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|Leave No Trace: 6 Tips for Visiting the National Parks|
Added: 15.01.2021 2:44 | 5 views | 0 comments
The national parks are some of our country's greatest national treasures—so it's important that while we enjoy them, we also take care of them, especially when hiking and camping in backcountry areas. To help keep the parks pristine, visitors need to take an active role in maintaining them. Here's how you can make the most of the national parks and make sure you leave no trace:
Plan Ahead and Prepare
Hiking in the backcountry is inherently risky. Three miles of hiking at the high elevations in Wyoming may be much harder than three miles in your neighborhood park back home. Choose appropriate routes for mileage and elevation gain with this in mind, and carry hiking essentials.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
In front-country and backcountry campgrounds, camp in designated sites. Protect fragile plants by staying on trails even in mud, refusing to cut switchbacks, and walking single file. If you must walk off the trail, step on rocks, snow, or dry grasses rather than wet soil and delicate plants.
Leave What You Find
Flowers, rocks, and fur tufts on shrubs are protected park resources, as are historical and cultural items. For lunch stops and camping, sit on rocks or logs where you find them rather than moving them to accommodate comfort.
Minimize Campfire Impacts
Make fires in designated fire pits only, not on beaches. Use small wrist-sized dead and downed wood, not live branches. Be aware: Fires and collecting firewood are not permitted in some places in the parks.
Bring along binoculars, spotting scopes, and telephoto lenses to aid in watching wildlife. Keep your distance. Do not feed any wildlife, even ground squirrels. Once fed, they can become more aggressive.
Be Considerate of Other Visitors
In particular, be aware of cell phones and how their use or noise cuts into the natural soundscapes of the parks.
For formation on Leave No Trace, visit .
Ready to plan your parks adventure?
[hbg-title isbn="9781640492776" summary="They’ve been dubbed America’s best idea for a reason: get inspired, get outdoors, and discover the wild beauty of the United States with Moon USA National Parks."/]
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|From Chateaux to Battlefields: Walking the Paths My Characters Tread|
Added: 15.01.2021 2:34 | 3 views | 0 comments
Next to writing, research is my true love. When I stand in the spaces I want my characters to inhabit, I can feel them and see them and bring their lives and their stories out of my imagination and into the structure of words and sentences.
The Hotel Scribe, Paris
To research The Paris Orphan, I started in Paris at the Hotel Scribe, where Lee Miller stayed during World War II and where Jessica May, my character, also stays. The hotel was used by the U.S. Army as the press office, and the hotel’s exterior is largely unchanged from that time.
Staying in the hotel for several nights allowed me to picture more vividly the scenes in my story set there, to see where Miller’s room was, and the view from her balcony. The hotel is very proud of its association with Miller.
A Chateau in the Champagne Region
From there I had the very difficult(!) job of staying in a chateau just outside Reims in France’s Champagne region, just as D’Arcy does in The Paris Orphan. How I suffer for my art!
It was a wonderful experience because I was able to wallow in the richness and lushness of the area. The extraordinarily bright pumpkins that D’Arcy sees from her window are the pumpkins I saw from my room at the chateau, as is the canal, the maze, the plane trees, the potager—or vegetable garden—and the butterflies. From inside the chateau, the black-and-white-tiled marble floor, the salon de grisailles, the boiserie, and the turret all came from the chateau I stayed at.
Crazy Trees—Les Faux de Verzy
I had heard about Les Faux de Verzy, the dwarf twisted beech trees that feature in The Paris Orphan, before I left for France. I was determined to see them, as they captured my imagination. When I told my kids we were going to spend the afternoon walking through a forest in search of crazy trees, they looked at me as if I was the one who was crazy!
But we had the perfect day. It was a little overcast and dark, haunting, mystical, magical even. We found the trees, and they were like something from myth. We all felt as if we were walking through an enchanted forest. As we left, my kids said to me that doing weird research things with Mummy always ended up being really fun! There was no way I could leave those spectacular trees out of the book.
On to Normandy
I then traveled to Normandy, which was a sobering experience. Standing on Omaha Beach, as Jess does in the book, deeply affected me. The beach is so very wide, and I could see the difficulty that any soldier would have had, jumping out of a vessel on the water, traversing through waves to the ocean’s edge, and then having to forge a way across that vast stretch of sand to safety. Almost impossible. I could feel how Jess might feel, standing there, seventy-odd years ago, a witness to the immense and terrible destruction of human life.
I visited the American Cemetery there, and then drove to Sainte-Mère Église, where there is a museum dedicated to the paratroopers. I knew little about the intricacies of battles and battalions, so seeing a mannequin dressed in a paratrooper’s uniform, plus all of the eighty kilograms of equipment they carried, and studying the maps of their campaigns and victories was hugely helpful in allowing me to better understand Dan Hallworth and what he might have faced.
In the museums of Normandy, I saw a lot of the equipment used by the soldiers and the personal items carried by them, which helped me to recreate life as it could have been: everything from U.S. Army jeeps and tanks, to long-tom guns, packs of Lucky Strikes, ration chocolate, Scott paper, and tins of Marathon foot powder—all of which appear in the book.
