Tag Archives: resorts

Estes Park, Colorado

Driving along US 34 East from Loveland to Estes Park (near Drake, Co) ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31365); New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken June 2, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Colorado, USA

Accessed from Loveland by Highway 34, Estes Park is considered a gateway for the Rocky Mountains and most notably the Rocky Mountain National Park. Located in Larimer County, the Town of Estes Park is a statutory town that is a popular summer resort and vacation hot spot. The town lies along the Big Thompson River and boasts a population just over 5,800 inhabitants (2010 census). The famous landmarks are the Stanley Hote, Baldpate Inn, Lake Este, and Olympus Dam.

Before the Europeans settled here, local tribes camped here – most notably the Arapaho Indians who lived here summers and called the valley “The Circle”. In the 1850s the Arapaho spent many summers camped around Mary’s Lake where their rock fire places, tipi rings, and dance rings can still be seen. They built eagle traps atop Long’s Peak in order to get war feathers. They established a buffalo trap here and used dogs to pack meat out of the valley. They also fought with the Apache here in the 1850’s and fought with the Ute when they hunted bighorn sheep here.

Whites and Euro-Americans first came to the area in the 1850’s as trappers, then the gold/silver prospectors arrived. The town is named after Missouri native Joel Estes who founded the community here i 1859. He moved his family here in 1863. Griff Evans and his family settled here in 1867 and acted as caretakers for the former Estes ranch. They initiated the tourism trade, building cabins for travelers and built the first dude ranch acting as guides for fishing, hunting, and moutaineering. The famous Irish nobleman, politician, and journalist Lord Dunraven settled here as well in the 1920’s. Albert Bierstadt was commissioned by the Earl of Dunraven to make a painting of the Estes Park and Long Peak area in 1876 and was displayed in Dunraven Castle. The young Anglo-Irish peer the 4th Earl of Dunraven and Mount Earl came in 1872 with Texas Jack Omohundro and decided to take over the valley for his own private hunting preserve. His land grab didn’t work, but he controlled 6,000 acres before he changed tactics and opened the area’s first resort – the Estes Park Hotel which was destroyed in 1911 by a fire. In 1873 English woman Isabella Bird explored the area with Rocky Mountain Jim (James Nugent) and wrote a memoir of their travels, featuring the area including their breathtaking ascent of Long’s Peak. In 1974 Rocky Mountain Jim and his neighbor Griff Evans argued and became rivals fighting over doing tours for tourists of the area. The arguments escalated until Evans blasted Jim in the head with his rifle shot gun. Evans traveled to Fort Collins to file an assault charge against Nugent but was arrested for first degree murder, put on trial, but was dismissed due to lack of witnesses of the shooting. He was acquitted.

ALex and Clara MacGregor arrived and homesteaded at the foot of Lumpy Ridge, building a ranch that is now a historic site. In 1874 they incorporated a company to build a toll froad from Lyons to Estes Park, which is now Highway 36 and was at the time the only road fit for pack horses. They used it to ring more visitors into Estes Park, some of which became residents building hotels and promoting tourism. Enos Mills in 1884 left Kansas and relocated to join family in Estes Park, and was integral to helping preserve nearly a 1000 square miles as Rocky Mountain National Park. This was successful in 1915. His brother, Joe Mills came in 1889 writing a series of articles about his experiences for Boys Life which were later published as a book. He and his wife returned to Estes Park to build a hotel called the Crags on the north side of Prospect Mountain. As the Rocky Mountains was deemed a healthy place to live with those suffering from pulmonary diseases, many came here and were catered to by the tourism industry and hotels, providing staff physicians for their care.

By 1903 a road was opened from Loveland through the Big Thompson River Canyon to Estes Park increasing access and bypassing the toll road. A auto stage route was established by 1907. Stanley Steamers were incorporated having Mr Stanley build 9 passenger steam busses opening a bus line from Lyons to Estes Park. In 1949 Olympus Dam was built providing local drinking water resources. In 1909 the Stanley Hotel was built styled in Edwardian opulence and became infamous when writer Stephen King stayed there gaining inspiration for “The Shining”.

in 1982 the town was severely destroyed by the failure of Lawn Lake Dam flooding the area. It was eventually renovated and improved, adding a river walk.

Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado. (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31369) Exploring Estes Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=31373). New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken June 2, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Inn of the Mountain Gods, near Ruidoso, New Mexico

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Inn of the Mountain Gods
* Mescalero Indian Reservation near Ruidoso, New Mexico * http://innofthemountaingods.com/ *

Fond childhood memories of this resort as it was a place that my mom and dad took us to often when we were children. I supposed when dad wanted to go skiing, gamble, or golf was when we lodged here before he built a cabin in Ruidoso. It is highlighted as one of New Mexico’s premier mountain resorts. It is located just outside of Ruidoso, New Mexico near Mescalero and harnesses picturesque mountain surroundings, views, and clean mountain air, snow capped mountains, lake and championship golf course. They boast easy access to the Ski Apache Sierra Blanca ski resort, a golf course, and a scenic lake. The prices were good and discounted when we arrived, and we even stayed a 2nd night as they offered it half-price of the discounted rate as was. We however were surprised of a $12 resort fee they snuck on the bill. The lobby is large, warm with fireplaces, and modern Native American art displayed. (it does lack history) A very modern lodge and casino, with 273 luxury rooms and suites, with all you can eat buffets. They offer 40,000 square feet of meeting spaces, a 38,000 square foot casino, non-smoking poker room with 9 tables for play, a indoor pool, large hot tub spa, gym, gift shop, Starbucks kiosk, discounts and shuttles to the skiing and snowboarding sites, an 18 hole championship golf course, big game hunting, skeet shooting, horseback riding, fishing, and gondola rides. It is owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache tribe. Kid friendly. We certainly had more fond memories of the resort as kids, but found it comfortable and a pleasant stay. Visited 11/19/13-11/21/13 – Rated: 4 stars out of 5.

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posuwaegah (outside of Taos, NM)

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Posuwaegeh means “drink-water place” or “place to drink” in the Towa language. the posuwaegeh pueblo is located 16 miles north of Santa Fe and is the smallest of the six Tewa villages. There were 177 Native Americans living there in 1990. Their language is Kiowa-Tanoan. They are believed like all other Puebloan culture peoples to come from the Anasazi of the Four Corners region (Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, Salmon, and Aztec) as well as possibly Mogollon peoples around 1200 CE. This area has been occupied pretty constantly since 900 CE growing into a major political and cultural center. The Spanish occupied the area around 1598 with settlers, founding the colony of New Mexico. They forced the Indians to pay taxes in crops, cotton, and slave labor, forced them to become Catholics, and attacked their indigenous religions. The Pueblos were renamed by the Spaniards with saint’s names and began to construct churches in the area. The region took an active part in the 1680 Pueblo revolt against the Spanish. Today the Pueblo hosts a market, restaurants, casinos, resorts, and a 18 hole golf course just to the east of the over crossing. The overpass is a popular photo spot of the region, as it is decorated with symbols for mountains, clouds, and whirling logs (infinity symbol).

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Brushwood Folklore Center (Sherman, New York)

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Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman, New York

Brushwood Folklore Center
* http://www.brushwood.com/ * * 8881 Bailey Hill Rd. * Sherman New York * 14781 * 716-761-6750 * camp@brushwood.com *

One of my favorite campsites and festival grounds is Brushwood Folklore Center, nestled in upstate New York. A rustic wooded retreat on over 180 wooded acres outside of Sherman, New York in rural Chautauqua County. A clothing optional campground and resort focused on creativity, community, and spirituality. A great place to relax, become one with nature or with others, or to be part of the fabulous festivals held year round including bonfires, drumming, dancing, swimming, and soaking in the hot tub. The grounds are full of lots of temples, sanctuaries, altars, and sacred spaces where various groups host numerous rites and rituals every year. Family and community run since 1970, Brushwood is a family and community oriented campground.

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Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman, New York

The campgrounds have seasonal campground sites, co-ed showers, flush toilets, a swimming pool, and two hot tubs. There are three covered pavilions near main camping, lots of outdoor space for workshops, lectures, ceremonies, and performances. An heated indoor lodge for year-round use and heated indoor sleeping areas for over a dozen visitors. Camping fees are only $10 /night (2013 rates) with day passes at $6/day until 6 pm. The heated indoor lodging (dorm-style trailer) is $15/night – all per person. On occasion, potluck dinners are held to promote opportunities for community to meet and share meals together. Home to numerous annual festivals, some of the famous festivals like Starwood in the past, now Summerstar, Sirius Rising, Wellspring, and many other events each year. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman, New York

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Brushwood Folklore Center, Sherman, New York

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Manly Harbour, Queensland, Australia

Manly Harbour
Manly Beach, Queensland, Australia
http://www.manlyharbourvillage.com/

Manly Harbour is a popular resort location, especially for boating. It is also home to Manly Harbour Village which supports the community of boaters and recreationists who utilize the docks. Sheltered from harsh weather and the sea, Manly Beach and its harbour is conveniently locaed 20 minutes outside of Brisbane and is Brisbane’s only bayside village. Manly Beach Harbour is also Australia’s east coast’s largest man-made marina giving a docking home to over 1,500 boats and vessels. Surrounding the marina are many restaurants, coffee houses, galleries, accomodations, and entertainment/recreational venues … and its a portal to many islands such as Moreton Bay and historic St. Helena Island. In addition, it is home to an annual Harbour festival and weekly arts, crafts, and farmer’s markets. With a long stretch of esplanade to walk, completely bounding the marina, is a great panorama of the boater’s world. Inset into internationally recognized wetlands, even the bird watcher can come here to view over 43 species of wading birds.

