The B&B’s Offer A+ Service for Your Vacation


The B&B’s Offer A+ Service for Your Vacation

by Amy Lignor


When it comes to vacations people always think and worry about the locale. Where will they go? Does it have something for the kids? Are they looking at a camping trip, a historical location where they can treasure hunt through the museums, or simply that relaxing by the beach vacation that has everything to do with getting the right tan while sipping those amazing cocktails with the bright, colorful umbrellas? However…there is definitely another thing to think about. The location is a big deal, true, but what about the choice of lodging?

Bed & Breakfasts, Travel, Summer, Vacation, lodging, comfort, personal attention, delectable meals

There are hotels and motels all over the place in this country (and others). Everywhere across the highways of America you will find those familiar signs that offer a place to stay. But when it comes to pure luxury, there are also those lodgings out there called Bed & Breakfasts that give far more in the way of comfort and amenities than any old hotel/motel you can think of – not to mention, offer up lasting memories where the lodging is actually more beautiful and fun than the actual location where it sits.


For those who are unaware, or feel that staying at a Bed & Breakfast would take more money out of the wallet than your standard hotel/motel, there are things you need to know. There are actually B&B’s that can be found almost anywhere you go, in any location you choose, that provide much more bang for your buck. You receive personal attention and delectable meals. When it comes to a motel/hotel, you receive a room that’s normally on the small side. And as far as “extras,” you’d be lucky to receive free parking. And that good old continental breakfast they serve is always sub-standard. You also end up having to pay for things like snacks, and if you open up that wine bar, the word ‘complimentary’ no longer applies.


There are many differences between the B&B and the standard hotel room. At a B&B the room is more than comfortable and the décor is amazing. Some even pride themselves on having ‘themes’ for each of their rooms in order to appeal to all guest’s individual tastes. Whether or not you wish to stay in a place that “feels like home” or has the fun and exuberance that home may be missing, there is a B&B out there just as unique as you are.


A majority of the B&Bs also offer everything from free parking to free snacks, and one of the greatest ‘gifts’ is a real complimentary breakfast every morning that literally is more delicious than a home-cooked meal. None of that ‘cereal in a box’ stuff or doughnuts and muffins that are a week old. Some B&B’s also offer discounts on the local attractions.


If you’re looking for history, there are lists of B&B’s that boast exciting histories; there are some B&B’s that are restored buildings hundreds of years old. In the Deep South of the U.S. you will find some B&B’s that were once plantation houses that are stunningly beautiful. In France you can stay in historical authentic chateaus. And in the U.K., there are B&B’s that were actual castles that played a large part in Britain’s history. So make sure that no matter where you go you ask the innkeeper about the background of the inn. You may be extremely surprised by what you learn.


Another thing B&B’s offer that hotels and motels have no interest in providing is personal attention. At a B&B the staff goes above and beyond to make sure the guests are comfortable, feel welcome, and have all the amenities they require (and more). You are not simply a ‘person staying in a single room with a double bed’. At the B&B you have an actual name and they make sure you know up front that they are available to help you when you need it. If you want tips on what to do in the area, or have questions about the B&B itself, those innkeepers are always there to answer your questions.


Little extras will always be found at the B&B, as well. There are those that leave out freshly baked bread or cookies in the dining area for their guests, while others have a Happy Hour where wine and appetizers are served. Some even offer a library of books and/or DVDs for the guests who wish to curl up in their comfortable room for the evening.


There is even a competition run every year for the best “dish” served at a B&B that features some of the most intriguing and innovative recipes ever seen. Innkeepers from all over enter this contest with this year’s winner coming from the Chestnut Street Inn in Sheffield, Illinois, with their breakfast offering: Elvis Toast with Candied Bacon. Now, really, are you ever going to find anything that cool at the Motel 6, 8 (or whatever number you wish to place in here) that looms on the side of the highway? I think not, my friends.


So when you’re thinking about the location of your trip, make sure to think long and hard about the wonderful lodging that you can have by simply turning to those Bed & Breakfasts across the land just waiting to welcome you to their neck of the woods.


Source:  Baret News


Propane vs. Gas: The Camper’s Debate


Propane vs. Gas: The Camper’s Debate


Although they say every “opinion” is worth about two cents nowadays (and if you’re career happens to be in politics it’s worth even less) there are some definite facts that come along with choosing what is easier and better, between propane and gas, to use in the Great Outdoors.


backpacking, environment, summer, travel, propane, white gas, hunting, camping, fuel options, bio-fuels

Let us begin with the issue of ease. It is absolutely true that propane is one of the easiest fuel sources to use. After all, you screw in the container, turn on the valve, and simply light the gas that’s exiting the burners; how much more ease can you ask for? Seeing as that propane is already under pressure, you do not have to pump it or do anything special. When you’re talking about white gas (Coleman fuel), you have to pump the container up, heat up a bit of the fuel, and then ignite it. So it obviously takes more time in the set up and start up categories than when speaking about a propane stove.


Propane stoves for the camper also provide the benefit of ease when it comes to transportation. There is no need to worry about filling it up, spilling fuel by mistake, or priming the stove, which makes it more fun and less of a chore for the individual when it comes to enjoying their camping experience.


