ESCAPE The CROWDS
VISIT 5 OF AMERICA’S LEAST-TRAVELED PARKS
Congaree DAYTRIP IN S.C.’S NATIONAL PARK
LINGER over LAVA IN HAWAII
Learn The Best-Kept
PARK SECRETS OF ONE PBS EXPLORER
the gem on a
OHIO’S ONLY NATIONAL PARK
T H E M A G A Z I N E W R I T T E N B Y N O R T H A M E R I C A N T R AV E L J O U R N A L I S T S A S S O C I AT I O N M E M B E R S
TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
FEATURES 8 OHIO’S BEST IDEA Bringing National Parks to the People BY SARAH JAQUAY
13 DAYTRIPPING IN CONGAREE South Carolina’s Only National Park STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY KARIN LEPERI
16 THE EVERGLADES Up Close and Personal STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY PAUL RUBIO
22 NATIONAL PARKS BEST KEPT SECRETS Tips and Tricks for Exploring “America’s Best Idea” BY JEFFREY LEHMANN
28 LINGERING OVER LAVA Hawaii Volcanoes National Park BY JENNIFER CRITES
35 GO WITHOUT THE FLOW Your Guide to 5 of America’s Least Visited National Parks BY PETER BRONSKI
38 PHOTO ESSAY: JOURNEY TO ANOTHER WORLD This Geothermal World Brings Awe and Wonder to One Photojournalist Who Explores the Many Colors and Textures of Yellowstone STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY BEN ROOT
46 THE CANYON NOBODY KNOWS Black Canyon of the Gunnison BY GEORGIA I. HESSE
52 THE ALURE OF ACADIA Year Round Activities Entice Nature Lovers BY ARLINE ZATZ • PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOEL ZATZ
THE NATJA CLEVELAND CONFERENCE GRAND PRIZE AWARD WINNER:
57 TAKE THE GUYS ON THIS GIRLS’ GETAWAY STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY STACEY WITTIG
COLUMNS 4 6 64
FROM THE PUBLISHER LETTER FROM THE EDITOR SENIOR TRAVEL
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FROM THE PUBLISHER
Giants and Boulders and Bears...
OH MY! I got to visit national parks for the first time when I was a teen. The first park I can remember was Sequoia National Park in California. Boy, those trees really were giants! I remember being awestruck by the fact that a tree could be big enough for a car to drive through. I sat in wonder staring up at the endless sea of branches trying to catch a glimpse at the top of one of those suckers. My grandfather told me to “Take note, Jerri. They don’t become this big everywhere.” My next park was Joshua Tree National Park, again in California, out in the desert near 29 Palms and Palm Springs. It had something in common with Sequoia— giants. But not trees. Rocks. Huge, smooth, hot and dry rocks. This place was a mecca for hikers and rock climbers. And what trees this national park had were not what I consider the lovely “wanna make a tree-house in that one” kind. These were the prickly, unattractive, tall-growing yucca-type of tree that made me cringe at the thought of going near one. Impressive, yes. Welcoming, no. Then I visited the one national park that still lives in my heart. Banff National Park located in the Alberta Canadian Rockies. I had never seen such mountains or glaciers. The air was crisp and clean. The roads were wide and long. What a glorious park that was. I wanted to stay for days. While we were visiting, there was a grizzly bear terrorizing campsites in the area. Even though we were staying in hotels, I remember feeling terrified for the local campers, yet exhilarated that there was an all-out “bear hunt” going on. On the final day of our visit, we saw a helicopter lifting something large and black out of a field of trees and into the air. The big black mass was flown closer and closer to the road we were on as we were leaving the valley. And I saw it. The grizzly. The rangers had shot it and hoisted it up out of the area by helicopter. The newspaper headlines the next morning read, “Killer Grizzly Caught.” I stared at the photos in amazement and thought, “Wow! This is really getting close to nature.” I was hooked. National parks were a place I longed to go to get close to nature. I speak of my memories often. I can’t wait for my daughter to experience the adventures that await her in the vast number of national parks in North America. Stories that will stick with her for the rest of her life. Memories that will feed her soul. Dreams that she will share with many.
Jerri Jerri Hemsworth Publisher E: email@example.com B: www.travelworldmagazine.com/blog/publisher TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
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America’s National Parks are a treasure that can’t be overestimated and I am thrilled with this issue that details parks from Alaska to Florida and everywhere in between. It seems like everyone has a favorite park, a cherished childhood memory, or a family tradition that involves one of the parks. In fact, more than 285,579,941 people visited one in 2009 (according to the National Park Service). And that only makes sense. The National Park System comprises 392 areas covering more than 84 million acres in every state (except for Delaware), the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails and the White House. Our NATJA writers in this summer spectacular—Sarah Jaquay (page 8), Paul Rubio (page 16), Jeffrey Lehmann (page 22), and Jennifer Crites (page 28), to name but a few—touch upon some of these sites and offer tips about visiting in the off peak season, discovering lesser known jewels and tricks for avoiding the crowds. You’re sure to discover somewhere new that you’ll want to add to your bucket list. This issue also marks my last as editor. I have immensely enjoyed my tenure here and especially working with so many talented writers. I am thrilled to announce my successor, Donna Airoldi, a veteran travel writer and talented editor. Please reach out to her with a warm welcome! I hope to see you on the road sometime soon. You can also find me at my latest venture, The Savvy Factory (www.thesavvyfactory.com). As always, happy and safe travels!
Kim Kim Foley MacKinnon, Editor-in-Chief
2010 EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Fall – Adventure Travel Get your heart racing just reading about these adventures. Winter –Weird & Offbeat Travel Why take the same trip everybody else takes when you can walk on the wild and weird side.
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Brandywine Falls in autumn. PHOTO: TOM JONES
TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
BEST IDEA Bringing National Parks to the People BY SARAH JAQUAY
“Thank goodness my parents were able to do it” was my refrain last fall as my husband and I retraced the highlights of my family’s 1968 Chevy Impala station wagon ride to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. “How many people never get to Montana and Wyoming?” I wondered. Indeed, my well-traveled husband hadn’t been before. Many Americans assume visiting a national park is a privilege reserved for those fortunate enough to afford a trip out West. But the reality is I grew up (and still live) in a city ringed by one of Frederick Law Olmsted’s “Emerald Necklaces” and the pendant on these gemstones is Ohio’s only national park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP).
OHIO’S BEST IDEA
Situated between the cities of Cleveland and Akron, the CVNP is one of the National Park Systems’ newer additions. The park covers 33,000 acres along the banks of the Cuyahoga River—“the crooked river” as American Indians called it. The river passes through lush upland forests, steep valley walls and ravines plus marshland and meadows. The park is a mecca for
national parks more accessible to urbanites forged during the Nixon years. Nixon felt strongly about urban national parks because he was from modest circumstances and realized many Americans couldn’t afford the trip to see the great national parks of the West. As a result of Nixon’s “parks to the people” policy, in 1972, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco and Gateway National Recreation Area in New York City became the first urban national parklands outside Washington, D.C.
Cyclists near the Boston Store Visitor
LOCAL HALLMARKS “There’s so much to do here. That catches people by surprise,” said Deb Yandala, chief executive officer of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association, the park’s educational, advocacy and fundraising arm. She recommends visitors map out their strategies at Park Place in the idyllic town of Peninsula. Park Place serves as a welcome center with refreshments, park information and a store. Peninsula could easily be mistaken for a New England hamlet (especially when fall foliage is in full
Framing the perfect shot at Ledges Trail
Center in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Lookout in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
PHOTO: TOM JONES
PHOTO: TOM JONES
hikers and bikers because 22 miles of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail run through it. The Towpath is part of the 110-mile Ohio & Erie Canalway, a National Heritage Area, running from Cleveland to Zoar, Ohio. PARKS TO THE PEOPLE When President Ford signed legislation creating the park it was the culmination of efforts to make TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
Since its inception in 1974, the CVNP has become one of the country’s most visited national parks (it ranked 8th last year). And not because of any federal policy underpinnings; but because it’s a magnificent woodland oasis with cascading waterfalls and a myriad of landscapes tucked between two metropolitan areas. It permanently created the best backyard any city slicker could hope for.
regalia) with its Victorian homes and a parsonage steeple dominating its rooftops. It’s in the center of the park and is a popular refueling stop on the Towpath. The Winking Lizard Tavern and Fisher’s Café & Pub serve burgers, sandwiches and ice cream and offer patio dining in temperate weather. The town is also an artists’ colony where galleries highlight local works. One of Yandala’s favorites is Elements Gallery
where visitors can view Stephen Bures’ “exquisite pottery,” she said. The Peninsula Art Academy showcases local artists in all media and offer classes and workshops. While Yandala believes the park will attract more out-of-state tourism as this “hidden jewel” is discovered, she realizes nearby accommodations need to grow. Currently public accommodations in the park are limited to the Inn at Brandywine Falls, an upscale bed and breakfast, and primitive campsites behind Stanford House, a 19th century farmhouse that
experience the beauty of this Valley at an affordable price,” she said. Embassy Suites in Independence and Sheraton Suites in Cuyahoga Falls also offer lodging along the park’s borders. Yandala believes the best things in life are still free and so is admission to the CVNP. A RAILWAY RUNS THROUGH IT “We started in Peninsula, biked north to Brecksville and returned by rail for $2 per person. After two weeks at grandma’s house, the kids liked that best,” said Steve Wait, president and
Inner city school children from Cleveland explore the barn behind Stanford House. PHOTO: SARAH JAQUAY
formerly operated as a hostel. The Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center offers reserved group lodging when schools are not using it. Yandala and her colleagues, however, are most excited about the renovation and reopening of Stanford House, slated for next January. “The hallmarks of Northeast Ohio are family friendliness and reasonable costs. Stanford House will allow families to
chief executive officer of the Cuyahoga Scenic Valley Railway (CVSR). Wait was talking about his grandchildren’s appraisal of their Northern Ohio holiday last summer and marveled that glitzier, more expensive activities didn’t get top billing. The CVSR runs classic passenger cars on 51 miles of track from Independence (a suburb of Cleveland) through the park to Canton. These excursions serve three purposes:
A Mountain of Ideas for a Day in the Valley
’ve been recreating in Cuyahoga Valley National Park since 1992. Here are some of my favorite things: Start behind Stanford House and hike the hilly Brandywine Falls Trail; picnic at the falls, then return to Stanford House for the short drive into the town of Peninsula. Spend the afternoon gallery-hopping and collectible-browsing; reward yourself with Winking Lizard Tavern’s barbequed ribs and liquid refreshment on their patio. Rent a bicycle at Century Cycles in Peninsula; ride the Towpath Trail north to Boston Store Visitor Center and peruse the canal boat-building exhibits. Stop at Trail Mix (across the street) for a darkchocolate covered Dove bar and keep biking until the lactic acid build-up in your calves screams, “Enough!” On a Saturday morning, bike the Towpath south from Peninsula to Hale Farm and Village; catch a glimpse of life on a 19th century Ohio homestead, then stop at the Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow to fill your backpack with local produce; nosh on fresh strawberries and peaches on the way home. When it reopens, spend the night at Stanford House and check out free concerts at “Music in the Meadow” or hear the renowned Cleveland Orchestra play its outdoor concerts at nearby Blossom Music Center. Ride the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad and listen to tales of President Garfield’s days as a “mule skinner” on the canal via the park’s “Voices of the Valley” audio tour. •
10.3 SUMMER / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE
OHIO’S BEST IDEA
providing alternative transportation to and through the park; historic preservation of vintage equipment and educational programs about the history and culture of the Valley. Railroads were built through the Valley in the 19th century primarily to
especially proud of the CVSR’s Bike Aboard program where visitors can ride the train for a portion of its route; get off, bike the trails and then hop back on at eight different stations in the park. Other popular CVSR programs include a “Day Out with Thomas the Tank” and Underground Railroad excursions where school children re-enact helping slaves get to “Hope.” (Hope was the Underground Railroad’s code name for Cleveland,
row and my little sister snugly tucked into the slot between the second and backward-facing third seats (this was before mandatory seat belt use.) Someone was usually fighting, crying or throwing up. Not much of a vacation for them. But they believed their kids should know and love their country’s natural beauty. I am grateful every day to Presidents Nixon and Ford that some of it can be witnessed right here in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The winding Cuyahoga makes a right turn near Peninsula, living up to its American Indian name, “the crooked river.” PHOTO: SARAH JAQUAY
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad provides excursions to and through the park. PHOTO: TOM JONES
haul coal from Southern Ohio to northern industrial port cities. Wait believes park visitors who only have a few hours or a half day should ride the rails or risk missing the essence of the park. “Our excursions connect visitors to the river, the Towpath and the [Ohio & Erie] Canalway, plus the forests and trails that intersect with them,” he said. Although the park’s annual Polar Express trips to the North Pole departing mid-November to December 20th draw 34,000 passengers (many of them little people in pajamas), Wait is TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
where fugitives could catch boats to Canada and permanent freedom.) Wait believes the scenic railway actually provides a fourth dimension for the park—time travel. “Name two other cities within 40 miles of each other that have a preserved valley in between? It’s like traveling back through time. Bring your bike; park your car and experience this Valley. It’s pretty spectacular.” My folks didn’t have a lot of money and I’m still amazed they pulled off our trip of a lifetime. They drove for hours at a stretch with two kids to a
IF YOU GO For more information on Cuyahoga Valley National Park, visit www.nps.gov/cuva/index.htm. For information and to purchase tickets for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, visit www.cvsr.com. For daily events and park programs, visit www.dayinthevalley.com and www.cvnpa.org. Sarah Jaquay is a freelance writer based in Cleveland, Ohio. She writes frequently about food, wine and adventure.
