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CONTENTS 5. Editors Block

CALIFORNIA & PACIFIC NORTHWEST 6. Mount Rainier National Park 12. Steppin’ Out in San Juan Bautista 17. Sequoia Country Strollin’ 28. Temecula Wine Country 32. San Diego Mountain Magic 38. Goin’ Bayside in San Diego

SOUTHWEST 42. Explorin’ the Yuma East Wetlands 46. Circlin’ the Cienega 50. Lyon County Museum 52. Fort Davis National Historic Site

MIDWEST 56. Surprises Abound in Oklahoma City! 66. Missouri National Recreational River

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SOUTH & SOUTHEAST 68. El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail 70. Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park 72. Historic Birmingham, Alabama 78. Historic Columbus, Georgia

INTERNATIONAL 82. Birding in England CULTURE & THE ARTS 84. Early Pottery of The Southwest 88. Art News & Interviews 96. Hollywood History of Western National Parks NATIONAL FOCUS 98. What Makes a Good Volunteer? 101. Keeping Trails Safe from Deadly Traps 102. A Commitment to Conservation 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.


EDITORS BLOCK "Who will gainsay that the parks contain the highest potentialities of national pride, national contentment, and national health? A visit inspires love of country; begets contentment; engenders pride of possession; contains the antidote for national restlessness.... He is a better citizen with a keener appreciation of the Be sure to visit our park travel planning website privilege of living here who has toured the to read articles, national parks." Stephen T. Mather listen to interviews and watch videos about From exploring the mountain paradise of Mount parks and their destinations. Many of the stories come from our travels on the Big Blend Spirit of Rainier and spending quality family fun time at America Tour, our quest to visit and cover all 417 Missouri National Recreational River, to getting national park units and their gateway awe-struck on a stroll in a forest of the world’s largest trees, bird watching in England and in the communities. wetlands of Southern Arizona, and going coastal Subscribe to our Big Blend e-Newsletter and get in San Diego, this issue celebrates summer your free digital copies of our quarterly Big Blend outdoors in our parks and public lands. Along Radio & TV Magazine and Spirit of America with nature, history takes center stage, Magazine in your inbox, as well as event news, stretching from California to Nevada, Texas to Louisiana, Alabama to Georgia, Oklahoma City to radio interview podcasts, videos, and updates Kentucky, and beyond. This issue also covers the about our park travels. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. arts, volunteering, trail safety, and the commitments made to conservation and Happy Summer Park Adventuring! preservation. Speaking of commitment, we have long been advocates of getting outdoors, taking a walk, and breathing fresh air! As you page through the magazine, you will see a number of suggested easy one hour walks, as well as quick 60 second video spotlights on walks and destinations.

Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith Big Blend’s mother-daughter publishing, radio and travel team; along with Priscilla - Big Blend’s pink sock monkey travel mascot

Additionally, we started a brand new #OneHourWalk Facebook Group and we’d love you to join us! It's all about sharing photos and positive, healthy experiences gained from getting out for a #OneHourWalk and it can be anywhere – your neighborhood, a local park, a farmers market or foodie walking tour, a bird or nature walk, or even a pick-up-trash charity event! As our friends at SuperCamp say, it's about unplugging to "Plug Into Life!" Join us and share your #OneHourWalk experience! Front Cover: Zumwalt Meadow, Kings Canyon NP. By Lisa D. Smith PAGE 5

When you are standing in a meadow of wildflowers in summer, surrounded by forests, it is hard to imagine this park also encompasses 26 glaciers. Established on March 2, 1899, as our fifth National Park, the iconic Mt. Rainier, standing at 14,410 feet, is the most prominent peak in the Cascade Range and is an active volcano, last erupting about 150 years ago. The peak changes from minute to minute, sometimes shrouded in clouds, sometimes a bright pink, sometimes an icy blue, and sometimes completely hidden from view. It is an important landmark for all those traveling throughout Washington State. The park itself has approximately 382 lakes and 470 rivers and streams. Because the park climbs 12,800 feet in elevation, it provides habitat for a diversity of plants and animals, all requiring different climates and environments. It also provides a number of trails, some ranging from less than a mile, to the popular 93 mile Wonderland Trail. You can find the right trail for you, just check in at the Sunrise Visitor Center and ask some questions, and you will get the help you need. If you plan to climb Mt. Rainier, you definitely need to check in at the Visitor Center to register. PAGE 6

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Mt. Rainier Continued‌ Summer is the best time to see most of the wildflowers, but the park is a four season destination with majestic mountain views, secluded forests, waterfalls and lake views all

Watch our video about Mt. Rainier. You can see the park by car if you wish, just check snow conditions during the winter. Mount Rainier has five main areas: Longmire, Paradise, Ohanapecosh, Sunrise, and Carbon/Mowich. Continued on Next Page‌

Watch our video about Mt. Rainier Wildflowers


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Longmire: James Longmire built a home and a resort in this area, his homestead became the park headquarters in 1899 when the park was established. This area is now a designated National Historic District. We took the Trail of Shadows hike beginning from the Museum, which led us through a forest of fungi, ferns, and giant trees. You can also explore a cabin built by Longmire’s son for the resort helpers. PAGE 8

Mt. Rainier Continued… Paradise: This is a popular spot for wildflower viewing, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and tubing. There are so many different wildflowers you’ll probably want to walk slowly to see them all. At first glance they look like one big multi-colored carpet, but when you look closer, you will see an amazing array of flowers of all kinds.

Take care to stick to the trails though, we read about the subalpine meadows and found that with every one step taken into the meadows, an average of 20 plants are damaged, and those plants can be stunted in growth for years. Their growing season is very short, and they do not have enough energy to recover from our big human feet. Continued on Next Page…


Mt. Rainier Continued… Ohanapecosh: This is the area you find the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail, a short trail along the river side that goes to an island of ancient Western red-cedar, Douglas-fir, and Western hemlock. You can also find the Silver Falls Trail here at the Ohanapecosh campground. This takes you to the waterfalls. It’s slippery so watch out. There is also a self-guided natural trail through a forest to some hot springs. Sunrise: If you are looking for great mountain views, and don’t want to hike, this is the highest point you can reach by vehicle. In summer, mountain meadows abound with wildflowers. On clear days, Sunrise provides breathtaking views of Mount Rainier, Emmons glacier, and many other volcanoes in the Cascade Range. Stopping in at the Sunrise Visitor Center is a good idea. You can learn so much from their exhibits – it really makes your visit so much better when you understand and know what you are looking at. You’ll learn a lot about volcanoes, geo hazards and the relief map will help orient you as to the vastness of the park. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 10

Mt. Rainier Continued‌ Carbon/Mowich Lake: This is a beautiful lake area, and we still found some snow, even in August, with lots of flowers and birds. We are glad we took the time to explore this area! There is a gravel/dirt road you will have to take, but it is well worth the journey. There were so many highlights to Mount Rainier. Not only will you find plenty of trees, flowers, fungi and plants to examine, but there are other creatures as well. We were lucky enough to see a doe and her two fawns, so close to hikers but focused on all the grasses and flowers to eat. We spent a lot of time watching a Hoary Marmot, a comical animal that looks like a beaver, that was overjoyed with the amount of lupine and other flowers there were to consume. This is one of those parks you will want to spend time in and visit in each season to get the real feel of it. Summer brings the blossoms, which we experienced, but we saw photos of the other seasons, and can’t wait to return to see it in a different light. For information about Mount Rainier National Park visit or see PAGE 11

Tour “The City of History” at the Crossroads of California Culture By Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid Incorporated in 1869, San Juan Bautista is a noteworthy site on the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail that’s about 45 minutes from Pinnacles National Park, in San Benito County, central California. Along with an eclectic collection of boutique shops, galleries, restaurants and bakeries, this adorable flowerfilled historic village is home to the San Juan Bautista State Historic Park, the Old Mission San Juan Bautista, the Anza Hiking Trail and Fremont Peak State Park. During the Mexican period, San Juan Bautista served as the military and commercial center of the San Benito Valley. Many of the historic buildings within San Juan Bautista State Historic Park, and throughout the village, are representative of this blend of cultures and noteworthy happenings. The Park and its Plaza represent what was once the largest town in central California, an important crossroad between northern and southern California. PAGE 12

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Watch Our Video above on San Juan Bautista, CA! As seen in the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock film “Vertigo”, the impressive Old Mission San Juan Bautista sits adjacent to the State Park. Built in 1797, it is the fifteenth and largest mission church in California, and the oldest building in the Plaza. A short section of El Camino Real (The King’s Highway), sits next to the Mission, representing the main highway that once connected all of California’s missions, later serving as a major stage and wagon road.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with San Juan Bautista CA State Historical Park Interpreter Marcos Vizcaino! San Juan Bautista Continued…

Continued on Next Page… The exhibits and buildings at San Juan Bautista State Historic Park represent California’s people, from Native Americans through the Spanish and Mexican cultural influences, right up to the American period in the late 19th century. The State Park includes several structures built in the 1800s including the Plaza Hotel, the Zanetta House/Plaza Hall, the Plaza Stables, and the Castro-Breen Adobe. It also features a blacksmith shop, an historic jail, and an early American settler’s cabin. On first Saturdays, the State Park hosts Living History Days complete with mountain men, Civil War soldiers, Victorian ladies, craft and cooking demonstrations, blacksmithing, and much more. PAGE 13

The Adobe Restored by the Native Daughters of the Golden West.

San Juan Bakery & Welcome Center

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Bottle Display at Doña Esthers

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Sharon Johnston, of Native Daughters of the Golden West, Parlor #179! San Juan Bautista Continued… An ideal way to get to know “The City of History,” is to take a self-guided walking tour of the historic sites and buildings. You can pick up a map, along with some tasty baked goodies, at the Welcome Center within the San Juan Bakery on 3rd Street. You’ll see quite a range of architectural styles from an Old Indian Village to the Settler’s Cabin with Gardens that shows the typical cabin housing of early California settlers, as well as the 1856 Lovett House (early frame house), 1860 Kemp House (Greek revival), 1868 Masonic Hall, 1908 Taix Block (Romanesque revival), and The Adobe. The Adobe was purchased by the Native Daughters of the Golden West in 1934, lovingly restored in 1935, and today continues to function as their active local Parlor. PAGE 14

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Garden and delicious food at Jardines De San Juan.

San Juan Bautista also tells the fascinating story of the Anza Expedition (1775-1776), when Juan Bautista de Anza historically brought his father’s dream to life, by leading 240 men, women and children, over 1200 miles from the Sonoran Desert to Northern California. This resulted in the Spanish settlement of San Francisco, in 1777. From Tubac, Arizona to San Francisco, California, you can now drive up the corridor of the Anza Expedition, and of course make a stop in San Juan Bautista. Just up the road from the village, there is a 4-mile one way recreational trail that you can hike, bike or horseback ride. The trail is uphill, and provides beautiful views of the village, All this walking around is sure to work up your farmlands, wineries and mountain ranges. appetite, and San Juan Bautista has you covered with some of the best authentic Mexican fare! Speaking of views, Fremont Peak State Park high The two local favorites remain Doña Esther up in the Gavilan Range is a spectacular must-do. voted Best brunch in San Benito County, and A scenic 30-40 minute drive from the village, Jardines De San Juan – known for their exquisite clear days provide sweeping views of the San gardens. Stop by Vertigo Coffee Roasters for a Benito Valley, Monterey Bay, Salinas Valley and fresh Cup-a-Joe, and if a picnic lunch is in order, the Santa Lucia Mountains. Here you can hike in the Windmill Market will take good care of you. the grass areas and woodlands, watch local birds and wildlife, go camping and picnicking, and To plan your Tour of “The City of History”, check enjoy some star gazing at its observatory which out has a 30-inch telescope, and is open for public programs on select evenings. PAGE 15

SUMMER EVENTS IN SAN BENITO COUNTY Visit San Benito County, California, Gateway to Pinnacles National Park and Home to Historic Hollister, San Juan Bautista, Tres Pinos and Paicines! For up-to-date event information and to plan your San Benito County adventure, please contact the San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at (831) 637-5315 or visit

Listen to Juli Vieira, President/CEO San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau, discuss Summer Events & Activities on Big Blend Radio! Downtown Hollister Certified Farmers’ Market: Wednesdays from 3pm-7:30pm, May 3 -September 27, 2017. Tel: (831) 636-8406 Living History Days: Every 1st Saturday of the month, from 11am to 4pm, at San Juan Bautista State Historic Park. Tel: (831) 623-4881 June 3-4: Hollister Portuguese Festival: Tel: Anthony Silva (831) 801-5584. June 17: DeRose Vineyards Library Party: Hollister. Tel: (831) 636-0100 June 17-18, 23-25: San Benito County Saddle Horse Show: Bolado Park Event Center, Tres Pinos. June 30-July 2: Hollister Independence Motorcycle Rally: Tel: (831) 636-8406 July 21-29: California Gymkahana – State Finals: Bolado Park Event Center, Tres Pinos. Aug. 11-13: Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival: San Benito County Historical Park, Tres Pinos. Sept. 8-10: Civil War Days: San Benito County Historical Park, Tres Pinos. PAGE 16

SEQUOIA COUNTRY STROLLIN’… Three Awe-Inspiring FamilyFriendly Trails By Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid


The magnificent Giant Sequoia trees only grow naturally along the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, primarily between 5,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation. Seeing these spectacular giant trees up close is a humbling and awesome #BucketList experience that everyone should get a chance to participate in. Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Mike Theune – Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, and Sandy Blankenship – Sequoia Tourism Council & Exeter Chamber of Commerce, who discuss late spring and early summer in California’s Sequoia Country.

