January 13, 2020

OKLAHOMA: A DRIVE THROUGH MANY NATIONS ON HIGHWAY 177

A noble face looked back at me as I waited at the Cimarron Turnpike toll booth. The license plate in front of me wasn’t an Oklahoma “tag.” The tag read, “Chickasaw Nation.” Another close by said, “Cherokee Nation.”  In Oklahoma, the chances are good that you are driving through a sovereign nation.    You’ll be immersed in towns, counties and highways that are named for the many Tribes and Tribal Elders in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has the second highest number of Native Americans of any state in the U.S.   There are 38 sovereign Tribal Governments in Oklahoma. To learn about each, click on the names below:   Absentee Shawnee Tribe Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town…

January 6, 2020

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE CLIFF DWELLINGS AND MORE IN MANITOU SPRINGS, COLORADO

Just 6 miles east of Colorado Springs is one of the towns we love the most in Colorado.  Manitou Springs sits at the base of Pike’s Peak at an elevation of 6,414 feet in the Rocky Mountains. Manitou Springs has an historic, Old West feel, with many buildings from the early 1900s still in use today.   Leave your car parked on the street and stroll the town. There are mom-and-pop shops, art galleries, restaurants, and more!   You can go fishing, try both easy and difficult hikes, soar on a zip line, go rafting, or caving!     TOWN HISTORY     Manitou Springs was home to the Ute Indians who…

December 30, 2019

HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH SLOT CANYONS: THE PERMIT PROCESS AND RECOMMENDED NAVAJO TOUR COMPANIES IN PAGE, ARIZONA

SPECIAL UPDATE December 24, 2019 According to https://tinyurl.com/wxab7m4 traffic jams have led slot canyon tour operators to discontinue the popular photography-only tours of the slot canyon on the Navajo Reservation near Page in northern Arizona as of Dec. 20,  2019.  You can still take photos with your phone or camera on regular tours, but no tripods will be allowed. As the number of visitors increased, tour operators found it increasingly difficult to carve out the extra time professional photographers need to get that perfect shot. Tour operators thus voted to cancel photo-only tours, Antelope Canyon Tours posted on its website.   Head to Page, Arizona! Numerous Slot Canyons and Horseshoe Bend near Page are…

December 23, 2019

APPALACHIAN TRAIL HIKERS, RAFTERS & PADDLERS LOVE TINY HOT SPRINGS, North Carolina

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Pisgah National Forest and fronting the French Broad River lies tiny Hot Springs, North Carolina.   The first time we came across Hot Springs, it was by happenstance. We were exploring the area around Asheville, NC by driving Highways 208 and 209, both scenic byways in North Carolina.  Hot Springs is easy to miss, if you don’t know its rich history or current day importance to nature lovers and hikers. There are, after all, only 500 residents.      The second time we visited Hot Springs, it was on purpose. What a cool 2-block town! Certainly, not impressive architecturally, the quirky combination of…

December 16, 2019

HOW TO EXPLORE PENSACOLA, FLORIDA

updated 12/19     Explore Pensacola! White sugar sand beaches, emerald water and the architectural feel of a tiny New Orleans. Add them together (plus restaurants that would send foodies to heaven), and you have Pensacola, Florida! Who knew? Pensacola is one of those towns where people make you feel like family, the arts and deep sea fishing combine with sandy feet and a laid-back vibe. You have to visit!!       Park your car downtown and walk!     There isn’t heavy traffic and this city is made for strolling! The wrought iron details on the buildings and covered sidewalks beckon you past bakeries, restaurants and unique boutiques….

December 9, 2019

A VISIT TO USS ALABAMA BATTLESHIP MEMORIAL PARK

Living in NW Florida gives you the opportunity to visit and photograph a number of places within a fifty mile range. Meaning some nice short day trips. Just about 50 miles west of where I am located, just outside of Mobile, Alabama, is USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park. It’s where the Battleship USS Alabama is docked. But not only is the great ship there, you will also find the submarine, USS Drum along with a museum and military aircraft on the grounds.   Once you arrive at the park there is a $4.00 charge for parking. This allows you onto the grounds to park and view all the aircraft located throughout…

December 2, 2019

BEST GUIDE TO VISITING ZION NATIONAL PARK via SPRINGDALE, UTAH

updated 12/19     Zion National Park is perfect for senior travel and is my personal favorite of all the national parks. It doesn’t matter if you are in hiking shape or not!  Seniors, put Zion on your travel list! We have put together a guide to visiting Zion for those who stay in Springdale, Utah.   We stayed in Springdale to visit Zion National Park for 4 days. We wanted to stay even longer and cannot wait to go back!       HOW TO GET THERE     Utah’s Zion National Park is close to the Arizona and Nevada borders.   COMING FROM Las Vegas: Take Interstate 15 north…

November 25, 2019

SLOT CANYONS AND HORSESHOE BEND: THE BEST GUIDE TO PAGE, ARIZONA

updated 11/19     Only an hour and a half from both The Grand Canyon and Zion National Park is Page, Arizona. Yet, most people bypass Page and some of the most incredible national wonders in America!   SPECIAL UPDATE December 24, 2019 According to azcental.com, traffic jams have led slot canyon tour operators to discontinue the popular photography-only tours of the slot canyon on the Navajo Reservation near Page in northern Arizona as of Dec. 20,  2019.  You can still take photos with your phone or camera on regular tours, but no tripods will be allowed. As the number of visitors increased, tour operators found it increasingly difficult to carve…

November 18, 2019

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE ALAMO IN San Antonio, TEXAS

updated 10/19   WHY WE WANTED TO GO   Neither Stu nor I had been to The Alamo for decades. It is easy to overlook how significant a role The Alamo plays in America’s history.   Our generation grew up with Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and Jim Travis. These men were our heroes. We were excited to see The Alamo! We looked forward to the moral lessons and action-packed episodes from those television shows coming back to us as we arrived. Instead, as adults, the sacrifice and bravery of the men who fought at the Alamo made us reverent and reflective.    We have put together the history of the…

November 11, 2019

THINGS TO SEE IN OCONEE COUNTY, South Carolina: the “LAND BESIDE WATER”

“How did they do that?” When we visit a place, a theme or question about the place usually pops into my mind. I know, weird.  In Oconee County, South Carolina, the question was, “how did they do that?”    Oconee County is the westernmost county in South Carolina and couldn’t be more different from how you picture the coastal areas in the state. The Cherokee word, “Ae-quo-nee,” means “land beside water.” Here, three huge man-made lakes (Keowee, Jocassee, and Lake Hartwell) dot the hills. Oconee County is also home to 67 summits, ridges, ranges and mountain trails.      Picture 90,000 acres of protected forests, historical sites, hikes, fishing and small southern towns….