Daytripping in Congaree South Carolina’s Only National Park
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY KARIN LEPERI
With the end of my son’s college year coming to a close in early May, I found myself driving the eight-hour distance from Washington, D.C. to the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Though a long drive, I decide to leave extra early so I can squeeze in a personal indulgence—a three-hour daytrip to the only National Park located in the entire state of South Carolina. My goal? To check out some of the tallest trees east of the Mississippi. Formerly known as Congaree Swamp National Monument, it became a National Park in 2003 after a ground swell of grass root efforts and public support. It is the one and only National Park in the state of South Carolina. Located in the middle of the state and just a 30-minute drive from the capital city of Columbia, Congaree National Park exists as a sanctuary and preserve of what was and what remains of the largest contiguous tract of old growth floodplain forest on the North American continent today. This primal patch of high-canopy hardwoods is noted for containing some of the tallest trees in the eastern United States. This alone is compelling reason to visit what is probably one of the least known and most underappreciated parks in the National Park System. However, according to park
Visitors can take in the beauty on a bench on Upper Boardwalk.
10.3 SUMMER / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE
superintendent Tracy Swartout, “Annual visitation to Congaree has doubled to about 140,000 since 2003, the year Congaree gained National Park status.” A STROLL ON THE BOARDWALK My first stop upon arrival is the Harry Hampton Visitor Center. This is a lowprofile environmentally sensitive architectural structure that houses museum-quality exhibits to orientate visitors to the park’s history and diversity of flora and fauna. I watch a theater viewing of an introductory film on the park, pick up a map and brochure, check on the latest “water” conditions, and head for the popular Elevated Boardwalk.
A wood-plank trail built eight feet above the bottomland, the 1.3 mile loop is an excellent choice for daytrippers with only a couple of hours to spare. Winding through a mixture of bottomland hardwoods and upland pines, it offers some of the best photographic opportunities in the park, save for Cedar Creek. Wheelchair bound visitors will delight in knowing that the entire boardwalk is accessible. “This is a park that is not carfriendly,” warns Superintendent Swartout. “It is best to see it on foot or by paddling a canoe or kayak.” HOME OF CHAMPIONS With more than 22,000 acres of Congaree River wetlands draining more TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
than 8,000 square miles of the Carolinas, the park is a haven for primeval emerald forests nourished by nutrient-rich periodic flooding of the Congaree River. The result is a treasure trove of many record-setting, “champion” trees found in both the high canopy and low understory. Champions are considered to be trees within their species that hold either state or national records for size. To date, over 20 such champions have been identified that include loblolly pines, hickories, and bald cypress. Bald cypress trees tower over the forest canopy with their distinctive southeast swamp look and feel, and are often known as “the redwoods of the east.” The tree is easily identified because of a root system that produces buttressed bases and knees up to 7 feet high. The park’s largest bald cypress boasts a circumference of 27 feet, 5 inches. But the draw to the park is not all about giants. “Though people come here for the big trees,” says Superintendent Swartout, “They also come here for the biodiversity.” FLOODPLAIN BIODIVERSITY Congaree National Park ranks among one of North America’s most diverse forest communities, containing a myriad of flora and fauna representing several microclimates. From emergent trees rising above the canopy to high canopy, sub-canopy, understory to forest floor, each forest layer represents unique environments distinguished by variations in amounts of sunlight and moisture. (The tree canopy has been compared as comparable with that of the Amazon Basin in overall diversity.)
While surveys are still ongoing, so far 22 different plant communities have been identified along with 80 species of tree, at least 170 bird species, along with 60 reptile and amphibian species, and 49 fish species. While strolling the Elevated Boardwalk, I heard the distinct pecking of either a Red-headed or Red-bellied woodpecker and spotted what might have been a Prothonotary Warbler. And at the park entrance, I sighted the robust body and broad wings of a Redshouldered Hawk. Not bad birding for only three hours! It is because of this diversity that Congaree is not only a National Park, but also a National Natural Landmark, a federally designated Wilderness Area, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Globally Important Bird Area The Best Things in Life Are Free Unlike many National Parks, there is no entrance fee to visit Congaree National Park. What is even more amazing is that it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, be sure your first-time visit includes a stop at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center, open daily from 8:30 am – 5 pm, with extended hours on weekends. Whether you visit for a boardwalk stroll, an extended hike, or a kayak or canoe trip on Cedar Creek, a daytrip to Congaree National Park—particularly in the spring and fall—is a must for any outdoor enthusiast or nature lover looking for an abundance of biodiversity. IF YOU GO Congaree National Park, 100 National Park Road Hopkins, SC (803-776-4396; www.nps.gov/cosw). Karin Leperi is an award-winning photojournalist with bylines in print, broadcast, and internet media. She specializes in travel, cuisine, culture, nature and the environment and loves to bear witness to pastel lights of dawn and last fading glimmers of twilight.
Bald cypress are known for cone-shaped knee extensions and buttressed trunks. It is thought that knees obtain oxygen for root systems during flooding.
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY PAUL RUBIO
Besides sharks, few creatures conjure up fright and panic like alligators and crocodiles. For the masses that have never encountered these carnivorous dinosaurs, the idea of their bone-crushing bite and embellished tales of eating human snacks perpetuate a great misunderstanding of gracious, living fossils. However, within the far southern reaches of the United States, along the Shark Valley nature trial of Everglades National Park, awaits unexpected tales of docile face-to-face encounters with some of the world’s most feared animals. A vast expanse of roughly 1.5 million acres spanning the width of Florida, Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and the third largest national park in the continental United States. Rich in wildlife, these mysterious wetlands are a photographer’s dream, brimming with opportunity for personal interaction with wading birds, charismatic alligators, frivolous otters, lounging turtles, and for those lucky enough, the Florida panther, the American crocodile, and West Indian manatee. Season and serendipity dictate wildlife sightings, but as a general rule migratory birds frequent during winter; and gators are more visible as the dry season ensues. From December to April the Everglades grow increasingly drier. During this time, wildlife congregates closer to watering holes, sometimes culminating in scenes of alligators piled one on top of the other. The wet season from June to October means more mosquitoes, lusher vegetation, and more accessible habitat area for park residents and hence less wildlife viewing. One of four main access points to the national park, Shark Valley Visitor Center, provides an extraordinary opportunity to bike or walk through 15 miles of the Everglades, immersed in shallow wilderness. It takes little time to realize that the fearless wildlife near Shark Valley have no qualms approaching or ignoring strangers. Shortly after the park’s entrance, the 3 Dimensional Animal Planet special becomes your reality. A double-breasted cormorant flies overhead, an anTRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
Blue Heron wades in the waters near the entrance of Shark Valley Visitors Center.
Up Close and Personal
ABOVE: A welcoming grin for the Everglades many alligator. RIGHT: Showing off a gator manicure.
hinga swallows a fresh catch, schools of Florida gar appear to rise out of the water, a curious blue heron lands alongside. The scenes change constantly. As you continue your journey down the 15-mile trail, you soon spot 1,000-pound, 12-foot intimidating giants on the trail’s edge, just feet away from onlookers, without any fence or protection. While it’s highly unlikely to see one of the 1,500 remaining American crocodiles here, vast numbers of Florida’s 1.5 million alligators line the trail’s perimeter and interior. TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
ABOVE: Anhingas or snake birds are found throughout the Park. LEFT: Keep an eye out for alligator newborns.