This region also provides rugged backpacking trails to follow out into the deep wilderness, and outdoor adventures like whitewater rafting and mountain climbing. There are numerous opportunities for all ages and activity levels to experience the trees, take a deep breath of fresh forest air, and soak up the natural wonders of this beautiful region. Welcome to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument in central California, all just an approx. 4 ½ hour drive from Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay area. From grandparents to toddlers, here are three iconic trails that will suit all ages and most activity levels, and will leave everyone with a big jawdropping grin of awe and amazement! Continued on Next Page…


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Strollin’ Sequoias Continued… BIG TREES TRAIL: Sequoia National Park Established on September 25, 1890, Sequoia National Park is one of the first national parks in the state and is one of the most popular and well-known of our national parks. Big Trees Trail is a 2/3 mile paved, accessible trail for all ages and activity levels, that circles lush Round Meadow. Here you can experience the largest trees in the world by volume, the Giant Sequoias, along with wildflowers, a variety of birds, butterflies and dragonflies, and wildlife such as squirrels and chipmunks, black bear and deer. Along the trail there are interpretive signs that explain the ecology of Sequoia trees, but it’s also good to start your Big Trees adventure at the Giant Forest Museum, where you will follow a paved and accessible path to the meadow. Parking for people with disability placards is available at the trailhead, and, this trail is accessible if you visit the park via the Sequoia Shuttle bus. For more information call (559) 5653341 or visit


Strollin’ Sequoias Continued…

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Strollin’ Sequoias Continued… ZUMWALT MEADOW TRAIL: Kings Canyon National Park Spanning over 460,000 acres Kings Canyon National Park, known as “Little Yosemite”, was established in 1940. The park incorporates what was once General Grant National Park, which was established in 1890 to protect the General Grant Grove and its Giant Sequoias trees. Located in the Cedar Grove area in the eastern portion of the park, Zumwalt Meadow Trail is a partially accessible and popular family-friendly 1.5-mile trail that circles the lush and expansive meadow, crosses the Kings River, and leads you through shaded forest areas while offering stunning views of high granite walls and dramatic cliffs. It’s a fantastic trail to enjoy during the summer and even in the early fall season. Trailhead parking is 4.5 miles east of Cedar Grove Village road. It is a good idea to purchase a trail guide at the visitor center. For more information call (559) 565-3341 or visit


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Strollin’ Sequoias Continued… TRAIL OF 100 GIANTS: Sequoia National Forest Connected to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument are home to 33 groves of Giant Sequoia Trees. Along with the magnificent Giant Sequoias, the area boasts lush forest meadows and a myriad of plant, bird and animal species. When it comes to viewing the Giant Sequoias, one of the more popular and easy-to-reach groves is on the Trail of 100 Giants in the Long Meadow Grove, which is estimated to have trees that are approximately 1,500 years old in growth. This 1.3 mile trail is paved and accessible with several loop options, as well as interpretive signs. There’s also an impressive site where you can see and stand where two Giant Sequoias fell in 2011.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Alicia Embrey - Sequoia National Forest, Donnette Silva Carter – Sequoia Tourism Council & Tulare Chamber of Commerce, and Suzanne Bianco - Visalia Convention & Visitors Bureau, who discuss summer in Sequoia National Forest and Tulare County Community Destinations.

To plan your Sequoia Adventure, visit Located on Western Divide Highway (107) across the road from Redwood Meadow Campground, the road to the Trail of 100 Giants is only Continued on Next Page… accessible during the summer months. For more information call (559) 784-1500 or visit PAGE 24

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Don’t Miss These Summer Events in California’s Sequoia Country! From art exhibits to music festivals, fireworks, car shows and star parties, check out these upcoming summer events in California’s Sequoia Country region including Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, and Tulare County park gateway communities of Exeter, Three Rivers, Visalia, Tulare, Porterville, Dinuba. For up-to-date event and travel information, visit

Leah Launey, Innkeeper of Three Rivers B&B, talks with Big Blend Radio about Summer Fun in Three Rivers and Sequoia National Park.

June 10: High Sierra Jazz Band in Concert: Three Rivers Veterans Memorial Building.

1st Saturday Three Rivers Art Day: Enjoy a day of food, fun, and fabulous art in Three Rivers.

June 10: Knights of Columbus Downtown Car Show: Porterville. Tel: (559) 784-7502

Porterville Art Walk: 1st Friday, downtown Porterville. Tel: (559) 776-7675

June 14: Exeter Flag Pole Dedication & Free BBQ: Tel: (559) 592-2919

Music on Main Street: Fridays, Centennial Park, Porterville. Tel: (559) 784-7502

July 4: 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza: Groppetti Stadium, Visalia. Tel: (559) 334-0141

Blues, Brews & BBQ: June 2, July 5, Aug. 4, Sept. July 8: Hot Dog Festival: Three Rivers Historical Society Museum. Tel: (559) 561-2707 8 in Downtown Visalia. Tel: (559) 334-0141 June 2-3: 25th Annual Dinuba Cars in the Park Car Show: Tel: (559) 591-2707 June 3: JugFest: Country music at Mooney Grove Park, Visalia. Tel: (559) 334-0141

July 21-23: 2017 Dark Sky Festival: Events hosted by Sequoia Parks Conservancy, Three Rivers and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.



The Intriguing History of California Wines By Hilarie Larson

Callaway Vineyards Ask ‘Where did wine get its start in California?” and you’ll likely hear, “Napa” or “Sonoma”. While these famous districts have their share of historical credits, the truth is much more interesting. Who would guess that the ‘new upstart’ regions of Temecula Valley and Southern California would be the correct, and fascinating, answer? Legend is, the first vines were brought to Alta California in 1769 by Father Junipero Sera, a Franciscan monk tasked with establishing missions in this new world. Although a romantic notion, research done by the Mission San Luis Rey Museum, indicates otherwise.

Listen to Hilarie Larson talk about Temecula Wine History on Big Blend Radio!

Only one grape was planted in California in these early days – the ‘Missión. DNA testing tells us that the variety originated in the Castille-La Manche region of Spain and its true name is Fifty-five year old Sera had a chronic leg Listán Prieto. This well-traveled variety ended up infection and walked the 1000 mile, three-month in many regions conquered by the Spanish journey from Baja to San Diego accompanied by including the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico a rather broken down mule. He traveled in the where it was planted in 1629. warmth of early summer so the logistics of Wine and brandy were made for the sacrament, procuring and protecting vine cuttings, plus a host of other factors, reveal that the tale is just a to serve as a nutritional boost for the monks and to share with visitors, who traveled along the tale. Documents denote Sera spent years trying mission trail. Gradually, the monks expanded to procure vines. their vineyards, learning that wine was a very Finally, in 1779, he was successful. Cuttings were valuable commodity and a major contributor to sent to Mission San Juan Capistrano and the first the Southern California economy. vintage of California wine was created there in 1782.

Father Jose Maria de Zalvidea worked the vines in several missions and became known as the ‘Father of California Viticulture’. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 28

At its peak, the winery created 150,000 bottles per year. Vigne began searching for more land to increase his vineyard holdings and acquired In 1842 he moved to San Luis Ray where he 50,000 acres in the Temecula Valley. While his cultivated 34 acres in his distinctive ‘sunken garden’ style, enclosing the vineyard with rows of instincts were spot-on, the timing was terrible. No sooner had he purchased the land in 1846, Tuna Cactus. Zalvidea was also instrumental in the Mexican-American war broke out. He sold in expanding the vineyards eastward from the 1853. mission to a quiet village known by the local Luiseño tribe as ‘Teméeku’. Wine Country had its Temecula moved on. It was a stop on the start. Butterfield Stage route and a main source of By 1821, the missions had vanished, the Rancho quality granite, supplying San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. Ranching and agriculture Era had begun and vast estates were created, many including vineyards, from the Spanish land prevailed with Vail Ranch owning most of the land from the mid 1900’s until it sold to Kaiser grants. Opportunity attracted one of Southern Development in 1964. California’s more interesting wine-related characters, John-Louis Vignes. An immigrant Rancho California Development promised a from France’s Bordeaux region, he arrived in ‘gentleman farmer’ lifestyle – a close drive from California in 1830. He purchased 104 acres in Los Angeles but a world away. They hired a what is now downtown Los Angeles, planted respected agriculture expert, Dick Break, to vineyards and, in 1833, opened California’s original commercial winery, El Aliso. He was the research the most suitable crops for the region and he went about planting experimental first to import vine cuttings from France with gardens, including wine grapes. Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc scions shipped in wrappings of moss and potato skins. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 29 Temecula Continued…

Temecula Wine Country Continued… In 1967, an advertisement touting this new Eden caught the eye of an LA based television lighting director named Vincent Cilurzo. Soon after, he and his wife Audrey were buying a 50 acre parcel known as ‘Yoder Camp’ for $47,000, including the barn. The Cilurzos enlisted the help of Break in selecting and planting their vines and became the first commercial vineyard in the area. The modern age of Temecula Wine Country had officially commenced. Brookside Winery, located in Rancho Cucamonga, planted a vast 400 acre vineyard and hired local John Moramarco to supervise the job. On Easter weekend, 1968, as he was driving down a dusty, dirt road, he was waived down by a real estate agent who said he had a client looking for vineyard land. Any suggestions? Moramarco took them closer to town and pointed to a gentle, south-facing slope. Eli Callaway, later to make his name in the golfing industry, got out of the car, said “Thanks”’ and by Thanksgiving, was offering Moramarco a job. 150 acres was just too small a project to take him away from his current position, but there was a neighbor, John Poole, who also wanted vineyards planted. A deal was made and by January of 1969 work had begun on ‘Long Valley Vineyards’, later to be known as Callaway and Mount Palomar wineries.

1st Vineyard circa 1972, Cilurzo Vineyards now the home of Maurice Carrie Winery, photo courtesy of Temecula Valley Museum.

John Moramarco, Vince Cilurzo, Philo Biane -Brookside Winer, photo courtesy of Temecula Valley Museum.

In 1973, Callaway quit his job and moved to Temecula. The grapes were thriving and he was making a good living selling the fruit to wineries in Paso Robles. No one in Temecula was making wine so he decided he’d be the first and in 1974, he opened the doors to Callaway’s tasting room selling wines made on site from Temecula grown fruit. Poole opened Mount Palomar in 1978, specializing in a wide array of grape varietals and was the first in the region to plant Sangiovese. The Cilurzos started producing estate wines, too, and the next phase of Temecula Wine Country was now in full swing.

John Poole, photo courtesy Temecula Valley Museum.


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Temecula Wine Country Continued… Today, there are over 40 wineries in the Temecula AVA from full facility resorts to cozy tasting rooms. Their wines appear on fine restaurant wine lists and garner high points in glossy wine magazines. But you still find history – patches of Break’s experimental vineyards exist at Keyways Winery and the Cilurzo’s barn is now part of Maurice Carrie. And Napa? They didn’t plant vines until the 1850s! Special thanks to Steve Williamson of the Temecula Valley Museum. Hilarie Larson’s passion for wine began in the 1970’s while in the European hospitality industry. In 2003 she began her wine career in earnest in her native British Columbia, Canada, working at several Okanagan Valley wineries. Along the way, she acquired her certificate from the Court of Master Sommelier, worked for an international wine broker and as ‘Resident Sommelier’ for wineries in Washington State and California.

Callaway Wine vintage 1992

Hilarie’s greatest joy is spreading the gospel of wine, food and travel. In addition to her own blogs at, she contributes articles to a number of online publications. She was honored to be awarded the 2013 Emerging Writer Scholarship from the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association, for whom she is now the Administrative Director. PAGE 31

Summer Sunshine and Starry Night Skies, Birds and Wildflowers, Hiking and Boating, Picnics and Wine Tasting, Apple Pie and More! Compiled by Lisa D. Smith & Nancy J. Reid Head northeast from San Diego’s coastline, and you’ll be winding your way up into San Diego County’s rugged yet majestic mountain country, complete with oak and cedar forests, lakes and lush meadows, wildflowers, birds and wildlife. The fresh air beckons you to escape the hustle bustle, soak up the pure bliss of being out in beautiful nature, and to bask in the sweet rays of sunshiny adventure! Just off the Southern California portion of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, mile-high Palomar Mountain and the historic mountain hamlet of Julian are waiting for you! PALOMAR MOUNTAIN makes for a peaceful respite within a tranquil and natural setting. Here you’ll experience dense forests of pine, fir and cedar, wildflowers, verdant meadows, and stunning panoramic views. High up on the west side of Palomar Mountain, the 1,862-acre Palomar Mountain State Park offers nature walks, hiking trails, picnic spots, a fishing pond, as well as a campground. The popular Doane Valley Nature Trail, is an easy 1-mile trail that leads through a meadow and forest setting. The trail loops around Doane Pond and crosses both Rattlesnake Creek and Doane Creek. The cool spring water that flows through the pond joins French Creek which eventually becomes part of Pauma Creek in the Lower Doane Valley, ultimately flowing into the San Luis Rey River, which meets the sea in Oceanside. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 32

San Diego Mountain Magic Continued… From squirrels and deer to herons, blue jays and woodpeckers, there’s a variety of bird and wildlife to experience as well as a diverse array of plant life that ranges from wild roses, dogwoods and thimbleberries to white alder, California black oak and incense cedar trees. Bailey’s Palomar Resort, just a few minutes from the park, is a wonderful retreat for those who want to sleep amongst the trees, whether it’s in a historic cabin or luxury “glamping” campsite. One of the most popular attractions in the region is the Palomar Observatory, home to the famous 200-inch Hale Telescope. Visit the museum and take a guided tour. Learn more about Palomar Mountain on Continued on Next Page…


Watch our 60 Seconds of a #OneHourWalk Video on the Doane Valley Nature Trail on Palomar Mountain below.

