Catching adventure television star Les Stroud's concert tour
Perhaps like me, you are most familiar with Les Stroud, the adventure television star, from his many self-filmed treks into dangerous situations on the long-running hit show, “Survivorman.”
What I did not know until last week is that Stroud has had a long career as a professional musician, too.
Noticing on the marquee of a performing arts in Kirkland, Wa., that Stroud was booked to appear, I decided to buy a ticket out of curiosity. The venue’s website described the show as “adventure, multimedia art, filmmaking and music.” I decided not look at any promotional videos on the webpage or elsewhere and head to the show as a true newbie.
Why every ecotraveler must visit this supernatural wonder
By Crai S. Bower
“The last place I’ve visited” serves as my rather cheeky response when asked to name my favorite place to visit, a question I receive a few times per week. In truth, having spent 10 years writing about travel for a living, one destination remains at the top of my list of destinations. I think it always will.
There is nowhere quite like the Galapagos Archipelago, a cluster of volcanic islands situated at the equator with environmental pressures so varied, more than 180 plant and 80 animal endemic species can be found here. However, unlike common perceptions by those who’ve never visited or only take biological shore leaves from small cruise boats, the islands are hardly a static museum, but home to fishermen, farmers and naturalists. Judging from the nights I spent salsa dancing and carousing in Santa Cruz, the local population is as full of life as the giant Galapagos tortoises.
One couple's unique travel snapshots end up an Internet sensation
Whether or not you're a part of the Instagram community, we think you'll enjoy the travel photos of Murad Osmann, an executive producer at Hype Production in Moscow, and his girlfriend. The (admittedly heavily processed) photos turned up on Mashable last week, and they're worth the attention: colorful, vibrant images that show Osmann's girlfriend leading him by the hand to destinations around the globe.
The article states: "The first photo happened in Barcelona while we were on vacation. My girlfriend was a bit annoyed that I was always taking pictures of everything, so she grabbed my hand and tried to pull me forward. But it didn't stop me from doing photos," Osmann told Mashable. "That's how it all started."
While there are plenty of critics for this sort of camera phone photography and its punchy filters, we love such a creative idea. The images are far from the boring travel pics most of us snap and torture our friends with, and we like the romance of the project as well. It doesn’t hurt that Osmann’s girlfriend is easy on the eyes.
You can follow the couple’s journey on Osmann’s Instagram feed. Know of another interesting travel photo project? Share it with us in the comments.
Screenshot courtesy of Mashable.com.
She's stayed in teepees, savored jerk chicken in Jamaica, beat heat exhaustion, has a hankering for Dollywood and much more.
Kate Silver has been writing professionally for more than 10 years, and travel writing is something that wove its way, somewhat unexpectedly, into her resume. While working as a staff writer and editor in Las Vegas, she was contacted by a number of guidebook professionals seeking local Las Vegas writers to contribute to their guidebooks. After writing about her own town countless times, she began traveling and capturing snapshots of other cities. Through her work (and personal travel), she’s stayed in a teepee on a date farm in California, slept in a monastery’s B&B in Chicago and luxuriated in the hotel where Hemingway stayed during the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Silver now works as a freelance writer and editor in Chicago and her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Wine Enthusiast, Spirit Magazine and other publications. She writes about her experiences on her website, www.thekatesilver.com.
Saving cash with an America the Beautiful pass
The looming U.S. federal government “sequester” situation has a particular card in my wallet on my mind. It’s the America the Beautiful pass issued by the National Park Service. As things go, budget slashes might diminish our ability to enjoy some 2,000 parks, monuments, wildlife preserves and memorials due to shortened hours, decreased open seasons, closed amenities and more. I hope this doesn’t happen, to be sure.
But I do recognize opportunities to save money, and America the Beautiful pass is budget bonus for travelers visiting U.S. recreation lands.
I purchased my most recent pass while entering Mesa Verde National Park. It was an $80 expenditure, and seemed like a big chunk of change for one transaction. But I burned-off most of the fee with successive visits to Grand Canyon N.P., Petrified Forest N.P., Sunset Crater Volcano N.M. and Aztec Ruins N.M.
Sunlight and snowmelt come together in a fiery fall down El Capitan's face for a few late-February days
People love the thrill of the chase—which is why every year, hundreds of photographers flock to Yosemite National Park to catch a naturally occurring phenomenon called the firefall that’s only visible on clear late-February days at sunset.
The NY Times recently wrote a piece on the “recipe for the perfect photo” at the site, but we’re more interested in the singularity of the firefall itself: it requires the setting sun to hit the narrow trickle of Horsetail Fall at such a specific angle that it appears to light the water itself, creating the illusion of a lava stream falling thousands of feet down the face of El Capitan, “the world’s largest single chunk of granite,” as the Times points out. If there’s not enough snowmelt, there’s little spectacle to the firefall; if a few cloudy days obscure the late February sun, there’s no spectacle at all. Like the Northern Lights or a total solar eclipse, you’re lucky if you’re in the right place at the right time to see it once in your lifetime.
The good news: the Yosemite weather report promises sunny days to ride out the end of the month, so if you find yourself near the park, head over at dusk to catch the show. The rest of us will have to find solace in these exquisite firefall photographs until next year.
Image courtesy of RC Designer.
Brain meets brawn in Downtown LA
Taking in amazing panoramas from working buildings
While the Space Needle is a world-famous and stupendous vantage point in the city, that's its main purpose. Smith and Columbia, however, are office skyscrapers with perches.
Smith Tower is old, ornate inside and has an open-air walkabout. It was once the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Columbia Tower is modern, austere and offers a sealed-window vantage point and is one of the tallest structures on the West Coast to this day.
The two towers provide a spectacular view of the Puget Sound region, from just a few blocks apart and should be must-dos for visitors to Seattle.