The initial reaction to nearly stumbling on top of a gator is surely one of shock and wonder, kind of like when you first found out Santa Claus was not real. As you venture deeper into the wetlands, it becomes clear you are a welcomed guest in the world of the alligatorâ€”three oversized beasts bask in the sun, six baby gators venture into the receding water, another two juveniles watch you with their peripheral vision. Suddenly you are surrounded by 10,000 pounds of 200-million-year10.3 SUMMER / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE
ABOVE: There are 16 species of turtle in Everglades National Park. ABOVE, RIGHT: Tri-colored heron fishes for lunch.
old biological heritage with no interest in sampling the taste of human flesh! The scene feels surreal, nurturing a new appreciation for these swampland giants when observing them up close and personal. While this experience merits major bragging rights, boundaries shall not be overstepped. Onlookers must keep a distance from the reptiles and under no circumstance attempt to pet the wildlife. This is nature, not Disney; and alligators are still indeed apex predators! Since 1948, there have been a total of TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
463 alligator attacks in Florida (156 of which were provoked!) and 22 fatalities. None of these incidents occurred at Shark Valley, where humans and alligators interact daily in very close proximity. Attacks have risen in recent years as humans encroach on previously virgin wetlands, and ignorant individuals feed and habituate feral alligators (note that this is illegal). Still, you actually have a better chance of winning the lottery than being attacked by an alligator. With rental bikes plentiful at the Shark Valley Visitor Center, visitors have the alternative of experiencing Shark Valley on retro bicycles, by foot, or taking a tram (you need only re-
member to bring cash, water, snacks, sunscreen, and environmentallyfriendly mosquito repellent). A 65-foot observation tower is situated halfway along the main path, with rare and precious aerial views of the Everglades. The water collection pool near the tower teems with gators, turtles, and birds year-round. True thrill seekers should visit between February and March, when rangers lead exhilarating night trips on the path to observe nocturnal world of the Everglades. In addition to Shark Valley, Everglades National Park offers three other access points open 365 days a year. The most frequented, the Ernest Coe Visitor Center in Homestead, is an
easy day trip from anywhere in South Florida. For those with limited time, the short and easy Anhinga Trail reveals living images from the pages of National Geographic magazine. While popular airboat rides triumph as the Everglades experience of choice, note that the sawgrass glide rides take place outside the boundaries of the National Park. Numerous outfitters find loopholes in the law by working in Native American territory and feeding the alligators marshmallows so tourists can get the perfect shot. A visit to the national park is far more rewarding and awe-inspiring, fostering a more organic and respectful communication between the Ever-
glades and us. No public transportation exists to or from national park access points, so a rental car is necessary. For those without cars or those keen to complement their fabulous Miami vacation with forgotten Florida, the Mandarin Oriental Miami offers full day trips from the hotel. Mandarin’s trip combines altruism with tourism. A day trip includes a visit to Everglades National Park along with an afternoon of volunteering in the park through tree planting, recycling projects and weeding out exotic plants.
National Park (www.nps.gov/ever) and the Mandarin Oriental’s website (www.mandarinoriental.com/miami). Shark Valley Visitor Center is located at 36000 Southwest 8th Street, Miami (305-221-8776). The Ernest Coe Visitor Center is located at 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead, Florida, (305-242-7700). Paul Rubio took a break from his life as a Harvard economist to document his world travels. 65 countries and 6,500 stories later, the Cuban-American’s seductive syntax graces bookshelves and newsstands around the
IF YOU GO For more information, visit the government’s website for the Everglades
world via Fodor’s guidebooks, Out magazine, The Advocate, The Guide Mag, and his award winning book, The Out Traveler South Florida. 10.3 SUMMER / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE
Best-Kept Se Tips and Tricks for Exploring “America’s Best Idea” BY JEFFREY LEHMANN
I will never forget the first time I went to a National Park. I was five years old sitting in the front of the family station wagon with my parents, while my sister and brother slept in back. We slowly climbed the serpentine road out of Fresno. I could smell the trees, but I couldn’t see much in the headlights. When we finally reached the summit and entered Wawona Tunnel, I started to get excited. I love tunnels. When we emerged on the other side to the sight of the monumental Yosemite Valley shimmering below dressed in the green glow of a full moon on a warm windless summer’s night, I could not believe my eyes. I’d arrived in heaven. The next few days were filled with events that I still remember vividly, not the least of which was being brave enough to sleep outside only to wet the bed when a black bear ripped open the ice box next to me. Tighten your saddle strap and hold on because here comes a small sampling of my lifetime of National Park “best kept secrets.” Visit two awesome parks in one trip, Yellowstone and Grand Teton, by staying in-between at Togwotee Mountain Lodge. Avoid the summer crowds at Grand Teton’s Park Headquarters, by heading east on nearby TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
Denali Star on the way to Denali National Park. PHOTO: JEFFREY LEHMANN
Best-Kept Secrets Antelope Flats Road to see bison and antelope with the Grand Teton as a backdrop. Take a boat trip on beautiful Lake Jenny and then hike a moderate hill to breathtaking Hidden Falls. Visit in winter to hit the slopes in Jackson Hole and then snowmobile up close and personal with Yellowstone’s wildlife. These animals aren’t stupid, they walk on the road rather than through deep snow! Two parks not enough? Visit Zion, Bryce, the Grand Canyon, and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, all an easy day trip from Wahweap Lodge part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, aka Lake Powell. It is in the heart of what is referred to as the “Grand Circle” of parks. Glen Canyon is also home to the Rainbow Bridge – the world’s largest natural arch. Mule trips are a great way to see Bryce, especially in the heat of summer. Alstrum Point at sunset is a spectacular must see when going to the Grand Staircase, although it requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle and the better part of a day. The region has numerous deep and very narrow sandstone “slot canyons.” These slot canyons range from flat and easy like Antelope Slot Canyon to high adventure requiring climbing gear and dry suits like those in and around Zion. I suggest Chief Tsosie Tours for Antelope Slot Canyon with a flute-playing guide like my friend Mylo James or for the slot adventure of a lifetime Zion Adventure Company owned by friend Jonathan Zambella. Hit the canyons early midday since this is when the sun is overhead and shines directly into the slots. Denali National Park is not just for bucket listers. This is a grand adventure for all ages. In addition to the abundant wildlife, vast landscapes of incredible beauty, and the highest TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
peak on the continent, there is also whitewater rafting and helicopter glacier tours for the adventurous. Tip: only park buses are allowed deep into the park and the first bus each day often sees the most wildlife. The downside is it leaves at 5 a.m.! These Tundra Wilderness Tours take seven to eight hours, but each has fantastically unique wildlife sightings. So, consider taking more than one. For marine life, a boat trip to the Kenai Fjords National Park out of Seward, Alaska is hard to beat. In a recent trip we saw a calving glacier as well as humpback whales, orcas, sea otters, puffins, Dall porpoise, seals, and much more. The best way to get to both Seward and Denali is on an Alaska Railroad trip from Anchorage. Their fantastic dome cars allow viewing of the scenery and wildlife in every direction, even straight-up. And, you don’t have to worry about driving off the road or getting lost. You can even enjoy a great meal and drink along the way! The Cook Inlet, glaciers, and mirror smooth lakes passed on the way to Seward make this one of the most scenic train rides in the world. On the East Coast, visit the Cape Cod National Seashore where you can usually see whales from shore, but be sure to go on a whale-watching tour to get a closer look. Enjoy the vistas of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, where deer are seen daily at the Skyland Resort and Big Meadows Lodge. If you want to see a black bear, visit in the fall when the bears are out in force eating acorns off the ground to fatten up for winter. There are a few natural rock waterslides in the park, and it is also a great place to see stunning fall colors. In the South, dive the reefs in Bis-
Alaskan Sled Dog Chugach Glacier. PHOTO: JEFFREY LEHMANN
The author mushing on Chugach Glacier. Oh, my! PHOTO: ERIC WINTER
Alaska Railroad Tour to Seward. PHOTO: JEFFREY LEHMANN
Best-Kept Secrets cayne National Park within sight of Miami or less than an hour’s drive away take an airboat ride to see alligators in the Everglades. Already have an Orlando theme park vacation planned? Take a day to relax on the beach at Canaveral National Seashore on the Space Coast, just a 45-minute drive. Stay another day to experience the mouth dropping rockets of Kennedy Space Center, a truly educational theme park including simulator rides. National Parks are also about our cultural heritage. Fort Pulaski near
and enjoy “100-mile views” at Mesa Verde National Park where mule deer are everywhere at dawn and dusk around Far View Lodge. Mesa Verde is also near the center of the “Grand Circle” making Aztec Ruins National Park, Chaco Canyon National Historic Park-the Geneva of the Ancient North American world, and the Four Corners an easy day trip. The top 10 percent of visited parks receive 60 percent of the visitors, while the bottom 10 percent receive less than .1 percent of visitors. So, try the road
Heaven's Light in Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell. PHOTO: JEFFREY LEHMANN
Mesa Verde National Park.
Vista from Alstrom Point at Sunset,
PHOTO: JAMES WRIGHT
Glen Canyon Damn Recreation Area. PHOTO: ERIC WINTER
Tybee Island, Georgia outside of Savannah marked the end of an era in castle-like fortifications after a Civil War battle fought there. The wildlife is great too, with alligators sunning themselves moatside, Bald Eagles scanning for fish from the fortress walls, and even the occasional manatee. See the fascinating ancient cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloans TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
less traveled like Lassen Volcanic National Park. Think Yellowstone without Old Faithful. Redwood National Park has the tallest trees in the world with the majestic Roosevelt Elk and fantastic seascapes. Or, visit the Channel Islands for a true “Island of the Blue Dolphin” experience. If you like waterfalls, the Olympic Peninsula is the place. There are hundreds as well
as the dramatic mountain scenery of Hurricane Ridge and miles of empty driftwood strewn beaches to boot. If you’re still set on a big name park, try it in the off-season. Yosemite in winter is fantastic and with lots to do! Visit National Parks for free on Public Lands Day (Sept 25, 2010), Veterans Day (Nov. 11, 2010), and National Park Week (April 17-21, 2011). And, take free photog-
Early Morning ballooning over Grand Tetons National Park. PHOTO: JEFFREY LEHMANN
raphy classes from Canon this summer in Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Acadia and Yellowstone. Prefer video? Free EOS HD video shooting classes are in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Bar Harbor, Maine. Canon even supplies equipment! Visit www.usa.canon.com/parks for details. Park visitation reached its peak in 1987. Although the numbers of visitors has declined only slightly, the overall
U.S. population has increased during this period by more than 26 percent! This means a much larger percentage of America’s youth have yet to visit a National Park. The National Park System is sometimes referred to as “America’s Best Idea” and now you know some of my “best-kept secrets.” For me, our national parks are still heaven on earth.
So, whether you’re an old pro or a first timer, get out there and enjoy an experience of a lifetime. And, if like me you end up wetting yourself, I promise not to tell. Jeffrey Lehmann is the Emmy awarded host and Emmy awarded producer of the “Weekend Explorer” travel series provided free to PBS stations nationwide. 10.3 SUMMER / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE
Lingering Hawaii Volcanoes National Park BY JENNIFER CRITES
I’m standing in a 400-footdeep hole. Behind me, a lush rainforest surrounds the trail I’ve just climbed down. Overhead, I see a hawk circling and hear its cries. In front of me, a worn pathway slithers past hotsteam vents and over the slate-gray floor of a volcanic crater named Kilauea Iki (little Kilauea). I step out onto a buckling slab of lava—one of many tossed here during a 1959 eruption that filled this crater with an 800-foot-deep pool of boiling magma. On either side of me are stunted ohia trees with their delicate red lehua blossoms—the last vestiges of color I’ll see during my crossing. Surveying the path ahead, I feel like I’m on Mars. Welcome to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, established in 1916 and a World Heritage site since 1987. Situated 20 miles from the town of Hilo on Highway 11 in the southeast quadrant of Hawaii’s Big Island, the park draws more than 1 million visitors a year to its main attraction, Kilauea—an active volcano that has been putting on a spectacular show TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
An aerial view of Kilauea volcano’s Pu’u O’o vent, part of the 7-km-long East Rift Zone, which has been producing spectacular lava flows and fountains for the past 27 years. More than a hundred homes in a subdivision below the rift zone were destroyed by lava flows in 1990. IMAGE COURTESY OF HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
The path along Devastation Trail is an easy walk, but there is no shade so be sure to wear sunscreen.
