SUNDAY JULY 25 2010
World War II Museum features animals of war By JANET McCONNAUGHEY
Of The Associated Press
The Oakland Press/COLLEEN J. MILLER
The “Old Growth Forest” is the top attraction at Hartwick Pines, which is in its 75th year as a state park this summer.
HARTWICK PINES HOSTS FOREST FEST, CELEBRATES 75TH ANNIVERSARY
RAYLING, Mich. — This summer marks the 75th annion site of Hartwick Pines State Park’s 9,672 acres is a nature versary of Hartwick Pines State Park in Grayling, center, a chapel, the Hartwick Pines Logging Museum, sites for Mich. picnicking and camping, lakes for boating, swimming and fishLocated 8 miles northeast of town, Hartwick Pines is ing, and trails for cross country skiing and mountain biking. the largest state park in the northern lower peninsula On Saturday, July 31, an episode of the PBS program and is home to 50 acres of massive virgin white American Experience about the Civilian pine trees that were spared from the axe during Conservation Corps, which built the Logging If you go Michigan’s peak logging years. This acreage Museum, will be shown at the park. Hartwick Pines Logging used to be much larger, but a violent windstorm On Saturday, Aug. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Museum: http://www.mich- at the Logging Museum will be Forest Fest. took down much of the forest. Many of the igan.gov/loggingmuseum. Smokey the Bear will be on hand to teach about old pines are dying, but still serve as a habitat For more information, call for the forest creatures. Still, the “Old Growth fire safety at this annual event. You can also 989-348-2537. Forest” is the most popular attraction at the learn about the ecology of the forests and the state park, with a paved, wheelchair-accessible modern forestry industry at the event. foot trail. Forest Fest is free of charge, although a Four self-guided hiking trails lead visitors on 7 miles of Michigan State Parks motor-vehicle permit is required for wooded scenery, ranging 1/4 to 3 1/2 miles in length. Also park entry.
Ice Age baby mammoth on display at French museum RAFAEL MESQUITA
Of The Associated Press
PARIS (AP) — After tens of thousands of years under the Siberian frost, a baby woolly mammoth is taking a summer vacation in southeast France. Baby Khroma, one of the oldest intact mammoths ever found, went on display in a French museum recently — after it underwent special tests to ensure it was no longer bearing the anthrax believed to have killed it. Khroma is on display at the Musee Crozatier in Puy-en-Velay in a special cryogenic chamber kept at -18 degrees C (-0.40 Fahrenheit). The 80-centimeter-high, 1.6-meter-long (1-foot-high, 5-foot-long) prehistoric guest may be the oldest baby mammoth ever discovered. Carbon dating methods failed to determine its age, suggesting it is more than 50,000 years old, said French researchers and Sergei Gorbunov, project coordinator for the Geneva-based International Mammoth Committee. Russian news reports have said it is 32,000 years old. It will undergo further isotope analysis in France to try to pin down its age — and its gender, up to now unclear. “It’s a unique discovery,” Gorbunov told The Associated Press by telephone. “Any discovery of a new mammoth gives us new scientific information about prehistory.” Similar enthusiasm was felt six months ago in the United States when a 42,000-year-old baby woolly mammoth named Lyuba arrived at the Field Museum in Chicago, where it is still on display. The practically intact specimen, discovered in 2007 in Siberia as well, is the best-preserved of her kind, according to researchers. For Tom Skwerski, project manager for the Chicago exhibition, Khroma will be an important addition to the specimen pool. “There is still a lot to learn about woolly mammoths, and the more specimens we find, the closer we get to answering those questions,” he told AP. Some aspects of those animals’ lives, like migration patterns, still challenge scientists. Such mammoths offer scientists the opportunity to do analysis that they cannot carry out on skeletons, such as studying stomach contents and fur. Putting them on display gives a broader public a tangible link to the prehistoric past. Khroma, dug out last year from the Yakutia region in Siberia, arrived in France last week as part of a year of Franco-Russian cross-cultural events. The mammoth was delayed by three weeks after concerns surfaced about the transfer of an animal that might contain lethal bacteria. Russia’s chief epidemiologist, Gennady Onishchenko, said the mammoth died of anthrax, according to Russian news reports. Russian scientists carried out further study of the risks involved, and the trip was given the go-ahead, Gorbunov said. After arriving in France, Khroma went to a special conservation facility in Grenoble, where it underwent gamma ray treatment for eliminating any potentially lethal bacteria. The presence of anthrax could not be totally confirmed from the first studies, but the treatment was used as a precaution, said the museum’s
paleontologist, Frederic Lacombat. The laboratory has used the same procedure in the past, when it treated the Ramses II mummy for parasites. Researchers plan to take the animal in late August to a nearby medical facility for an autopsy and scanning. The researchers hope to discover valuable information about the mammoth calf in time for the 5th International Conference on Mammoths in Puy-en-Velay in early September. The exhibit, called “Mammoth and Co.,” will also display other attractions, such as life-size replicas of other mammoths discovered previously and the skull of a mammoth found in the HauteLoire region of France in 2008. The exhibit ends Nov. 15, when Khroma will go home to Russia. Associated Press writers Angela Charlton in Paris and Jim Heintz in Russia contributed to this report.
