November 17, 2011 |
With mild temperatures, calm water and minimal fog, this can be a good time of year to visit the Central Coast , and there's no better place to see it than on the water in a kayak. For those prepping for a "big year" of bird-watching, this section of coast, with its diversity of waterfowl and shorebirds, is possibly the finest in California . If you've kayaked only on lakes and prefer water on the tamer side, Morro Bay is the place to paddle. Open-ocean kayaking is a whole different ballgame, and launching from just any beach shouldn't be attempted by novices (as we learned on a recent trip; more on that in a bit)
October 16, 2011 |
If you want to travel to the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, you will need two days, minimum, travel time on several planes and thousands of dollars. Or you can come to El Paso. Since 1917, structures on the campus of the former Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy have been built in the unique style of Bhutan's majestic dzongs, fortresses constructed with sloping 8-foot-thick walls and red-colored roofs. The school, now known as the University of Texas at El Paso, or UTEP, has grown to 77 buildings, all constructed or retrofitted around the theme.
August 7, 2011 |
I am standing atop Clay Head, a 70-foot-high bluff, looking over miles and miles of open ocean on a clear summer morning. It is an ideal way to greet a day that will include hiking, biking, birding, skimming stones and eating my weight in fried clams. And I have to smile. Back home in St. Louis, my wife, Nancy, and I had told a friend that we were heading for three days on this glorious island. Blank stare. "Block Island. Where is that?" Exactly. And fine with me if Block keeps a low pro. For all its craggy grandeur, Block Island has never been etched into the nation's consciousness quite like its big sisters Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts.
July 4, 2011 |
I am sitting on the balcony of the Grand Hotel Timeo eating almond-flavored granita (a kind of Italian sherbet) for breakfast and thinking about Lady Chatterley. More accurately, I am thinking about the real-life inspiration for Lady Chatterley — an upper-class Englishwoman who had come to Taormina and carried on a steamy (think R-rated behavior in an olive grove) affair with a Sicilian farmer. Part of the reason I am thinking about this uninhibited British woman is that D.H. Lawrence wrote part of his frequently banned novel while staying at this very hotel.
May 15, 2011 |
On a towering cliff overlooking the sun-sparkled shores of Carlsbad, Calif., Dawn Santos watched a squadron of pelicans fly past the campsite where she and her family were staying for four days of campfires, bike rides and splashing in the surf. "It's gorgeous," the Rancho Cucamonga mother of three marveled as the afternoon sky turned bright pink. Here at South Carlsbad State Beach in San Diego County, the Santos family took a break from work and school by renting a 26-foot trailer to enjoy one of California's most valuable economic assets — its outdoor riches.
January 23, 2011 |
"Now I know what's meant by 'steering committee,'" the lock tender said with a laugh as the water, rushing through the sluice gates of Erie Canal Lock 32, raised us to his level. Karin was at the tiller of Seneca, our 42-foot charter boat, and I had my hand on the controls of that loveliest of maneuvering cheats: the bow thruster, which effortlessly moved the bow to port or starboard. Chuck and Karin Gedge and my wife, Laurel, and I were on our first full day of a weeklong voyage in July on the western end of New York's historic Erie Canal.