Main Page      Travel blog      Travel news      Travel articles      Travel resources

Travel articles

June 27, 2007, 5:54 PM CT

One last road trip

One last road trip
Our final trip with the 2007 Dartmouth Ski Team was a special one for the athletes, coaches, and administrators who have dedicated so much to the ski team in particular and Dartmouth Athletics in general. At the White House on June 18, President George W. Bush honored 27 of this year's NCAA Division-1 national championship teams-of which we were one-in an afternoon-long celebration that included a tour of the White House, a personal meeting with President Bush, and Presidential remarks delivered on the South Lawn.

Having gone our separate ways after winning the ski championship, we arrived at Washington's Hotel Sofitel from all corners of the country-some from Hanover, others from Colorado and Texas, myself from New York City where I'm spending the summer on an internship. Having the team together was pleasant reunion because end-of-term finals and graduation rarely allow much time to say goodbye to so a number of of the people that influenced our lives at Dartmouth.

The weather in the nation's capital on Monday was unbearably hot, and so the hotel rooms were a welcome oasis for team members exchanging laughs, stories, and our new national championship rings. When we arrived at the Northeast entrance to the White House at around 2:30 p.m., we were greeted by our chaperone for the day, a White House staff member who escorted us through security and into the air-conditioned first floor of the White House and eventually to the main floor. Our chaperone was pleasant and informative, but constantly stressed by the buzz of his Blackberry, so we called him 'Super Intern'. He led us through a midst of Secret Service and formally dressed Navy men and women, into the red and blue rooms, and finally to the Dartmouth Ski Team's meeting area in the State Dining Room.........

Posted by: Lee      Read more         Source

April 29, 2007, 4:06 PM CT

Denali, the "High One"

Denali, the "High One," is the name Athabascan native people gave the massive peak that crowns the 600-mile-long Alaska Range. Denali is also the name of an immense national park and preserve created from the former Mount McKinley National Park. In 1917 Mount McKinley National Park was established as a game refuge. The park and the massif including North America's highest peak were named for former senator - later President - William McKinley. In 1980, the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) enlarged the boundary by 4 million acres and redesignated it as Denali National Park and Preserve. It exemplifies interior Alaska's character as one of the world's last great frontiers, its wilderness is largely unspoiled.

More than 650 species of flowering plants as well as many species of mosses, lichens, fungi, algae, and others grace the slopes and valleys of Denali. Only plants adapted to long, cold winters and short growing seasons can survive in this subarctic wilderness. Permafrost ground underlies many areas of the park, where only a thin layer of topsoil is available to support life. After the continental glaciers retreated from most of the park 10,000 to 14,000 years ago, hundreds of years were required to begin building new soils and revegetation. The dynamic glaciated landscape provides large rivers, countless lakes and ponds, and unique landforms which form the foundation of the ecosystems that thrive Denali.........

Posted by: Lee      Read more         Source

Sun, 15 Apr 2007 17:42:53 GMT

Great Gable and the Great War Memorial Tablet

Great Gable and the Great War Memorial Tablet
A glorious day for walking. Clear sky, cool and sunny. We decided to do Great Gable, not from Wasdale as illustrated above, but from the Slate Mine on Honister Pass. Sadly, although visibility was excellent, with the sun came haze and so it was not the greatest day for photographs.

The path up from the slate mine

The purist will say tackling the Gables from this starting point is cheating, as you have won a thousand feet before you get out of the car. But we have been up Gable a fair few times, and this was an ideal day for a family walk across from the Slate Factory, looking down on Haystacks and Innominate Tarn, around which Wainwright's ashes are scattered:
"All I ask for, at the end, is a last long resting place by the side of Innominate Tarn on Haystacks, where the water gently laps the gravely shore and the heath blooms and Pillar and Gable keep unfailing watch. A quiet place, a lonely place, I shall go to it, for the last time and be carried: someone who knew me in life will take me and empty me out of a little box and leave me there alone.

