wildflower species range from milkmaids and Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by fine shooting stars in late winter, to poppies, art nature photographer Margot Carrera! fiddlenecks, monkeyflowers and baby blue-eyes in early spring, and sun cups, larkspur, bush Located east of Monterey in central California, lupine and penstemons in late spring and early Pinnacles National Park is known for its summer. The best way to experience this geological significance, as well as its disparate wildflower bloom is to hit the trails! With over 32 landscape that stuns visitors with seasonal miles of hiking trails, there’s something for meadows, meandering creeks, springs and everyone’s fitness level and interest. waterfalls, that are all set within a spectacular Pinnacles is about 50 miles inland from the maze of rock spires, monolithic boulders, cool Pacific Ocean and 140 miles south of the San caves and rolling hills. Francisco Bay area. Enjoy our Wildflowers of Our very first visit to the park was in April 2015, Pinnacles National Park Video and learn more and along with the stunning geological about the Park at www.NPS.gov/pinn. To plan formations, we were thrilled to see such a your visit to the Park’s eastern gateway vibrant array of wildflowers. The peak blooming communities within beautiful San Benito County, season at Pinnacles is from March through May, visit www.DiscoverSanBenitoCounty.com. when over 80 percent of the park’s plants are in bloom. Depending on rainfall and temperature, Have fun with our Pinnacles NP flowers can begin opening as early as January Yarrow Wildflower Online Jigsaw and continue into June or, in a really wet year like Puzzle on NationalParkTraveling.com. this year 2019, into July. It’s spectacular! PAGE 16
FARM FRESH IN CALIFORNIA PARK DESTINATIONS
Visalia Farmers Market PAGE 18
A Love Your Parks Tour Shopping Story by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by travel writer Linda Kissam ‘Food, Wine & Shopping Diva, publisher of AllinGoodTaste.info As travelers, a farmers market provides a unique opportunity to soak up the local character and flavor of a destination. Why not load up your picnic basket with fresh fruits, produce and artisan goodies. How about some fresh cut flowers to liven up your hotel room or vacation rental? Or maybe some local art, jewelry or handcrafted gifts for your loved ones back home? From the seasonal offerings to the live entertainment and activities, there’s always something new and different to enjoy!
Along with its magnificent and diverse array of parks, California is known for its agriculture, wineries, artisan foods and farm-to-fork offerings. We found four fantastic farmers markets which not only supplied us with a delicious bounty of fresh and local food for our park picnics, but also an enjoyable time getting to know some of the local farmers, artisans and purveyors. These four markets only represent local California and certified farmers, with many of them offering organic goods.
Supporting a farmers market (or any locally inspired business for that matter) is part of being a responsible traveler and consumer. According to the Farmers Market Coalition, the top five benefits of farmers markets include: 1. Preserving America’s rural livelihoods and farmland; 2. Stimulating local communities; 3. Increasing access to fresh, nutritious food; 4. Supporting healthy communities; and 5. Promoting sustainability. PAGE 19
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Markets Continued… VIVA VARIETY IN VIBRANT VISALIA! Gateway to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest, Visalia is located in the heart of Tulare County in California’s Central Valley. The Visalia Farmers Market takes full advantage of being in one of the top agricultural regions in the country, where along with a sturdy dairy industry, over 200 different major crops are grown. From jujubes and pomegranates to grapes, oranges, okra, free ranges eggs, cheese and honey, the variety of fresh offerings at the market is astounding. The Visalia Farmers Market now has over 80 vendors and four locations, including one in nearby Porterville. Info: http://VisaliaFarmersMarket.com
FARM-TO-FORK (AND GLASS) IN HOLLISTER Located east of Monterey in Central California, Hollister is the seat of San Benito County and eastern gateway community of Pinnacles National Park. The area has a rich ranching and agricultural heritage, and is known for producing quality beef and lamb, wonderful wines and olive oils, apricots and berries, and all kinds of vegetables. Hollister’s historic downtown district celebrates the community’s farming culture with colorful murals, farm-to-fork restaurants who also serve local wines and brews, regionally inspired culinary gift shops and of course, there’s the vibrant Certified Downtown Hollister Farmers Market that runs from May-September. Info: http://DowntownHollister.org/certifiedfarmers-market/ Continued on Next Page…
Markets Continued… GOLDEN DELICIOUS IN SONORA Known as ‘The Queen of the Southern Mines,’ Sonora is a charming historic gold rush city in Tuolumne County, and gateway to Yosemite National Park and Stanislaus National Forest. The farming community is diverse ranging from beef and poultry, to Christmas trees and flowers, apples and fruits, vegetables and olive oils. Wine and cider tasting, farm tours and farm-to-table fare are all part of the Tuolumne County experience. Located in the historic downtown district, the Sonora Certified Farmer’s Market rolls out on Saturday mornings (mid-May to midOctober) with a variety of local produce, flowers, artisan foods and live music. Info: http://SonoraCa.com/visitsonora/farmer.htm
FAMILY FUN & BAY VIEWS IN LARKSPUR Just 10 miles or so from Golden Gate Bridge, Larkspur is located in Marin County which is home to Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument and Point Reyes Seashore. Overlooking Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and offering beautiful views of the Bay, Marin Country Mart is a wonderful boutique shopping and dining destination. Held every Saturday morning (rain or shine), their Farmers Market makes for a fun family outing with great activities and entertainment for the kids, fantastic brunch venues, and a nice array of purveyors offering local produce, flowers, seafood, eggs, baked goods and more. Info: http://MarinCountryMart.com/farmers-market Enjoy your farm fresh picnic in the park!
THE CLAIMING OF NOVA ALBION
Sir Francis Drake sculpture by Dennis Patton in Larkspur, CA A Love Your Parks Tour “English Connection” Story by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by Glynn Burrows of Norfolk Tours UK . From the 30-foot tall steel statue on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Larkspur to Drakes Estero, Drakes Bay, Drakes Cove, Drakes Beach and Sir Francis Drake Historical Monument in Point Reyes National Seashore, it’s evident that Sir Francis Drake, the English sea captain and explorer, made his mark in Marin County, CA. It was in the summer of 1579, during his circumnavigation of the world, of which he famously completed in a single expedition between 1577 to 1580, that Drake came ashore what is now known as the Point Reyes headlands. He needed to repair the hull of his ship, the Golden Hinde. It was here, the ancient home of the Coast Miwok, that Drake and his crew claimed California as Nova Albion, “New Britain,” for Queen Elizabeth I. While exploring America’s west coast, he also managed to kick off an era of conflict with the Spanish.
Drake’s privateering led the Spanish to brand him a pirate, known to them as El Draque, “The Dragon.” The Spanish had been sailing the Pacific Coast and exploring North America to expand their territory for a number of years. Sir Francis Drake On January 6, 1603, Point Reyes officially became part of Spanish maps when the soldier Sebastian Vizcaino saw the region. It was during the Roman Catholic feast day of the three wise men, so the foggy coastal headlands were traditionally named after the religious figures, "la Punta de los Reyes," the Point of the Kings.
It's interesting to note, that the name Drake is derived from the Old Norse byname Draki or the Old English byname Draca both meaning "dragon." PAGE 24
Drakes Bay Point Reyes National Seashore
Drake's landing in California, engraving by Theodor de Bry (1590) Elephant Seals viewed from the Elephant Seal Overlook above Drakes Bay in Point Reyes National Seashore
An Impromptu Picnic Led Us to a Super Nature Spot! A Love Your Parks Tour Family Picnic Story assigned by Ruth Milstein, author of the Gourmand award-winning cookbook, “Cooking with Love: Ventures into the New Israeli Cuisine.” It was in the middle of spring and we were driving south on Highway 95 from Yerington, Nevada to Yuma, Arizona. Leaving before dawn, we decided we would find a park or someplace nice to have a picnic brunch along the way. After all, our cooler bag had leftover pizza from Dini’s Lucky Club and cookies and brownies from The Bakery Gallery, and as usual, a chilled bottle of bubbly. It was an interesting drive past Walker Lake and through the historic mining towns of Goldfield and Beatty. We even saw bighorn sheep, wild horses and burros along the way.
Along with being home to the mysterious Devils Hole that’s over 500 feet deep, the Refuge is also the largest remaining oasis in the Mojave Desert and recognized internationally as an important wetland. There’s a Visitor Center, boardwalks to stroll along, picnic spots, and plenty of bird watching opportunities. Once in the refuge, we followed Point of Rocks Road to the picnic area, and then strolled the boardwalk to the turquoise blue Kings Spring (pictured). The spring was alive with pupfish, dragonflies and a little bat that was out hunting for bugs. Talk about a true desert oasis! We enjoyed our picnic in the shade of a ramada while watching the birds, and taking in the views of wildflowers swaying in the gentle breeze. Of course, we need to return to explore the hiking trails and other marshes and springs, and to see Devils Hole. Maybe we’ll get lucky and spot the big horn sheep!
The perfect halfway spot for a break turned out to be Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, just outside Death Valley National Park in Amargosa For more about Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge Valley, Nevada. We had no idea that this call (775) 372-5435 or visit impromptu picnic would introduce us to an area www.FWS.gov/refuge/ash_meadows. with the highest concentration of endemic species in the country! PAGE 26
Have fun with our Online Jigsaw Puzzle of Kings Spring at Ash Meadows on NationalParkTraveling.com.
COMMUNITY EXCELLENCE GROWS AT ROBERT J. MOODY GARDEN A Love Your Parks Tour Story of Excellence by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by Bobbi DePorter, Co-Founder of SuperCamp and creator of the 8 Keys of Excellence. Our first visit to the Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden was during the annual Yuma Bird, Nature and History Festival held in Yuma, Arizona this past January. This low desert garden was lush green with splashes of color from the fresh vegetable crops, flowering aloe, marigold, brittlebush and bottlebrush. Along with the whimsical garden art and red barn, whirling windmill and shade ramadas, the various cactus plants provided architectural interest as we strolled along the winding pathway. Of course, as soon as we returned to Yuma, we headed right back to see what was popping up for spring, and we were treated to a vibrant showcase of flower power. Sunflowers and wildflowers swayed in the breeze as butterflies flitted from bloom to bloom. The tomatoes and cabbage were ready for harvest and the cactus was starting to blossom. Who knew so much could grow in a desert! PAGE 28
Founded in 2004 as a partnership between the University of Arizona and the Moody Garden Makers Club, this 1.7 acre garden encompasses a Children’s Garden, Cultivated Plants Garden, Emblem Garden, Healing Garden, Native Plants Garden, Tropical Garden, Vegetable Garden and Xeriscape Garden. With numerous interpretative signs, it’s a treasure trove of garden information designed to educate locals and visitors of all ages, about what grows in the Yuma.
The Garden brings the community together to learn, volunteer and enjoy the beauty of plants. As you can hear in our Big Blend Radio with master gardener Marylou Milstead and Bill Moody, it’s only fitting that it is named in honor of Robert J. Moody. He led a life of excellence with integrity to his work, consistent contribution to community, and dedication to youth education.
Along with a thriving tourism industry, the military and agriculture are key factors to Yuma’s growing economy. Listed as the “Sunniest Place on Earth” by the Guiness Book of World Records, and home to the lower Colorado River, the whole region is one of the top winter vegetable producers in the country. Robert J. Moody’s John Deere tractor in the children’s garden pays respect to the local agriculture industry, something he was very much a part of as a University of Arizona cooperative extension agent, tractor salesman, farmer and cattle rancher, and real estate appraiser. PAGE 29
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John Deere tractor in children’s garden
Robert J. Moody’s developed the 4-H youth program in Yuma County and was the 4-H Leader for over 30 years, and, helped initiate and institute the first Yuma County Fair. He was part of the delegation that went to Washington D. C. to lobby and testify for federal funds for the Gila Project, a large irrigation project that eventually boosted the local water supply. He was involved in and often chairman of numerous community, business and agricultural organizations including the Somerton and Yuma Rotary Clubs, Yuma Chamber of Commerce, UA Extension Advisory Council, Yuma County Extension Board, Arizona Crop Improvement Association, Yuma County Water Users, American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, the Farm Bureau, Arizona Cattle Growers and Arizona Cotton Growers Association. Robert J. Moody was Committed to the greater Yuma Community. Though we never had the great opportunity to meet him, his legacy runs congruent with this famous quote by Maya Angelou: “I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” The Robert J. Moody Garden is free and open daily. There is an amphitheater, shade ramadas, and picnic tables. It is located at 2200 W. 28th Street, Yuma, Arizona 85364-3904. For more information or to inquire about group tours or events, please call (928) 726-3904 (ask for the Moody Garden). More information is available at https://extension.arizona.edu/interactivedemonstration-garden and on Facebook. Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith, the motherdaughter travel team on the Love Your Parks Tour, and publishers of Big Blend Magazines, are ambassadors for the 8 Keys of Excellence Character Education Program that embraces the challenge of bringing excellence to 50 million children and young adults. This free program builds excellence in communities by guiding young people and families, toward a positive future full of confidence, motivation, creativity, team work, leadership and valuable life principles. More at www.8Keys.org. PAGE 30
The Healing Garden showcases plants with medicinal qualities.