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Rare lehua flowers flourish in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
for the past 27 years. Until recently, getting up close and personal with an active lava flow often meant trekking for an hour or more over uneven expanses of previous cooled and hardened flows. Now thereâ€™s a viewing platform. Although the structure, near the end of Highway 130, had to be closed and relocated a few times when lava crept a little too close, visitors can often get
a camera-ready eyefull of lazy redorange ribbons meandering down a blackened hillside and hissing into the ocean while sending plumes of white, sulfur-laced steam into the airâ€”the primal process of new land creation at work. Want to see the action from a different perspective? Tour helicopters offer flyovers, and charter boats and cruise ships provide yet another vantage point. 10.3 SUMMER / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE
Sometimes showy, sometimes resting up before the next curtain call, Hawaii’s volcano is always edgy and exciting because what’s going to happen next is anyone’s guess. In fact, in March of 2008, volcanologists who monitor volcanic activity at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory got a big surprise. Inside Kilauea Caldera, which is 12 miles removed from the main eruption site, a crater known as Halemaumau (house of ferns) suddenly popped its cork. For more than 80 years, Halemaumau had not even burped. Now here it was belching boulders, ash and steam. None of this is surprising when you consider that the Big Island sits atop a TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
hot spot—a magma plume jetting from the earth’s mantle. Five million years ago, the Hawaiian island of Kauai formed over this same hot spot. As the Pacific tectonic plate on which the islands are anchored moved northwest at 3.5 inches a year, each Hawaiian island born over the eruption zone moved with it, making room for a new island to develop. At the park’s Visitor Center, a 25minute film, “Born of Fire, Born of the Sea,” gives a good overview of the volcanic processes still taking place under your feet. A stop here is also an excellent way to avail yourself of maps, camping permits, weather conditions, volcanic activity updates and
trail information. In addition to the four-mile Kilauea Iki trek mentioned earlier, there are more than 150 miles of wellmaintained-and-marked walking and hiking trails—ranging from easy to challenging—within the park’s 552 square-mile arena, One not-to-bemissed easy jaunt takes you through a fern forest and into cave-like but welllit Thurston lava tube, created when the top and sides of a lava flow cooled and hardened, acting like a tunnel for the still hot magma to flow through. You’ll find another easy—as well as wheelchair accessible—route along Devastation Trail, where the ghostly gray limbs of dead trees and the black
and barren landscape remind passersby of the destructive power of a volcanic eruption. Wherever you wander in the park, there are also reminders that life can emerge from ashes. Forests of ferns, enriched by minerals in volcanic soil, unfurl, lush and green. The ohia lehua flower—reportedly the favorite of Hawaiian volcano goddess Madame Pele—splashes dollops of color on an otherwise monochromatic landscape along a crater rim, and the endangered nene goose—Hawaii’s state bird— stakes out its nesting territory in the harsh, lava-crusted environs of the park. A cruise along Crater Rim Drive takes you past vents where fumes of sulfur
dioxide emanate from the ground, emitting that telltale rotten-egg odor and turning nearby rocks a shade of sulfur-deposit mustard yellow. Part of this road, which follows the rim of Kilauea Caldera, has been closed since the 2008 Halemaumau vent opening, but you can still get to the Jaggar Museum for an in-depth look at the inner workings of a volcano. Exhibits include volcanic rocks such as Pele’s tears, Pele’s hair, and lava bombs, as well as active seismographs and other equipment used to study volcanic activity. From there, take a drive down 20mile-long Chain of Craters Road as it descends 3,700 feet to the sea then
OPPOSITE: Visitors walk through cave-like Thurston lava tube. ABOVE: White steam oozes from fissures in Halemaumau crater while Mauna Loa mountain hovers in the background. Red anthuriums in the foreground serve as an offering to the volcano goddess Madame Pele.
stops abruptly where a 2003 lava flow crossed the road. Along the way you’ll pass several lava flows, all dated before the road was built, and a field of petroglyphs—ancient rock carvings depicting animals, tools, voyaging canoes, weapons, people, and events, such as births and deaths, in the lives of early Hawaiians. 10.3 SUMMER / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE
LAVA According to Hawaiian lore, the fire goddess Madame Pele rules over the unruly volcano with absolute dominion. Dare to take home a souvenir without permission and you will feel her wrath. Jaggar Museum exhibits display letters detailing the misfortunes of those who removed volcanic rocks, ash and even a coating of lava dust on shoes. The crater I’m crossing is right next to, and just a stone’s throw from Pele’s reported home in Halemaumau. I’ve never had a direct encounter with the fire goddess, but trekking across Kilauea Iki, I can definitely feel her hot-tempered presence as I reach the center of the crater and pass the smoking throat of the vent through which lava fountained 1,900 feet skyward just 51 years ago. It must have been a magnificent and awe-inspiring sight—one that could happen again. This volcano, without a doubt, still has a few surprises on tap. IF YOU GO Where to stay: Although the craterrim Volcano House lodging and restaurant is closed for renovations, you’ll have no trouble finding a charming B&B in the tiny town of Volcano. Many have kitchens and most are within a 10-minute drive of the park’s entrance. Among the choices are environmentally friendly Volcano Guest House Bed and Breakfast Cottages, complete with ducks, cows, and owner Bonnie’s freshly baked morning muffins; Lava Tube Hale, owned by children’s book author Kerry Germain; Kipuka Cottage—a wonderful secluded hideTRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
Ground-nesting nene are found only in Hawaii. There are currently only about 500 left in the wild.
away in the rainforest; and Volcano Garden Apartments where the artist owner offers a delightful cottage as well as nature trails next to his farmhouse turned art gallery. Where to eat: Choices in the immediate area are limited but worthy. Lava Rock Café, Thai Thai Restaurant, Kiawe Kitchen, Café Ohia, vegetarian Café Ono, and the Kilauea General Store where you can pick up groceries and snacks. What to do: The park offers rangerled walks and informational programs, as well as a yearly Kilauea Cultural Festival featuring hula,
Hawaiian music and local crafts. If you have time, and care to immerse yourself in the artsy community that is Volcano, check out Volcano Art Center’s calendar of events. There are free forest walks—some with sing-alongs—nature drawing classes and even an occasional poetry slam. Volcano Winery will tempt your taste buds, Akatsuka Orchid Gardens will envelop you in a shower of color, and you can meet Volcano residents at the Sunday morning farmers’ market. You might even run into actor Jason Scott Lee, who lives nearby.
Last year, some 62.9 million people visited America’s 58 national parks. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the United States’ most popular national park, accounted for 9.5 million of those people alone. That’s a lot of folks with which to share our nation’s natural treasures. America’s wide open spaces don’t feel quite so wide open when you’re sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on a park road with a few million of your newest friends. Sure, everyone wants their souvenir photo of bison at Yellowstone, or a family pic standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon, but why not escape the crowds and set your sights on America’s least visited national parks?
A small boat used by Cuban emigrants has been washed up onto the shore near to the historic Loggerhead Key lighthouse  on the Dry Tortugas. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM
Your Guide to 5 of America’s Least Visited National Parks BY PETER BRONSKI 10.3 WINTER SUMMER 2009 / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE
Forget standing shoulder to shoulder with hordes of tourists, or having to muscle your way to the front of a viewing platform or scenic overlook to snap your picture-perfect postcard photo. The following five national parks had a scant 276,000 visitors in 2009, a mere drop in the visitation bucket (just 0.004 percent of all national park visitors last year). At these locales, it’ll be just you and the national park, which is perhaps the way President Ulysses S. Grant intended it when he designated Yellowstone as America’s first national park in 1872.
CONGAREE NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH CAROLINA First protected as Congaree Swamp National Monument in 1976— largely in response to a Sierra Club campaign to protect the area from logging in the late 1960s—the site was later designated a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve in 1983, and an Audubon Society Important Bird Area in 2001. Finally, in 2003, it became a national park. Congaree’s 27,000 acres includes the largest remnant of old-growth floodplain forest in the southeastern United States, boasting more than 150 trees with trunks of a circumference greater than 12 feet. The cypress-tupelo swamps that line the Congaree River and Cedar Creek are also home to plenty of national and state champion trees. Though 1989’s Hurricane Hugo toppled a national champion Shumard oak tree and a former national champion overcup oak tree, at last count, the park still had four national and 19 South Carolina state record trees. For a good introduction, hike the 2.4-mile
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Isle Royale (Menagerie Island) Lighthouse in Michigan. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM
Boardwalk Loop, which begins at the Harry Hampton Visitors Center. Another great way to see the park is from the water, by either canoe or kayak, along marked paddling routes. Rent a boat in nearby Columbia, or take the guided park canoe tour, with boats provided by the National Park Service. See related story on page 13.
GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK, NEVADA Great Basin is a park of extreme contrasts...of mountain summits and canyon bottoms, of bright days and very dark nights. It is also a park of variety. You can hike to the summit of 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak, the tallest mountain in Nevada. Visit a rock glacier, moraine, or snow-andice glacier. Walk through groves of 5,000-year-old Bristlecone Pine trees. Make your way to Lexington Arch, a six-story limestone natural rock arch. Or explore the Lehman Caves, marble caves ornately decorated with natural formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone and popcorn. With Great Basin’s low hu-
midity, high altitude, and very little light pollution, stargazing is also justifiably popular here. In fact, GB boasts one of the darkest night skies in the United States. To that end, August 6-8 the park is hosting its first annual Astronomy Festival.
KOBUK VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, ALASKA With 1,879 visitors in all of 2009, Kobuk Valley is officially America’s least visited national park (averaging just five people per day!). The park, located north of the Arctic Circle, spans an immense 1.7 million acres. Each year, half a million caribou migrate through the park’s valleys. For your own visit, consider hiking the Baird Mountains. Or float the Kobuk River. You can also visit the historical Onion Portage, where for 9,000 years indigenous peoples have hunted caribou while they ford the Kobuk River. Kobuk Valley also features an unexpected surprise – sand dunes. Spread into three clusters (the Great Kobuk, Little Kobuk, and Hunt River), they cover 25 square miles, rise to heights of 100 feet, and are the
Bristlecone pine trees and rock glacier in Great Basin National Park, Nevada. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM
largest active sand dunes in the world at arctic latitudes. Be forewarned: there are no visitor facilities at KV. Visitors arrive by plane, boat or snow machine, and unless you’re with a licensed guide or outfitter, you’re on your own. Those that make the trip, however, are rewarded with wild Alaska at its finest.
ISLE ROYALE NATIONAL PARK, MICHIGAN Closer to Thunder Bay, Ontario than it is to any part of the United States, Isle Royale is accessible only by boat or seaplane. It’s a rugged, northern island oasis in the middle of Lake Superior. Three ferries make the trip: the Ranger III, Isle Royale Queen IV, and Voyageur II. Depending on the ferry and port of departure, the oneway journey to Isle Royale takes two to six hours. At 165 feet long, the Ranger III ferry is the largest piece of moving equipment owned and operated by the National Park Service. It goes to the island Tuesdays and Fridays, and returns to the mainland Wednesdays and Saturdays. (Seaplane flights take 30 minutes, and
cost $290 roundtrip per person for the 2010 season.) Given the time and expense it takes to get to Isle Royale, make the most of it and stick around for a few days. Permits are available for camping at sites located at the inland lakes dotted throughout the island. There’s also some camping along the shore and on outlying islands. For those looking for creature comforts, the Rock Harbor Lodge, on the northeast end of the island, is the only place to stay with a roof over your head. The two main centers of activity on the island are Windigo on the west end, and Rock Harbor on the east. You can link them by either paddling the cold waters of Lake Superior, or by following the island’s extensive network of hiking trails, some of which follow the crest of Greenstone Ridge and its chain of 1,000-foot tall mountains.