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Watch our 60 Second Spotlight: Lake Cuyamaca, CA, just outside Julian, CA below.


San Diego Mountain Magic Continued… JULIAN is a popular mountain hamlet known for its gold rush history, apple and pear orchards, wineries and breweries, farm-totable fare and delicious apple pie. A strong sense of early California will lead you down the wooden sidewalks of Julian’s historic downtown district. This small mountain town’s colorful history is still alive with historic reenactments and gunfights by the Julian Doves & Desperados, gold mine tours, historic walking tours, museums, and even a self-guided historic walking tour. With a number of local wineries, breweries and tasting rooms, Julian has also become a popular wine tasting destination. The historic downtown district and surrounding communities of Wynola and Santa Ysabel are a shopping adventure featuring antique shops, boutiques, galleries and gift shops. Dining options range from an oldefashioned soda fountain to American and Italian restaurants, as well as delicious farm-to-table fare, especially at Jeremy’s on the Hill California Style Bistro. From romantic B&Bs to rustic mountain cabins, there’s lodging to suit everyone’s needs. PAGE 35

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San Diego Mountain Magic Continued… Julian is surrounded by beautiful forests, parks, and lakes. Summers are perfect for hiking, biking, boating and fishing, camping, star-gazing, and horse riding. Spend a day at Lake Cuyamaca where you can go fishing or boating, take a hike and enjoy a lakeside picnic. This high desert mountain region has numerous hiking trails to explore including Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve, Santa Ysabel Open Space Preserve. From bluebirds to woodpeckers, deer to bobcat, you’re sure to get your bird and wildlife watching fix here, especially at the California Wolf Center, a mustvisit for any wildlife enthusiast. Julian’s upcoming seasonal events include: June 9: 9th Annual Apple Blossom Tea; June 10: 11th Annual Julian Dance & Backcountry BBQ; June 17: 9th Annual Julian Blues Bash 2017. July 29: Julian Apple Pie Grand Prix Aug. 5: 3rd Annual ‘Sip of Julian’ Sept. 2: Julian Grape Stomp Festa Learn more about Julian on PAGE 36


In 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

Experience Bayside Trail at Cabrillo National Monument, a #OneHourWalk through Seafaring Adventures, Military Defense Drama, Prolific Bird & Plant Life, and Fantastic Views! Compiled by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith As you gaze out to sea from the Monument erected in honor of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo, you can imagine the excitement Cabrillo and his crew felt when they discovered what is now Point Loma and San Diego Bay. Shortly after Columbus discovered the Americas, Pope Alexander VI proclaimed the New World to be the property of Spain and Portugal, banning England, France, and the Netherlands from the waters, leaving them without a trade route to Asia--and the race to find the Northwest Passage was on. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was commissioned by Antonia de Mendoza, the viceroy of New Spain, to chart the uncharted coastal waters of what is now California. He was to find the then mythical Strait of Anian (the Northwest Passage), look for the Seven Cities of Gold (Cibola) and to find new places to colonize. PAGE 38

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Watch Our 60 Seconds of a #OneHourWalk Video: Bayside Trail, below.

Goin’ Bayside Continued…

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Cabrillo was living and working in Navidad in Jalisco, Mexico as a shipbuilder after a career as the Captain of crossbowmen and Conquistador for Hernan Cortes in the fights against the Aztec Empire, when he accepted the commission. After 3 months or so, Cabrillo’s three ships landed in what is now San Diego Bay, and claimed the land for Spain, naming it San Miguel. After a 6 day stay to wait out a storm, Cabrillo continued his exploration up the California coast, discovering the islands of Santa Catalina and San Clemente, (which he named San Salvador and La Victoria after his ships), before turning toward the mainland, into what is now San Pedro Bay. Established October 14, 1913 and protecting 144 acres, Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego, California, tells the stories of 16th century exploration, 19th century lighthouses and WWI and WWII military history. Military defense systems, gun batteries, bunkers and control stations are preserved here and the Point Loma Peninsula provides terrific views of the ocean and the San Diego harbor. PAGE 39

Goin’ Bayside Continued‌ The Bayside Trail is a scenic and paved 2.5-mile trail that leads you down an old US Army roadway, through endangered coastal sage scrub habitat and views of San Diego Bay. On clear days you may be able to see Mexico, the Laguna mountains, North Island Naval Air Station, and Coronado Bridge. Both the kelp beds and the coastal chaparral provide homes for a diverse number of native species, both plant and animal. If you visit in the fall, you may see Gray Whales on their way from their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic, back to Baja California to bear young. In January and February, they will head north again with calves in tow. The cry of seabirds overhead, the crashing waves, the smell of crisp sea air--all makes for a wonderful experience. Visit to learn more about Cabrillo National Monument!


A Wonderful #OneHourWalk Along the Lower Colorado River Riparian Area in Yuma, Arizona Compiled by Nancy J. Reid & Lisa D. Smith Located within the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, in Yuma, Arizona, the East Wetlands features a 3-mile loop that circles around a lush riparian area, as well as an unpaved ½-mile trail that runs along the lower Colorado River. Both trails are accessible from Gateway Park at the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge, near the historic Yuma Downtown district and Yuma Territorial Prison. Offering spectacular sunrise and sunset views, the trail is quite level with a few bench seating areas, and a beautiful overlook that extends across the River and showcases the St. Thomas Indian Mission.

Beaver and fox have returned to the area, but they are elusive and it takes some luck to spot them. If you enjoy bird watching, check in with the Yuma Audubon Society who hosts seasonal bird walks. You can also follow the trail to the West Wetlands, passing by Pivot Point, and the Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park. Dubbed ‘The Gateway to the Great Southwest’, Yuma is located in the southwest corner of Arizona on the border of Mexico and California, and is home to the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. Of historic significance, the Colorado River was once a water highway and major crossing point at the narrows, which was the easiest place to cross the Colorado River into California. Many crossed here including expeditions such as Juan Bautista de Anza and the Mormon Battalion, and fortune seekers off to try their luck in the California gold rush.

Learn more about Yuma, Arizona on This 1400 acre restoration project features cottonwood, willow and mesquite trees, as well as a marsh area where you can watch an abundant variety of wading birds and water fowl.

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Watch our 60 Seconds of a #OneHourWalk Video: East Wetlands, Yuma, AZ below.

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Explorin’ Yuma East Wetlands Continued…

Explorin’ Yuma East Wetlands Continued…

July 8: Full Moon Kayaking Trip: Begins and ends at Gateway Park. Tel: (928) 373-5200

DON’T MISS THESE SUMMER YUMA EVENTS! For up-to-date event information visit or the Yuma Events Page on June 3-July 29: Children's Museum of Yuma County: Yuma Art Center. Tel: (928) 373-5202

July 15: Girls Night Out: Historic Yuma Theatre. Tel: (928) 373-5202 Aug. 5: Sunrise Kayaking: Begins at Bruce Church and ends at Gateway Park. Tel: (928) 3735200. Aug. 18: Celebrate the Heat! Main Street. Tel: 928.373.5028

June 10, July 15, Aug. 19: City of Yuma Summer Swap Meets: Yuma Civic Center. Tel: (928) 373-5040 June 10: Family Fish Fiesta: West Wetlands Park. Tel: (928) 373-5200

Aug. 26: Party Expo! Yuma Civic Center. Tel: (928) 373-5200

June 16: Washoes & Cornhole Tournament: Yuma Civic Center. Tel: (928) 373-5040. June 17: Juneteenth Celebration: Historic downtown Yuma. Tel: (928) 783-4305. July 4: 31st Annual Independence Day Flag Raising Ceremony: Yuma Armed Forces Park. July 4: 4th of July All American BBQ & Fireworks Spectacular: Desert Sun Stadium. Tel: (928) 373-5040. PAGE 44

Yuma Landing Bar & Grill Come Eat, Drink & Be Merry where the First Airplane Landed in Arizona! Hangar Sports Bar 24 Beers on Tap ~ Daily Drink Specials Appetizers & Entrees Televised Sports Events ~ Live Music & Entertainment

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Yuma Landing Restaurant American & South-of-the-Border Cuisine Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Win! Win! Win! Sign up on for our Captain’s Log e-Newsletter and you will be entered into our monthly drawing for a $25 Yuma Landing Gift Certificate, plus you'll get news on other great giveaways, specials, Yuma Landing recipes, events news & more! Located on the same property as the Historic Coronado Motor Hotel, the Yuma Landing Bar & Grill is the site where the first airplane landed in Arizona, and features a state monument, historic photos and memorabilia.

Groups of 15 or more diners get a 15% discount on breakfast, lunch and dinner. All Military Personnel Receive a 20% Discount on Meals!

195 S. 4th Avenue, Yuma, Arizona Tel: (928) 782-7427

Circlin’ The Cienega


A Desert Oasis of Birds & Blooms in Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge By Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid Located about 60 miles south of Tucson, Arizona, the 17,500-acre Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge is a spectacular bird and wildlife watching Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with destination that offers beautiful nature walks Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge through riparian corridors, scenic dirt road drives Specialist Joshua Smith through rolling grasslands frequented by pronghorn and mule deer, 200 miles of back country hiking, mountain biking and horseback Its unique combination of semi-desert riding trails, as well as primitive style camping grasslands, wetlands, mountain canyons, as well under the stars. as cottonwood, sycamore and live oak trees, provide habitat to over 340 bird species and a No matter what time of year, there is always range of southwestern wildlife including something new to experience at Buenos Aires pronghorn, mule deer, coyotes, javalina, badgers National Wildlife Refuge. Dramatic summer and coatis. monsoon rainstorms that green up the Continued on Next Page‌ grasslands and riparian areas, fall colors that melt into crisp blue winter skies, and a vibrant array of wildflowers and native plants that bloom from spring through autumn. Bordering Mexico and offering milder winter temperatures and biodiverse habitats, the Refuge is a popular migration and breeding destination for a variety of birds. PAGE 47

Buenos Aires Continued… The east side of the Refuge is in the small community of Arivaca. A haven for bird and nature enthusiasts, the Arivaca Cienega Trail is an easy and level 1.25-mile trail that follows a footpath and boardwalk around a rare and seasonal desert wetland, leading you through groves of mesquite and hackberry trees, past majestic oaks and willows, and along grassy areas speckled with the colors of seasonal sunflowers and wildflowers that include all kinds of poppies, daisies, morning glories, monkey flowers, and cactus. Depending on the time of year you visit, bird species range from the brilliant red vermillion flycatcher to the elusive sora rail, black-throated sparrow, northern cardinal, phainopepla, loggerhead shrike, summer tanager, red-winged blackbird, a variety of warblers, hummingbirds, thrashers, ducks, swallows, egrets, herons and hawks, as well as roadrunners and turkey vultures. Keep your eyes open for resident deer, bobcat and coyotes, toads and turtles, and even coatis. There’s a bird viewing station overlooking Willow Pond, some benches along the trail, as well as shaded picnic areas and restroom facilities at the entrance. The Tucson Audubon Society hosts free guided bird walks at the Cienega, every Saturday at 8am, from November to April. Once a cattle ranch, the Refuge was purchased in 1985, under the authority of the Endangered Species Act. Today it is managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service, who are working to reestablish a breeding population of endangered masked bobwhite quail, while restoring the native grassland, and protecting the Refuge’s diverse habitats for native plant and wildlife as well as threatened or endangered species such as the Chiricahua leopard frog and Pima pineapple cactus.

Click Here to do the Online Jigsaw Puzzle of the Cienega Trail!

The incredible biodiversity of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge crushes the clichéd myth that Arizona is one big desert sandbox with a few “Gumbi Trees” stuck in for effect. It proves that a protected desert ecosystem can flourish into a vibrant and colorful oasis abundant in a multitude of flora and fauna species. For more information call (520) 823-4251 or visit Keep up with the Refuge’s programs, bird and wildlife sightings on Facebook at


Historic Coronado Motor Hotel Yuma's Destination Hotel Celebrating Over 75 Years of Tradition Where The Past Makes History

Ideal Location Close to Shopping, Restaurants, Attractions & Activities Over 120 Clean & Comfortable Guest Rooms Full Cooked Breakfast at Yuma Landing Bar & Grill Free Hi-Speed Internet & WiFi ~ Work Desk Flat Screen TV & DVD Player Fridge ~ Microwave ~ Coffee Maker Iron & Ironing Board ~ Hair Dryer ~ In-Room Safe Two Swimming Pools ~ 1 Fitness Center 2 Business Centers ~ Guest Laundry Facilities Free Parking for Cars, Boats, Buses, RVs & Trucks Group Rates & Government Per Diem Rates

233 4th Avenue, Yuma, AZ 85364 Toll Free: (877) 234-5567 Local: (928) 783-4453 Subscribe to our Captain’s log e-Newsletter for specials!

SPOTLIGHT: LYON COUNTY MUSEUM A Stop off the Pony Express & California National Historic Trails in Historic Downtown Yerington, Nevada!