22-Foot Elizabeth Lizard is dedicated to Elizabeth Moody, Robert J. Moodyâ€™s wife
Experience the Colorado Riverfront & An Abundance of Birds and Blooms A Love Your Parks Tour #OneHourWalk Story by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith, assigned by Dr. Jacqueline Eubany, author of the best-seller “Women & Heart Disease: The Real Story.” Every time we visit Yuma, Arizona we go for a sunrise walk in West Wetlands Park. This 110acre park runs along the beautiful lower Colorado River and is only a few blocks from the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel, our Love Your Parks Tour headquarters.
An ideal #OneHourWalk in the park starts at the fishing pond, and leads you down to Centennial Beach boat launch and picnic area, and west along the cottonwood and willow tree shaded riverfront. Keep your eyes peeled for southwestern willow flycatchers, yellow billed cuckoos, and waterfowl such as moorhens, anhingas, egrets, herons and ducks. You may even get lucky and see beaver like we did a few days ago!
Continue west to the new and informative “ecoWest Wetlands Park is a wonderful year-round camp” outdoor education grove adjacent to the destination for bird watching, fishing, boating beaver pond. Then it’s off to the little foot bridge and kayaking, family gatherings and picnics, and that crosses over to the Playa Linda beach area, nature walks that lead you along the riverfront, a popular place to relax and enjoy the sunshine, and through gardens and areas restored with big open blue sky and cool river. The trail local native trees, grasses, flowers and shrubs. continues through the newly planted Gowan Grove of saplings. PAGE 32
Continued on Next Page… Once you reach the RV park, go up to the Butterfly Garden that features all kinds of sage and flowering shrubs. Here you’ll see a statue honoring the Mormon Battalion, a nod to Yuma’s rich history of being the crossing grounds for a number of explorers and expeditions, including the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition from Mexico to San Francisco. The trail now heads back towards the fishing pond, past the Arizona Public Service Solar Demonstration Garden, to the Ed Pastor Hummingbird Garden. Enjoy the vibrant scent of blossoming southwestern desert flora that include fairy dusters, honeysuckle, bottlebrush, bird of paradise, chaste, and a variety of sage, yucca and cactus species. Not to mention the spring and summer blooms from the mesquite, acacia, palo verde and desert willow trees, who provide shade and shelter to the numerous birds that call the wetlands their home. Hummingbirds zoom all over the place in a territorial frenzy, while butterflies float along with the cool morning and late afternoon breezes. Look out for bunnies and lizards, as well as abundant bird life that ranges from vermillion flycatchers and warblers, to mockingbirds, woodpeckers, roadrunners, quail, thrashers, and hawks. PAGE 33
Stewart Vincent Wolfe Creative Playground
West Wetlands Continued… From the gardens you can cross over to the Stewart Vincent Wolfe Creative Playground and back to the fishing pond that’s a popular hangout for grackles, doves, ducks and geese, as well as an occasional osprey, heron or egret. There are ramadas and shaded bench areas throughout the park, as well as playgrounds, a dog park area, multi-use trails, 9-hole disc golf course, and clean restrooms.
Have fun with our West Wetlands Park Online Jigsaw Puzzle on NationalParkTraveling.com.
As one stands amid the colorful flowers and lively birds, soaking in the views of lush green spaces and the cool ripples of the Colorado River, it’s hard to believe this oasis was once the local landfill! A wonderful story of restoration and community beautification. “Physical activity can lower your blood pressure, reduce your cholesterol, decrease your blood sugar and therefore your risk for diabetes, and overall reduces your chances of dying from heart disease related illness. The minimal goal for good heart health is 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous physical activity.” Dr. Jacqueline Eubany, author of “Women & Heart Disease: The Real Story.”
A ‘Love Your Parks Tour’ Law & Order Story by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by San Diego employment attorney Ward Heinrichs. A stroll through a cemetery can reveal clues to mysteries and unlock stories about the people and times passed on. These two particular “resting places” in southeast Arizona bring to life the gunslinger shoot-outs and hangings, all vestiges of the “old west”. WILLCOX HISTORICAL CEMETERY Just a short walk from Railroad Avenue in Willcox, there is an historic cemetery where about 90 or so people were buried between 1880 and 1918. Warren Earp, the youngest of the Earp brothers, is buried there. He died in a shoot-out on July 6, 1900 at Henry Brown’s Headquarters Saloon. Not only can you visit his resting place, you can go downtown, stop in at the Flying Leap Vineyards Tasting Room & Art Gallery, where he was actually shot. Most of us recognize the names, Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp, from the O.K. Corral, Tombstone gun battle. Right after the infamous shoot out, Morgan Earp was assassinated and Virgil was critically wounded. Wyatt blamed arch-enemies, the Clanton’s and McLaury’s, and commandeered the help of Warren and Doc Holliday to exact revenge.
After killing the two men, Wyatt, suspected as being behind his brother’s murder, fled to Colorado with Doc and Warren to evade the law. Later Warren returned to Arizona, only to meet his demise at the hand of John Boyett, a longtime adversary. Boyett was considered innocent on the grounds of self-defense, and it was said that Warren was an abusive bully and a loudmouth. Another interesting grave is that of Bill Traynor who was shot by Bill Downing in Tom Fulghum’s Saloon on Maley Street in May 1899. This was ruled self-defense as both parties had threatened the life of the other over cattle branding issues. The cemetery is the resting place for a mix of bandits, prostitutes, and lawabiding citizens.
BOOTHILL GRAVEYARD Located in Tombstone, this noteworthy graveyard is the resting place for a myriad of townspeople, outlaws, and those shot during drunken disputes. If you walk down the rows and read the grave markers, you will see things like a man shot over the color of his shirt, man shot arguing over the best way to drive cattle, and a woman stabbed while quarreling over a man. PAGE 36
You’ll also find the graves of Wyatt Earp’s arch enemies, members of the Clanton and McLaury gangs, as well as some of the “cowboys,” a loosely organized group of outlaws that rustled cattle and robbed stagecoaches in Virgil Earp’s territory. Billy “The Kid” Clayborne (or Claiborne), age 22 lies here. He adopted the nickname following the death of the more famous “Billy the Kid,” William Bonney, in 1881. Clayborne was with the “cowboys” at the O.K. Corral gunfight, but fled when the shooting began. He was killed by Buckskin Frank Leslie with a single shot to the chest, a little over a year later, outside the Oriental Saloon in Tombstone. This was the result of an argument that began earlier, with Leslie’s refusal to refer to Billy as “The Kid.” Later, after murdering a couple of other people, Leslie ended up in Yuma’s Territorial Prison. There are rows of gravestones for those who committed suicide, succumbed to disease, died from mining accidents, were hanged, and those killed by Indians.
Skeleton Crew Graveyard Shift by Jerry Para
A Scenic Route of Art, Nature and Mining History A ‘Love Your Parks Tour’ Public Art Story by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by contemporary figurative artist Victoria Chick.
We saw the first Ore Cart sculpture commissioned for the trail at Mammoth Miners Memorial.
When on the road, if there’s a park, landmark, sculpture or roadside attraction, we tend to pull over.
The life-size “Skeleton Crew Graveyard Shift” sculpture was by former mine worker and Oracle sculptor, Jerry Parra. The sculptures, monuments and relics in this small park all honor the miners who lost their lives during the decades of copper mine operations in San Manuel, St. Anthony and Tiger. There are also interpretive signs sharing the mining history of the region.
It was early winter and we were traveling up Arizona Highway 77 from Tucson to Globe, when the Mammoth Miners Memorial caught our attention. We soon found out that we were on the Ore Cart Trail, a public art and local information initiative created over 10 years ago Further on up the road in Winkleman, we by the Copper Corridor Economic Development stopped to see the second commissioned Ore Coalition. The purpose of the trail is to boost Cart sculpture. In a nod to the area’s rich copper tourism along Arizona’s Copper Corridor of small mining heritage, this one by artist Nancy Dunst is mining towns, by creating a scenic alternative called “A Penny For Your Thoughts.” route between Tucson and Phoenix. PAGE 38
Penny for Your Thoughts by Nancy Dunst, in Winkleman Next to it is “Adobe” which was inspired by the river and sculpted in a free-form with the use of natural resources, all hand mixed by local artist Thomas Ray Sims. This region is scenic with mountain ranges, saguaro cactus, and the San Pedro and Gila Rivers. Along with other historic sites and attractions, there’s also Tonto National Monument and Roosevelt Lake near Globe, and Boyce Arboretum State Park near Superior, to explore.
Adobe in Winkleman
A Love Your Parks Tour Story by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith, assigned by Lance Laber, Executive Director of DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun In an effort to catalog and label for marketing convenience, artists, writers and musicians, are often pigeon-holed and expected to abide by concepts and rules that their creative spirits rally against. Main stream radio dictates not only what a musician should sing, but what the listeners should hear; TV shows copy each other, looking for a formula that advertisers feel will sell their products, and that’s what you get to watch; and galleries determine what is good art and what is not, based on what they feel they can sell. Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia was one independent and creative spirit, that not only defied the rules by doing everything his own way–but he made money at it. He was well educated, knew the rules, but decided to paint the way he wished to paint, on whatever surface he chose to paint, with whatever materials he wanted.
He experimented tirelessly with different mediums and left a legacy of artwork, music, writings, and a gallery where his defiance can still be felt. As a young artist, DeGrazia struggled. He supported himself as a musician and landscaper to put himself through the University of Arizona. Even though he educated himself and Arizona Highways published articles about him; and he served as an apprentice to both Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco in Mexico (who sponsored his successful art show at the prestigious Palacio de Bellas Artes); DeGrazia still did not impress the local Tucson art galleries. But, this did not stop him. Intent on painting his way, DeGrazia gathered his Indian friends and built the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. His gallery is a great reflection of his independent spirit and personality. Defying the look and feel of most other galleries, it has something of interest everywhere you look. The adobe walls, the cholla cactus and rock floors, cases of jewelry, ceramics, room after room of paintings, the iron doors at the front, the Mission in the Sun, the DeGrazia home, the Little Gallery used for displaying other artists’ work–are all set on ten acres of gardens in the sunny Arizona landscape DeGrazia loved the most.
DeGrazia painting Burning his paintings in the Superstition Mountains
“The gallery was designed by me. I wanted to have the feeling of the Southwest. I wanted to build it so that my paintings would feel good inside.” – Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia DeGrazia seemed to have had an engaging personality that the media and celebrities liked. His media presence most likely led to his “Los Ninos” oil painting being chosen by UNICEF in 1960. It was reproduced as a holiday card that sold millions worldwide. From that point on, his gallery thrived with thousands of people visiting and buying his work. He was an artist for the people.
His solution, now part of his legend, was to haul 100 paintings on horseback, into the Superstition Ted’s next show of independence was a protest Mountains near Phoenix and set them on fire. He against the inheritance taxes on works of art. He was also smart enough to establish the DeGrazia realized that upon his passing, his family would Foundation to preserve his art and his home for be subject to unrealistic taxes they could not pay. future generations. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 41
Degrazia Continuedâ€Ś On this featured Big Blend Radio interview segment, Lance Laber - Executive Director of DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, and artist Ginny Moss Rothwell discuss the life and work of famous Arizona artist Ted DeGrazia, and the restoration of the Mission in the Sun at historic DeGrazia Gallery in Tucson, Arizona. Ginny worked with DeGrazia and was part of his Artist's Guild. She was authorized to reproduce his angelic children into three-dimensional dolls (pictured), and also traveled with him to his autograph parties, book release parties and into the Superstition Mountains where he burned some of his paintings for tax reasons. Ginny was also commissioned by the DeGrazia Foundation to help with the restoration of the Mission in the Sun at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun. More on Ginny, here: https://www.mossrothwellfineart.com/links.ph p?61936 More on Ted DeGrazia and the Gallery in the Sun at www.DeGrazia.org
Doll at DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun by Ginny Moss Rothwell
Yuma Landing Bar & Grill Come Eat, Drink & Be Merry where the First Airplane Landed in Arizona!
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Yuma Landing Restaurant American & South-of-the-Border Cuisine Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Win! Win! Win! Sign up onYumaLanding.com for our Captainâ€™s Log e-Newsletter and you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a $25 Yuma Landing Gift Certificate, plus you'll get news on other great giveaways, specials, Yuma Landing recipes, events news & more! Located on the same property as the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel, the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill is the site where the first airplane landed in Arizona, and features a state monument, historic photos and memorabilia. Groups of 15 or more diners get a 15% discount on breakfast, lunch and dinner. All Military Personnel Receive a 20% Discount on Meals!
195 S. 4th Avenue, Yuma, Arizona Tel: (928) 782-7427
TASTES & TREASURES II A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona
A Love Your Parks Tour Literary Story by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid, assigned by the team at JKS Communications.
You can also see some of the book’s recipes on BlendRadioandTV.com including: Potato Tacos, Pepper Steak, Morning Glory Muffins, and Apple Pie Dessert.