I was also able to see the accreditation papers, passport, uniforms, telegrams, diary, and war correspondent badge of Virginia Irwin, one of the female correspondents, at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, England. These were all items Jess would have required, so it was wonderful to view them.
And then it was time to leave Europe and to try to write down the story that was occupying all of my thoughts. It’s my favorite of all of my books. I truly hope you enjoy reading The Paris Orphan as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you.
For photographs and more, visit my blog on natashalester.com.au.
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|7 New England Breweries to Pair with a Hike|
Added: 15.01.2021 1:48 | 4 views | 0 comments
Gorgeous scenery and craft brewing are two of the things New England does best. So why not combine them for the perfect New England day? From the mountains of New Hampshire to the shores of Maine, here are 7 #brewhikes to try.
1. North Western Massachusetts – North Adams
Outdoorsy options are plentiful in this part of Western Mass. But if you’re up for a challenge, there’s no better hike than to the top of , the highest point in Massachusetts. Enjoy any one of the 70 trails within the reservation, like the challenging 9.6-mile loop to the peak that traces Henry David Thoreau’s 1844 hike, or a slightly more low-key 6.2-mile round-trip summit hike that takes about 4-5 hours from the Mount Greylock Campground.
Once you’re at the top, take a moment to catch your breath and take in views that stretch to Vermont and New York. By this point you’ll be craving a cold one, and you’ll be in luck—because from the end of the trail it’s about a half-hour drive to . The space is a nod to North Adams’s industrial past, with gorgeous brick walls and a 40-foot bar made by local workers. Its diverse lineup of beers manages to bridge the divide between visiting art lovers (mind-bending contemporary art is right next door at Mass MoCA!) and the local crowd. Plus, there’s pizza.
2. South Western Massachusetts – Great Barrington
If you find yourself in the southern stretch of the Berkshires, get a taste of the Appalachian Trail in , which has miles of hiking and multiuse trails. Walking on the Appalachian is generally an out-and-back that can be as long or as short as you like, but the forest’s most popular option is the gorgeous Benedict Pond Loop Trail, an easy hike that wraps 1.5 miles around a tree-fringed lake.
After, swing by for their serious list of beers, plus a sprawling menu of sandwiches, salads, burgers, and more. Head straight through the dining room for the bar, where regulars’ mugs hang overhead and every possible surface is covered in coasters from breweries around the world. The tap list changes with the season, but the Black Bear Stout and Barrington Brown are local favorites.
3. Central Vermont – Woodstock & Vicinity
Seven miles east of Woodstock, Quechee Gorge Trail is a pleasant 2.2-mile round-trip hike that starts at the visitors center and leads into Vermont’s deepest gorge, which was carved by retreating glaciers. On a hot day, it’s a lovely place to take a dip in the water.
Follow up this short trail with a can from , which is about a half an hour drive away. Long Trail started filling kegs in 1989, and its flagship amber ale is now ubiquitous in Vermont. If that’s the only Long Trail brew you’ve tried, you’ll be astounded by the selection at the brewery, which keeps around 13 beers on tap. Standouts include the barrel-aged Triple Bag, but the bartenders are through-and-through beer geeks who can guide your selection. The brewery also has a menu of pub food featuring wings, burgers, and other beer-friendly meals. A raised walkway overlooks the bottling and brewing facility, giving you a fascinating bird’s-eye view of the action.
4. Northwest Vermont – Stowe
Though it has a reputation for being a ski town, there’s plenty of hiking (and drinking!) options in Stowe. One of the best is the steep, 1.1-mile hike from Smuggler’s Notch Road to , a scenic body of water that dazzles in autumn. Once there, take the additional 1.4-mile loop around the pond, and then head back into town to treat yourself.
Stowe is blessed with a wealth of locally-made craft beers, starting with the Austrian lagers at . Favorites include the malty Vienna Style Lager and the Helles Lager, and the Bierhall’s menu of Austrian pub food—think cheddar and beer soup, hot soft pretzels, and many kinds of sausages—are perfect pairings for the entire lineup. In contrast, the beers at are defined by their distinctiveness. The brewer is consistently creative, with seasonal specials along with a list of mainstays: Try the Pink ‘n’ Pale, an American pale ale brewed with a hint of bitter grapefruit.
5. Northwest Vermont – Burlington
Just south of Burlington in Charlotte you’ll find , whose namesake low-lying peak offers incredible views of Lake Champlain, the Adirondacks, and more. Starting at the parking lot, the 1.9-mile Mount Philo Trail loops up to the summit. It’s a relatively easy, family-friendly hike with a huge payoff at the top.
