Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for March, 2022

The Grand Canyon of Texas

By Linda Tancs

America’s second-largest canyon lies in the Texas Panhandle at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, It’s about 120 miles long, 20 miles wide and up to 800 feet deep. The canyon features four geologic layers of distinct colors in its walls as well as otherworldly hoodoos. Living in those canyon walls is one of the park’s smallest inhabitants, the Palo Duro mouse. About 8 inches long, it lives in only three Texas counties, one of the largest populations being in the park.

London’s Oldest Bookshop

By Linda Tancs

Hatchards is London’s oldest bookshop. It was established in 1797 by publisher John Hatchard and has occupied its current space at 187 Piccadilly since Georgian times. Far from a crusty old bookstore, it shelves are lined with the latest bestsellers and contemporary works along with time-honored classics. The store’s dedicated team can even source out-of-print titles. As one might expect, they’re the Official Bookseller to the Royal Household.

The Legend of Dead Horse Point

By Linda Tancs

According to legend, Dead Horse Point was used by cowboys to herd wild mustangs roaming the mesa top. Even more legendary, though, is the view, one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world. Located a short distance from Utah’s Arches National Park and Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point State Park‘s namesake overlook provides sweeping views of the canyons as well as the Colorado River 2,000 feet below. As if that view weren’t good enough, Bighorn Overlook is a worthy rival, an off-the-beaten trek providing canyon views that most visitors wouldn’t even know existed. The park is about 32 miles from Moab.

England’s Woodland Memorial

By Linda Tancs

A site of national remembrance, England’s National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is a woodland oasis featuring 25,000 trees with a collection of nearly 400 memorials honoring those who have served and sacrificed. The memorials are diverse in size and scope and represent a broad population of society, from military associations and charities to emergency services, fraternity groups and individuals. The 150-acre site is located on the edge of the National Forest on Croxall Road in Alrewas, close to all the Midlands motorways.

Whales in Oregon

By Linda Tancs

Whale watching in Oregon begins in late March as gray whales travel north on their way toward Alaska. And there are approximately 200 whales that remain in the state’s coastal waters during the summer migration. A good viewpoint is Cape Falcon Marine Reserve and Protected Area, which is located adjacent to Oswald West State Park. Just 10 miles south of the popular seaside town of Cannon Beach, the park is also known for Short Sand Beach (Shorty’s), a popular surfing and boogie boarding destination surrounded by forests and sandstone cliffs. Park in one of four parking lots along Highway 101 and enter one of the best preserved coastal rainforests in Oregon.

Eye of the Sea

By Linda Tancs

The Tatra Mountains form a natural border between Poland and Slovakia and are the focal point for Tatra National Park, so-named on both sides of the border. One of the most indelible images on the Polish side is Morskie Oko, which means “eye of the sea.” Legend has it that the name harks back to an ancient belief that the lake’s bottom has a hole connecting it to the sea. It may lack a hole, but it doesn’t lack a superb reflection of the surrounding Tatras. You’ll find the lake in the middle of the park in southern Poland near the resort town of Zakopane.

Peanuts in California

By Linda Tancs

Charles M. Schulz created Peanuts, one of the most beloved and best-known comic strips in history featuring Charlie Brown and his cohorts as well as Snoopy and Woodstock. His life and work are showcased at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California. Among its many permanent exhibitions is a re-creation of Schulz’s working area in his studio at One Snoopy Place in Santa Rosa. It contains the drawing board he used almost from the beginning of his career, his desk and shelves and walls displaying his personal books, gifts, photos and memorabilia. As an added bonus, just across the street from the museum is Snoopy’s Home Ice (a skating rink) and Snoopy’s Gallery and Gift Shop, a mecca for fans.

Following the Mississippi

By Linda Tancs

You may have wondered whether you can drive along the course of the Mississippi River. Yes, there’s a road for that. The Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the course of the Mississippi River for 3,000 miles from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, passing through 10 states. Its designation as a National Scenic Byway is in recognition of the route’s outstanding assets in the areas of culture, history, nature, recreation and scenic beauty. The different roads and highways comprising the byway are marked by a green pilot’s wheel logo to keep you on track. Watch for river-related attractions and interpretative centers. You can take in the whole route in 36 hours of straight driving, but why not stretch it out for four to 10 days and enjoy the ride.

A Rare Lake in Florida

By Linda Tancs

Florida’s Grayton Beach State Park is more than just another beach park and a backdrop for golden sunrises. The 2,000-acre park is also home to coastal dune lakes. These lakes are a rare natural phenomenon found in only three other countries (Australia, New Zealand and Madagascar) and one other state (Oregon). They’re unique because their water levels are maintained by an interchange between saltwater and freshwater, providing for an interesting mix of plants and marine species. At Grayton, you’ll see three of these lakes: Alligator, Little Redfish and Western lakes. A kayak or stand-up paddleboard is the perfect way to explore. Bring your own or rent one at the ranger station.

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