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Mesa Verde National Park: Ancient Civilization Wonders

Mesa Verde National Park is a National Park and World Heritage Site located in Montezuma County, Colorado. It protects some of the best preserved Ancestral Puebloan archeological sites in the United States. The park was created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. It occupies 52,485 acres (21,240 ha) near the Four Corners region of the American Southwest, and with more than 4,300 sites, including 600 cliff dwellings, it is the largest archeological preserve in the US. Mesa Verde (Spanish for “green table”) is best known for structures such as Cliff Palace, thought to be the largest cliff dwelling in North America. Starting c. 7500 BCE, Mesa Verde was seasonally inhabited by a group of nomadic Paleo-Indians known as the Foothills Mountain Complex. The variety of projectile points ...

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Natural Bridges National Monument: An Erosion Masterpiece

Natural Bridges National Monument is a U.S. National Monument located about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of the Four Corners boundary of southeast Utah, in the western United States, at the junction of White Canyon and Armstrong Canyon, part of the Colorado River drainage. It features the second largest natural bridge in the world, carved from the white Permian sandstone of the Cedar Mesa Formation that gives White Canyon its name. The three bridges in the park are named Kachina, Owachomo, and Sipapu (the largest), which are all Hopi names. A natural bridge is formed through erosion by water flowing in the stream bed of the canyon. During periods of flash floods, particularly, the stream undercuts the walls of rock that separate the meanders (or “goosenecks”) of the stream, until the rock wall within the meander is undercut and the meander is cut off; the new stream bed then flows underneath the bridge. Eventually, ...

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Valley Of The Gods And Monument Valley

Valley of the Gods  A scenic sandstone valley near Mexican Hat in San Juan County, southeastern Utah. It is north of Monument Valley across the San Juan River, and has similar rock formations to Monument Valley, albeit on a smaller scale, with tall, red, isolated mesas, buttes, and cliffs standing above the level valley floor, remnants of an ancient landscape. The Valley of the Gods area may be toured via a 17-mile (27 km) gravel road (FR 242) that winds amongst the eerie formations; this is rather steep and bumpy in parts but is passable by normal vehicles in good and dry weather. The western end joins UT 261 shortly before its 1,200-foot (370 m) ascent up Cedar Mesa at Moki Dugway, while the eastern end starts 9 miles (14 km) from the town of Mexican Hat along US 163 and heads north, ...

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Trail Of The Cedars: Glacier National Park’s Rainforest

Trail Description: The Trail of the Cedars, one of two wheelchair accessible trails in Glacier, is a loop hike that begins and ends on the Going-To-The-Sun Road, located 5.5 miles east of the Lake McDonald Lodge. Since this is an extremely popular hike, parking can be a problem during peak travel season. Obviously you can start from either side, but most people begin their hike on the eastern portion of the loop. This side of the loop travels along a raised boardwalk, and passes though a forest of ancient western hemlocks and red cedars. Being situated on the eastern edge of the maritime climate of the Pacific Northwest, the Lake McDonald Valley also marks the extreme eastern limits for western hemlocks and red cedars. The ...

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Canyonlands National Park: A Natural Wonderland

Canyonlands National Park is a U.S. National Park located in southeastern Utah near the town of Moab. It preserves a colorful landscape eroded into countless canyons, mesas, and buttes by the Colorado River, the Green River, and their respective tributaries. Legislation creating the park was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on September 12, 1964. The park is divided into four districts: the Island in the Sky, the Needles, the Maze, and the rivers themselves. While these areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, each retains its own character. Two large river canyons are carved into the Colorado Plateau by the Colorado River and Green River.[4] Author Edward Abbey, a frequent visitor, described the Canyonlands as “the most weird, wonderful, magical place on earth—there is ...

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Kodachrome Basin: Utah’s Hidden Gem

Kodachrome Basin is a state park of Utah, USA. It is situated 5,800 feet (1,767.8 m) above sea level, 12 miles (19 km) south of Utah Route 12, and 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Bryce Canyon National Park. It is accessible from the north from Cannonville by a paved road and from the south by Road 400, a dirt road from the Page, Arizona area to Cannonville, passable for most vehicles in dry conditions. A longer but paved route to Tropic from the south is also available via US-89 and SR-12. Differing geological explanations of the features in the park Kodachrome Basin State Park exist. One explanation is that the area was once similar to Yellowstone National Park with hot springs and geysers, which eventually filled up ...

