Unheralded

CHRIS ALLEN: Dubai Journal — Dune-Bashing

There is a certain, unequaled thrill sitting in the front seat of a four-wheel drive SUV, its engine roaring like a locomotive as it churns its way up a 15-foot sand dune and slides diagonally down the other side, only to bounce across a valley, take aim again and repeat the scream-inducing ride all over again. This is dune-bashing in …


Unheralded

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Fall Colors Road Trip

Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, recently took a two-day northeastern North Dakota road trip to view fall colors, which were in full display. On their way to the Turtle Mountains and the Pembina Gorge, with a final stop at Turtle River State, in Cavalier they found colorful painted bales on display throughout the town.


LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — ‘If You Know Wilderness In The Way That You Know Love … ‘: Two Retreats To The North Unit

It has been my great fortune to have made two retreats to the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park these past few weeks, a place in the Bad Lands that is very dear to my heart.  The North Unit is the heart of wildness in North Dakota and is, right now, awash in autumn glory. My first outing was …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Journey To De Smet, S.D.

Like me, my sisters are fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura’s stories shaped our understanding of the prairie landscape on which we make our homes. This past weekend, my sister, Beckie, and I made the journey to De Smet, S.D., a place, to her friends’ amusement, on Beckie’s bucket list. I’ve been there, but it has been more than 20 …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — My Favorite Cemetery

Accompanied by Dorette’s son-in-law, Paul Kuhns, I’m heading to Paris next week to attend the International Hemingway Conference. I also expect to visit again the most famous graveyard in the world, the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, established by Napoleon in 1804. The cemetery is huge ― 110 acres ― with more than 1 million individuals buried there. Most were ordinary folks. …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Roll On Down The Highway

Travel really does open your eyes. After 2,500 miles on a bus last week, Russ and I arrived home with a far deeper understanding of what really, truly matters in life. Bathroom breaks. We weren’t sure what to expect of our first guided travel adventure aboard a motorcoach. One thing we knew for sure: It couldn’t be worse than air …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — The Spirit Of The Mountains

I spent the last week camping alone in the Rocky Mountains. My home was three miles into the wilderness on a jarring moonscape of a Forest Service road. I pitched my tent above a stream, beneath a canopy of spruce and aspen, just me and trees and  water and mountains folded into one another for as far as I could see. …

CHRIS ALLEN: Mumbai Journal — Asia’s Largest Slum

A staggering 55 percent of Mumbai’s population (12.4 million people in 2011) lives in its dozens of slums, nearly 7 million people. The largest of these is Dharavi. More than a million people live in an area half the size of New York’s Central Park, about 0.8 square miles. Let that sink in for a moment. A million people, less …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Arches National Park

Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, spent quite a bit of time recently in Arches National Park just north of Moab, Utah. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks in a landscape of contrasting colors, land forms and textures unlike any other in …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Moonscapes In The Valley Of The Goblins

Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, were out until 4 a.m. in the morning recently shooting the Milky Way and moonlight on the rock formations in the Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. “Moonlight does diffuse the Milky Way, but the moonlight gave a very eerie feeling to the landscape and the surroundings. We were the only …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Goblin Valley State Park

On their recent Utah trip, Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, visited Goblin Valley State Park. Here is his description: “Journey to this strange and colorful valley, which is unlike any other in Utah. The landscape, covered with sandstone goblins and formations, is often compared to Mars. Explore the geology, among the nooks and gnomes. Goblin Valley includes …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Travels With Tony

Our first Uber driver was a former journalist, so the midnight conversation from Pittsburgh International Airport turned to the unprecedented attacks on the press by the president. Wearied by weather delays, airport sprints and the uncertainty of our travels, India and I were content to let him deliver a treatise I knew by rote — the preposterous notion journalists intentionally …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Mesa Arch — Canyonlands National Park

