Page 1

Fall 2012

Falling with style

How to jump, dive, and glide, p. 47

Also in this issue

Experience Antarctica s Frozen Beauty, p. 32 Travel to Find Your Roots, p. 42 Make $$$ Abroad, p. 77


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2 ▶ fall 2012


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ǁǁǁ͘ŵǁƚ͘ĐŽŵ www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 3


22 23

7 8

Editor’s Note: A Sense for Travel Eerie Escapes

4 ▶ fall 2012

14

Culture

Photo by grouleff

15 18 20

24

Living Art: Lace-making in Bruges Folk Dance: A Window into Culture Speaking of Sandals . . . Quinoa: The Four Corners of the Kitchen Cultural Flavor

Getaways

12

On the cover: Taste the clouds. Touch the sky. Surf the wind while paragliding.

26 30 32

“Knock, Knock!” Welcome to Door County, Wisconsin Beyond Required Reading: Gatsby’s World Petra: Lost City of Stone Swamping in the Deep South Lindo e Paradisíaco: Brazil’s Coastline Antarctica: Land of Frozen Beauty


Kayakers in the Bahamas enjoy calm waters, native wildlife, and excellent fishing year round.

58

36 42 47

Bahamas by Boat: Kayaking the Cays Branching Out: Reconnecting with Your Family Tree The Dummy’s Guide to Falling

Field Notes

Features

Photo by Ryan Bonneau

61 62 64 66 68

Country, Rock, and Soul: Tennessee’s Music Highway

72

Freedom on the Open Road

74

An Unending Ghost Story

77

Mystic Isles: The Scottish Hebrides WWOOFing: Dig for Your Dinner Tales from the Trip Photo Contest Winners

Insider

54

78 80 82 83

Four Essential Gadgets for the Techie on Tour Maximize Your Museum Experience Earn $$$ While You Travel Beat the Breakdowns Hearthstones of History: Presidential Hometowns Staff Essay: A Part of Me Parting Shot

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 5


Kendra Williamson Managing Editor

Shannon Kelly Assistant Managing Editor

Katie Pitts Assistant Managing Editor

Kaitlyn Hedges Assistant Managing Editor

Christina Faria Copyeditor

Caroline Ure Copyeditor

Jessica Biggs Copyeditor

Teresa Arroyo Senior Editor

Haley Miller Senior Editor

Claire Warnick Senior Editor

Rebecca Fluckiger Associate Editor

Kaylene Morrill Associate Editor

Bryce Bristow Art Director

Monica Lunardelli Assistant Art Director

Angela Smith Assistant Art Director

Courtney Moyer Senior Designer

Jessica Scott Senior Designer

Julie Hulet Web Programming Manager

Jordan Carroll Advisor

Marvin K. Gardner Editor in Chief

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© 2012 Marvin K. Gardner 4045 JFSB, Brigham Young University Provo, Utah 84602 Printed by MagCloud

6 ▶ fall 2012

Stowaway is produced as a project for English Language 430R, Editing for Publication, the capstone class of the editing minor at Brigham Young University. The views expressed in this publication are solely the views of the authors and do not represent the views or opinions of BYU. Stowaway takes inspiration from the words of Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Staff photos by Becky Leung

All staff members contributed to planning, writing, editing, designing, and advertising


editor s note

A

Sense

for

From left: photography by Kendra Williamson and Lori Fuller

Travel My breathing synced with the rhythmic sound of my feet on the piney forest floor. Raindrops patted gently on the canopy far above me, but by the time the moisture descended, it was a mist—the kind that adds energy to a runner’s gait. I stopped for a moment and looked around: trees, puddles, hill. I closed my eyes and listened: rain, insects, birds. I inhaled deeply and tasted the wet pine needles in the air. I felt peace. My resting body began to shiver as the fresh wetness beaded on my arms and legs, so I continued running. But I didn’t forget what I had experienced. On that rainy August day, all alone on my morning run in Germany, I engaged my senses in my surroundings, and my heart and mind were filled with feelings of freedom, beauty, and awe. I created a memory—and now every time I run in the rain, I remember the wooded trails through the German countryside. Every time I smell an evergreen, I feel the contentment that filled me on that early-morning run. We travel to have fun, to experience the world, and to meet and serve others. While doing all these meaningful things, we learn about ourselves. And we remember what we learn by using our senses. Taste, touch, sound, smell, and sight all enrich our experiences and help us remember them. As you read this issue of Stowaway, don’t just see the words and photographs: let yourself be taken around the world. Listen to the subdued splash as your paddle dips in the still waters of the Bahamas. Smell the rich atmosphere in your ancestors’ homeland. Hear the movement of spools as Belgian lace-makers carry on a deep-rooted tradition. See yourself on the stairs that lead to nowhere in the Winchester Mansion. Taste the salty air on an isolated Brazilian beach. Then go and find your own adventures. Leave your home—whether it’s for a day, week, month, or year—and make some memories. Engage your body; use your senses. Find yourself. And remember what you’ve found.

Kendra Williamson MANAGING EDITOR

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 7


happenings

!"#$%&" With horror movies like The Devil Inside (2012) and The Woman in Black (2012) coming out every year, Americans’ fascination with ghosts and haunting is readily apparent. Let’s face it—we’re either curious about the next life or we’re just addicted to the exhilaration of a fright attack. If you’re the kind of person who goes to all the new horror flicks hoping to jump five feet in the air, here are a few haunted spots to hit this fall. Each is known as one of the most haunted places in America.

The Queen Mary

The Stanley Hotel

Haunted Lemp Mansion

Once a transport ship from World War II, the Queen Mary is now a restaurant, hotel, museum—and a dwelling place for a few of the dearly departed. Retired from active service at Long Beach, California, the Queen Mary is a hot spot if you’re wanting to see some ghosts. Beware, though: this is not the place to get a good night’s rest. Don’t be surprised if you are suddenly awakened in the middle of the night by a mysterious phone call with no one on the other end.

How’s this for a great vacation idea: wake up in your hotel, order room service, maybe spend your afternoon at the hotel spa, and then, later that evening, take a haunted tour of the very hotel you’re staying in. Ever since it was built in the early 1900s, the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, has been a favorite haunt—for the living and the dead. Whether it’s parties in the empty ballroom, piano music coming from the closed piano, or ghostly guests roaming the halls, the Stanley Hotel is sure to keep you on your toes.

The Lemp family was among the richest families in America because of John Adam Lemp’s successful brewery company. After the mysterious death of one family member and the suicides of several others, the business failed and was auctioned off. Haunted by an illegitimate son who had been locked in the attic, as well as by other restless spirits of the Lemp family, the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri, is a spot to check out if you’re in the mood for a good old-fashioned American haunting.

Long Beach, California

www.queenmary.com

Estes Park, Colorado

8 ▶ fall 2012

www.stanleyhotel.com

Saint Louis, Missouri

www.lempmansion.com


Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Illustration by Jordan Lysenko

Louisville, Kentucky When many of the original patients entered Waverly Hills Sanatorium, they never left again. It used to be a hospital for tuberculosis patients; it’s now said to be one of the most severely haunted buildings in the southern United States. Some of the favorite ghosts are the old woman shrieking for help as she runs around in chains, the suicidal nurse walking the halls, and Mary—the little girl on the third floor. ▶

www.therealwaverlyhills.com

State Penitentiary

Salem Ghost Tour

About five hours east of DC is a gothic-style penitentiary, first opened in 1875. It housed some of America’s worst criminals. This tour calls attention to ghost sightings and features former prisoners’ creations—such as beautiful murals and deadly weapons. You will also hear about the torture performed on prisoners and see the electric chair that was used to kill nine inmates. See if you can spot some of the ghosts of the inmates.

Who among us does not equate Salem with witches? During the October Haunted Happenings of Salem, there are several tours that will take you through Salem in the dead of night (or the middle of the day) to locations reeking with paranormal activity. Not only are you promised ghost sightings on this tour, but you will also learn about the history of witchcraft in New England.

Moundsville, West Virginia

www.marshallcountytourism.com

Salem, Massachusetts

hauntedhappenings.org/tours

— Christina Faria

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 9


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10 ▶ fall 2012

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Culture This Peruvian dessert features the Incan grain quinoa with a touch of orange.

12

Arts

15

Life

18

Eats

Tradition runs deep in the arts of lace-making and folk dancing.

These sandals aren’t just for walking; they’re for talking too.

Photo by Alyssa Miller

Pineapple and quinoa: add some island flavor and Incan flair to your diet.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 11


arts

Living Art

Lace-making in Bruges

One of the lace-makers at the Kantcentre works with dozens of wooden bobbins at once.

12 ▶ fall 2012

At her marriage to Prince William last year, Kate Middleton wore a wedding dress featuring handmade lace from the Royal School of Needlework, helping to popularize the delicate beauty of this fabric. Artists are also beginning to experiment more with lace by creating it from different materials, including metal. What’s so fascinating about lace? As Marie Bassett, an experienced lacemaker from Utah, states, “The interaction of light and dark—areas of solid cloth contrasting with the open areas—makes lace a unique art form.” Even with the ready availability and inexpensive production costs of machine-made lace, the creative flexibility of lace-making may be one reason the art of handmade lace is still alive and strong in Bruges, Belgium. Bruges has been one of the European centers of lace-making for hundreds of years. Due to its prime

From top: photography by Lyle Crandall and Elisabeth Roybal

Dusty rooms, faded pictures—for many people, the word lace implies old. Recently, though, lace has been making a comeback in a big way.


location near the fruitful Belgian flax fields, Bruges was uniquely situated to become a center for production. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, lace-making became an important part of the economy of the city and provided work to hundreds of women. There are still dozens of lace shops around the city that sell handmade lace (although you have to be careful if you want to buy the real deal; some of the cheap lace has either been imported or made by machine). The true artistry of lace-making can be appreciated only by watching a master lace-maker at work. Fortunately for visitors, live demonstrations are offered daily in Bruges in

of hundreds of words per minute. One viewer described the lace-makers’ hands as “looking like spiders” because of their speed and accuracy in weaving such elaborate designs. These intricate designs are possible because of bobbin lace’s versatility. Lace-makers can create both thick bands of lace as well as delicate, detailed work. According to Bassett, to create the lace, lacemakers pin a pattern to a small, straw-stuffed pillow. They then hang the bobbins from the pillow using pins. They weave the threads by passing the bobbins over and under each other. As the work progresses, the lace-makers use more pins to hold the threads in place.

It might be whimsical, it might be useful, but it is always beautiful.

Bruges City Card Bruges has much more to offer in addition to its lace. These activities can get a little pricey, so you might want to consider buying a Bruges City Card. This card will give you discounts on almost everything you can do in Bruges̶and it will get you into over two dozen museums at no extra charge. ▶

www.bruggecitycard.be

Exploring the canals Bruges has often been called

Photo by bamyers4az

the Venice of the North

the Kantcentre. This center is located near the middle of the city and was founded in the mid-eighteenth century. It is both a museum and a school, so visitors who are inspired by the exhibits can enroll in classes to learn how to make lace themselves. In the Kantcentre’s demonstration room, several lace-makers sit at large tables. Most of the lace-makers are women—several of whom are in their late 70s or older; it takes “a lifetime” to become an expert, according to Bassett. The lace-makers work so quickly that bystanders cannot even follow the motions of their hands. Bruges lace is a type of bobbin lace, which means that each thread is wound around a separate wooden bobbin. As the lace-makers pass their bobbins from hand to hand or finger to finger, it sounds like dozens of computer typists typing at the speed

After removing the pins, the piece of lace is finished. Says Bassett, “It might be whimsical, it might be useful, but it is always beautiful.” The beauty of lace in Bruges isn’t limited to the Kantcentre. Because lace-making is such an important part of Bruges’s cultural history, a lace festival is held every August for four days in order to exhibit the craftsmanship of this traditional art form. This festival has been going on for over 30 years, providing visitors a unique opportunity to both see and buy exquisite lace. Even Bruges itself is designed in an intricate lace pattern, woven together by its many canals. Don’t miss your chance to see this living art in action. ▶

www.kantcentrum.eu/en/

because of its beautiful canal system. Consider taking a ride on one of the boats that cruise the canals and see the city from a different angle.

Visiting the Benguinage This is one of the most famous convents in Belgium and has beautiful grounds to explore. Hot-air ballooning Visitors who have the budget to do so can get a big-picture view of the city.

Renting bicycles The medieval organization of this city makes it perfect to explore by bike.

— Claire Warnick

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 13


arts

Folk Dance A Window into Culture

accompanies the dancers, who supplement the words with their motions. Hula dances often represent nature—flowers, waves, fire, and so on—through hand motions. It’s an unofficial language, and those who perform it are sharing stories, legends, and histories from their culture. India. Much like Polynesian dances, Indian dances are often rooted in ritual or storytelling. One style of dance, Bharata Natyam, is chiefly done by women. Every position of the hand, neck, foot, and eye is intentional and communicates meaning. According to the Natya Shastra, an ancient Indian text, one hand position can have over 25 different meanings—from clouds to nighttime to fierce heat to a drizzly day—depending on the context of the dance or what the rest of the body is doing. With over 50 distinctive hand

Indian, and Polynesian dances are intended to communicate with deity or to retell legends. In Europe, dances are passed on through families and communities as they gather for weddings, holidays, and parties. Whole regions of the world have general themes in their dances, but there are also local meanings specific to villages or communities. Here are just a few examples: Hawaii. Many of the Pacific Islands share similar dance styles. Chanting or singing often

positions, this dance has a rich library of meaning. It sounds complicated, but Bharata Natyam dancing provides a unique view of Indian religions and attitudes that you wouldn’t get by visiting temples or other tourist locations. Hungary. In Europe, you’ll find dances that are chiefly done in celebration or at social gatherings. Like many European dances, Hungarian dances often include elements of strength or agility for men, while the women often dance more demurely—symbolic of the strongly patriarchal society.