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Capitol Reef National Park: Nature’s Playground

Capitol Reef National Park is a United States National Park, in south-central Utah. It is 100 miles (160 km) long but fairly narrow. The park, established in 1971, preserves 241,904 acres (377.98 sq mi; 97,895.08 ha; 978.95 km2) and is open all year, although May through September are the most popular months. Called “Wayne Wonderland” in the 1920s by local boosters Ephraim P. Pectol and Joseph S. Hickman, Capitol Reef National Park protects colorful canyons, ridges, buttes, and monoliths. About 75 mi (121 km) of the long up-thrust called the Waterpocket Fold, a rugged spine extending from Thousand Lake Mountain to Lake Powell, is preserved within the park. “Capitol Reef” is the name of an especially rugged and spectacular segment of the Waterpocket Fold near the Fremont River. The area was named ...

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Zion National Park: What To See

Zion National Park is located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile (590 km2) park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles (24 km) long and up to half a mile (800 m) deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River. The lowest elevation is 3,666 ft (1,117 m) at Coalpits Wash and the highest elevation is 8,726 ft (2,660 m) at Horse Ranch Mountain. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park’s unique geography and variety of life zones allow for unusual plant and animal diversity. Numerous plant species as well as 289 species of birds, 75 mammals (including 19 ...

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Maldives – Luxury Personified

Spectacular white-sand beaches and stunning bright blue waters are the two elements that make Maldives stand out among the many islands of the world. Almost all of the 1200 islands of Maldives have consistently spectacular beaches, which attract millions of people to this marvelous country. The remote island located on the Indian Ocean is often seen as paradise on earth by many travelers who have reveled in the luxuries of the Maldives. It is astounding that even though the island is remotely located there is a lot of luxury that offered by the hotels located at Male, the capital of the country. The inhospitable nature of the islands is in stark contrast to the friendliness of the locals. Without almost no natural resources available on ...

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Bryce Canyon National Park: What To See

Bryce Canyon National Park is a National Park located in southwestern Utah in the United States. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon, which despite its name, is not a canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau. Bryce is distinctive due to geological structures called hoodoos, formed by frost weathering and stream erosion of the river and lake bed sedimentary rocks. The red, orange, and white colors of the rocks provide spectacular views for park visitors. Bryce sits at a much higher elevation than nearby Zion National Park. The rim at Bryce varies from 8,000 to 9,000 feet (2,400 to 2,700 m). The Bryce Canyon area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s ...

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Arches National Park: Nature’s Finest Architecture

Arches National Park is a US National Park in eastern Utah. The park is located on the Colorado River 4 miles (6 km) north of Moab, Utah. It is known for containing over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations. The park is located just outside of Moab, Utah, and is 76,679 acres (119.811 sq mi; 31,031 ha; 310.31 km2) in area. Its highest elevation is 5,653 feet (1,723 m) at Elephant Butte, and its lowest elevation is 4,085 feet (1,245 m) at the visitor center. Forty-three arches are known to have collapsed since 1977. The park receives 10 inches (250 mm) of rain a year on average. Administered by the National ...

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Utah’s Hidden Gem: Burr Trail

The Burr Trail takes the adventurous traveler into some of Utah’s most beautiful and extraordinary country. Views of the Henry Mountains, the colorfully contorted Waterpocket Fold, Red Circle Cliffs, and Long Canyon all await the traveler who wishes to drive this interesting back road. Numerous hikes and side trips are available for those with the time and inclination. John Atlantic Burr was born in 1846 aboard the SS Brooklyn somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. He and his family lived in Salt Lake City, then later moved south and established the town of Burrville, Utah, in 1876. John Burr soon developed a trail to move cattle back and forth between winter and summer ranges and to market. This cattle trail through the rough, nearly impassable country ...

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Ramblings Of Traveler – BONUS BLOG – Last Mystery Of Vietnam

Last Mystery of Vietnam (a touchy – feely, serious blog) My thrill is traveling to a land that crawls its way into my memories and keeps getting better long after I have returned home. There is a warm, glowing spot in my heart remembering the six weeks I spent in Thailand with all its gaudy, noisy, crazy, bright colors, festivities, wonderful delights, superstitions, and religious fervor running deep in the veins of its followers and culture. There is nowhere in the world like Cambodia with the sadness of its ancient & not so distant past, with its struggle to keep up with present and future changing times, and its unmatched jungle ruins, and I will be there often in my thoughts. But it’s the magic ...

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Ramblings Of A Traveler – SE Asia #3

#3 FRUITS & NUTS A TOURIST CAN NOT AVOID Fruits (Durian and Lychee Nuts) Durian: This fruit, when cut into, smells like an unfiltered open air sewer mixed with 100 proof body odor stemming from worst, imaginable dirty feet and underarms all rolled into one, and I am not exaggerating even a little bit. When cut into on the ground floor of a hotel, the nauseating smell can primate all the way to at least the 15th floor and travels much faster then a hotel elevator. It makes me wonder what the poor sucker did that his punishment was to be the first to taste one of these overpowering, smelly fruits. I think he had to have been somebody’s slave of ancient times that was ...

