April, 2000 Zabriskie Point at Death Valley
<ul><li>Drive into Death Valley National Park from Las Vegas and stop at Zabriskie Point at either pre-dawn or dusk where ...
<ul><li>April, 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>El Malpais National Monument in New Mexico   </li></ul>
<ul><li>El Malpais National Monument is located between Albuquerque and Flagstaff. Just south of Interstate 40, the monume...
<ul><li>April, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>National Cherry Blossom Festival   </li></ul>
<ul><li>E ach spring, the tidal basin area of the National Mall blooms a pinkish white, thanks to the Japanese and their g...
<ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Lombard Street from San Francisco's Coit Tower   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Reaching San Francisco from the south, U.S. Highway 101 negotiates toward downtown and then takes a sharp left on ...
<ul><li>July, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>The Blue Ridge Parkway   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Very few byways in the United States take on historic significance. The Natchez Trace and Route 66 come to mind. C...
<ul><li>August, 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>The Kremlin  </li></ul>
<ul><li>Over 800 years old, the original walled city of Mockba contains what is known as the Kremlin. Visitors are encoura...
<ul><li>March, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>The Getty Museum   </li></ul>
<ul><li>The art collection of J. Paul Getty is showcased high in the foothills above Sunset Boulevard. Even more enticing ...
<ul><li>June, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Cave of the Winds   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Bridal Veil is the third fall at Niagara in New York State. As a textbook description of Niagara will attest, the ...
<ul><li>April, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Castle Hill of Nice, France   </li></ul>
<ul><li>When the Greeks landed on these shores they decided to name the town Nike after the goddess of victory. They estab...
<ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Coit Tower in San Francisco   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Coit Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the San Francisco skyline. Cylindrical, Coit is perched at...
<ul><li>August, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Dancing in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah  </li></ul>
<ul><li>Traveling northeast from the Grand Canyon to Cortez, Colorado, through the Navajo Nation, one must stop at Four Co...
<ul><li>December, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Central Park  </li></ul>
<ul><li>After breakfasting at Tom’s (Monk’s) Restaurant on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, a stroll down to the northwest...
<ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>The Exploratorium  </li></ul>
<ul><li>Traveling west on Highway 101 toward the Golden Gate Bridge and in the heart of San Francisco’s Marina District, o...
<ul><li>July, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Grand Canyon  </li></ul>
<ul><li>Fading rainbows are common as they rise up out of the canyon depths, and garnish the spectacular view with added c...
<ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>The Golden Gate   </li></ul>
<ul><li>The window of opportunity to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge is usually late afternoon in the summertime. Chanc...
<ul><li>July, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahamas Island  </li></ul>
<ul><li>Rent a car, take out insurance, and find the only east-west road on the island. Travel east following the signs fo...
<ul><li>July, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Designated a National Monument but managed by the Utah Bureau of Land Management, Grand Staircase-Escalante encomp...
<ul><li>December, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>John Lennon Tribute   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Directly across the street from the Dakota Apartments, where John Lennon was assassinated, is Strawberry Fields. T...
<ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Fisherman's Wharf   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco offers great seafood eateries, shops that sell both high end merchandise and so...
<ul><li>July, 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Floating the Martha Brae  </li></ul>
<ul><li>A shuttle bus takes the visitor into the Blue Mountains where the adventure begins. An elongated bamboo raft, fitt...
<ul><li>April, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Ford's Theater   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Still an active theater, Ford’s is known as the locale where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Everyone knows the ...
<ul><li>July, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Jenny Lake, Grand Tetons National Park   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Hiking around the south side of Jenny Lake is encouraged. While many visitors take the shuttle boat over to Hidden...
<ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Ghirardelli Square </li></ul>
<ul><li>Ghirardelli Square is known for some of the best chocolate in the world. This historic part of the San Francisco B...
<ul><li>April, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>The Negresco in Nice  </li></ul>
<ul><li>This famous red dome on the Promenade des Anglais is the single landmark that allows anyone to view the skyline an...
<ul><li>July, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Great Basin National Park   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Wheeler Peak and its foothills are protected as Great Basin National Park. River water flows from the mountains he...
<ul><li>July, 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Great Falls on the Potomac   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Great Falls are the result of the Potomac River squeezing through the narrow Mather Gorge. The river becomes rapid...
<ul><li>June, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>The Gateway Arch  </li></ul>
<ul><li>Part national icon, part carnival ride, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, or the Gateway Arch, defines th...
<ul><li>July, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Kootenay National Park   </li></ul>
<ul><li>On the western slope of the Canadian Rockies, Kootenay is attached to Banff National Park along the Alberta-Britis...
<ul><li>March, 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Trail of 100 Giants  </li></ul>
<ul><li>Generally, the Great Western Divide Highway, which loops into the southern Sierra Nevada Range, closes at the firs...
<ul><li>April, 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Guadalupe National Park   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Similar to Capitol Reef in Utah, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas, represent an island on an ancient...
<ul><li>July, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Clingman Dome  </li></ul>
<ul><li>Clingman Dome borders the states of North Carolina and Tennessee. This dividing line is also shared with the Appal...
<ul><li>April, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Monaco  </li></ul>
<ul><li>When the flag is up, the Prince is in the palace. From the Monte Carlo train station, an easy hike toward sea leve...
<ul><li>May, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Hearst Castle   </li></ul>
<ul><li>The “Citizen Cane” image is alive in this homage to opulence. At one time reachable only by boat, Hearst Castle st...
<ul><li>April, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Avalon, California   </li></ul>
<ul><li>The excursion boat, Catalina Express, will jet across the channel from either Long Beach or San Pedro, arriving in...
<ul><li>December, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Ellis Island   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Passengers visiting the Statue of Liberty by boat have the added bonus of stopping at Liberty’s neighboring island...
<ul><li>August, 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>Novadevichy Necropolis   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Moscow’s City of the Dead houses some of the most famous politicians, soldiers, and artists in Russia. Stroll amon...
<ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Haight Ashbury </li></ul>
<ul><li>The streets are crowded in this famous San Francisco neighborhood. Disenfranchised youths sought solace here, and ...
<ul><li>May, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Atop Half Dome   </li></ul>
<ul><li>After seven miles, four hours, and a vertical climb via cables, reaching the view from one of the most famous natu...
<ul><li>June, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Twain's Hannibal   </li></ul>
<ul><li>The lighthouse sits on Cardiff Hill overlooking both the Hannibal and the Mississippi. Between the lighthouse and ...
<ul><li>August, 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>Moscow's Old Arbat Street   </li></ul>
<ul><li>This narrow, cobblestone Ulitsa hearkens back to pre-revolutionary Moscow. Closed to motorized traffic, Arbat is l...
<ul><li>April, 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Joshua Tree National Park   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Through Joshua trees cover much of the entire Mojave Desert, the plateau north of Palm Springs, California has bee...
<ul><li>March, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Hollywood Sign </li></ul>
<ul><li>Difficult to access, the Hollywood sign has been off limits for years, surely due to its infamous involvement in s...
<ul><li>July, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Great Smoky Mountains  </li></ul>
<ul><li>The common image of fog nestled among the valleys and ridges throughout the Appalachia, has required a fitting nam...
<ul><li>April, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Promenade des Anglais   </li></ul>
<ul><li>For well over one hundred years, starting with the Russian aristocracy who sought warmer climes than their Siberia...
<ul><li>February, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Idyllwild, California   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Los Angelenos usually pick two mountain destinations in an effort to beat the summer heat. Big Bear Lake and Idyll...
<ul><li>July, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Lassen Peak  </li></ul>
<ul><li>At over 10,000 feet the climb to Lassen Peak is one of the most arduous two mile hikes in California. From a parki...
<ul><li>August, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Ocean City, Maryland  </li></ul>
<ul><li>Baltimore and the D.C.’s weekend destination during the summer, Ocean City is Maryland’s answer to Atlantic City o...
<ul><li>July, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Our Lucaya  </li></ul>
<ul><li>Located on Grand Bahamas, the northernmost populated island of the Bahamian chain, Our Lucaya is a Sheraton Westin...
<ul><li>June, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Blue Mesa </li></ul>
<ul><li>Take the Petrified Forest National Park exit off the I-40 and swing around beneath the interstate south toward the...
<ul><li>March, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Beverly Hills   </li></ul>
<ul><li>Definitive southern California streets lined with palm are located anywhere through the city. Many are easy to fin...
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\\Rcasrvr02\Users$\Jbarnett\My Documents\Personal\Writing And Photography Portfolio\Where Is Otto\Slideshows\Slideshow Bob

  1. 1. April, 2000 Zabriskie Point at Death Valley
  2. 2. <ul><li>Drive into Death Valley National Park from Las Vegas and stop at Zabriskie Point at either pre-dawn or dusk where amazing hues are present on both the eastern or western ridges. The view above looks west toward Furnace Creek and the sand dunes. If in the morning, drive through the moonscape Twenty Mule Team Canyon before taking the cut-off road to Dante’s View. The view is directly above Badwater, 282 feet below sea level, and directly across from Telescope Peak on the western ridge, usually identifiable by its snow cap. Return to the valley floor and take the Artist’s Palette Drive, where colorful mineral deposits paint the dunes, visit the Devil’s Golf Course, aptly named, but needs to be seen to be appreciated, or take a few minutes to hike to the arch, all before stopping at Badwater. North of Furnace Creek, the Salt Creek Trail has placards which inform people of the small pup fish living in a trickling stream. From Stovepipe Wells, head toward the western entrance and take the Emigrant Canyon Road up to the Charcoal Kilns, used for the processing of borax. Further up, at roads end, is the trailhead to Telescope Peak. Over 11.000 feet at the summit. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>April, 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>El Malpais National Monument in New Mexico </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>El Malpais National Monument is located between Albuquerque and Flagstaff. Just south of Interstate 40, the monument encompasses the remnants of a long dormant volcano. The park is accessible at both Exits 81 and 89. There are a few trails for day hiking. The Zuni-Acoma Trail actually connects the two park roads. The trail cuts through beautiful pine forests over crushed volcanic ash. Sinkholes appear suddenly. Many western National Monuments share this landscape. Lava Beds in California and Craters of the Moon in Idaho in particular. It is recommended to avoid exploration of the sinkholes. Not only is navigating of lava jumbles dangerous, even more so because of the porous nature of the rock, but many of the cave entrances are also home to nocturnal and/or carnivorous animals. Whether attacked by a cornered coyote or sprayed by a cornered skunk, the day will still be pretty much ruined. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>April, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>National Cherry Blossom Festival </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>E ach spring, the tidal basin area of the National Mall blooms a pinkish white, thanks to the Japanese and their gift of over 3000 cherry trees. These 100-year-old trees are an amazing site. Branches hang low enough to the ground that a visitor can lean against the trunk and be surrounded by the colors. Sunlight plays upon the gossamer-like petals, enhancing pink hues. As the blooms slowly scatter from the trees, they collect in layers, floating against the retaining wall of the tidal basin. If the basin paddle boats are available for rent, take one out for an hour and pedal through the petals, watching the wake left behind. Jefferson Memorial looks great from the paddle boat perspective. Note that the National Cherry Blossom Festival is considered a happening in the District, so expect large crowds. An early morning or a late evening visit might eliminate some of the pedestrian gridlock. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Lombard Street from San Francisco's Coit Tower </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Reaching San Francisco from the south, U.S. Highway 101 negotiates toward downtown and then takes a sharp left on Lombard Street toward the Golden Gate Bridge. A right turn will take the visitor up a very steep hill to a crest where Alcatraz, the Bay, and Fisherman’s Wharf come into view. There are many options at this point to reaching the heart of San Francisco. One famous way is to simply remain on Lombard Street for a couple more blocks and thus access the most crooked street in America. For one block Lombard Street looses its two lane status and becomes a winding, cobblestoned, one-way lane, bordered by flower gardens and drive-ways. Obviously, such a serpentine route is very popular with visitors which must be quite annoying to those who reside here. Of course, surely they knew this when they purchased this select piece of San Francisco real estate. During some afternoons in the summer there may be a wait for at least a block in either direction as automobiles volley in position to take this drive. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>July, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>The Blue Ridge Parkway </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Very few byways in the United States take on historic significance. The Natchez Trace and Route 66 come to mind. Connecting Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smokey Mountain National Park in North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway darts through the mountain peaks and foothills of Appalachia and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and offers a spectacular view at almost every turn. The speed limit is kept slow, between 35-45 miles per hour. The road is curvy and narrow, and with many turn-outs. Prepare for recreational vehicles that slow almost to a stop, and utilize these parking areas. Often wildlife will quickly cross the road. Dear and wild turkey are plentiful. There are several tunnels along the parkway. Note that the parkway bypasses most of the small towns so any services needed will require the traveler to exit. The parkway provides almost 500 hundred miles of nostalgic driving with no rush to be anywhere. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>August, 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>The Kremlin </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Over 800 years old, the original walled city of Mockba contains what is known as the Kremlin. Visitors are encouraged to visit these grounds. The entry fee is very affordable. Priceless works of art and invaluable historical artifacts are housed in the museums. The manicured lawns and flower gardens separate shaded walkways that lead to several churches, buildings of state and the palace. The Kremlin boasts a dysfunctional cannon, and a broken bell, located below Ivan the Terrible’s Bell Tower. Ivan’s Tower faces eastward, toward Red Square, where his chopping block is located, as well as Lenin’s Tomb and Saint Basil’s Cathedral. From the southern wall, there are great views of the Moscow River below and the great city beyond. Several of the Seven Sisters are visible here. The ‘sisters’ are buildings built by captured Germans after World War II. Also, standing alone in the distant south, the landmark of Moscow University. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>March, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>The Getty Museum </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>The art collection of J. Paul Getty is showcased high in the foothills above Sunset Boulevard. Even more enticing is that the entire tour of the museum is free. After exiting off the 405, note that there is a charge to park in the underground parking facility, however, once a spot is secured, which isn’t always the case, the gallery is accessible to all. Try to avoid the gallery during the springtime when school children flock there for their annual field trips. After arriving, a futuristic looking cable tram will transport the visitor from the station, pictured here, to the top of the hill. The architecture of the place is simply amazing and the views of U.C.L.A., Westwood and the Los Angeles Basin are worth the trip alone. On one visit, while riding toward the facility, there was a deer nibbling on shrubbery, sandwiched between the tram track and the 405. Once at the top, steps, bordered by falling water, take the visitor to the separate galleries. There is a central courtyard, complete with pools, and a fantastic maze-like garden area which is a work of art in itself. Don’t forget the cactus terrace on the southeast side of the property. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>June, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Cave of the Winds </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Bridal Veil is the third fall at Niagara in New York State. As a textbook description of Niagara will attest, the Niagara River is separated by Goat Island, the water to the left drops on the Ontario side and is called Horseshoe Falls, while the water on the right drops on the New York side and is called American Falls. However, there is a small precipice of land named Luna Island which causes its own small separation at the American Falls. Bridal Veil is the result. From Goat Island, tickets can be purchased and visitors can travel via elevator below Bridal Veil. Wooden decks allow the visitor to walk up to an area where torrential water splatters a large rock and drenches anyone standing there. The Cave of the Winds Tour obviously provides a rain poncho and sandals. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>April, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Castle Hill of Nice, France </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>When the Greeks landed on these shores they decided to name the town Nike after the goddess of victory. They established a fortress on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, and for centuries they dominated. When the Romans conquered the Greeks, they established their fortress further inland and on a higher ridge, leaving the original Nike to deteriorate, slowly crumble, and return to dust. The French replaced the hard ‘k’ sound with a softer ‘c’ and therefore, the town of Nice began to develop around the two original world power strongholds. Old Town is the area directly below the northwestern side of Castle Hill in the direction of Cimiez, which is where the original Roman amphitheater and bathhouse stands. The medieval and renaissance periods reflect Old Town Nice. Above Old Town, a Castle Hill surrounds the Greek ruins. The best access this park is to climb the steps, visible from the western side. There, one will see excellent views of the Promenade des Anglais, the Nice Harbor, and the beautiful Cote d’ Azur. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Coit Tower in San Francisco </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Coit Tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the San Francisco skyline. Cylindrical, Coit is perched atop Telegraph Hill. Along with the Golden Gate and Alcatraz, the city is known for its landmarks, and though Coit Tower may seem in the shadows of the more popular city destinations, it serves as an excellent location to view not only Golden Gate and Alcatraz from afar, but it also offers a sweeping view of this magnificent city and the greater Bay area. Accessible via taxi or a city bus route near Pier 39, the tower takes just minutes to reach. Though it’s possible to make the drive by auto, parking is congested and extremely limited. Once inside, murals, depicting historic California, cover the first floor foyer. For a fee, an elevator will transport visitors over 200 feet, and deposit them one floor below the top. A spiral staircase ascends the rest of the way to the observation area. Scanning north, one sees Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, and Marin County; the Golden Gate, the Marin Headlands and the Presidio are to the west, and further west is Lombard Street. Trace the trolleys southwest toward Market Square and the financial district, the Transamerica building, and the freeway system eastward across the Bay Bridge to Oakland. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>August, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Dancing in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Traveling northeast from the Grand Canyon to Cortez, Colorado, through the Navajo Nation, one must stop at Four Corners. Signs point left off the highway. Flags representing each of the four states fly above a concrete slab. A metal plate marks the only boundary where the four meet. Makeshift stands nearby display the wares of the Navajo Nation. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>December, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Central Park </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>After breakfasting at Tom’s (Monk’s) Restaurant on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, a stroll down to the northwest corner of Central Park seemed fitting. We continued to stroll across streams and over the Great Hill, heading diagonally toward the East Meadow. We circled the reservoir, eventually entering the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After spending a few hours at the Met, then a late lunch, we continued, crossing back to the Upper Westside over the Great Lawn and down toward Strawberry Fields and the Dakota Apartments. The final destination was the Merry-go-round, and the Central Park Zoo. The end of this unseasonably warm December day was a ride in a horse drawn carriage. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>The Exploratorium </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Traveling west on Highway 101 toward the Golden Gate Bridge and in the heart of San Francisco’s Marina District, one can’t help but notice a giant domed structure supported by Roman columns and amidst a park setting where ponds and fountains only add to the allure. The structure is known as the Exploratorium. Walk the beautifully manicured grounds before exploring the interior of this massive dome. The sculptures are wonderfully done. The Exploratorium is mainly known as a hands-on science museum. Educators and students from all over the Bay area visit the museum where most of the fields of science are represented. </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>July, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Grand Canyon </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Fading rainbows are common as they rise up out of the canyon depths, and garnish the spectacular view with added color. The southern ridge offers many places to pull off and take in the ever-changing view. Much of the south rim has a level walkway, paved, with at least five designated vista points. Really, one need only to walk several steps, stop, and appreciate their own unique, spectacular vista point. It is said that with cloud formations and diffused sunlight hitting the canyon walls at varying angles, the Grand Canyon never looks the same way twice. </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>The Golden Gate </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>The window of opportunity to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge is usually late afternoon in the summertime. Chances are the warm sun has burnt off the last of the fog and warmed the temperature a bit. Driving north into Marin County, stop in the parking area and walk back across. Even those not intimidated by heights will surely take pause as the wind off the coast seems to sway the structure. Passing freighters and tour boats gladly wave at the pedestrians, though many who cross seem preoccupied. The walkway detours around the outside of the both towers and then resumes its course beside the opposing traffic. The center of the bridge, where the two supporting cables meet, offers one of the best vantage points of Alcatraz. At almost 9000 feet across, it was very tempting to turn around at the second tower, or maybe turn around at the support cable, but to fully accomplish walking the bridge, reaching the Presidio was almost mandatory. Before the return trip, however, look directly down toward the Bay and see Fort Point. The trip back is a great opportunity to admire the rugged coastline known as the Marin Headlands. </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>July, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Lucayan National Park on Grand Bahamas Island </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>Rent a car, take out insurance, and find the only east-west road on the island. Travel east following the signs for the park. Stop in the parking area, but be sure to explore the caverns before crossing the highway. Steps down into the caverns allow one to see fish swimming in darkened waters. Return to the surface and cross the road. Sometimes a kind Bahamian has set up a roadside stand for cold water, drinks, trinkets, etc. Follow the path to the boardwalks, which cross a great mangrove swamp. The mosquitoes are vicious. Once back on solid land, the trail goes through a pine forest before reaching the beach. Off shore rocks protrude out of the surf making for an idyllic destination, and since many people vacationing on the island remain in the Port Lucaya and Freeport area, the soft sand beach is usually empty. Because the varied hues of the water determine the depth, it becomes obvious that much of the coastline here is in about three feet of water: warm comfortable water, and because there is more shallow than deep, one may get the urge to walk, with minor swimming, out the first rock outcropping and back. </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>July, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>Designated a National Monument but managed by the Utah Bureau of Land Management, Grand Staircase-Escalante encompasses most of south central Utah with Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks bordering each side. Unless one has a four wheel drive and about a week for exploring, the monument becomes merely a means to pass between the other more accessible Utah parks. There are minimal services here and slim or no chance for rescue. Nevertheless, it is located in the Utah Outback; one of the few true western wilderness areas left. </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul><li>December, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>John Lennon Tribute </li></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>Directly across the street from the Dakota Apartments, where John Lennon was assassinated, is Strawberry Fields. This small section of New York’s Central Park is dedicated to the life of the musician an ex-Beatle. Rose petals sometimes cover the memorial, but a caretaker brushes them clear of the word IMAGINE at center. On one visit, I noticed that an open pack of Marlboros were left as a weight for his Warhol print. </li></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Fisherman's Wharf </li></ul>
  38. 38. <ul><li>Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco offers great seafood eateries, shops that sell both high end merchandise and souvenirs, and sea lions barking for attention while playing king of the barge. Pier 39 has performance art, a carousel, and the Aquarium of the Bay. From this location one can access the trolley to Market Square or take an excursion out to Alcatraz. There are cruises to the bridge or for an evening dinner on the San Francisco Bay. Street performers position themselves along the wharf. On one visit in ’97, Peruvian minstrels played haunting melodies. On another visit in ’05 a man dressed as a giant skeleton startled unsuspecting pedestrians. Then there was the man who sat on a bucket with yard-long bush branches in each hand and as a visitor would pass, at the precise moment, he would appear from between each fist of bushes and startle his victim. Though not much fun for the victim, it was amusing to the man and hilarious to those watching. </li></ul>
  39. 39. <ul><li>July, 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Floating the Martha Brae </li></ul>