Watch Our 60 Second Spotlight Video: Lyon County Museum, Yerington, NV

From local Native American culture to the pioneers, miners, farmers and ranchers who developed the land, the Lyon County Museum in downtown Yerington features eight buildings of artifacts and exhibits that preserve and showcases the region’s diverse history and heritage. You’ll see artifacts that range from a human hair embroidered picture to a nickel slot machine, dental tools and a gomphothere mandible. Continued on Next Page…

The Bakery Gallery Popular destination offering a delicious variety of cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, Danish pastries, coffee cakes, biscotti, chocolate truffles, desserts, and breads. They serve coffee and espresso and pre-fixe to-go dinners. 215 W. Goldfield Ave., Yerington, NV 89447 Tel: (775) 463-4070, PAGE 50

Museum Spotlight Continued… Yerington is a charming historic ranching, agricultural and mining community in Lyon County, western Nevada. The area also incorporates Mason Valley and Smith Valley, and is a popular destination for history buffs researching the area’s Pony Express and California National Historic Trails, along with its rich mining and railroad past. Yerington is also a fun casino gaming destination, and an outdoor and nature enthusiast’s paradise. Learn more about Yerington on

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Mike Hagen, docent of Lyon County Museum.

Read the ‘Relics and Legends’ article in the July 2015 issue of Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine, that outlines some of the artifacts and legendary stories of the people represented in the museum. Lyon County Museum is open to the public for tours Thursday through Sunday, with special group tours arranged by appointment. Call (775) 463-6576 or visit


By Eva Eldridge We arrived at the Fort Davis National Historic site one afternoon in late December. We came ready to experience the history of this site, but were surprised by the natural beauty of the area. Fort Davis spreads out below dark cliffs, which form a box canyon in the beautiful Davis Mountains. Limpia Creek, bordered by trees, meanders through the canyon. The history of Fort Davis is as fascinating as the area in which it all played out. By 1854, the California gold rush was winding down, but that didn’t stop the influx of people making their way across Texas to find their fortunes. The southernmost route to California included a 600 mile stretch between San Antonio and El Paso. As traffic increased on the trail, the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache raiders began to attack those encroaching on their territory. Fort Davis, named after U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, was created to protect travelers and settlers.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview about Fort Davis with John Heiner - Chief of Interpretation, and travel writer Eva Eldridge. During the early years, the San Antonio-El Paso Route also became a backbone for freight and the mail service to San Diego. At one point, camels were used in an attempt to find a shorter route between San Antonio and Fort Davis, but that effort wasn’t successful. Continued on Next Page…


Fort Davis Continued… Lt. Col. Washington Seawell, the first commander of Fort Davis, envisioned permanent stone buildings in the large meadow below the box canyon. However, the first incarnation of the fort was located in the canyon and consisted of rough, poorly built barracks made with green wooden slabs. The only stone buildings were for the forge, a warehouse, and bake house. The enlisted men of the 8th Infantry lived for several years in the flimsy barracks that couldn’t keep out the snow. It was after the Civil War before Fort Davis had a permanent location. The fort remained active until 1861. When Texas seceded from the United States, Union troops left Fort Davis and the Confederates took over. Their stay wasn’t long. In 1862, the Union troops won through and flew the Union flag over Fort Davis once again. A few months later, the Union abandoned the fort and it took five years for the 9th U.S. Calvary to return and bring Fort Davis back to life. The 9th U.S. Calvary consisted of the Buffalo Soldiers and their white officers. They occupied Fort Davis for the next few years, turning the establishment into a permanent camp with block barracks, officers’ quarters, and a hospital. PAGE 53

Fort Davis Continued… The Buffalo Soldiers fought the Apache and other tribes during their time at the fort, and did their part in settling west Texas and other places like Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. The first black man to graduate from West Point, Henry Ossian Flipper, served as quartermaster at Fort Davis. Unfortunately, racism was active in 1881 and 2nd Lieutenant Flipper was blamed for missing money and drummed out of the Army. There was more to Flipper’s life after the army and finally, in 1999, he was granted a pardon by President Bill Clinton. One of the things you didn’t want to do if you lived at Fort Davis was get sick or be wounded. Sanitation was mostly non-existent and people didn’t always die from their wounds as much as from infection. The old hospital building is partially restored, and samples of their operating instruments and other informative signs relay how tough life was more than a century ago. Families were wiped out from disease when there was no way to combat its spread. Continued on Next Page…

Photograph of Lt. Henry O. Flipper, public domain, U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on Military Affairs. (03/13/1822 1946)


Event at Fort Davis, Photo Courtesy of NPS Fort Davis Continued… Fort Davis wasn’t a stockade. There wasn’t a protective wall of any sort around it because the fort was never attacked. The Indians raided the cattle herds and travelers, but never the fort. In its heyday, more than 600 people lived in Fort Davis, but once the danger of Indian attack was eliminated, the fort was abandoned in 1891. Now we can visit restored parts of the fort and imagine the lives of the men and woman that lived there during the shaping of the west. You can read more about Fort Davis here at or even better, visit Fort Davis and see this little slice of American history, for yourself. Eva Eldridge is a contributing writer for Big Blend Radio & TV Magazine and Spirit of America Magazine. Along with travel and lifestyle articles, she also writes fiction and poetry. Visit

SUMMER EVENTS & ACTIVITIES AT FORT DAVIS NHS - Evening Programs June 17th thru August 12th: Join a National Park Ranger at the Davis Mountain State Park amphitheater for evening programs every Saturday at 7pm. Fun and educational for the whole family. - Jr. Ranger Days June 10th & 12th, July 4th & 22nd, Aug. 5th: Bring your whole family out for a fun day of learning about Fort Davis and the National Park Service. Help your child earn either a Jr. Ranger badge or a patch as your family explores the fort. - Independence Weekend July 1st & 2nd: Celebrate the birthday of our nation at Fort Davis with the presence of Calvary and Infantrymen walking the grounds and end the day with a bang with an artillery demonstration. - Labor Day Weekend September 2nd & 3rd: See the garrison flag fly over the fort with living history demonstrations and Ranger Programs throughout the weekend.


It’s the initial ascent that provides the buildup to the exhilaration you know you’ll soon experience. At the precipice, you look down and your heart starts thumping because you know what’s going to happen next. You scream when the first shock of cold water hits and then before you can get another word out, you’re careening down a wild wave train. Your raft bounces, hits a few obstacles and spins you around, forcing you to manipulate the rapids in a rear position. The only thing to do is obey your guide’s commands, dig deep with your paddle and say a prayer you stay in the boat. The final roller-coaster of waves releases the raft into calm water and you take a deep breath before you and your fellow rafters yell, “More!” If you’ve ever gone white-water rafting, then the above description will sound familiar. What will come as a surprise, however, is the fact that this scenario is not taking place on one of nature’s many rivers, but rather in the middle of an urban environment – Oklahoma City to be exact!

Listen to Debbie Stone talk about Oklahoma City adventures on Big Blend Radio! Built with a unique blend of public and private enterprise, the Boathouse District is home to Riversport Adventure Park, a landmark attraction for locals, visitors and Olympic hopefuls from all over the country.

The park offers white-water rafting and kayaking, tubing, adventure courses, zip lines, high speed slides, pump tracks, flatwater kayaking, playgrounds and miles of paved trails. There’s also a world-class, permanently lit race and training course for rowers and paddlers right on OKC’s Boathouse District, which is located on the the river. Oklahoma River in the city’s downtown core, is Continued on Next Page… an exciting destination for anyone looking for accessible outdoor adventure. PAGE 56

At Riversport Rapids, you can go white-water rafting or kayaking in the middle of OKC. A conveyor belt takes you to the top of the rapids and then in an instant, you’re thrust into the Riversport Rapids, which opened in May of 2016, churning white-water. And yes, you will get wet – has the distinction of being the only urban white- soaking wet! Typically, you’ll do several runs on water center in the world. This state-of-the-art the course, allowing you to catch your breath facility can pump up to a whopping 492,000 during the brief downtime. gallons of water per minute, which is the equivalent to filling an Olympic size pool in eighty If white-water kayaking has always been on your seconds. There are two channels or courses: bucket list, know that you can also give this sport international competitive and recreation. On a a try. The center offers lessons to newbies, busy day, both are used for a variety of whitestarting with the basics before trying out your water sports. Rapid blocks are set up as artificial newfound skills on small rapids. And for those boulders and can be reconfigured as needed. interested in tubing or river boarding, the whiteOklahoma City Continued…

Anyone can experience the Class II-IV whitewater rafting activity. You’ll first get a “trip talk,” where you’ll learn what to expect on the water and how to paddle your raft, plus some important safety information. Then you’ll be fitted for your helmet and PFD, before climbing aboard your six-person (plus guide) craft.

water presents a splashing good time. Flatwater kayaking and canoeing on the nearby Oklahoma River are also available to the public.

On dry land, check out the nearby adventure course and make your way to the top of the 80foot SandRidge Sky Trail. You’ll have the option to take a slide down, do the Rumble Drop (a controlled descent) or ride the Sky Zip. The latter is the most popular means of descent, as it runs Paddling mechanics will be reviewed with some practice time for your group to get in sync. Some 700 feet across the picturesque Oklahoma River and an equal distance on the return trip. Young folks take to paddling without much problem; others need a bit of time to fully understand that kids will appreciate having their own designated adventure course and mini zip line. this is a joint endeavor and all must work together to help effectively navigate the raft.

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Oklahoma City Continued… For the bike, skateboard and skate communities, there are three world-class mountain bike/BMX courses. The Velosolutions Pump Track, for example, features seamless paved waves and is the largest of its kind in the country. It includes an integrated timing system that can connect OKC’s track with other Velosolutions pump tracks nationwide for virtual competition. The Subaru Momentum Pump Track is a fiberglass course designed with a series of berms, bumps and jumps, allowing riders to utilize gravity and body weight to “pump” rather than pedal the course. It, too, is the largest of its kind in the U.S.

Riversport Adventure Park 80-foot Sand Ridge Sky Trail

While you’re in the Boathouse District, it’s hard not to notice the art and architecture present. Noted artist Owen Morrell’s Compass Rose graces the entrance to the facility, while each of the boathouses along the river are iconic pieces of architecture designed by architect Rand Elliott, Elliott & Associates. The newest, the CHK/Central Boathouse, which is owned by the University of Central Oklahoma, includes a live music venue and an art gallery. The Boathouse District is not the only attraction that will surprise visitors to OKC. There are numerous cultural sites for history buffs, art aficionados, musicians and even devotees of cowboy lore. If some of your finest memories came from hours of entertainment with the legends of western cinema and literature, then you’ll want to head to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Painted buffalos, as part of a public art project, can be found throughout the city.

Located in the rolling hills of northeast OKC (yes, there are hills, contrary to the “flat as a pancake” preconceived notions of the topography here), the museum is a world class facility where you can discover the grit, passion, courage and cultures of the American West. You’ll learn about the challenges and triumphs of the men and women who developed a way of life that has been permanently etched in our nation’s fabric.

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. PAGE 58

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Oklahoma City Continued… There are interactive exhibits on the American rodeo, Hollywood and the West, classic and contemporary Western art, headdresses of the American Plains, the artistry of the Western paperback and even special galleries devoted to the Western bandana, the chuck wagon and to the many different types of barb wire used for fencing on ranches. Outside is the Garden Gallery, a beautifully designed space with garden beds, walkways, fountains and more sculptures. Also of interest is the American Banjo Museum, a 21,000 square foot facility honoring the rich history and vibrant spirit of this treasured instrument. On display are hundreds of banjos from the Old South, Minstrel Age, post WWII and the Jazz Age.

Waterfalls and fountains dot the picturesque Bricktown Canal. The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, with its signature sculpture by world renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, is a beacon for art lovers, while Science Museum Oklahoma is one of the city’s premiere educational attractions for families with hands-on science experiences, interactive exhibits, planetarium shows and more. A must see during your visit is the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum.

Though very sobering and heart wrenching, the experience serves as a remarkable testament to the will, courage and indefatigable spirit of Oklahomans to pull together and rebuild their city after the horrendous tragedy of the Oklahoma City bombing. The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial honors “those who were killed, those Nature lovers, on the other hand, will enjoy the who survived and those changed forever” on Myriad Botanical Gardens, an oasis in the heart April 19, 1995. It encompasses the land where of downtown. The centerpiece is the Crystal the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building once Bridge Tropical Conservatory, featuring over stood, capturing and preserving the place and 2,000 fascinating species of palm trees, flowers life altering events. and exotic plants from across the globe. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 59

Oklahoma Memorial and Museum

Oklahoma City Continued… The Gates of Time frame the moment of destruction. The East Gate represents 9:01 a.m. on April 19th, a time of innocence prior to the attack; whereas, the West Gate represents 9:03 a.m., the exact instant when the bomb went off. The Reflecting Pool occupies what was once N.W. Fifth Street. A shallow depth of gently flowing water serves as a calming balm and peaceful setting for quiet contemplation. Perhaps the most striking scene is the Field of Empty Chairs. Each of the 168 chairs symbolize a life lost, with smaller chairs representing the nineteen children killed. Arranged in nine rows, one for each of the nine floors of the building, they are placed according to the floor on which those killed were working or visiting. Each bronze and stone creation rests on a glass base etched with the name of a victim.

Once inside the museum, you’ll embark on a chronological self-guided tour through the story of April 19, 1995 and the days, weeks and years that followed the bombing. It is a memorable journey of loss, resilience, justice and hope. You’ll first hear the official recording of an Oklahoma Water Resources Board meeting from that day, which was held across the street from the Murrah Building. A mere two minutes into the recording, you hear the sound that forever changed our country.

Ensuing galleries focus on the chaos and confusion, using artifact cases, murals, computer kiosks and helicopter footage. The rescue response and recovery efforts are detailed within the incredible stories of survivors, rescue workers, the medical community, construction volunteers and others. This is followed by a series of exhibits explaining the investigation Also of note is the fence installed to protect the and evidence used to piece together the case site of the Murrah Building. Almost immediately against the conspirators. Finally, justice is served. after the bombing, people began to leave tokens The tour leaves you not only with a thorough of love and hope on the fence. Over 80,000 items understanding of what happened on that terrible were collected. Today, more than 200 feet of the day and its aftermath, but with an overwhelming original fence provides an opportunity for sense of awe and inspiration in regards to how a visitors to continue to leave items of community rallied to remember and to remembrance. Nearby is the Survivor Wall with memorialize. over 600 names inscribed on salvaged pieces of granite from the Murrah Building lobby. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 60

At Centennial Crossing, forty-five sculptures depict the Oklahoma Land Run.

Oklahoma City Continued… Just east of downtown is Bricktown, OKC’s renovated warehouse district. The signature look of this historic area is red brick, as this was the most plentiful construction material available back at the turn of the century when the buildings were erected. Today, Bricktown has become the city’s hot spot for fine restaurants, clubs, galleries and shops. Water taxis helmed by humorous tour guides chug down the Bricktown Canal, a mile-long pedestrian waterway that cuts through the heart of the sector, past waterfalls and fountains, eventually ending at Centennial Crossing. There, a larger-than-life sculpture depicting the Oklahoma Land Run stands. This magnificent piece of art consists of forty-five figures portraying land run participants on their way to stake claims in the new territory.

Though meat rules at this popular eatery, seafood lovers will enjoy such dishes as Grilled Redfish with Jumbo Lump Crab or Pan Roasted Sea Pass with Lobster Risotto. Know that portions are large and you won’t go away hungry! After your meal, head to Michael Murphy’s for a rock and roll dueling piano show that’s request-driven with plenty of comedy banter and interaction between sets. It’s one of Bricktown’s favorite spots for evening entertainment. Continued on Next Page… Explore historic Bricktown on a carriage ride.

At night, Bricktown’s restaurants and watering holes are busy. For that special meal, dine at Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse on iconic Mickey Mantle Drive. Named after the legendary ballplayer, an Oklahoman, this restaurant is known for its array of grilled signature steaks and chef-driven menu, as well as its extensive wine list featuring hard-to-find vintages. PAGE 61

Oklahoma City Continued… The Stockyards District should also be on your list, especially if you want to see a little of the real West of today. Home to the world’s largest stocker/feeder livestock market, Stockyards City is the genuine thing. Browse the western wear and specialty shops lining the streets for that coveted pair of boots, cowboy hat, spurs or belt buckle. If you can’t find what you want off the shelf, there are highly skilled artisans who will be happy to custom make whatever you need.

One of Bricktown’s favorite spots for evening entertainment is Michael Murphy’s dueling piano show.

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Save room for the coconut meringue pie at Cattlemen’s.

Once you’ve shopped ‘til you drop, get your sustenance at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, Oklahoma’s oldest continually operating restaurant. A true Oklahoma tradition since 1910, Cattlemen’s is known for serving the finest cuts of beef in a relaxed, casual atmosphere, with attentive service. It’s a gathering place for all kinds of folks, from movie stars to rodeo greats, politicians and anyone with a big appetite. You’ll feel as if you’ve taken a trip back in time when you dine amid the brick walls and red vinyl leather booths. Make sure to save room for the heavenly coconut meringue pie. PAGE 62

Oklahoma City Continued… On Saturday nights, stroll over to the Centennial Rodeo Opry, “Oklahoma’s Official Country Music Show.” Family-friendly productions feature talented new singers who share the stage with special guests, OKC favorites and the professional Opry house band. Famous Oklahoma artists such as Reba McEntire, Wanda Jackson and Wade Hayes not only performed at the Opry, but worked with up and coming young local talents to open the doors to their future. The Opry is an important part of Oklahoma history and its musical culture. Worthy of a short drive from OKC is Pops Restaurant, a modern roadside attraction on fabled Route 66 in Arcadia, Oklahoma. It’s marked by a giant structure in the shape of a soda pop bottle. At 66 feet tall and weighing 4 tons, it’s hard to miss. The restaurant’s design incorporates a cantilevered truss extending one hundred feet over the gas pumps and parking area. Inside, glass walls are decorated with shelves of soda pop bottles, arranged by beverage color. The place boasts 700 different types of soda, which you can buy from the wellstocked coolers. The food is typical diner fare, but the malts and shakes are crazy good!

The Centennial Rodeo Opry is an important part of Oklahoma history and its musical culture.

Pops is a modern roadside attraction on legendary Route 66.

Continued on Next Page… Glass walls in Pops are lined with soda pop bottles arranged by beverage color.


Watch our 60 Second Spotlight: Oklahoma City, OK Video Below!

Oklahoma City Continued… When it comes to accommodations, OKC has you covered. Choices abound to suit all budgets. If it’s a historical vibe you prefer, then make the conveniently located Skirvin Hilton your digs. Owner Bill Skirvin built the place back in 1911 and preceded to host a melting pot of guests, including millionaires, Indians, cattlemen and even the fabled bank robber Al Jennings. After Skirvin’s death in 1944, Dan James bought the hotel and ushered in a post-WWII golden era with a clientele of U.S. Presidents and celebrities, President Richard Nixon and Bob Hope among them. The hotel closed in 1987 due to bankruptcy and lay dormant for a number of years. Eventually, the OKC City Council bought it and had it renovated under the Hilton brand, finally reopening the place in 2007. Today, the Skirvin boasts original architecture and several original features such as the tile floors in the lobby, the elevator doors, ceiling murals, wood floor and windows on the 14th floor and the well-known Bacchus heads that greet guests at the hotel entrance. The irony of the latter is that at the time of the property’s opening, state imposed prohibition was in effect.

Skirvin, however, was fond of his adult libations and known for his wicked sense of humor. Having the Roman god of wine and intoxication smiling down upon all who entered the hotel seemed apropos in his mind! For everything OKC, see:

Deborah Stone is a travel and lifestyle writer, who explores the globe in search of unique destinations and experiences to share with her readers. She’s an avid adventurer who welcomes new opportunities to increase awareness and enthusiasm for travel and crosscultural connections. Her travels have taken her to all seven continents, over 65 countries and 45 U.S. states. PAGE 64

Established on November 10, 1978, the Missouri National Recreational River is located on the border between Nebraska and South Dakota, and is home to a 100-mile stretch of North America's longest river. There are two free flowing stretches that are the only parts of the river between Montana and the mouth of the Missouri, which remain undammed or un-channelized. Nicknamed “The Big Muddy”, the Missouri National Recreational River is also part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. From prehistoric cultures such as the Woodland Culture that dates back over 2,500 years, to the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discover Expedition that ran from May 1804 to September 1806, the river has served as a waterway and habitat for different people over the years, including various Native American tribes and of course, steamboat pilots. One of the major North American migratory waterfowl flyways, the Missouri River and its island complexes provide feeding, resting, and breeding areas for water birds and furbearers. The natural vegetation includes floodplain forests of willow and cottonwood as well as elm and oak woodlands. Popular visitor activities include bird watching, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, as well as summer ranger-led programs.

From watching snow geese and bald eagles to kayaking and canoeing, and visiting where Lewis & Clark once stood, Daniel Peterson - Chief of Interpretation, Education & Outreach, talks with Big Blend Radio about the history, nature, birding and summer visitor experience at Missouri National Recreational River in Yankton, South Dakota.

Continued on Next Page… The park’s Mobile Ranger Station acts as a visitor center on wheels, and travels throughout the Wild & Scenic River corridor and to local communities. The main headquarters for the park is in Yankton, South Dakota. For more information call (605) 665-0209 or visit All photos courtesy of NPS


Click Here to do the online jigsaw puzzle of this NPS image of the Missouri National Recreational River!


Trail marker near Caddo Mounds, Cherokee County, TX. Established in 2004 as a National Historic Trail, the El Camino Real de Los Tejas was a “royal road” that spanned approximately 2500 miles from Mission San Juan Bautista Guerrero, Mexico to Fort St. Jean Baptiste in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Translating to “The Royal Road of the Tejas” (Indians), as for hundreds of years it was one of the many trail routes used by Native Americans for trading, the El Camino Real de los Tejas was first followed and marked by Spanish explorers and missionaries in the 1700s. Today you can drive this historic trail from Laredo, Texas to Natchitoches, Louisiana, that will take you to over 30 historic sites and lead you through over 300 years of Louisiana and Texas frontier settlement and development.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview about the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail with Arlene Gould Executive Director of Natchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Steven Fullen – Cane River National Heritage Area and El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association. Continued on Next Page…

For maps and more information, visit the National Park Service website Photos courtesy: Christopher Talbot - Stephen F. or the El Camino Real de los Tejas National Austin State University; Rebecca Blankenbaker Historic Trail Association website Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc. (Los For more about Adaes photo); and NPS (Fort St. Jean Baptiste Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, visit photo and trail map). PAGE 68

Fort St. Jean Baptiste

Photos above and below: Swale at Fort Saint Jean Baptiste State Historic Site,

Photo Above: Trail leaving Los Adaes State Historic Site, Natchitoches Parish, LA. Photo Below: Trail Map


Memorial Building, photo courtesy of NPS. Located in central Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park was established on July 17, 1916 as the country’s first memorial to the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the park has two separate sites where Abraham Lincoln was born and lived early in his childhood. The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Unit features a Visitors Center, the Memorial Building with a symbolic cabin, Sinking Spring that was a water source for the Lincoln Family, and the site of Boundary Oak Tree that was used for a survey marker, two hiking trails, and a picnic area. The Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home Unit is home to the Ranger Station (open in summer only), Knob Creek that was a water source for the Lincoln family, a hiking trail and picnic area. Visits are self-guided from Labor Day to Memorial Day, with ranger led tours available from Memorial Day until Labor Day.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Stacy Humphreys - Chief of Interpretation at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, and Stephanie McMillin – Executive Director of Springfield Tourism Commission.

One of Kentucky’s six National Park Service units, Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park is part of the Lincoln Heritage Trail, and is located in Hodgenville, just 45 miles from Springfield and 15 miles from Elizabethtown. For more information call (270) 358-3137 or visit PAGE 70

Visitor Center, photo courtesy of NPS.

Restored log cabin at Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek, photo courtesy of NPS.

Lincoln Tavern at Knob Creek. Built in 1931 the tavern was a local bar and dance hall until 1942 when the county voted itself dry. Photo courtesy NPS.


by Debbie Stone “It began at Bethel.” With these words, historian and educator Dr. Martha Bouyer proceeded to take me back in time to the birth of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. “The Movement,” as its members called it, started at Bethel Baptist Church, under the steerage of the church’s fiery pastor, Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth. It was Shuttlesworth who organized the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) after the State of Alabama declared the NAACP a foreign corporation which could no longer exist. This was in response to the Reverend’s refusal to turn over the names of the local members of the organization.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Debbie Stone about visiting the Birmingham Civil Rights Trail.

The ACMHR was headquartered at Bethel Baptist Church. Built in 1926, this National Historic Landmark church and “American Treasure” served as a staging ground for the Birmingham To many, Shuttlesworth’s name might be Civil Rights Movement from 1956 to 1961. The unfamiliar. I was unaware of this man’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement until I church still stands within the neighborhood of visited Birmingham on an historical tourism trip. Collegeville, despite having been the target of Shuttlesworth emerged as a “hidden figure,” who three separate bombings by white extremists. was often shadowed by other such well-known It withstood these attacks without ever missing a leaders of the time as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday morning worship service, testament to and Reverend Ralph Abernathy. But, it was the strength and enduring spirit of its pastor and Shuttlesworth who initially galvanized the black his congregants. Shuttlesworth. community with the aim of dismantling the city’s segregation ordinances. He was the spark that Continued on Next Page… created the flame. PAGE 72

Historian and educator Dr. Martha Bouyer stands outside historic Bethel Baptist Church. Birmingham Continued… Shuttlesworth was known as the “Wild Man from Birmingham” by his colleagues, was the subject of countless attacks and beatings, and jailed more than any other civil rights minister. He is also said to have taken more cases to the U.S. Supreme Court than any other individual in the history of the court. Every Monday night during these turbulent years, ACMHR mass meetings were held at Bethel and dozens of other churches scattered across the city. Ushers would take up collections to be used for bail to release those imprisoned for infractions against the Birmingham Segregation Codes. This could be anything and everything including talking too loud, “reckless eyeballing,” vagrancy, using the wrong toilet facilities or drinking fountains, or occupying the incorrect seating area on a streetcar or restaurant. Those convicted would go to jail and if they could not pay bail, they would end up in the “convict leasing” program, having to work their sentence off via hard labor. It was slavery by another name, as the offenders’ costs would continue to mount under various pretenses, with no end in sight to their imprisonment. ACMHR was the strongest of the local civil rights movements, eventually merging together to form an umbrella group, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, under King’s leadership.

