Travel and Resorts

Travel, Cruises, Resorts, Tourism

Old travel pages from 2007 and Before

Enchanting New Mexico

imageNormally it would have been out of character to drive this far for a glimpse of something as common as graffiti. I can find that scratched on the toilet seat at my local Walmart. But these etchings, hundreds of years old and scrawled into the base of a towering sandstone bluff in the high desert of western New Mexico at El Morro National Monument, are special.

Mostly a vast collection of names, some historical accounts and even a poem, the sandstone chalkboard at El Morro is a mesmerizing window of times past, a testament to thirsty Native American Puebloans, Spanish colonial governors, Anglo-American homesteaders, soldiers and surveyors, and 25 confused camels that traversed this well-trod corridor.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Sunday, November 14, 2010 - Full Story

Glacier National Park Montana

imageThe jagged and spectacularly beautiful peaks and valleys of million-acre Glacier National Park that anchors the north end of America’s Rocky Mountains represents some of the purest, most scenic wild lands in this country.

The Crown of the Continent, or Backbone of the World, has long been revered and reached sacred status with the Blackfeet Indians long before it became a national park in 1910, or was designated the world’s first International Peace Park World Heritage Site in 1995.

Today the honor of achieving Peace Park designation is shared with Waterton Lakes National Park just across the Canadian border.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Saturday, November 13, 2010 - Full Story

Arches National Park and Moab, Utah

imageFor better or worse, Arches National Park and the nearby resort town of Moab have been discovered. Once a dull and dusty uranium mining town, Moab abruptly evolved into a recreational mecca of world-wide acclaim.

A small, bustling community of 5,000 in the shadow of the La Sal Mountains near the Colorado River, it has become a minor cultural and artistic hub teeming with the young and athletic, and the old and lazy, all determined to have a rousing, and occasionally sweaty, good time.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Saturday, September 25, 2010 - Full Story

Take a swing at New Zealand’s golf courses

For those that golf regularly, the thought of playing a round becomes a little like a craving that won’t go away until you satisfy it. Even for fair weather golfers, all it takes is one good game and they’re dreaming of their next round.


By Travel New Zealand - Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - Full Story

Cooke City, Montana, Cody, Wyoming, the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

imageFor those dismayed by the evergrowing crowds in Yellowstone, a sane alternative is the far northeast corner of the park and beyond where the mighty Absaroka and Beartooth Mountains soar to great heights. In particular, point your compass toward that spectacularly rugged and beautiful land enveloping the rustic old mining town of Cooke City, Montana. I’m not the only one who’s had an affair with this isolated mountain kingdom. The late, great writer Ernest Hemingway was similarly captivated by the lofty peaks and narrow alpine valleys, spending a fair amount of time during the 1920s and 1930s drinking, writing, fishing the Clarks Fork River and hunting endangered species to the brink of extinction. But beware. This is not an amusement park. There are things out there that will eat you - alive.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Thursday, September 9, 2010 - Full Story

Brookings, Gold Beach Southern Oregon Coast

imageRevered as the People’s Coast, Oregon’s 350 miles of rugged, fog-shrouded headlands, dark and mossy evergreen forests and wide, meandering swaths of beach and dunes have beckoned the ever-arriving masses like a benign, spiritual opiate for years.

Unlike some other states that border the open sea, the privileged here are prohibited from owning their little patch of beach to the exclusion of others, of blocking public access to the glittering sands of the Oregon Coast.

This diamond necklace belongs to all of us.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Monday, August 23, 2010 - Full Story

Livingston, Montana and the Paradise Valley

imageLike so many writers, artists, actors and a steady stream of celebrities drawn to Montana’s splendor where landscape is muse, the late, great motion picture director “Bloody Sam” Peckinpah likewise succumbed to the lure. Known for such iconic Western masterpieces as “Ride the High Country” (1962) and “The Wild Bunch,” (1969) Peckinpah settled in Livingston, sixty miles north of Yellowstone National Park, where he lived out the remainder of his complex and contentious life.

From 1978 to 1985 when he died of heart failure, Peck called an expansive upstairs suite at the four-story Murray Hotel home. Whether he came for inspiration or respite, judging by the epics he assembled during his fabled career and his wild, drug and alcohol-fueled life, Sam Peckinpah belonged in Livingston; he has become part of the rough-edged, Western fabric that shapes the region’s lore to this day.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Monday, August 2, 2010 - Full Story

Eureka and Arcata California

imageThe United States of America is indebted to dreary Eureka.

Had this northern California coastal region not been so forlorn, isolated and depressing back in the 1800s, the great Civil War general and 18th president of the United States Ulysses S. Grant might not have resigned his commission as commanding officer of F Company at Fort Humboldt in the 1850s.

And we can only imagine how things would have turned out without General Grant leading the charge against the rebellious South.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Friday, July 16, 2010 - Full Story

Yellowstone National Park

imageHardened mountain men and explorers like Jim Bridger, and John Colter, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, were dismissed as crackpots and whack jobs during the early 1800s when they emerged from the northern Rocky Mountain wilds spinning fanciful tales of gushing geysers, misty psychedelic hot springs, an earth that rumbled like thunder and belched scalding water, and pots of boiling mud bubbling like oatmeal.

It wasn’t until the 1870s that the director of the U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories, Dr. Ferdinand Hayden, along with the renowned artist Thomas Moran, the famous landscape photographer William Henry Jackson, and others, embarked on an official expedition to verify the fanciful accounts of this otherworldly planet. After they returned with their findings, Congress got the point and designated 2.1 million acres of this wilderness wonderland as Yellowstone National Park on March 1, 1872. Since then, outdoor recreation in America has never been the same.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - Full Story

A Village of Festivals in America’s Bavaria

imageLeavenworth, Washington is not some cheesy, fly-by-night theme park, but an architecturally honest replica of Germany’s Bavaria.