DRY TORTUGAS NATIONAL PARK, FLORIDA Located 70 miles west of Key West, Florida, park officials have their eyes squarely focused on the Gulf oil spill, though the Tortugas haven’t yet
been directly impacted. That makes now perhaps the best time to visit, with some tourists staying away for fear of the oil that so far hasn’t arrived (and hopefully won’t). The national park comprises seven islands of sand and coral reefs. Four are currently open to the public (two are temporarily closed for wildlife protection, and another is permanently closed to the public). Garden Key features historic Fort Jefferson, which dates to the mid-19th century and it currently undergoing a phased preservation project. Over the years, it has served as a remote prison and as a crucial military outpost, including during the Spanish-American War. The Tortugas also enjoy great scuba diving. More than 300 shipwrecks dot the waters surrounding the islands, including the Windjammer Wreck, a massive sailboat that sunk in 1907 on Loggerhead Reef, less than a mile from Loggerhead Key. If scuba isn’t your thing, Garden Key also has excellent snorkeling among its coaling dock ruins and along the walls of Fort Jefferson. (The island also has a small campground for those wanting to spend the night in this relatively undiscovered and undeveloped tropical paradise.) Get to Dry Tortugas by boat (either your own or one of two Key West-based charter ferries—Sunny Days and Yankee Freedom) or by seaplane. Peter Bronski (www.peterbronski.com) is an award-winning writer and NATJA member whose work has appeared in more than 70 publications. He studied natural resources management in college, where he considered pursuing a career with the National Park Service. He became a writer instead.
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Journey To Ano This geothermal world brings awe and wonder to one photojournalist who explores the many colors and textures of Yellowstone STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY BEN ROOT TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
ABOVE: A late Spring morning sky reflects its color and clouds from the ochre and red terraces of Middle Geyser Basin. In the chill morning air, I welcomed the warmth of the steamy water on my face and hands. BELOW: Through cracks in the earthâ€™s crust, the steaming waters of Canary Springs surface, full of calcium carbonate, which precipitates out as the water cools, leaving frothy white travertine terraces. Indeed on these trails, I felt transported to another world.
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ABOVE: East facing meadows explode with thick growth in the weeks before Summer. Wildflowers challenge the brisk air, warmed by the steam from these hot springs. The meadows, draped by mountains in the distance leave one with an eerie vista, and a bit unsettled. BELOW: The trail to Artistsâ€™ Paint Pots is spotted with burbling pools of mud, some a dull grey, some dried and cracked white, but both with the distinctive sound of bursting bubbles as the acrid gas breaks the surface. Some pots are brilliantly colored, as here, by micro-organisms that thrive in the heat and malodorous air.
Above: East facing meadows explode with thick growth in the weeks before Summer. Wildflowers challenge the brisk air, warmed by the steam from these hot springs. The meadows, draped by mountains in the distance leave one with an eerie vista, and a bit unsettled. Below: The trail to Artistsâ€™ Paint Pots is spotted with burbling pools of mud, some a dull grey, some dried and cracked white, but both with the distinctive sound of bursting bubbles as the acrid gas breaks the surface. Some pots are brilliantly colored, as here, by micro-organisms that thrive in the heat and malodorous air.
ABOVE: Orange Spring Mound, at the back of narrow, rutted Upper Geyser Drive, towers above the burbling Tangerine Spring, here under a very angry sky about to drench the terraces and me. 10.3 SUMMER / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE
Journey To Another World Yes, Yellowstone is the country’s first national park. It is the biggest and boasts the most visitors annually. But what makes this park unique among the jewels in our national park system—and hauntingly beautiful, though very otherworldly to my eyes—is the fact that the planet’s largest and most varied collection of geothermal features exist here. Much has been written about the Yellowstone hotspot, the architect of the hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles and geysers of Yellowstone’s west loop. The caldera and Yellowstone’s “recent” volcanic and seismic activity offer a fascinating study. But this trip was not about studying the geology; it was about seeing vibrant colors locked in surreal shapes, about feeling a strange wetness and warmth in the chill of the morning, and yes, even about smelling the acrid, sulphurous air. A few days among Yellowstone’s geothermal wonders made me see the world more like the mindscapes of Jules Verne, Stephen King or even Hieronymus Bosch rather than the classic landscapes of Ansell Adams, Elliot Porter or William Henry Jackson. At my feet, violent, steaming water gushing from red rocks and blue holes; on the horizon, a serene apron of conifers and the familiar silhouette of the Rocky Mountains. The terraces south of Mammoth Hot Springs reminded me that the geothermal topographies we take as a given are in fact a kinetic experience. I expected to see Minerva Terrance’s red and orange hues. But since the most recent earthquake, it had become a lifeless, ashen grey, devoid of water and colorful microorganisms. Canary Springs had lost is yellow cast, but gained a frothy white staircase that appeared at once solid and vaporous. Orange Spring Mound, under a late-afternoon charcoal TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
and purple sky, made me one with ing platform are broad plateaus of Frodo, feeling the bleakness of a quest geysers in a Dali-like landscape, quiso far from home. The chill in the air etly puffing steam or violently belchthe landscapes was palpable. and ing thousands of gallons water A night’s sleep in a rustic cabin was hundreds of feet into a crisp blue sky. restorative and orienting. But out of Where the horizon stretches forever the cabin, the paint pots, fumaroles and hot springs of Middle Geyser Basin took me further from my accustomed National Park experience. Angry waters, hissing rock piles and pungent, popping mud were almost disorienting after miles of meadows in the early morning. On a narrow boardwalk along acres of cratered desolation, I was surprised to look down into a deep azure pool of superheated water that penetrated far into the earth, seemingly to its core. Farther along the walkway, I looked down on smallish tables of red and brown, each bordered by fine crystalline edging, overall, like giant scales of a long ago sea monster. Another mile into the morning, the unrelieved landscape of steam, ash and blistered white rock gave ABOVE: Old Faithful is forever awesome and stunning. way to the more familiar horizon of forests and mountains. It was like coming home. away from where you stand, and My last morning in the park was where there are hundreds of fissures devoted to Lower Geyser Basin, home in the earth’s crust billowing white of hundreds of hydrothermal features, plumes and beautifully crying out for including the park’s most famous one’s eyes’ attentions, I was left a attraction, Old Faithful. This is the puny part of the vastness of Yellowpark’s signature, and it is a stunning stone’s majesty and its sever and and awesome sight. But beyond the inspiring beauty. Indeed, Yellowstone friendly confines of the Lodge’s viewis a world apart.
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Black Canyon of the Gunnison BY GEORGIA I. HESSE
Nobody Knows The West owns more than its share of America’s provocative geographical names: Idaho’s River of No Return, Cape Disappointment in Washington, California’s Death Valley, Wyoming’s Crazy Woman Creek and Colorado’s Black Canyon of the Gunnison. They sing to the traveler a siren song. What’s so seductive about the name of the great cut that slices through the Uncompahgre tableland west of the Colorado Rockies: Black Canyon of the Gunnison? The simple eight syllables of this National Park perhaps inspire an image of dark depths through which one might wander forever, lost. In 1901, Abraham Lincoln Fellows and William Torrence were moved (not by a desire for adventure, but by a need for irrigation water) to explore the dark, forbidding ravine as they rolled down its river on a rubber mattress, floating 33 miles in nine days. Fellows, though there on business, was stirred to near poetry.
“Our surroundings were of the wildest possible description,” he wrote. “The roar of the water … was constantly in our ears, and the walls of the canyon, towering half a mile in height above us, were seemingly vertical. Occasionally a rock would fall from one side or the other, with a roar and crash, exploding like a ton of dynamite when it struck bottom, making us think our last day had come.” Like many of the West’s great gorges, the Black Canyon materializes suddenly, a stunning surprise. Were you walking or riding innocently by, through deep fir forests or along a scrubby plateau only yards from the edge, you would never anticipate the falling away of the earth, the plunging of rock walls so sheer that sunlight penetrates the deepest cleft only at high noon. Today, we know the Gunnison is there, one of the newest of the National Parks (since 1999) and long a National Monument (born in 1933), yet the approach from either the South Rim TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
(Highway 347) or the North Rim Road (closed in winter) yields no inkling, no intimation of the awesome cut about to fall away just in front of your feet. Rain, wind and the Gunnison River took a long time—two million years, say—to chew through the soft volcanic rock cover, then to attack the crystalline core of this uplift and to eat away its walls to a depth of 2,772 feet. Yes, Arizona’s Grand Canyon is deeper, wider, incomparably more vast, while Yosemite Valley surpasses in the beauty of its rock outcrops and its high, shimmering waterfalls. Yet, wrote geologist Wallace Hansen, “…no other canyon in North America combines the depth, narrowness, sheerness and somber countenance of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.” Within this National Park, the river drops an average of 96 feet per mile and in one two-mile stretch dives 480 feet, a rambunctious waterslide only nature could design. In 48 miles through Black Canyon it loses more elevation than the
1,500-mile Mississippi can claim from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Perched precariously above Chasm View, I felt the absurd urge to soar into space like a peregrine falcon, to swoop up and down the perpendicular hanging cliffs. Nobody ever has lived in Black Canyon, neither the Ute Indians who have inhabited the region since before written history nor the Spanish explorers who passed by without comment. Forever, only water ouzels, badgers, cougars, bear, wrens and swifts and great horned owls have called it home. Black Canyon’s sculptor, the river, and the nearby town of Gunnison (pop. 4,300+) owe their names to one Capt. John Williams Gunnison, a U.S. Army topographical engineer (second in his West Point class), selected to lead a search for a railroad bed between the 38th and 39th Parallels. In the Tomichi Valley where Gunnison town sits today, the party forged south to avoid a gorge they considered impenetrable. Just beyond, in Utah, Gunnison and all
The Canyon Nobody Knows
but four of the 11 members of his group were ambushed and killed on Oct. 26, 1853, by a band of Paiutes in revenge for the murder of their chief by white settlers. (Were he around today, Gunnison could tell his tale at Donita’s Cantina in the town named for him.) Here we drove in high mountains of summer: the Sangre de Cristo, the Sawatch, the Ruby Range and the San Juans; among piñon pines, cottonwood trees and quaking aspens; across alpine meadows that sloped toward flat, agricultural prairies. From the Denver Airport, we sped west on Interstate 70, then slowed near Glenwood Springs to follow States 82 and 133 to Redstone. Where bachelor miners employed by coal baron John Cleveland Osgood once bunked (1902), we settled with happy sighs into the old Redstone Inn (1925, last restored in 1989). With the dining room closed for a wedding party, we ambled down the street for a dinner under whispering trees at the Crystal Club. We toasted the mountain gods.