14 ▶ fall 2012

Every pose in Bharata Natyam dancing has a meaning.

One example is the Verbunkos, which comes from a specific part of Hungarian history. In the eighteenth century, army recruiters would travel through Hungarian villages and begin to dance, inviting the young men of the village to join them. The strong, stately

dancing characteristics from that time period are still reflected in traditional dances of today. Every country in the world has examples like these. “Dance is a tangible language,” Geslison says, “You may not understand their spoken language, but you can watch a dance from another country and learn something about that people.” Even if you’re afraid of interacting with the locals, take a leap of faith and join in the dance!

— Bryce Bristow

Photo by sheetalsaini

Traveling in a foreign country can make you uneasy about your ability to communicate with the local people. But no matter what language you speak, there’s one sure method of interacting with people and learning about their culture and history: their folk dances. Unlike music and art, which are often representative of individuals, folk dances portray whole cultures. Jeanette Geslison, director of the world-famous Brigham Young University International Folk Dance Ensemble, expresses that “there’s something about cultural dancing that identifies people in a way that is very human. You can relate to it.” Folk dances open a window into the culture and history of a people. Folk dances have evolved over hundreds of years as expressions of celebrations and rituals. Many Asian,


life

Speaking of Sandals . . . Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is philosophically lovely, but what do your own shoes say about you? For people devoted to Chacos and Birkenstocks, footwear speaks volumes about going places in amazingly versatile and comfortable sandals. Though the footwear can’t speak on its own, Chacos and Birkenstocks are a great talking point for their wearers.

Photo by Behang

Chaconians

Few passions run deeper than the love of Chacos. These sandals feature a webbing of straps that go through the sole, allowing you to adjust the fit just the way you like it. Lauren Noorda of Las Vegas, Nevada, fell so in love with Chacos that she wore them every day for an entire year—facing all kinds of weather. During that year she encountered a lot more than snow and rain with her sandals. She’s worn her Chacos in Egypt, Jerusalem, Jordan, Utah, Scotland, England, France, South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. Despite one broken toe and a few scrapes, Noorda says wearing Chacos every day was worth it. “The fact that my Chacos were there for every moment of it just kind of enhances the shoes,” she says. “Everywhere I went, they went with me; everything I did, they did it too.” Noorda finds that people love to talk to her about her Chacos, which she says can be annoying. Still, she’s grateful for the interest because her first conversation with her now-best friend began with an observation about her Chaco-wearing habit.

Birkenstockers

Bryce Johnson of Gilbert, Arizona, got his first pair of Birkenstocks

Chacos and Birks bring people together from all walks of life.

seven years ago. As he says, the rest is history. He wears them six days a week—weather permitting—and is willing to confess that he loves wearing them with socks. These classic sandals, which feature a special insole that conforms to your feet, last for years of everyday wear. Such durability creates great memories. Johnson had one pair that lasted through three years of travel. His Birkenstocks accompanied him on a research study abroad to India, among many other places. He blogged about his experiences under the title “Culture Shock and Birkenstocks” to represent the clash between the life back home and the culture of India. Birkenstocks are about more than memories and comfort: they’re about a sense of community. Most people won’t naturally start a conversation with someone just because that person is wearing Nike shoes, but Birkenstocks are conversation starters. This creates a certain bond among Birkenstock wearers. Johnson

Conversation Starters Want to make friends with the pretty girl in Birks, or that handsome man with a nice Chaco Z-tan line? Here are some opening lines. • How long have you had your Chacos/Birkenstocks? • What other styles have you owned? • Do you prefer a toe strap or no toe strap? • Are yours synthetic or genuine leather? • Aren t your feet freezing?

remarks, “I feel like it helps me to find my people—people who see the world in a similar way and people that I can relate to.”

— Katie Pitts

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 15


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www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 17


eats

Quinoa The Four Corners of the Kitchen

Perusing the grain section at your local health store, you come across a product labeled Quinoa. KEE-no? Quin-O-a? Keen-o-A? How do you pronounce this curious grain-like food? Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) is an ancient edible seed that dates back thousands of years to the Incas, who cultivated it in the Andean region

of South America. This “mother of all grains” was like gold to the Incas, and they used it to worship in religious ceremonies and to strengthen their warriors. However, the conquistadores later banned its cultivation, and it nearly became extinct. Fortunately, quinoa was rediscovered in the late 1900s and has

recently begun to go international. In an increasingly health-conscious world, people are drawn to this Incan gold because it’s chock-full of protein and fiber and is also glutenfree. Let your taste buds revel in these mouthwatering quinoa recipes from Bolivia, the United States, Italy, and Peru.

— Jessica Scott Pastel de Quinoa

Pastel de Quinoa Boliva

Ingredients:! 1 cup quinoa 2 cups water 2 cups fresh Hispanic-style cheese, crumbled 1 pound ground beef 2 small onions, diced 1 ½ tablespoons ground chili pepper 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon salt 2 peeled tomatoes, diced

Directions: 1. Combine quinoa and water in a pot and simmer on medium-low for 20–25 minutes or until soft. 2. While the quinoa is cooking, brown meat in a saucepan with diced onion, ground chili pepper, garlic, and salt.

3. 4.

5.

Add tomatoes and let simmer 5–10 minutes. When the quinoa is finished cooking, mix ½ cup of crumbled cheese into the cooked grain. Spread half of the quinoa over the bottom of an 8x8-inch dish or 8-inch pie pan.

6.

7.

Sprinkle some cheese over the quinoa layer, and then spread the meat filling on top. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the filling and spread the rest of the quinoa over the top. Serve hot.

Yield: 6–8 servings Ready in 30 minutes

18 ▶ fall 2012


Quinoa Salad

Creamy Quinoa Primavera

Quinoa Salad USA

Ingredients:

Photography by Monica Lunardelli and Alyssa Miller

1 cup quinoa 2 cups water 1 small cucumber, chopped ½ cup radishes, chopped ¼ cup carrots, grated 1 bunch scallions, chopped 2 cups grape tomatoes, sliced in half 5 tablespoons olive oil ½ lemon, juiced Salt to taste Directions: 1. Cook quinoa and water in a pot on medium heat 20–25 minutes or until soft. 2. Toss cooked quinoa with cucumbers, radishes, carrots, scallions, and tomatoes in a large bowl. 3. Whisk together olive oil, juice from lemon, and salt in a separate bowl. 4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. 5. Refrigerate the salad for an hour before serving. Yield: 4–5 servings Ready in 1 ½ hours

Creamy Quinoa Primavera Italy

Ingredients: 1 cup uncooked quinoa 1½ cups chicken or vegetable broth 1 tablespoon butter 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 3 cups thinly sliced uncooked vegetables (consider using carrots, squash, zucchini, onions, or mushrooms)

4 ounces cream cheese 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated Directions: 1. Cook quinoa and broth in a pot on medium heat 20–25 minutes or until soft. 2. While quinoa is cooking, melt butter in large skillet. 3. Cook garlic in butter for about one minute, stirring frequently. 4. Add the vegetables and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until vegetables are brightly colored and starting to soften. 5. Stir cream cheese and basil into cooked quinoa. 6. Toss with vegetables and sprinkle with Parmesan before serving.

Quinoa con Naranja

Quinoa con Naranja Peru

Ingredients: ½ cup quinoa 5 oranges, juiced ½ cup sugar 1 cinnamon stick 2 whole cloves 2 teaspoons corn starch Directions: 1. Soak quinoa in water for 2 hours, then drain. 2. In a pot, mix the quinoa with juice from oranges and add sugar. 3. Boil mixture with cinnamon stick and cloves for 15–20 minutes, or until soft. 4. Mix cornstarch with about one tablespoon of water and then add dissolved cornstarch to quinoa while it is boiling. Serve chilled. Yield: 3–4 servings Ready in 2 ½ hours

Yield: 5–6 servings Ready in 45 minutes

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 19


eats

Cultural Flavor Pineapple. Ironically, it’s neither pine nor apple. But one thing is certain: it is delicious. Even its ancient name, nana, means “excellent fruit.” It’s also ironic that this fruit, which is iconic of Hawaii, didn’t originate in Hawaii, but in South America. So what is the real deal with pineapples and Hawaii? On the mainland United States, movies and TV shows like 50 First Dates and Psych immortalize the pineapple as an island fruit. The truth is, much of the Hawaiian pineapple hype can be attributed to James Dole, the “Pineapple King,” who started growing pineapples in Hawaii in the early 1900s and eventually had up to 200,000 acres of pineapple plants, along with canning and distribution facilities. At one point, Dole produced 75 percent of the world’s pineapples. Today, only about 10 percent of the world’s pineapple crop is grown in Hawaii. And speaking of irony, although pineapple is used as a topping for Hawaiian pizzas and Hawaiian haystacks, these dishes—like the pineapple itself—did not originate in Hawaii. The most widely accepted theories about Hawaiian pizza’s origins suggest that it was created in either Canada or Germany. And Hawaiian haystacks are mostly popular in the western United States. So what do Hawaiians think of this fruit that has come to be linked almost universally with them? Even though pineapples are not native to Hawaii, they are still often part of Hawaiian social gatherings. Mitch Gleed, who was born and raised in Hawaii, says he loves pineapple. “We ate it all the time. And now every time I go home I want a fresh pineapple. Especially one of the white [sugar] pineapples.”

20 ▶ fall 2012

Monica Patterson, who also grew up in Hawaii, agrees that pineapple is present at most social functions and parties. Of course, food in general is important in the Hawaiian social scene. “Food is everything,” she says. “We like lots of food and lots of people. Eating together is just happy and inclusive.” So whether you’re looking to add some island flair or just want that tropical, delicious flavor of paradise, go

ahead and get some friends together for a good time and have your own Hawaiian luau. And definitely don’t forget the pineapple because, after all, it is one “excellent fruit.”

— Angela Smith Want to try a Hawaiian haystack? You ll find the recipe at stowawaymag.com

Illustration by Melissa Crowton

Pineapples and Paradise Make for a Great Vacation


Getaway Whales aren t the only surprise you ll encounter in Antarctica. This land of extremes is a thrilling escape.

22

For a Weekend

24

For a Week

30

For a While

Enjoy a slice of Wisconsin cherry pie, or take a peek into Gatsby’s world.

You might not expect the wonders that await in Jordan’s city of stone—or the surprises that lurk in the swamps of the South.

Photo by Cara Sucher

Bask in the Brazilian sun, or let Antarctica’s icy beauty send chills down your spine.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 21


away for a weekend

Knock, Knock

Welcome to Door County, Wisconsin Porte des Mortes, or Death’s Door, is the narrow, treacherous patch of water in Lake Michigan between Washington Island and Wisconsin’s peninsula. French sailors bestowed this intriguing name to the strait because of the countless shipwrecks that occurred there. Death’s Door then became the namesake of Door County, Wisconsin. Despite its violent sailing history, Door County has a relaxing seaside atmosphere that is perfect for a weekend getaway.

If you’re a foodie, the Old Post Office Restaurant in Ephraim is a place you won’t want to miss. Door County is famous for its cherries, and the Old Post Office Restaurant includes delicious county-grown cherries all over its menu. After a day of exploring the antique shops nearby, join

the boil master in the evening for one of the restaurant’s traditional fish boils. This customary dish is an old Scandinavian tradition made with white fish caught in Lake Michigan, served with potatoes, onions, and carrots. The “boil over”—which is the moment when the fish oil flows over the sides of the kettle and is lit on fire with kerosene—signals that the food is ready to eat. Visitors often round off the evening with a slice of Door County cherry pie. www.oldpostoffice-doorcounty.com

Cana Island Lighthouse

Many of the lighthouses along Door County’s 300 miles of coastline were built in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to protect ships from the rocky coast around the peninsula and surrounding islands. Because Cana Island Lighthouse is often the subject of artwork and photography, it has become one of Door County’s most recognizable landmarks.