On their recent Utah trip, Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, visited Canyons National Park, the site of famous Mesa Arch. Here is what he had to say about the experience: “The Mesa Arch sunrise shot is one of the most sought after photographic images in Utah. Every morning at sunrise, if there are no clouds hiding …

JEFF OLSON: Photo Gallery — Historic Ships of Baltimore Harbor

Alexandria, Va., photographer Jeff Olson and his wife, Joanne, recently took a tour of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, which is the site of Historic Ships in Baltimore, created as a result of the merger of the USS Constellation Museum and the Baltimore Maritime Museum. Four ships — sloop of war USS Constellation, lightship Chesapeake, World War II-era submarine USS Torsk and …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings

On their recent Utah trip, Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, crossed over into Colorado near the town of Durango to see the ancient site of Mesa Verde. “This was on my bucket list to see as I enjoy the history of past cultures. On our way, we did stop at Capital Reef National Park, where we viewed …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — El Paso Redux

I never imagined when my family left El Paso, Texas, in 1970, that it would take me almost 50 years to return for a visit, but it did. I was an Army brat, and my father’s last posting was Fort Bliss, in El Paso, a gritty city in extreme west Texas. Since then, I’ve been very near to El Paso …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — The Stars At Night Are Big And Bright

Monday’s West Texas expedition was to the Davis Mountains area in search of Montezuma quails. The Davis Mountains are what is known as a “Sky Island,” rising high above the Chihuahuan Desert and are one of the most beautiful places in Texas. In addition to birding, our destination was the famous McDonald Observatory. On my last visit to Texas, we …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Keep An Eye On Your Pants

We’re not really the adventure-travel type. That’s why, when planning our spring break trip to Puerto Vallarta, Russ and I snubbed the jungle canopy zip-line option, the deep-sea dolphin swim and even the VIP nightclub crawl (“Party like a professional!”). Instead, we went with the all-inclusive family resort with five fabulous restaurants. We’re boring that way. But given how slowly …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings by Barbara La Valleur — Gaudí’s Sagrada Família — A Site To Behold!

It’s the view, along with the Mediterranean, from my daughter’s top floor flat in downtown Barcelona: Gaudí’s infamous Sagrada Família. After days of exploring Barcelona and accompanying breathtaking Spanish countryside, which included a five-day trip to Minorca, I toured the Basilica, the largest unfinished Roman Catholic Church in the world, with my former sister-in-law, Heather Carri and her fun friend, …

DAVE VORLAND: It Occurs To Me — Monet’s Garden

Places I’d like to visit again? Monet’s Garden. Claude Monet, one of the giants of Impressionism, is among Dorette’s and my favorite artists. We’ve seldom missed an opportunity to see his work. We’ve also twice visited his estate near Meudon, France, a short train trip from Paris. Traveling with us last year was Avery Dusterhoft, Dorette’s granddaughter, who brought along …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Father Sherman’s Magnum Opus: ‘Prairie Mosaic’

With every turn of a page in “Prairie Mosaic,” the reader will delve into the rich ethnic history of North Dakota. The Rev. William C. Sherman labored for many years to reveal an astonishing level of detail, down to the township level, and to tell the story of the state’s inhabitants. “Prairie Mosaic: An Ethnic Atlas of Rural North Dakota,” …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Winter Interlude

We went away over Christmas for a winter interlude with my sisters and their families and my mother, gathering in a large house in the woods of the Black Hills of South Dakota. Driving west across the Memorial Bridge, we could see chunks of ice in the Missouri River. We traversed familiar west Dakota roads, in the midst of the …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Havana By (Classic) Car

I’ve never been much for bucket lists. But if I were, I’d have been able to check off a big one earlier this month. That is to see Havana, Cuba, from the backseat of one of the country’s classic American cars from the 1950s and ’60s, still operating on the streets every day. The importation of new cars — and lots of …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — The Tropicana

For me, a trip to Cuba earlier this month would not have been complete without experiencing the Tropicana nightclub in Havana. Its cabaret show is considered among the top three shows in the world (by people who decide these kinds of things, I guess). After seeing it, I believe it. For openers, Havana’s Tropicana nightclub shouldn’t be confused with the …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings by Barbara La Valleur — A €62 Bowl Of Soup! 

