Travel

General Travel that may or may not be associated with cruising. things like Yellowstone, or Williamsburg, or even Barcelona can be found here.

Roadside View of Capitol Reef National Park: One Day at This Utah Attraction

Roadside View of Capitol Reef National Park: One Day at This Utah Attraction

Do you know where Capital Reef National Park is? We found it by chance more than two decades ago and we’ve been going back since then.

Capital Reef is a small National Park located in southern Utah. It’s in the neighborhood of the Grand Escalante National Recreation Area, Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park. The closest town is called Torrey. Not much there except a small grocery store and a handful of restaurants, cafes and hotels.

The area has grown significantly over the years, but we think it’s still one of the best kept secrets in southern Utah.

Here’s a video we made from a recent trip through Capitol Reef. We hesitate to say that it was our destination, but rather, it was a diversion as we traveled from one place to another. Next time we’ll want to spend more time and explore some of the backcountry.

We spent just a single day ambling around Capitol Reef National Park in southern Utah. Here’s what we found by observing from the roadside.

We spent about six weeks in this area a few years ago when we were RVing full time and came away with a few stories. Here are a few:

Capitol Reef National Park – Our introductory piece from a couple of years ago when we visited this the Park.

Capitol Reef national Park – Image gallery – Some of our first images from Capitol Reef National Park. They’re still relevant since nothing has changed over the years.

Capitol Reef – Waterpocket Fold – We dive into the fascinating geology of the area around Capitol Reef called The Waterpocket Fold. By visiting Capitol Reef national Park, it’s no mystery that the area has been very geologically active and this article explains a little about how it all took place.

Capital Reef National Park – Wayne Wonderland – Here we dive into a bit of the recent history of Wayne County and who the first Mormon settlers were.

Goblin Valley – Utah’s Weirdest Rocks – This should have been listed first. If you visit Capitol Reef National Park and you come from I-70, you pass by Goblin Valley State Park near Hanksville. This place has the weirdest rocks we’ve seen anywhere and it’s worth a visit, especially if it’s on your way.

Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in blog, Travel, US Parks, Video, 0 comments
Impressions of the Parks Near Moab

Impressions of the Parks Near Moab

If you like wide open spaces—and who doesn’t these days—then one place that might be at the top of your list should be Moab, Utah. And we don’t mean the City of Moab—even though it’s a fine city—but the overwhelming number of national, state, and county parks in the immediate area.

To tell you about everything to see and do around Moab would take a sizable book. In fact, books are written pretty much everything you could think of to do in this American Southwest destination. From rock climbing to day hiking, mountain biking, four-wheeling, you name it, it’s here. There are tours if you want to be shown around, and there are rentals if you want to head out on your own. Many people bring their own equipment and head out to the back country.

Our quick little video here shows just a bit of only two parks in the Moab area: Arches National Park and Canyonlands. Both are easily accessible with any kind of vehicle and are an easy day trip from downtown Moab.

Canyonlands and Arches National Parks are two of our favorite places in the southwest. We’ve spent a great deal of time visiting these wonders over the years, and it seems as though it’s a new experience each time we come.

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Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in blog, The West, Travel, US Parks, 0 comments
Penguins on the Falkland Islands

Penguins on the Falkland Islands

One of the highlights of our recent trip to Antarctica was a stop at the Falkland Islands, where we drove out to a place called Volunteer Point to view a large colony of King Penguins. The road trip took about 2 1/2 hours. The first half-hour was on a paved road. We then transitioned to a dirt road for another hour or so, and the remainder was cross country through peat bogs that served as cattle pastures.

Our vehicle was a four-wheel-drive diesel Nissan pickup that looked as if it was a personal vehicle of the driver. When questioned about it, he mentioned that he was just helping out the tour company and that his “day” job was as a mechanic in a local shop in the town of Stanley. He was handy to have around since several vehicles got stuck in the bogs on the way out. Our impression was that being stuck was not unusual.

You can visit Falklands Conservation to learn more about how this organization is working to benefit the penguins on the Falkland Islands, and some of their other important conservation projects.