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Ramblings Of A Traveler – SE Asia #2

RAMBLINGS OF A SOUTHEAST (SE) ASIA TRAVELER: Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam #2    ONCE THERE 1) Dos (Acceptable Behaviors of a USA Tourist in SE Asia) BIG DO: You’ll want to spend some quality time in a hammock. If you happen to stay for an extended amount of time, and happen to have a deck on poles out over the water like say in Koh Lanta Old Town, Thailand, and you happen to have two hammocks strung between poles holding the roof of your deck up, you would be totally off your rocker to not curl up and read the paperback book serial killer thriller, “Tiger Lily of Bangkok” by Owen Jones or “Siam Storm: A Thailand Adventure” by Robert A. Webster. Neither are great literary ...

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Glacier National Park – Montana’s Natural Wonder

Glacier National Park – located in Alberta, Canada and Montana, and established more than a century ago, covers more square-footage than Rhode Island and Washington DC together – is a most glamorous and adventurous park to stay for, what would need to be, an entire vacation! While established independently in May of 1910, it was also established as Waterton-Glacier National Peace Park 22 years later. A Peace Park, Glacier National cooperates with wildlife management, scientific research, some visitor services, holding the same status as a neighboring park, Waterton Lakes National Park. Park officials and conservation groups are working with the U.S. Forest Service, the Canadian government, the Blackfeet Tribe, and private companies to try to protect critical habitats. Within some 1600 square miles of land, ...

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Ramblings Of A Traveler – SE Asia #1

RAMBLINGS OF A SOUTHEAST (SE) ASIA TRAVELER: Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam #1  IN THE BEGINNING Where to go in SE Asia: Everyone asks me, “How do you know where to go when you travel?” Well, let’s admit it right here, I am a traveling fool. If I haven’t got at least 3 trips planned at one time, I breakout in a very itchy rash. In addition, I am not writing a travel guide here, but I can tell you it doesn’t matter where you go. I sincerely advise and hope you keep some of my ramblings in mind wherever you go because I have experienced what no one should have to. Here are my top 5 suggestions: Do THE tourist things (get a good guidebook, ...

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Acadia National Park: Breathtaking Maine Coastline

Acadia National Park – also known as L’Isle des Monts Déserts (the island of barren deserts) – is just over 47 acres of scenic landscaping, good eating, and activities for all ages. Just three years shy of being 100 years young, this nature-getaway is spread lushly across the vast Mount Desert Island in Maine, and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It is the perfect place for wanderlusts, hikers, sightseers, fishers, and basically everyone else, too! Families, nature enthusiasts, and solo travelers alike find their niches here at Acadia National Park. When Should You Visit? Well, Acadia National Park is open all year-round! There is not a bad time to go. However, if you want to be able to take a short visit to the Main Visitor ...

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The Enchanting Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is arguably the most visited tourist attraction in mainland China. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a long stretch of walls that crosses through deserts, grasslands, plateaus, and mountains. Built originally to prevent invasion more than 2,000 years ago, the Great Wall of China is an iconic spot that echoes the country’s prolific history that transcends to the present times. History The Great Wall of China’s history can be traced during the time of three great dynasties. In the year 770 – 221 B.C., during the Warring States Period of the Zhou Dynasty, state overlords started to build walls in order to protect their respective areas. It was during the Qin Dynasty when its first Emperor linked the different sections ...

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Cedar Breaks National Monument

Cedar Breaks National Monument – The Place of Adventure and Beauty Shrouded with cliffs, spires, canyons, and walls, the aesthetics of Cedar Breaks National Monument are a paradox of nature. This is where ruggedness takes the form of beauty. Located in the state of Utah, close to Cedar City, Cedar Breaks is regarded as the country’s natural amphitheater, which stretches over three miles and is more than 2,000 feet deep. With an elevation that reaches a height of 10,450 feet at the Markagunt Plateau, the majestic Cedar Breaks is hardly remembered for the Cedar trees because there are no Cedar trees here. Those who discovered the Cedar Breaks mistook Junipers to be Cedars. Established in 1933, the Cedar Breaks National Monument has been formed over ...