All things considered, the buildings are large and true, the smells genuine and the food tasty, although they could lay down a bit more cobblestone.

Located on the sunnier eastern side of the Cascade Mountains in Washington state, Leavenworth is surrounded by an alpine world of craggy peaks, rushing streams and lush green meadows along the banks of the Wenatchee River.

With a population of 2,500, it offers a refreshing and rare measure of Bavarian authenticity unmatched in the continental United States.

I should know as I was raised in south central West Germany, attended their schools and traveled extensively throughout Bavaria, Austria and Switzerland.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Sunday, June 13, 2010 - Full Story

Exploring Lisbon, Portugal

By Judy McEuen, Travel Writer

LISBON, Portugal

With its strategic location on the coast of Portugal, and its rich historical background, Lisbon offers diverse attractions that any tourist will find exciting and interesting. The warm waters of its beaches are a must during summer while it impressive towers, palaces and museums beckon tourists to explore all year round.


By Troy Media - Wednesday, June 9, 2010 - Full Story

Bandon by the Sea - Oregon

imageNo wonder Bandon, and especially the historic Old Town district, is regarded as one of America’s finest small communities and a sheer pleasure to visit, even during brutal winter storms.

Perched on the southern banks of the Coquille River, Bandon offers up quaint shopping, a picturesque small harbor, fine dining, fine art, superb golfing, and mile after mile of empty, wide, dune-swept, pristine beaches that have attracted visitors in the know for years.

It also boasts some of the most profoundly beautiful sea stacks, spires and towering rock formations found anywhere on the world-renowned Oregon Coast.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - Full Story

The Magnificent Lost Coast

imageYou know you’re not in Dallas anymore when the anti-Bush bumper sticker reads: “Chop His Head Off,” and the locals don’t drag the driver out of the front seat for a pummeling, but honk and cheer instead. That’s the way it was in extreme northern California a few years ago, and attitudes haven’t changed much since. So if you’re a hard-core redneck, my guess is Humboldt County won’t be your cup of tea.

Like beached whales, hippies of old, and the new, have washed ashore in droves in this northwest corner of the state. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since genuine hippies are basically harmless and friendly, but as you look around you get the feeling the county took one big hit off the community bong - and forgot to exhale.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Saturday, May 8, 2010 - Full Story

Arizona Open and Closed

My wife and I used to spend a great deal of time in Arizona, and it has much to offer–particularly now that the state is the object of a boycott by those who favor illegal immigration.

By Lance Thompson - Thursday, April 29, 2010 - Full Story

Northern California’s Sonoma and Mendocino Coast

imageIf California ever breaks off and falls into the Pacific we’re going to lose some outstanding oceanfront property, especially along that hidden gem of a coastline that stretches 120 miles north of San Francisco along curvy Highway 1.

While not remote, it’s off the beaten path and laid back in that unique California way. And compared to any stretch of jagged cliffs, hidden coves, deep green pastures and pristine sand beaches in North America, the Sonoma and Mendocino coastal region is sublime; it is highly romantic. It is stunning.

My first recollection of the wind-battered hills took place on a cloudless day in July a few years ago. The fog had lifted, the sun was bright and shining and the sky was deep blue, though not as blue as the white-speckled ocean that sprawled to the distant horizon.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Sunday, April 25, 2010 - Full Story

A Cross-Country Wine Lovers Tour in New Zealand

imageIt has been said that if you know a country’s wine, you know the country. Spending time in one of New Zealand’s ten major wine growing regions allows visitors to learn a great deal about the country, the people and, of course, the wine!

Wine tours in the land of the long white cloud are highly popular and with boutique wineries found on both the North and South Islands, you’re never far from a good glass of wine. Wine growing regions in New Zealand include Northland, Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Wairarapa, Hawke’s Bay, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury/Waipara Valley and Central Otago.

By Travel New Zealand - Friday, April 16, 2010 - Full Story

Where “Little Hollywood” Meets the Coral Pink Sand Dunes

imageDue to Kanab’s convenient location as a central hub, if you plan to visit the north rim of the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and Lake Powell, you should consider making Kanab your home base like many visitors from across the globe have done over the decades. With ample lodging, wide tree-lined streets, stately brick dwellings and friendly residents, recently “discovered” Kanab caters increasingly to the tourist and is decidedly unpretentious. It’s the real deal - a conservative slice of the authentic republican West built on a strong Mormon heritage, like much of rural Utah.

Isolated in the southwest corner of Utah’s red rock country, Kanab’s placid demeanor and impressive Old West architecture do little to convey its storied past as Utah’s “Little Hollywood.” The drive-by tourists headed for the big parks have little reason to suspect that roughly 300 mostly-western motion pictures and television shows were filmed in and around this small town of 3,800 from the 1920s to the present.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Sunday, April 11, 2010 - Full Story

Zion National Park

imageThe great 19th century French novelist Gustave Flaubert, who wrote that “the three most beautiful things ever created in this world are the sea, Hamlet, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni,” had obviously never been to southern Utah because if there is a paradise on earth, this place is a top contender with its many parks, monuments and fertile desert wild lands. And of all those red-rock gems, Zion is the most visited.

By John Treadwell Dunbar - Sunday, March 28, 2010 - Full Story

Know your rights before booking travel online

In today’s increasingly tech-savvy world, booking travel online may be a convenient option for some. According to the Travel Industry Council of Ontario however, knowing what your rights and options are before booking is an important and often overlooked step.

By Guest Column - Friday, March 5, 2010 - Full Story