This was a day to remember. We’d do it again in a flash, and it’s on our list of places to return someday.
Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in blog, Cruising, Travel, 0 comments
Manatees of Blue Springs State Park

Manatees of Blue Springs State Park

We went north of Orlando a few miles and visited Blue Springs State Park. It’s January, and the Manatees are here. On the day we were visited, the count was 380 animals.

Blue Springs State Park is based around an underground spring that remains a constant 72 degrees F year-round. When the seawater gets below 66 degrees, the Manatees start looking for warmer water and Blue Springs, with its proximity to the St. John’s River, is high on the list.

In summer months, Blue Springs is a popular park for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The springs offer a chance for divers to explore a cave system that descents more than 100 feet underground. There’s a campground too, so visitors can spend several days.

The crystal clear waters of Blue Springs State Park are home to Manatees in the coldest winter months, but in the summer, it’s a popular swimming hole. Snorkeling and Scuba diving are also on the list. The spring that feeds more than a million gallons of water a day river extends down more than 100 feet into the earth.
Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in blog, Florida, State Parks, Travel, Video, 0 comments
Visiting an Alpaca Farm Near Santiago

Visiting an Alpaca Farm Near Santiago

After our Antarctica cruise, we spent a few days in Santiago. One day, we ventured out of town a few miles and visited an Alpaca farm nearby. It was in a small town about an hour north of Santiago in a local farming district, called Llay Llay.

The name of the Alpaca Farm is called Quintessence Alpacas. To quote from their web site, “This family business is dedicated to the fine breeding, export, and manufacturing of the best alpaca and alpaca fiber. As well as to the rescue and preservation of all the beautiful natural colors that Alpaca has to offer.”

If you’re in the area, you can also arrange a tour of their facility, and here’s a quick look at our visit:

Visiting Quintessence Alpacas near Santiago, Chile, we quickly learned what interesting, inquisitive, and intelligent animals these Alpacas were.
Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in blog, Cruising, Travel, 0 comments
Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

Lamar Valley, Yellowstone National Park

One of our favorite spots in the U.S., or even the world for that matter, is Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming and Montana. We travel there as often as we can and try to make it when we have the best chances of seeing animals.

While in Yellowstone, we have several spots we like to visit, but one of our favorite spots is the Lamar Valley, located in the northeastern part of the park. We almost always encounter animals along the road from Tower Junction and east until the highway starts its climb up and out of the valley. We usually encounter bears, pronghorn, many bison, and an occasional wolf (in the distance) or coyote.

This past summer’s trip was especially good for us so we put together a quick video of some of the animals and sights we found while driving the road in the Lamar Valley. Take a look:

The Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park is one of our favorite places for spotting wildlife. This picturesque highway between Tower Junction and the Park exit is home to a large variety of critters and with ample places to pull off the road for observing, it’s a great place to spend some time. Photos and videos by Don and Bonnie Fink.
Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in blog, Featured, The West, Travel, US Parks, 0 comments
Animal Watching Along the Madison River

Animal Watching Along the Madison River

In the fall, the animals in Yellowstone often congregate in lower areas where they can more easily navigate the winter snow and find food. This is especially true along the Madison River near Yellowstone’s western entrance. Elk often number in the hundreds here while they get on with the business of the fall rut and settle in for the coming winter.
Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in blog, Travel, US Parks, 0 comments
Salisbury Cathedral in Southwestern England

Salisbury Cathedral in Southwestern England

We took some time off our busy tourist schedule to visit one of England’s foremost cathedrals, the Salisbury Cathedral in Salisbury.

This church was constructed in the 13th century, from 1220 through 1258 for the main part of the building; a period of only 38 years. It’s now part of the Church of England, but was part of the Roman Catholic Church when constructed.

In 1549, the church spire became the tallest in England when the spire at the Lincoln Cathedral crumbled. Since the Lincoln Cathedral Central Spire was never re-built, the Salisbury Cathedral remains the highest in England to this day. It stands 404 feet tall.

Take a look a the Salisbury Cathedral in Southwestern England. Photos, Videos, and editing by Don and Bonnie Fink.
Posted by Donald Fink and Bonnie Fink in blog, Cruising, Europe, Travel, Video, 0 comments