At the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, visitors are confronted with the cruel inequities of life for blacks living under segregation. Shuttlesworth invited King to join mass marches because King’s oratory attracted national media coverage. Birmingham became the catalyst for the most dramatic social and legal changes of the 20th century. The ensuing demonstrations and violence that occurred in this city ultimately led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ensuring equal access to public accommodations in America. At Bethel, you’ll hear this story and learn of Shuttlesworth’s significant role, while having the opportunity to look at relevant photos, news articles and artifacts from the era. To set the scene, gospel music plays in the background, emphasizing the crucial question of the time, “Do you want your freedom?” Nearby on a counter is a jar of beans to illustrate one of the outlandish methods used to determine if a black person was eligible to vote. If the individual could guess the exact number of beans in the container, then he/she would be allowed to cast his/her vote. As this was nearly impossible, it almost guaranteed that blacks would not be able to participate in the process. Continued on Next Page…


The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was the scene of one of the deadliest moments in the civil rights era. Birmingham Continued… The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church should also be on the list of places to include during your Birmingham Civil Rights tour. The church, a popular rallying point for the movement, became an obvious target for Klansmen. It is connected with one of the deadliest moments of the civil rights era. Days after a six-year court battle ended in favor of integrating Birmingham schools, four Klansmen retaliated. On September 15, 1963, they bombed the church, killing four girls (Addie Mae Collins, 14, Carol Denise McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14) who had been in the basement preparing for Sunday worship. Numerous others were injured. A short video, “Angels of Change,” explains the events of that day, while photos on display in the basement of the building show the damage of the dynamite blast. All but one of the stained glass windows in the church were destroyed. The damage that the sole remaining window incurred rendered the figure of Christ faceless. It is said that though terrorists tried to take away the vision of the movement, the body remained standing. This incident burned a lasting impression around the country and all over the world, drawing overwhelming sympathy for the cause.

Monument in memory of the four girls who perished in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. This incident burned a lasting impression around the country and all over the world, drawing overwhelming sympathy for the cause. There’s a marker at the site where the bomb was placed, as well as one at the front of the church, dedicated to the girls who perished. All four subsequently received Congressional Gold Medals. Two other black teens (Johnny Robinson, 16, and Robert Ware, 13) also died that same day, in separate incidents of violence. Across the street from the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Since its opening twenty-five years ago, over 2.5 million people have visited this impressive educational and interactive museum. Through photos, videos, audio recordings and exhibits, visitors are placed in the midst of the integration movement.


Continued on Next Page…

Life size figures are shown in a “walk to freedom” in the Milestones Gallery at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Birmingham Continued… In the Barriers Gallery for example, the cruel inequity of life for blacks living under segregation is conveyed, while in the Confrontation Gallery, voices of adults and children, both black and white, are heard saying things they would only share behind closed doors. The Movement Gallery takes you through the history of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1963, highlighting the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. A series of dramatic media presentations features the Freedom Rides, the history of the struggle to vote, the pivotal events in Birmingham in 1963, accompanied by actual news footage from the period, and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with a large screen projection and audio including King’s stirring “I Have A Dream” speech.

There are also “white” and “colored” drinking fountains and a 1950s lunch counter that symbolized segregation in public places, along with a replica of a Greyhound bus that was torched because riders challenged the state’s segregation laws. Rosa Parks and others are given their due in regards to the contributions they made. The Milestones Gallery contains life-size figures in a “walk to freedom” near a window view of Kelly Ingram Park, site of the 60s’ demonstrations. Images on the walls depict the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and chronicle the historic Selma-to-Montgomery March. Timelines note the advancements in civil rights made throughout the state and nation up to the opening of the institute in 1992.

A newly expanded gallery links the struggle for equality in Birmingham to movements for human rights throughout the world. There are displays on selected international human rights Look for the original door from the jail cell where movements and stations where visitors can King wrote “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” that reflect and share their opinions about current urged white religious bystanders to become issues. active in the movement. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 75

Police dogs lunge in attack mode at Kelly Ingram Park depicting scenes of violence during the civil rights era. Birmingham Continued… A focal point is the restored armored personnel vehicles used by the infamous Eugene “Bull” Connor. Connor, who was Commissioner of Public Safety for the city, became a symbol of institutional racism in his efforts to continue white supremacy.

But, it was these very images that were instrumental in overturning legal segregation. Called a “Place of Revolution and Reconciliation,” the park is now a peaceful spot with a number of artworks commemorating these events.

The sculptures include two children seen through jail bars, a trio of praying ministers, the four girls who perished in the bomb at the Cross the street to continue your journey with a Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and a statue of walk through historic Kelly Ingram Park, once the the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Among the epicenter of the nation’s Civil Rights Movement. pieces are also potent depictions of police dog Blacks gathered in this public park in the spring and fire hose assaults on demonstrators. In one of 1963 for rallies, marches and other acts of civil area, visitors walk between two narrow disobedience. It is here where Bull Connor structures that have sculptures of dogs violently directed the use of fire hoses and police attack lunging out of the walls in attack mode. dogs against the protestors, many of them children. These horrific scenes remain indelibly For those interested, there is a mobile phone imprinted on the memories of those who saw tour of the park’s statues, which interprets the footage on televisions and in newspapers different civil rights events. around the world. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 76

Sculptures at historic Kelly Ingram Park depict the four girls killed in the bomb blast at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. When it comes to sustenance, know that you won’t go hungry in Birmingham. There are options galore from finger lickin’ BBQ joints and Though civil rights is definitely a major focus in downhome Southern soul food cafes to lively the city, there are plenty of other attractions. Irish pubs and cozy French bistros. Later, check Once an industrial town known for its iron and out the Lyric or Alabama theaters for some live steel, Birmingham has developed through the music. As for your digs, Birmingham offers a decades into a sophisticated urban mecca with range of accommodations to suit all budgets. To lovely designated outdoor spaces, hip and happening entertainment districts and an award- complement my trip’s focus on history, I stayed at the Hassinger Daniels Mansion Bed and winning culinary scene. Breakfast, a beautifully restored 1898 National Historic Registered Victorian mansion. It’s Stop and smell the roses at the Birmingham located in a desirable neighborhood and walking Botanical Garden where gardens are planted according to themes, climb to the top of Vulcan, distance to an array of good restaurants. the largest cast-iron statue in the world, for a For all things Birmingham see picturesque view of the city from atop Red Mountain, or hope on a Zyp shared bike and ride along established trails to the Saturday morning Deborah Stone is a travel and lifestyle writer, farmer’s market (April – December). Two of the who explores the globe in search of unique more unique sights include the Barber Vintage destinations and experiences to share with her Motorsports Museum, which boasts the world’s readers. She’s an avid adventurer who largest collection of motorcycles, and Sloss welcomes new opportunities to increase Furnaces, once a major iron factory and now a awareness and enthusiasm for travel and crossNational Historic Landmark. With its web of cultural connections. Her travels have taken her pipes and towering smokestacks, it offers a to all seven continents, over 65 countries and 45 glimpse into the great industrial past of the U.S. states. South. PAGE 77 Birmingham Continued…

By Kathleen Walls Step back in time to 1828 to the brand new city of Columbus, Georgia. High on a bluff overlooking the Chattahoochee River, the location is perfect for the new industrial city. Earlier the river had nourished the pastoral Creek Indians. Columbus Museum is a natural starting place for any Columbus visitor. It’s a combination of art and history. The art is colorful and ranges from Chihuly to exquisite furniture. The history goes back to prehistoric times with a large display of arrowheads and spear points, a huge mastodon tusk, and pottery ranging back to the Woodland and Mississippian periods. More modern day history relives the American struggle to move westward. There are well– thought-out displays of different periods up to the more modern times like the 1996 Olympics. The museum is not just for adults. There are classes to give kids an appreciation of history.

Listen to Kathleen Walls discuss Historic Columbus, Georgia on Big Blend Radio!

Another ship displayed is the CSS Chattahoochee, scuttled by the Confederates to prevent its falling into Union hands. Due to being submerged, she is the only twin-screw steampowered Confederate gunboat existing today.

Our docent, Brandon Gilland, began with a demonstration of life of a Civil War sailor. There’s a touch of other Civil War events with a Civil War Naval Museum is a one-of-a-kind temporary exhibit “Victory From Within: treasure tracing the Civil War on all the waters. The American Prisoner of War Experience” from Driving up you spot the USS Water Witch, a Andersonville National Historic Site showing life replica Union side-wheel Steamship. Inside there in a Confederate prison. are more historical treasures. One-of-a-kind Continued on Next Page… relics like the recovered Ironclad CSS Jackson.The Jackson was built in Columbus Shipyard than burned and sunk in the Chattahoochee River in 1865 before ever seeing service. Almost a century later the hull was raised and a “ghost frame” fitted to show the original dimensions. PAGE 78

Columbus, Georgia Continued…

Because of Jim Crow Laws, African Americans were only allowed in the upper balcony of the Columbus’s well-to-do citizens demanded Springer but in 1925, African Americans got their entertainment. Thus in 1871 the Springer Opera own Liberty Theater. It was the local hotspot for House was built. It was recognized as the finest black entertainers, showing live performances, theatre between New York and New Orleans. silent movies and then talkies. The theater Performers like Edwin Booth, brother of the man closed in the ‘70s due to desegregation. Today, who shot President Lincoln, portrayed Hamlet to it’s restored and open for events and tours. They a packed house in 1876. Other famous actors offer about four live performances annually. who trod the boards there including Ethel When you enter the lobby, you are greeted by Barrymore, Buffalo Bill, Lilly Langtry, and Will the painting Liberty Legends by Najee Dorsey Rodgers performed there as well as personalities depicting Louis Armstrong, Marian Anderson, like Theodore Roosevelt, Truman Capote and Hal Nat King Cole, Cab Calloway, and Ma Rainey, all Holbrook, who recently performed there. of whom appeared at the Liberty. Liberty Theater is on the National Register of Historic Our guide, Aileen Fowles, led us through the Places. gallery of portraits of former performers. She told us something of the Springer‘s ghost Ma Rainey’s Home is another historical hotspot. legends. Edwin Booth's ghost is reputedly there Ma Rainey was born Gertrude Pridgett in along with many other spirits. One of the most Columbus in 1886. She was known as “Mother of noted occurrences concerns costume staff. The the Blues” and released over 100 records with story is that if a staffer needs a certain costume Paramount. The home is a modest two-story all she has to do is say it and leave for a few place in what the traditionally “Black” section. It’s minutes. When she returns the costume is laid a good marriage between Ma Rainey the person out in easy sight. and her musical image with many of her original records and posters from her career. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 79

Columbus, Georgia Continued… Ma’s piano, once painted bright green, now restored, stands in her hall. Deb Wise, our guide, told us about the history of one of my favorite personal items, Ma’s bedroom set, “her relative sold it to a local antique shop for $200 and we had to pay $15k when the city restored the house.” National Infantry Museum was voted #1 Best Free Museum by USA Today. It’s adjacent to Fort Benning where U.S. Army Infantry train. Our guide, Jim Talley, explained the museum’s mission statement, “To honor those who have gone to defend our country.” It honors all military but focuses on infantry as the front line of defense. After passing the circular entrance representing the traditional infantry drum, you walk “The Last 100 Yards” into eight scenes recreated from American wars beginning with the “Capture of Redoubt #10 at Yorktown” in the American Revolution. The display proceeds through Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, onto the ongoing desert warfare. Each of the soldiers were cast from present day combat soldiers. Looking closely at the displays you can see muscle, veins, and details that make them so realistic.

You could spend days in this museum reading the information and studying exhibits that retell the story so graphically. Besides the main gallery, each war has its own gallery. When you reach the back window and look out, you see the final pieces of history. There is a small WWII village adjourning the parade grounds comprised of buildings constructed to house and maintain the soldier’s needs. It was originally planned to be torn down after the war but locals prevailed and preserved this precious piece of history. The graduating classes stand on the green adjourning this village and family and wellwishers sit in bleachers for the ceremony. The grounds where these soldiers parade has been enriched by buckets of soil brought from each battlefields where American Infantrymen fought and died. On this field, you literally stand on history. Columbus’s motto, “From past to future in a few city blocks.” See Kathleen Walls is publisher/writer for American Roads and Global Highways . A member of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association her articles and photographs have appeared in numerous magazines and online publications. Her travel books include: ‘Georgia's Ghostly Getaways’, ‘Finding Florida's Phantoms’, ‘Hosts With Ghosts,’ and ‘Wild About Florida’ series.


By Glynn Burrows, Norfolk Tours

There is nothing I love to see more, in the white mist of early morning or the silvery light of dusk, than the unmistakable flight of a Barn Owl. Seeing this magnificent bird in flight is simply gorgeous. Often to be seen perching on a tree stump or an old fence post, it appears to effortlessly launch itself off and drift across the fields in search of its prey. Whenever I see these beautiful birds, it makes my day. Continued on Next Page‌

Listen to Glynn Burrows talk about Birding and England’s Nature Opportunities on Big Blend Radio!


Birding in England Continued… Some of our birds appear to have escaped from the Amazon or some exotic Pacific island as they are so colourful and striking. The Jay, the KingFisher, the Goldfinch, the Chaffinch, the Green Woodpecker and the Nuthatch are all beautiful birds, to be seen quite often in our garden and the Cock Pheasant, which is a game bird, introduced firstly by the Romans and subsequently by the Normans, is very common in our fields and woodlands. I have seen Black Pheasants, White Pheasants and we even have Golden Pheasants too but they are exceptionally rare. Another British favourite is the Robin, with its bright red breast. These perky little birds are very friendly, less frightened by humans than many other species and often follow the gardener in the winter, hopping around closely, to pick up any bugs or worms which may be dug out of the soil. It is always a treat to see a Robin in the garden because, although they are common, it appears to be a happy little bird and can’t help but make us happy too.