22 ▶ fall 2012

The Cana Island Lighthouse is found offshore on a small island that is accessible through a pedestrian causeway. If you are planning an autumn lighthouse tour, keep in mind that the lighthouse closes for tours around the third week of October. ▶

www.doorcounty.com/what-to-do/ lighthouses

Washington Island

Just off Door County’s mainland, there are several other islands to explore. The largest of these is Washington Island. Once you’ve taken the ferry from the mainland to the island, you can rent mopeds and bikes from the Island Clipper Dock. If the weather is warm, head down for a swim at Schoolhouse Beach, where the shores are covered with rare, smooth limestone instead of sand. Washington Island also boasts 900-acre Rock Island State Park, where there are hiking trails, campsites, and beautiful waterfront views. If you aren’t too tired from biking around the island, you can climb the 184 steps of the Mountain Park Lookout Tower and see a spectacular view of Door County and Lake Michigan. ▶

www.washingtonisland.com

— Jessica Biggs

Photo by Danny T

Old Post Office Restaurant


away for a weekend

Beyond Required Reading

Photo by Rebekah Olson

Gatsby’s World The new Great Gatsby film is being shot in Australia. But not all fans of this novel will have the means to go that far to find the impressive mansions and parties that give the story its edge. Luckily, book lovers can travel to the real sites that inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby. Gatsby’s world lies only as far as New York’s Gold Coast. Once you get there, you can let your imagination fill in the details. The most impressive views in the area lie out on Long Island, where Fitzgerald himself lived. Nick, the narrator of Gatsby’s story, calls it “that slender riotous island which extends itself due east of New York.” The two “eggs” Nick describes—West Egg and East Egg—actually correspond to the real towns of Kings Point and Sands Point. Fitzgerald sets Nick and Gatsby as neighbors in West Egg, a village for people with new money—people who made their fortunes in business, rather than inheriting it. Or, like Gatsby, they made money as rumrunners during Prohibition. As you go through the area, think about where the biggest parties would have been. Which houses in the neighborhood suggest that the owners would be well off enough to afford illegal liquor? Though the house is privately owned, you can drive by Fitzgerald’s former residence in Great Neck— 6 Gateway Drive. It was while living here that he began planning the novel. The house is somewhat modest compared to its neighbors. Some say that Fitzgerald drew inspiration from his own house when creating

F. Scott Fitzgerald briefly lived in this house at 6 Gateway Drive.

A pleasant drive through the area may provide just the inspiration you need to dream like Gatsby. Nick’s. There’s just enough whitewalled charm about the place to conjure up a mental picture of your favorite author hosting guests on the front lawn. In case you can’t find the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, get a map and take the 20-minute drive around Manhasset Bay to East Egg—or as it’s really known, Sands Point. This area epitomizes the reserved opulence associated with old money. If you can’t find Tom and Daisy’s “cheerful red-and-white Georgian Colonial mansion, overlooking the bay,” at least take a look at many of the other great mansions nearby. The Long Island Visitors Bureau suggests a visit to the Sands Point Preserve. Depending on the season, you can enjoy a

nature walk or tour the three dazzling mansions there: Falaise, Hempstead House, and Castle Gould. Another area attraction is the Old Westbury Gardens, a magnificent estate that offers tours and events throughout the year. Beyond these few areas of interest, the setting of The Great Gatsby is quiet, drawing few tourists and offering little in the way of guided tours and attractions. Yet for someone with an active imagination and a literary mind, a pleasant drive through the area may provide just the inspiration you need to dream like Gatsby, write like Fitzgerald, or at least preview sights similar to those in the upcoming film. ▶

www.discoverlongisland.com

— Katie Pitts www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 23


away for a week

Petra Lost City of Stone

24 ▶ fall 2012

A Bedouin man sits in a market within Petra. Locals sell everything from jewelry to camel rides.

remnant of the original carvings from over three thousand years ago. The Treasury, famous as it may be, is merely the first building in Petra, marking the place where al-Siq opens up on the main street of Petra. While walking along this street, you will see caves and smaller private dwellings carved into the rock face alongside ancient tombs and other structures. There are also local merchants from nearby towns who earn their livelihoods in Petra. Some are children, who eagerly approach you with boxes of rocks or small trinkets for purchase. Other merchants sit at stalls selling glass jars filled with colored sand, jewelry, and other mementos. Prices may be listed in multiple languages, but remember— you will pay considerably less if you can read Arabic. The main road through Petra will take you toward one of the easiest and most common hikes, which leads up to a building known as the Monastery.

The Bedu Your visit to Petra will more than likely include interactions with local Bedouin̶nomadic desert dwellers of Arabic descent. While many Bedouin used to reside in the caves at Petra, they have been relocated to neighboring cities in recent years. In preparation for your trip, check out Married to a Bedouin, a book by Marguerite van Geldermalsen. Not only does van Geldermalsen shed light on the Bedouin culture she married into, but she also supplies treasured and unique wisdom about Petra. ▶ www.marriedtoabedouin.com

Photography by Jordan Carroll

Deep in the Kingdom of Jordan lies Petra, a city whose name refers to the rock from whence it was chiseled. The Nabateans, ancient inhabitants of Jordan, carved this city from the sides of desert sandstone cliffs more than three thousand years ago—complete with water systems, waterfalls, and other beautiful and useful structures. During the rule of empires now ancient, Petra was known as a place of wealth and thriving trade. Although shifting world powers and trade routes led to the abandonment of Petra during the fourth century, you and other tourists today can still feel the splendor and majesty of this ancient marvel. To enter Petra, you will first pass through a narrow gorge known as al-Siq (“The Shaft”). Steep sandstone walls tower above, periodically crowding in and narrowing the trail. Excitement builds as each twist and turn brings you closer to the ancient city. You will likely pause every so often and crane your head back to look up at the sliver of deep blue sky high above you. Luckily, the path is only about a mile long and easily traversed; before you know it, the path opens in front of you and you catch a glimpse of the first and most famous building in Petra: the Treasury. If you’re familiar with Indiana Jones, you know exactly what the Treasury looks like, although you probably didn’t know what to call it. Countless tourists have taken advantage of the photo-op at this famous site, some of them even bringing their own Fedoras to wear. The building is open for you to climb inside, where you can admire the details of ancient handiwork—most of it is a


The Treasury is the first grand site visitors will set their eyes upon as they make their way through Petra.

This, like the Treasury, is one of the larger structures carved into the cliffs at Petra. For a break from walking or just for the story to tell, you can rent a donkey to carry you the 800 or 900 steps to the top, although some visitors have said that the donkey ride is more terrifying than just making the climb yourself. The path is more strenuous than al-Siq, but the view from the top overlooking the surrounding countryside is stunning. The giant Monastery is similar in detail and structure to the Treasury,

and there are additional smaller caves and simpler buildings to investigate. For the more adventurous, there are also steep climbing trails up the rock walls of Petra to sights that few others see. These trails wind up the cliff face for breathtaking views from above the Treasury. You can also find remnants of the ancient civilization that once thrived at Petra: Nabatean altars, an ancient cistern, and shards from long-broken pottery. Even along these less-traveled paths, you will still find more of the

modern locals with their merchandise, hoping to sell you some little trinket. One visitor was surprised to find an old, nearly blind woman selling jewelry at the top of a mountain. Although the world has changed in the past three thousand years, you will discover that Petra is still a place of wonder, beauty, and thriving trade. ▶

www.kinghussein.gov.jo

— Rebecca Fluckiger & Jordan Carroll

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 25


away for a week

Gators are masters of disguise. These reptiles average between eight and eleven feet long and are often hunted and sold by locals.

Swamping in the Deep South the sky. Throughout the swamp you can find bayous (stagnant rivers) and marshes (wet sections of land not fully covered with water). One traveler, Kimball Hanson, remembers the swamp as “an area with tons of animals—like a type of little safari.” This swamp is so popular that the History Channel created a reality show called Swamp People that follows the lives of Cajuns hunting alligators in Atchafalaya.!To see this impressive swamp for yourself, you can drive across an 18-mile bridge that stretches over the wetland and connects small Louisiana towns. You can also rent a boat to explore by yourself or take a tour with the Atchafalaya Experience tour company.

Atchafalaya Swamp

Honey Island Swamp

One of the largest swamps in the United States is the Atchafalaya Swamp in Louisiana. This swamp encompasses the wetlands where the Atchafalaya River and the Gulf of Mexico meet. The water is filled with bald cypress trees stretching toward

26 ▶ fall 2012

www.theatchafalayaexperience.com

Another Louisiana swamp lurks near New Orleans in the Deep South: the Honey Island Swamp. Cajun Encounters, a local tour company, can take you on a boat ride through the swamp. Your boat will move through the dense marshland so you

can have time to observe—to hear the birds calling out and to glimpse the wild boars hiding in the underbrush on patches of almost dry land. You may even encounter the legendary Honey Island Swamp monster or, as the Cajuns call him, Tainted Keitre. First sighted in 1963 by Harlan Ford, this creature is said to be around seven feet tall. With gray hair, red eyes, and webbed feet, he is the legendary Bigfoot or Loch Ness monster of the swamp. ▶

www.cajunencounters.com

The Everglades

The Everglades is probably the most well-known swamps outside of Louisiana. Lying in the southern part of Florida, this swamp starts at the Kissimmee River near Orlando and flows into the ocean at Florida Bay. The Everglades is set apart from other swamps by their most prominent feature: the sawgrass marsh. To see this marsh up close, take a tour with Kissimmee Swamp Tours. The tour takes you on an hour-long airboat ride through the Everglades. Sawgrass sticks up from the water in long,

Photo by Elvis Santana

The scaled head of a predator drifts through the water like the tip of an iceberg. He wanders closer toward the boat and blinks his beady, black eyes at the passengers. For a moment he lies motionless, and you could mistake him for a brown, misshapen rock. Yet when the tour guide throws a morsel of food toward the water, the alligator rapidly raises his monstrous body and snatches the food out of the air. Then the giant reptile smoothly sinks back down into the murky water and glides away, his tail shifting back and forth behind him like a snake. This encounter is one of many you can experience in the swamps of the South. Whether by car or boat, with a professional tour or on your own, you can explore a legendary part of the United States.


Bare-handed Fishing As you head to a stream to catch dinner, it might look like you have forgotten something since you don t have fishing gear. But you are not rodand-reel fishing; you are trout tickling. If you have ever wanted to try bare-handed fishing, here s how you do it:

1.

Make sure it s okay to fish in the stream you want to use.

2.

Leave the cumbersome fishing gear at home. You won t need it.

3.

Find an overhanging rock or a hollow in the stream: trout often rest in such places as they swim upstream.

4.

Kneel down and slowly slip your hand into the

Common in many swamps, lily pads float in the Grand Bayou.

water at that spot until you touch the cool scales of a fish.

5.

Gently tickle the fish s belly as you slide your hand up toward the gills.

6.

Jam your hand up the gills and throw the fish out of the water.

7.

Grab and secure the fish before it can flop its way

Photo by Jenna Cason

back into the water.

8.

Relish your unique memory and delicious dinner. Bon appétit.

— Angela Smith

yellow patches. You might first think it is solid ground, but once your boat inches into the grass, you’ll realize you’re still gliding on water. Through the bundles of grass you may see an alligator diving for lunch or an endangered bird settling back into the yellowed straws. You may even see a beautiful tropical hardwood hammock—a series of trees growing in freshwater bogs. Near the Everglades is Florida Bay and the Ten Thousand Islands, where the fresh swamp water and the salty ocean water meet. Florida Bay contains about a hundred keys, or small islands, that are mainly made up of mangrove forests. Sea grass grows in the bay, attracting animals like sea turtles and manatees. The Ten

Thousand Islands, on the western side of the peninsula, boasts one of the largest groves of mangrove trees in the world. To see Florida Bay and the Ten Thousand Islands, you can take a boat tour offered by the Everglades National Park, or you can rent a boat and explore the waters yourself. ▶

www.kissimmeeswamptours.com

www.evergladesnationalpark boattoursgulfcoast.com

Whether you are determined to take a photo of the swamp monster, or you are interested in observing the wildlife, come and have an adventure among the swamps of the South.

— Courtney Moyer

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 27


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28 â&#x2013;ś fall 2012


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away for a while

Lindo e ParadisĂ­aco Brazil s Coastline

30 â&#x2013;ś fall 2012


E

xtending more than four thousand miles, the Brazilian coast offers flawless beaches from north to south. These endless beaches are perfect for relaxing, learning, having fun, and getting in touch with nature. Once you lose yourself on this hot, sandy trail, you’ll never want to leave it.

Northeast

North

Relaxing in a sandy paradise

Exploring castles on the coconut coast

Surfing with the whales

Jericoacoará, Ceara

Praia do Forte, Bahia

Praia do Rosa, Santa Catarina

For several years, critics and magazine writers have declared Jericoacoara (picture left) the most beautiful Brazilian beach—and not without reason. Jeri, as it is sometimes called, is a fishing village with sandy streets, and it is known for its vast array of native vegetation. In addition, Jeri’s warm waters provide a great spot for wind- and kite-surfing. Twenty years ago, the peaceful beach was relatively unknown to tourists. Today this area is part of an Environmental Protection Area (EPA), which brought the comforts of electricity while keeping the area’s seclusion intact. Daniela Sarto, who chose to spend her honeymoon in Jeri, says the relaxing beach amazes her because its natural beauty has been preserved. “I just enjoyed doing nothing,” she says about the tranquil village. “It’s hard to believe that after all the destruction we have caused on our little planet Earth, there is still a place like Jeri. This place is living proof of what nature is capable of producing.”

Praia do Forte, (pictured left) or the “Fortress’s Beach,” owes its name to a castle-fortress that Garcia D’Avila built in the sixteenth century. The ruins of the castle, among the oldest in Brazil, are a perfect spot for those who want to learn more about Brazilian history and its conquistadores. Besides featuring archaeology, this area also houses several projects and foundations that protect local biodiversity and historical sites. One of these is the Tamar Project, which aims to protect the sea turtles that nest in the shores of Praia do Forte. Paulo Bueno, who has been to Praia do Forte several times, says the Tamar Project “is considered one of the most advanced projects in the world when it comes to the preservation of sea turtles. There you can contemplate the turtles in large tanks of waters, and they amaze you by their size, colors, and variety. This is a land that still has many secrets and fascinating places to be discovered.” Praia do Forte is surrounded by tall palm trees, which inspired the area’s nickname—“the coconut coast.”

Praia do Rosa, which means “rosy beach,” is a hidden treasure in the state of Santa Catarina. Known for its big waves and surfing spots, this beach is perfect for those who want to visit the southern beaches and surf while avoiding the surfing crowds. The small fishing village where the beach is located was discovered in the early ’70s by young hippies, who still live there and run the local businesses. The area has only two paved streets, and many of the beaches are accessible only by foot. Ox carts are still the main transportation service from May to June, when fishing is the key trade among natives. What makes the beach so special are the whales that visit it from August to November to give birth. Every year, they become local celebrities by spraying up water and showing off their black tails and their adorable newborns. To avoid the destruction of these beloved creatures, the Brazilian government has created a project to protect and help its “little” friends reproduce safely in the area. The whales seem to appreciate the VIP treatment. They return each year to greet the amazed tourists.

www.jericoacoara.com

Photo by Sarah and Iain

South

Wait! There are more Brazilian beaches worth seeing. Read about some of them on our website.

www.wikitravel.org/en/ Praia_do_Forte

www.gobrazil.about.com/od/brazilian beachesislands/p/praiadorosa.htm

— Monica Lunardelli

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 31


away for a while

Antarctica

Land of Frozen Beauty

Going on a cruise to Antarctica might not be your typical vacation, but it could end up being the most stunning getaway of your life. The least populated continent is enticing because of its untouched nature, unique scenery, and active wildlife. The perennial cold allows the continent to retain a majestic beauty unlike any other. The first tourists to Antarctica visited in the 1950s, when its natural wonders were still widely unknown. Today, approximately 30,000 people visit the continent each year. Most depart from South America and travel by ship—whether an icebreaker cruise liner or a small research sailboat. Abe Gong, who made the trip on a father-son vacation, describes Antarctica as “otherworldly.” Their cruise ship was dwarfed by ice

32 ▶ fall 2012

islands the size of shopping malls. “I loved watching and listening to those icebergs, in all shapes and sizes,” remembers Gong. “We also took zodiacs [large rubber rafts] through floating fields of housesized ice. It was like cloud-gazing, but up close, with many more colors, structures, and textures. You can smell the ice, too, and hear it crack.” The same zodiacs that took Gong and his father weaving through blue ice fields also took them to shore. Abe felt as though he had walked into a nature documentary. The setting was a rocky beach; the backdrop, a rugged mountain continent. Albatrosses soared through the sky, fur seals rested on the ice, and adélie penguins pushed each other into the ocean.