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Batesman Bay

Batesman Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Just north of Narooma is the small resort town of Batemans Bay just north on the Sapphire Coast in the South Coast of New South Wales on the Princes Highway (Hwy 1), it is also one of the connecting coastal city routes to Canberra. With a population of just over 10,800 inhabitants, Batesman Bay is a well known seaside town known for tourism, beach holidays, retiree’s, young familes, and relaxation. It is also popular for its sawmill, oyster farming, foresty, eco-tourism, and retail services. Geologically it is where the Clyde River empties into the Tasman Sea.

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Cooma, New South Wales

Cooma
New South Wales, Australia

A small little town in the southern region of New South Wales, Cooma is just 115 kilometers south of Canberra. It is the entry to the “Snowy Mountains” Region and is along the Snowy Mountains Highway that connects Bega with the Riverina. With a tiny population of 6,587 inhabitants, and 2,620 feet above sea level. It is a country and mountain town popular amongst hikers, backpackers, travellers, campers, fishermen, and skiiers. The town’s name comes from the Aboriginal term “Coombah” which means “big lake” or “open country”. While Aboriginal inhabitants have had a presence here, the region was first explored by white settlers by Captain J.M. Currie in 1823 receiving its first survey in 1840 and claimed a municipality by 1879. By 1889 the Sydney railway extended from Roalla to Cooma. The town quickly became the headquarters for the Snowy Mountains Scheme and is commemorated as such by the avenue of flags in the city center’s park that represents over 27 nationalities of people working on the scheme.

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Land’s End (Cornwall, England)

Land’s End
Cornwall, England

Land’s End is Cornwall’s big family destination and amusement park. The area is filled with props, costumes, and monsters from “Doctor Who” and is home to the multi-sensory theater show “Return to the Last Labyrinth” that covers the myths and legends of the area. There is shopping and dining in the area. It is a headland and small settlement in western Cornwall based on Tourism. It is 8 miles from Penzance. It is the most westerly point of the England’s mainland. Its known for its cliffs and panorama views of the coastline including such notable points as “The Longships”, “The Isles of Scilly”, and the mythical lost land of Lyonesse. The settlement was purchased in 1987 by Peter de Savary to create his theme park. This was sold to Graham Ferguson Lacey in 1991. It is also home to a small airport.

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Manitou Springs, Colorado

Explorations around Manitou Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 18, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit   http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography.  Manitou Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613; Colorado: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613.
Explorations around Manitou Springs, Colorado.

Manitou Springs, Colorado
A beautiful and charming little resort town of approximately 4,980 citizens (census 2000), nestled at the base of Pikes Peak, just 15 minutes west of Colorado Springs, Colorado is Manitou Springs that is approximately 3 miles square. The town is a big part of “Colorado Springs” and both towns are referred to as “The Springs” by its inhabitants. Manitou is named after the enchanting naturally carbonated springs that well up from one of several fountains throughout the town, most of which have drinking fountains for the public to fill up their water bottles in, each with a distinct flavor and effect. The area historically was an attractant as a spa and healing resort for those suffering from tuberculosis as the healthy fresh mountain air, bubbling springs, and healing minerals were believed to be quite a successful cure for individual ailments. It became such a hotspot that the inhabiting Ute Indians were pushed out by the white settlers and vacation resorts, cabins, cottages, and even a castle was built to take advantage of the Springs. The Utes were believed to curse the area so that no ‘white’ business would ever succeed. In the 1970’s, Woodland Park that is located up Ute Pass approximately 19 miles west, built a sewage treatment plant on top of the fault line which made most of the Springs undrinkable during most of the 1980’s until corrected by the 1990’s. The area is quite a tourist resort and attraction for the area for antique stores, metaphysics, Christianity, Pike’s Peak Railway, Briarhurst Manor, The Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Cave of the Winds, the North Pole, Iron Springs Chateau & Melodrama, Garden of the Gods, and Miramount Castle. In addition, Manitou is known for fabulously crazy festivals such as the Emma Crawford Coffin Races, Cake Tosses, Wine Festivals, Carnival, Gumbo cook-offs, and many other events. An amazing must see hotspot. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

Explorations around Manitou Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 18, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit   http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography.  Manitou Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613; Colorado: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613.
Explorations around Manitou Springs, Colorado. .