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RAMBLINGS OF A TRAVELER: FAMILY VACATION #3 Flying the Monarch

The Oregon coast has more than its share of cool looking ocean rocks and sand to go with them. Oregon coast is famous for some serious, bad, cold, windy weather and cool-looking cliffs and indescribable scenery everywhere you look down the 363-mile long coast. The indescribable scenery along the Oregon coast, if you are lucky to catch one of the nice clear days without dense fog or beating winds, is nothing short of breath taking. I don’t think there is any coastline anywhere in the world that can beat the Oregon coast for scenery. Yeah okay, the weather sucks most of the time (I think I said that), but that’s a minor inconvenience when you actually see what I am talking about. Haystack Rock on Cannon beach ...

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RAMBLINGS OF A TRAVELER – FAMILY VACATION: #2 THE OREGON TRAIL

#2 On the Way (A Tiny Bit About Lewis & Clark and The Oregon Trail) A LITTLE BIT ABOUT LEWIS AND CLARK Oregon is where Lewis and Clark ended up after crossing the North American Continent in 1803-1804 (doesn’t seem that long ago does it)? Lewis was appointed by President Thomas Jefferson to lead a voyage up the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains, over the mountains, and down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean and back. They were hoping to find a big river (all-water route) that ran all the way from St. Louis, Missouri to the Pacific Ocean and figure out if the Louisiana Purchase was a good buy, since President Jefferson bought the land site unseen and unmapped for a 15 ...

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RAMBLINGS OF A TRAVELER – FAMILY VACATION #1 Who Gets To Come

This blog is a different type of blog than what I usually post in my series, “Rambler of a Traveler.”  But since it is summer and the family time to travel, I thought I would veer off my usual course of International travel. Next month, I will be back to taking you around world with my rambles. Thank-you for taking the time to read the Ramblings Series. #1 Who Gets to Come, Establishing the Ground Rules, Getting out of town SELECTING WHO GETS TO COME Now there is only one way to do this. You will want to pick a variety of family members. The elders, the babies with colic, the teenagers that hate everything in site including you, the middle aged dad who is ...

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Traveling To The Exotic Fiji Islands

Brief history As per Fijian legend, the colossal boss Lutunasobasoba drove his kin over the oceans to the new place that is known as Fiji. Most powers concur that individuals came into the Pacific from Southeast Asia through the Malay Peninsula. At this point, it is believed that the Melanesians and the Polynesians blended to make a created society sooner than the landing of the Europeans. It is worth noting that the European revolutions of the Fiji gathering were unintentional. It is noteworthy to highlight that these disclosures were made in 1643 by the Dutch adventurer, Abel Tasman and English pilots, including Captain James Cook, who cruised through in 1774, that led to further investigations in the eighteenth century. The real credit for the revelation ...

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RAMBLINGS OF A TRAVELER IN CHILE & ARGENTINA: Terro del Fugo & Cape Horn

The history of the southernmost point of the AMERICAN continent has always been linked to seamen and adventurers, frontiersmen and mythical native inhabitants such as the Patagones or “Patagonian Giants”. The Portuguese seaman Hernando de Magallanes (Ferdinand Magellan) arrived at the area in 1520 and baptized it with the name Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire), after observing the bonfires the Onas or Selknam natives kept burning in their canoes to navigate by night and keep themselves warm. I also think the sunsets may have lead in part to the Land of Fire idea. This is an area of vast indomitable landscapes, islands and channels.  Tierra del Fuego is an archipelago off the south of South America, separated from the mainland by the Magellan Strait. ...

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RAMBLINGS OF A TRAVELER IN CHILE, SOUTH AMERICA: PATAGONIA

The territory of Patagonia is NOT just about jackets and outerwear. There really is a place at the end (farthest south) of the Americas in the countries of Chile and Argentina that is wild and beautiful and preserved. In this rambling I will focus a little bit on two famous National Parks and mostly Patagonia in Chile. Almost one-fifth of Chile is protected to varying degrees in national parks and reserves. The national forest commission administers 32 national parks, 48 national reserves, and 15 natural monuments. The country of Chile is so varied, wild and rugged, and protected with the driest desert in the world in the north and mammoth glaciers in south, some say it’s a great wonder of the world not to be ...

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RAMBLINGS OF A TRAVELER: NEW ENGLAND – #2 Salem Witch Trials

I have to admit, this rambling is going to be more of a history brief-story than actual ramblings about my travels. However, Salem Massachusetts is a place I visited and really could not let go of for a long time after I came home. I also thought it was a particularly timely blog to post around Halloween – just to get our thrill-seeking juices flowing. It all started out as a nice, peaceful, little Puritan, very religious village in the late 1600’s. And then things went wacko.   The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in the executions of 20 people, most of them ...