Published by the Historical League, “Tastes & Treasures II” showcases 24 historic Arizona venues from all over the state along with their unique histories and special recipes. Historymakers biographies, photos, time-honored recipes, heart-warming stories and food memories tell about Arizona through the voices of those who helped the state grow. Some of the restaurants included are Lon’s at Hermosa Inn, Stockyards, Rock Springs Cafe, Roka in Bisbee, Kai at Sheraton Grand Wild Horse Pass, and Gertrude’s at Desert Botanical Gardens. Some of the restaurants we have had the pleasure of visiting on the Love Your Parks Tour include Wisdom’s Café near Tumacacori National Historical Park, Lutes Casino and the Garden Cafe in the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. Hear our “Tastes & Treasures” Big Blend Radio discussion with editors and writers Ruth McLeod, Cathy Shumard and Lisa Schnebly Heidinger, and Mike Lutes of historic Lutes Casino in Yuma, Arizona. PAGE 44
Tastes and Treasures II
The Historical League’s mission is to raise funds for and promote the Arizona Heritage Center at Papago Park in Tempe, to promote Arizona history, and to provide a lasting tribute. Historical League is a 501(c)(3).
“Tastes & Treasures II” is available on Amazon and at www.HistoricalLeague.org.
COLLISION OVER THE CANYON
An Arizona National History Day Project by Drew Devine and Vir Dolasa-Sahani 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 Arizona National History Day is a program that makes history come alive for students and teachers by engaging them in the discovery of the historical, cultural, scientific, and social experiences of the past.
This year, students Drew Devine and Vir DolasaSahani decided to do their project on how the fatal 1956 mid-air collision over the Grand Canyon led to the establishment of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Below is an excerpt from Drew Devine and Vir’s multimedia web story and project, “Collision Over the Grand Canyon”:
….. The tragedy of the 1956 mid-air collision over the Grand Canyon resulted in the death of 128 people, leading to the establishment of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This triumphantly improved national standards in air traffic control decreasing the occurrence of fatal crashes…. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 46
…. After the 1956 collision, aviation safety increased in the United States. Numerous air traffic control regulations were set, significantly improving air travel. The organization of Air Traffic Control prevented many crashes from occurring and continues to do so today…. Hear about the “Collision Over the Canyon” project and National History Day on the featured Big Blend Radio discussion with students Drew and Vir, educator and ambassador Stacey Trepanier, and parents Julie Devine and Navaz Dolasa. You can view Drew and Vir’s project at http://41235499.nhd.weebly.com/ and learn more about National History Day at http://www.nhdaz.org. The severed tail section of the Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation operating as TWA Flight 2 on June 30, 1956. NPS Photo
HISTORIC RAPIDES CEMETERY
HISTORIC RAPIDES CEMETERY A Love Your Parks Tour Mission Possible Story on Family History, by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith, assigned by Holly T. Hansen of FamilyHistoryExpos.com. Rapides Cemetery in Pineville, Louisiana was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on June 15, 1979. We toured this historic cemetery with Bobby Hynson when we visited Alexandria, which is about an hourâ€™s drive from Cane River Creole National Historical Park and the Cane River National Heritage Area. The entire region is rich in Civil War, WWII, lumber, plantation and cultural history. Established in 1780, Rapides Cemetery is the oldest public burial ground in central Louisiana. There are above ground tombs, some with upright monuments, as well as tombs in the ground. Listen to our fascinating Big Blend Radio conversation with Bobby Hynson. Are your ancestors possibly resting there? The cemetery is maintained by the Historical Association of Central Louisiana. Learn more at http://www.thehacl.org/rapides-cemetery PAGE 49
There’s something magical about the early morning solitude on the water. Watching the sun slowly make its way above the horizon as the sky turns shades of pink, red, and orange is breathtaking. Sitting on the bridge of our 34’ catamaran Saltwater Gypsea sipping a cup of coffee this scene plays over and over again wherever we might find ourselves - along the East coast of the US, or in the Bahamas.
Jim and our friend Bruce took the evening watches, and I went below for 8 hours of sleep. The next morning I stepped out in the cockpit with my cup of coffee and was amazed to see this enormous wave to our stern. I asked Jim how high it was and he calmly responded “about 20 feet.”
Why Boating? Growing up in Virginia my parents were big This is how my husband Jim and I, along with our boating fanatics. I was put on a sailboat when I 10-year old Maltese rescue Zach, spend up to six was just six months old, and have never stopped months a year. We are semi-nomads. Our landboating. My dad would take off summers, and based home is on the water on North we would sail up the Chesapeake Bay, stopping Hutchinson Island, Florida, but the ocean is in and exploring some fantastic waterfront towns. our blood. As a freelance writing and Continued on Next Page… photography couple, we take our work with us. Onboard Saltwater Gypsea We’ve been boating and exploring together for the last thirty years and hope to be doing the same for the next thirty years. We began exploring the waterways along Virginia and Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay area and then gravitated to sailing offshore to the Bahamas about ten years ago. On one of our first trips to the Bahamas, we left Norfolk, VA about 8 pm one evening on board our first catamaran Two Sheets to the Wind. PAGE 53
Chub Cay, Bahamas
Jim grew up on the island of Guam in the Pacific. At 15 he sailed from Guam to Long Beach, California on a 27’ Cheoy Lee with the father of a friend and his son. The sea is so much a part of both of our lives and plays an integral role in our work as freelancers. 2013 was a turning point for us as we sold our Virginia Beach home and moved aboard our newly purchased 47’ sailing catamaran, Indigo, in Norfolk, Virginia. We certainly did not sit idle at the marina dock we took one to two-week sailing trips up and down the Chesapeake Bay, getting our two dogs used to sailing and life onboard. But we were feeling the tug to get back over to the Bahamas.
Fresh fish was on the menu almost daily, and life was good! Arriving at the West End on Grand Bahama, we cleared customs and sent our crew back to the states. Leaving Grand Bahama, we slowly made our way to the Abacos, and felt like we were home! We spent time anchoring in little coves and exploring numerous cays. We’d spend our days snorkeling, swimming, and finding the best beaches. Then we’d make our way over to civilization to pick up provisions, and of course, making a stop at the local beach bar. Grabbers Bar & Grill, Great Guana Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
Life Aboard and the Big Bahamas Adventure Mid-April 2014 found us setting sail with the Bahamas in our sights. We left the Norfolk Harbor, headed for the Bahamas. This trip was all blue water as we were 50+ miles offshore from the US coast. We had a couple of extra crew with us on this trip, which made the watch standing schedule a little easier. PAGE 54
For boaters and tourists alike the local beach bar is like the post office: a place to meet and chat. The locals love to share their slice of paradise and will direct you to some of the favorite hangouts. We’ve met some fascinating locals this way. At Man-O-War Cay we met Andy Albury, a local woodworking artist who comes from a long line of boat builders, dating back to the 1800s. Andy took a liking to Jim and I, and we spent many an afternoon just hanging around his shop and talking. We met Kevin Macintosh, lead guitarist for the Gully Roosters at the Bluff House Marina and Resort on Green Turtle Cay. Kevin chatted about his passion for music and the unique sound of the Gully Roosters, the #1 Band in the Nation.
Hope Town Lighthouse, Hope Town, Bahamas
After several years of sailing on Indigo, we made the hard decision to sell her in 2017. We had made a permanent move into a home on the water in Florida, and Indigo did not fit our current lifestyle. Where We Are Now Our adventures continue onboard our 34’ power catamaran Saltwater Gypsea. Gypsea has undoubtedly spoiled us, as she has so much room, a gorgeous galley area, watermaker, and washer onboard.
Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, Bahamas
We’ve taken her across to the Bahamas on two trips, and are planning a third trip in the Spring of 2019. We’re continuing to explore the coast of Florida from Fort Pierce to the Keys, and spent twelve weeks last summer down in the Keys searching out the best beach bars and tiki bars these islands have to offer. We’ve made friends with some of the locals and have had a heck of an adventure. One of our most memorable adventures was heading to the Dry Tortugas by seaplane to explore Fort Jefferson. Imagine being just 500 feet off the water, and looking down and seeing huge sand dunes under the water, hundreds of sea turtles gracefully swimming along, and sharks so numerous you couldn’t count them. PAGE 55
Seared Tuna, Raintree Restaurant, St. Augustine, FL Continued on Next Page…
Boating Continued… We were even able to see the wreck of the Northwind, a Mel Fisher Treasure Salvor’s salvage vessel that went down while working on the Atocha find off the Marquesas. Once on Garden Key, you’ll have a chance to explore the Fort, sunbathe, and snorkel the Fort. The visibility is usually good, and the day we were there we saw a Goliath Grouper, a school of tarpon, a collection of reef fish, and lots of lobster. It is breathtaking to see coral fans, so many species of fish, the occasional lobster or octopus and other sea creatures that call the ocean home.
Jim and I have no intentions of stopping our boating adventures! Our 2019 plans include a short trip over to the Bahamas, another trip down to the Keys, and possibly a trip up the East Coast of the US. Betsi Hill writes on travel, food, wine, libations, history, and culture on Florida, the South, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. Betsi paints pictures of her travels with words and photographs (courtesy of her husband Jim, a freelance photographer). Follow her adventures on www.BetsiWorld.com
Castillo de San Marcos, St. Augustine, FL
PARKS & WATERWAYS OF THE SOUTH From Atchafalaya to Big Cypress, Cape Hatteras, Norris Dam and Merritt Island, travel writer Kathleen Walls joins Big Blend Radio to discuss five record-breaking parks in The South, that were built around waterways. Five Record-Breaking Parks: Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC â€“ Home to the world's tallest lighthouse. More at www.nps.gov/caha
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - Located on Florida's largest barrier island which it shares with NASA's Kennedy Space Center. More at https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Merritt_Island/ Kathleen Walls is publisher/writer for American Roads and Global Highways at www.AmericanRoads.net. Her articles and photographs have appeared in numerous magazines and online publications, and she is the author of multiple travel books.
Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida -The first national preserve in the National Park System (named jointly with a Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas, in 1947). More at www.nps.gov/bicy Atchafalaya National Historic Area, LA â€“ Largest wetland and swamp in the US. More at http://www.atchafalaya.org/atchafalaya-basin Norris Dam State Park, Tennessee - Built on Norris Dam, Tennessee Valley Authority's first lake. More at https://tnstateparks.com/parks/norris-dam
Make our online jigsaw puzzle of this osprey, photo by Kathleen Walls. Visit PAGE 57
Bison in Yellowstone National Park Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Thomas Winston and Shasta Grenier Winston, the husband and wife directorial team behind EPIC YELLOWSTONE the new Smithsonian Channel series from Grizzly Creek Films, that offers a front row seat to the extraordinary spectacle of wildlife and dramatic seasonal extremes in the iconic crown jewel of America’s national parks.
“Yellowstone is a magical landscape that has a special and emotional place in the American psyche,” said David Royle, EVP and Chief Programming Officer, Smithsonian Networks.
Hosted by renowned actor and Montana local Bill Pullman, and filmed over the course of three years, the series delivers stories from Yellowstone never told before. The stunning four-part project uses state-of-the art 8K cameras, FLIR thermal imagery, drone timelapse, cineflex aerials and miniature nest cameras to reveal the world of Yellowstone’s predators and prey in jaw-dropping beauty – shot fully in the wild with no captive or enclosed animals. “This project has been a long time in the making, documenting the awe-inspiring lives and natural splendor of Yellowstone over the past three years,” said Pullman. “I’ve long been aware of the incredible beauty of Yellowstone, so I’m thrilled to partner with Smithsonian Channel to bring this groundbreaking endeavor to viewers at home.” PAGE 58
“Our filmmakers’ commitment and the extraordinary developments in new technology have enabled us to capture this world in a way that’s never been seen before. It’s full of unexpected moments and wondrous details – and even behavior that has never been seen on camera before.”
For viewing dates, times and outlets, visit www.GrizzlyCreekFilms.com and www.SmithsonianChannel.com.
Established by Congress in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is known for its varied wildlife and extraordinary natural wonders. The park spans over 3,000 square miles and comprises lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges, including the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano in North America, and the legendary geyser, Old Faithful. Wolf pack in Yellowstone National Park
Grizzly Bear in Yellowstone National Park
Overlooking-Saguenay-Fjord Saguenay Fjord National Park called Parc National du Fjord-du-Saguenay by the Frenchspeaking locals is a place where salty sea water collides with fresh, clear Canadian waterways. Where tall granite cliffs and glacier-gouged gorges disappear into the playgrounds of beluga, minke, blue and fin whales. Into this transition area where the boundaries of ecosystems overlap, came the French in the late 1600s. The culinary traditions they brought with them fused with the Indigenous peoplesâ€™ wild food harvests of blueberries, wild grapes and smoked meats.
Today you could spend weeks exploring the vast 78,900-acre park while crossing back and forth over the convergences of sea and fresh water, traversing around edges of mind-blowing geological formations and crisscrossing the fine line of where culture has eked outposts in the Canadian wilderness over the past three hundred and fifty years.
