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Archive for U.S. travel

An Encounter With an Ark

By Linda Tancs

Noah’s ark is the storied vessel discussed in the Bible’s Book of Genesis, built by Noah to save his family and a menagerie from a world-engulfing flood. While scientists debate the existence of the real McCoy at Mount Ararat in Turkey, you can witness your own real-life model of the life-saving ship at the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky. The museum features a full-size ark, built according to the dimensions given in the Bible, spanning 510 feet in length, 85 feet in width and 51 feet in height. Built from standing dead timber by skilled Amish craftsmen, the ark contains three decks of exhibits, including life-like animal sculptures. The site also includes exotic live animals from around the world in Ararat Ridge Zoo.

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Taming the Wild West

By Linda Tancs

Charles E. Conrad played an impressive role in taming the Wild West. Together with his brother William, Charles established a shipping and freighting empire in Fort Benton, Montana Territory, that eventually became the most important transportation center in Montana with routes extending north into Canada and as far west as Walla Walla, Washington Territory. When the advent of the railroad hindered their progress, Charles founded the city of Kalispell, Montana, a tiny frontier town that proved hospitable for the construction of a dream home. The palatial Conrad residence is a 13,000 square foot, shingle-style home with a Norman period interior boasting 26 rooms and eight sandstone fireplaces. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Conrad Mansion Museum preserves and exhibits the Conrad family estate through docent-led public tours, educational programs and community events.

New York’s Salmon Capital

By Linda Tancs

The quaint village of Pulaski is the salmon fishing capital of New York and one of the premier salmon fishing destinations in the world. This time of year there’s potential for a major daily run of 1,000 to 3,000 king and coho salmon in the Salmon River. Charter boats will take you where the trophy fish are biting.

America’s Best Bike Tour

By Linda Tancs

Ernest Hemingway said, “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.” So what could be better than a nearly level bike path along 150 scenic miles? That’s what you get on the Great Allegheny Passage (the GAP), a holy grail for bicyclists. Winding its way between Cumberland, Maryland, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the trail comprises a series of retired rail corridors—the longest rail trail east of the Mississippi. Aided by interpretive signage, the path crosses the Cumberland Narrows, the Mason-Dixon Line and the Eastern Continental Divide and is dotted with a chain of cyclist-friendly trail towns.

An Ancient Forest of the Northeast

By Linda Tancs

Located in western New York, Panama Rocks Scenic Park is an imposing world of towering rocks, deep crevices, dens and small caves. Its impressive geology extends over 300 million years. After the Ice Age a forest grew over the site, eventually producing the maple, beech, black ash and hemlock seen today. In fact, the forest at Panama Rocks is recognized and included in The Sierra Club’s Guide to the Ancient Forests of the Northeast, and its hemlocks are over 500 years old. Open from May through October, the park’s formations are easily hiked via a Class 1 trail.

Confectionery Bliss in New York City

By Linda Tancs

Now appearing in New York City, the pop-up exhibition Candytopia is a bit of confectionery bliss in The Big Apple, featuring interactive art installations in over a dozen environments, from flying unicorn pigs to a marshmallow tsunami. Think of it as Pablo Picasso meets Willy Wonka, courtesy of Hollywood “candy queen” Jackie Sorkin and design expert Zac Hartog. Reservations are required; get your tickets before the show moves on after November 15.

Caves and Cowboys in Missouri

By Linda Tancs

Where can you find rides and attractions, dining and shows, festivals, crafts and a show cave? That would be at Silver Dollar City, an 1880s-style theme park in Branson, Missouri, set upon the foundations of a genuine 1800s mining town. The popular Ozarks tourist attraction was built around Marvel Cave, a wet limestone cave boasting the largest entrance room in the United States. A cave tour is included with theme park admission. Today through October 27 the National Crafts & Cowboy Festival takes place, featuring visiting craftsmen and a salute to the American cowboy that includes wild mustangs, an old-fashioned barn dance, chuck wagon cooking and more. This year’s event coincides with the final run of the Wild West Show, inspired by the legendary Buffalo Bill.

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