“We saw thousands of penguins in little troops and big noisy colonies,” Gong recalls. Although the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) specifies that visitors “keep a safe distance from wildlife,” the penguins don’t know the rules. They are curious, fearless, and unaccustomed to meeting humans in their pristine environment. After going for a swim, they might even shoot out of the water and onto shore, avoiding a man as though he were just another rock in the way. But even though Abe and his father couldn’t play with the penguins, they could still play like the penguins. One of Gong’s favorite memories was playing Frisbee on land and then sliding like a penguin

Photo by Cara Sucher

Antarctica, a barren, frozen desert, supports very little life. There is no indigenous population and very little vegetation. Of all the continents, it has the coldest average temperature, the highest average elevation, and the fewest native species. A tourist nightmare, right?


down a football-field-sized snowfield. Other on-land activities can include hiking and camping, depending on the travel group’s size and itinerary. No matter what you do, however, the most unforgettable memories will come when you experience Antarctica’s untamed beauty. Reaching the barren continent is more feasible now than ever, but it requires a different mindset from the typical vacation. Sure, your nose might get a bit cold while you’re on deck, but the chill will be worth it when you witness the breathtaking breeching of a whale or notice the penguins porpoising alongside your boat. The land of extremes awaits. ▶

Things to Think about When Booking Dates Antarctic tours are offered during the austral summer, from late October to March. The month you choose will help determine what you ll see̶the amounts of ice and the types of wildlife.

Tour groups Book a tour with a group that s a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operations (IAATO). These members have agreed to comply with certain rules to protect the wildlife and maintain the environment. They are also well informed of safety hazards, like rough waters and excessive ice.

Group size The number of people on your boat influences the activities you ll be offered. Only a certain number of people are allowed ashore at a time, so smaller groups

www.taraandkarinagoout.com

of 50 to 100 are ideal. If you are a more adventurous soul who is indifferent to

(This blog recounts one traveler s

the luxuries of cruising, you could travel on a sailboat with about 20 people, but

adventures in Antarctica.)

be prepared for a bumpy ride.

— Kendra Williamson

Travel packages If you enjoy more interaction with the environment, consider looking for a travel package that offers additional sources of fun: scuba diving, kayaking,

Photo by Abe Gong

Want to see more of Antarctica s pristine horizons? Check out more photos online.

hiking, camping on the continent, swimming in thermal water, and even taking expeditions to the South Pole.

It was like cloud-gazing, but up close, Gong says of the Antarctic icebergs.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 33


34 â&#x2013;ś fall 2012


Features Pigs may not ďŹ&#x201A;y, but in the Bahamas they do swim.

36

Bahamas by Boat: Kayaking the Cays

42

Branching Out: Reconnecting with Your Family Tree

47

The Dummy s Guide to Falling

Find the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure as you explore these tropical islands with paddle and kayak.

Travel can make old family stories come alive.

Photo courtesy of Out-Island Explorers

However you choose to soar through the sky, here are ways to find a high-thrill escape.

www.stowawaymag.com â&#x2014;&#x20AC; 35


!"#"$"%& Kayaking the Cays

+

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ulled in by the promise of year-round perfect weather, pristine beaches, and tropical flora and fauna, vacationers flock to the Bahamas in droves—an average of over 4 million per year, 85 percent of whom come from the United States. Just 160 miles from Florida’s coast and featuring a major airport, Nassau, the Bahamas’ capital city, has long been a travel hotspot for tourists with money to burn. 36 ▶ fall 2012


Photo by Ryan Bonneau

& '(&!)"* The city offers a wide array of luxury resorts and hotels, fine dining establishments, and endless recreation. But like any other tourism-driven town, it’s also crawling with tacky souvenir shops, overpriced rentals, and lots of other people.

Kayakers in the cays can jump directly out of their boats and begin fishing for the day s catch.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 37


The Price Is Right If you re still not convinced to leave the luxury of your hotel suite for the wild ride of the ocean, take this into consideration: Bonneau estimates that each member of his party spent only about $900 total on the trip, including airfare, hotel stays on the way in and out, kayak rentals, and food. Compare that with the $2000 you d likely spend staying at a nice resort and eating out every night. For the adventurous (and budget-conscious) spirit, the cays are the only way to experience the Caribbean. On the other hand, if you d like to camp the cays but the thought of navigating unknown waters and sleeping on a strange island on your own leaves you feeling a bit unsettled, several companies have cropped up around the Bahamas. These companies offer kayak rentals as well as tours with professional guides, furnish all of the equipment you ll need for your stay, and include the price of food. Out-Island s tours start at a reasonable $1300 and allow you to experience the natural wonder of the Bahamas while still feeling secure.

38 ▶ fall 2012

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Between fighting the crowds for a good tanning spot on the beach and dodging aggressive street vendors, the “relaxing” Bahamas vacation may not live up to all the hype. Unless you venture a little farther out, that is. The Bahamas comprise almost 30 islands and over 600 smaller landmasses called cays. Exuma, also known as the “out-islands” of the Bahamas, is a grouping of about 360 of these cays that stretches for 130 miles to the south of Nassau. The roughly seven thousand inhabitants of Exuma live mainly on Great Exuma and Little Exuma, the chain’s southernmost cays, leaving most of the other 358 cays uninhabited and open for exploration. The cays are relatively close together and are reachable only by boat. Herein lies the adventure.

789-)1.

“For us, it’s about getting away from everything,” says Ryan Bonneau of Telluride, Colorado. A professional photographer and experienced sea kayaker, Bonneau has put paddle to water all around the globe, including expeditions in Belize, New Zealand, Panama, Canada, and an 800-mile, two-month-long solo trip around Alaska’s

Prince William Sound. But in 2007, craving more adventure, Bonneau and six friends researched the best spots in the world for kayaking and bonefishing and found themselves booking tickets to the Bahamas. Armed only with a map, fishing poles, and the basic camping equipment and food they’d need for the week, Bonneau and his buddies paddled off in search of a good time. And while minimalism and vacation don’t always go hand in hand, travelers willing to forego the spa and room service may find that they actually prefer the tent and the day’s catch. “When I’m searching out trips, I tend to look at areas where we can rent quality sea kayaks and go at it on our own,” Bonneau says. “Part of the appeal is being self-sufficient.”

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Shoving off from Great Exuma, kayakers can expect to see beautiful sunrises and sunsets and fascinating fish, turtles, sharks, and dolphins. They may even meet the Bahamas’ treasured swimming pigs—friendly little natives who will swim right up to your boat and eat from your hand—all while still safely hugging the coastline.


Photo courtesy of Out-Island Explorers

And far from lying motionless on the beach back in Nassau, kayaking the cays is a full-body experience. “I loved how close to the water the kayaks let me get, and I spent most of my time staring overboard at the ocean floor clearly visible 10 feet below me instead of watching where I was going,” Dallas Knowles says. A Nassau native, Knowles remembers his first experience kayaking the cays: “I remember being so close to the water that every breath filled my lungs with the fresh scent of the ocean and seemed to invigorate me and give me strength.” Knowles and his wife, Tamara, now own and operate Out-Island Explorers, which runs guided kayak and sailing tours around the cays out of Great Exuma. Knowles says that kayaking the cays holds something for everyone: relaxation, exercise, time alone, or chats with friends. “That first trip had everything from flat, calm days to rough seas washing over the bows of our boats. Surfing the waves was just as much fun as paddling on seas as calm as a pond.”

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But the trips aren’t all smooth sailing. “Most people picture a tropical sea kayaking trip as being leisurely and easy, but it can be challenging,” Bonneau warns. “The sun can be unrelenting at times, and there is no getting away from it. If there is no wind, you are literally

cooking as you paddle, so frequent swims are critical.” Bonneau’s party also ran into trouble on their second night camping. The wind picked up, irritating the sand fleas, which in turn irritated the campers. Those who brought tents were fine, but the others got “massacred,” spending the night running up and down the beach to get away from the bugs. Several men ended up lying down in the water with only their noses sticking out in an attempt to get some sleep, but thoughts of the sharks they had seen lurking in the water earlier in the day kept them awake. “A very hard night indeed,” says Bonneau. Tamara Knowles says her first experience kayaking was both a little frightening and frustrating. “The most challenging was the constant fight of the wind and current. Why was it never going in the right direction?!” she laughs. “Also, because kayaking was so new to me, it was hard to see the goal. It seemed so close, yet still took hours to reach.” A trip through the cays may not be for the picky eater. You have to pack everything you’re going to eat for the time that you’re there, and since the heat necessitates bringing mainly nonperishables, it’s no time to be a fussy diner. Bonneau says that their meals were “typical” of a kayak adventure—mostly mac and cheese, pasta, and rice and beans,

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 39


supplemented with whatever fish they caught that day. As far as the bathroom situation goes, groups like Out-Island Explorers practice Leave No Trace camping, which means that their guests have two options for relieving themselves: the ocean or the “groover.” The groover is essentially a portable plastic box with a collapsible stall set up around it that campers can use when

40 ▶ fall 2012

nature calls. “People usually use it at the beginning of the trip,” Tamara says, “but as it begins to fill, the ocean that was once out of the question begins to look more and more inviting!”

>)$.*#06?&4)1&.@.1()6.

Some aspects of the trip may not be all that glamorous, but novice adventurers shouldn’t be intimidated by

the prospect of shipping out on their own. Due to the relatively calm nature of the water around the cays, little to no experience is necessary before venturing out in your boat. Tamara recommends practicing paddling a few times in still waters, but she insists that one of the great things about kayaking is that “everyone can do it.” The average age on Out-Island Explorer’s tours is 55, but young

Photo courtesy of Out-Island Explorers

I spent most of my time staring overboard at the ocean floor ten feet below.


Photo courtesy of Out-Island Explorers

teenagers and people of every age in between have come and enjoyed themselves. The Knowles children, Joss, 4, and Emit, 2, also go out in the boats and love every minute of it. “They see everything as an adventure waiting to be had,” says Tamara. “They chase lizards, swim with the turtles, and are learning to explore the world below through a mask and snorkel.” Parents interested in bringing children on a kayak tour through the cays should consider the children’s ages and understanding of safety, but Tamara suggests that a two-person kayak works well for a parent and child traveling together. In addition to accommodating age and level of experience, you can also cater your trip to various interests. Besides the kayaking, the cays abound with caves and pools to explore by scuba or snorkel, excellent swimming and fishing opportunities, indigenous wildlife, and, of course, the draw of a hammock or warm sand on the beach. Bonneau’s party may have been drawn to the cays for the fishing, but he says that they spent five great days “cruising around, swimming, playing games, and just basking in the perfect weather.”

At night, you pull up to shore and break out your tent̶no complicated reservations or down payments necessary.

“Our trip was really an amazing time spent away from it all with great friends in a pristine tropical paradise,” he recalls. There’s relaxation, and there’s adventure. But every now and again the two meet in the rare place where pleasure and expedition blend together, making the perfect getaway a reality. Should you find yourself planning a Caribbean vacation and trying to decide between the hotel with the pool or the one without,

stop for a moment and picture the phenomenal beauty of the cays just waiting to be discovered by you and your ’yak. It’s not for the faint of heart (or the sensitive of stomach), but we know you’re up to the challenge. ▶

Visit www.ryanbonneauphoto.com to see more of Bonneau s work.

Visit www.outislandexplorers.com for trip information and to check out the Knowles family profile.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 41


By Teresa Arroyo


T

urning his head away, Allan Escobar tries to hide his tears as he remembers meeting his grandmother for the first time. Escobar’s parents had emigrated from Guatemala and Mexico, making him a first-generation American. Escobar grew up in California, separated from his aunts, cousins, and grandparents on both sides of his family for most of his life.

“Everyone talked about my grandma—about how loving she was—and I wanted to know her,” Escobar comments, his eyes lighting up. At age 21, when his parents proposed a vacation to visit the relatives he’d always heard about but had never met, Escobar knew the trip would change his life. Escobar and others like him recount their experiences as they have traveled back to find their family’s roots, met relatives, strengthened family relationships, and discovered an important part of their own lives.

How it starts

Illustrations by Hilary Onyon, photo by Allison Lew

Lily Ferguson, a young MexicanAmerican schoolteacher, also grew

up in California and never knew her family across the border. When she was 14 years old and preparing for her quinceañera (an elaborate party to celebrate a girl’s 15th birthday), she knew she needed to have it in Mexico: “I wanted to experience the culture and meet the family I’d always heard about.” For others, simply not knowing about their roots drives their curiosity, especially if their parents have kept their life stories to themselves. Allison Lew admits that she didn’t know much about her mother’s life in Vietnam: “My mom immigrated in 1978 as a refugee. She was one of the ‘boat people’ that fled from the refugee camps. By traveling to Vietnam, I would be able to see where my mom

came from—and know more about her and more about me.” Whatever the driving force behind the trip, deciding to take it is the first step to discovering your roots.

