Tag: National Parks
by Jenna Schnuer | 03.06.09 | 1:30 PM ET
Great Smoky Mountains National Park turns 75 this year. So go there and take a hike (or listen to some mountain music or check out the wildflowers or…) Then, come back and tell us all about it. Or, of course, if you already have a tale of the Smokies, share away.
My favorite memory of the Smokies: seeing evidence of the lives lived there before the land was designated a park. While on a horseback ride in the park, my guide pointed out a nearly perfect square of bright pink flowers. Though the cabin they had been planted around was long gone, the flowers have returned year after year to give a pretty tip of the hat to the woman who used to live on the land.
by Joanna Kakissis | 01.27.09 | 2:18 PM ET
We’ve noted, rather sadly, that we can’t imagine Joshua Tree National Park without its signature Joshua tree. (Who can?) Scientists have warned that the giant yucca may disappear in 50 years because global warming is changing the desert’s fragile ecosystem. U2 famously showcased a Joshua tree on the Anton Corbijn-photographed cover of its 1987 album, and I wonder if the band silently praised it during its awesome pre-inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial (or at least after President Obama affirmed his faith in scientists and pledged to help them deal with a planet in peril.)
Ecopreneur John Ivanko is optimistic, if guardedly so. Ivanko, who recently visited the park with his family, offered this ode, with the hope that a new outlook will help save the imperiled, iconic tree and its park, and other “great places” in the natural world.
For nostalgia’s sake, here’s some Corbijn-shot footage of (then youthful) members of U2 wandering the desert.
by Michael Yessis | 01.07.09 | 9:34 AM ET
- ReadyMade asked artists to “reimagine” Depression Era WPA posters. Open created a great one (pictured).
- McDnoald’s. Bucksstar Coffee. Pizza Huh. Is someone in China building a shopping mall filled with fake brands, or is it all just fake?
- Barack Obama: Restaurant critic. He loves his peach cobbler at Dixie Kitchen in Chicago.
- World Hum contributor David Farley talked travel with Arthur and Pauline Frommer.
- Voting begins on the New 7 Wonders of Nature. There are 261 nominees.
- An American tourist was stabbed outside a bar in Rome.
- Happy 50th birthday, Alaska.
- Farewell to the SS Catalina.
- Another farewell to the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Flinn.
- Jon Bowermaster started a two-month residency at Gadling, writing from Antarctica. He calls the continent “the beating heart of Planet Earth.”
- Why not measure the world’s countries by robot density? Here are the top 10. (Via Passport)
- This may be the least scenic hot tub in the world. I prefer this view.
by Eva Holland | 01.05.09 | 3:21 PM ET
‘Tis the season for budget travel tips. With the recession well and truly upon us, it seems everyone in the travel industry is looking for a money-saving angle. At About.com, Mark Kahler offers a list of helpful budget travel resolutions to kick off the New Year. My favorite is No. 5—“I will visit a National Park”—but all are practical.
by Valerie Conners | 01.02.09 | 10:02 AM ET
- Pico Iyer reflects on the the cultural rituals and celebrations a new year inspires, and his own “makeshift rites.”
- Three days of small earthquakes—more than 250, total—rattle Yellowstone National Park.
- The aforementioned tremors lead Garrison Keillor to observe that it “suggests to me that the Big Belch is overdue,” and when it comes, he’d “rather be in Paris.”
- Bangkok police are investigating the nightclub fire that killed dozens of people, including many foreign nationals. Eyewitnesses claim fireworks may be to blame.
- Air New Zealand hopes to up the eco-friendly, sustainable fuels ante with its first successful test flight of a passenger plane powered in part by vegetable oil.
- Multi-toed cats, rejoice! The iconic descendants of Ernest Hemingway’s cat, Snowball—and a popular Key West tourist attraction—will not be forced off the Hemingway House property.
- A Muslim family was kicked off an Air Tran flight after passengers complained the family’s conversation seemed suspicious. Though the FBI cleared the family of wrongdoing, AirTran refused to rebook their tickets.
- A daunting slump in tourism sent one Chinese town’s officials to seek the aid of a group of marketing-savvy warrior monks. Reflecting on the situation, one local vendor offered this enduring wisdom: “If you burn incense, they will come.”
by Michael Yessis | 12.17.08 | 9:38 AM ET
Marks suffered from leprosy, aka Hansen’s Disease. Like thousands of others with the disease, he was banished to the Kalaupapa leprosy colony on the Hawaiian Island of Molokai. Marks helped overturn the quarantine, and he remained on the island, operating a tour company and educating travelers about the disease. He also “achieved his goal of establishing Kalaupapa National Historical Park in 1980 with the help of late Hawai’i congresswoman Patsy Mink,” according to the obituary in the Honolulu Advertiser. He was 79.
by Valerie Conners | 11.10.08 | 11:23 AM ET
Utah’s Bureau of Land Management has stirred the ire of the National Park Service by announcing its plan to expand drilling in eastern Utah to on or near boundaries of Arches National Park, Dinosaur National Monument and Canyonlands National Park, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. “We’re not anti-oil and gas,” said one Park Service official. “But we’re very much pro-park.” Should drilling begin in these parcels of land—including sections dedicated as wilderness as well as Nine Mile Canyon—tourists may soon be seeing oil rigs pop up in their photos, a prospect that has wilderness outfitters concerned. Said one cycling guide, “It’s not a world-class outing if you can see oil wells.”
by Joanna Kakissis | 11.04.08 | 12:01 PM ET
The National Park Service is considering a regulation change that will allow park managers to open some trails to mountain bikers, and it’s stirring up advocates on both sides of the issue. At least one environmental group, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, says such a change will invite hiker-biker friction and disturb the land. The International Mountain Bicycling Association, on the other hand, supports the change.
by Eva Holland | 08.25.08 | 5:01 PM ET
When I first heard about Jeff Deck’s traveling typo hunt this past spring, I never dreamed that his quest would lead him to a criminal record. But, as the AP reports, a rogue apostrophe on a vintage, hand-painted sign at Grand Canyon National Park was his undoing: Deck and an accomplice pleaded guilty to defacing the sign (to correct the error), and were given probation, along with a one-year ban from all national parks.
by Deanne Stillman | 09.21.06 | 1:05 PM ET
She moved to Los Angeles, found herself in the midst of a personal monsoon and began skipping dinner parties. Then Deanne Stillman rearranged her life around trips to her new church: Joshua Tree National Park.
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