From Redstone, it’s a matter of minutes south to the metropolis of Marble (pop. 105) and, more important, to its quarry where Yule marble was discovered in 1873 and which contributed its milky white stone to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. It is passing strange to poke about among the still-rich ruins where nothing much has happened since floods and mudslides wracked the region in 1941. Mountain slopes rise above the rushing but seemingly harmless creek, lined by tumbled slabs of precious rock. Three little towns north and east of Black Canyon—Glenwood Springs, Delta and Montrose—boast their own superlatives. Glenwood Springs, a busy stop in winter for skiers detraining from Amtrak’s California Zephyr for ultra-posh Aspen just up the Roaring Fork Valley, boasts the world’s largest outdoor, hot-water swimming pool and the burial place of gunslinger Doc
ABOVE, LEFT: The marble quarry in the ghost town of Marble, Colorado (pop. 105). ABOVE: Ouray in the Colorado Rockies. PHOTO COURTESY OF OURAY CHAMBER RESORT ASSOCIATION
Holliday. In Delta, not far from 10,000foot-high Grand Mesa, earth’s greatest flattop mountain, the C&J Family Restaurant serves a stem-winding lemonade and offers menus for “Senior Citizens & Light Eaters.” Open Mike Night is staged weekly at Kokopelli’s. In Montrose at Jojo’s Windmill, we spotted a woman of about 77 seasons outfitted in a cheery red pantsuit and absorbed in a thin volume entitled The Outhouse Book. Ouray (pop. 813), south of Montrose, remembers a distinguished Ute chief and is locally pronounced YOO-ray. Nine blocks long and six blocks wide, the town looks about as it did a century ago. Ouray commands the Million Dollar Highway, a portion of the spectacular San Juan Skyway that climbs up and down the mountains on a 26010.3 SUMMER / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE
mile loop drive. The place to dine seems to be Billy Goat Gruff’s Biergarten. All the news that fits used to be printed in the late, much-lamented San Juan Horseshoe, a self-described “clever smokescreen of half-truths, bumbling and weak conjecture.” Once I yearned to investigate further an ad that read: “Gay yucca plant would like to meet others of same persuasion for perennial relationship.” From Durango (of which Will Rogers once quipped, “It’s out of the way and glad of it”), we followed beautiful U.S. 160 to Cortez, hung a right to Dolores and curved over Taylor Mesa to Telluride (pop. 2,221) in its hideout behind gray granite and red sandstone mountains. Telluride may be a smart ski resort in winter, but in summer it’s as laid-back as all get-out. The local Telluride Watch reports what readers want to know about the new Back Country Inn near Norwood, the blessing of a bronze sculpture of Chief Ouray, water rights, fifth- and sixth-grade volunteers, and reducing carbon footprints by having smaller families. Telluride, named for tellurium, a semi-metallic element not found there, seems about a 1-street place with a clutch of restaurants rather more sophisticated than in a country town not luring skiers (we liked the Excelsior) and a good selection of hotels (ours was and will be again the San Sophia.). Strange how a short idyll can illuminate the imagination. Maybe in another life I was a happy Black Canyon wren, warbling wild and haunting lyrics by day and munching dumb, silly spiders at night. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Inner stretch of Black Canyon of the Gunnison; Downtown Telluride, Colorado, in 1887; Black Canyon is home to the Peregrine falcon, fastest bird in the world (up to 200 mph when diving for prey); Redstone Inn, the place to stay in Redstone and a national historic landmark; The inner stretch of Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
The Canyon Nobody Knows
The Allure of
Lobster traps stacked on a dock on Mt. Desert Island.
Year Round Activities Entice Nature Lovers BY ARLINE ZATZ PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOEL ZATZ
Acadia National Park, on Maine’s Mount Desert Island, offers a rare combination of history, great scenery and exciting outdoor activities. Enjoy the surrounding beauty while hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking or driving an eye-opening scenic route with many interesting features. On a recent trip, my husband and I began at Hulls Cove Visitor Center to view displays and a short film about the area’s history and stock up on free maps, brochures and the Loop Road motorist booklet that covers approximately 27 miles through the park. The Loop Road offered magnificent scenery as we drove by the park’s ocean shoreline, woodlands, ponds, lakes and mountains. A leisurely ride with occasional stops takes about three hours, or several parts of the park can be seen over several days. Our favorite spots included the panoramic view from Frenchman Bay Overlook where, to the right, the bay opens onto the Atlantic Ocean; to the left it forms smaller bays and inlets used by local anglers for shrimping and lobstering. In the early 1900s, the Vanderbilts, Morgans, Pulitzers, Rockefellers and other prominent families were lured to this area because the bay offered great sailing. At that time, the coast between Bar Harbor and Salisbury Cove was known as "Millionaire's Row," largely due to the summer 'cottages' (some with up to 80 rooms!) built in this area. Further along is Sieur de Monts Spring— actually the beginning of the park itself. This was the first place acquired by a group of citizens who wanted to preserve Mount Desert Island. They built the domed house now standing over the spring, naming it after the first French governor of this region. In 1916, they donated this and other parcels of land on the island to the government ask10.3 SUMMER / TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE
The Allure of Acadia ing that the island be preserved for the perpetual use of the public. Shortly after, President Wilson declared the area Sieur De Monts National Monument. As land continued to be donated, it was designated a National Park in 1919 and, in 1929, the name was changed to Acadia National Park. Near the original springs stands the Abbe Museum—a small nature museum containing Indian artifacts and nearby, the lovely Wild Gardens of Acadia where plants native to Mount Desert Island's forests, bogs, shores and mountains may be observed. Stopping at the Sand Beach is a must. If you're brave, take a refreshing dip in the icy 50 and 60 degrees waters—and that's the summer temperatures! At the beginning of the Great Head Trail on the opposite side of the beach from the stairway is a grindstone that was part of a wrecked ship’s cargo. Or, try the 1.8mile foot trail starting from the parking lot that follows along the rocky coast. Thunder Hole is not to be missed, particularly after a storm. When the waves are high enough and the tide is right, you’ll see the ocean rushing into its mouth. The water then has nowhere to go but up, and when the trapped air at the back of the chasm compresses– Boom! It sounds exactly like thunder. After working up an appetite, we stopped at the Jordan Pond House where afternoon tea and delicious popovers, as well as other Maine specialties, are a tradition. Around the back is Jordan Pond, framed to the west by the "Bubbles” formation. Fishing is allowed, but a fresh water license is required. The half-mile loop walk around the pond is a great way to walk off extra calories. Along the way is a good view of Acadia's most prominent glacial erratic—a huge boulder weighing about 13 tons that's TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
poised as though it's about to fall. Next, we drove up to Cadillac Mountain’s granite summit which, at 1,530 feet, is the highest point along the eastern seaboard and the first place in the continental United States to be struck by the sun’s rays each morning. Fascinated, the next morning we hitched a ride to the top, waited for the sun to rise–which was spectacular–and then began the exciting 3-mile hike down the mountain’s South Ridge Trail taking countless photographs of the magnificent vistas while stuffing plastic bags with lush blueberries growing along the trail. Park rangers offer numerous free guided walks. (Sign up in advance at the visitor building). One outstanding easy walk offering fantastic views of Frenchman’s Bay, and a chance to spot wildlife, is to Witch Hole Pond (starting from the front of the visitor center). Walk all around the pond watching for the granite outcroppings along the path. Climb Paradise Hill for a good view of the lake; then continue for another half-mile when you reach the junction. Numerous beaver ponds and lodges exist along this trail, with many chewed and toppled trees in evidence of their handiwork. We also loved beachcombing on Mount Desert Island, as well as at nearby Seal Harbor’s public beach for finding sand dollars during low tide. Nearby Bar Harbor’s town beach and Shore Path beach boast pebbles that have been polished smooth by water action in all shapes and sizes. Check out the trails and great views near Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, or go bicycling, hiking or horseback riding along part of the 57 miles of carriage paths winding through the park. Designed, planned and supervised by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in the early 1900s, the
roads were originally built for the use of summer residents who wanted to enjoy the scenery in peace and quiet. Along these roads, Rockefeller also built 16 stone bridges, carefully blending them to fit in with the environment. Many are works of art, especially with waterfalls and other natural features around them. If you’re doing this on your own, obtain a carriage path bridge map from the visitor center or you can wait for a naturalist-sponsored bridge walk. At the Cobblestone Bridge, you’ll wonder how anyone could fit in all these tiny stones to create an arch. Cliffside Bridge has viewing platforms making it possible to examine its 50-foot ornate structure, which resembles a medieval battlement. Also worth seeing are the gatehouses that guarded the entry to the carriage paths in days long gone by. Brown Mountain gatehouse (near lower Hadlock Pond along Route 198) served as the gatekeeper’s residence as well. Another joy was going on a naturalist-led cruise where, on the way to Baker Island we saw porpoises, seals and nesting colonies of sea birds. Jumping onto a dory from the sightseeing boat was an adventure in itself, as we were led to the site of the first resident of Baker Island who was later in charge of the lighthouse built here. Another cruise went to Frenchman Bay where osprey and porpoises were spotted. Acadia National Park is definitely a year-round paradise–even during winter when snow creates a wonderland for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and winter hiking. Camp at the park’s Blackwoods Campground or Seawall Campground or in adjoining Bar Harbor; dine at your campsite or one of the many restaurants in town. We enjoyed the fresh sea breezes, the birds, boats, hiking and so much more. Whether you’re wrestling a lobster on your dinner plate, savoring the
Jordan Pond, with the Bubbles in the background.
Lobster trap buoys, marked to identify the owner.
A hiker takes a break near a small pond along Acadiaâ€™s South Ridge trail.
Sieur De Monts Spring in the heart of Acadia National Park.
The Allure of Acadia
A family enjoys the panoramic view from atop Cadillac Mountain.
charm of an old fishing village, relaxing or sightseeing, you’ll love every minute spent at Acadia National Park. IF YOU GO For more information, contact Acadia National Park at 207-288-3338 or visit www.nps.gov/acad. Note: Save gas by boarding Explorer, the free shuttle bus (late June 23-early October). Pick up/drop off locations are at various destinations within the park. Arline Zatz is the award-winning author of Best Hikes With Children in New Jersey (The Mountaineers); 30 Bicycle Tours in New Jersey (Backcountry); New Jersey’s Special Places (WW Norton); New Jersey’s Great Gardens and Arboretums (WW Norton); 100 Years of Volunteer Wildlife Law Enforcement in New Jersey (NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife); and Horsing Around in New Jersey (Rutgers University Press). Her features and photographs appear nationally in newspapers and magazines. She can be reached via web site: funtravels.com. Photographer Joel Zatz is a NATJA member whose photographs appear nationally in books and magazines. TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
Quiet settles over Northeast Harbor on Mt. Desert Island as the sun sets and fog rolls in.
presenting the NATJA CLEVELAND CONFERENCE
GRAND PRIZE AWARD WINNER The North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) holds an annual contest for its national conference attendees to enter. The writer who submitts to the host Convention and Visitor’s Bureau the best story about the host city wins a grand prize provided by the CVB. In 2009, the host city was Cleveland, Ohio. Many stories were submitted to Positively Cleveland (the host CVB) who carefully read and judged all submissions. Originally published in Lake Erie Lifestyle Magazine, TravelWorld International Magazine is proud to reprint the winning article here for you to enjoy, written by NATJA member Stacey Wittig. While the article was originally run in the fall of 2009, we’ve updated the events for 2010. Congratulations, Stacey!