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National Geographic named the trail system at Saguenay Fjord National Park one of the world’s ‘Top Walks and Hikes’ with its unique ecosystems and proximity to authentic auberge inns being a few of the reasons cited for the commendation. Indeed, the park’s focus on preserving wildlife and organizing outdoor activities makes it easy for hikers, bikers and kayakers to experience the backwoods by day and sample French Canadian cuisine and sleep in chalets by night. Marine Shuttle Service One reason for the ease of navigating from wild to tame is the fjord’s marine shuttle, which is a hop-on, hop-off water taxi that services trailheads, marinas and charming villages that offer world-class dining. Some use the boat service to shuttle their bikes from shore-to-shore as they peddle the 270-mile cycling route that skirts the Saguenay River. Kayakers shuttle their kayaks, while backpackers board at the National Park and are dropped off at remote trailheads. Others come aboard the bateau mouche, known as such because of its retractable roof and windows, to experience the park from the water on a roundtrip excursion. We enjoyed the oneand-a-half hour voyage from the National Park at Baie Eternite, upstream to the cliffside NotreDame-du-Saguenay statue and then downstream to L’Anse-Saint-Jean where we spent the night at Chalets du le Fjord hotel and had a splendid meal at Chez Montagner, a new restaurant by a Quebec City restaurateur.
Author, Stacey Wittig - Saguenay Fjord Park
The service runs daily from early June through mid-October. Watch the whales from July 2nd to September 15th when you can board a 24passenger zodiac at L'Anse-Saint-Jean to cruise down the Saguenay Fjord to the St. Lawrence River. You’ll observe splashing whales and other marine animals that feed in the river waters. After the whale-watching excursion, you’ll be dropped at Tadoussac beach for a free afternoon to wander the village. At 5 p.m. A Cap Liberté shuttle boat delivers you back to L'AnseSaint-Jean. More: http://www.navettesdufjord.com Continued on Next Page… PAGE 61
Parc National Fjord-du-Saguenay, RivièreÉternité (c) Charles David Robitaille
Charming village of L'Anse-Saint-Jean Quebec from deck of marine taxi Saguenay Continued… Traverse the Edge: Via Ferrata Other outdoor activities organized within the park are Via Ferrata courses. Climb along the edges of incredible glacial cliffs, and all the while be clipped into safety harnesses and steel cables. Via Ferrata, Italian for “Iron Path,” steers adventurers along giant adrenalin rushes above Saguenay Fjord. Adrenalin enthusiasts scramble along the cable course embedded into the tall cliffs of Baie Eternité located right in the park. The guided adventure utilizes three circuits: • La Passerelle / The Walkway for beginners. • La Grande Dalle / The Large Rapids – in four hours, intermediates will traverse a 650-foot high, vertical wall to climb a 30-foot inverted ladder and then cross over a steep gorge on an almost 280-foot long suspension bridge. • The 6-hour L'Odyssée / The Odyssey advanced tour includes everything on the intermediate tour and then some. Thrill seekers tight-rope walk over a 56-foot long Nepalese bridge to another part of the park which offers the highest peaks of Saguenay Fjord National Park. The Nepalese-style bridge has a single cable on which to walk and another single cable at head-height to clip onto and hang onto for balance. Span the boundaries of earth and sky from June through the first week in October. For reservations call 1-800-665-6527.
Catholic church at village of L'Anse-Saint-Jean which is on on Saguenay Fjord PAGE 62
“Unstoppable Stacey” Wittig is a travel writer based Sidebar Information in Flagstaff, Arizona. Enjoy this article? Then follow Saguenay Fjord is one of the most southerly her on Instagram at Unstoppable Stacey or online fjords in the Northern Hemisphere and one of at www.unstoppablestacey.com longest in the world. The 65-mile-long fjord, a narrow glacial carved valley filled with salt water, is located in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region in central Quebec and attracts visitors from around the world. The Saguenay Fjord is a tributary of the Saint Lawrence River. Its head is at the City of Saguenay, which includes the boroughs of La Baie, Chicoutimi and Jonquière. Getting there Fly to Montreal and take the train to Jonquière or fly to Bagotville airport and taxi to Saguenay Fjord National Park (about $30 CAD.) BaieÉternité, Rivière-Éternité Sector is 44 miles from Chicoutimi. Other options include riding the marine shuttle, which operates from the end of June to the beginning of September, from La Baie to the National Park.
French Canadian Cuisine-Boudin with local vegetables Kayaks near water at Saguenay Fjord National Park
Plans your visit by going to www.saguenaylacsaintjean.ca/en
Dungeon Provincial Park Travel writer Nancy Mueller, publisher of www.WanderBoomer.com, talks with Big Blend Radio about her Newfoundland park experiences including Derm Flynn Riverfront Peace Park, John Cabot Municipal Park and Dungeon Provincial Park.
Bonavista Peninsula Along the coastline of Newfoundland’s Bonavista Peninsula, the erosive power of the North Atlantic Ocean has produced geological wonders known as sea caves. In Dungeon Provincial Park, visitors can view two sea caves which formed when the roof of an inland sea cave collapsed, producing two natural archways and “blow-hole” or “gloup.” Continue on The Discovery Trail to reach Cabot’s Landing featuring a statue of the famed Italian explorer John Cabot who first discovered North America here in 1497. Travelers can also tour the historic Cape Bonavista Lighthouse nearby to see what a light keeper’s life was like in 1870. The site is popular for views of whales, icebergs and puffins in the summer months. PAGE 64
Cape Bonavista Lighthouse
Gros Morn National Park Outdoor adventures and natural wonders abound at Gros Morn National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site covering 1,805 square kilometers on Newfound’s West coast. Hikers, history buffs and cultural heritage enthusiasts can experience a wide-range of activities and attractions within this historic park.
Terra Nova National Park Hiking, paddling and panoramic views await visitors to Newfound’s most Easterly National Park. Its boreal forest features coniferous trees, wetlands and wildlife such as black bear and moose.
Dungeon Provincial Park
Newfoundland Pony PAGE 65
Situated in the East of England and just a short drive from London, Breckland in Norfolk, has miles of forest walks, medieval ruins, familyfriendly fun, big skies and breath-taking countryside. The Brecks has many sorts of natural habitat, with small reserves and parks, right up to Thetford Forest which covers 20,000 hectares and is a perfect place for getting out into nature. There are many footpaths and cycle-ways in Breckland, including many in Thetford Forest itself.
Several of the paths and cycle-ways in the Brecks are long distance, including the Roman Road, Peddars Way, but thatâ€™s not the oldest road in Breckland, as we have the pre-historic Icknield Way too, dating back well over two thousand years old to the time of the Iceni, perhaps even trod by Queen Boadicea herself. Breckland has many nature reserves and there are lots of areas where you will be able to satisfy your passion for birdwatching as well as other nature-loving pursuits. Continued on Next Pageâ€Ś Pheasant
Breckland Continuedâ€Ś The area has many rare species and many of the reserves here, are managed to retain and improve the habitats, so we will have amazing wildlife for generations to come.
Our timber-framed buildings, some still with their thatched rooves, just add to the charm. The area is a delight to photographers, artists and any visitor who simply loves to be surrounded by beautiful, tranquility.
Breckland has hundreds of historical sites, many of national and some of international importance. Grimeâ€™s Graves is the only Neolithic Flint Mine open to the public in the UK, a site at Lynford, excavated in 2002, is the only site in Britain where evidence of mammoth butchery has been found and Thetford Castle mound, is one of the highest Mottes in England. The Saxon round-towered churches, found mainly in East Anglia, are a delight to behold and if medieval churches are your area of special interest, you will be spoiled for choice, with over 100 in this area alone. Numerous castles, priories, abbeys, chapels and country houses are also to be found in Breckland and visiting them all in one trip would prove impossible. Take your time to explore and come back again and again. Breckland is home to some unspoilt, historic towns and villages. The amount of flint used in the buildings is a real feature, sometimes used to great effect and, along with bricks or stone, it is often used to make intricate patterns and features. PAGE 68
Thomas Paine, was born in Thetford and was one of the founding fathers of the United States. The parents of Howard Carter, the man who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, both came from Swaffham; Edward Coke, the man who tried the Gunpowder Plotters, and George Borrow, Henry Rider Haggard, and our famous Queen Boudicca, are all people associated with The Brecks.
Swanton Morley Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England. For help or advice about tracing your family history, or if you are thinking about taking a vacation to Breckland visit www.NorfolkTours.co.uk
Perhaps our most famous family are the Lincolns. When Richard Lincoln left his Swanton Morley property to his youngest son and not his eldest, little did anyone realise that this would have such a massive effect on C19th USA. Edward, the elder son, went to live in his property in Hingham and, in 1637, Edwardâ€™s son Samuel emigrated and settled in Massachusetts. The rest, as they say, is history! Something for everyone is a bit of an over-used phrase but, thatâ€™s what you will find in Breckland: camping, caravanning, self-catering, forest lodges, bed and breakfasts and hotels of all types. Accommodation can be found all over the area, from cottages in the middle of nowhere, to town or village centres. Stay in yurts, wigwams, treehouses, thatched cottages, farm houses, country houses, mansions and everything in between. PAGE 69
I am both repelled and fascinated by crocodiles. Their fearsome reputation precedes them and the fact that they outlived the dinosaurs has given their species legendary respect. No one wants to mess with a croc, but many people will seize the opportunity to view one up close, particularly within its natural habitat.
per square inch) and ability to overpower much larger prey (via the “death roll” maneuver), I averted my eyes and graciously allowed the coldblooded creature to win this unnerving staring contest.
During my Chobe River safari, I saw many more crocs, from babies to full-grown adults, along with an assortment of other magnificent wildlife. Prior to my trip to Botswana, I had only seen The river acts as the northern boundary of these primordial creatures in enclosed nature Chobe National Park, Botswana’s first national centers, where I felt removed from them. So, park, and joins four countries: Botswana, when the boat I was riding in started inching Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. It’s the region’s closer to the banks of the Chobe River, where a heartbeat – a year-round, life-giving source of croc was sun bathing, the experience suddenly became, shall I say, too close for comfort. I could water. Continued on Next Page… actually discern the individual scales on its shiny, mottled skin. Crocodile on the banks of the Chobe River Despite the excited voices and camera noises from all the paparazzi onboard jockeying for position, the croc appeared to be comatose. But, then, it opened one reptilian eye and appeared to train its gaze directly on me. I nervously chuckled, while instinctively moving further back into the boat to gain some physical distance. After a few unsettling minutes, which were accompanied by our guide’s litany of daunting facts about crocs regarding their size (up to twenty feet), bite strength (up to 3,000 pounds PAGE 71
The African elephant can be identified by its ears.
Created in 1967, Chobe National Park occupies a diverse landscape, encompassing floodplains, swamps, grasslands, thick scrub and woodland. The multitude of habitats offer shelter for one of the greatest concentrations of game on the African continent. This world-renowned Eden is home to nearly 120,000 African elephants who dominate the park. Buffalo are equally numerous, along with a healthy population of lions in residence.
Though their skin is thick, it is sensitive to the sun. In order to protect it, these creatures will cover themselves in mud or dust, typically after they’ve cooled off in the water. Observing elephants during one of these refreshment recesses was a constant source of amusement for me. They were so playful, especially the young ones, who would mimic the behavior of their mothers as they showered themselves with water and then rolled in the dirt.
Most visitors to Chobe do a traditional jeep game drive in the park in order to spot the Big Five: lion, elephant, giraffe, buffalo and rhino, though the latter are increasingly difficult to find. It’s not uncommon to see a herd of elephants crossing the road in front of your vehicle, on their way to the river. In linear fashion, led by the matriarch, these creatures move with a one-track mission, gaining in speed the nearer they get to the water’s edge. You can feel the ground shake as they thunder past and their enormous mass is a thing of awe.
It was heart-warming to see how the adult females or cows took care of the calves. They were constantly vigilant, taking turns serving as lookouts at the watering hole and positioning themselves in the front and rear of the herd when it was on the move. And if they sensed any threat, they quickly formed a circle around the calves to protect them. There was also obvious respect for the elder matriarchs, shown by the deference of the others in regards to their leadership. It was a special treat to view this closely-knit society in action up close.
The African elephant can be identified by its ears. During the drive, I was only able to spot a few Extended, they are shaped like the African lions, as they were well-camouflaged. continent. PAGE 72
Lion camouflaged in the bush. With their golden-colored coats, they easily blended into the surrounding vegetation. Their kin, the leopards, are also known for being inconspicuous. I felt very fortunate to see not one, but two of these handsome cats. The first appeared to be napping, while draped languidly over a branch, making it a challenge to separate the animal from the tree limb. The other, however, lay on the ground in all its photogenic glory, confident in its star power and stature.
Giraffes are fairly easy to locate for obvious reasons, as are zebras and the ubiquitous antelope that roam within the park, such as springbok, eland and impala. When you head to the river, though, wildlife sightings become even more frequent, as the water attracts an almost unbelievable density of game. In a boat, you’ll experience the park and its creatures from another vantage point. Herds of buffalo, countless hippos and crocs share the river and its lush, grassy banks and islands with elephants, I was also lucky to see a pack of African wild dogs aquatic antelope, such as the near-threatened sitting by the road. The wild dog is one of the red lechwe, and a mind-boggling array of birds. world’s most endangered mammals. This Continued on Next Page… species’ population has been rapidly declining due to hunting and loss of habitat. The pack our group observed numbered about ten. We took note of the dogs’ mottled coats, which had blotches of different colors, alluding to the animal’s Latin name meaning “painted dog.” Though the pack was quiet, our guide told us not to be fooled by the dogs’ sedentary-like behavior. These fierce hunters are always on high alert and can sprint up to forty-five mph in pursuit of prey. Leopard PAGE 73
Chobe Continued… Buffalos and hippos are given a wide berth in Africa, as both are deemed aggressive and dangerous. The buffalo, in particular, has a reputation for its unpredictable nature, and in a herd, these animals act as a unit with a mob mentality when it comes to dispensing with any kind of threat. For causing more human deaths a year, the notoriety goes to the hippo. These creatures are extremely territorial and will defend their section of the river from perceived intruders, such as fishermen. And despite their short, fat legs, they can run faster than a human.