Preparing and planning

Because traveling to find your roots is a unique experience, special preparation may be necessary. Although Escobar was eager to travel to Guatemala and Mexico, the idea of going to a foreign country intimidated him. “I did feel nervous about the trip because I wasn’t as comfortable with Spanish as I was with English,” Escobar laughs. “I used Spanish in emergency situations and

Allison Lew gained greater appreciation for her mother, Huang Lew (left), and her grandmother, Nhung Thi Quan after traveling to Vietnam.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 43


You re finally there

After all your preparation, finally getting to your destination can be quite a shock. Ferguson remembers, “My biggest shock was in the airport in Mexico when I realized everything was in Spanish!” But the shock wore off soon after meeting up with the other branches of her family tree. “All the

44 ▶ fall 2012

Lily Ferguson of California celebrated her quinceañera in Mexico. In keeping with tradition, her family hired a mariachi band to perform.

stories came to life when I was there. I got to meet my family and it was real. The names finally met up with faces.” Cynthia Sandoval, whose parents both emigrated from Mexico, agrees. “You see pictures all the time, but it’s not the same as in person.” She decided to take a trip to Mexico with her sister. “We thought it’d be nice to go just the both of us, and our parents supported us.” Sandoval first visited Guadalajara, Mexico, where her mom grew up, and later, Mexico City, where her dad was from. She experienced what life was like for her family. “In some areas, it was kind of ghetto, but I was surprised how happy the people were under their difficult circumstances.” While there, Sandoval remembers coming to a startling realization. “I kept thinking that I was ‘this close’ to having a completely different life.” If her family had stayed in Mexico, she would have grown up in the same house where her dad was born, lived in the same poverty, and probably never gone to college. Escobar had similar feelings when he traveled back to Guatemala City, Guatemala, where his father

was born. “I thought ‘Wow! This is where my ancestors are from,’ and I realized what I could have grown up with.” He recounts having to use a bucket to shower with while there and having to heat water on the stove—a lifestyle extremely different from his life in California.

Time to leave

After three weeks, it was time for Escobar to leave, and he wasn’t at all prepared to say goodbye. “I kept thinking to myself, ‘When are you going to see these people again?’” He had finally established a real relationship with and a love for his family members that made him reluctant to leave. “I realized that I really did love these people, even though I had only spent a month out of my whole life with them.” While saying goodbye was hard, Ferguson focused on the memories she would carry with her and the promise of future return trips. “While I was there, we celebrated life. It was an opportunity to learn more of who I was, and even though I was leaving, I knew that I’d be coming back, and soon.”

Photo by Lily Ferguson

only if I had to.” Luckily, language classes and online language resources can help reduce these anxieties. Escobar’s parents helped him prepare for the trip by practicing Spanish with him and boosting his confidence. Trips like these will obviously be more family focused than any other vacation. “They’re about your relatives and making memories with them,” says Ferguson. She prepared herself to know not only her living relatives better but also those who had passed on earlier. With her mother’s help, she researched their family history and found birth certificates, burial locations, and newspaper clippings about their ancestors before visiting. Professor George Ryskamp, a Spanish and Latin American genealogy expert at Brigham Young University, comments, “You are what your ancestors made you. Get to know who they are and what they’re like.” How can you get to know your ancestors? Ryskamp offers a word of advice: “When you start, choose one ancestor and then think of a question you’d like answered. This will help guide you as you begin to discover your family.”


Why Take the Trip? Family

You ll finally get to put faces

Lasting impressions

Looking back on his trip, Escobar admits that it changed his life. “Everyone grows up differently, and when you travel back to your roots, you appreciate what you have and the sacrifices your parents made for you. It was such a humbling experience.” Professor Ryskamp adds that although we all come from different backgrounds, we all have family. It is our family that helps define who we are, and we have a responsibility to learn about them and their stories. “When you travel back to your roots, it’s a chance to get away from the computers and hearsay. You can actually get a feel for these people’s lives. It changes your perspective and way of seeing the world around you.” Ferguson agrees: “In person, you can build those connections better. It adds flavor to your life. It’s an advantage to go and see your family

to names. You see pictures

all the time, Sandoval states, but it s not the same as in

person. You develop a true

love for your family. Meeting the people from your

family stories adds another

because you get the ‘real’ perspective of what it’s like to live there and not see things only as a tourist.” Sometimes we need that change in perspective to help us realize what’s really important. For Sandoval, taking a trip like this was a must. “I was so mad it had taken me so long! It had always been in the back of my mind, but things always seemed to come up to interfere.” Shaking her head, she realizes how shortsighted she had been. “Now I know that family is the most important thing you have. So don’t make excuses. You won’t regret it!”

dimension to understanding where you come from.

Culture

You ll experience the culture as it really is. Ferguson

observed, It adds flavor to your life. It s an advantage to go and see your family because you get the real

perspective of what it s like

to live there and not only see things as a tourist.

Connections There can be a lot of

misunderstanding between cultures and families. By traveling back to your

roots, you can correct these

misinterpretations and even build new connections

between you and your family. It s different in person; you

can build those connections

Photo by Cynthia Sandoval

better, Sandoval says. Even though I didn t really know

my family before, the truth is I m more connected to them than anyone else because they are my family. Cynthia Sandoval reconnects with her abuela in Mexico.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 45


46 â&#x2013;ś fall 2012


!"#$%&'()#*(&&%++ It s been said that a person needs only 20 seconds of insane courage. Just 20 seconds. That s the same amount of time it might take you to wash your hands, set an alarm clock, or fall asleep. But in that same 20 seconds, you can fall thousands of feet through the sky, plummet headfirst toward an alligator-infested river, or fly off the side of a cliff.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 47


Since the 1700s, people have been finding ways to fall for fun, beginning with jumping out of hot air balloons. But since then, methods have changed dramatically (and, thankfully, are safer than ever). So if you’ve plucked up 20 seconds of courage, what adventure will you take? Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just looking for another quest, you might want to consider these falling-based activities.

,-"'./.)0 Feeling particularly dare-devilish lately? Nothing gets the heart pumping like flinging yourself out of a plane thousands of feet above stable ground. When planning your next vacation, spend an afternoon floating with the birds. Whether you are a novice or pro, you can try skydiving in countries all over the world. Europe, North America, and South America have the most skydiving opportunities. So where do you start, and what do you need to know? First, select a drop zone, which is essentially a skydiving center. Some things to consider during this selection process are location, cost, and services offered. Are you looking for a local spot or for a more exotic experience? Sites like www.dropzone.com offer databases full of locations in the United States and across the world. Depending on location, equipment, and the kind of jump, prices can start at $180 or higher. If you’re willing to dish out some extra moolah, many drop zones offer photos and video of your drop for an additional fee. While researching location and cost, don’t forget to check which services are available. Not all drop zones are created equal. For instance, local lodging or amenities, varying aircrafts, and your instructor will greatly affect your experience. Amanda Donahoo, a novice jumper from Dallas, Texas, suggests reading reviews beforehand, especially in reference to the staff. “The

48 ▶ fall 2012

,-"'./.)0#1%234%23 Middleton, Ohio Start Skydiving If you happen to be in the middle of the United States, hit up Start Skydiving. This drop zone is one of the highest rated in the US and is consistently applauded for having knowledgeable and helpful instructors. ▶

www.startskydiving.com

Germany GoJump Berlin Only 45 minutes outside of Berlin, this drop zone is claimed to be one of the most innovative in Germany. Jumpers will have vast views of green fields and trees. The skydiving center is closed during winter. ▶

www.gojump.de

Brazil CNP: Centro Nacional de Paraquedismo The Skydiving National Center can be found one hour outside the capital of São Paulo in Boituva, which is known as the National Skydiving Capital. The area offers more than 15 schools and drop zones to pick from. ▶

www.skydiveboituva.com.br ¦ www.boituva.sp.gov.br

France C.E.R.P.S. Gap-Tallard In the heart of the Alps, this drop zone presents a gorgeous panorama 170 km (105 miles) from Marseilles. Like GoJump Berlin, Gap-Tallard is also closed during the winter months. ▶

parachutismegap.fr

New Zealand Skydive Abel Tasman You won t get a more gorgeous view than at this location. When you re diving on the north side of the South Island, your vision as you fall is filled with the sight of the turquoise ocean, beautiful beaches, and mountains. ▶

www.skydive.co.nz

instructors [at Skydive Spaceland near Houston] were so helpful and encouraging, just like the reviews said. Trust yourself, and trust your instructor.” Typically, beginners make tandem jumps, which involve the student being harnessed to an experienced instructor. Among the many “falling” adventure sports, skydiving seems to have the scariest reputation. “It’s that little-kid moment when you realize

you aren’t as brave as you want to be,” Donahoo describes, “and mom needs to tell them to stop the ride. Except I’m free-falling at 180 mph, and the only way to breathe is to scream. So I scream. And scream some more.” Though these heights can bring on waves of fear, many say that skydiving doesn’t actually produce that dreaded stomach-dropping sensation. In fact, it may feel more like you’re floating on water.


You can find a drop zone close to home. Novice skydiver Stephanie Buhler makes a tandem jump with her instructor in Ogden, Utah.

The scariest part is when you finally have the cord attached to your feet.

Photo courtesy of Mandy Owens

!5)066#7584.)0 This sport is mainly for solo fallers. What’s more exhilarating than strapping your ankles to a cord and jumping headfirst toward rocks and moving water? If this extreme sport has made it onto your bucket list, here are some basic things you should know. Aspiring bungee jumpers can choose to jump from several different structures, such as bridges or

buildings. And because special geography is required, cranes can allow bungee jumping in regions where it otherwise would be unavailable. Exotic and famous jumping locations can be found all over the world, from bridges in China and New Zealand to gorges in South Africa and California. Twenty-four states within the US offer bungee jumping adventures. Prices begin at $80. As a teenager living in Japan, Clayton Grames, a student studying

mechanical engineering, spent time jumping. “The scariest part is when you finally have the cord attached to your feet,” he recounts. “Then the cord drops over the edge and it tugs at your feet. You’re not ready to jump yet, so you immediately think ‘Whoa!’” Companies instruct jumping groups on safety and dive positions as part of their package. For beginners, the Superman Front Dive and Backwards Plunge are two dives often used. In both diving positions, the cord is attached to the person’s core, instead of the ankles, providing a more secure feeling—as secure as you can feel while jumping from a cliff, that is. Bungee America is the oldest and perhaps most renowned jumping

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 49


company in the United States. Its fame arises from the use of The Bridge to Nowhere in California. But amateur adrenaline junkies aren’t the only ones seeking jumps off this bridge—Hollywood stuntmen frequently use this historic site too. Whether you’re tiptoeing to the edge of a gorge or dropping from the top of a building, the flashing seconds during a bungee jump are sure to give you a rush.

9(&(0+.'.)0 Of all the “falling” adventures, paragliding might be considered the easiest on a person’s frazzled nerves. Typically found in mountainous regions or near the coast, this activity involves being strapped into a harness that is connected to a gliding aircraft with wings. Paragliding

50 ▶ fall 2012

is not to be confused with its close cousins, parasailing (a parachute towed behind a boat) and hang gliding (a rigid frame that allows gliders to fly at higher speeds). “If you want to see a side of the country you would never see otherwise, paragliding is the way to go,” Oregonian and novice paraglider Victoria Fox says. “It’s not as adrenalinepumped as skydiving and bungee jumping. It’s relaxing enough to let you really take in the views.” Fox hints at the key to paragliding: focus on expansive panoramas rather than the rush that comes when skydiving or bungee jumping. “You take this running start and then when you’re off the ground, you sit back in your harness,” Fox recalls. “After that it’s just a smooth ride. It’s a lot like surfing, the way you ride the wind.”

The road to paragliding is simpler than to other extreme sports. There are at least two routes you can take: commercial establishments or local clubs. Commercial establishments can be found online or in that dusty phonebook under your sink. Tandem rides typically cost anywhere from $115 to $200, and average flight

Left: Photo by Carla777@sbcglobal.com

Above: Extreme vacationers can find bungee jumping locations across the world, including stunning views in Interlaken, Switzerland. Right: Coastlines like Muriwai Beach in New Zealand provide ideal locations for paragliding.


Photo by tkw954

time depends on the company. For cheaper opportunities, Fox suggests trying to contact members of a local paragliding club to negotiate a trip. Because of lengthier flights and soaring heights, it’s best to wear layers of warmer clothing when paragliding. If you’re in a rainy or humid area, adding a waterproof layer and a facemask is wise. Close-toed shoes

are necessary for the light running required at take off and landing. Unlike skydiving and bungee jumping, it’s much easier to pick up paragliding as a hobby. Courses to obtain certification ratings are short and sweet. With 7 to 15 days of instruction, anyone can be certified to fly solo. However, tandem rides with professional staff or certified gliders

are almost always available. Or for a whopping $4,500, you could buy your own paraglider and accompanying equipment! The next time you’re feeling gutsy, put those 20 seconds of insane courage to use and pick a falling adventure that will leave you gasping for more.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 51


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52 â&#x2013;ś fall 2012 10 â&#x2013;ś summer 2012


Field Notes Photo courtesy of Winchester Mystery House, LLC

What seems like a small mansion is actually just a corner of the Winchester Mansion, which covers a total of four acres.

54

Highway Highlights

58

Profile

61

Off the Beaten Path

64

Service

66

Tales from the Trip

68

Photo Contest Winners

Sing along to the radio as you travel Tennessee’s music highway.

Harleys and history are an unlikely yet engaging combination in the life of Stan Ellsworth.

Mysterious and mystical—California’s Winchester Mystery HouseTM and the Scottish Hebrides entice visitors looking for something different.

Hop into your work overalls, roll up your sleeves, and go WWOOFing on your next vacation.

Here’s a lighthearted look at travel mishaps shared by Stowaway readers.