And if you dear reader, should get a bit of grit in your boot as you are crossing Haystacks in the years to come, please treat it with respect. It might be me...."


Open cut mining on the slopes opposite

This walk provides spectacular views over Buttermere, Ennerdale and Wasdale.

Looking down over Buttermere and Crummock

The Gables come into view

We followed Moses Trod and then, after a quick glance down at Wasdale, up Great Gable. On the summit there is the famous Great War Memorial Tablet, now nearly sixty three years old.


Great Gable, June 8th, 1924


On Whit Sunday the Club completed its task of a permanent and magnificent memorial to members who fell in the Great War. In October, 1923, the title-deeds of 3,000 acres of high mountain had been handed over to the National Trust. The rocks, buttresses, and recesses of Lingmell, Great End, Allan Crags, Green Gable, Great Gable, Kirkfell and other peaks east and west of Sty Head Pass had been secured, as Dr. Wakefield (the new President) declared, to us and our children for ever.

Geoffrey Winthrop Young, a veteran of the Piave front,pronounced the following eloquent tribute to the fallen:

Upon this mountain summit we are met to-day to dedicate this space of hills to freedom.

Upon this rock are set the names of men-our brothers, and our comrades upon these cliffs-who held, with us, that there is no freedom ot the soil where the spirit of man is in bondage; and who surrendered their part in the fellowship of hill and wind, and sunshine,that the freedom of this land, the freedom of our spirit, should endure.

This bronze stands, high upon the crowning glory of our free land, as a sign between us and them; our covenant that those to whom in the time to come we, too, shall be but as these names,or as less than these names, still hold their freedom of this splendour of height, still breathe its fearless health, the inspiration of its faultless pleasure free still, amid these untrammelled forces, to perfect their own vision of what is beautiful, interpret for themselves their own discovery of what seems true.

By this ceremony we consecrate a twofold remembrance; in token that these men gave their mortality of manhood for a redemption of earthly freedom, this rock stands, a witness, perishable also in the onset of time, that this realm of mountain earth is, in their honour, free. In token that their sacrifice bears witness still, beyond death, to the imperishable ideal of spiritual liberty, we commit to-day, not in bronze, but in unalterable faith, our thought of their triumph in the spirit to these spaces of power and light.

By this symbol we affirm a twofold trust: that which hills only can give their children,the disciplining of strength in freedom, the freeing of the spirit through generous service, these free hills shall give again, and for all time.

The memory of all that these children ot the hills have given-service, and inspiration, fulfilled, and perpetual-this free heart of our hills shall guard.

The Great War Memorial Tablet in 1924

The Great War Memorial Tablet 12th April, 2007

However many times I see this Tablet, I never fail to be moved by it.

And then it was the scramble down to Windy Gap, harder on the knees than the ascent, up to Green Gable and then a gradual walk back to the mine, taking in Brandreth and Grey Knotts on the way.

A great day out.Labels: Gable, Lake District, Slate Mine, Wainwright

Posted by: Dr John Crippen      Read more     Source

Thu, 12 Apr 2007 23:27:04 GMT


People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park. The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Today visitors come to Acadia to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.

More Information
Welcome to the new Acadia National Park website! We are adding new content every day. Until the transition to the new site is complete, some links may take you to the previous site. Thanks for your patience; the end result will be worth the wait! 
Winter Activities
Yes, we're open in the winter! Many facilities are closed, but you can still explore the park. When a fresh snow blankets the historic carriage roads, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing offer peaceful exploration. Snowmobiling and ice fishing are also popular activities.
Place to Go
Acadia National Park and the surrounding area are full of scenic and historic destinations. See a lighthouse up-close, explore exhibits at the Nature Center, and more.
Ranger-Led Programs
From late May through early October, park rangers present a variety of programs in the park. Hikes, walks, talks, boat tours, and evening presentations are offered most days.
Write to
Acadia National Park
P.O. Box 177
Bar Harbor, ME 0E-mail

Visitor Information
(207) 288-3338

(207) 288-8800
(207) 288-8813

Arrive prepared for a wide variety of weather conditions. Summer temperatures vary from 45º F to 85º F, spring and fall temperatures from 30º F to 70º F. You may encounter rain and fog at any time, and snow and ice are common in the winter.
 Did You Know?
The historic carriage road system at Acadia National Park features 17 stone-faced bridges spanning streams, waterfalls, cliffs, and roads. The design of each bridge, such as Cobblestone Bridge, is unique.

Posted by: Gracy      Read more     Source

December 13, 2006, 7:47 PM CT

Drinking, drugs and driving

Drinking, drugs and driving
One in three drivers suspected of driving while 'over the limit,' but subsequently found to be below maximum permissible levels of alcohol, nevertheless tested positive for a range of drugs, reveals research in Injury Prevention.

The findings prompt the authors to call for routine drugs testing in all drivers who are suspected of being over the limit for alcohol.

The researchers base their findings on 2000 blood and urine specimens taken from drivers who had been stopped by police on suspicion of driving while 'under the influence' over a period of two years in Ireland.

Half of the specimens were below the maximum legal alcohol limit of 80 mg/100 ml for blood and 107 mg/100 ml for urine. The other half were all above.

But when analysed further, one in three samples below the legal limit, tested positive for a range of drugs. These drivers were also more likely to be taking a cocktail of drugs.

This rate was almost twice as high as that of drivers over the legal limit, one in seven of whom tested positive for drugs.

The drugs found included amphetamines, metamphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, opiates and the heroin substitute methadone. The most commonly found drug was cannabis.

Rates of testing positive for drugs were marginally higher among men than they were among women.........

Posted by: Lee      Permalink         Source

October 31, 2006, 9:27 PM CT

Save Threatened Turtles

Save Threatened Turtles Cayman Islands loggerhead turtle
Credit: Janice Blumentha
Ecology and conservation experts from the University of Exeter today urge international governments to work together to protect threatened Caribbean sea turtle populations.

The Cayman Islands, a UK Overseas Territory, once supported one of the world's largest sea turtle rookeries, which comprised some 6.5 million adult green and loggerhead turtles. These populations were driven into decline from the mid-1600s onwards, when massive harvesting of nesting turtles began. Only a few dozen individuals survive today.

New research, led by the University of Exeter's School of Biosciences and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, reveals the astonishing distances these animals travel and the extent to which they are now threatened. The study was published open access today in the international conservation journal Endangered Species Research.

Marine turtles spend most of their lives at sea, but where these Cayman Islands survivors live when they are not nesting has been a mystery until now. Experts from the University of Exeter, the Cayman Islands Department of Environment and Duke University, USA, followed the journeys of ten endangered adult females over three years.

Using satellite transmitters, the team tracked the turtles travelling as far as Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and the USA. On these long journeys, turtles face the risk of being caught for meat, as well as accidentally captured by shrimp trawls, longlines, and gillnets. As turtles travel across boundaries between countries, conservation legislation is inconsistently applied and enforced, leaving them vulnerable.........

Posted by: Lee      Permalink         Source

September 25, 2006, 7:09 PM CT

Prince Edward Island

AND SO BEGINS Your Guide to Familiar Birds of Prince Edward Island, a pocket-sized, colour guide to some of the most sought out birds in the province. The book was compiled and written by legendary Island naturalist, the late Geoff Hogan, and published in 1991 by Ragweed Press, 222 Grafton St., Charlottetown.

In this handy, take-along paperback, Mr. Hogan has included 90 colour photos of everything from Eastern Kingbirds to Greater Yellowlegs. Accompanying text for each of these species and about 100 others outlines such details as habitat, when to find them and unique characteristics that will aid in identification.