Garden of the Gods (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=545); Explorations around Manitou Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf  and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 18, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit   http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography.  Manitou Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613; Colorado: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613.
Garden of the Gods (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=545); Explorations around Manitou Springs, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken December 18, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography. Manitou Springs: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613; Colorado: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=22613.

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Outrigger Hotel – Kona, Big Island, Hawaii


Outrigger Hotel, Kona

Outrigger Hotel
* 78-261 Manukai Street, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 96740 * Toll-free U.S., Canada, Guam: 800-959-5662 or local: 808-322-9625
* http://www.outrigger.com/hotels-resorts/hawaiian-islands/hawaii-big-island/outrigger-kanaloa-at-kona *

A beautiful, elegant, and spacious resort located on 18 acres of ocean-front lava rock beach that overlooks stunning Keauhou Bay. The hotel and resort is encircled by well groomed gardens that create a nice private space with tall coconut palms, tropical blossoms, soft grasses, and lush lauae ferns. Inside the hotel are roomy condo units with open-beamed ceilings and spacious covered balconies with breath-taking views of the sea. Condos are available in 1 and 2 bedrooms, or a 2-bedroom with loft units. Each room is breeze cooled with ceiling fans, though some units have air conditioning upon request. Free wireless internet is available in the lobby, swimming pool area, and other areas of the resort. The hotel is home to three swimming pools, five barbeque grills, two tennis courts, connection to the Kona Country Club which has a 36-hole golf course, and is connected to a public beach which is well-known as a spectacular snorkeling site on Kealakekua Bay as well as the Puuhonua o Honaunau National Histori Park. Resort requires a two-night minimum to book a room and a three-night minimum on U.S. holiday weekends. While I did not stay at the hotel and only visited the resort during the day – I was impressed, even though I thought it was rather expensive. Cannot comment on staying in the condo-rooms, but the resort was A+. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.


Outrigger Hotel, Kona

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Kailua Kona


Kona

Kailua Kona
Big Island, Hawaii
An interesting little resort town on one of the coasts of Big Island, Hawaii. While it doesn’t seem very populated, it is one of the Big Island’s most popular cities as well as one of its largest (census 2000: population 9,870). Its one of the main spots where tourists go for rest, relaxation, and a night life. My visit was a day onwards into the evening … dropping by for a seafood lunch, snorkeling the reefs, lounging in the sun, exploring an old fort, seeing sea turtles, and frolicking around with cocktails meeting some of the locals. I enjoyed the town, but wasn’t impressed with its weekend nightlife offerings. Definitely more low-key than I’m used to. Kona is the center of commerce and tourism in West Hawaii.
The proper name for the area is “Kailua-Kona” (according to the post office to differentiate itself from the larger Kailua on windward Oahu) though most popularly known as “Kona Town” or “Kona”. It houses its own airport and with Hilo make up the air traffic for the island. The area was first established by King Kamehameha I as the homeplace for the government as well as the capital of the newly unified Kingdom of Hawaii. (Capital moved to Lahaina then to Honolulu at later dates) From its inception until the late 1900’s, Kona served primarily as a small fishing village but then overwent a humongous construction boom fueled by tourism and commerce. Kona keeps a pretty warm temperature annually – the coldest month is february with a average high of 82 degrees Fahrenheit an an average low of 67 degrees Fahrenheit. August is the warmest month with an average high of 88 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low of 74 degrees. The area is susceptible to vog (volcanic smoke/fog) from Kilauea. Kona is most popular for its coffee that comes from a variety of Coffea arabica cultivated on the slopes of Mount Hualalai and Mauna Loa. The most popular area of Kona is Ali’i Drive which is Kailua’s oceanfront downtown street beginning at the Kailua Pier towards historic spots southwards including the Ahu’ena Heiau, Kamakahonu royal residence, Hulihe’e Palace, Historic Kona Inn, Mokuaikaua Church, La’aloa Bay, Kahulu’u Bay, and a historic fort.


Big Island

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Volcano’s Eisenhower House

Eisenhower House

Kilauea Military Camp, Volcano National Park, Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii

A resort cabin in the Kilauea Military Camp on the Big Island of Hawaii, in the heart of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, just below the rim of the Kilauea Caldera. The Camp is a famous mountainside resort established primarily for military visitors, staff, and family. It was this cabin, where Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, visited and stayed before he became president. The cabin was then named after him. It is a two-bedroom cabin, fully restored, and equipt with modern amenities.