Hippos are considered aggressive and dangerous. We watched a pair of hippos sparring with one another in the water. Though they appeared intent on achieving dominance, our guide told us this was merely a warm-up to gauge strength. When they are ready to really go at it, the animals will fight to the death.
There’s a wealth of birdlife on Chobe River with over 450 recorded species. My head was whipping back and forth at warp speed trying to keep up with all the sightings. We spotted African spoonbill, cormorant, yellow-billed stork, African skimmers, kingfisher, ibis, African fish eagle and African jacana, and more. The fish eagle has such a familiar and clear call that is often known as the “Voice of Africa,” whereas, the jacana is called the “Jesus Bird” because it can walk on water.
Our guide provided many other interesting facts about hippos, as we observed them on land and in the water. I was surprised to learn they don’t actually swim, but rather walk underwater. They enjoy resting in cool water and can let themselves float or sink by controlling their Everyone who visits Chobe is intent on seeing breathing and body position. Once sunk, they the Big Five, but there’s also the Ugly Five to add walk along the bottom until they reach shallow to the list. This group includes the vulture, hyena, water. Cows will hide their male calves from the warthog, baboon and marabou. fathers for fear they will be eaten. PAGE 74
Baboons roam the landscape in hierarchical, male-dominated troops and there are warnings posted everywhere about their combative and confrontational behavior. And beware those terrifying teeth! These animals are so obsessed with status that they are always on a hair-trigger for aggression, and they’re constantly duking it out with each other. They’re also consummate thieves, with amazing adeptness. Creepiest of the Ugly Five, in my opinion, are the vultures and hyenas – an attitude most likely developed from too many viewings of the “Lion King” with my kids years ago. This impression, though, was cemented in living color, as I watched both creatures greedily scavenge off the carcass of an elderly elephant on the river banks. The disturbing scene was akin to something out of a nightmare, but, it was, as our guide reminded me, just part of the circle of life.
wingspan of eleven feet is among the largest of any bird that is alive today. A carnivorous scavenger, it too was participating in the feeding frenzy of the deceased elephant, alongside the vultures and hyena. As the sun began to set on the river, my focus changed from wildlife to the sublime colors of the landscape. Streaks of red, yellow, pink and purple flashed against the darkening sky, reflecting on the cobalt water. The colors spread like an African bushfire with a Midas touch. If you go: http://chobenationalpark.co.za/chobe-nationalpark-information/ http://victoriafallstourism.org
Debbie Stone is an established travel writer and columnist, and regular contributor for Big Blend Radio and Big Blend Magazines, who crosses the The prize for most homely, yet weirdly globe in search of unique destinations and wonderful, goes to the marabou, a ginormous experiences to share with her readers and listeners. stork with a massive conical bill and a long, She’s an avid explorer who welcomes new reddish pouch hanging from its neck. This bird has been dubbed “the undertaker” because of its opportunities to increase awareness and enthusiasm for places, culture, food, history, nature, appearance. When seen from behind, its back outdoor adventure, wellness and more. Her travels and wings appear cloak-like. Standing an have taken her to nearly 100 countries and to all average of sixty inches tall and weighing seven continents. approximately twenty pounds, the marabou’s PAGE 75
By Debbie Stone
Everyone touts the Big Five in Africa –the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. They’re the photogenic celebrities of the savannah that travelers yearn to see on safari. And as each is sighted, you can almost hear the sound of a checkmark being made on the proverbial bucket list. But, there’s another group of creatures who fly way below the radar, yet deserve attention for their own star-studded qualities. The Little Five of the Namib Desert consists of the lizard, snake, gecko, chameleon and spider. These creatures live in the world’s oldest desert, covering an area of around 31,000 square miles. It’s an arid place, receiving as little as a half an inch of rainfall a year with temps that reach up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. For anything to survive in these extreme conditions, it would need to have cleverly adapted over the millennia.
Being unskilled in this detective-like endeavor, I opted to join a Living Desert Safari with Batis Birding Company. The tour, which departed from the coastal resort of Swakopmund, promised an up close and personal experience with desert life along the eastern part of Namibia’s major sand dune belt within Dorab National Park. The country’s grand dunes are world famous and a definite highlight for visitors, who enjoy climbing them for the stellar views they provide of the starkly beautiful Namib Desert…and, of course, for the bragging rights they gain from their accomplishments!
These dramatic natural wonders were created by sand carried via the wind off the coast of Namibia. They developed over millions of years and are characterized by their striking brick red and burnt orange colors. This vivid hue is due to their iron oxide content. As the lighting shifts The Little Five are difficult to find due to their size during the course of the day, so does the and most people are oblivious to their presence. appearance of the dunes’ tones, making them a You have to know how to track the tiniest of fascinating subject for photographers. It’s a wildlife and follow subtle clues within the dynamic landscape that’s ever-changing and environment. Or, you need to be in the company there is no rest from the relentless movement of of a well-trained guide, who can facilitate the sand in this place of space and silence. discovery process. Continued on Next Page…
Palmato Gecko Namibia Continued… The name Namib comes from the local Nama language and roughly translates to “an area where there is nothing.” As far as wildlife is concerned, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. What appears to be a sandy, barren wasteland, is actually home to a host of creatures that crawl, hop and slither across the “dune sea.” The first of the Little Five that we got to see on tour was the Palmato Gecko, a colorful nocturnal nomad, who spends most of the day burrowed under the sand. It uses its webfeet to dig holes for its home. These special feet, which also have adhesive pads, allow it to run at great speeds and to ascend the dunes with ease. The gecko’s translucent skin provides excellent camouflage against predators and its large lidless eyes are ideal for spotting prey. The eyeballs capture moisture, too, which the gecko licks off with its tongue to drink. Our guide dug until he found one of these fascinating creatures and when uncovered, it immediately froze in defensive mode. After we had a chance to examine the gecko from every angle possible, the guide carefully replaced it in the hole, where it disappeared in a flash.
Fitzsimmons Burrowing Skink
Sidewinder The Sidewinder was a highlight for many on the tour. This venomous viper was well-camouflaged in the sand when our guide first found him. Its body was completely hidden with the exception of its eyes, which peeped out from atop its head. What’s exceptional about these creatures is the way they move – spiraling on their sides in smooth lateral curves. We watched in awe as the snake gracefully undulated up the steep dunes. It kept most of its body off the sand, allowing it to travel over the hot surface without overheating. As an ambush hunter, the Sidewinder remains still, then wiggles its tail to attract its prey.
The tour revealed another sand dweller, the Fitzsimmons Burrowing Skink. These slithery My favorite of the Five was the Namaqua lizards typically forage later in the day when the Chameleon. This is the fastest chameleon in the sand is of a more suitable temperature. As they move, they leave characteristic wavy tracks. Our world. It uses its lightening quick speed to race guide had eagle eyes because he saw the skink’s after skittering beetles and can eat up to two hundred of these insects a day. And it changes signs from within the vehicle. He braked hard, color to regulate its temperature, turning darker jumped out, ran partway up a dune, shoved his arm into the sand and then triumphantly held it in the morning to absorb warmth, then lighter in the heat of the day to reflect the sun’s rays. up to us, holding what initially appeared to be a tiny snake. PAGE 78
There were other creatures we found during the tour, such as a Horned Adder hiding in the shade of a small scrub. It hissed and our guide instructed us to keep our distance. He explained that although this snake’s venom is mild, it will still cause swelling and pain. We managed, albeit cautiously, to get close enough to see the distinctive raised horny scales above each of the adder’s eyes.
From a medical standpoint, the Nara bush has much value. The fresh pulp is said to relieve stomach aches and cure internal diseases. And if you crush the roots and mix them with an oil, you can apply the substance to wounds in order to hasten healing. The roots are equally known for their ability to cleanse the body and build up the immune system.
In addition to desert wildlife tours, visitors to As for birds, we spotted several Tractrac Chats. Namibia’s dunes have a number of other activity Prolific in the Namib Desert, these birds are aptly options. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you can named for their odd song – a series of discordant go sand boarding, skydiving, hop on a dune and jarring chucks and gurgles. They typically are buggy or ride a quad bike. Or, you can take a seen in pairs, as they mate for life. scenic flight for a bird’s eye view of the Namib Desert. Our guide also provided us with information about the geology and geography of the Namib Some of the more spectacular dunes of Namibia Desert and pointed out various plants that are are around Sossusvlei, an area distinguished by a able to survive in this environment. large salt and clay pan, denoting the end of the Tsauchab River’s course. The word Sossusvlei The Dollar bush, for example, is endemic to the literally translates to “dead-end” (from the Nama area. It’s a succulent with characteristically round word “Sossus”) “marsh” (from the Afrikaans word leaves, which many say resemble coins. The Nara “Vlei”). This well-known expanse is a perfect bush has the distinction of being one of the most specimen of Namibia’s unspoiled desert beauty useful plants for both animals and humans. It’s and is synonymous with images of the country. eaten by giraffes, rhinos, jackals and beetles, If you want to climb one of the dunes, start with among other creatures. People will boil the Dune 45. With its fascinating shape and melon ball, which releases seeds from the pulp. accessibility, this is one of the most The seeds are then baked in the sun and eaten photographed dunes in the world. The 262-foot like nuts, while the pulp when dried, can be climb is well worth the effort, as you’ll be made into flat cakes and stored for later rewarded with an incredible panorama of Dune consumption. The melon ball also makes a convenient water bottle and food source in one. Valley. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 79
Namibia Continued… For more of a challenge, tackle Big Daddy, the highest dune in Sossusvlei, though not the highest in the Namib Desert. This honor is given to Dune 7, which has been measured at 1,066 feet tall. The climb up Big Daddy is not for the faint-hearted or anyone with a fear of heights. You need to start early in the morning due to the heat, but also because that’s the time when the place is most picturesque. The rising sun makes one side of this monstrous dune glow a fiery red, Camelthorn Trees while the other is entirely in the shadows. When If you go: you reach the first plateau, you’ll get a peek down into Dead Vlei, the white pan filled with the http://www.namibiatourism.com.na skeletons of age-old camel thorn trees. https://www.batisbirdingsafaris.com Ascending the second peak requires stamina and an extremely large bottle of water. By this time, Debbie Stone is an established travel writer and the sun is blazing and there’s not a spot of shade columnist, and regular contributor for Big Blend in sight. But, when you reach the summit, the Radio and Big Blend Magazines, who crosses the scene is astounding. Pinch yourself! You’ve just globe in search of unique destinations and conquered one of nature’s toughest goliaths. experiences to share with her readers and listeners. And you can take comfort in knowing that the She’s an avid explorer who welcomes new descent is a piece of cake. Just slide down the opportunities to increase awareness and side and in mere minutes, you’ll be on the enthusiasm for places, culture, food, history, nature, parched clay of Dead Vlei. Toast to your outdoor adventure, wellness and more. Her travels accomplishment with an ice-cold Windhoek have taken her to nearly 100 countries and to all Lager. seven continents. Camelthorn Trees
CELEBRATE NATCHITOCHES! Experience Louisiana History & Culture, Music & The Arts 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. Natchitoches is home to the Cane River Creole National Historical Park, 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 area runs along the banks of Cane River Lake, and features historic sites and buildings, museums, art galleries, specialty boutique shops, restaurants and Bed & Breakfast Inns.
Donâ€™t Miss These Celebrations:
April 27: 6th Annual Cane River Plantation Ride - Three routes cover land steeped in the th April 13: 4 Annual Natchitoches Dragon Boat history of Natchitoches Parish and offer Races - Races start at 8am at the newly numerous views of Cane River Lake. Participants renovated downtown Natchitoches riverbank, and families from any route are encouraged to and will continue throughout the day with tour the National Park at Oakland and Magnolia vendors, music and activities for families and plantation at no extra fee. Melrose Plantation is spectators. Spectator admission is free. Info: offering a reduced fee for participants and 337-519-7771. families. April 27: 3rd Annual Cane River Find Your Park Festival - Held at the Oakland Plantation Unit of Cane Rover Creole National Historical Park, the festival will showcase the cultural and natural resources located in the Cane River and Red River regions. Events include hands on activities for children, agricultural demonstrations, and games.
