a  magazine  of  travel  and  discovery

Alaska articles

Denali National Park

Denali with the fall colors

Inside Passage

Kantishna: Danali Backcountry Lodge

Katami National Park: Grizzlies

Kenai Fjords National Park: Whales

Seward Highway: Glaciers

Travel Article Summaries: United States



Travel and Photo Editors: Contact George Oxford Miller

to review or use articles and/or photos.

Fall in Denali

Bears, crimson tundra, and alpinglow highlight a September visit.

The forest stretching out before us covers the mountain slopes with splashes of burgundies and yellows. The delicate hues melt into the blue sky like a runny watercolor painting. The colors match our expectations for autumn in the mountains, but the scale is out of kilter. Instead of towering trees, this forest barley reaches our knees... (more)

Ice bergs and bubble-blowing whales

Small ship gets passengers up close to ice bergs, glaciers, and whales in Alaska's Inside Passage.

"Don't talk or make sudden movements or you'll scare the seals," the skipper of our inflatable skiff says as we approach the jam of small ice bergs. "The seals swim this far up Tracy Arm with their pups to get away from the killer whales." Our up-close view of Alaska's Inside Passage on the small ship Safari Quest isn't a sugar-coated view of nature... (more)


Aravaipa Canyon


Canyon de Chelly

Chiricahua National Monument
Enchantment Resort, Sedona

Grand Canyon

Havasu Falls

Lake Powell Houseboat

Northern Arizona Nature

Rainbow Bridge


S. E. Arizona Wildlife

Towering canyons and timeless tales

Canyon de Chelly preserves ancient history and Navajo culture.

Our six-wheel-drive
tour truck bounces down Chinle Wash as we enter the mouth of Canyon de Chelly. The braded trickle of water that over eons formed the canyon disappears and reappears in the thirsty sand. The walls rise abruptly from the streambed until they tower over us like the ruins of an ancient cathedral. Our Navajo guide, Benson Ambrose, doesn’t have to tell us we’re entering sacred territory... (more)


Hawaii ecotours






Durango Railroad

Dinosaur Diamond

Mesa Verde

Silver Thread Byway


Colorado National Monument


Amelia Island

Emerald Coast

Disney An. Kingdom

Disney in a Day

Discovery Cove


Forgotten Coast

Key West

Manatees-Citrus County

Miami scene

South Beach

Sanibel Island

Seminole County


Blanchard Springs Caverns

Buffalo River

Hot Springs

Little Rock Arts

Little Rock Central High

Mountain View music

Ozark fall foliage

Scenic 7 Byway


Acoma Pueblo

Albuquerque profile

Ancient Way scenic byway

Quirky Albuquerque

Balloon Fiesta

El Camino Real: Jornada del Muerto

Ride the Rails: Rail Runner Abq.-Santa Fe

Santa Fe: More than Art

Santa Fe Trail

Silver City Outdoor Gateway

Space Triangle

Taos Adventure

Trinity Site/VLA

Turquoise Trail Scenic Byway

Petroglyphs and Pueblitos

Las Cruces Chile Peppers



Garden Week


Jefferson’s Virginia


Northern Neck


Virginia Beach


Riding rainbows

Colorful hot air balloons fill the sky during Albuquerque

Balloon Fiesta.

What kind of festival brings 50,000 people out in the chilly predawn hours to wait for the main event to start? I squeeze through shoulder-to-shoulder crowds and buy a cup of coffee and breakfast burrito, then join the half-awake masses on the grassy field. This isn’t a stadium rock concert or a Superbowl tailgate party, it’s the largest hot-air-balloon festival in the world. Each October, 600 balloonists from dozens of nations gather in Albuquerque for the nine-day Balloon Fiesta... (more)


Austin-city profile

    Texas History Museum

    Lake Austin Spa


Big Bend National Park

Brenham: Ice Cream and Roses

Central Texas


Enchanted Rock

Ft. Worth-city profile




Guadalupe Mt. Nat. Park-Fall colors

Gypsum Sand Dunes

Hill Country Wildflowers

Hueco Tanks


Lower Canyons

Padre Island

San Antonio Missions

San Antonio Christmas

Whooping Cranes

Dudeless ranches and cowboy cuisine

Home on the range is still a way of life in Bandera, Texas.

I gaze lazily at the steep hillside framed by blue sky and dotted with crimson and yellow colors and let my horse, Tuffy, do all the work. The rugged Texas Hill Country west of San Antonio doesn’t produce the Technicolor f
all spectacle of the Northeast, but the scene is no less inspiring. Then our leader snaps us to attention. “Are you ready to canter?” At the mention of the word, the horses perk up and break into a trot along the narrow, rocky trail. Tuffy picks up speed and shifts into a smooth lope. I lean forward for balance as the scrubby oaks and junipers flash by... (more)


Souther Outback (Louisiana)

Alabama coast

Biltmore Estate, N.C.

