.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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.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 / Asia / Food / India

A Day in the Chandni Chowk Market, Delhi

01 Chandi Chowk Market (17)

One of the oldest markets in Delhi — and perhaps the busiest in all of Asia — is Chandni Chowk, which is close to Delhi’s Red Fort.  The market was, in fact, originally designed in the 17th century by Mogul Shah Jahan (who was later to build the Taj Mahal) so that his favorite daughter would have a place to shop near their home in the Red Fort.  The shopping area originally had around 1600 shops, but has been completely rebuilt over the centuries and is now an extensive and expansive market area.

Chandni Chowk’s market is known for is its great variety and authenticity: food (especially street food and sweets), clothing (sarees, suits), electronic items, shoes, books, jewelry, car parts …

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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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.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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.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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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

The Niagara Apothecary, Niagara-on-the-Lake

00 The Niagara Apothecary

The Niagara Apothecary is a pharmacy museum you can visit when in the small historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.  The building actually was a active pharmacy from 1820 to 1964.  It was restored to its appearance circa 1869, and was opened as a Museum in 1971.

The interior is quite luxurious, especially for a small town pharmacy.  There are black walnut and butternut fixtures, and three crystal chandeliers.  Most of the shelves are filled with bottles and jars, all original and imported from Britain around 1830.  A pharmacist in the 19th century made most of the medications consumed by his customers, unlike in the 21st century when pharmacists only rarely make custom medications.

Interior shelving, The Niagara Apothecary

Interior shelving, The Niagara Apothecary

Admission is free and it’s a lot of fun to …

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.All Trips / D.C. / North America / Southeastern USA

The Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC

02 Museum of the American Indian

The National Museum of the American Indian is just one of the many terrific Smithsonian museums in Washington DC.  As its name implies, the museum exists to share information about Native cultures.  There is an extensive collection of Native artifacts, photographs, and media of tribes ranging from the Arctic to Patagonia.

The Museum of the American Indian is one of the newer buildings on the National Mall, having opened in September 2004.  The five-story 250,000-square-foot building was designed by Douglas Cardinal (an architect of the Blackfoot tribe).  It is covered in golden Kasota limestone and has a wavy shape designed to mimic natural rock formations shaped by the erosive effects of wind and water.  The museum is situated on a 4.25 acre (17,200 m2)-site and …

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