May 3-4: Sale on the Trail - Experience 111 miles of the best deals in town along the El Camino Real National Historic Trail, MUIC from Natchitoches to Nacogdoches! In Natchitoches, visit participating shops along Front and St. Denis Streets, and the St. Mary's Spring Fling on the downtown riverbank featuring games, inflatables, zip line rides, food trucks, a rubber duck derby, and live music from Cane River Soul and other April 27: Kiwanis Pancake Festival & 5K - Takes local performers. Then continue down place at Northwestern State Universityâ€™s Collins the Trail to Sabine Parish in Louisiana, Sabine Pavilion with free pancakes, plus a wide array of County, San Augustine County and Nacogdoches events including the 5k race, a pancake eating County in Texas. contest, pancake flipping contest and a free Kids Zone. PAGE 82
May 10-11: 23rd Annual Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival Held on the beautiful downtown Natchitoches riverbank, the festival features: 1990s and 2000s hit makers Smash Mouth; Journey tribute band Resurrection; former Bad Company lead singer Brian Howe; South Louisiana R&B artist Cupid & the Dance Party Express Show; New Orleans Funk/Jazz/R&B egend John Papa Gros; local favorites Johnny Earthquake and The Moondogs; Zydeco/R&B legend Keith Frank and the Soileau Zydeco Band; and "the world's greatest Hair Band tribute" LA ROXX. May 31-June 1: Cookin' on the Cane BBQ Fest This annual barbecue competition is organized by the Natchitoches Area Jaycees and is sanctioned by the International Barbeque Cookers Association (IBCA).
Centrally located, Natchitoches is just 275 miles from New Orleans, 255 miles from Dallas, Texas, and 290 miles from Little Rock, Arkansas. To learn more about the area’s attractions and events, lodging establishments, shops and restaurants, visit www.Natchitoches.com.
June 6-8: Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction - VIP Taste of Tailgating, Round Table Brunch & Induction Banquet. July 26-27: 40th annual Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival - Held in air-conditioned Prather Coliseum on the Northwestern State University campus. The 2019 Festival theme “Vive la Louisiane!” celebrates the ways in which so many outstanding artists young and old are tapping into the power and artistry of the old ways, revitalizing and reimagining tradition as they make it their own. The folk music of the region will be performed, plus there will be regional material culture crafts and demonstrations. Featured musicians include blues artist Tab Benoit, Cajun artists the Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band and the Cajun Tradition Band, country artists Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue, traditional Americana musicians the Rayo Brothers, and Creole la la musicians Goldman Thibodeaux and the Lawtell Playboys.
EXPERIENCE HISTORIC SPRINGFIELD, KENTUCKY Music & History, Film & Theatre, Bourbon & More! The seat of Washington County, Springfield 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 also 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. 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 makes for a great destination.
APRIL 2019: April 11-14, 19 -20: Central Kentucky Theatre presents “Mamma Mia” April 19-21: HWY 55 Yard Sale April 26: Springfield Green Festival – New Pioneers, 4-8pm April 27-28: Mid KY Chorus presents “Celebrate the Sacred Song” MAY 2019: May 17-19: Central Kentucky Theatre “ The Stinky Cheese Man” – Kids Company May 18: BPW Wine Tasting
JUNE 2019: June 1: Farmers Market Opens; Bourbon Bike Ride For up-to-date event information call Springfield June 14-16, 21-23: Central Kentucky Theatre Tourism Commission at (859) 336-5412 x1 or visit Main Stage presents “My Way” www.VisitSpringfieldKY.com. June 22: Chamber Golf Scramble
JULY 2019: July 3rd: 16th Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks July 5-7: Springfield Hollywood South Film Festival â€“ All Genre July 7-14: Jets over Kentucky July 27: African American Heritage Golf Scramble July 28: Manton Music Jam
AUGUST 2019: Aug 2: 16th African American Heritage Festival Aug. 3: Holy Rosary Picnic Aug. 15-25: Kentucky State Fair
May 16-19: 2nd Annual Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show - Held at Cap Sante Marina, this annual event features 250 new and brokerage boats on display in-water, on land, and at nearby boatyards, plus a 10,000 square foot tent of Anacortes is a charming Pacific Northwest getaway located on Fidalgo Island, Washington. It accessories and service providers. It’s the perfect is conveniently situated halfway between Seattle place to start your boating season. Come see the boats and gear; enjoy the food, entertainment and Vancouver BC, and is the destination point and family fun; and begin your boating for the San Juans. The city offers a variety of adventure! places to stay, fresh and local restaurants, relaxing spa treatments, tasty microbrews, June 1-2: Anacortes Waterfront Festival - It’s interesting shops, historic neighborhoods, all about letting out your inner sailor and unique museums, and 2,500 acres of forestlands embracing life on the water! This annual for hiking and biking. Annual Anacortes events Anacortes event has something for everyone: an play up the city’s salt-sprayed surroundings. open-air car show, food vendors, arts and craft Bring the entire family and enjoy June’s booths, children’s activities, giant slides, water Waterfront Festival at Cap Sante Marina. Visit the balls, dinners and dances, live music and Annual Boat & Yacht Show, Bier on the Pier, and entertainment, wine and beer garden, and so much more! the Spring Wine Festival.
WATERFRONT FESTIVAL FUN IN ANACORTES, WASHINGTON
July 20: Shipwreck Day - Held downtown, this MARK YOUR CALENDARS event technically starts at 8 am, but there are April 13: 2019 Spring Wine Festival - This usually some businesses and booths that get special event brings 30 wineries to Fidalgo Island started right at first light, just like the old time for an afternoon of decadent wine tasting, food fishermen used to. This event features over 200 pairings, and an in-house wine shop. Go out vendors set up in booths along Commercial Ave.; afterwards and spend the weekend enjoying live each booth brings something new and usually music, art, shopping, and blooming tulip fields. very eclectic, and you are sure to find something This year’s line-up of wineries boasts 30 delicious that you can’t live without. There are also some choices from the Pacific Northwest! While at the food stands set up that serve a variety of festival attendees get to sample some of the best different and delicious treats. wines in our region, indulge in gourmet bites from local restaurants, plus have the opportunity Plan your Anacortes vacation at www.Anacortes.org. to explore sweets and savories. PAGE 86
SPRING FLING IN EXETER, CA
Exeter, a gateway destination to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in central California, is known as one of America’s Prettiest Painted Places due to its Downtown Mural Tour. The historic brick buildings make a great surface for the 30+ large murals you will find as you stroll throughout Exeter’s charming downtown district. The murals were painted by professional muralists from all over the country. This unique outdoor gallery reflects the history and culture of this pretty little town. For mural tours and up-to-date event information, please call the Exeter Chamber of Commerce at 559-592-2919 or visit www.ExeterChamber.com. Mark Your Calendars April 13: 5th Annual Exeter Rib Cook-Off Exeter Eagles welcome all to come out and enjoy a great day of fun, refreshments, food and company for all the family! There will be a live music, vendors, games and more. Held 11am6pm at the Exeter Eagles Lodge.
April 20: Earth Day, Health & Resource Fair & Easter Egg Hunt - Come join the fun from 9am12pm at Exeter City Park. Info: (559) 352-0819. April 21: Exeter Kiwanis Easter Pancake Breakfast - 7am-10am at the Exeter Veteran's Memorial Building. Info: (559) 592-2919. April 27: Nature “American Spring LIVE” Kid Citizen Science Event - A family-centric event with the purpose of promoting the show “NATURE Spring LIVE” and teaching children about citizen science. The event will feature nature walks, 2 interactive kids citizen science projects, up to 10 community booths and the opportunity to meet Nature Cat from PBS KIDS. A light lunch will be provided for attendees. Held 10am-1pm at Kaweah Oaks Preserve. More at www.SequoiaRiverlands.org May 11: Exeter “Full Bloom 2019” Garden Walk: Come tour and enjoy unique and lovely gardens in and around the Exeter area. Brought to you by the Exeter Chamber of Commerce. For more information and tickets call (559) 592-2919 or visit www.ExeterChamber.com.
Have fun piecing together our online jigsaw puzzle of Exeter Mural #32, “Anna’s Flowers” by local artist Christie Caldwell. The mural shows a tranquil scene typically found throughout Exeter’s foothills, featuring native wildflowers such as Lupine, Columbine and Mariposa Lilies, plus, Anna’s Hummingbirds.
TO THE PUZZLE! PAGE 89
SAN DIEGO MOUNTAIN MAGIC
Julian is a popular historic gold mining town located up in the Cuyamaca Mountains of Southern California. From art and craft shows to concerts and music festivals, wine tasting and culinary events, and seasonal festivities, thereâ€™s always something happening in this charming mountain hamlet! Donâ€™t These Upcoming Events:
May 18: A Taste of Julian - A self-guided culinary tour of select shops, restaurants, wineries and breweries. July 4: 4th of July Parade - A traditional hometown parade along Main Street. Come wave your flags, cheer the marching bands, salute the Marine Color Guard, and help carry a giant American Flag down the thoroughfare.
Julian Doves & Desperados Historical Skits: Enjoy historic, comedy and gunfight skits in front of the Julian Historical Jail on Sundays at 2 p.m., weather permitting. Free admission.
July 27: Sip of Julian - Ten tasting rooms offering samples of their beer, wine, hard cider and craft cocktails, along with small bite food pairings.
May 3-5: Julian Wildflower Show - Jewels of the Backcountry is the theme of the long-running show. View local wildflower specimens and a slideshow, meet experts experts, shop for books and more. Held in the Julian Town Hall.
For up-to-date event information call (760) 765-1857.
May 4-5: Julian Arts Guild Spring Art Show Local artists showcase their photography, oil, acrylic, colored pencil, pastels, watercolor, graphic design, gourds, baskets, masks, rugs, saddle blankets, weaving, vintage jewelry, and custom greeting cards. Held in the Julian Town Hall. PAGE 90
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
GREELEY’S GOT IT GOIN’ ON! Celebrate Culture, Music & The Arts in Greeley, Colorado!
Perfectly situated on the high plains with panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, Greeley offers a small town feel with big city attractions and entertainment, and outdoor adventures. Downtown Greeley is approximately 15 miles east of Interstate 25 and just one hour from Denver. Greeley is a State-certified Creative District that offers great opportunities to interact with Colorado history and to celebrate the arts.
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.
UPCOMING FESTIVALS: April 25-27: UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival – The largest event of its kind in the nation, the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival brings together internationally recognized artists, jazz lovers, awardwinning clinicians, and over 250 college, high school, and middle school big bands, combos, and jazz vocal. Headliners perform each evening and after-hours jam sessions take place in multiple venues around the community. June 7-8: Greeley Blues Jam – Ain’t Nothin’ But a Party! Held June 7-8, Greeley Blues Jam is two days of the best blues music from across the country. The party starts the evening of June 7 in beautiful Downtown Greeley, with free concerts including a performance by Kara Grainger. The lineup for June 8 includes: Shemekia Copeland, PAGE 92
June 26-July 7: Greeley Stampede – The Stampede’s mission, dating back to the late 1800s, is to celebrate our nation’s independence and preserve our western heritage. That mission plays out in PRCA rodeos, country music and classic rock concerts, daily parades, western art show, carnival and food court. Miss Rodeo Colorado receives her crown during a pageant hosted during the Stampede. More than 250,000 local, national and international guests participate in the Greeley Stampede each year.
August 5-8: High Plains Chautauqua – Program scholars bring life to historical and/or literary figures through first-person portrayals, in the largest tent Chautauqua in the nation. Join us under the big tent at Aims Community College. Plan your Greeley adventure at VisitGreeley.org.
July 24-29: Weld County Fair – Celebrating our agricultural heritage with displays in natural resources, horticulture, livestock, engineering, fine arts, family and consumer science and more! The fair presents a great opportunity to get up close and personal with championship steers, gorgeous area flowers and crops, and science projects. The event is free to attend and makes for great family fun at barbecues, fiddling contests and more. July 27-28: Greeley Arts Picnic – A Greeley tradition for 40 years, Arts Picnic is a festival of every kind of art. Held July 27-28, you’ll enjoy performances on two stages and from strolling artists, visual and handcrafted art for sale, a hands-on Creation Station for children, plus scrumptious delights at the Food Court. A juried art show adorns the Tointon Gallery, and a Friday night kickoff concert will have you dancing in the streets (really!) PAGE 93
Presented by Silver City Art Association on May 3-4-5, 2019 in Silver City, New Mexico The weather will be mild, the ceramics warm as they emerge from the kilns, and the glass will be hot as it is shaped and formed. Itâ€™s the first weekend in May and its RED DOT Studio Tour time in Silver City, New Mexico.
Brochures with maps to all the studios, as well as copies of the Silver City Art Association Art Guide will be available from Light Art Space Gallery at 9 Broadway in downtown Silver City and from the Silver City Visitor Center.
Oil and acrylic painters, encaustic artists, metal sculptors, found object artists, jewelers, photographers, weavers, potters, clay sculptors, watercolorists, and woodworkers join for the weekend of May 3-4-5 to share with the public their creative methods and mediums, by opening their private studios. Artists will be working and explaining what they are doing and why. Visitors may also get the chance to participate! Most studios will have work for sale but some will just be open to converse and share.
Also at Light Art Space, RED DOT Artists Studio Tour will, for the second year, produce the Studio Tour Gala from 5 pm â€“ 8 pm on Friday, May 3rd. To help visitors decide what studios to visit, there will be an example of artwork by each participating artist on the Tour at the Gala. These artworks will be on exhibit at Light Art Space all weekend. In addition, images of art by participating Studio Artists will be continuously projected on a THE WALL OF WONDER during the Gala giving art lovers an even more comprehensive idea of the variety of art to be seen at the studios.
Enjoy the art while dining on fabulous finger food, beverages (wine or non-alcoholic punch). The $49.95 Silent Auction will return by popular demand – details at the Gala.
For more information, visit www.SilverCityArt.com
The Studio Tour and Gala are free. Look for RED DOT directional signs with arrows that will guide you to studios around town and in outlying areas. Silver City is a destination city named as one of the “100 Best Art Towns in America.” One of the first New Mexico towns to be designated as an Arts & Cultural District, this rapidly growing art community represents over 100 artists and dozens of galleries. Four gentle seasons and the scenic beauty of the Gila Wilderness provide the perfect setting for inspiration and creativity. From I -10 go north from Lordsburg on 90 or from Deming drive north on 18O. From I-25 there are two options: go west on 152 to west on 180 OR get off I-25 at Hatch and go west on 26 to north on 180. Highway 152 is beautiful but winding. Silver City also has air service 2 times daily from Phoenix and from Albuquerque via Advanced Air. Arrange in advance for car rental at Grant County Airport with Enterprise Car Rental. PAGE 95
From Growing Up in the Woods of Appalachia to Living with Wolves in the Sawtooth Wilderness
CHILD OF THE WOODS Hear the Big Blend Radio conversation with author, culinary instructor and musician Susi Gott Séguret, who discusses her new book “Child of the Woods: An Appalachian Odyssey.” Plus, hear her songs “Carolina” and “Ripshin.”
It’s is an exploration of the world through the eyes of a young child, whose life was defined and enriched by nature that surrounded her. This collection of short stories and insights highlights the wonders of growing up in rural Appalachia, learning to live as one with the land. These stories embrace the universal themes of selfdiscovery, adventure, and finding one's place in a living world.
Published by Hatherleigh Press, “Child of the Woods” is a uniquely beautiful collection of short Immerse yourself in the vibrant and exciting stories and observations from Susi’s experiences world of Appalachia! More at www.SusiGott.com. growing up in the natural settings of rural Appalachia. PAGE 96
RUNNING WITH WOLVES
Meet Kamots, the fearless leader. Learn from wise Matsi. Explore the forest with shy Lakota. And watch as adorable pups grow from silly siblings to a devoted pack.
Emmy award-winning filmmakers Jim and Jamie Dutcher talk with Big Blend Radio about their new memoir, “Running with See how these brave wolves overcome all odds, Wolves: Our Story of Life with the Sawtooth Pack,” published by National Geographic Kids. battling mountain lions and frigid temperatures. Most of all, discover the surprising kindness, On a clear, cold morning, Jim and Jamie Dutcher compassion, and devotion that Jim and Jamie emerged from their campsite to come face to discovered by living with wolves. face with their only neighbors: a pack of wolves. The leader, Kamots, intently moved closer — For more than 20 years, Jim and Jamie Dutcher close enough to touch. He was enormous, with have been documenting wolf behavior. They powerful muscles, intelligent eyes and startlingly spent six years living in a camp near Idaho's sharp teeth. But the Dutchers weren’t afraid. And neither was Kamots; he drew close and gave Sawtooth Wilderness, intimately observing a a quick lick, as he did every morning — a greeting three-generation wolf pack. Their unprecedented experiences resulted in Emmy award-winning reserved only for kin. prime-time documentaries. They are the authors Adventure, friendship, and family come together of four other books for adults and children from National Geographic, including The Wisdom of in this riveting memoir as two award-winning Wolves, Hidden Life of Wolves, A Friend for Lakota, filmmakers take you through the experience of the years they spent living in the wild with a real- and Living With Wolves! They run a foundation, life wolf pack. Jim and Jamie set out to show the Living with Wolves, whose mission is to protect world that instead of fearsome beasts, wolves and educate the world about wolves. More at are social, complex, and incredible creatures that www.LivingwithWolves.org deserve our protection. Deep in the mountain wilderness of Idaho, they set up Wolf Camp, where they spent years capturing the emotional, exciting, and sometimes heartbreaking story of their pack. PAGE 97
Big Blend Radio Interviews with National Parks Arts Foundation Artists-in-Residence, from Hawaii Volcanoes to Death Valley and Gettysburgâ€Ś
TANYA ORTEGA - NATIONAL PARKS ARTS FOUNDATION Tanya Ortega, photographer and founder of the non-profit National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF), talks about the organizationâ€™s unique month long artist-in-residence programs in National Park units like Dry Tortugas, Death Valley, Hawaii Volcanoes, Gettysburg, Chaco and Fort Union. Hear about the submission process and upcoming artist opportunities that are open to artists of all genres, ranging from photographers and filmmakers to poets and painters, musicians and sculptors.
NPAF partners with the National Park Service, State Parks, park partners, schools, underserved organizations, museums, galleries and other entities in promotion of their successful programs. Residency programs change and open up fast, so the best way to be notified about these opportunities is to subscribe to the NPAF e-newsletter, and to follow NPAF on social media. More at www.NationalParksArtsFoundation.org
COMPOSER GLENN MCCLURE IN HAWAII VOLCANOES Composer Glenn McClure spent thirty days in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park working closely with park rangers, scientists and indigenous musicians to create new music that tells the story of the science and history of their volcanos. The music generated in this residency builds upon a larger body of McClure’s work with the European Space Agency, the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic program, and other music/science collaborations. It also builds upon his life-long
advocacy for the environment that has included musical compositions, K12 arts programs, and multiple concerts with folksinger, Pete Seeger. McClure is a composer and scholar. He currently teaches Music and Humanities at Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. He has also served on the faculties of SUNY Geneseo and the Eastman School of Music/University of Rochester. His music has enjoyed international acclaim in Germany, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and beyond. In the US, McClure’s music has been featured at multiple concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and Orchestra Hall. As a scholar and educator, McClure received the Chancellor’s Award, the highest award given to adjunct lecturers by the State University of New York. More at ArtForBrains.com Continued on Next Page…
PHOTOGRAPHER SARAH WEEDEN IN DEATH VALLEY Photographer Sarah Weeden talks about her month long National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) artist-in-residence experience in Death Valley National Park, the hottest and driest place in North America due to its lack of surface water and low relief. Sarah is an artist living in Utah, utilizing photography as a means to raise collective consciousness. She holds a BFA in Photography and an MFA in Visual Studies, and has been teaching college-level photography courses for the past ten years.
Her photographic work has been focused on landscape, which has included night and star photography. More at www.SWeeden.us Watch the video slide showcasing select photographs from her Death Valley experience. https://youtu.be/X7le4sFPM18
COMPOSER ANTHONY R. GREEN IN GETTYSBURG Social justice composer and performer Anthony R. Green discusses his music and one month National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) residency at Gettysburg National Military Park. The creative output of Anthony R. Green includes musical and visual creations, interpretations of original works or works in the repertoire, collaborations, educational outreach, and more. Behind all of his artistic endeavors are the ideals of equality and freedom, which manifest themselves in diverse ways in a composition, a performance, a collaboration, or social justice work. More at www.AnthonyRGreen.com
Watch Anthony perform Kid Gunner Brother (solo version, 2019) by Darian Donovan Thomas.
GRAND CANYON MOVIES As one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Grand Canyon has been host to some of the biggest blockbuster movies that have ever been filmed. With breathtaking scenic views, various hiking terrains, unpredictable weather and miles of wilderness, the enormous canyon proves to be the perfect backdrop for a wide range of movie genres.
Listen to the Big Blend Radio segment with Steve Schneickert who recalls the Hollywood History of Grand Canyon National Park, including the films “Grand Canyon,” “Thelma & Louise,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “Fools Rush In,” “Transformers,” and “The Trial of Billy Jack.”
Unless you have visited the Augustus SaintGaudens National Historic site you may not be aware of one of the most prolific and revered American sculptors of the 19th and early 20th centuries; a great artist who was not too proud to also design a one cent stamp and who accepted a commission to design a penny honoring President Lincoln.
His world and his art expanded when he went to Paris in 1867 at age 19 to study at the École des Beaux-Arts. Classical design and copying Greek and Roman figure work were stressed at this school. It was a good fit for Saint-Gaudens experience with his cameo background. Except now he worked in different materials on larger projects.
Augustus Saint-Gaudens was brought to the United States, as a baby, by his immigrant parents. Although he died at the relatively young age of 59, he produced a prolific amount of sculpture in his lifetime. His career began at age 13 when he apprenticed himself for two years to a man who carved cameos, then apprenticed to another cameo carver for several more years while he also studied at the National Academy of Design. The attention to detail and the skill required for carving such small relief sculptures out of delicate, layered cameo materials such as agate and certain shells taught him patience and a desire for accuracy.
In 1870 Saint-Gaudens went to Rome to study art and architecture. While there he met Augusta Homer, another American art student who he married in 1877. His wife was a distant cousin of artist Winslow Homer. Saint-Gaudens specialized in portrait busts and did classical figures, but is best known for monumental public sculptures of statesmen and military heroes. His reputation for excellence began when he produced a sculpture of Civil War Admiral David Farragut whose bravery had been expressed by his famous attributed quote, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”!
Saint-Gaudens began working on the Farragut Memorial while still in Paris. It took him seven years to complete the modeling and casting before the statue was unveiled in 1881 in New York’s Madison Square Park. The Civil War produced numerous military heroes whose admirers wanted them honored with a statue, thus making Saint-Gaudens in great demand. In addition, Saint-Gaudens sculptures of President Abraham Lincoln are in numerous locations. His friend, the architect Stanford White, designed many of the pedestals and architectural surrounds for his sculptures. Many people think his greatest work was one of his equestrian sculptures, a high relief bronze sculpture, the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, depicting the abolitionist General Shaw with his command, the first company of all black soldiers, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. SaintGaudens used photographs to be faithful to the features of Shaw but used a different live model for each soldier as it was his goal they all be seen as individuals. Overhead, in alignment with the marching group, is the depiction of an angel in classically modeled flowing garments, guiding them.
Around 1900, when Saint-Gaudens was diagnosed with cancer, he decided to spend most of his time at his artists’ compound in Cornish New Hampshire. Many artists gravitated to spend extended time in the compound’s creative atmosphere. In 1904 President Theodore Roosevelt decided the gold coins, the “Eagle” 10.00 gold piece and the “Double Eagle” 20.00 gold piece needed to be redesigned. He was adamant the design should be done by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. SaintGaudens thought of the coins as medallions and fashioned them in high-relief. Continued on Next Page…
Robert Gould Shaw Memorial Photo by Jarek Tuszyński / CC-BY-SA-3.0 & GDFL [CC BY-SA 3.0] PAGE 105
1907 Roman numeral ultra high relief double eagle coin. Saint-Gaudens' design Saint-Gaudens Continued They were struck by the mint but were not able to be stacked as coins needed to be because the relief was too high. Another series of coins with the same design in lower relief was attempted with limited success. Only a little over 12,000 of those coins were minted. Finally, a very low relief coin was produced and continued to be minted until 1933 when the price of gold increased to $35.00 an ounce. As far as is known there is only one of these coins owned privately and it was sold in 2002 for over 7.5 million dollars. Saint-Gaudens accepted the commission to design the one cent coin honoring Lincolnâ€™s 100th Anniversary at the same time he was awarded the contract for designing the gold coins but passed away before he could complete the design of the penny coin. Augustus Saint-Gaudens continued to work as the cancer weakened him. In the last year of his life he produced another statue of President Lincoln placed in Chicago's Grant Park. Although Saint-Gaudens completed the design work and had begun casting the statue at the time of his deathâ€”his workshop completed it. The head of the statue was used as the model for the Lincoln portrait on the penny postage stamp issued commemorating the 100th anniversary of Lincoln's birth.
Abraham Lincoln - The Man in Lincoln Park Chicago. Statue by Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Saint-Gaundens National Historic Site Little Studio More about the Augustus Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site: https://www.nps.gov/saga Contemporary figurative artist and early 19th & 20th Century Print Collector Victoria Chick is the founder of the Cow Trail Art Studio in southwest New Mexico. She received a B.A. in Art from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and awarded an M.F.A. in Painting from Kent State University in Ohio. Visit her website at www.ArtistVictoriaChick.com
Many people have admired sculptures designed and done by Saint-Gaudens as they have passed by them in parks, along boulevards, or attached to buildings. Most often viewers are focused not on Saint-Gaudins the sculptor, but on the persons who are memorialized in stone or bronze. I suspect Saint-Gaudens would approve. PAGE 106
ARIZONA FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH By Holly T. Hansen
On 14 February 1912, after nearly 50 years of being a territory, Arizona became the last of the contiguous 48 states to join the Union. The Arizona Territory was created on 24 February 1863 from the western half of New Mexico Territory. Later, on 18 January 1867, the northwest corner of Arizona was removed and given to Nevada. Arizona has 15 counties with the capital city being Phoenix. If you are looking for family history in Arizona, begin learning about the records on the FamilySearch.org Research Wiki Arizona, United States Genealogy page. It is filled with links to articles, research strategies, information on locating birth, marriage, and death records. There is specific information for each county in Arizona. There are also several links for details on Arizona migration routesâ€”such as the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail, the Old Spanish Trail, the Honeymoon Trail, and more.
