Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Archive for U.S. travel

Passages in Arizona

By Linda Tancs

The Arizona Trail is an 800-mile scenic trail traversing the entire north-south length of the State of Arizona, connecting deserts, mountains, canyons and wilderness. Whether on foot, mountain bike or horseback, that’s a lot of ground to cover, so it’s a good thing the route is divided into passages to help you conquer it in pieces. There are 43 passages, categorized into southern, central and northern sections. You’ll even find volunteer trail stewards should you need assistance. You might be tempted to go during the summer months, but the desert heat is legendary. Likewise, winter months are fraught with heavy snow. The best times to visit are October/November and March/April. A good walk through the entire route will take six to eight weeks.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

America’s Favorite Pioneer Girl

By Linda Tancs

Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the beloved Little House on the Prairie book series, is arguably America’s favorite pioneer girl. Her home on Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield, Missouri, is pivotal in her life and career as the place where she wrote her acclaimed Little House books and became an international success. Visitors to Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum can see her study and writing desk as well as the many treasures that remain exactly how Laura left them when she died in 1957. In addition to her home, fans will love the museum, where Pa’s fiddle, handwritten manuscripts for the books and keepsakes of the Ingalls and Wilder families figure prominently among the exhibits. The fiddle even gets played annually in October during Wilder Days, a festival celebrating Laura’s life and times.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Close-Up in Los Angeles

By Linda Tancs

Los Angeles is ready for its close-up with the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Billed as the world’s premier institution dedicated to the art and science of movies, its six floors feature exhibition spaces, education and special event spaces, a conservation studio and a year-round calendar of screenings. You might especially enjoy the Oscars® Experience, which simulates the experience of walking onto the stage at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and accepting an Oscar. The museum is located on Wilshire Boulevard.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

100 Years of History in Key West

By Linda Tancs

When Casa Marina opened 100 years ago it was Key West’s most glamorous destination. The Florida resort was conceived by American railroad tycoon Henry Flagler as an accommodation for wealthy customers of Flagler’s Overseas Railroad, which spanned from Key West to the Florida mainland. Its designers were as famous as Flagler; architects Thomas Hastings and John M. Carrere also designed New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, New York Public Library and the Senate and House of Representatives office buildings in Washington, D.C. The hotel hosted politicians and Hollywood’s elite. It was even requisitioned by the military for use during World War II and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Located just minutes from historic Old Town, it boasts the largest private beach in the city.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Little Egypt

By Linda Tancs

Southern Illinois has long been referred to as “Little Egypt.” The origin of that moniker depends on whom you ask. One popular theory is that the region was so christened because its fertile bottomlands resemble its Middle Eastern sister. Whatever the reason, the regional designation resulted in place names like Cairo, Carmi, Karnak, Goshen, Thebes and Dongola. It’s a place rich in natural wonders, like the impressive rock formations at Ferne Clyffe State Park, a place named for its abundance of ferns when it was purchased by two brothers from Cairo in 1899. Autumn is a great time to watch summer’s tree foliage transform into a spectacular mix of reds, purples, golds and browns. If you hike the Round Bluff Nature Preserve, you’ll get the best of both worlds: stunning autumn color and sandstone cliffs.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Beehives in Nevada

By Linda Tancs

In the 1870s six kilns were constructed in the Ward Mining District of eastern Nevada to process rich silver ore that was discovered in the area. They were designed in the shape of beehives to efficiently burn pinyon pine and juniper into charcoal to support mining production. Now, this isn’t your typical beehive. These structures are 30-foot-tall, 27-foot-wide otherworldly ovens that could hold 35 cords of wood at a time and produce 1,750 bushels of charcoal. Once mining ended, they were used as a shelter for travelers and even as hideouts for stagecoach bandits. Today they’re a photogenic attraction at Ward Charcoal Ovens State Historic Park just south of Ely.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

America’s Loneliest Road

By Linda Tancs

U.S. Route 50 is a transcontinental highway in the United States, stretching from California to Maryland. The Nevada portion crosses the center of the state and was named “The Loneliest Road in America” by Life magazine in 1986. The natives beg to differ. After all, the Nevada route features stops along the Pony Express, a horseback mail service in operation from 1860 to 1861. And where else will you find the Shoe Tree, a giant cottonwood adorned with hundreds of shoes dangling from its branches. The area’s silver mining history is hard to miss, especially at Stokes Castle, a stone structure built in the late 19th century for one of the region’s most eccentric silver mine investors. You get the point. You’ll hardly need “survival skills” as the vaunted magazine put it. But in any event you can get a copy of the Official Highway 50 Survival Guide and get it stamped at the seven largest towns (Austin, Dayton, Eureka, Ely, Fallon, Fernley and Baker) along the way.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

What’s New in West Virginia

By Linda Tancs

You may be familiar with the expression, everything old is new again. That’s an apt way of looking at New River Gorge in West Virginia. The New River is one of the oldest in North America, its whitewater cascading through deep canyons. For years it’s been managed by the Park Service as a “national river.” That status received an upgrade last December when the area was designated a national park as well as a national preserve, the first such dual designation outside Alaska. The park has always been a mecca for whitewater rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing and other adventures. Located in southern West Virginia, it’s conveniently accessible from several interstate highways and local airports.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The Dismal Swamp

By Linda Tancs

Legend has it that New Jersey’s Dismal Swamp got its name from nearby Dismal Brook. That may be true, but don’t let the dreary name deceive you. It’s actually a wildlife preserve spanning parts of suburban Edison, Metuchen and South Plainfield, one of the last remaining wetlands in a highly urbanized environment. Designated a “priority wetland” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it also features upland deciduous forests with mature trees and more than 165 bird species like green herons, yellow-billed cuckoos, eastern phoebes and songbirds. That’s far from dismal, which is why the name of the preserve was recently changed to the Peter J. Barnes III Wildlife Preserve. It’s been renamed to honor an elected official who helped form the Dismal Swamp Preservation Commission to save the wetlands.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Zoo Down the Jersey Shore

By Linda Tancs

Visitors to Cape May County, New Jersey, flock to its famous shores. But there’s a different sort of flock worth seeing, like bison and bongo, oryx and ibis. These are just a few of the animals at Cape May County Park & Zoo at Cape May Court House, New Jersey. The grounds boast 85 acres hosting about 550 animals representing more than 250 species. Open year round except Christmas Day, entry is free. For some special, behind-the-scenes access, you can opt to pay for a camel, giraffe or reptile encounter or a private, guided tour of the facility.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

%d bloggers like this: