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October 06, 2011

Find Fall Foliage in Lincoln's Boyhood Home of Indiana

Abe Lincoln's Boyhood Home in Indiana, USA

by Carol Troesch, Spencer County Visitors Bureau


Southern Indiana is known for its rolling hills, endless outdoor recreation, and great family fun, but did you know that it’s also the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln? Because of the area’s mild autumn days and cool evenings, it also produces some of the most striking and vibrant autumn colors, which makes it a great fall destination!

The fall foliage season, when the changing palette of deciduous trees is full of blazing color, is a terrific time to visit places that can offer not only an amazing views, but also allow you to enjoy some relaxing family activities.

Lincoln State Park in Lincoln City, Indiana

Here, you can enjoy the rich colors of fall as you visit the fertile ground of Lincoln’s childhood home at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Lincoln City. The memorial is located on the site where Lincoln lived with his family from age 7 to 21. The Visitor Center features two Memorial Halls, a museum with a variety of exhibits, and an orientation film. From the Memorial Center, it is a short walk up the Lincoln Boyhood Trail to the gravesite of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, who died of milk sickness in 1818. FULL STORY

September 26, 2011

Take Time for Yourself with a Dude - At a Dude Ranch

Best Guest Ranch Vacations for Women

A Directory to the Finest Dude Ranches for Women by Patti Schmidt

The Homestead Ranch
Matfield Green, Kansas
Prairie Women Adventures and Retreat
[read our story about The Homestead Ranch]

The Homestead Ranch is a 4,000-acre working cattle ranch in the Kansas Flint Hills. Wildlife is abundant and Native American arrowheads and tools still crop up in pastures and creekbeds after spring rains. Owner Jane Koger, a fourth-generation rancher, and her mostly women ranch crews have been handling things for 20 years. William Least Heat Moon wrote about Jane and the others in Chase County in his book PrairyErth, the American Library Association's Best Work of Nonfiction for 1991. The county is the geographical center of the U.S.

Programs: Prairie Women Adventures and Retreat offers several programs: two three-day Prairie Ecology programs, which focus on the ecology and use of native prairie plants and four horseback riding programs, for those who want "just a little more time with the horses"; one branding vacation, where guests will help inoculate, brand, and band (turn bull calves into steers) them; and one pasture-burning program each spring. Program manager Ginifer Maceau stressed that this ranch does things "the preferred Humane Society way; for example, we freeze brand rather than hot-iron brand." She believes women are a lot more comfortable with that.

Amenities: Guests reside in a modern bunkhouse: up to two in the one private bedroom; the other 10 guests sleep dormitory style in the bunkhouse, which is heated, air-conditioned, and includes a hot tub on the deck. All meals are provided; the afternoon I spoke with Maceau, they were having teriyaki beef kabobs, rice pilaf, salad, fresh bread and lemonade pie with strawberries.

For more information: contact Prairie Women Adventures and Retreat / The Homestead Ranch Guest Programs at (620) 753-3416.
Website: http://www.guestranches.com/homestead
Email: ginifer@wheatstate.com

Wilderness Trails Dude Ranch
Durango, Colo.
Women's Week

The San Juan Mountains and the Los Pinos Valley lend this 160-acre ranch beauty; it also shares a fence line with the Piedra Wilderness Study Area. The Roberts family-Gene, Jan, Randy, Lance, and Erika, who have owned it since 1970- are responsible for its designation in Gene Kilgore 's Ranch Vacations as "one of the finest ranch vacation experiences in the country." At times of the year other than Women's Week, especially in summer, families provide this ranch about 95 percent of its often repeat customers.

FULL ARTICLE

September 23, 2011

Top 10 World Road Trip Destinations

Top 10 Road Trip Destinations Around the World

There’s something about hitting the road that makes travel come alive, especially when the drive is through some of the world’s most scenic roadways and locales. Here are our choices of the best destinations for exploring by car. Our Top 10 Road Trips Worldwide highlights the best of the best for ambling by car - whether it’s stopping to taste wine at vineyards in New Zealand or to pitch a tent in Alberta’s Banff National Park.

Road tripping empowers you as a traveler with the flexibility to route – and re-route – your itinerary at any time. Whether traveling with the family, with a group of friends or with your partner, there’s no better way to discover new cultures, see great sites or navigate an unknown terrain than by car.

  • Pacific Coast Highway, California, U.S. - There’s no better vantage point for spectacular views of the Pacific than from California’s Pacific Coast Highway. Start your drive in sunny Los Angeles and, after dipping your toes in the waves at Malibu’s highfalutin beaches, point your car due north – well, nearly – to San Francisco. Stop in coastal towns like Santa Barbara and Monterey, or wherever you feel like pulling off. The absolute must-see is Big Sur. Situated roughly 150 miles south of San Francisco, the cluster of seaside national parks offers wonderful options – camping, hiking and surfing – for even the hardest-to-please adventure travelers.
  • Provence, France - Wine lovers, art lovers, food lovers – heck, even lavender lovers – love Provence. From Paris, take a train to Avignon – there, visit the Papal Palace and grab a chèvre chaud salad al fresco – before renting a car and touring the back roads of a region that astonishingly resembles works by Monet. Drive between Montpellier, Salon-de-Provence and Arles, and stop for exquisite wines (the region produces the best rosé in the world) and light fare. Stock up on satchels full of lavender – wonderful souvenirs for friends back home – and shop for antiques among endless fields of sunflowers, lavender and grapes. Full story

September 15, 2011

Free Pocket Ranger App Powered by ParksByNature Network

Pocket Ranger App Powered by ParksbyNature Network


Have you thought about visiting a State Park? These parks are often within 50 miles from home, making it easy for visitors to come and go as they please.

ParksByNature Network is working with the Government to Save the Parks by marrying today’s technology that is often used to navigate through our days by bringing The Sanctioned and Approved Mobile Tour Guide to enhance your visit.

Pocket Ranger™ apps are offered in a “FREE” and “purchasable” Pro-Enhanced version formatted for Apple and Android devices.

These tour guides also translate into a universal mobile website for each participating state park system, making Pocket Ranger extremely accessible for everyone to use. With its innovative features, Pocket Ranger™ enhances a visitor’s experience before, during, and after an outing to a state park.  These guides deliver to users hundreds of maps, real-time location-based weather conditions, park overview, park history, calendar of events, reservations, photo sharing and social networking capability through today’s popular sites.

Did you ever lose child in a park? Well, the Friend/Family Finder feature can help reduce this problem. Users can sync their devices to locate and keep track of one another. Full story

August 26, 2011

Where to Find the Best Fall Foliage

Exploring the Shades of Fall

by Suzanne Carmel

When the summer travel season ends and throngs of tourists head back home to work and school, the fall season brings cool, crisp weather, vibrant colors and an easy pace in which to explore the landscape. As autumn leaves change color, hikers, bikers and road trippers come outdoors to welcome the new season.

There are many wonderful places across the United States where September and October usher in shades of red, yellow and orange; magically transforming vistas already breathtakingly beautiful. During fall, every twist on a path or road brings a new surprise, as the possibilities in these five states illustrate.

Massachusetts

The best time to experience fall in this East Coast state is from the middle of September to the end of October. State foresters issue fall foliage reports in the morning three times a week so you're sure to have the inside scoop on where to see the best hues. The state tourist office offers tips such as visiting mid week or exploring back roads to enjoy the season leisurely. Locals and visitors alike enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing — even tramping through a pumpkin patch to find the perfect one. Read Full Article

August 24, 2011

Car Games for Kids

Fun Car Games for Kids of All Ages

by Laurel Smith

Time flies when you’re having fun - the miles fly by too! You can make a long family car trip seem a lot shorter if you have fun with your kids along the way. Plan ahead with a few car activities, and making the journey can be as much fun as the destination. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Make a Trip-Journal or Scrapbook
Give everyone a big spiral bound sketchpad and a box of crayons or markers. Each day of the trip or for each event along the way, draw a picture of what you did that day, or draw a map of where you went, and write about it. You can also paste in souvenirs.

Get a Good Songbook With All the Lyrics
It surprising how many songs you think you know, but you don't really know all the words. Have a singing marathon and learn the old classics by heart.

Give Your Kids an Allowance for the Day
Tell them that this money is for snacks, treats, souvenirs etc. Help them learn to budget their money and make good choices. More Tips Here.

August 23, 2011

Tips for Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Enjoying & Preparing for Great Outdoors

How to Enjoy the Great Outdoors with the Right Preparations

by John Ricci
Founder & Chief Adventurer, Wandrian Adventures

Now that it’s summer time in North America and people have time off and children are out of school, it’s time to hit the great outdoors. The great outdoors can give you most of the comforts of home (Usually not a microwave or a DVR, but everything else is possible) and with some proper planning and a can do attitude; you will be at home in the wilderness and sharing stories around the fire. Here are a few tips everyone should consider as they plan their own Great Outdoors experience.

I live by the Mantra of Know before you go….Know that you can be comfortable in the outdoors with the right preparations…. … Know the rules, know the weather, Know what you have access to (water, provisions, firewood, bathrooms etc.) All of the above are crucial to your comfort as well as safety and will allow you greater enjoyment.

Whenever possible, carry out whatever you carry in and leave only footprints and take only pictures. We are lucky to have National Parks like The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Baxter State Park and others to enjoy. The more we take care of them and tread lightly, the better chance others will have that same experience in the future.

Lastly, be prepared for the unexpected – weather, accidents etc. know that accidents can occur and know that you are prepared to handle them if you came with a plan.  There are several other things you should account for depending on where you are going and for how long, but the above covers all adventures, everywhere. Full Story

August 19, 2011

Teaching Students How to Travel on a Budget

Teaching Students How & Where to Travel on a Budget

Top 10 Student Getaways and Tips on How to Save

With the summer winding down, many college students are gearing up for the year ahead. Taking a break to shake off the stress that comes from all-nighters and dining hall “food” is not only essential but can be done within a student budget with tips from Cheapflights.com’s guide on How To Travel on a Student Budget. And, whether you’re in need of a weekend away to detox before exams or a spring break packed with parties - err, culture – we have suggestions. Our list features affordable getaway ideas for a long weekend break, spring break, winter break or the summer holidays. 

Below are four student getaways from our Top 10 College Student Destinations from each of the vacation categories.

  • Over a long weekend … Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada - As a college student, it’s important to get your money’s worth without spending an arm and a leg. Niagara Falls can satisfy that for cash-strapped youth. Cheap hotels by the Falls abound, and you can move around town easily on foot, as many of the attractions are within walking distance of each other. Pack your weekend with visits to the Falls and Marineland Theme Park, where you’ll get your fix of seafaring animals like dolphins and killer whales – combined with the thrill of amusement park rides. The drinking age is 19, so a visit to the Fallsview Casino – and Dragonfly Nightclub after – is an absolute must. READ MORE

August 09, 2011

Deep Vein Thrombosis - A travel killer

DVT : Tips to Avoid the Eisk of the Economy Class Syndrome

Deep Vein Thrombosis Associated with Long Distance Travel

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) may be associated with any form of long distance travel whether by air, car, coach or train but it is often referred to as "economy class syndrome" when it occurs to airline passengers.

The following information provides a brief overview of the problem and advice on how to avoid this risk.

What is deep vein thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis is a condition where a thrombus or blood clot forms within a deep vein, typically one in the thigh or the calf. This blood clot can either partially or completely block the flow of blood in the vein. In extreme cases, this clot can break free from a vein wall and travel to the lung and block an artery. This pulmonary embolism(PE) could lead to serious injury or death. In pregnant women, this kind of embolism could lodge in the placenta and put the fetus at risk.

How do you get deep vein thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis is a problem that is caused by pooling of blood in the vein, which triggers blood-clotting mechanisms. Anyone who sits for long periods of time in a vehicle, movie theater, or even an office desk may develop clumps of clotted blood in the legs. Airline passengers in coach seating are particularly vulnerable because of the sometimes dense seating and limited ability to get up and move around. However, even passengers in business and first class are at risk. [Full story]

August 04, 2011

How to Keep a Travel Journal

How to Keep a Travel Journal

How to Keep a Travel Journal - Tips for Writing on the Road by Pam Bauer

Looking for fresh travel journal writing ideas? Read on for tips to get you started and ideas for creating a journal you will cherish.

Choosing a Travel Journal

Choose a journal. There are many journals available, from inexpensive spiral notepads to elegant hand-bound volumes. Make sure the journal that you choose is one that you like. This may not seem important – you may think that any journal will do. But travel, along with being exhilarating and fun, can also be intense and demanding, so you want a journal that pleases you, that you want to write in, that invites you to put pen to paper. And since you will carry your journal for the length of your trip, be sure the size is right for you. If you’re packing light and moving frequently, a small, lightweight journal is best. Similarly, if you write prolifically, be sure your journal has enough pages to last until the trip’s end.

Just do it. This may seem obvious, but it needs to be said: write in your journal. Sometimes a traveler with the best of intentions can get stuck at the start. All of those blank pages in a beautiful new journal may seem intimidating, or you think your handwriting is too messy, or your words aren’t good enough. Nonsense! A travel journal is not a scholarly work. It is a record of your experiences – written by you, for you. There are no rules, and no one is grading what you write. The best way to get going is to, well, get going. Dive in, start writing and you’ll find these barriers will disappear. [Full article]