  40. 40. <ul><li>A shuttle bus takes the visitor into the Blue Mountains where the adventure begins. An elongated bamboo raft, fitted with a bamboo seat for two, and its river guide wait to take the next floaters. Make sure to purchase a six pack of Red Stripe at the concession stand near the dock. Ingeniously, the bottles of Red Stripe are placed in a simple plastic grocery bag with two scoops of ice thrown in. When floating, offer a bottle to the guide. The river guide builds and maintains his own raft replacing it annually. Guides will line up like taxis at an airport and wait for the next customers. The work is obviously seasonal and completely depending on a strong tourist year. The two hour trip downriver, then loading the raft on a trailer to be returned upriver, and then waiting in the taxi-line again, the guide may only get three trips a day. Many guides bring a gourd along and carve the names of the passengers in hopes of selling it to his guests. Strongly consider buying the gourd or at least tipping the guide when the trip has ended. The float is magical, meandering through the Jamaican jungle: abandoned shacks, inquisitive cows, four Jamaican boys fishing for crawdads. Oh, and ask the guide to explain about the haunting of Martha Brae. </li></ul>
  41. 41. <ul><li>April, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Ford's Theater </li></ul>
  42. 42. <ul><li>Still an active theater, Ford’s is known as the locale where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Everyone knows the story from grade school. John Wilkes Booth snuck into the presidential box, fired a shot, jumped to the stage and exited out the back. The actors in the play, “Our American Cousin”, stood dumbfounded as someone inevitably uttered: “Is there a doctor in the house?” Lincoln was carried across the street to the Peterson House where he died the next morning. The seats in the theater are of the period, and usually the stage is bare. Visitors aren’t allowed to visit the balcony, and therefore the presidential box is off limits. Nevertheless, with the draped flags, maroon wallpaper and haunting backlighting, the box becomes mesmerizing. Visitors seem to constantly stare at this focal point. Downstairs, the Ford’s Theater Museum is one of the most fascinating museum in D.C., and not just for the macabre. There are playbills, items from the conspirators, the gun, the dagger, Lincoln’s bloody overcoat and the Peterson pillow. The Peterson House is open across the street with its simple parlor and the back bedroom. A clean well-made bed—rather short—white pillow cases, and two empty chairs at the foot. </li></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>July, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Jenny Lake, Grand Tetons National Park </li></ul>
  44. 44. <ul><li>Hiking around the south side of Jenny Lake is encouraged. While many visitors take the shuttle boat over to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point, a walk around the lake insures deer and elk sightings and a constant presence of the Grand Teton directly above. One may opt to take the shuttle over, hike to Inspiration Point, and then hike back via the lake trail. In any case, an early arrival at Hidden Falls beats some of the crowds. Once above the falls, switchbacks lead to the point, but note that the focus here is not of the Tetons, but rather out toward Jenny, Jackson Hole, and the Gros Ventre Mountain Range beyond. A day hike will take the visitor past the point and into Cascade Canyon, which accesses the western slopes of Grand, Middle, and South Teton. </li></ul>
  45. 45. <ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Ghirardelli Square </li></ul>
  46. 46. <ul><li>Ghirardelli Square is known for some of the best chocolate in the world. This historic part of the San Francisco Bay is located on the west side of Fisherman’s Wharf. Stroll the high end shops and taste many, many samples of chocolate before deciding to buy. There are several places here to dine as well. Sitting at a patio table on a warm summer afternoon, one will experience sweeping views of the Bay and the Golden Gate. </li></ul>
  47. 47. <ul><li>April, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>The Negresco in Nice </li></ul>
  48. 48. <ul><li>This famous red dome on the Promenade des Anglais is the single landmark that allows anyone to view the skyline and recognize Nice. Negresco offers early 20th century European elegance with its ornate exterior design and the interior décor of a palace. Walls, paneled in dark wood, define the lounge. The rotunda showcases an eclectic mix of classic and modern sculpture. </li></ul>
  49. 49. <ul><li>July, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Great Basin National Park </li></ul>
  50. 50. <ul><li>Wheeler Peak and its foothills are protected as Great Basin National Park. River water flows from the mountains here and collects in this basin, which compiles most of central and northern Nevada. This land is the only place in the west where rivers fail to reach either the Pacific or the Gulf of Mexico. Driving here can be a challenge in its own right. Approximately halfway between Salt Lake and Las Vegas, the park is well off the beaten pass in terms of Interstate highways, and is therefore seldom visited. When visiting, be sure to explore Lehman Caves before taking the park road up to the Wheeler Peak Trailhead. Starting early in the morning on a late summer day, one can easily make the hike to the peak and back. For a more moderate hike, drive to the roads end at the campground and find the trailhead to the Bristlecone pine grove. Considered the oldest living things, beating the Redwoods by almost a thousand years, these gnarled trees are the result of centuries of abuse by wind and weather. Trek through meadows of virgin forest and Quaking Aspen trees, past two alpine lakes, and up to the grove. Even more fascinating than walking among this ancient forest are the fallen Bristlecone scattered around, ancestors to those living, yet almost petrified at this altitude. </li></ul>
  51. 51. <ul><li>July, 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Great Falls on the Potomac </li></ul>
  52. 52. <ul><li>Great Falls are the result of the Potomac River squeezing through the narrow Mather Gorge. The river becomes rapid before descending over several cascades and sudden drops. Footbridges to several islands on the Maryland side allow for up close views of the falls, however on the Virginia side, high ridges allow for a more panoramic view. The Patawmack, an early version of the C & O Canal is still visible in Virginia while in Maryland; visitors can follow the towpath along the actual C & O, even taking mule drawn canal boats upstream. In Maryland, exploration from atop the gorge is possible via three strenuous hikes, each over a mile in length. Known as the Billy Goat Trails, hikers must depend on blue cairns painted on fallen boulders. The trails entail jumping from one boulder to the next or squeezing in between narrow crevices. When the hiker reaches the edge of the narrow Mather, the views are well worthwhile. </li></ul>
  53. 53. <ul><li>June, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>The Gateway Arch </li></ul>
  54. 54. <ul><li>Part national icon, part carnival ride, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, or the Gateway Arch, defines the Saint Louis skyline. Those visiting realize immediately that the structure is made of steel instead of stone, and that its white appearance in photographs is somewhat of an illusion. The engineering marvel required to make the two legs connect at the top is as brilliant as the technique to get visitors up there is simple. The arch is actually an enclosed Ferris wheel half buried in the ground. Futuristic white pods, unfortunately without air conditioning, take the visitor up to the observation point. Unlike a Ferris wheel car, the pods are completely enclosed, and resemble a transport similar to something seen in a space movie. Once leaving the pod, the visitor takes steps and then a slanted corridor before reaching the apex. The clearance is near 6’ feet so some basketball players may have to cower. Eastward and directly below is the Mississippi River. Toward the south is an extension of the park, with Cardinal’s Stadium beyond. Looking west is the famous Dred Scott courthouse, and beyond, downtown Saint Louis. </li></ul>