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RAMBLINGS OF A TRAVELER in NEW ENGLAND: #1 The Colors of Woodstock

So let’s be a little silly and ramble a bit about New England in the fall. What could I possibly write about the New England fall that hasn’t already been written? How can a Rambling Traveler from the wind-swept-treeless plains of Montana possibly know anything about the fall leaves a falling in New England? Here’s the deal, New England fall is – well there are no more adjectives left in the English language to describe New England fall. O.K. then, let’s ramble about a special little town in Vermont in October, but first …………. My first introduction to Vermont was through T.V. by watching reruns of the Newhart Show. Newhart was a goofy sitcom that ran from 1982-1990. The show was about a couple that ...

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RAMBLINGS OF A TRAVELER: #2 RUSSIA – Fast Train to St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg and Leningrad are the same Russian City. Before communism took the reins in 1922, the city was named St. Petersburg. During communism times, the city was renamed Leningrad after the most “loved” communist leader Vladimir Lenin. Since the fall of Communism in 1991, St. Petersburg has returned. O.K. Whatever! Oh what a beautiful city, but let’s first ramble on a bit about how I got to town. St. Petersburg is 13 hours by slow train from Moscow. Railroad between Moscow and Peter was first opened in 1851 and is 405 miles long. Train travel today takes between 3 ½ to 9 hrs, depending what type of train you go on. I didn’t have a ton of time, so I took the fast train pictured ...

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RAMBLINGS OF A TRAVELER: RUSSIA – #1 Moscow Madness

So going to Moscow Russia was at the very bottom of my international travel bucket list. To be honest, I never thought I would go there nor did I really care to go. However as most addicted travelers such as I will tell you, “We are the type of folks who will go anywhere, anytime, anyhow if at all possible”. A 5-night stay in Moscow, Russia was being auctioned off at a benefit dinner in my local town. And my faithful readers will never guess who won a 5-night stay at a very nice hotel at the edge of the Red Square overlooking all of Moscow’s hotspots. The winnings DID include an awesome daylong city tour with a drop-dead gorgeous Russian lady, but DID NOT ...

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RAMBLINGS OF A TRAVELER: #3 CUBA – Leaving There

#3 LEAVING THERE Now I love to travel – that should already be a known fact by the reader of this blog. And the last day on any trip is the worst possible day of my life at the time. Not because I don’t want to go home, because I do, but because I have gotten such an extreme thrill out of visiting whatever country I am in. But I have to say that to leave Cuba was unusually hard on my mental psychic, to say the least. So here is what I am going to miss about Cuba for the rest of my thrilling life. I will miss the transportation other than the group tour bus. I will miss the Taxis. Believe me, if ...

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RAMBLINGS OF A TRAVELER In Cuba: #2 BEING THERE

#2 BEING IN CUBA What to do in Cuba with the “Group?” You can always learn how to dry your rice. All you have to do is have the tour bus pull over to the side of the road, have the group get out of the bus, and talk to some local field workers. So here’s what they do. They harvest the rice, but it is still too wet to be stored. So what does Cuba have a lot of? That would be sunshine, and lot’s of cheap manual labor. So the workers load up the rice in donkey/mule pulled carts, find a paved road and spread it out on half the road everyday until its dry. That saves on electricity, plus its all natural. ...

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RAMBLINGS OF A TRAVELER IN CUBA #1 Getting There

RAMBLING OF A TRAVELER in CUBA #1 GETTING THERE I really really really wanted to go to Cuba for so many reasons I knew of before going, and most reasons I learned after I was there. I couldn’t wait to go to Cuba. I dreamt about it, and read about it. It’s a country that, right now, is unspoiled and virtually untouched by USA tourism. The very thought of going to Cuba made me feel giddy all over – call it a traveler’s sickness. Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean and only 90 miles from Florida. We all know that, I think. However, Cuba is a BIG MYSTERY to most USA travelers because we, meaning you and me without family in Cuba, are ...

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Tripping Through Southern Utah: 10 Part Series

This is a 10 part series of videos, photographs, and information about the scenic wonders of Southern Utah and Southwestern Colorado. All of the photographs and videos have been taken using an iPhone 5 mainly because I forgot my Go Pro and DSLR camera at home. I am such an idiot! Areas of Southern Utah that will be showcased: Burr Trail Arches National Park Bryce Canyon National Park Zion National Park Capitol Reef National Park Kodachrome Basin Canyonlands National Park  Valley of the Gods & Monument Valley Natural Bridges National Monument Mesa Verde National Park (I know its not in Southern Utah, but it is close!) Click HERE to visit the TTS store filled with original products!  Hope you enjoy this 10 part series! Follow TTS on ...

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