Eisenhower House

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Wakiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii


Wakiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

Wakiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii
I had the pleasure of spending my first night in Waik?k? which is a neighborhood of Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of O?ahu, Hawaii. I spent my time there on the beach and in the Wakiki-HI youth hostel. Wakiki means “spouting fresh water” in Hawaiian, named as such for the streams and springs the fed the wetlands that once sat in this area (now pretty much paved over by the concrete jungle that is Honolulu. The area known as Wakiki extends from the Ala Wai Canal (which was dug to drain the former wetlands) on the west and north, to Diamond Head on the east. The area is known for the magnificent views of the Diamond Head tuff cone. Wakiki Beach is known for its humidity, warmth, and cloud-free climate as well as its surf break. The area is very commercialized, planted with high-rise hotels and condos. The beach is small, half of which is reserved for surfing. While the beach is sandy, the water is shallow, and quite rocky underwater. The area was originally a retreat for Hawaiian royalty in the 1800s who also enjoyed surfing these beaches. In the 1880’s a few hotels opened up and in 1893 the Greek-American George lycurgus leased the guest house of Allen Herbert calling it the “Sans Souci” making one of the first beach resorts. Present day Wakiki hosts popular hotels today like the Halekulani Hotel, the Hyatt Regency, the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the Sheraton, and some earlier historic hotels like the Royal Hawaiian and the Moana Surfrider. There are many surfer and hula competitions, festivals, and events that annually take place on Wakiki. Because they destroyed wetlands to build Wakiki, erosional problems have plagued the beach for years, whereas jetties, groins, and beach replenish projects have been abundant. Sand has even been imported in from California in the 20’s and 30’s to fix the beach. Also found here are Kapi?olani Park, Fort de Russy Military Reservation, Kahanamoku Lagoon, K?hi? Beach Park, and Ali Wai Harbor. Also, the infamous free movies on the beach called “Sunset on the Beach” are held here displaying on a 30′ screen on the beach. Beautiful place … Rating: 4 stars out of 5.


Wakiki, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii

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Bridal Veil Falls (Telluride, Colorado)


Bridal Veil Falls
Telluride, Colorado

One of the spectacular beauties of Telluride are the stunning Bridal Veil Falls. A towering water fall dropping 365 feet at the end of the box canyon overlooking Telluride. Hiking and off road trails pass by the falls and there resides a power plant at its top. During the winter the frozen falls create a otherworldly art form. Atop the falls is a house owned by Eric Jacobson who restored the power plant. This plant provides for over 25 percent of Telluride’s need for energy. In the 1990s the falls were opened to ice climbers but since it regained private property status again that changed. The area around the falls is subject to avalanche and environmental conditions. Reaching the top can be challenging at times. The falls are awe inspiring and definitely a great viewpoint. On our 5/31/09 visit, we were unable to make it up to them and could only admire Bridal Veils from afar, but that was far worth the inspiration. Someday I hope to climb up to them and enjoy close-up.




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Telluride, Colorado

Telluride, Colorado
Telluride is a great little mountainous ski-resort village that was once a mining town. Population of 2,221 in 2000. Telluride was a former silver mining camp on the san Miguel River in the San Juan Mountains nestled in a box canyon of the Four Corners region of Colorado with steep forested mountains and cliffs surrounding the town. Elevation 8,750 feet. At the head of the canyon is the amazing Bridal Veil Falls and speckled all along the valley are numerous weathered ruins of old mines and operations. Telluride offers a free gondola that you can take up to the mountain-tops for a great panoramic view of the valley. Telluride is notoriously known for its pop culture as it has been the backdrop for several tv commercials, home to an international film festival, and referred to in songs by Glenn Frey, Kate Wolf, Tim McGraw, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Josh Gracin, and in an essay by Edward Abbey. Hotspot of activity for skiiers and hikers, it’s a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Only one road reaches the town year round with two off-road routes for mid summer. Gold was first discovered in the region in 1858. The first claim was made by John Fallon in the Marshal Basin above Telluride. This sparked settling the area in 1878 with the formation of the town. Originally called “Columbia” but later changed to Telluride after one of the minerals found in the area called Tellurium. Telluride’s mines are rich in zinc, lead, copper, silver, and gold. Butch Cassidy hung out here in 1889 and robbed the San Miguel Valley Bank that year making history as his first major recorded crime. Local residents and common visitors have included John Denver, Bob Dylan, Daryl Hannah, Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Cruise. I found the town extremely charming and in some quarters rustic, even though it had its touristy yuppie overwhelming flair. Definitely one of my favorite towns in Colorado. A must visit.

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