  55. 55. <ul><li>July, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Kootenay National Park </li></ul>
  56. 56. <ul><li>On the western slope of the Canadian Rockies, Kootenay is attached to Banff National Park along the Alberta-British Columbia border. As streams and rivers flow quickly from the crests of these majestic mountains, beautifully picturesque valleys wind their way down along the foothills. The park follows the Vermillion and Kootenay Rivers through meadows and along alpine lakes. There are several hiking trails either accessible by the park road or a spur route. </li></ul>
  57. 57. <ul><li>March, 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Trail of 100 Giants </li></ul>
  58. 58. <ul><li>Generally, the Great Western Divide Highway, which loops into the southern Sierra Nevada Range, closes at the first snowfall and doesn’t open until late spring. It was a great opportunity to make the drive within days after the road opened and before the snow started to melt. The highway is accessible via Porterville, California to the north and Bakersfield, California via Lake Isabella to the south. Considered a new designation by the National Park Service, the Giant Sequoia National Monument is still managed by the National Forest Service. Nevertheless, these agencies have established camping facilities along the highway and several easily accessible trails leading to any number of mountain meadows. There are also fire lanes, which, with a dependable GPS, garner exploration. Significant to the monument is the Trail of 100 Giants. This level trail, extremely easy, meanders through spectacular Sequoia trees, both fallen and standing, for about one half mile, before looping back to the road. </li></ul>
  59. 59. <ul><li>April, 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Guadalupe National Park </li></ul>
  60. 60. <ul><li>Similar to Capitol Reef in Utah, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Texas, represent an island on an ancient inland sea. Along these sheer cliffs and in the lower ravines, millions of fossilized sea animals have been discovered. Sunrise at the Frijole Ranch resulted in a quick snapshot across Manzanita Spring. Deer share the trail up to Smith Spring, a loop of just over two miles. This is western desert country of cacti and sagebrush, so it was a welcomed sight to see a small oasis when approaching Smith Spring. Several full grown shade trees flourish as the spring makes a slight drop off the mountain and flows below the canopy. </li></ul>
  61. 61. <ul><li>July, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Clingman Dome </li></ul>
  62. 62. <ul><li>Clingman Dome borders the states of North Carolina and Tennessee. This dividing line is also shared with the Appalachian Trail. Considered the highest point in Tennessee and one of the highest points in the eastern United States, the peak doesn’t resemble a definitive Appalachian dome topped mountain, it is defined rather by the famous spiral ramped observation tower located at its peak. Clingman is located in the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is accessible via the park road. At state line, a spur road off Newfound Gap travels south to a parking area. The hike is steep, yet short, and also accesses the Appalachian Trail. If limiting the hike to Clingman take the spiral walk up the tower. There are sweeping views of the Smokey’s. An afternoon hike is encouraged; the famous fog and smoke that define these mountains, as well as the Blue Ridge, usually hampers visibility. </li></ul>
  63. 63. <ul><li>April, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Monaco </li></ul>
  64. 64. <ul><li>When the flag is up, the Prince is in the palace. From the Monte Carlo train station, an easy hike toward sea level takes the visitor to the base of a coastal mountain where, over 800 years ago, the Grimaldi Family established their empire. The palace is visible atop this natural fortress. Wide foot ramps allow the visitor to access this area known as Monaco-Ville. Once at the palace, a dominant courtyard is flanked by walls with stationed cannons. Guards stand armed in their shacks, where once a day, the guard changing ceremony begins. The old town is situated between the palace and the Mediterranean. Crooked narrow streets wind along three-storey buildings, a familiar early European design. The Monaco Cathedral serves as a crypt for many generations of Garibaldi's, including Philadelphia-born, Princess Grace. </li></ul>
  65. 65. <ul><li>May, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Hearst Castle </li></ul>
  66. 66. <ul><li>The “Citizen Cane” image is alive in this homage to opulence. At one time reachable only by boat, Hearst Castle stands atop a ridge overlooking California’s central coast. William Randolph allegedly owned this entire coastline. The amazing thing about the estate is that as priceless as the artwork, sculptures, and decor are, it was all given to the California State Park Service by the family. Surely, the more valuable trinkets still remained in the family. The visitor gets to walk through the remnants of the Hearst Estate, but what an experience. The tour begins at the Olympic-size, Greek style swimming pool. One then enters the castle and walks through various parlors, dining rooms, and chambers. Tapestry and paintings are everywhere, at times to excess. Ancient artifacts, many excavated from archeological sites, adorn many an outdoor court. If the outdoor pool honored the Greeks, then the indoor pool honors the Roman bathhouse. During one particular visit, the current Hearst family were engaged in a camping retreat on a clearing off a northern ridge. Several white canvas tents were lined up in a fashion similar to that of a Civil War camp. </li></ul>
  67. 67. <ul><li>April, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Avalon, California </li></ul>
  68. 68. <ul><li>The excursion boat, Catalina Express, will jet across the channel from either Long Beach or San Pedro, arriving in Avalon Harbor approximately two hours later. The village has a Mediterranean feel about it. One can walk or bike anywhere, or rent a golf cart. The large round structure at north harbor is called the Casino. Almost one hundred years old, the Casino houses an art deco theater built during the golden age of Hollywood, with detailed murals in the foyer, extravagant drapery in the auditorium, and walls trimmed in gold flake. A dance floor encompasses the entire top floor of the building in grand ballroom style. During World War Two, famous bandleaders would arrive from the mainland. Avalon hosts glass bottom boats tours, both day and night, as well as fishing, snorkeling, and scuba rentals off the dock. Rent a golf cart and drive up to the Holly House or up to the Wrigley Estate. On Friday evening the little town fills with weekenders from throughout the L.A. Basin and all intent on partying. </li></ul>
  69. 69. <ul><li>December, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Ellis Island </li></ul>
  70. 70. <ul><li>Passengers visiting the Statue of Liberty by boat have the added bonus of stopping at Liberty’s neighboring island, Ellis. The park service claims that 40% of American people can trace their ancestry through this entry port. The red brick, red roofed building, identifiable by the four grey cupolas at each corner, is quite an impressive place, and with a staggering sense of history; halls once filled with the dispossessed, the tired, the hungry, yearning to be free. In the foyer, bureaus, cases and parcels have been collected and stacked into a large pile, unvalued and indistinguishable. The large processing room takes on a feeling a DMV line. Language barriers, elements of racism, indignant anger, and separation of families all transpired here beneath arched windows and two extended American flags. </li></ul>
  71. 71. <ul><li>August, 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>Novadevichy Necropolis </li></ul>
  72. 72. <ul><li>Moscow’s City of the Dead houses some of the most famous politicians, soldiers, and artists in Russia. Stroll among the headstones of Chekov and Shostakovich; shaded narrow paths among overcrowded plots. The Necropolis is part of much larger monastery which in itself holds its share of Russian heirlooms. One needs only to visit a Russian church to realize the misconception of Russia as a godless country. There is a fee to enter the grounds and for a few extra dollars, one can buy a hard cover, high gloss book which explains, in both Russian and English, the location of every grave. Novadevichy is a relatively short walk from the Moscow Metro. </li></ul>
  73. 73. <ul><li>July, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Haight Ashbury </li></ul>
  74. 74. <ul><li>The streets are crowded in this famous San Francisco neighborhood. Disenfranchised youths sought solace here, and still do, following in the footsteps of Kerouac, who promoted such a location, inviting an alternate existence, in On the Road . Two generations after the Haight’s heyday, shops cater to an eccentric clientele, selling spirituality, alternative lifestyles, and anything else offering mind expansion. </li></ul>
  75. 75. <ul><li>May, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Atop Half Dome </li></ul>
  76. 76. <ul><li>After seven miles, four hours, and a vertical climb via cables, reaching the view from one of the most famous natural landmarks in the world is well worth the hike. Begin early in the morning before the crowds arrive, and make the first leg to Vernal Falls. The Mist Trail will be at its chilliest, and that’s unfortunate, because once the day is warm enough to make the spray more refreshing, the slippery steps are inundated with other hikers climbing to the crest of the Vernal. Above Vernal, the trail meanders, crossing and following the Merced River to the foot of Nevada Falls. The steady climb of switchbacks rises to the crest of Nevada. Pause to catch breath and then continue onward through Little Yosemite Valley and the final ascent up the back of Half Dome. Once at the base of this gigantic monolith, grab some leather gloves from the box jammed between crevices. The gloves are compliments of the park service and necessary to make the final climb. Return them to the box when leaving. By starting early, there will be no traffic in front to delay this final and most arduous ascent. Each year, at a date determined by the park service, two cables, with planks strategically placed as steps, are put in position, permitting climbers to make the final ascent. </li></ul>
  77. 77. <ul><li>June, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Mark Twain's Hannibal </li></ul>
  78. 78. <ul><li>The lighthouse sits on Cardiff Hill overlooking both the Hannibal and the Mississippi. Between the lighthouse and the town, this statue; a simple bronze image of two boys going fishing, is placed. Further into town, a whitewashed picket fence designates the childhood home of Samuel Clemens. The home is typical of those built in the ever expansive wilderness two centuries ago. Samuel’s father had his offices directly across the street, next door to Becky’s house. Samuel spent his young adult years working on a Mississippi riverboat, and heard constantly the shout of mark twain, a signal that the boat was too close to shallow water. The influence of Hannibal on Mark Twain is evident in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . From Cardiff Hill, one can see an island, possibly the location where the escapees set up camp. One can also see Illinois, where Paps lived. The irony is that Illinois was a free state and therefore Huck and Jim didn’t have to float down to Cairo to be free, they only had to cross the river. But of course, that would make the story moot. To justify a long raft trip rather then just a river crossing, one can simply argue for the two’s lack of book learnin’. </li></ul>
  79. 79. <ul><li>August, 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>Moscow's Old Arbat Street </li></ul>
  80. 80. <ul><li>This narrow, cobblestone Ulitsa hearkens back to pre-revolutionary Moscow. Closed to motorized traffic, Arbat is lined with high end boutiques and cafes. The most popular café for the ex-pats on my visit was called Jose Cuervo’s, which offered a pretty close resemblance to Baja California pub grub. Street performers, everyone from freak show clowns to dancing poodles, and local artisans, all willing to haggle for their work, had strategically staked out part of Arbat. Of course, trinket kiosks are there; Russian eggs and matryoshka dolls, nesting everything from Russian leaders starting with Ivan the Terrible to the characters of South Park. On weekends, kiosks sells shawarma. Rod iron railings cover second-storey Victorian windows and hold pots of flowers in full bloom. On one afternoon an aged comrade introduced himself, dismissed my home country, and offered me a drink from his vodka bottle. Regretfully, I declined this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Later that evening, I discovered him passed out, vertically, with bottle nearly empty but firmly in grip, his body supported by a stoop column. </li></ul>
  81. 81. <ul><li>April, 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Joshua Tree National Park </li></ul>
  82. 82. <ul><li>Through Joshua trees cover much of the entire Mojave Desert, the plateau north of Palm Springs, California has been designated a National Park. A springtime drive from the south entrance to the north, by Twenty-Nine Palms, allows one to see the desert in bloom. Particularly haunting is the ocotillo cactus, with multiple limbs well over six-feet high and all pointing in the same direction. The blooms, teardrop shaped, are a striking red. Prime viewing for this amazing display is just after the sun breaks from the morning horizon. Throughout the park, rock jumbles invite a climb. Look specifically for the formation known as the human skull. Plan an early morning trek to Ryan Mountain, at over 5400 feet; it is the tallest climb in the park. </li></ul>
  83. 83. <ul><li>March, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Hollywood Sign </li></ul>
  84. 84. <ul><li>Difficult to access, the Hollywood sign has been off limits for years, surely due to its infamous involvement in starlet suicides. Nevertheless, there are many places to either drive or hike to get a good look see. There are trails in Griffith Park which can provide a good vantage point, otherwise, just drive the residential area around Universal Studios, follow a street up to its obvious cul-de-sac, being careful not to park in a private drive or parking place, get out quickly, photograph, and immediately return to the Hollywood Freeway. No trespassing sides are common in these neighborhoods. </li></ul>
  85. 85. <ul><li>July, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Great Smoky Mountains </li></ul>