Blue Ridge Parkway



Kentucky Folk Art


Memphis Sun Studio


Outer Banks, NC

Smoky Mt. Nat. Park

Virginia Northern Neck



Atlantic City


Boston-Freedom Trail

Cape Cod-Provincetown

Conn.-Farmington Black History

DC: Holocaust Museum

New Jersey Shore


Desert landscaping

Montana dinosaur dig

Olympia Nat. Park

S.D. Snowmobiling

So. Calif. gardens

Arches Nat. Park, Utah

Monument Valley, Utah

Mt. Rainier Wildflowers

Rainbow Bridge Nat. Monument, Utah

Secret Side of Zion


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Hershey Park

Hershey Spa

Germantown reenactment

Johnstown Flood

Lancaster County, PA

Michener Museum

Philly: Historic square mile

Philly Celebrates July 4th

Philly Chinatown


Sweet therapy

Hershey spa offers whipped cocoa baths and chocolate fondue wraps.

The bath attendant shuts the door and I slip down to nose level in the steaming water and flip on the jets. The Jacuzzi pounds my legs and neck and sides with streams of hot water. Then I get the first hint of what makes Hershey Spa's signature Whipped Cocoa Bath unique. The jets start frothing up the bubble bath mixture. I brush the billowing mass away from my face and sit up straighter. The suds foam over the edge of the tub and flow onto the tile floor. This is like being in a cup of cappuccino except the aroma of chocolate, not coffee, fills the room... (more)


Country traditions

Lancaster County comes in many flavors.

"The Cow Palace is bigger than the Titanic," Ruth Morris, tour director for Kreider Farms in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, says as we turn into the massive barn. The road divides the barn in half with 800 Holsteins on either side. The morning feed wagon just pulled through so hundreds of black and white heads strain through the bars to reach the mixture of corn and alfalfa. Until recently, the diet included Kit Kats. "We used to buy discarded candy from Hershey's down the road, but the girls turned into chocoholics." She pauses and answers the unasked question. "No, it did not make them give chocolate milk!" (more)

’s Chinatown secrets

Neighborhood tours emphasize Philadelphia’s diversity and history.

Melody Wong leads our small group under the Friendship Gate that marks the entrance to Philadelphia’s Chinatown. “Chinatown is more that dim sum and noodles,” she says. “It’s a neighborhood and community. About 4,000 people live in Chinatown, but it serves the needs of 40,000 people in the surrounding area.”

The delicious aroma of a distinctly non-McDonalds fast food fills the air. In one door, whole, deep-fried Peking ducks hang in the window. Customers stand in line as the butcher chops them for take–out service with lightening blows of his cleaver. Another store specializes in Chinese language magazines and videos.


Desert Treasures

In the spring, Big Bend National Park bursts with wildflowers, cacti, and migrating birds.

Thoughts of spring wildflowers usually bring visions of lush hills and meadows with picturesque streams. Not the desert. Certainly not arid West Texas. Yet by April, especially in years following a wet autumn, wildflowers and cacti turn the rugged landscape of Big Bend National Park into a palette of rainbow hues. And migrating birds add their colorful magic to the trees and thorn-covered vegetation.

Big Bend National Park encompasses 1,200 square miles of the most rugged country in North America. The great horseshoe curve, or "Big Bend," in the Rio Grande embraces a mountain range, cuts three spectacular canyons with 1,500-foot walls, and creates a green ribbon of life in the parched desert. The combination of horizon-to-horizon panoramas, mile-high mountain peaks, hundreds of miles of back roads and hiking trails, and more species of cacti and birds than any other national park makes Big Bend a global treasure... (more)

Central Texas Time Capsules

From painted rocks and painted buntings, the heart of Texas hides its treasures.

The sign on the side of the narrow highway outside of Paint Rock, Texas, reads "Pictographs," with an arrow pointing towards a ranch gate. The "Southern Plains Nomads," as anthropologists first called the Indians, painted more than 1,500 mysterious pictures along a low, rocky bluff on the ranch.

From painted rocks to painted buntings, the heart of Texas harbors unsuspected treasures for those willing to venture off the interstate. The rugged hills and scenic canyons with spring-fed streams and fern-lined waterfalls are home to abundant wildlife and colorful songbirds that occur nowhere else in North America. The crystalline creeks flow into rivers with arguably the best floating and fishing in Texas... (more)

Sharing with Bears

(click to read complete article)

Bear encounters in Alaska make tourists feel like salmon.

