Escape to Carmel-by-the-Sea for Wine Tasting, Ocean Views and a Great Deal!

Hofsas House

Hofsas House

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a long-time favorite of mine. There’s something to be said for a town that actually prohibits street addresses — a law that was enacted by the founding fathers because they feared the village would become too citified if mail delivery was allowed. And to this day, the downtown area is still bereft of addresses, parking meters and street lights. I just love simplicity. Continue reading

Price to Rise on NPS Senior Pass in 2017

Get your NPS Senior Pass today and start exploring our great national parks.

Get your NPS Senior Pass today and start exploring our great national parks.

Since 1994, the National Park Service (NPS) lifetime Senior Pass, which is good for admission to all national parks and monuments, was available to US citizens and permanent residents age 62 or older for a mere song – just $10. That’s all set to change in 2017 when the cost will rise to that of a standard Annual Pass, or $80. And although you my think that’s quite a jump, it’s not a bad deal when you consider it’s good for the rest of your life. Continue reading

Spooktacular Halloween Program at Yosemite Cemetery

Headstone in Yosemite Cemetery

Headstone in Yosemite Cemetery

If your Halloween travels include a stop in Yosemite National Park, then don’t miss the spooktacular ranger program at Yosemite Cemetery on October 30 and 31, 2016. The hour-long walking tour includes historical – and sometimes creepy – stories about some of the people buried in the cemetery, which dates back to the 1870s. After the tour, more stories will be shared by the campfire at the Yosemite Valley Indian Cultural Museum.

The Yosemite Cemetery is located across the street from the Yosemite Valley Indian Cultural Museum. Accessible street parking is located nearby. Alternatively, the lift-equipped park shuttle stops at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, which is just a short level walk from the museum. The hard-packed dirt paths through the cemetery are level, and although there are a few bumps near the entrance, they are navigable for most wheelchair-users and slow walkers. There are also benches to sit and rest along the way.

Two programs are held each night – one begins at 8:00, and the other begins at 9:00. Both sessions are appropriate for children, and they begin at the campfire at the Yosemite Valley Indian Cultural Museum. Participants are reminded to dress warm and bring a flashlight. For more information, call (209) 372-1153.

Have a great Halloween at the Yosemite Cemetery!I

Power Beach Wheelchairs Available on Alabama Beaches

beach-chair-1

Power Beach Wheelchair Available for Rent in Gulf Shores, AL

I first discovered power beach wheelchairs in my home state of California, and immediately I thought they were super cool. These motorized chairs with balloon tires allow wheelchair-users independent access to the beach, and independence is a very good thing if you’re a wheelchair-user. After all wouldn’t you rather navigate the coastline on your own, instead of being pushed around by somebody else? Suffice it to say I was very impressed with the whole concept. Continue reading

National Park Etiquette

Grand Canyon National Park

After spending several weeks in our national parks doing some final research for my next book, I’ve encountered what can only be called some “less than stewardly behavior “ by my fellow national park visitors. Although this isn’t the be-all-and-end-all list on national park etiquette, it’s a good starting point. And since today is National Public Lands Day, I thought it’d be a good time to share it with the world. Continue reading

Five Survival Strategies for Visiting Zion on Holiday Weekends

A two-hour wait for the Zion Canyon shuttle bus on Labor Day weekend

Summer weekends mark peak season in Zion National Park, but Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday weekends bring even more crowds into this Southwestern Utah national park. Although nothing kills the natural experience like standing in a shuttle bus line for two hours, there are ways to make the most of your visit if you absolutely must come on a holiday weekend. Continue reading

Abita Springs Revisited

The Abita Mystery House — formerly the UCM Museum

Sometimes it’s fun to revisit a place you haven’t seen in a while. Such is the case with Abita Springs, a small town on Lake Pontchartrain’s north shore, just a short causeway ride from New Orleans. I last visited Abita Springs some 15 years ago, and upon my return I was happy to find that one of my favorite attractions hadn’t changed, and another had added some access upgrades. Continue reading

Off the Beaten Path in Kansas

Hot and Cold Water Towers in Pratt, Kansas

One of the great things about a road trip is that you can hop off the interstate at a moment’s notice and explore the road less traveled. And that’s exactly what we did yesterday when we drove from Dodge City to Wichita. Instead of taking Interstate 50 most of the way, we planned a little detour with a stop in Pratt, Kansas. And I have to admit, it wasn’t the day we planned, but in this case, that was a very good thing. Continue reading