One of the benefits I enjoy when traveling the world is trying new dishes in the country I’m exploring. My ever-increasing list of favorites include Germany’s humble spätzle, England’s simple Shepherd’s Pie, Scotland’s perfect Scotch Eggs, France’s yummy Brie and Bleu d’Auvergne cheeses, Cuba’s creamy flans and Spain’s authentic paella. Shortly after arriving on Menorca, one of Spain’s three Balearic …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings by Barbara La Valleur — Menorca: Mediterannean’s Hidden Treasure

If you’d asked me a couple of months ago if I had plans to spend a few days in Menorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean, I’d have said not anytime soon. However, when you have a daughter who is a seasoned world traveler and lives in Barcelona, Spain, you learn to keep your options open. Andrea found a terrific …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Willa Cather’s Red Cloud

Although it is now more than 30 years ago, I remember very clearly the day when I was a graduate student at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and Dr. Michael Rothacker gave his students the assignment of reading a novel of our choosing and writing a report on said novel. My friend, Pamela Jean, and I went right over to …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings by Barbara La Valleur — Barcelona: Not What You Think

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to return to reality after a 17-day trip to Barcelona, which included an extraordinary side trip of five days in Menorca. The initial purpose of my trip was to visit my daughter, Andrea La Valleur-Purvis, who has called the Catalonian capital home for over a year. She loves it, and I can see …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Taliesin, After The Anticipation Of Decades

How do I write about a place I’ve waited four decades to see, with great anticipation? Only to say architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wisconsin home, Taliesin (near the town of Spring Green), was worth the wait, and I find myself ttruly inspired anew. All of my life, I’ve been an admirer of Wright’s work. Long ago when I cataloged Stoxen …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Two English Majors Take A (Mostly) Blue Highways Trip East

Lizzie was sad Monday a week past. She saw those suitcases, and she became clingy, not sure whether she was going with us or not. For her, this time it was the kennel, as Chelsea is gone for schooling and thus her best pal not available for dog-sitting. Thus, it was that we two English majors made a road trip east, …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — October Trails

“But your solitude will be your home and haven even in the midst of very strange conditions, and from there you will discover all your paths.” — Ranier Maria Rilke My path this past week took me to North Dakota’s Roughrider Country. Our first stop was a meeting of the Little Missouri River Commission in Dickinson, where we bore witness …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Late Summer, North Dakota

The lure was Fort Abercrombie, but no contest, the highlight for me on our latest blue highway North Dakota road trip was getting to ride the combine. Not just any old combine but a great big John Deere with GPS steering, driven by, of all things, a farm worker from Slope County, someone who’d grown up about 15 miles from my …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Speaking Of Trails: The Yellowstone Surveying Expeditions Of The Late 19th Century

Yellowstone.  There aren’t many more words in the American lexicon that conjure such powerful images of Western history and geography. The Yellowstone River courses through much of the giant state of Montana, and its confluence with the mighty Missouri River is in extreme northwestern North Dakota, near Forts Union and Buford.  I’ve visited both, on multiple occasions, and urge everyone …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Without Reservations

Something happened to me today that has I’ve never done before while traveling. I made my reservation for the wrong day. In a European calendar, the days begins with Monday not Sunday. When making reservations I have always caught this fact but must have been tired when booking the Pension Gina in Gorlitz, Germany, because I made it one day later …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Bismarck To Deadwood And Back (But Not On The Stagecoach)

Trails have been much on my mind this year, and I’ll be writing more about trails in upcoming blogs. This past weekend, I drove to the Black Hills to visit a friend who lives near Hill City, S.D., roughly following the Bismarck to Deadwood Stage Trail, although in my case in a Toyota. I had most of the day to …