Following is a list of repositories for doing Arizona research: National Archives at Riverside 23123 Cojaico Road Perris, California 92570 Web: https://www.archives.gov/frc/riverside/ Arizona State Archives 1901 West Madison Street Phoenix, Arizona 85009 Online Contact: https://azlibrary.gov/arm/arizona-statearchives-reference-question Web: https://azlibrary.gov/arm/researcharchives Arizona State Library 1700 West Washington Street, Suite 300 Phoenix, Arizona 85007 Online Contact: Web: https://azlibrary.gov/starl
She is the mastermind behind more than 50 Family History Expos held across the United States, and is dedicated to helping individuals and families, oneon-one, with their personal research needs. Learn more at www.FamilyHistoryExpos.com
Arizona Historical Society 949 East 2nd Street Tucson, Arizona 85719 Web: https://arizonahistoricalsociety.org Arizona State University Library Luhrs Reading Room, Level 4 ASU Charles Hayden Library 300 East Orange Mall Tempe, Arizona 85281 Web: https://lib.asu.edu/hayden (Note: due to Hayden Library renovation, some services have been relocated. Please check their website for details.) The David Rumsey Map Collection holds some historic maps that may be of interest. There is no charge to use this site. https://www.davidrumsey.com Holly T. Hansen aka “Miss Holly GenTeacher,” is the President and Founder of Family History Expos, Inc, and as an author, lecturer, editor, and publisher, has been instrumental in helping thousands understand the principles, strategies, and sources they can use to trace their roots in today’s everchanging technological environment.
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ARE YOU A DIFFICULT TRAVELER? By Sarah H. Ellison
We are creatures of habit and we all have our daily routines. Morning routines, bedtime routines, work, play and family routines.
Years ago, at the airport in Geneva, I discovered a group of Americans standing outside the entrance to the bathroom, complaining loudly. They were very worried. The sign had both a When we travel, those routines are thrown up in male and female figure it. On one door. Men the air, tossed around, and return to earth and women were going in and out the same unrecognizable. In the B & B, the bathroom is door. I was curious. I’d never been in bathroom down the hall and one waits one’s turn, only to for both genders and I thought it might be discover that the bathtub may be in a different interesting. Upon opening the outer door, I room completely and there will be a wait for that, found two inner doors, one for men and another too. Breakfast is served at a specific time in a for women. I laughingly reassured the group new time zone and we find ourselves starving and all was well. while waiting for the hour to arrive. Breakfast may not taste the same as it does at home. The Before jumping to conclusions, as a traveler, bedclothes may be different and overly warm or relax and ask some questions. not warm enough. The bed that we are used to is On the same trip, I was surprised that my fellow now higher or lower, bigger or smaller, too firm American travelers thought tubes of mustard or not firm enough. were strange and suspect. It looked like Are you a difficult traveler? Do you complain? toothpaste. My parents loved this mustard so I Gnash your teeth? Share your discomfort? Do grew up with it, and I confidently explained the you sense that you are grumpy? Are you packaging was normal but the mustard would be constantly comparing things negatively to “back hotter than what they were used to. I felt like a home?” Or can you have a sense of wonder self-assured traveler. about differences? Which feels better? PAGE 110
Imagine my chagrin when, hours later, I found myself sitting on my knapsack on the train because there were not enough seats for all of us in Second Class. I hadn’t known one paid for First Class to assure a seat. I felt stupid and angry. I resented my husband for not telling me. He didn’t want to pay the extra money. I wasn’t good company for a while. I grumbled. It took some time before I could enjoy the landscape through which we were riding.
If you want to enjoy the trip, don’t be a difficult traveler. A difficult traveler is one who reacts negatively to differences. Often when we find something different, we become alarmed, maybe fearful, and it is easy to feel angry. An angry traveler is a difficult traveler and it makes us unhappy as well as those around us.
I wasn’t actually rude to anyone but I wanted to be. I wasn’t as open to something different as I had hoped I would be. I resolved to feel good about the view and appreciate the differences in the countryside.
How to be comfortable with all the differences? Examine your daily patterns and identify what items will feel familiar if you take them with you. Don’t rush out and buy everything new for the trip. Take clothes and shoes (maybe a robe or sweater) in which you feel totally comfortable and reassured. Make sure they are familiar so you can rely on something not being different.
If you are traveling this summer, consider if you are a difficult traveler. Be open to differences. If you are in a foreign country, food will taste different. MacDonald hamburgers will not taste the same as they do at home and complaining about this only puts you and your servers in a bad mood. If you are still in the USA, you will find food is cooked differently in different regions. I remember being startled that French Toast is made with French bread in the south. It was a surprise but not unwelcome. Anticipate that food will taste different.
What to do? Expect everything to be different. When it’s not, you can be surprised.
Change your current routines for a while – try experiencing the discomfort of change without a negative reaction. Take a different route to work, try a different process in the morning, maybe new restaurants and new forms of recreation. Learn a new skill and enjoy the discomfort of the differences.
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Difficult Traveler Continued… When I was in Great Britain with my family, I was confused by their coinage system and frustrated that my son found it simple. I don’t trust my computation skills and I felt angry. Our solution was to create a game on the ferry ride to the Isle of Man: “Teach Mommy about English coins.” My husband and son tested me, making up different amounts of purchases and inviting me to make change. For encouragement, they applauded me for a wrong answer as much as they did for the right one. The other passengers were intrigued and got involved. They gave me hints and suggestions of memory tricks. We laughed often and I felt as if everyone was cheering me on. It worked. It was fun. I wasn’t confused on the rest of the trip and shopped with confidence. Look at each experience as an opportunity for pleasure. Imagine the curiosity of a child and imitate that approach when things are different. Try out the reaction: “Oh, how interesting,” instead of “Ick; how weird.” Look for ways to make things a game, “How many differences can we find today?” Take pictures of your favorites.
British currency At the end of the day, write down “Which difference did you like best?” Collect them. Instead of being a difficult traveler, have some fun by being a traveler who seeks differences. Enjoy them. Sarah H. Elliston is the author of “Lessons from a Difficult Person – How to Deal With People Like Us”. She is a faculty member of the William Glasser Institute and is a workshop leader and trainer who is certified in Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. For more about Reality Therapy and to read Sarah’s blog, visit www.SarahElliston.com.
HEART HEALTHY TRAVEL Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Dr. Jacqueline Eubany who shares her Heart Healthy Travel Tips as listed below. Here are 5 quick travel tips to for those with chronic medical conditions to allow for smooth, and easy transition. - Always have your medications with you in your carry on, to ensure that you can continue taking your medications on a regularly timed schedule and not have to worry if your checked luggage is lost or delayed. - For long flights, I recommend getting up now and then, and walking up and down the aisle to prevent development of blood clots in your legs.
- I would consider obtaining travel medical insurance, especially with international destinations. - For planned tours at your destination, I would recommend drinking plenty of water, preferably bottled water in certain areas. - And lastly make sure you enjoy yourself immensely on your trip! Safe travels! Till next time. Dr Jacqueline Eubany is a board certified cardiologist and electrophysiologist, and author of the must have book â€œWomen and Heart Disease: The Real Storyâ€?. More at: womenandheartdiseasebook.com
ONLINE SAFETY TIPS FOR TRAVELERS Cybercrime, forensic technologist and world traveler Tom Talleur talks with Big Blend Radio about online safety for travelers, and shares his tips below. “SAFER” BROWSERS: Firefox. Built by teams with security in mind. You can get security and privacy extension, such as uBlock Origin, HTTP Everywhere, Privacy Badger, and No Script. Tor. An open-source web browser that offers security and privacy features. DO’S: Do use a VPN. It creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer/phone and sites your devices touch. Thwarts, to some degree, tracking, profiling, and hackers intercepting logins. Do use two-factor authentication. Makes it a lot harder for the bad guys to get into your accounts online. Do use malware detection software. Malwarebytes.com
Don’t check your financial accounts from a public WIFI (unless you use a VPN). Don’t download pirated copies of popular software like Spotify from pirated or questionable sources. It’s likely they will contain malware and trojan programs. Don’t click on popup warnings especially if you can’t verify if it came from a legitimate program running on your computer. Don’t click on links in mails unless you know it’s OK. Even friends can unintentionally send you harmful links. Along with being a cybercrime and forensic technologist who worked with NASA for many years, Tom Talleur is an avid world traveler, travel writer and editor of www.RoverTreks.com. Learn more at www.TomTalleur.com or follow his Forensic Futurology Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ForensicFuturology/
DON’TS: Don’t reuse the same or simple passwords. Don’t text or Email user ID’s and password in the clear. PAGE 114
WORKPLACE DISABILITY LAWS
Listen to his interview podcast above, and read How they Impact the Tourism and Hospitality his article on BlendRadioandTV.com. Industries. In 1990, Congress passed the Americanâ€™s with Disability Act, more popularly known as the ADA. In 1992, the California Assembly amended the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to reflect, and build upon, the law in the ADA. In fact, FEHA defined disability more broadly than the ADA and even said that all disabilities covered under the ADA would also be considered disabilities under FEHA. San Diego employment attorney Ward Heinrichs talks with Big Blend Radio about Federal and California disability discrimination laws covered under the Americanâ€™s with Disability Act (ADA) and Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
Take “ownership” of your community with positive and responsible actions. To realize the benefits of responsible tourism, i.e. jobs and money, a community has to come together and solve any problems that may stand in the way of visitors coming into a town or city. The quickest way to do that is for citizens to step up. Waiting for government entities is not nearly as quick or as effective as private citizens working together for the betterment of where they have chosen to live, work and play.
Neighborhood associations and non-profit organizations are great places to gather information on what is being, and what can be done, to better a destination. Working with others opens doors to all sorts of opinions and aspects of any problems and their possible solutions. Being involved leads to having a say in how a town or city handles the influx of guests and what those guest expect to experience.
When citizens take ownership of the various problems and issues their communities may face, getting active rather than angry, is where real progress can be made. Accepting responsibility for the community you live in begins with getting involved. When it comes to the tourism industry, a good place to start is by asking, “ What can we, as a destination do, to make sure visitors enjoy our community? ”
Events are often a draw to a town or city, and being involved in the planning and executing of festivals, street fairs and other events, is a smart way to meet and talk with visitors to see how they feel about your city or town. What do they like? Why do they visit? What possible changes would they like to see made? This kind of feedback is invaluable and can often lead a destination to new ideas on how to better promote themselves.
Knowing what your community has to offer is crucial. It means looking at your community from all angles. What are the attractions, amenities, the history and the infrastructure strengths and weaknesses? Gather accurate information from several sources and viewpoints to ensure any decisions made, will be for the benefit of all, not just a few. Change is often met with opposition where there is lack of communication, accurate facts, and/or inclusiveness.
Involving youth ensures the longevity of communities. Communities will always need young, talented, active participants and the tourism industry sets a mixture of businesses and careers in front of them. Their involvement will bring new ideas to projects and at the same time shows them what citizenship is all about.
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Ownership Continued… Taking ownership by participating in the direction a town or city takes, especially in regards to tourism, usually means belonging to organizations, attending meetings, being active with others (including social media), and reaching out to invite others join in the efforts.
This is the seventh article in the “Putting the “I” Back in Community” tourism article series. For the first six articles and other informative articles and interviews on positive communication, see:
While identifying and finding solutions for town or city short-comings, it is important to stay positive about your community. Speak positively about your community and take opportunities to politely correct any misinformation you may hear or read. Volunteering to help where you can be of assistance in solving problems within your own area of expertise, is always welcomed.
Article 2: Building a Destination with a Sense of Place
Small businesses are the cornerstone of any community and supporting them is critical to the success of any town or city. Be an ambassador for your town by shopping and dining local, attending events and encouraging guests to visit. As with all efforts, they take time and there can be set-backs. From funding issues to difference of opinions to dealing with government issues, things can and will take time. Sometimes you may need to re-visit proposed and/or implemented strategies and find new and creative ways to do things.
Article 1: Building Excellence in Tourism
Article 3: Failure Leads to Success in Tourism: It’s a Detour Article 4: Speak With Good Purpose: Be Positive Article 5: This Is It! - Stay Focused Article 6: Commitment - Make Your Vision Happen Decision Making During a Time of Change, by Ralph Masengill The 20-50-30 Rule of Change Can Make All the Difference, by Ralph Masengill Gossip is Toxic by Sarah Elliston Are You a Difficult Leader, by Sarah Elliston
From America’s National Parks to Japan, world traveler and travel writer Kristin Henning talks with Big Blend Radio about responsible and sustainable tourism practices. After a 30-year career in publishing, Kris–along with her husband and business partner Tom Bartel–shed the last publication, the big family house, and most of their possessions. In 2010, they gave their dog to their daughter and set out on a journey to see the world. After a year in South America and a month walking the Camino de Santiago, Kris and Tom decided to combine their separate, casual blogs to create www.TravelPast50.com.
The blog combines Kris and Tom’s love of culture and passion for the outdoors. Their travels vary between long stays in such cultural cities as London, Barcelona, Rome, and Beijing, detours to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and spurts of hiking or biking in Europe, Australia, Asia, or the United States National Parks. Since 2010, they've visited over 65 countries on 6 continents.
Camino de Santiago
PARKS & TRAVEL MAGAZINE – Spring/Summer 2019: Love Your Parks Tour Stories, Botswana & Namibia Safaris, Desert Southwest, Central California...
Published on Apr 12, 2019
PARKS & TRAVEL MAGAZINE – Spring/Summer 2019: Love Your Parks Tour Stories, Botswana & Namibia Safaris, Desert Southwest, Central California...