.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

Kluane National Park, Yukon Territory

04 Kluane NP (8)

One of the more remote regions on the North American continent is Kluane National Park, located in southwestern Yukon, 160 kilometres west of Whitehorse.  It’s minimally accessible by car and has few hiking trails, most of which are near the outskirts of the park.  The park’s backcountry is largely inaccessible except to rugged individuals who like to blaze their own trail.  The best way to see Kluane’s backcountry is by plane (on a clear day).  It’s a very beautiful but rough landscape, filled with tall peaks, roaring rivers and glaciers. 

Alaska Highway and Kluane National Park

Alaska Highway and Kluane National Park

The town of Haines Junction is at the convergence point of the two highways that skirt Kluane National Park and Reserve, namely the Haines Highway heading north from Haines in the …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 6, 2019: Fresh Snow in the Mountains

P1150370

I love driving through the mountains.  Perhaps no season in the mountains is more memorable than winter.  The fresh snow on the Rocky Mountains in the Crowsnest Pass and soft light were quite lovely. 

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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.All Trips / Florida / North America

(Still Another) Gallery of Gators

Shark Valley 12-2018 (104)

Several years ago I did a blog post on alligators, which featured photos of some fine specimens I’d encountered in the Everglades, as well as a brief discussion of their life history.  I’ve not a lot to add to that, but I did learn something interesting during my recent trip to the River of Grass.  Alligator mothers protect their young hatchlings for up to 2 years.  I had no idea that the maternal instinct was so strong in these reptiles.  It makes sense for the survival of the species, because baby alligators are at the bottom of the food chain.  The photo of a mother and her hatchlings below prove it.

Mother and baby alligators, Shark Valley

Mother and baby alligators, Shark Valley

You won’t see alligators at every stop in the Everglades, but …

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.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

A Moving Visit to the Holocaust Memorial of Miami Beach

06 Miami Holocost Memorial (19)

As with most visits to sites dedicated to remembrance of willfully destroyed human lives, a stop at the Miami Beach Holocaust memorial will likely leave you somewhat moved, disturbed and drained.  I guess that’s the point of it.  For example, my first reaction when I saw the memorial’s  imposing arm reaching up to the sky was that it was a sign of defiance and victory — the spirit of the Jewish people couldn’t be defeated by the Nazis.  Instead, I was saddened to learn the arm was symbolic of millions of tattooed arms that were grasping for help in their despair as they were dying, and there was no relief to be found.

It may seem a little odd that there …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 22, 2019: Street Art sampler, Winnipeg

04 Trip to Winnipeg 08-2018 (80)

A few of the murals I saw while driving around Winnipeg this past summer.  Over the years the number and quality of these has shown an appreciated increase throughout the city. 

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance)

 

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

The Niagara River and and its Amazing Waterfalls

00 Niagara River and Horseshoe Falls (1)

The iconic image above would be recognized by most people.  It’s Horseshoe Falls, known by some as Canadian Falls.  The amount of water dropping over this precipice in the Niagara River is staggering and, while the surrounding area is very commercial, it’s hard not to be impressed by this amazing natural spectacle. 

I had an aunt we frequently visited who lived only 10 miles from Niagara Falls. Among my first travel memories are those of seeing this waterfall — as such, Horseshoe Falls has a special place in my heart.

The Niagara River carries the output of four Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie) into Lake Ontario.  The international boundary between Canada and the United States is in the middle of the …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 15, 2019: A Drive along the Alaska Highway to Kluane National Park

04 Trip to Kluane – Alaska Highway (12)

One of the greatest construction achievements of the 20th century was the building of the Alaska Highway (a.k.a. the Alaska-Canadian or ALCAN highway).

After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 and showed growing interest in the Alaskan coast, the US government made construction of a road leading from the lower 48 states into Alaska a top priority.  Up to that point in time, the most common route of entry to Alaska was by boat, which was considered threatened by Japanese submarines (a threat which in reality did not materialize).  

The Alaska Highway begins in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and ends in Delta Junction, Alaska, passing through Whitehorse in the Yukon territory.  The route, when constructed, was 1700 miles (2700 km …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado / North America

Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Landmark

03 Colorado_Chautaqua_Dining_Hall. Courtesy Wikimedia and Hustvedt

The Colorado Chautauqua site was established in the late 1890s, when the Texas Board of Regents determined it needed to establish a summer school for teachers in a cool climate.  The Chautauqua Movement was a powerful and popular adult educational and social force at the time.  Boulder was picked as the site because the city fathers offered to supply the land, facilities and public utilities for the Chautauqua.  The presence of the nearby Rocky mountains was icing on the cake, because it was rightfully considered a very healthful environment.  

The Colorado Chautauqua opened on July 4, 1898, with 4,000 people attending. Boulder city leaders and Texas educators had created what was to become an important educational and social summer retreat.  Buildings …

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