As we have a long coastline, there are several RSBP reserves, with Cley being one of the most important areas for wading birds in the country. We are also on the migratory routes for many species and when they stop off on their journeys, the sights are magnificent. To see massive flocks of Pink-Footed Geese descend onto a field is enough to give anyone a memory for life and the poor farmer a heart attack! Birding is an all-year hobby and, if you are serious and don’t mind wrapping up, the rewards can be worth getting a bit cold and wet for during the winter months. I could easily fill a ten day tour, showing you different habitats, from woodland, farm, hedgerows, inland wetlands, coastal (sand, marsh, cliffs, rocks and islands), rivers, lakes, gardens and, one of our treasures; The Norfolk Broads, which are manmade waterways and lakes. Birding goes hand-in-hand with other interests involving our natural surroundings and painting, photography, walking or cycling vacations can all be taken in this area too, taking in the sights and sounds of nature at the same time!

For the serious birder, there are many bird Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in reserves in the country too. In East Anglia, there England. For help or advice about tracing your are many different types of habitat and these all family history, or if you are thinking about have their own reserves, as well as other places taking a vacation to England visit open to the public. PAGE 83

By Victoria Chick, Figurative Artist and Early 19th & 20th Century Print Collector. Pottery sherds can be found strewn throughout the Southwest United States and Mexico. Sherds (from the word “potsherds”) are fragments of fired clay from pottery used by indigenous tribes that lived in an area that now encompasses Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas, Southern Colorado, Southern Utah, and Northern Mexico. The general term for the culture producing pottery is Mogollon. But Mogollon was composed of related tribal groups. The tribes can be identified by how they lived as well as the majority of distinctive design styles on pottery found at particular archaeological sites. Trading between groups resulted in some exchanges of pottery allowing archaeologists to trace trading partners through pottery designs. Some cultures were semi-nomadic, while others would establish themselves for centuries in an area where conditions allowed farming that formed a necessary part of their food supply, enabling them to thrive. In addition to sherds, archaeologists have found pottery in a few locations in near-perfect condition. Clay pots sometimes had a second use as funeral ware.

Mimbres Pottery on Display at the Western University of New Mexico Museum in Silver City, NM.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview about Historic Southwest Pottery, with Victoria Chick. In burial use, the bottom of the pot has a hole broken out and is placed upside down over the deceased person’s face. The probable concept behind the funeral wear was to protect the face while allowing the spirit to escape through the hole. Women were the potters in the tribal economy, as far as is known. If they were fortunate, they could find clay without a lot of organic matter in it. A bit of sand, mica, or fine gravel mixed in with the clay could give the clay extra strength. Continued on Next Page…


Pottery on Display at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge, Arizona.

Southwest Pottery Continued‌ Organic impurities needed to be removed by hand before the clay was mixed with water to a working consistency. Pounding and throwing the clay to force the air pockets out was a step to prevent the clay from exploding when fired. Making pots by rolling the clay into rope-like shapes and, then, coiling the clay ropes and attaching them to each other by working the edges together by hand or putting a little slip between the ropes and blending the ropes together was a method used by all the tribal groups. Clay ropes forming the pots would be completely smoothed out before being decorated.

Mimbres Pottery on Display at the Western University of New Mexico Museum in Silver City, NM.

Contrasting color clays could be made into slip, clay and water mixed to a creamy consistency. Slip was used like paint to decorate the pots while they were still cool and damp. Brushes used to paint the slip were mostly made of yucca plants, with the fibers pounded out. Judging by the detail and fine decorated lines of early Southwest pottery, the yucca leaf brushes worked very well. Another slip technique was to paint the entire bowl with slip and lightly scrape part of it away to reveal the color of the clay underneath, so its color would be the design. Continued on Next Page‌

Pottery on Display at Besh Ba Gowah Archaeological Park & Museum in Globe, AZ.


Pottery on Display at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge, Arizona.

Pottery on Display at Besh Ba Gowah Archaeological Park & Museum in Globe, AZ.

Southwest Pottery Continued‌ Geometric designs were the most common, with geometricized animals also prevalent. Designs reflected the plants, animals and insects of the locality or were figures of religious significance. Black on white, white on black, red on white or buff colored clays and slips were the colors that make early Southwest pottery distinctive. After complete drying, the pots were placed in a pit, covered with a mound of branches and wood and set afire. The heat, reaching about 1400 degrees, was enough to fuse the clay into a semivitreous state, and to produce a pot that could be used for cooking or carrying water for a while, and for storage of dry materials for a long time. During the period from about 800 A.D. through 1500 A.D., some tribal groups moved or even seemed to disappear. The probable cause was prolonged drought, making farming untenable in certain areas. It is thought some tribes assimilated with others in areas with more reliable water sources. Pottery designs found in pueblos of northern New Mexico and in Mexico suggest an amalgamation of religious practices indicating the joining of tribes.

Mimbres Pottery on Display at the Western University of New Mexico Museum in Silver City, NM.

The world’s largest collection of Mimbres pottery, considered by many scholars to be the finest early Southwest pottery, is housed at the Western New Mexico University Museum in Silver City, NM. 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


From Thomas Moran to Ansel Adams, there has always been a strong connection between Art and our National Parks… ARTISTS JULIE & MATTHEW CHASEDANIEL Julie is an accomplished poet, and Matthew works in photography, sculpture, and drawing. Matthew has created and exhibited his work extensively throughout the U.S. and in Europe for many years, and is also the co-owner/curator of Axle Contemporary, a collaborative art venture and mobile art gallery, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Matthew and Juli have traveled extensively together, working on Matthew’s photoassemblage artworks. These large-format photographic prints are composed of both intimate minutiae and sweeping vistas of water and landscape, shot primarily at the edge of the ocean. This work has taken them to Iceland, Italy, Sicily, Greece, Mexico, the Caribbean, New Zealand, Maine, Hawaii, and California. The majority of these travels involve remote camping in order to reach the most compelling locations, and also to slow down and bring focused awareness to the details and rhythms of the natural world. For the NPAF Dry Tortugas residency, Matthew and Julie intend to collaborate on a book compiled from the work they each create during their time on Loggerhead Key, which is the westernmost of seven islets of the Dry Tortugas, and features a number of historic sites, and is a natural habitat for many unusual species.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Tanya Ortega – photographer and founder of National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) that presents unique artist-in-residence programs in national parks, and Santa Fe based husband-wife artist team Julie and Matthew Chase-Daniel, who will be the NPAF artists-inresidence at Dry Tortugas National Park in September 2017.

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Click Here to do the Online Jigsaw Painting of Matthew Chase-Daniel’s photo-assemblage artwork of Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman Island.

Laguna, California – Matthew Chase-Daniel

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Grettislaug, Iceland – Matthew Chase-Daniel


The House on Congress Trail - Sequoia National Park

Art News Continued…

ARTIST JOY A. COLLIER In regards to painting her local environment, she states, “I am a nature lover out enjoying the astounding beauty of the California Landscape. I was taught: ‘Paint what Smiles at You!’ “I love where I live. Success Valley and Mine Hill Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Joy are my backyard in Porterville, California, and my A. Collier, a California landscape artist known “Moods of Mine Hill” series and “Oak Lace” series for her vibrant paintings of Giant Sequoia are glimpses into the constantly changing subtle Trees, the Central Valley and Desert regions, as moods of the hills and oaks that I view every day. well as abstract nature work. Then there are the Sequoias! I’m in love with these unique giants that are found nowhere else on earth. I’ve been painting the giants and their Her current series, “California’s Giant Sequoia’s, habitat for many years now, they offer an Found No Where Else on Earth”, feature the endless variety of rich forms and textures to Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum), the explore.” world’s largest tree. In celebration of these very special trees, this series features some of the Working in acrylics with a background in plein most well-known trees and groves in Yosemite, air, Joy’s paintings are in a post-impressionistic Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, plus, a style, influenced most by Cezanne and Monet. variety of well-known National Forest Groves With the development of high quality giclee such as the Trail of 100 Giants. prints on canvas, she now shares her original paintings as prints that are affordable, and can Visit be custom sized. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 90

Click Here to do the Online Jigsaw Painting of Joy Collier’s painting, “Black Bear in Sequoia National Park”. Art News Continued… Continued on Next Page… Grizzly Giant in the Mariposa Grove Yosemite NP

Cathedral Window on Hazelwood Nature Trail SNP

Fallen Giants - Trail of 100 Giants - Sequoia National Forest PAGE 91

Knitted CTD Data Series from Artist-at-Sea residency between Hawai‘i and Tahiti Art News Continued…

ARTIST MICHELLE SCHWENGEL-REGALA During the middle of her career in the 1990s, Michelle worked as a science illustrator. These pieces were created for various purposes and audiences: technical scientific journal articles, popular science books, museum exhibit signage, greeting cards, newspaper articles, etc.

Large Knitted Wire Sculpture from Artist-atSea residency between Hawai‘i and Tahiti

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Tanya Ortega – photographer and founder of National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) that presents unique artist-in-residence programs in national parks, and Michelle SchwengelRegala - scientific illustrator, fiber artist, naturalist and NPAF Invitation Artist. Around 2010 she dove into using fiber as her medium with the initiation of the "Hawaii Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef" exhibit, a community art project with participants from around the world contributing knitted or crocheted models of Hawaiian marine life. A few of these items which were included in the Bishop Museum's recent exhibit about the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Continued on Next Page…


Science Illustrations From 1990s Art News Continued…

Silverpoint Drawing of Endangered Hawaiian Sphinx Moth, 5 Inch Wingspan

These large knitted wire sculptures were In 2016, while on the Artist-at-Sea residency commissioned for the inaugural Honolulu between Hawai‘i and Tahiti, Michelle created Biennial, representing contemporary art and different types of fiber art incorporating data. artists of the Pacific Rim. These three pieces are This body of work included a functional QR code, currently on display at The Hub, the main venue as well as a knitted CTD data series that features for the Honolulu Biennial. graphs of water qualities at sampling stations along the route. And most recently, she has Currently, Michelle has returned to drawing, but translated these data sets from two-dimensional instead of using pencils or charcoal, she has graphs into three-dimensional sculptures of chosen to work in metalpoint as Renaissance water data. artists used to use. Continued on Next Page…

Knitted CTD Data Series from Artist-at-Sea residency between Hawai‘i and Tahiti


Art News Continued…

Birth Of Blue Beard, Tall Tales Series

ARTIST TYLER VOORHEES Born on the flatlands of eastern South Dakota in 1984, Tyler Voorhees was blessed with a childhood full of tree forts and fishing poles. He attended Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD and acquired his BFA in 2006. After working multiple jobs and saving every penny, he chased his future wife across the pond to Germany and lived there for almost two years giving bike tours, teaching English and taking in the rich history of Europe. While there he also worked on honing in on his current collaging technique and developed the elongated whimsical style you see in his art.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio conversation with artist Tyler Voorhees, who talks about his art and his passion for travel, national parks and history.

Artist Statement on Tall Tales: “Tall Tales tell the stories of my life thus far: the experiences, After returning to the States in 2010, he focused dreams, fears, and aspirations that I’ve collected on his passion for teaching and earned his in my 33-years of adventure. The mixed media stripes leading 2nd graders on nature walks and paintings feature four characters that represent explorations in art. Never putting the paintbrush different aspects of my identity. These lankydown, in 2015, he and his wife Ashley decided to limbed characters spin a collective yarn, uniting quit the rat race and take their son Ivan on the the viewer and artist in an unfolding tale of an road, committing to his art full-time. For the first artist’s life. The series puts an introspective and nine months, they lived the nomadic lifestyle and contemporary twist on western art. I create traveled over 17,000 miles, keeping only a fictional characters and root them in the mailbox in Boulder as their permanent nonfiction narrative of my life, bridging the residence. Fort Collins, Colorado is now home, divide between reality and my imagination.” but they continue to explore the country with their most recent addition, Orin, gathering Visit inspiration from the open road and sharing his work with art enthusiasts from all over. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 94

Tyler and Slim Angel, Tall Tales Series Art News Continued…

Om, Tall Tales Series

Lady Finds God, Tall Tales Series PAGE 95

Hollywood History in National Parks of The West! National Parks have provided the backdrop for hundreds of films throughout the years. Movie directors appreciate these lands, because of their undeveloped character. In addition to providing Americans and visitors with clean air, fresh water, and top-notch recreation, our national parks and 'Into the Wild' was filmed in and near Denali National forests, also, bring flashes of rustic Park & Preserve in Alaska. Photo by NPS / Tim Rains. beauty and realism to the movies. Continued on Next Page…

Listen to Steve Schneickert as he recalls the Hollywood History of four movies filmed in National Parks of the Western USA, including ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, ‘The Shining’, ‘E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial’, and ‘Into The Wild’.

'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' was filmed in and around Devils Tower National Monument and Black Hills National Forest. Photo of Devils Tower NM, by NPS / Avery Locklear. PAGE 96

'The Shining' was filmed in Glacier National Park and near Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo of Glacier NP, by NPS / Tim Rains. Hollywood History Continued…

‘E.T., The Extra-terrestrial’ was filmed in and around Redwood National Park & State Parks. Photo by NPS.