Stacey Wittig is a freelance writer based in Flagstaff, AZ. Her culinary adventures have led her up the Inca Trail in Peru, across the plains of northern Spain on El Camino de Santiago, and through the vineyards of Cinque Terre along the Italian coast. “Flagstaff is a remarkable place to call home,” declares the wandering writer. Learn more girls getaway tips at www.vagabondinglulu.blogspot.com
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G R A N D Grand River Cellars Winery.
TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
P R I Z E
A W A R D
W I N N E R
Take the Guys on This Girls’ Getaway
STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY STACEY WITTIG
I love “Girls’ Getaway Weekends.” This mode of travel has become trendy in recent years. The girls-only weekend escape usually entails activities that the guys don’t always appreciate: shopping, swapping gossip or sipping girly drinks at country retreats. The getaways are so fun that I have to admit; sometimes I wish my hubby were along. Well this fall, I challenge you to take the guys with you. Ohio wineries offer the fun and friendship of a girls’ getaway while adding manly brewpubs and rollicking entertainment that the hombres enjoy. While girls gab garden side tasting internationally recognized Ohio wine, the gents can confer in the brewpub, ogle over classic cars or party outdoors to live entertainment. The wineries are in close proximity, so it is easy to enjoy the festivities of each property by driving yourself. On the other hand, opt to pamper yourselves with an escorted wine country tour. Every weekend from in October through Halloween, the wineries of northeastern Ohio offer unlimited selections of fabulous events for you and your friends. The largest wine growing area in Ohio is located along the Grand River that flows into Lake Erie. Its climate is very similar to the Bordeaux wine area of France, a valley that empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Both rolling landscapes benefit from the thermal effects of large bodies of water. The contours of the Grand River valley help circulate warmer air, which reduces threats from frost and extends the growing season. Because of the distinctive features of this
micro-clime, the Grand River valley is designated as an American Viticultural Area (AVA.) Visiting this Ohio microclimate is like being teleported to Mosel, Germany; Bordeaux, France or Sonoma, California. Over the years, it has proved to be an excellent Viticultural area producing awardwinning wines from Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc grapes. “Cabernet Franc can be grown in our cold climate. It needs a longer time to ripen in our vineyards so there are some years we can produce a very mature Cab Franc and other times it is a lighter style,” said Mary Jo Ferrante of Ferrante Winery and Ristorante located in Geneva, Ohio. Ferrante, fourth generation viner, was our hostess for a sensational wine tasting. “Our Cab Franc has a little bit of pepper; it’s fruitforward. It’s got some fruit notes in it; I can taste the black cherry. This is great with a light steak or marinara sauce,” she adds sipping the wine. “Cab Franc is pretty popular for this area,” says brother Nicolas Ferrante, the winemaker. “It’s one of the viniferous reds that Ohio wineries can grow. This is a lighter style red: Cabernet Franc is one of the latest to break bud. It is slow to get out of the box, and so it takes a long growing season to ripen.” Mary Jo, manager of Ferrrante’s full-service restaurant offered us many tastes including our favorite “Golden Bunches Riesling” which has won numerous international awards. Both sexes enjoyed touring the 200,000-gallon winemaking facility, and afterwards were more knowledgeable about ice wines and
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G R A N D characteristics of Ohio wine making. Our beaus were excited to learn that Debonné Vineyards and Chalet opened a microbrewery in 2008. “It brings people in groups who would never go to wineries,” said Tony Debevc second-generation owner. “And a lot of wine drinkers like microbeers. Micro-beer people are into their beers as much as the wine lovers are into their wines.” “Cleveland is a beer town,” alleged the vintner who added a winery to the family grape business in 1972. “When we started out here we were a
P R I Z E Leave the guys at Debonné and head over to nearby Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant and “do lunch” with the girls in a picturesque woodland setting. “People come here because they want to relax and enjoy life,” said Cindy Lindberg, president of the winery. “Our guests enjoy sunshine on their faces while listening to the waterfall.” Gardens, hand-painted murals and a local-stone fireplace enhance the European “escape” ambience. Cabernet Franc at Grand River Cellars Winery was so popular last year that it sold out. Lindberg served us their peppery Merlot. Be sure to order some before the “converts” arrive. An escape to northeast Ohio wine country this fall could be the perfect girls’ getaway… when you take the guys along. GETTING THERE Take I-90 to Ohio State Route 534 (Geneva exit), south to Route 307, turn right (west) to Ferrante’s. Ask for map of “Winegrowers of the Grand River Valley” from there.
Ferrante Winery & Ristorante is a fun getaway in Northeast Ohio conveniently located a half-mile from Interstate 90.
weird, unusual phenomenon that actually had dry wine—European style wine. We converted a lot of people in the past 38 years,” laughs Debevc. The crowds that congregate for Debonné’s Saturday family day concerts and Sunday afternoon jazz gatherings attest to that. You can join the converts for a Wine Country Progressive Dinner or “Hallowine Party” at the end of the month. Debonné Vineyards and Chalet, family owned since 1916, is the largest Estate Winery in Ohio.
TRAVELWORLD MAGAZINE / 10.3 SUMMER
WHAT’S HAPPENING? Friday, October 1 Kings, Debonné Vineyards and Chalet, 7-11 pm Trilogy (Light Rock), Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 7:30-10:30 pm TBA, Laurello Vineyards, open noon 10:00 pm Saturday, October 2 Legacy,Debonné Vineyards and Chalet, 3:30-7:30 p.m. Miles Beyond (Rock N Roll), Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 7:30-10:30 pm TBA, Laurello Vineyards, open noon - 10:00 pm Sunday, October 3 MYTHS, LEGENDS AND GRAVEYARDS TOUR, Be-
A W A R D gins at the Lake County History Center, 415 Riverside Drive, Painesville Township; Journey through some of the most interesting cemeteries in Lake County; learn the history, myths, legends and meet some very interesting people on your journey; tour includes dinner. Reservations required; $38.00 Call 440-639-2945; www.lakehistory.org Brian Henke, Debonné Vineyards and Chalet, 2:30-5:30 p.m. Dober, Carey, Smith Trio (Jazz), Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 4:00-7:00 pm Friday, October 8 Wine Country Progressive Dinner, 6:30 pm. Join us for a fun evening of fine wines and delicious cuisine. The evening begins at Grand River Cellars with soup and salad; then go to Debonné Vineyards for the main entree; finish at South River Vineyard with dessert. Vegetarian option available. Wine pairing with each course. Call Debonné Vineyards at 440-466-3485 to make reservations for this drive-yourself tour. Prepaid, non-refundable ticket event; $47.50/person includes tax and tip. Turnpikes, Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 7:30-10:30 pm TBA, Laurello Vineyards, open noon - 10:00 pm Saturday, October 9 Whooz Playin, Debonné Vineyards and Chalet, 3:30-7:30 pm Blues De Ville (Blues), Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 7:30-10:30 pm TBA, Laurello Vineyards, open noon - 10:00 pm Sunday, October 10 MYTHS, LEGENDS AND GRAVEYARDS TOUR, Begins at the Lake County History Center, 415 Riverside Drive, Painesville Township; Journey through some of the most interesting cemeteries in Lake County; learn the history, myths, legends and meet some very interesting people on your journey; tour includes dinner. Reservations required; $38.00 Call
W I N N E R 440-639-2945; www.lakehistory.org Cora & Cami, Debonné Vineyards and Chalet, 2:30-5:30 pm Akin for Jazz, Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 4:00-7:00 pm Friday, October 15 Wine Country Progressive Dinner, 6:30 pm. Join us for a fun evening of fine wines and delicious cuisine. The evening begins at Grand River Cellars with soup and salad; then go to Debonné Vineyards for the main entree; finish at South River Vineyard with dessert. Vegetarian option available. Wine pairing with each course. Call Debonné Vineyards at 440-466-3485 to make reservations for this drive-yourself tour. Prepaid, non-refundable ticket event; $47.50/person includes tax and tip. Light of Day (Motown Rock), Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 7:30-10:30 pm TBA, Laurello Vineyards, open noon - 10:00 pm Saturday, October 16 Hatrick, Debonné Vineyards and Chalet, 3:30-7:30 p.m. Baconcake (Rock N Roll), Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 7:30-10:30 pm TBA, Laurello Vineyards, open noon - 10:00 pm Sunday, October 17 MYTHS, LEGENDS AND GRAVEYARDS TOUR, Begins at the Lake County History Center, 415 Riverside Drive, Painesville Township; Journey through some of the most interesting cemeteries in Lake County; learn the history, myths, legends and meet some very interesting people on your journey; tour includes dinner. Reservations required; $38.00 Call 440-639-2945; www.lakehistory.org Whooz Playin, Debonné Vineyards and Chalet, 2:30-5:30 pm Stan Miller & Kelly Conners (Jazz), Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 4:00-7:00 pm
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G R A N D Friday, October 22 TBA, Debonné Vineyards and Chalet, 7-11 pm The Castaways (Rock N Roll), Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 7:30–10:30 pm TBA, Laurello Vineyards, open noon - 10:00 pm Saturday, October 23 Light of Two Moons, Debonné Vineyards and Chalet, 3:30–7:30 pm
P R I Z E Saturday, October 30 Hallowine Party, Debonné Vineyards and Chalet, music by Fretless begins at 3:30 pm; judging and prizes awarded at 6:00 pm for the scariest, most unique, best-dressed man, best-dressed woman and best group. Noon-8:00pm. FREE Admission. Plenty of seating in new heated pavilion. HALLOWEEN PARTY, Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant—Put on your best costume for an evening of ghouls and goblins, ghosts and witches. The winery will be decorated for this festive evening and live entertainment will be keeping you moving all night. The costume contest will be at 10 p.m. with prizes for the best overall costume, first and second place winner for best dressed group, and first and second place winner for best dressed individual. Reservations are highly recommended for dinner guests. Andy’s Last Band (Rock N Roll) 7:30-10:30 pm TBA, Laurello Vineyards, open noon 10:00 pm
Mary Jo Ferrante of Ferrante Winery and Ristorante hosts wine tastings with quick wit and humor. The winery offers live music through the summer.
Stone River Band (Rock N Roll), Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 7:30-10:30 pm TBA, Laurello Vineyards, open noon - 10:00 pm Sunday, October 24 Dave Young (Jazz), Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 4:00–7:00 pm Friday, October 29 Next Best Thing, Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 7:30-10:30 pm TBA, Laurello Vineyards, open noon - 10:00 pm
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Sunday, October 31 Ed Michaels Jazz Duo, Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 4:00–7:00 pm WHERE TO STAY Lake County 800-368-LAKE www.lakevisit.com FOR MORE INFORMATION Debonné Vineyards and Chalet 440-466-3485 www.debonne.com Ferrante Winery and Ristorante 440-466-8466. www.ferrantewinery.com Grand River Cellars Winery and Restaurant 440298-9838. www.grandrivercellars.com Ohio Wine Tours 440-576-4588. http://www.ohiovinetours.com
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FAMILY TRAVEL SENIOR TRAVEL
From Teddy To Caves
TO DINOSAURS VISITING QUIRKIER NATIONAL PARKS By Victor Block
Hear the words “national park,” and what do you picture? Like most people, probably soaring landscapes, vast vistas and dramatic terrain. But dozens of other places, while much smaller, little known and overlooked by the majority of travelers, also have much to offer.