Prince Edward Islanders have always enjoyed a unique relationship with nature. In a province where agriculture, fishing and tourism are the driving forces behind the economy, Islanders take very seriously the responsibility of being the guardians of one of Mother Nature's most glorious works of art.

In all, there are about 333 species of birds found in this rolling tapestry we here are so proud to call home. Therefore, from birders who have just bought their first set of binoculars to those who have travelled the world in order to add to their lists of lifetime sightings, there is something on PEI for everyone.

Considering the abundance of bird life in the province, it is not surprising that Prince Edward Island has become a bird-watching hot spot over the last several years, says Kate MacQuarrie, Executive Director of Island Nature Trust, a non-profit organization devoted to the protection and management of natural areas.........

Posted by: Lee      Permalink         Source

September 21, 2006, 4:37 AM CT

Bahamas Sailing Vacations

Bahamas Sailing Vacations
The treasure of the Caribbean Sea, the Bahamas is the country of nearly 700 islands, a stunning combination of magnificent reefs, and man-made miracles. The Gulf Stream is responsible for an astonishing variety of marine life. The Bahamas enjoys an international reputation for sailing, regattas, and races. The best season for a Bahamas sailing vacation is from November to March, but the peak period is from the middle of December to the middle of January.

Bahamas sailing vacations are very different from regular beach vacations. Exciting sailing activities are arranged by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism during the peak period. The diverse underwater parks offer inexhaustible challenges to snorkelers and divers. Long stretches of shoreline show the world's most stunning unsullied beaches. The inland gardens and National Parks house rare and endangered species of wildlife. Regardless of age, one can enjoy Bahamas sailing vacations with friends, family, or all alone.

Luxurious to economic sailing options are available in the Bahamas. Depending on the budget, one can opt from a variety of charters, ferries, and yachts. Bahamas sailing vacations can be planned for half a day to eight days. Morning, afternoon, evening, and overnight, as well as all-day sails are available. A number of charters in the Bahamas provide a sailboat, catamaran, or motor yacht for rent or lease.........

Posted by: Lee      Permalink         Source

September 19, 2006, 10:18 PM CT

Nostalgic Look at Mother England

Nostalgic Look at Mother England
Mother England.

There's no place like home.

I am always at a loss for an answer when people ask me where I am from. In 30+ years I have moved house 30+ times, so you can appreciate my confusion. I have lived in Cardiff, capital of Wales, for the past few years, but I am (very) English.

I thank Wales daily for her hospitality. She provides a kind of safe comfort, like that of an over-stuffed chintz armchair in the parlour of an affectionate great-auntie; the sort of great-auntie who pinches your cheeks and plies you with cake. However, despite England's dubious history, England is my mother and therefore has my heart.

I once heard that one's own culture becomes stronger when one is immersed in another culture, perhaps to defend and preserve it? All my family were born in England, but I spent my early childhood with them in the USA. I had a very happy time there and could write volumes on its beauty, but I always kept England on the highest pedestal. We would very occasionally make a long drive to an English shop selling Weetabix, real marmalade, authentic Marmite and proper tea. It was like a sacred pilgrimage.

My family is from Sussex (a county on the south coast), and we used to go back to visit my grandparents every now and then. I remember the crisp white tablecloth, the strict table manners, and the sugar bowl sporting a portrait of the Queen and silver sugar tongs. I was always asking why strange things existed such as the saucer under the teacup, or the lace antimacassar on the back of the chair. In truth I found the formality refreshingly intimidating next to the playful freedom of America. When we moved back though, I felt a school tie at the age of seven was going a bit far. Apart from that, to me England was heaven.........

Posted by: Lee      Permalink         Source

August 25, 2006, 4:35 PM CT

Riviera Maya Paradise On Earth

Riviera Maya Paradise On Earth
Riviera Maya is the ideal vacation destination for tourists visiting Mexico. Many content vacationers refer to Riviera Maya as paradise on Earth.