The winners of this issue’s photo contest help us see the world in black and white.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 53


highway highlights

Country, Rock, and Soul Tennessee s Music Highway

In autumn, the Tennessee hills blaze with color. Red, orange, and yellow leaves brighten the landscape. The air remains warm but is cooled by a pleasant breeze. It is an enchanting place, buzzing with creative energy. There is little wonder why this region is famous for attracting musicians. Think about it: so many musical genres have roots in Tennessee—blues, gospel, country, and rock and roll. Between Memphis and Nashville you can find memorials celebrating B. B. King, the Reverend Al Green, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the King himself—Elvis Presley. Locals relish their rich musical history. This pride is demonstrated by a state senate bill passed in 1999 that officially designated the region of Interstate 40 between Memphis and Nashville as the “Music Highway.” Today, there are signs along the road celebrating this title and directing travelers to musical landmarks such as murals, monuments, and museums. Just a sampling of sites includes a rich variety of destinations.

Stax Museum Memphis

The world’s only museum of soul music, the Stax Museum contains more than two thousand relics dedicated to the pioneers of the genre. There are also interactive exhibits, films, and galleries designed to give the visitor a true taste of soul. Listen to clips of songs, examine old costumes, and marvel at the humble beginnings of this uniquely American genre.

Graceland Memphis

Elvis’s mansion isn’t the only thing to see at Graceland, the home of the King of Rock & Roll, but it is the most popular attraction. Get a glimpse into the life of one of America’s musical legends as you move from one distinctively decorated room to the next. Then cross the street to view the King’s cars and planes in separate exhibits. Even if you aren’t a huge Elvis fan, no visit to Memphis is complete without a trip to Graceland. ▶

Student ticket $28.80‒70; adult ticket $32‒70

www.elvis.com/graceland

Rockabilly Hall of Fame Jackson

Further east on the Music Highway, you will find a monument to the music of the early 1950s at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. The term rockabilly was coined to represent the musical styling of artists such as Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, and Buddy Holly, all of whom mixed early rock and roll with hillbilly music. Watch films and listen to audiotapes that allow the artists to tell you their stories, and be sure to check out what shows they’ll have going on when you’re in town.

Student ticket $11; adult ticket $12

Tickets $10; group rates available

www.staxmuseum.com

www.rockabillyhall.com

54 ▶ fall 2012


Patsy Cline Memorial

Illustration by Benjamin Pack

Camden

For a different experience, visit the outdoor memorial to country legend Patsy Cline. Although Cline was born in Virginia, the monument stands at the site of the plane crash that killed her, Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and their pilot, Randy Hughes. The park includes a small stone marker, as well as a board with pictures of Cline. ▶

Free admission

www.patsycline.com

Country Music Hall of Fame Nashville

Of all the historical music sites in Nashville, one of the most famous is the Country Music Hall of Fame, a definite must-see for country music fans. This legendary site celebrates great country musicians from every era. Take a trip through time as you examine old costumes worn by country music’s most famous performers, stop at listening stations that play key songs in the evolution of country

music, and marvel at artifacts from guitars to sports cars. You can even find studios from old radio stations and playbills from country music concerts. Be sure to check the website to see which special exhibits will be displayed when you’re in town and to purchase tickets in advance for the cheapest rates. ▶

Adult ticket $22‒33

www.countrymusichalloffame.org

Before your trip to Tennessee, visit www.tnmusichighway.com.

— Rebecca Fluckiger

Many artists, including Jerry Lee Lewis, B. B. King, and Elvis Presley, are celebrated along the Music Highway.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 55


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56 â&#x2013;ś fall 2012


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profile

Freedom on the Open Road “In a car, you’re locked away,” he says. “You have your own environment in there; you’ve got your stereo, your airconditioning, etc. You just took your environment out of your house, put it in your car, and it goes wherever you’re going. The thing that’s great about the motorcycle is that when you get out there, you’re a part of it.” Who is Stan Ellsworth? Most recently, he is known as the host of BYUtv’s new series American Ride. As the show’s host, Stan Ellsworth takes viewers roaring onto sites of the greatest moments in US history. Roaring, you say? That’s the copyrighted sound of his 2011 Harley Davidson CVO Street Glide. “She’s fantastic in

Together, Stan Ellsworth and his roaring co-star make history entertaining.

58 ▶ fall 2012

every detail: custom everything, great highway ride, screamin’ eagle engine, and 100 percent attitude. Killer ride!” Already you realize this isn’t a normal history show, and Stan Ellsworth isn’t your typical historian. His road to the entertainment industry was long and speckled with coaching, studying, and teaching. He even dabbled in professional football, playing a season for the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks—but by his own admission wasn’t a superstar. From there, he coached football at East Stroudsburg University and the University of Pennsylvania. After his wife died, Stan moved to Utah, where he could teach high school and raise his five children close to his parents. His first priority has always been his family. In Utah he taught school and started working in the entertainment industry, acting in movies such as Disney’s Luck of the Irish and High School Musical 3. However, it wasn’t long before Stan realized that in entertainment “you either create work for yourself, or you don’t work.” With this new creed, Stan created a show that takes him and his co-star motorcycle from iconic historical towns to famous battlefields and shows how America came to be. Here’s what Ellsworth has to say to Stowaway readers.

Photo by Matthew Healey

For a guy like Stan Ellsworth, motorcycles rather than cars are clearly the way to travel.


How did you come up with the idea for American Ride?

I thought, I really love motorcycles, and I can put my degree to work for me. Because what are you going to do with a history degree? You’re going to work in entertainment with it and tell other people about how important history is. And generally when we think of history class, it’s about as

boring as chemistry. So we wanted to wrap our history teacher in leather, denim, chrome, and steel. Make it so he’s not going “Anyone . . . anyone . . . Bueller. . . .” We believe that we’ve made a show that makes history, if not cool, at least really interesting. Americans can come culturally or ethnically from anywhere, but America comes from the heart, and that’s the message that we want people to understand: that this heritage, these stories are ours.

Why did you choose a motorcycle?

We wanted people to say, “This is cool. I want to watch.” We wanted to reclaim the motorcycle persona because freedom without responsibility cannot endure; liberty without accountability

Photo by Mark Philbrick

We wrap our history teacher in leather, denim, chrome, and steel.

will not last. You can wear leather, you can grow your hair, you can not shave, you can go shirtless—and still be responsible and accountable and an individual of integrity. On the motorcycle you’re part of history. It’s not like anybody’s taking a shot at you, but you’re there. And the feelings, the memories of the battlefield, you can experience those, and that’s pretty cool.

What particularly moving historical sites have you visited?

We went to Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The caretakers there allowed us to be on the other side of the banister, and in that room you can feel the presence of Deity. I know that the Lord stood in Independence Hall in Philadelphia and that the documents that came out of that hall are his words and his will. That I know, and I don’t care who it offends.

Although Ellsworth is often out on the open road, he usually begins each episode in his man cave ̶the American Ride studio in Utah.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 59


Do you have any tips for visitors to these historical sites?

A lot of people, when they go to places like the field of Yorktown or Gettysburg, look at those places and say, “It’s a green field.” Don’t do that. Find out what happened there, because it’s dramatic and it’s important, and it’s not just a battle that occurred there. Young men gave their lives for something they believed in. And when you go there respect their sacrifice and treat it almost like it is sacred ground. Because where that individual died should be held as at least important in the American conscience, which is why we preserve these battlefields.

60 ▶ fall 2012

Is there something that you feel we should all keep in mind with this year s election?

There is a Power that desires that this nation be a light and a beacon of freedom to the world, and we need to live up to the expectation that Providence has placed upon us. That’s why it’s important to remember who we are and where we came from—and remember who it was that paid the price for this liberty that we enjoy. ▶

www.byutv.org

— Julie Hulet

Read about another adventurous life in our exclusive online profile of the Yarian sisters.


off the beaten path

An Unending Ghost Story

Photo courtesy of Winchester Mystery House, LLC

With more than 450 spirit sightings reported since 2007, saying that the Winchester Mystery HouseTM in San Jose, California, is haunted may be an understatement. Many of the visitors to the house claim to have seen the ghost of Sarah Winchester, who owned the house in the late 1800s. Her story, even before her house became notorious for its ghosts, is essentially a ghost story. Mrs. Winchester married into the wealth created by the Winchester Rifle, the most commonly used gun during the Civil War. When her husband suddenly died of tuberculosis in 1881, Mrs. Winchester attributed his death and the previous death of their infant daughter to the wrath of the spirits killed by the rifle. To avoid being the spirits’ next victim, Mrs. Winchester sought advice from a psychic spiritualist, who confirmed that her family was cursed by the vengeful spirits.

Mrs. Winchester vowed to build a house that was never to be finished. Prompted by her visit with the psychic, Mrs. Winchester vowed to build a house that was never to be finished. Some say that she decided to build it to appease the spirits by giving them a place to live; others suggest that the constant expansion of the home was designed to confuse the restless victims of the Winchester Rifle. Either way, Sarah

As nighttime falls, the 24,000-square-foot mansion gets even creepier.

Winchester spent the $20 million that she inherited after her husband’s death (worth about $350 million in today’s dollars) to ensure that the eight-room farmhouse that she had bought in San Jose, California, was continuously under construction. For the next 38 years, the carpenters worked around the clock, adding new rooms, false doors, twisting hallways, and secret passageways to the house. There was no building plan for the construction—just the desire to evade the anger of the spirits. This lack of planning led to some interesting architecture: doors open into walls, stairs lead to the ceiling, and windows face walls. The hammers finally stopped after Mrs. Winchester’s death in 1922, leaving the 160-room, 24,000-square-foot mansion unfinished to this day. Despite all of Mrs. Winchester’s earnest attempts to ward off ghosts, the unusual nature of the house seems to attract unusual and

inexplicable events. Visitors recount hearing organ music in the room where Mrs. Winchester died. Others report seeing orbs of light around the house or meeting the ghost of the home’s head carpenter. And of course, scores of visitors claim they have glimpsed Mrs. Winchester herself. Although it’s often overshadowed by the better-known tourist attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area, if you’re looking to bump into some ghosts, the Winchester mansion is a good place to visit. You won’t be disappointed, especially if you attend one of the home’s special flashlight tours held every Friday 13th and Halloween. Tours take a little more than an hour and go through 110 of the mansion’s 160 rooms, giving visitors lots of chances to see the ghosts that have made the house famous. ▶

winchestermysteryhouse.com

— Caroline Ure

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 61


off the beaten path

Luskentyre Beach is even more stunning with storm clouds brewing in the nearby hills.

Mystic Isles Twenty-year-old German composer Felix Mendelssohn is at sea more than 1,200 miles from home. The rough surf hisses and heaves, tossing the boat recklessly through the waves. Reaching what seems to be the edge of the world, he enters Fingal’s Cave on the coast of Staffa, a secluded Scottish island. In the sea cavern, Mendelssohn encounters what seems to be an otherworldly cathedral of stone. He sees the nave-like shape of the dark walls set against the eerily clear blue of the sea, slapping and licking the bottoms of the basalt pillars. But what impresses him the most are the hollow and haunting melodies of the waves echoing throughout the cave’s nooks and crannies.

62 ▶ fall 2012

Mendelssohn’s visit is similar to those of other artists, adventurous tourists, and even monarchs who have for centuries traveled off the beaten path to be astounded by the natural wonders of the Hebrides Islands. Situated off the northwest coast of the Scottish mainland, the Hebrides boast some of the sternest, wildest landscapes in Europe and a culture still thriving on its Celtic origins. But in spite of the harshly raw country found there, these out-ofthe-way islands also offer some of the most placid scenery in Scotland. This contrast between the expected and the unexpected, the sublime and the serene, is what sets the Hebrides apart. Like Fingal’s Cave, many natural features of the Hebrides showcase the islands’ dramatic side. The

Quiraing landslip on the Isle of Skye stands as one of the most sublime sights in Scotland—rugged, unstable cliffs that beckon to the intrepid hiker. Another Skye attraction is the Cuillin Hills, a group of mountains with breathtaking vistas of moor and mist. Out of the Cuillin Hills run the Fairy Pools, a series of waterfalls and stunningly turquoise ponds that have long bewitched the adventurous visitor and have inspired a number of local legends. Hebridean culture has managed to maintain its hold on the cliffs for thousands of years. The islands stand as one of the last strongholds for the Scottish Gaelic language—there is even a Scottish Gaelic college on Skye—and you can

Photo by Gianni D

The Scottish Hebrides


The Hebrides have more to draw in visitors than just bleakly beautiful moorlands, unvarnished mountainsides, and a charming Celtic culture. Despite Scotland’s stereotype as a country with gravel-like sand that you

Taste the unexpected, the sublime, the serene. by the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis. This stone circle, with its jaggedly etched-out pillars, holds as much lore as its celebrated English cousin, Stonehenge. Legend has it that a group of giants were turned into stone as eternal punishment for refusing Christianity. A saunter through this ghostly circle of stone will transport you back to Scotland’s Celtic past.

Photo by John Williams

Photo by Gianni D

hear native Hebridean spoken as you wander down the sparse village streets. You can also see the physical traces of the ancient Celtic civilization, showcased most spectacularly

wouldn’t want to wiggle your toes in, these islands lay claim to some of the highest-rated beaches in Scotland. Thanks to the Gulf Stream that kisses the coast of the Outer Hebrides, several of the islands enjoy delicate white sand and crystal clear water more fitting for a Caribbean paradise than a Scottish shoreline. If you want a taste of this blissful seaside experience, the Isle of

Harris is heaven. It has some of the finest beaches in Europe, including Luskentyre Beach, which is consistently named the best beach in Britain. With its wide strip of enticing sand, gentle waves the color of a cloudless sky, and view of distant craggy mountains, Luskentyre embodies the unlikely, yet enchanting, contradictions of the Hebrides. So stirred by what he saw and heard in that remote sea cave, Mendelssohn immediately began composing what would become his successful Hebrides Overture. Just as these enchanting islands once prompted a musical masterpiece, the Hebrides and all of their surprising contradictions still offer a magical experience to the modern visitor. And while it might not require a small, sea-soaked boat to get there, the adventure and awe that await are sure to inspire.