When the 800-pound grizzly turns and walks toward us, Harry isn't sure he'll get a chance to celebrate his 84th birthday tomorrow. We've on the trail in Katmai National Park on the Alaskan Peninsula to the viewing platform on the Brooks River. The bears walk the trail, too. We hurry off the path and let the bear pass. At the falls, ten grizzlies, each weighing 800 pounds, stand stoically in the foaming water. Then one springs to life and snaps a 10-pound red salmon out of the water as it leaps over the waterfall... (more)

(For more brown bear photos visit Alaska Photo Gallery)

Vintage Bisbee

Don't tell Bisbee it's the 21st century.

"If you're going to Bisbee, be sure and check out the Shady Dale RV Park and Dot's Diner," a friend tells me when he hears I'm going to Arizona. "They're a real blast from the past."

You could say that for all of Bisbee. Almost straddling the Mexican border, the town boasts a history that's 137 years old and 3,400 feet deep. Copper mines gave birth to Bisbee and created a legacy that gives the town an authenticity missing in gentrified tourist destinations. The Copper Queen Hotel, where we stay, dates back to 1902. Every governor of Arizona has graced its rooms. The narrow main street, lined with red-brick storefronts, looks more like a movie set than a shopping district... (more)

New Mexico’s Quirkiest Sixty Miles

The Turquoise trail offers an eccentric collection of roadside attractions.

With its vast expanse of eye-aching blue sky, rugged desert hills, and horizons bordered with snow-capped mountains, the Turquoise Trail has stirred the soul with inspiration and passion since the Ancestral Puebleoans arrived thousands of years ago. We may not know about the personalities of the past, but today this scenic corridor between Santa Fe and Albuquerque boasts one of the highest eccentricity factors of any road in West. You’ll find artists, offbeat museums, New Agers, and Smithsonian-class oddballs who thumb their noses at conventionality... (more)


Hudson River Estates

Brooklyn Pizza tour

NYC Chinatown

NYC TV Museum

Accessible Brooklyn

Bus tour showcases neighborhoods, movie locations, and award-winning pizzerias.

Our tour bus slowly cruises down 89th Street in Brooklyn while the opening credits for the 1977 movie "Saturday Night Fever" roll on the video monitor. The crowded sidewalks and storefronts outside the bus windows seem to merge with the scene on the monitor as a very young John Travolta walks down the same busy street. Travolta stops at Linney's Pizza for two slices just as we drive past the pizzeria. We could be in a time warp-or a movie set. Then Travolta turns into Shirt World and reality returns. The corner storefront is now a McDonald's.

Clips of movies filmed in Brooklyn are just one of the

unique features of our Slice of Brooklyn bus tour. The

other is pizza. "We're going to sample pizza and see Brooklyn from one side to another," Tony Muia, who designed the tour, promises when we board the bus

at Union Square in Manhattan... (more)

America’s largest open house

Virginia’s Statewide Garden Week in April showcases public and private gardens.

As home of the palatial estates of the nation’s first patriots, presidents, and millionaires, Virginia upholds a long Southern tradition of showcase gardens. Each year in April when the blossoms reach their peak, public and private gardens from the Atlantic to the Appalachia invite the public to share their splendor.

During the statewide, rites-of-spring celebration, Richmond is ground zero for garden extravagance. Public and private gardens, parks, and estates burst into bloom... (more)

Jefferson’s overlooked legacy

Jefferson’s first and last homes provide insights into the private side of the nation’s great statesman and architect.

With a little imagination, I can see a two-year-old Thomas Jefferson wrapped in his favorite blankie in front of a fireplace on a cold evening. Or nine–year-old Thomas dashing up the broad

staircase two steps at a time. The famous buildings of Jefferson’s adult life get all the attention, yet Tuckahoe Plantation, his boyhood home, is where he formed many of the values and passions. Tuckahoe and Poplar Forest, the retirement retreat he designed for family only, provide insights into the hidden side of the nation’s great statesman and architect... (more)


Michigan U.P. Winter Sports

Barbecue and Give’em Hell History-KC

Missouri: Route 66

Missouri: Lake of the Ozarks

Missouri: Ozark Springs

Nebraska: Arbor Day


Omaha: Back to the Past

St. Louis

Several others on the block sell tea sets, dishes, vases, figurines, fans, and silk clothing. Red good-luck tassels hang in windows and the Chinese characters for prosperity embed the sidewalk every few yards... (more)


Albuquerque Icons

Quirky Albuquerque

Balloon Fiesta

Georgia O’Keefe Country

D. H. Lawrence Ranch Turquoise Trail

High Road to Taos

Ancient Way Byway

Railroad Glory Days Live On

Silver City-Outdoor Gateway

Old Santa Fe Trail

Trinity Site