Back in Burlington, you’re not likely to run out of craft beer options—after all, Vermont has more breweries per capita than any other state! If all the choices make you think you’d like a tour guide (and chauffeur), you can hop on the bus with , which will take you to all the hotspots. has something for most beer lovers, starting with the flagship Conehead, a single hop wheat IPA that’s brewed with Citra hops and is aromatic and hoppy without being overpowering. Another favorite is the London Calling, an English ordinary bitter that’s malty and mellow—and not particularly bitter. makes European-style beers in a nondescript industrial building. The tasting room has more charm and is lined with old beer cans and historical images of Burlington. Try the hugely popular Yorkshire Porter, an English dark ale that’s rich and full bodied, or Argument, an English India pale ale that’s brewed true to style: strong and bitter. , a relatively recent addition to Burlington’s beer scene, has hoppy, aromatic beers made by passionate beer geeks.
6. Northwest New Hampshire – White Mountains & Franconia Range
For the ultimate hike in the Franconia Range, plan for at least six hours on the , a rugged trail that goes up and over three peaks: Little Haystack Mountain, Mount Lincoln, and Mount Lafayette. You’ll climb 3,480 feet in about four miles, passing waterfalls, knife-edge ridges, and other scenic views. (Pro tip: for a slightly more moderate hike, try the instead.)
Afterwards, it’s about a 15-minute drive north to the , which brews small-barrel batches of European-style beers that range from more familiar Hefeweizens to offbeat pours, like a sour brown wild ale, Leipzig-style gose, and Czech black lagers. If you’re feeling famished after the trek, take a seat in the historic riverside barn or kick back on the patio with one of their Neapolitan-style pizzas.
7. Southern Maine – Portland
If urban “hikes” are more your thing, check out in Portland. Back Cove is a 3.6-mile paved trail that circles a small estuary just north of downtown. If you’re headed from north to south, the trail connects to the Eastern Promenade, a slender waterfront park that 2.1 miles end-to-end, with walking trails, a popular swimming beach, and jaw-dropping sunrise views. Check out for more maps and directions to some of the city’s best offerings.
Afterwards, explore the cutting edge of American beer with a cluster of breweries that are walking distance from downtown. (The is also an option.) Don’t miss , which has a diverse list of beers on tap, including the flagship Daymark American Pale Ale, a gorgeously balanced brew made with locally grown rye. Devoted beer geeks should head next door to , which uses many local ingredients in its offerings, including whiskey, rum, gin, and the unusual Black Cap Barley Spirit, made entirely with Maine-grown barley and filtered through Maine maple charcoal. started in Kennebunkport, but the heart of Maine’s largest brewery is just on the edge of downtown Portland. The tasting room has a brewpub feel, with barrels of aging beers stacked high against the walls, and a huge selection of brews on draft. Finally, stop for a tasting at , which turns out beers beloved across New England, like the refreshing Allagash White and a rich-tasting tripel that packs a malty wallop.
Find more trails and ales to inspire your next #brewhike:
[hbg-title isbn="9781640491748" summary="Explore the best of New England’s historic cities, admire the famed fall foliage, and stroll the stunning coastline with Moon Travel Guides."/]
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|Corporate America Takes Away Trump's Toys|
Added: 14.01.2021 21:16 | 27 views | 0 comments
America's elites got what they wanted from Donald Trump. Now they're walking away.
|Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani's romance: Everything they've said about their love following marriage proposal|
Added: 14.01.2021 18:41 | 9 views | 0 comments
Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani announced their engagement in October 2020. Here are all the things the pair has said about walking down the aisle since.
|'Last Chance U' Star Malik Henry To Walk On At Nevada|
Added: 14.01.2021 18:25 | 12 views | 0 comments
Malik Henry -- the star of "Last Chance U" -- is getting one more shot to play FBS football .. 'cause the QB is walking on at Nevada this season -- his new head coach just announced. Henry -- a top high school recruit in 2016 who signed with Florida...
|Need to reduce work-related stress? It's a walk in the park|
Added: 13.01.2021 18:18 | 32 views | 0 comments
Research examined the relationship between 'sense of coherence' (a quality indicative of stress-coping ability) and frequency of walking in forests or greenspaces. The aim was to find easy coping devices for workplace stress. Forest/greenspace walking at least once a week was found to correlate with those with a stronger sense of coherence. The findings suggest the benefits of walking in urban greenspaces or in forests to help with stress management.
|Walking through Kohler's homemade CES booth video|
Added: 13.01.2021 17:05 | 38 views | 0 comments
We take a look at a $16,000 smart tub, a touchless faucet, a smart toilet and more at the CES booth Kohler built in its own headquarters in Wisconsin.
|Canadian woman caught walking husband on leash like a dog while breaking coronavirus curfew|
Added: 12.01.2021 19:02 | 16 views | 0 comments
A married couple in Quebec apparently decided to test out a loophole they thought they discovered in the local coronavirus regulations. Unfortunately for them, the authorities didn’t agree that husbands can be considered "pets."
|Husband on leash breached Quebec's Covid curfew|
Added: 12.01.2021 15:16 | 7 views | 0 comments
Canadian police fined the couple, who were trying to exploit curfew rules that allow dog-walking.