ABOVE: Fossilized bones of large Sauropods at Dinosaur National Monument.
Some are miniscule in size compared with their more famous park cousins, but equal in beauty. Others relate intriguing chapters of American history. An added bonus is that these tiny gems attract much smaller crowds than better-known sites among the nearly 400 parks, forests, historic monuments and other enclaves that make up the National Park system. Also, because they’re scattered throughout the country, there probably are several located near where you live and wherever you may travel in the U.S. Many visitors to the Nation’s Capital aren’t aware
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of an island that combines an interesting history lesson with an inviting outdoor experience. Theodore Roosevelt Island, a 91-acre outcrop in the Potomac River, honors the president who had perhaps the greatest impact on conservation. During his term as chief executive (1901-1909), “Teddy” signed legislation establishing five national parks, and took other steps to preserve open spaces. Native Americans used the island as a fishing spot, and Union Army troops were stationed there during the Civil War. Visitors today learn about the legacy of our 26th president at a memorial that includes a statue of Roosevelt and some of his most memorable quotes, and may enjoy hikes along gentle trails through marsh and forest terrain. Father and son presidents are recalled at the oldest existing presidential birthplace in the United States. A mansion in Quincy, Mass., named “Peacefield,” served as home to John Adams, John Quincy Adams and two subsequent generations of that famous family. The oldest part of the structure was built in 1730-31 and purchased in 1787 by John Adams, who served as second president of the U. S. (1797-1801). His son John Quincy won fame as a member of Congress, secretary of state and the sixth president (1825-1829). The Georgian style home contains original furnishings contributed by each generation of the renowned family. A much earlier period of history comes alive at Russell Cave National Monument near Bridgeport, Alabama. The cave provided shelter to prehistoric people beginning around 6,500 B.C. Park Rangers lead tours, and demonstrations explain the use of simple tools as well as blowguns, spear throwers and other primitive weapons. A video presentation at the visitor center depicts the life of early North American inhabitants.
Peacefield was home to two U.S. presidents and four generations of the Adams family.
A cannon demonstration at Fort Scott National Historic Site.
A statue of Teddy looks out over Theodore Roosevelt Island.
FAMILY TRAVEL SENIOR TRAVEL More recent history is recounted at a storied fort that played a major role in expansion of the fledgling United States from east of the Mississippi to the West Coast. Fort Scott National Historic Site, located in the Kansas town of the same name, was established as a frontier army post in 1842. For the next three decades, soldiers from the fort surveyed unmapped territory, provided escort for pioneers heading west, and worked to maintain peace with Plains Indians. Twenty historic structures recall the story. An interesting innovation is a tour that uses visitors’ own cell phones to describe Fort Scott’s exciting past. Some 150 million years before either Fort Scott or
The “Bread Loaves” (left) and the “Window Arch” (right) at City of Rocks National Reserve.
the United States existed, other residents roamed near a large river that runs through what now is northeastern Utah. The bones of 11 kinds of dinosaurs still remain embedded in a rock wall at Dinosaur National Monument. Most of the fossils are of Sauropods, huge, longnecked plant eaters that were the biggest creatures ever to walk on land. Others are remains of vegetarians that ranged in size from huge to tiny, along with those of several carnivores. Visitors view fossil bones during a short walk along the Fossil Discovery Hiking Trail, and in the visitor center. Be sure to watch the interesting video which demonstrates how paleontologists carefully chip away rock to expose the bones, then leave them where they were found and where you may see them today. Another small museum, located in northern Arizona, displays remnants of a different kind. Pots, tools and other everyday items are among exhibits at Navajo National Monument. Of greater interest are three intact cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloan people. They grew corn, beans and squash, and hunted
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wild game. The Monument contains three short trails that lead to lovely overlooks. If you visit and are lucky, you may hear the cry of the intriguing grasshopper mouse, a carnivorous little critter that emits a surprisingly realistic wolf-like howl. Another Indian tribe, the Shoshone, made their home further north in an area of present-day Idaho characterized by a breathtakingly dramatic landscape. A large basin there holds a concentration of spectacular erosional granite outcrops and monoliths, some of which soar to the height of a 60-story building. A westward-bound pioneer, heading for California in 1849 during the Gold Rush, described the region as a “city of rocks.” That name stuck when City of Rocks National Reserve was established by Congress in 1988. Along with its otherworldly landscape, the site visually recounts the history of westward migration during the mid-19th century. Deep ruts cut into the ground by wagon wheels still are visible. Hundreds of inscriptions, written with axle grease on large rocks, serve as reminders of the hardy souls who undertook the treacherous journey to seek riches and a better way of life. The life of pioneers heading west was very different from that of upper-class gentlemen who served as president of the United States. Simple cliff dwellings constructed as homes by Native Americans were downright luxurious compared to caves where prehistoric people sought shelter. This diversity and much more awaits those who explore some of the lesser-known, but no less fascinating, sites that are part of the National Park System. For information about all national parks, call 202208-4747 or visit the National Park Service website at nps.gov. Victor Block is an established, award-winning travel journalist whose work has appeared in a variety of major outlets. His specialties include off-beat travel, overseas destinations and seniors travel. He currently focuses on newspaper travel features. He is based in Washington, D.C., and can be reached at email@example.com.
GADGETS WE LIKE
SAFELY! have an emergency? there’s an app for that! Probably the only thing worse that losing your luggage, having your purse stolen, or getting lost while out of town is having a medical emergency when you are away from home. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) Emergency Medicine Network just launched findER™, a free iPhone application that locates the closest emergency room to your current location, gives you directions, and offers additional information with a touch of the screen. FindER uses the iPhone’s global positioning system to direct patients to emergency rooms anywhere within the United States. Travelers with chronic medical conditions and those traveling with friends or relatives with health problems show download it immediately. It’s also great for vacationing risk-takers (was it really a good idea to take your friend’s dare to cliff dive?). FindERis available now as a free download in the iTunes app store.
fill in the blank Forms4Travel, which provides forms for everything from kids traveling alone to permission slips for camp to insurance documents, has a clever new product, the Travel Stix. The 2GB storage device is actually a stateof-the-art credit card-shaped flash drive. Each one includes two or three travel or medical forms (you choose from 20 customized versions) which allow each family member to maintain a central and personally customized “go to” source. Put important travel information, such as passport numbers, copies of certified birth certificates for children, driver’s license numbers, pictures of traveling children, prescriptions, immunization records, travel insurance documents and more on it. Each form allows you to type in your information and save it to your computer for use and future updates. No more searching around for important documents or retyping forms year after year. You won’t want to leave home without it. Available at www.forms4travel.com.
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* GREAT HOSPITALITY NATJA ON THE GO
Reno Style! NATJA CONFERENCE IS HOSTED IN SURPRISINGLY LUXURIOUS SETTING. By Helen Hernandez
Planning a trip to Reno? Consider staying at the luxurious Atlantis Casino Resort Spa—it doesn’t get any better than this! The North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) recently held their Annual Conference there and found the lodging remarkable, the service superb and the food
Bistro Napa’s menu is worldclass and is changed monthly.
deliciously delectable. It is hard to imagine experiencing better service and hospitality. And to add to that, the rates are incredibly affordable! The restaurant selections are sure to please all tastes and pocketbooks. The Manhattan Bistro offers authentic New York-style deli selections where
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freshness is priority. Trust me—the corned beef and homemade chicken soup are to die for! Its sister restaurant, Bistro Napa, is for the gourmet foodie; more upscale fare influenced by the Napa Valley region. It is more than worth the cost, with their presentations right out of any gourmet magazine. Did I mention the 4,000-bottle wine cellar…? The Atlantis Steakhouse is the most recent addition to the hotel’s array of restaurants, where you can select some of the region’s choicest steaks and chops from their impressive menu. Enhancing the ambience is a spectacular 1,100 gallon saltwater aquarium stocked with exotic marine life, adding to a unique dining experience. The daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet at Toucan Charlie’s is a bargain with a vast selection of dishes, ranging from various ethnic fares to your favorite Americana comfort foods. When your taste buds have been satisfied, you can then venture on to The Spa for a totally relaxing, meditative and pleasurable experience. Their offering of spa services is sure to include your preference, whether it is massage, body wraps, and skin or nail care. They even offer a couple’s room for select treatments; definitely worth spending time with your spouse, partner, or significant other for that special “quiet” time to talk, connect, and enjoy time alone. With such quality amenities right on the property, you will find no need to venture out because all you need is right there. Atlantis Casino Resort Spa is highly recommended for your next trip to Reno! IF YOU GO The Atlantis Casino Resort Spa Reno, www.atlantiscasino.com, 1-800-723-6500.
Fine wines are chosen nightly by the sommelier at the Atlantis Steakhouse, which has an outstanding menu.
The Spa at the Atlantis is top-notch and offers rare treatments that are found in few places in the United States.
FAMILYSTORE BOOK TRAVEL With Few Reservations Travels at Home and Abroad
Boston Baby: A Field Guide for Urban Parents
Peter I. Rose
The awardwinning travel narrative which recounts the author's six-month, 20,000-mile journey around and across the land Down Under, offers a vivid portrayal of Australia, its history and legends, its wonders, its people, and its enduring beauty. Price: $19.99 Available at: www.amazon.com
Kim Foley MacKinnon This diaper-sized volume is jam packed with valuable resources and information that all Boston parents need, with hot tips from parenting experts and essential details on museums, theaters, classes, and play spaces. Price: $17.95 Available at: www.unionparkpress.com
The Best Stories, Facts, and Trivia from the Dugout to the Outfield
Wai-nani, High Chiefess of Hawaii: Her Epic Journey
Paris Revisited: The Guide for the Return Traveler
Gary Lee Kraut
Facts, stories, and anecdotes about legendary players and managers, teams and games to remember, and everything from spring training to winter dealing. Casual fans and hardcore baseball buffs will enjoy. Price: $14.95 Available at: www.baseballbits.com
Through the eyes of high chiefess, Wai-nani, experience the Hawaiian society as it existed when Captain Cook arrived at Kealakekua Bay in 1779. Price: $17.95 Available at: www.lindaballouauthor.com
A true insider's guide intended for those who enjoy fine informative travel writing, whether returning to Paris, looking to get it right the first time, or savoring Francophile fantasies from home. Price: $18.95 Available at: www.amazon.com
A collection of forty-eight engaging commentaries written by the sociologist, photographer, and prize-winning travel journalist Peter Rose. It offers intriguing portraits of places and people from Cape Cod to Cape Horn. Price: $20.95 Available at: www.amazon.com
Horsing Around in New Jersey: The Horse Lover's Guide to Everything Equine Arline Zatz The first guidebook to everything equine in the Garden State, this book is for horse loversâ€” from the novice who yearns to go horseback riding but doesn't know how or where to begin, to the experienced equestrian seeking new trails, campsites, and challenges. Price: $19.95 Available at: www.funtravels.com
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Published on Jul 31, 2010
TravelWorld International Magazine travels to National Parks in this 2010 Summer Issue. Travel where the experts love to go. Cuyahoga Valley...