— Shannon Kelly

With its sweeping panorama of the surrounding country, the Quiraing landslip offers a spectacular view.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 63


service

WWOOFing Dirt was never on the menu for Kristjana Green and Alexis Hiatt as they planned their summer excursions. But though the dirt wasn’t completely washed out of their wellearned, self-produced meals, they didn’t seem to mind. It’s called WWOOFing—joining a network of organic farms around the world for the summer. WWOOF, World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, is an organization that links people together who want to live or learn to live organic

lifestyles. Green and Hiatt chose to spend two weeks in Ireland. Armed with only the basic knowledge they gleaned off the WWOOF website and Google, they went to WWOOF on an Irish organic farm. The two girls cared for pigs (in this case, a special breed found only in Ireland), ducks, cows, goats, horses, and other traditional farm animals. Feeding and general care was on the daily schedule—a very messy schedule where pigs are concerned.

Feeding farm animals was a daily duty for Alexis Hiatt, a WWOOF volunteer in Ireland.

64 ▶ fall 2012

One particularly successful experience for the girls was planting the traditional Irish crops. Hiatt proudly declares that they planted a whole potato field. “It was a small potato field,” she says. “But we did it on our own.” About five rows long, the field took the two of them about three hours to finish. They teamed up and took turns, one girl breaking up the soil with a shovel and the other following, burying the potatoes. Potatoes, like everything else they harvested, formed their future meals—and working to produce the food definitely made eating it a different experience. At the farm, Green says, “You know exactly where everything you eat came from. A couple times we’d be eating our salad and there would be a dirt clod.” It doesn’t get more natural than that. Everything was homemade and organic—the pork, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, eggs, beef, potatoes, bread, cheese, and honey. They now realize that their diets on the farm were, by far, the healthiest they ate during any other part of their vacation. They not only ate healthier when WWOOFing but also learned more about the organic lifestyle that accompanies the diet. Green says that the lifestyle of the people who live organically is quite different from what they were used to. They experienced firsthand the passion of people who live organically. Their host felt strongly about eating right and even showed them documentaries about processed food. As Hiatt comments, for their host, organic farming “was his passion; he wanted to spread what he had.”

Photography by Kristjana Green

Dig for Your Dinner


Organic potato fields, like this one in Ireland, are planted and harvested straight to the dinner table.

Besides learning to live organically, the girls experienced another culture in a unique and very personal way through WWOOFing. With their host, they bonded over the good, healthy dinners of potatoes, pork, and vegetables. Then in the evenings, Green and Hiatt spent time with locals by visiting the pub scene. Living a simple lifestyle, they experienced a simpler and healthier way of life that they try to continue now in their post-WWOOF lives. One of the best parts about the WWOOF experience is how affordable it is. There are no hostel expenses and no eating at restaurants or cafés morning, noon, and night. WWOOFers get free room and board for working on the farm. For tourists, room and board are some of the most costly parts of traveling. Green and Hiatt began their WWOOF adventure with only basic information off Google. They both admit that, despite their lack of research, they were lucky in the experience they got. Here are a few tips they have for potential WWOOFers: ▶

Know what you’re getting into before you go. Email the people you’ll be working with to know

exactly how long you’ll be working each day and what they expect of you. Go with someone you are close to. You’ll spend a lot of time with the people you’re with, so going with a casual acquaintance could be awkward. Know about the country you’re going to. You don’t want to embarrass yourself by not knowing the history of the country when you’re talking with the locals, especially if it’s a people who are proud of their heritage.

WWOOFing is a whole different way to travel. As Green and Hiatt learned, a little dirt won’t kill you. But getting dirty in the real life of a community can give experiences, knowledge, and perspective in a way that can’t be gained from any other form of travel. ▶

www.wwoof.org

— Kaitlyn Sullivan Hedges

Other WWOOFing Experiences Not all WWOOF sites offer a traditional farming experience. Each WWOOF host specializes in some type of organically based specialization. Depending on the location and the host, WWOOFers can be involved in a variety of activities, such as pruning olive trees in Greece, beekeeping in Sweden, caring for lavender fields in England, herding butterflies in Australia, and learning goat husbandry in Brazil. All programs are organically based or share the WWOOF ideals: living, learning, [and] sharing organic lifestyles. Find a program that fits you, and take your chance to see the world

Photo contest winner Madeline Dickerson also went WWOOFing in Ireland. See her winning photo on page 68 of this issue.

from a whole new perspective.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 65


tales from the trip

Tales from the Trip Tent Poles Recommended

I laughed. A lot. “This is not funny!” My mom scowled at our pole-less tent. “Aw, come on—it is funny. I mean this would happen to us.” This referred to our failure to bring tent poles on the second camping trip in a row. Obviously irritated, my mom spread her sleeping bag across a patch of ground that didn’t have too many rocks, resigning herself to the bag’s interior.

66 ▶ fall 2012


Illustration by Sheridan Bronson

I was not very eager to experiment with sleeping under the stars during the New England summer, which was on the verge of a rainstorm and was full of mosquitoes. But there was no other option. Morning came and, although the outside of my sleeping bag was covered with dew and tree sap, I had survived. We threw the sleeping bags into the car and drove to town for the day, planning to return to the same campsite that we had reserved for another night. As we drove away, I noticed that the site looked like no one had been there—and that there was no indication that we would be returning for our second night. Certainly, that’s the way it must have looked to the park rangers. When we returned to our site that night, we found a young couple, their dog, their tent, and their table full of food. The park ranger explained that he didn’t think anyone had shown up at that spot because we hadn’t left anything there during the day. He offered to make the couple move to another spot. But after seeing all the effort they had put into making their campsite all campsite-y, I told the accidental interlopers that we would park our car elsewhere—we didn’t have a tent anyway. As we finished moving to the new site, our new neighbor walked over with something in his hands. “You guys said you didn’t have a tent? We have a spare.” He handed us a small tent with poles. “Thanks for giving us your spot.” That night it rained pretty hard. As I looked up at the tent ceiling, listening to the rain pounding, I realized that this is how life is supposed to work. Sometimes you just need to park your car somewhere else. And sometimes that means you’ll be protected from the rain.

— Angela Harvey Marlborough, Massachusetts

Bathroom Blackout

A few years ago, my husband and I went on a month-long trip to Europe. After spending a few days in Florence, we wanted to enjoy our last evening in Italy at a fancy restaurant, eating a truly great pizza. We found a nice place on a secluded street near the outskirts of the city. Soon after we arrived, I left our table to find the restroom and was surprised to see something that looked like a camera in the upper corner of the ladies’ room. I tried not to imagine the waiters watching me from the kitchen. After I had nervously done my business, the lights in the restroom went out, and I found myself in complete darkness. Part of me was fearful, and part of me was relieved that the waiters on the other side of the camera couldn’t watch me any longer. I fumbled at the wall to find the light switch and pulled the closest thing to my hand: a long cord hanging from the ceiling. As soon as I pulled the cord, a deafening sound broke the silence of my darkness, and I realized that I had set off an alarm throughout the entire restaurant! I could barely

Well, anyone can do it the easy way. make out the voice of our waiter yelling in broken English from the other side of the door: “Push ze white botton! Push ze white botton!” In the darkness, fully exposed and with an alarm ringing in my ears, I hit every button in the bathroom until I finally found the one that shut off the alarm. As I made my way back to our table, everyone was

staring at me with very amused looks on their faces. A few minutes later, my husband left to use the restroom. When he returned, he whispered to me, “I used the ladies’ room just to check it out. That wasn’t a camera in the corner; it was a motion sensor. The lights are on a timer—and if they go out, you can wave your arm to turn them back on again.” Well, anyone can do it the easy way.

— Metta Prieto Kailua, Hawaii

Guess Who

A few weeks after moving to Germany, I was invited to join a bunch of other college students for a game night. Though I was pleased to be making new friends, it was taxing to listen to so much German that I couldn’t understand yet, and the game they decided to play didn’t make things any easier. In this game, the names of famous people are written on Post-it Notes. Then everyone exchanges the notes and attaches them on their foreheads without reading the names. Each person then has to ask questions in order to discover which famous person’s name is displayed on the Post-it Note on his or her forehead. Not only did I have trouble formulating questions in German, but I was also the last one who still hadn’t figured out my famous person. “It’s Angela Merkel!” the others said when they saw I could go no further. I gave them a blank look. “Who?” “Angela Merkel, our president!” Boy, did I feel dumb. Note to self: next time you move to a new country, find out who the president is.

— Michelle Glauser San Francisco, California

Find more great stories and submit your own on our website. www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 67


photo contest

!"#$%$%& PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS

First Place

Castle on the Bay I spent three months in Ireland working on organic farms through the WWOOF program (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). On one weekend trip, I snapped this photo of a gorgeous castle on a bay. It was an untypically sunny October day, and the clouds were doing just the right things.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; By Madeline Dickerson Long Beach, Washington

68 â&#x2013;ś fall 2012


www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 69


Second Place

L Accordéoniste, Notre Dame Backpacking in Europe was more musical than I expected: the melodies of each city’s street performers composed a hodge-podge soundtrack in my memory. While under the Paris summer sun, I came across this man—l’accordéoniste (the accordion player)— busking on the bridge behind Notre Dame Cathedral.

— By Carolyn Carter Eagle, Idaho

Third Place Gethsemane

Gethsemane, a garden on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives, is a thought-provoking destination known as the site of Christ’s suffering. The gnarled bark of the garden’s olive trees reflects a beauty found only in old age.

— By Lindsay Dewey Sterling, Virginia

View honorable mentions and submit your own photos on our website!

70 ▶ fall 2012


Insider Photo by weatherbox

Museums are filled with intriguing surprises, such as this glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly in the Milwaukee Art Museum.

72

Gadgets and Gear

74

Just the Ticket

77

Insights

78

Tips and Tricks

80

Escapades

82

Staff Essay and Parting Shot

Stay wired while on your next excursion abroad.

Museumgoers can leave the tour guide behind and still find something meaningful.

Instead of spending a fortune, earn your keep as you travel.

Nothing puts a damper on a road trip like car problems. Some simple checks can go a long way.

Take some time out this election season to explore the stomping grounds of these former US presidents.

One staff member ate dirt at Normandy, and another captured the towering ruins of Tintern Abbey.

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 71


gadgets & gear

Four Essential Gadgets for the

Techie on Tour

We all have one—that little piece of technology we just can’t live without. For the typical person it’s a smartphone or an iPad. But for the real techies out there—the people who get more excited about Apple’s latest project than the presidential election— here are some must-have gadgets for international travel that you’ll be hooked on before your plane makes it down the runway.

All-in-One Travel Adapter

City Guide App

Travel Router

“Where was this picture taken again?” It’s a common international traveler’s problem, and we’ve got the solution. Nikon’s new Coolpix AW100 compact digital camera was designed with the traveling techie in mind. It features water-, cold-, and shock-proof design and a GPS microchip that embeds each of your photos with its exact

It may not be the gadget you pull out to impress your friends, but you’ll thank us later. Regions throughout the world use different amounts of voltage in their outlets and variously shaped plugs—so, no, you won’t be able to show up in Morocco and just pop your charger in like it ain’t no thing. Travelon’s all-in-one travel

Your iPhone may not be the cheapest option for communication during long-term international travel, but it may prove essential for that quick jaunt to a foreign city. The City Guide app from Lonely Planet will help you navigate the transit system, find restaurants that don’t look like they’re run by members of the local mafia,

Finding secure Wi-Fi connections while traveling internationally can be difficult, which is why we recommend travel routers for the techie who can’t bear to be disconnected from the web for longer than a bathroom break. A router allows you to log on to a wired connection in a hotel room or other

geographical position. Now you can snap away worry-free and easily match your photos to the location once you’re home and ready to post them on Facebook to the envy of all your friends. ▶

imaging.nikon.com

adapter, which also functions as a charger for USB devices, will allow you to plug your electronics into that awkwardly shaped outlet and save them from a power surge that could fry their insides. We’d say it’s a good investment. ▶

www.magellans.com

and give you great tips on hotels and sightseeing. The best part is that the app is available as a free download, plus the cost of your data plan. That’s a deal we can get behind. ▶

www.lonelyplanet.com/ apps-and-ebooks

venue and turn it into a wireless signal that you can then password protect and tap into with your smartphone or other devices. So sit back and relax—you’re never more than a click away from those YouTube videos of cats that you secretly love so much. ▶

www.zunidigital.com/?page_id=222

— Haley Miller 72 ▶ fall 2012

Top to bottom: photo by opopododo (Flickr); courtesy of Magellan s; courtesy of Lonely Planet; and by Kirby Urner

GPS-enabled Camera


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just the ticket

Maximize

Your Museum Experience

Napoleon’s toothbrush, a chastity belt, and a collection of prosthetic limbs. If you think these would make for an interesting museum experience, you’re right. But you’ll have to go beyond the Louvre or the Smithsonian to see this display: it’s found in the Wellcome Museum of curious medicine in London. When museums are mentioned, most people think of huge art galleries. Though visiting famous art

74 ▶ fall 2012

collections gives the viewer the advantage of being able to say “I’ve seen that!” or “I’ve been there!” the reality is that racing through room after room filled with paintings can be overwhelming. Maximize your museum experience with a small museum that interests you. Here are a few tips to help you rethink your attitude toward museums, whether they’re across the city or across the world.