By Sarah H. Elliston, author of ‘Lessons from a Difficult Person’

“Nobody volunteers to do a bad job.” Susan Ellis, This says it all. Volunteers have a myriad of motivations and if these motivations are understood and planned for, they will probably do a good job and be good volunteers. What is a good volunteer? An unscientific survey of volunteers and coordinators agreed that a good volunteer is one who shows up on time and does the tasks assigned, pleasantly. Other desired characteristics include: creativity, energy, flexibility, selflessness, and acceptance of others. Where do good volunteers show up? We serve in schools, nursing homes and senior centers, places of worship, disease-serving agencies, organizations providing food, shelter and help for the less fortunate, and hospitals. We help victims of crime and abuse. We serve museums, zoos, symphonies, orchestras and ballets, in all levels of government, and in sports leagues. Volunteers organize alumni associations, they manage fraternal organizations and business networking organizations. They volunteer for political campaigns. This is a miniscule list – people volunteer everywhere.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Sarah Elliston, who talks about the Benefits of Volunteering.

One place volunteers show up is in our National Parks. With more than 400 trails, parks and historic sites, the National Park Service (NPS) has always relied on volunteers to achieve their mission. Last year over 250,000 people volunteered to help the NPS preserve the parks and sites. Called VIPs (Volunteers in Parks) they perform tasks as varied as guiding on nature trails, staffing gift shops, maintaining trails, cleaning and servicing mechanical equipment, and working in libraries.


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Volunteering Continued… Some stay in shelters and provide support for campgrounds and RV areas. There are artists-inresidence programs, scientific studies needing volunteer assistants, and bicycling clubs who help administer park rules. There are one-time service projects such as planting trees or shrubs, or clearing trails or cleaning up waterfronts. There are special activities for Girl Scout, Ranger and Boy Scout programs, and even opportunities for International Students. And why do good volunteers show up? Dr. William Glasser tells us that all humans are motivated to act to meet five basic genetic needs that are in our brains from birth. An attempt to meet these needs drive our behavior. The needs are Love and Belonging, Fun, Freedom, Empowerment and Survival. The needs are the same for all of us but what we think will meet those needs is different for each of us. A good volunteer’s motivation will cover all or some of these motivational needs. A VIP in Clarkdale, Arizona helping at the Montezuma Well traditional garden, describes why she likes to be involved. “I never gardened before. I come once or twice a week to plant, weed and help harvest vegetables and flowers. It’s a physical activity and I have made friends with other VIPs. There are some people that I only see here. If I didn’t volunteer I would miss them and the physical activity. I also enjoy being able to tell visitors about what we are doing. I have learned a lot about gardening here.” This volunteer is having fun learning new information and making new friends while providing a service and meeting survival needs by being physically active. There is something empowering about watching plants sprout and caring for them as they grow knowing that you have supported another living thing.

Many companies invite their employees to provide service to their communities. Dennis volunteered with his company, participating in a Volunteer Cleanup at the Yamacraw Bridge Cleanup in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in Oneida, Tennessee. He had already rock climbed and kayaked in the park and he describes it as one of the most beautiful places in the world. He related that the volunteer project felt great not only because he got to know people in his company that he didn’t know before, but also because he was helping preserve a beloved wilderness area. He got to be physically active and he was giving back. This volunteer project met all five needs for Dennis and the participants: being active helped with health, working together built belonging and fun, volunteers felt empowered when they saw what they had achieved, choosing which tasks they wanted to do bolstered the need for freedom, and the result was giving mother nature a helping hand. Meeting needs like this is a guarantee of having good volunteers. And Dennis will do it again. Continued on Next Page…


Volunteering Continued… Jennifer volunteers every week as a guide at the Antietam National Battlefield. I experienced her engaging talk as we walked the length and breadth of the area of one of the bloodiest battles in Civil War. I was amazed at the depth of her knowledge. She told me that she had studied the material and actually passed a test to qualify as a guide. It was a challenge that she loved. She thrived on meeting people from around the world, answering their questions and being able to help them know what happened there.

They reported that the opportunity to serve their country’s parks was empowering. Their goal is to help visitors leave every campground a little better than they found it.

There is little doubt that volunteers improve our world. The interesting thing is that volunteers receive as much as they give. They show up because they are committed, they do the work and look for ways to connect and feel a part of the organization because it meets a genetic need. They stay because they have fun, feel connected, feel empowered and because they are given choices. Finally, studies have shown that people who volunteer live longer and are The opportunity was fun because she got to learn and share information she valued, she felt happier so volunteering meets the genetic need for survival. A good volunteer is one who a sense of empowerment when she became a guide and a sense of connection with the visitors. recognizes the need to be of service to others and finds a volunteer opportunity that will be need satisfying in all these ways. Tom and Janice travel every year to be resident managers at a campground in Grand Teton National Park. They have been doing it since they Sarah Elliston is the author of “Lessons from a retired, showing up each spring in their RV. They Difficult Person – How to Deal With People Like Us”, love representing the VIPs and working every day and is a Certified Volunteer Administrator, the highest level of professional certification in the field. to make sure the visitors at the campground A faculty member of the William Glasser Institute, have a good experience as well as respect the Sarah is a highly successful workshop leader and environment. They told me that they find some trainer, who is certified in Values Realization, Parent visitors challenging but have never had any real Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. trouble. PAGE 100

Keeping Trails Safe From Deadly Traps Each year, millions of furbearing animals are killed under the auspices of "nuisance wildlife control" and millions more are killed in the name of fashion. Indiscriminate bodycrushing traps are used to capture or kill furbearing animals who are deemed a "nuisance" or who are valued only for the fur on their backs. Once an animal is caught she may remain in the trap for several days before starving or dying from exposure. Snares are a wire noose and can cause trapped animals to slowly strangle to death. With leghold traps, an animal my chew off his own paw to escape, only to die days later from the injury. Wildlife traps are not only found in the deep wilderness, but also near hiking trails, in national wildlife refuges, on public and private lands where children play and dogs are walked, and even in urban areas. They are indiscriminate and can inflict serious injury – or death – to any animal or person who is caught.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Jennifer Place, former program associate of Born Free USA, who talks about how bodyBorn Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and crushing traps on public lands are not only wildlife conservation, runs the site cruel and deadly to wildlife, but also to in order to humans and their pets. She also discusses educate and warn the public – especially outdoor current legislation to prevent the sale and enthusiasts -- about the dangers of hidden import of these deadly traps, wildlife traps and how to keep their pets and and their use on public lands. family members safe. This Safe Trails site contains information about the dangers of traps to companion animals and what people can do in emergencies, including how to release dogs from all types of traps. The site also highlights regulatory safeguards that could go far in protecting the public, pets and wildlife from injury, and focuses the worst states when it comes to trapping regulations that have the greatest impact on animal welfare, wildlife conservation, and public safety.

Born Free USA also works to expose and address the dangers and cruelty of trapping by educating the public; encouraging legislators and policymakers to enact stronger laws; ensuring state agencies are enforcing existing protections; and championing humane alternatives of mitigating conflicts with wildlife. Born Free USA maintains an online database of reported incidents of non-targeted animals by state. Learn more at

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Take a Virtual Walk in the Excellence Hall of Fame Compiled by Lisa D. Smith and Nancy J. Reid With the National Park Service celebrating its 101st birthday on August 25, it’s good to celebrate the extraordinary Commitments people have made to create, protect and preserve each of our 417 park units along with their natural, historical and geological features, and diverse plant, bird and wildlife species.

Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Bobbi DePorter – Co-Founder of SuperCamp & President of Quantum Learning Network, and Steve Schneickert - Big Blend Radio’s Hollywood Historian, who discuss the story connections between National Parks and the 8 Keys of Excellence. This segment focuses on Commitment, the 5th Key of Excellence.

There are stories of the Commitments made by over 250,000 volunteers who help to keep our parks going – whether it’s helping in a visitor center, guiding a hike, or cleaning up litter. There are the Commitments made by communities and As part of The Excellence Effect, a movement to groups who stood together to establish the build excellence in the lives of 50 million young designation of a new park, monument or heritage area. From budget cuts to pollution and people worldwide through the 8 Keys of Excellence, we’re taking a virtual walk down the climate change issues, there are hundreds and Excellence Hall of Fame, to reflect upon some of thousands of people, non-profit organizations the wise words written and spoken by eight and local communities, artists and writers, who leaders in conservation and preservation, who continue to stand united in Commitment to exemplify the Commitment Key of Excellence! protect our wildlife, natural lands, recreational areas and historic sites, all within the National Continued On Next Page… Park Service, as well as our Federal Public Lands, Forests, and National Wildlife Refuges. PAGE 102

Commitment Continued…

THEODORE ROOSEVELT (October 27, 1858 - January 6, 1919) “Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us." Aptly known as the "conservationist president”, Theodore Roosevelt used his presidential authority to protect wildlife and 230 million acres of public land by creating the US Forest Service and establishing 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, 4 national game preserves, 5 national parks, and 18 national monuments by enabling the 1906 American Antiquities Act. Today, there are 6 national park units dedicated to our conservationist president. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 103

Commitment Continued…

JOHN MUIR (April 21, 1838 - December 24, 1914) "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." Known as “John of the Mountains’” and the “Father of the National Parks”, John Muir was a naturalist, author, writer, environmentalist and strong advocate for the preservation of wilderness. His activism played a major role in the preservation of the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and many other wilderness and forest areas, and he also petitioned the U.S. Congress for the National Park bill that was passed in 1890, establishing Yosemite National Park. He was also the founder of The Sierra Club. Continued on Next Page…

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Commitment Continued…

ALDO LEOPOLD (January 11, 1887 – April 21, 1948) “Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left.” The best-selling author of “A Sand County Almanac”, Aldo Leopold was a scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist and environmentalist. An expert in environmental ethics and in wilderness conservation, he developed the first comprehensive management plan for the Grand Canyon, wrote the Forest Service's first game and fish handbook, and proposed the Gila Wilderness Area, the first national wilderness area in the Forest Service system. In 1935, he helped found The Wilderness Society. Continued on Next Page…

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Commitment Continued…

OLAUS JOHAN MURIE (March 1, 1889 – October 21, 1963) “We cannot overlook the importance of wild country as source of inspiration, to which we give expression in writing, in poetry, drawing and painting, in mountaineering, or in just being there.” Known as the "father of modern elk management", Olaus Murie was an author, naturalist, and wildlife biologist known for practicing a more observational based science and for his wildlife management work regarding predator prey relationships. Together with his wife Mardie Murie, he successfully campaigned to expand Olympic National Park, create Jackson Hole National Monument and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He served as president of The Wilderness Society, The Wildlife Society, and as director of the Izaak Walton League. Continued on Next Page…

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Commitment Continued…

ROSALIE BARROW EDGE (November 3, 1877 – November 30, 1962) “The time to protect a species is while it is still common.” Rosalie Barrow was a New York socialite and suffragist, as well as an amateur birdwatcher and full-time volunteer conservationist. In 1929 she established the Emergency Conservation Committee, and in 1934 Edge founded Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the world's first preserve for birds of prey. She also led grassroots campaigns to create Olympic and Kings Canyon National Parks, and successfully lobbied Congress to purchase 8,000 acres of old-growth sugar pines on the perimeter of Yosemite that were to be logged. Continued on Next Page…

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Commitment Continued…

SIGURD F. OLSON (April 4, 1899 – January 13, 1982) “Wilderness to the people of America is a spiritual necessity, an antidote to the high pressure of modern life, a means of regaining serenity and equilibrium.” Known as “The Bourgeois” for his trusted leadership, Sigurd F. Olson was an author, wilderness guide, environmentalist and wilderness advocate. He was influential in the protection of the Boundary Waters and helped draft the Wilderness Act of 1964, was president of The Wilderness Society, and helped establish Voyageurs National Park, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and Point Reyes National Seashore. He was also a consultant to the Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall on wilderness and national park issues. Continued on Next Page…

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Commitment Continued…

RACHEL LOUISE CARSON (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) “Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species -- man -acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world.” Best-selling author Rachel Carson was a marine biologist and conservationist whose activism, writing and books, “Silent Spring”, “The Sea Around Us”, “The Edge of the Sea”, and “Under the Sea Wind,” helped to advance the global environmental movement around the world. “Silent Spring” showcased environmental concerns regarding the use of synthetic pesticides and DDT, and inspired a grassroots movement that led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Continued on Next Page… PAGE 109

Commitment Continued…

MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS: (April 7, 1890 - May 14, 1998) "It is a woman's business to be interested in the environment. It's an extended form of housekeeping." Known as “Defender of the Everglades”, Marjory Stoneman Douglas was a journalist and activist who took on the fight for feminism, racial justice, and conservation. As an environmentalist she fought hard against the efforts to drain the Everglades, and reclaim land for development. She is the author of “The Everglades: River of Grass”, and formed the Friends of the Everglades. Everglades National Park has a wilderness area named for in honor of her legacy. Continued on Next Page… Created by Bobbi DePorter, Co-Founder of SuperCamp & President of Quantum Learning Network, the 8 Keys of Excellence character education program guides young people toward a positive future full of confidence, motivation, creativity, team work, leadership and valuable life principles. Join The Excellence Effect, a movement to build excellence in the lives of 50 million young people worldwide through the 8 Keys of Excellence family and school character programs. Visit PAGE 110

To learn more about the 8 Keys Excellence Character Education Program, watch our video

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Spirit of America Magazine Summer 2017  

From the Far West to the Desert Southwest, the Midwest to the Southeast, and even England, it’s all about National Park Travel Destinations...

Spirit of America Magazine Summer 2017  

From the Far West to the Desert Southwest, the Midwest to the Southeast, and even England, it’s all about National Park Travel Destinations...