  86. 86. <ul><li>The common image of fog nestled among the valleys and ridges throughout the Appalachia, has required a fitting name in this National Park on the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The drive across the great eastern divide and the Appalachian Trail, just below Clingman Dome, and down toward Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, is one of the best drives in the United States. Dollywood is just down the road a spell. Of particular interest is the thirty mile road down to Cades Cove, where settlers established homes for generations. The government bought out the homesteaders interests in an effort to annex into the park. Many buildings, churches, and graveyards are still intact. Once, when camping, a bear ran at top speed through the campsite; the photograph was a blur. Driving along the Cades Cove Loop, another bear crossed the road in front and casually wandered into the woods. Also at Cades, a park ranger stopped his car to alert vehicles of a mother bear and her three cubs dining in the branches directly above the roadway. Mother, of course, was on the lower branch. </li></ul>
  87. 87. <ul><li>April, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Promenade des Anglais </li></ul>
  88. 88. <ul><li>For well over one hundred years, starting with the Russian aristocracy who sought warmer climes than their Siberian winters, the Promenade des Anglais has courted the European bourgeois society. It’s casually crescent shape walkway, colorfully shaded tables, and delicious French cuisine explain the appeal. Because of the popularity of Nice, the Russians built a replica of Saint Basil’s Cathedral, only several blocks inland. Matisse lived a block away. Negresco became the hotel of choice. Louisa May Alcott’s placed one of her characters in Little Women on the Promenade. F. Scott Fitzgerald based at least two novels along this famous thoroughfare. Today, weekend traffic includes pedestrians visiting for the first time, dog walkers, and bicyclists. There are street entertainers, from high jumping inline skaters to a Peruvian band. There are sunbathers, some semi-nude staking claim to the gravel-like beach. For those expecting a Caribbean water temperature, the Mediterranean will require getting used to. </li></ul>
  89. 89. <ul><li>February, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Idyllwild, California </li></ul>
  90. 90. <ul><li>Los Angelenos usually pick two mountain destinations in an effort to beat the summer heat. Big Bear Lake and Idyllwild are much cooler than the L.A. basin or Palm Desert, and a perfect respite providing the Santa Ana winds don’t spark a few wildfires. Idyllwild is just over the San Jacinto Mountains from Palm Springs, but obviously at a much higher altitude. The peak is snow capped well into spring. The run-off flows through the southern slope amidst a beautiful pine forest. The small town of Idyllwild is like its name suggests: idyllic, with many bed and breakfasts, cafes, shops and boutiques, it a great place for a hike or an afternoon of relaxation. </li></ul>
  91. 91. <ul><li>July, 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Lassen Peak </li></ul>
  92. 92. <ul><li>At over 10,000 feet the climb to Lassen Peak is one of the most arduous two mile hikes in California. From a parking area at the elevation of 8000, the hiker immediately makes the ascent. Switchbacks over barren ash fields, through jumbles, and across snow drifts, tax even the most seasoned hiker. When the trail climbs above the tree line, animals and vegetation are scarce. Only picas were scavenging about the trail. Birds would brace the persistent winds and swoop down for an occasional insect or visible seedling. Blue-eyed Mary’s and Blue Violet’s spread wild in patches and shared the eastern face with snowfields. From the saddle on a southern ridge, Mount Shasta comes into view, seemingly a stone’s throw away, standing alone as northern California’s definitive natural monument, always snowcapped and usually attracting a cloud bank. Up the ridge on a final ascent, the wind is stronger and brisker; there is heavier snowpack, and then the summit; 10,457. A cabin was once here, inhabited by a man and his dog for the purpose of sighting wildfires. When to top erupted in 1914, the two escaped with their lives and only parts of the foundation remain. </li></ul>
  93. 93. <ul><li>August, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Ocean City, Maryland </li></ul>
  94. 94. <ul><li>Baltimore and the D.C.’s weekend destination during the summer, Ocean City is Maryland’s answer to Atlantic City only without the gambling. There are miles and miles of hotels and condominiums, and a substantial boardwalk that offers standard boardwalk fare. Pub grub and carnival food are the order of the day: snow cones, churros, and funnel cakes. There are the typical oddities like a wax museum and Ripley’s Believe it or Not. There are eccentric little art galleries using seashells and sea life as the medium. Plenty of video arcades are inviting as are a couple carnival-like amusement rides. The south pier heads out into the Atlantic Ocean, and visitors can take the stroll to a point. During most of the day only fishermen get to pay the rights to access the pier to its end. Ocean City is a soft sanded beach, however the water and the coastal breeze can get chilly, even in August. Afternoons are the most pleasant but also the most windy. It is not uncommon to find a horseshoe crab in the shallows. They are not harmful. Pick one up and view this freak of evolution from its underbelly. Its legs maneuvering like an insect. </li></ul>
  95. 95. <ul><li>July, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Our Lucaya </li></ul>
  96. 96. <ul><li>Located on Grand Bahamas, the northernmost populated island of the Bahamian chain, Our Lucaya is a Sheraton Westin Inn Resort that has amenities beyond the property grounds. The resort itself offers fine dining, high end boutiques, and casino gambling, but there are also places to rent watercraft, places to parasail, and places to just relax and enjoy the Bahamian weather. Probably the bazaar located across the street from the resort is the most amazing. Nestled between the marina and the resort, these aqua blue colored buildings offer jewelry and clothing stores, beach and souvenir shops, and a wide variety of ethnic restaurants, from Italian to Mexican. There are many party bars and taverns, and a central stage for outdoor dancing and partying. The Bahamians love their Junkanoo; a mixture of African, Hip Hop and marching band music. Being in the Bahamas during the Junkanoo festival is quite a treat. Try the Bahamian beer called Kalik, very light and pleasant. From Our Lucaya, take a beach hike westward to an inlet about two miles west. </li></ul>
  97. 97. <ul><li>June, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Blue Mesa </li></ul>
  98. 98. <ul><li>Take the Petrified Forest National Park exit off the I-40 and swing around beneath the interstate south toward the Blue Mesa. While this Arizona park has an abundant supply of petrified trees, most of the trees accessible by the public are located in the south region of the park. On the way, one will drive along the south rim of Painted Desert and then take a spur route eastward to the Blue Mesa. While the Painted Desert is colored in reds and oranges, the Mesa is painted in grays and blues. A trail allows the visitor to leave the parking area and hike through the Mesa on a mile-long loop. </li></ul>
  99. 99. <ul><li>March, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Beverly Hills </li></ul>
  100. 100. <ul><li>Definitive southern California streets lined with palm are located anywhere through the city. Many are easy to find by simply following a map to movie stars homes. The safest area to park and hike along these streets would be to park the automobile somewhere along the Miracle Mile, where Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevard intersect. Walk across Santa Monica Boulevard and access the blocks north. Walk among the trees and check out the beautiful houses on prime real estate. Stroll several blocks before returning to Santa Monica Boulevard. South of Santa Monica, walk among the boutiques and eateries on and around Rodeo Drive. </li></ul>

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