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July 2008 Archives

July 18, 2008

Shanghai for Beginners

by Lori Allen

Our guidebook forgot to mention that Shanghai is a madhouse. A warning for us rookie visitors would have been nice.

It was my first time to Shanghai (and, in fact, my first time to Asia) and my husband and I were completely shell-shocked.

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North to Alaska: The Beauty and the Beast

by Gary Buffone

“DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT!” my fishing buddy shouted from a distance upstream.  An important reminder as I stared into the eyes of the advancing 10-foot brown bear that had quietly floated downstream to just a few feet from the tip of my fly rod. 

As I quickly shuffled backwards in knee-deep water, I heard my friend’s second caution, “And don’t run!” Both are valuable tips from the park rangers at Katmai National Park.

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The Scenic Seven

by Elaine Strom

“Scenic 7,” the hushed pathway that twists and turns north and south through the Ouachita National Forest of the Ozark Mountains, is the breathtaking byway of central Arkansas.

A misty morning drive along the byway at daybreak, dipping through hollows and rising to ridges, culminates in a scenic view of the Ozark Canyon in its surreal stillness. Cotton candy clouds hang in the canyon and miniature Brown-Eyed Susans wave in the wild to escort the way. You’ll pass diamond fields of caverns, quarries, and crystal mines… camping, corn crops, and picnics… while little brown turtles in army-green helmets cross with care.

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Islands in the Desert: Solitude, Stillness, and Starry Nights

by Tracy Cheney

Surrounded by immense swaths of stark desert, three “island” environments rise into the sky above the searing lands of the southern continental U.S., each offering refuge to unique species of plants and animals.

Far-sighted efforts have preserved these “islands” as national parks to protect the unique ecosystems evolved in isolation over eons. Each is prized for the diversity of life found in an otherwise inhospitable environment. Though isolated, good roads will get you to these locales. Depending on the time of year, you may feel like you’re on a deserted island. But if it’s solitude, stillness, and starry nights you crave, the desert delivers in a spacious way.

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Sunday Afternoon in Goodland

by M. Joy Gorence

Located about six miles south of the intersection of Routes 951 and 41, a fishing village in southwest Florida transforms itself into a gathering spot every Sunday afternoon for an eclectic array of visitors.

On the road to Goodland early Sunday mornings, local fishing enthusiasts claim their favorite spots. Folding chairs, umbrellas and coolers are positioned along the road's edge. Road signs post a speed limit of 55 and wooden power lines, some still leaning as a result of Hurricane Wilma's visit, provide platforms for nesting osprey against a backdrop of azure skies. 

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Life, Death, and Flame: A Balinese Cremation Ceremony

by Roy Stevenson

I’m overwhelmed by the loud, rhythmic sounds of people chanting and drumming. Hundreds of people swirl around in multi-colored batik sarongs and skirts. Bright sunshine... suffocating heat and humidity... a sweet perfumed smell of flowers and incense wafting across the potholed asphalt... all of this gives me sensory overload.

Standing on the brown dirt path at the roadside, I’m stunned and bewildered as I look out at this melee of activity. Feeling very self-conscious about intruding on such a personal scene, I look around to see only a handful of tourists hovering on the periphery.

A short old man, wizened by the sun, smiles and beckons me into a nearby open hut, where he places a folded brown cotton band around my head and a bright red and green batik sari around my waist. “Welcome to our cremation ceremony,” he says as he leads me back out into the sweaty throng of Balinese villagers who are preparing for the procession.

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About July 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Travel Post Monthly in July 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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