EW ORLEANS (AP) — Smoky the Yorkshire terrier, Lady Astor the pigeon and a host of horses and mules whose individual stories are lost to history are among war heroes and heroines featured in the latest exhibit at the National World War II Museum. Associated Press/National Archives via “Loyal Forces: The Animals the National World War II Museum of WWII” will run July 22-Oct. 17, featuring the four kinds of animals A Marine Corps dog handler most often brought into the war, as comforts his German shepthey were used in all five theaters. herd while the dog is X-rayed “There was a great love and loy- after being shot by a Japanese sniper on Bougainville. alty between the soldiers and the animals they worked with,” said registrar Toni M. Kiser, who created the exhibit with archivist Lindsey Barnes. The exhibit opener may seem odd to people used to thinking of the Coast Guard as offshore duty in cutters, patrol boats, helicopters and airplanes. In the mezzanine, where a Sherman tank and a half-track represent the period’s most common cavalry, will be a figure of a Coast Guardsman on shore patrol with his horse. The shore patrols were set up after German saboteurs twice landed on American beaches. “Luckily, before they could wreak havoc they were caught,” said Kiser. “But there was this great fear that we really had to protect America’s coastline.” Nearly 3,000 horses, provided by the Army Quartermaster Corps, let the shore patrol cover much more ground. “The U.S. Coast Guard used more horses than any other branch of the U.S. Military during WWII,” the title panel notes. The first thing visitors will see in the special exhibits gallery is a German reconnaissance horse and soldier, representing the European theater. Germany’s 1st Cavalry Division pursued the Soviet Army through the northern marshes of the Soviet Union, but was disbanded and mechanized in November 1941, largely because horses needed extensive supplies and attention, and Adolf Hitler considered them outmoded. But most supplies and a great deal of artillery were still horsedrawn, and a mounted infantry squadron patrolled about 6 miles in front of every German infantry division. “These mounted patrol troops were referred to as the ‘eyes and ears of their units,’” an exhibit panel explains. The museum’s artifacts were part of the reason for including the German horse, Barnes said. “We have a really great saddle” and a dagger from the infamous 8th SS Kavallerie Division Florian Geyer. North Africa and the Mediterranean are represented by pigeons such as Lady Astor, which brought an urgent message to Allied forces from the front lines in North Africa in spite of pellet fire that broke one leg and took half the feathers from one wing. An oral history from Hiram Boone, a mule handler for the Army’s Mars Task Force, informs the China, Burma and India theater exhibit. For the Pacific front, there are the dogs. Smoky, found in a foxhole in New Guinea, was a mascot who became a war heroine when engineers needed to run 70 feet of telegraph wire through an 8-inch culvert under an airfield. Cpl. William Wynne, who had adopted Smoky and taught her many tricks, tied one end of the wire to Smoky’s collar and had his buddies hold Smoky at one end of the culvert while he called her from the other. Her story is among a half-dozen featured on a touch-screen display. There’s also a mascot slideshow and a narrated “slideshow movie” about servicemen’s encounters with exotic animals — playing with monkeys, riding on elephants and camels.
