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I’d only seen one prior solar eclipse in my life and that was long ago when I was a university student. That one occurred on a cold winter day in February 1979, in my home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. So when I heard of the proximity of the American solar eclipse of 2017, I knew it was definitely time to view another.
There’s no question that this week’s eclipse was a popular event and thousands of people planned on visiting the areas of totality well in advance. In fact, I couldn’t find a hotel room for less than $1000/night (which I refuse to pay) within the thousand mile stretch across the Northwestern USA that was of interest to me when I …
The town of Cochrane sits in the beautiful Bow River Valley, between Calgary and Banff. Growing rapidly because of its proximity to Calgary, Cochrane still retains a small town vibe although it’s now home to more than 20,000 people. The region was originally developed as a ranch, as was much of the western Alberta prairies, and the farmers’ market is still held at the Historic Ranch Site (which you can explore when you’re done with your visit to the market).
While it’s only held during the summer months, the Farmers’ Market is very enjoyable. It’s busy, but not too crowded, and features locally grown produce and handicrafts, as well as popular food vendors. You’ll find items here you don’t see …
The Ontario Hydro/Niagara Parks Commission Floral Clock is situated on the Niagara River Parkway not far from Niagara Falls. It’s a popular and quick stop for people visiting the area.
The floral clock was inspired by the famous clock in Princess Street Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Niagara clock is the largest of its kind in the world and is three times larger than the Edinburgh clock. The planted face is maintained by Niagara Parks horticulture staff, while the mechanism is kept in working order by Ontario Hydro. Designs for the face of this clock are changed seasonally.
Here are some of …
The highest tides in the world occur in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, which separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia. Twice each day the Bay of Fundy fills and empties about 160 billion tons of water. In 1975 The Guinness Book of World Records listed Burntcoat Head Park in Nova Scotia as the site of the greatest average tide of 47.5 feet. with an extreme range of 53.6 feet. That’s about as tall as a four story building!
When I visited Nova Scotia last fall, one of the top things on my “to do” list was to see the sight of this great tidal surge. Ideally you want to be there at both low and high tide to see …
You might recognize these cars from the movies, like Inspector Clouseau, but if you want a chance to see and ride one you’ll need to head to Florida’s Disney World, where I spotted this bunch. I’d never seen an Amphicar before and it was fun watching them drive in, around, and out of a large lagoon.
Amphicars were the first mass-produced vehicles to be driveable both on land and water. The car was designed by Hanns Trippel and production began in Germany in 1961. The Amphicar’s 4 cylinder engine was mounted at the rear of the craft, driving the rear wheels. For use in the water, the same engine drove a pair of reversible propellers situated under the rear bumper. Once …
Many of my Canadian friends find it difficult to understand why someone would want to move away from California. There were good reasons to stay and, in our case, better reasons to leave, but there are definitely things about California that I miss. Foremost among these are dear friends, the meyer lemon and fuyu persimmon trees in my yard, and the beautiful winter weather (summers I wasn’t too crazy about — blasted hot). And …
One of the world’s most famous fossil sites is Canada’s Burgess Shale, which contains a large assortment of ancient and amazingly well-preserved (often soft-bodied) marine fossils. Originally discovered at high altitude in the mountains of British Columbia’s Yoho National Park in 1909, the Burgess Shale was one of the important reasons for the designation of the region as a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are two Burgess Shale sites in Yoho National Park you can visit, both long hikes with significant altitude gain. One is to Mount Stephen and the other to Walcott Quarry.
Recently a sister site has been discovered further south in Kootenay National Park, about 25 miles (40 km) south of the original site. That …
When I have some spare time between flights I often walk around airports. In large part this is to stretch my legs and get a little exercise before the lengthy time spent in a crowded airplane seat. I’m a fan of nicely designed and interesting airports and like to explore some of their shops, get a bite to eat, and people watch. Airports also increasingly seem to have interesting collections of art on display. It makes sense to have such exhibits at airports because these places are often crowded and busy, in the case of Denver, nearly 60,000,000 people traveling through it in a given year. Admittedly many travelers won’t give something more than a glance but others, like me, …