Riviera Maya has something for everyone, whether it is sports, dining, shopping or just simply relaxing. The warm climate of the Caribbean is refreshing. The days are sunny and warm and the nightlife is vibrant and eclectic and there is always a party that one can join.

Riviera Maya offers many top of the line hotels that can cater to your every need. There are also rustic cabins built on the edge of the jungle or facing the sea for those who enjoy being closer to nature. A vacation in Riviera will be one that you wont soon forget.........

Posted by: Lee      Permalink         Source

July 24, 2006, 5:41 PM CT

The Islands Of Hawaii

The Islands Of Hawaii
Hawaii is an archipelago of over nineteen distinct volcanic islands located over a geological "hot spot" in the Pacific. The Pacific plate on which the islands ride moves to the northwest, so in general the islands are older and smaller (due to erosion) as you move from southeast to northwest. There are eight major islands, six of which are open to tourism.

The island of Hawaii, always known as the Big Island, is the largest island, and lends its name to the whole island chain. Larger than all the other islands combined and still expanding in land area thanks to the active volcanoes on its southeastern coast, it is home to the major resort area of Kona, two of the world's largest mountains, and the world's most active volcano.

Oahu, nicknamed "the Gathering Place," is the most populous and developed island. Its southeastern shore is home to the city of Honolulu; four out of every five Hawaii residents call it home. It is the governmental and commercial center of the state, and Waikiki Beach is arguably the best known tourist destination in Hawaii. Outside the city are pineapple and sugar cane fields, and the North Shore of Oahu, which is known each winter as the home of some of the largest waves in the world.

Maui is the second largest island in the chain and is home to 10,023 foot tall Haleakala. It is nicknamed "the Valley Isle" for the narrow plain between Haleakala and the West Maui mountains. On the west side of the island are the resort areas of Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kihei, and Wailea. On the east side is the tiny village of Hana, reached by one of the most winding and beautiful roads in the world.........

Posted by: Lee      Permalink         Source

July 16, 2006, 5:25 PM CT

Italy The Land Of History

Italy The Land Of History
Italy is one of those countries about which you probably have quite many preconceptions before you have put one foot into the country. A country of olive oil and mafia, pasta, wine and sunshine, roman ruins and renaissance palaces, Italy has a lot to offer its visitors. Eventhough some of these images are appealing, it would be a shame if that was the only thing you come away with. Italy is certainly much more complex and interesting than that.

Italy is a modern country with deep Roman Catholic roots, full of interesting stuff for the casual tourist and even more for the educated visitor. It is easy to spend two weeks in major tourist centers without any reason to get bored, but it is equally simple to get off the beaten track. In the north, next to the Alps and the flatlands of the Po river, both cultural jewels and highly developed industrial cities attract. This is where Italy's economic heart beats, but even in the bustling cities, people live the "la vita Italiana".........

Posted by: Lee      Permalink         Source

July 16, 2006, 1:40 PM CT

Amazing Spain

Amazing Spain
Spain is more than bullfights, flamenco dancers and crowded beaches. It's a spectacular and diverse country, the north resembling the rolling, green hills of Ireland and the south giving you a taste of Moroccan landscapes and architecture. Its tremendous history is reflected in its prehistoric cave paintings, Moorish palaces, crumbling castles, Roman ruins, Gothic and Renaissance cathedrals as well as some very unique modern architecture. The uniqueness of Spain lies in the separate kingdoms which made up the original Spanish nation. These regions remain diverse in their language, culture, cuisine and art. These regions include: Andalucía, Aragon, Asturias, Basque Country, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla Leon, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra and Valencia. Areas of interest are not limited to each region, here are some highlights:.


Excellent and quiet beaches can be found near Malaga, Huelva and Almería in the south as well as near the coasts of La Manga, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and Euskadi. If you do enjoy extremely developed resort towns, there are plenty of crowded beaches on the Costa de la Luz and the Costa del Sol. Interesting is the harbour of Almerimar with cosy bars, just south of El Ejido (Almeria).........

Posted by: Lee      Permalink         Source

July 16, 2006, 11:30 AM CT

History of Netherlands

History of Netherlands
The country was part of the Holy Roman Empire until it was acquired piece by piece by the Burgundians. At the end of the middle ages, it became a Spanish possession (together with what is now Belgium). Little survives from this period, except a few historic city centers, and a few castles.

Following a revolt led by national hero Willem van Oranje (William of Orange), the father of the currently ruling House van Oranje (of Orange), the Spanish were kicked out as part of the Thirty Year's War (known as the Eighty Year's War in the Netherlands: 1568-1648). The split with Belgium came when the northern provinces signed the Union of Utrecht in 1579.

It grew to become one of the major economic and seafaring powers in the world during the 17th century, which is known as the Gouden Eeuw, or Golden Age, in the Netherlands. During this period, a number of colonies were founded or conquered, including Indonesia and New York, which was later traded with the British for Suriname.

In 1815 it became a kingdom (its status being somewhat ambiguous before that) together with Belgium. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. Avoiding the liberal revolutions of 1848, The Netherlands quietly became a constitutional monarchy and remained neutral in World War I but suffered a brutal invasion and occupation by Gera number of in World War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EC, and participated in the introduction of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 1999.........

Posted by: Lee      Permalink         Source

June 27, 2006, 9:44 PM CT

A Park In Danger

A Park In Danger
Previously, it was thought, islands of land could be preserved forever by simply drawing national park boundaries. Today, it is clear that this is untrue. National parks are not islands. They are greatly impacted by what happens outside their boundaries.

A wood stork silently wades shallow waters like a drum major in slow motion. Bill submerged, its great, dark head sweeps back and forth across shallow, murky waters like a robot on an assembly line. Mixed metaphors of wild nature and human technology befit this endangered wading bird. Its dramatic decline in numbers symbolizes the magnitude of environmental threats stalking today's Everglades. "River of Grass" was the description affixed to this gently sloping, mostly level landscape in the 1940s by pioneering conservationist Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Within the park this river still flows slowly toward sea and gulf.

Its grandeur is now severely threatened, however, and the death of the Everglades could occur. The rock beneath this first national park created to protect a threatened ecological system is just 6,000 to 8,000 years old and in its infancy. South Florida surfaced only since the Ice Age. Nowhere do Everglades landscapes top 8 feet (2.4 meters) above sea level. And like some low island, this subtropical region enjoys no source of water but the rains that fall on it.........

Posted by: Lee      Permalink

June 27, 2006, 9:40 PM CT

Greenbelt Park

Greenbelt Park
Hike or camp and discover the urban oasis of Greenbelt Park.

Greenbelt Park is a retreat from the pressures of city life and a refuge for native plants and animals just twelve miles from Washington, D.C.

Make plans to visit Washington, D.C. and stay at Greenbelt Park's campground for only $14 a night. The campground is on a first come first serve basis. The campground has not filled in the past Summers due to having 174 sites.

The Greenbelt campground is known for its safety, affordability, peaceful surroundings and National Park Service hospitality.

The campground includes hot showers, bathroom facilities, and use of the dump station for RV's. There are no electrical or water hookups. Cash and checks are taken at the campground fee booth. No credit cards can be used for payment on site. Please use self-registration envelopes when fee booth is closed. A Campground Host is available in the campground after hours for assistance.

Scouts- There is the A Campground Loop designated for Scouts only. Reservations are mandatory for all scouts. Please call the park to reserve space in the Scout campground area.

Greenbelt or College Park Metro Subway Station (to Washington,D.C.) - 2 miles.

Downtown Washington, D.C. (White House, Washington Monument, Smithsonian museums) - 12 miles.........

Posted by: Lee      Permalink