SUNDAY JULY 25 2010
Summer in Colorado is Boulder Hiking, biking, performances and beer abound in this college town By DON BABWIN
Of The Associated Press
OULDER, Colo. (AP) — Anybody who thinks of Colorado as just a winter destination ought to go to Boulder and talk to Frank Shorter. Or Kim Farin. Or maybe William Shakespeare. Shorter can talk about how welcoming this town is to runners like him, even before anybody knew he’d become an Olympic marathon gold-medalist. Farin, who works for the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau, will explain that winter is Boulder’s slowest time of year. And Shakespeare could talk about how Boulder holds one of the country’s oldest festivals of his plays. Boulder is not located in the mountains, and it only gets 50 inches of snow a year — compared to 300 inches in the big ski areas and at Eldora Mountain Resort, about 30 minutes from Boulder. “Our hotel prices are the lowest in the winter and the busiest time of year is summer,” said Farin.
creek or down a hill, but you forget people could be walking or climbing below them,” said Ben Pedrett, park manager for Eldorado Canyon State Park. In addition, he added, watch out for rattlesnakes and other wildlife. Some trails are attached to other attractions. One trail literally starts at the back door of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, designed by architect I.M. Pei. The center sits on a plateau of the Flatirons and visitors are welcome at the small museum that explains the weather and the center’s work.
If you go ■ ELDORADO CANYON STATE PARK: http://bit.ly/9qAdMA ■ COLORADO CHAUTAUQUA NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK: 900 Baseline Road, Boulder; http://www.chautauqua. com or 303-442-3282. ■ NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH: 1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder; http://bit.ly/dzAVHO or 303-497-1000. Visitor center open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.4 p.m. weekends. Free admission. ■ PEARL STREET MALL: http://www.boulderdowntown.com/ ■ COLORADO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL: http://www. coloradoshakes.org/ or 303-492-0554. Performances through Aug. 8. ■ BOULDER BREW BUS: http://bit.ly/9Ey4ba or 303-444-3535. Tours offered Sundays through the summer, 5:30 p.m.-8:45 p.m., with stops at three breweries. Tickets, $30.
Quaint college town
Visitors may also be struck by how much open space there is in Boulder. The city owns hundreds of acres of land with nothing on it but grass, rocks, flowers and trails, and Boulder’s voters have a history of approving these purchases. “It’s all city property,” said Shorter. “That merges into state property, which merges into federal property.” Boulder is a college town, too, home of the The great outdoors state’s flagship university. As one might expect, But Boulder is, first and foremost, a place to there are plenty of burger bars, sandwich shops get outdoors. There are balloon rides, glider and T-shirt stores. But what might not be expectrides, trails for bicyclists and joggers everyed is that much of it feels more like a quaint vilwhere. lage than a rowdy college town, especially in the Shorter tells a story of when he moved to center of downtown, the Pearl Street Mall. At Boulder in 1970, two years before he won an night, the mall is crowded with people strolling Olympic gold medal in the marathon. in and out of independent book stores, ice cream Nobody knew who he was, and there were parlors, sidewalk cafes and microbreweries only a handful of distance runners in town, but (more on them later), while stopping to crowd a small courtesy from a local driver immediately around street performers. made him feel welcome. “I remember I was running down the street Take in a play and a car pulls out of an alley and backs up The city is also home to a number of upscale to let me go by. I said, ‘I must be in the right restaurants well beyond a college student’s place,”’ he said. budget. Some of these eateries have caught the Bike riders will feel welcome, too, thanks to attention of Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Bon nearly 300 miles of linked bicycle paths that Shorter said are set up in such a way that riders Appetit and other national publications. Boulder also showcases the performing arts can get anywhere in the city without pulling in summer. Chautauqua’s calendar includes the into traffic on a single street. Neville Brothers Aug. 16 and Chris Isaak Aug. Hiking trails abound as well. On trail maps, 8, in addition to silent movies and a “Wizard of Boulder’s many crisscrossing trails almost Oz” sing-along. make it look like an ant farm. The University of Colorado hosts an annual Despite Boulder’s location in the Flatiron footColorado Shakespeare Festival. At more than 50 hills of the Rocky Mountains, a lot of the trails years old, the festival is one of the oldest of its are relatively easy, starting with some that run kind. through Chautauqua Park, a National Historic “We try not to be a