Branch out Don’t drop into a museum just to see a famous painting that doesn’t interest you. Amanda Baird readily divulges her experience from a study abroad in London, where she learned that there are museums on all sorts of topics. “If you’re interested in it, then you’ll find it’s really exciting,” she says. Specialty museums can dive deep into narrow


interests—sometimes maybe a little too deep in the case of Napoleon’s toothbrush. If your interest is piqued by curious medicine, visit a museum on medicine through the ages. If the thought of seeing a display of brains and body parts makes you faint, go to a museum of anthropology to see the Mayan traditions, or try a museum on cinema to see technological advances in film.

Check out the website

If you can, visit the museum’s website beforehand and read up on the exhibit you’re interested in. Dawn

Pheysey, a curator at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art, says that there is usually a thesis or a concept behind an exhibition, so taking the time to learn what the concept is beforehand can deepen your understanding and appreciation. Look on the website for other available opportunities at the museum. There may be guest speakers, special tours, or interactive activities that introduce the exhibit and its purpose. These opportunities are specially planned by the curators and museum staff. Let them enhance your experience.

British Museums London: Home of the National Gallery of Art, the V&A, and the British Museum. You could spend a week trying to get through any one of these museums. But London is also home to many lesser-known museums that are smaller and specialize in aspects of British life. Do any of these appeal to your interests?

Free Bank of England Museum The British Library The Imperial War Museum Grant Museum of Zoology Museum of Freemasonry Museum of London Sir John Soane Museum The V&A Museum of Childhood

3 Pounds or Less* The Cartoon Museum Freud Museum The Garden Museum

5 Pounds or Less* The Florence Nightingale Museum The Charles Dickens Museum The Cinema Museum Firepower Royal Artillery Museum

7 Pounds or Less* The Clink Prison Museum The Design Museum The Benjamin Franklin House The Sherlock Holmes Museum

10 Pounds or Less* World Rugby Museum The Wimbledon Museum *Student prices; adult admission prices may differ

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 75


Use your resources

If you know someone who is passionate about the exhibition, get that person to go with you. Tagging along with someone who knows and loves the subject— who gushes over the displays—can bring enough excitement for a whole group. If you don’t know an expert, use the information available at the museum. Talk with the staff. Read the text panels. You don’t have to read every one, but seek out details on those displays that, to you, are the most intriguing, beautiful, or strange.

Connect with the museum

Either take advantage of interactive activities the museum offers, or challenge yourself to create your own. You may have seen artists sitting and sketching at a particular exhibit. Try it! Or write a poem about something you see that resonates with

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you. Connect with the exhibit, try to understand it better, and let the museum connect with you. If that doesn’t appeal to you, play a game on the sly. Baird admits to sometimes playing a game where she pretends the museum is burning down. “Pick one item that you would save from the fire and one that you would throw in the flames because you hate it.” Or as another study abroad student, Emily Horton, suggests, start at the gift shop. “Pick out a couple postcards, then you go through the museum finding the displays on the postcards.” Focus on the experience that will be the most fun for you.

Go back

Think about what you have seen and then go back. As David Pennock, executive director of the Museum of Idaho, says, “Going to a

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To apply visit gradstudies.byu.edu For more information visit www.linguistics.byu.edu

museum is not an event. It’s a learning opportunity.” Go, think about what you saw, and then go back with a different perspective. Museums can be entertaining, inspiring, weird, wondrous, thought-provoking, or even fun. Boring, however, should not be the first adjective that comes to your mind. Imagining Napoleon brushing his teeth might be a little repulsive, but definitely not boring. Rethink your attitude about museums—plan beforehand, have fun during, and go back later. Before your next big trip, you might practice maximizing your museum experience by visiting an obscure local museum. Just don’t be shocked when you want to go back a second time.

— Kaitlyn Sullivan Hedges


insights

Earn $$$ While You Travel Want to travel the world and get paid to do it? Whether it’s teaching in a classroom, sailing the high seas, or nannying like Mary Poppins, you can get an entry-level job that blends work with the pleasures of traveling. English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher

Teaching English as a Second Language is a perfect opportunity for college graduates looking to earn extra cash and see the world. In many parts of the world, teaching English requires a bachelor’s degree from a school in an English-speaking country. Some ESL programs ask for previous training or experience, but many underdeveloped countries are simply looking for a native English speaker. Most jobs are part-time, leaving plenty of time to see the sights. Most teachers work for one to two years before returning home or moving on to their next destination. While some programs are competitive, others are easier to get into and don’t require any foreign language background. So if you like to travel, have fun, see cool cultures, and meet new people, then consider teaching English abroad. ▶ ▶

www.eslcafe.com www.tesol.org

Illustration by Brooke Weber

Cruise ship employee

If teaching English isn’t for you and you’re tired of staying in home port, working on a cruise ship is just the ticket. When you get to disembark with passengers at various destinations, it’s not hard to see why this job is the most sought after employment in the tourism industry. Working on a cruise ship does require hard work—up to six days a week and sometimes up to ten hours a day—but the experience can be

worthwhile. A cruise ship employee can expect to make from $2,000 to $6,000 a month. Once you’re hired, the cruise line will even pay for you to get to the ship and will cover your room and board. You could be saving money while you travel! ▶

www.cruiseshipjob.net

Au pair

The French term au pair refers to a young person between 18 and 30 years old who temporarily becomes part of another family in a foreign country—not necessarily France, despite the French title. An au pair takes care of the children and helps with the housework in exchange for free board, lodging (a private room), and a small salary.

An au pair isn’t required to have the certification that most nannies in the United States need. While the typical au pair is a young woman, increasing numbers of young men are finding employment in the field. As an au pair, you have the opportunity to integrate into everyday family life in another country and culture and to create lasting relationships. ▶

www.bestaupairguide.com

— Teresa Arroyo Want to turn travel into a career? Find more job ideas on our website.

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tips & tricks

Beat the Breakdowns Five Tips to Prepare Your Car for the Road A road trip can be exhilarating. It’s a chance to travel with friends, freedom to go wherever you like, and an opportunity to create memories that will bring a smile to your face for years to come. But a road trip can also be stressful if your vehicle is not adequately prepared. These simple tips will help prevent misfortune and allow you to enjoy the journey. Before your trip, turn on your brake lights, headlights, blinkers, horn, and windshield wipers to make sure they all work. If your check-engine light is on, or your car is making sounds you’ve never heard before, take your car into a shop to have it looked at.

2. Check your tires

Make sure your tire treads have plenty of depth. In this area, a penny may become more valuable to you than it ever has before. One easy trick to check tread depth is to stick a penny with Lincoln’s head going down into a groove of the tire. If the top of Lincoln’s head is visible when you check several grooves, the tire tread is too low, and it’s time to get new tires. (A tread of 2/32" or lower is considered too low.) Your tires also need to have sufficient pressure. Different cars require different tire pressures, so you should go by what the car manufacturer deems correct. The number, followed

78 ▶ fall 2012

by “psi,” is often located inside the car on the driver’s door panel. Use a tire pressure gauge to check the pressure.

longer than three months or more than three thousand miles since your last oil change.

3. Check your fluids

5. Have a professional check your battery, belts, and hoses

Fluids help your car parts run smoothly by reducing friction and heat, so it’s important to maintain correct fluid levels in your car. Be sure to check the radiator fluid, oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield wiper fluid.

4. Get an oil change if needed

Like a car’s tire pressure, there is no standard rule as to when a car should have its oil changed. Again, this depends on the manufacturer. To find out when you should get the oil changed on your car and the type of oil your car needs, check your owner’s manual or look online. If all else fails, a good rule of thumb is to get an oil change if it’s been

Unless your battery is brand new, it’s a good idea to get your battery tested, especially if you are traveling to a colder climate than the one you’re beginning in. Some auto shops check batteries for free, so do some research to see if any local auto shops offer this free service. Problems with belts and hoses can be serious and can lead to expensive problems. Visible cracks on the belts or hoses are a good indication that they need to be replaced, but these problems aren’t always visible. Because of this, taking your car into an auto shop is the surest way to make sure your car is set to go.

— Kaylene Morrill

Illustration by Brooke Weber

1. Look for the obvious


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escapades

Hearthstones of History Presidential Hometowns

Any person in the United States can tell you that Abraham Lincoln was known for his honesty and that George Washington crossed the Delaware. However, they might neglect to mention that Lincoln is also the only president to ever hold a patent and that Washington was the first breeder of American mules. Each of the 44 American presidents has made a unique contribution to the nation—for instance, the twenty-ninth president, Warren G. Harding, made his mark when he lost a set of White House china in a poker game. Take time this election year for some historical sightseeing. At each of the presidential birthplaces, you can learn about the dynamic men who eventually became presidents of the United States. Here are a few samples.

— Caroline Ure

Nixon Presidential Library and Museum Yorba Linda, California Located in the idyllic foothills of Southern California, Nixon’s birthplace is a small house that Nixon’s father built using a homebuilding kit. The grounds also house Nixon’s Presidential Library, the graves of Nixon and his wife, and a museum. Notable items among the museum’s collection are a group of formal gowns belonging to the First Lady and her daughters, the president’s private helicopter, and Watergate memorabilia. Entrance fee: $11.95, $6.95 for students Reservations: None ▶ www.nixonfoundation.org

Lyndon B. Johnson Historical Ranch Stonewall, Texas Visitors to the LBJ Ranch (pictured above) can gain a complete picture of Johnson’s life, touring not only his birthplace, but also the Texas White House (Johnson’s presidential residence away from Washington), the Johnsons’ cemetery plot, and the first school Johnson attended. In addition to the historical sites, the ranch contains more than 7,000 species of native plants, features a number of LBJ’s cars, and sponsors an annual 100-mile bike race. Entrance fee: None, but some tours have minimal fees Reservations: Required for groups over 25 ▶ www.nps.gov/lyjo

80 ▶ fall 2012


Ronald Reagan s Birthplace and Museum Tampico, Illinois The small apartment where Reagan was born is included in Tampico’s Main Street Historic District. All of the buildings along the street have been restored and offer tours to the public in order to represent early twentieth-century life in rural, small-town Illinois. The street is frozen in time at the period of Reagan’s childhood, giving visitors a peek into the upbringing of the man who would dazzle America first on the silver screen and then in the White House. Entrance fee: None Reservations: None ▶ www.tampicohistoricalsociety.com

John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site Brookline, Massachusetts Visitors to Kennedy’s hometown can take ranger-guided tours of his childhood home and neighborhood or meander through the home while listening to an audio tour in which Mrs. Rose Kennedy shares her memories of raising the Kennedy brothers. The home is a good representation of typical suburban life as it was in 1917. Entrance fee: None Reservations: Groups over 9 ▶ www.nps.gov/jofi

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace New York City, New York Roosevelt was the first president to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the founder of the Bull Moose Party, and an author, naturalist, historian, and explorer. Fans of Roosevelt’s “bully pulpit” can tour a reconstruction of his boyhood home, view hundreds of his personal items, and hear fascinating stories from his colorful life. The artifacts on display include campaign buttons, hunting rifles, and even some of the original teddy bears that earned him his name. Entrance fee: None Reservations: Groups over 10 ▶ www.nps.gov/thrb

Photo by Jimmy Emerson

George Washington Birthplace National Monument Colonial Beach, Virginia This working version of an eighteenth-century colonial plantation gives visitors an authentic feel for where Washington grew up. In addition to live animals and tobacco plants, Washington’s birthplace features a miniature version of the Washington monument, costumed demonstrations of colonial crafts, and a birdwatching challenge. Entrance fee: None Reservations: None ▶ www.nps.gov/gewa

www.stowawaymag.com ◀ 81


staff essay

The bodies of over nine thousand service men and women rest in the Normandy American Cemetery, which overlooks the sites of the D-day invasion.

I ate dirt on the shores of Normandy once. Surrounded by thousands of white marble crosses, I looked out across the bay to Utah and Omaha Beaches, named for the battalions who landed there on June 6, 1944— D-day. I sensed the gratitude of the French troops at the sight of their new allies and felt the immense relief of Europe as it realized that this was the beginning of the end of a devastating, heartbreaking war. My chest swelled with a new emotion, something like patriotism, pride, and loss all rolled into one, and I knew that I wanted this experience to last—to be a part of me. In Paris, I’d stood in the Louvre, awed by the perfection of the Venus de Milo and the detail in Ingres’s paintings. Before their genius, I felt small,

82 ▶ fall 2012

humbled by mankind’s incredible ability to achieve and to create. I’d stood, too, in towering Gothic cathedrals, overwhelmed by their beauty and stature, amazed at the devotion implicit in each stone block and every stained glass window. But as inspired as I had felt in the presence of each work of art and each altar, the solemn simplicity of Normandy surpassed them all. On those windswept shores of northern France, there was no museum filled with masterpieces and no imposing basilica facade. But among the measureless rows of crosses, there was an incomparable spirit of brotherly love. In Paris, artists and architects had given their best imitations of what it means to be alive, but soldiers on the beaches of Normandy gave new meaning to

human dignity. They provided generations to come with life’s most precious commodity: freedom. As I reached down to scoop up a pinch of soil from the cliff, I watched again as the waves crashed against the same shore they had swept more than 60 years earlier, carrying the ships that would become the lifeblood of victory. I brought the soil to my lips and closed my eyes as the earth rolled over my tongue. With a single swallow, I tasted the history of a country’s patriotism, of a world’s grief, and of mankind’s bravery in the face of hatred. In all my imagining, I still wasn’t a part of the history of Normandy, but the history of Normandy was now a part of me.

— Haley Miller

Photo by Haley Miller

A Part of Me


Parting Shot Photo by Kendra Williamson

Tintern Abbey, Wales The stillness outside the abbey s ruins enveloped me. When I stepped through a small doorway and into the shadowy transept, sunlight suddenly streamed above me through the arches that were once windows. The moment ďŹ lled me with reverence for life, helping me appreciate the simple beauty found in the preserved past.

www.stowawaymag.com â&#x2014;&#x20AC; 83


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Stowaway Fall 2012  

Fall with style this autumn with Stowaway's latest issue highlighting the ins and outs of paragliding, Antarctica, and making money abroad.

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