Chamonix, France is one of the top adventure tourism destinations not just in Europe, but around the world as well. Located in the Southeast of France, the town is located in a valley that is bordered by high mountains. The northern spur of mountains features Mount Blanc, the highest peak in western Europe; and the south spur of mountains features an a number of equally impressive peaks. The town itself is a gateway to a number of activities that vary depending on the time of year, but include skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing, and mountain biking. However, it is important to note that the region has a number of things to do that are accessible to even the casual traveler.
Correspondingly, when I was offered the opportunity to test out the TETON Sports Mountain Ultra 1 a few months ago, I was slightly concerned. The Mountain Ultra 1 was billed as an ultralight backpacking tent; and in my experience, such products were not durable; or not breathable. Nevertheless, I was intrigued as to what innovations TETON had brought to the field as there had been a lot of social media buzz about the tent, so with an open mind I accepted the tent and began the testing process. Several months later, what I can say is this: this is a product that lives up to the hype it generated, and then some. Even further, I can honestly say that this tent is the best one-man backpacking tent on the market in 2014; and perhaps the best one-man backpacking tent that I have used in the last five years.
From the blood moon, to a partial solar eclipse, there have been a number of great things to see in the sky during 2014. The one disappointing thing about 2014 in terms of astronomy is that all of the annual meteor showers have so far been somewhat disappointing. However, that may be about to change. Even though the annual Geminid Meteor shower has already began as of December 4, 2014, it will peak from December 12-14, 2014, before ending on December 17, 2014.
There are many amazing things to be found along the Southern Oregon coastline, including lush rainforests, historic lighthouses, expansive beaches, great hiking trails, and stunning sunsets. The most surprising thing to be found along the Southern Oregon coast, however, is dinosaurs. Yes, that is correct - there are dinosaurs along the Southern Oregon coast. Unfortunately, these dinosaurs aren't alive, and the Southern Oregon coast isn't the Lost World - but for a small fee, you can experience one man's version of what life looked like back in the days of the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods. Prehistoric Gardens is the life's work and creation of one man - Ernie "E.V." Nelson. In 1953, he moved to the Oregon Coast; and decided that his property needed a little more flair - so he began building and painting giant replicas of dinosaurs. In 1955, he decided that rather than keep the dinosaurs private, he would have his own theme park, and so Prehistoric Gardens began. Today, the park is still owned and operated by Ernie's descendants.
As I've talked about before on my blog, California is a state that has a number of interesting geologic features. From Mud Caves, to Lava Tube Caves, to strange appearing and disappearing water filled holes in Death Valley, this state has it all - and then some. Just when I think I've seen every unique geologic feature that the state has to offer, something new pops up. In this case, the feature literally pops - and bubbles - but more on that later. In case you're wondering what I'm talking about, I'm talking about the mud pots - or mud volcanoes of the Salton Sea. I had heard rumors about this feature from my fellow blogger, Josh McNair, and when my fiance and I were back out at Salvation Mountain last week, I knew that we had to check it out. After a little bit of navigation, we - among other people - found the spot.
The deserts of the world are home to many strange things, both natural and unnatural. One of the strangest - and most unique things is Salvation Mountain, located outside of Niland, California. Salvation Mountain was the work of one man, Leonard Knight. Over the course of thirty years, Leonard built - and re-built Salvation Mountain out of hay bales, plaster, and paint to spread his simple but powerful message - "God is Love".
Although California is a "young" state historically to many people, it does have a rich pre-European history, and a rich post-European history. From Fort Ross, the first Russian settlement in California, to the Kings Highway (El Camino Real) and the many missions present on it, California has many historic locations - some of which are secret, and some of which are not. Although it is hidden in plain sight, Fort Point is perhaps one of the more obscure destinations in California, even though it is the state's only Civil War fort.