well-kept secret but we Landmark near downtown, as well as one that tend to be,” said festival spokeswoman Mell loops around Boulder Reservoir. McDonnell. At Eldorado Canyon State Park, a trail accommodates wheelchairs and baby strollers. Without too much difficulty, hikers can Local brew find themselves in the shadow of the red rock The performances wind up in early to midcliffs that enclose Eldorado Canyon and South August, but Boulder’s craft beer scene is a yearBoulder Creek. round attraction, with no fewer than 10 microbreweries in the city, according to Dan Rabin, a High altitudes reporter for Celebrated Beer News. Not only that, but they take it seriously. But locals warn that even easy hikes or bike “You can go into a brew pub or a tasting room rides may be more difficult than visitors expect in Boulder and sit down next to a stranger and because of the altitude. If Denver is the Milehave an intellectual conversation about the difHigh City, Boulder is a couple hundred feet ferent varieties of hops, different beer styles and higher still. Drink extra water, use sunscreen, and take it easy, especially when you first arrive esoteric (beer) topics that would make no sense to anybody who isn’t a beer geek,” he said. and your body is adjusting to the air. The beer scene has even given rise to a new Visitors with children must be especially tourist attraction this summer. Consider it an careful. Parents accustomed to letting kids run alternative to all those hikes and bike rides — ahead might want to keep them a bit closer and trail hikes and bike roads — or maybe it should away from edges of mountain trails that might be a reward for all that outdoor activity: The overlook steep cliffs. Another small reminder for flatlanders: “It is Boulder Brew Bus, a pub crawl that takes suds fans from one local brewery to another. such a natural thing to do to throw rocks into a
Associated Press/PAUL BOUSQUET
This photo provided by the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau shows hikers at Chautauqua in Boulder, Colo. Boulder is, ﬁrst and foremost, a place to get outdoors. There are balloon rides, glider rides, trails for bicyclists and joggers everywhere. Associated Press/Banjo Billy’s Bus Tours Boulder
Banjo Billy’s Bus Tours is a pub crawl that takes suds fans from one local Boulder brewery to another. And according to a local reporter, there are plenty of those local breweries to go around.
Swim with the world’s largest ﬁsh in Mexico By MEAD GRUVER
they’ve been off of Belize and they’ve been all over the place BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, and had yet to be able to snorMexico (AP) — Everyone got kel with whale sharks,” said excited when the 20-foot-shark, Baja Airventures owner Kevin inches below the surface of the Warren. “Our last five years in water, started circling slowly a row, every one of our trips we under our little fiberglass boat saw them throughout the trip.” and wouldn’t leave. Baja Airventures flies its What to do? Get in the water, guests in single-engine planes of course. to the remote Mexican fishing “This is special,” said our village of Bahia de los Angeles, guide, Christina Colpitts, as three population 500. From there, basic passengers from our boat eased but powerful and seaworthy 26into the tepid Sea of Cortez and foot boats shuttle guests another swam carefully toward the creahour south to the rustic Las ture to get a snorkel-eye view. Animas Wilderness Lodge on a Anyone who saw a “Sharks of turquoise cove. the World” poster as a youngster The Baja Airventures pilots surely felt the mystique of the also serve as guides, leading whale shark, the largest shark guests in small groups to kayak, in the world and biggest fish fish, hike and snorkel with whale in the sea. Lurking behind the sharks and the other abundant other shark species — bigger, sea life in the area. even, than the mighty great Whale sharks grow up to 40 white — the enormous size and feet but have very small teeth peculiar spots of the whale shark and aren’t predatory. That means stood out. they won’t try to eat you. Gentle The Sea of Cortez, a threegiants, they gather each fall at hour flight south of San Diego, is Bahia de Los Angeles — almost one of the few places in the world halfway down the Baja Peninsula where whale sharks congregate on the Sea of Cortez — to filterpredictably. They start showing feed on microscopic organisms up in summer, with peak season called plankton. for whale shark-watching from The sharks swim slowly near the start of September through the surface, keeping their large the end of October. My trip mouths open to gorge on the was run by a small San Diegoclouds of plankton that color the based company called Baja water jade that time of year. Airventures. “Absolutely mysterious and “We’ve had a lot of people absolutely still very rare,” who’ve gone on our trips and said Jason Holmberg with the they’ve been down to Australia, Ecocean Whale Shark Photo Of The Associated Press
Associated Press/Baja Airventures Inc.
A guest enjoys a morning swim with a juvenile whale shark near Las Animas Wilderness Lodge, Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico. The Sea of Cortez is one of the few places in the world where whale sharks congregate predictably. ID Laboratory. “The more we discover about them, the more our preconceptions about them, even from a few years ago, are shattered.” The Portland, Ore.-based nonprofit is deciphering the migration patterns of whale sharks. To do that, the group collects and catalogs underwater photographs of whale sharks taken by divers and snorkelers. Holmberg employs sophisticated software to examine the light-colored spots unique to each shark. He then looks for matches among the more than 10,000 photos in his database. When he finds a match, he notes where that shark has been photo-
graphed before. “Tourism definitely helps with the conservation, because it’s only through large-scale data collection that we can get a picture of the species,” Holmberg said. Whale sharks have recently been in the news because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, with some seen swimming near and through the oil in the Gulf of Mexico. But the Sea of Cortez population is off the west coast of Mexico, while the Gulf waters are on the other side, well east of Mexico. If taking a Baja Airventure, just be ready to rough it. You must enjoy sleeping in little more than a tent and doing without
electricity and running water. Accommodations are in spacious yurts — a type of large, round tent with a conical top, traditional housing of Mongolian nomads. Baja Airventures has eight beachside yurts for lodging plus a larger, central yurt for dining and entertainment at its Las Animas Wilderness Lodge. The yurts have no electricity. And there’s no running water — guests carry water for their showers in 5-gallon bags and set them in the sun to warm up. There are composting toilets. The single-engine Piper Cherokee planes Baja Airventures operates are comfortable and smooth-flying but small, able to carry no more than six passengers plus the pilot. For an entire week, guests are limited to no more than 15 pounds of tightly packed clothes, toiletries, camera gear and anything else they think they might need. In other words, don’t expect to dress to impress. “We strive to make it more like a trip you would make with friends and family,” said Warren, who began flying to Baja to explore surfing opportunities on the peninsula’s west coast and has been in business 20 years. While the accommodations are primitive, the food at the lodge is not. Two outstanding cooks prepare authentic Mexican meals, often using fresh fish caught right offshore. And the camp’s remoteness doesn’t impede its
If you go BAJA AIRVENTURES: www.bajaairventures.com or 800-221-9283. Packages start at $1,595 for four days, including all lodging, meals, drinks and frequent excursions to see whale sharks and other adventures. Whale sharks can be seen throughout the summer but peak season is beginning of September through end of October. Baja Airventures offers whale-dolphin and sealion watching tours in February and March. GETTING THERE: Baja Airventures trips depart from Brown Field, a small airport in San Diego right across from the Tijuana border. The planes refuel at San Felipe, Mexico, about halfway to Bahia de Los Angeles. Pack lightly: The company requires guests to sign an agreement to honor its 25pound luggage limit.
ample supply of Mexican beer — which always tastes better in Mexico — and Colpitts makes a mean margarita. Best of all, though, is the scenery and wildlife. The desert landscape roughened by volcanic rock and 30-foot cardon cactus tumbles unimpeded into the ocean from nearby mountaintops. Cliffs that seem about to crumble into the water at any moment host crowds of pelicans and boobys while osprey and frigate birds circle above.