Although this is starting to sound like propane runs away with the race, it is important to note that even with all the benefits, propane does have some definite problems that you will encounter with gas stoves. Propane is not able to be used in very low temperatures. Say you’re looking at a forty degree hunting/camping/fishing weekend. Or maybe you are an ice fishing lover and will sit in 0 degree weather or less; if that is the case, propane is definitely off your list and white gas is the one and only choice.


If we’re talking about backpacking instead of driving that RV or camper up to your site, propane also is not the one you want to go with. Although it’s easy to transport, that benefit falls apart when talking about throwing it into your backpack for the long trek. Propane containers are heavy and they are not disposable. Seeing as that garbage cans can usually not be discovered on top of the mountain, you will also be forced to carry those containers back down with you. When it comes to gas containers, they are lighter and smaller, which makes the backpacker far happier.


In addition, when it comes to refilling the propane canister – the small ones, that is – you will be unable to. You will be forced, instead, to trash them in a landfill, whereas white gas stove containers can simply be refilled.


When you get down to the brass tacks of cooking, another issue also crops up when speaking about cooking with propane. Simply put, when propane burns, heat, light, carbon dioxide, and water are produced. When the water vapor comes in contact with your food it alters the taste ever so slightly. This is why many choose to use charcoal to cook instead of propane, because the briquettes offer a great flavor to the food.


Keep in mind that there are three types of stoves to choose from: Canister stoves, which are easy-to-use, low-maintenance stoves that typically screw onto the threaded tops of self-sealing fuel canisters that contain two pre-pressurized gases (isobutane and propane). Liquid fuel stoves, which are extremely versatile stoves that connect to refillable fuel bottles, not only white gas. And, last but not least, Alternative-fuel stoves that is a category that continues to grow bigger with each passing year. More and more backpacking and camping stoves are being made that run on fuel pellets or actual wood.


Make sure that the size, ease of transportation, and the ability to run the stove in certain temperature are all issues you take into account before choosing what is right for you. Whereas propane might be perfect for that family camping trip, your backpacking excursion most certainly will call for the smaller, easier to carry gas options.


But no matter what, keep those Great Outdoors safe and have one heck of a trip!


Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Inexpensive Dream Vacations to be Found in “America the Beautiful”


Inexpensive Dream Vacations to be Found in “America the Beautiful”

by Amy Lignor

Say “dream vacation” and 80% of American’s minds journey to those ritzy areas, like Paris or Athens…they dream of touring the castles of London or dive into the magical history and culture of Ireland. But very few ever get the fact or remember, perhaps, that America the Beautiful is called that for a reason. There are a slew of perfect vacation spots in the good, old U.S. of A. that American, Dream Vacations, Travel, top vacation spots, must sees, road tripoffer everyone from the solo traveler to the newlyweds to the big families a ton of choices when it comes to finding a place to go for summer vacation. And even though we’re in July already, these places still offer fantastic sites, locales, hotels, restaurants – you name it – they can be booked right now, or driven to for a couple of weeks during the blazing heat of summertime. In fact, there are many of you who may already be living in some of these areas that simply need to go out the back door and enjoy!

Let’s take a look at some top vacation spots voted on by major travel organizations when it comes to exploring America by yourself or with the loved ones:

Believe it or not, on every list came Portland, Oregon. Here is a stunning scenic spot that offers top-ranked farmers’ markets, cafes that actually have fresh-caught salmon on their menus, and microbreweries that earned Portland number one spots on some of the travel “must-see” lists. Bike, hike, check out those waterfalls, or sit back on a large porch, have a microbrew and relax.

And while you’re up there, perhaps you want to drop by another favorite “top spot” – Seattle, Washington. Yes, when it comes to rating high in winter travel spots, Seattle doesn’t do well. The drizzle makes everything for winter lovers more than a little dismal. But, Seattle actually stays very drizzle-free in the summertime. Awesome parks in the city, awesome locales for football fans to visit, as well as hikers and flyers who would love to ride on those seaplanes and get a better look at the stunning Mount Rainier, Seattle has it all.

If doing this as a road trip, you can dip south a bit and head into Denver, Colorado with the family. The Mile High City is chock full of activities for children and adults. From the Underground Music Showcase to the Buffalo Bill Days where kids can have some fun in the Old West, Denver is definitely a city to see.

If dipping south is not your plan and you would rather go north before that snow blows in fierce, Anchorage, Alaska is a great place to see. You can watch the caribou, journey across glaciers, or board one of those fabulous cruise ships. Late August is the best time to visit (and the most inexpensive), and the pictures you’ll add to your memory photo album will be glorious.

Okay…you want to head into Yankee country and see that beautiful New England before the leaves turn a million colors or the snow starts to cover the landscape. Well, if you are drooling just thinking about awesome lobster, Portland, Maine is a fantastic place to dine. In fact, you’ll never want to stop eating. And when the stomach is full and exercise needs to be had, kayaking or shopping as you stroll down cobblestones streets in the Old Port are two ways out of a hundred to lose the pounds (between lunch and the dinner of lobster you know you’ll have!)

Other “must-sees” in New England include Providence, Rhode Island – where the summer evenings are brightly lit by the small bonfires called, Waterfire. The hamburgers rock and the coffee is beyond excellent. Also, if looking for history, “Beantown” Boston is always there for Red Sox fans dying to see the game, food lovers who are dying to eat oysters, and history loons who want nothing more than to walk the Freedom Trail and explore Boston Harbor and a Liberty Fleet ship.

Now, there is one place in the desert – a word that sounds odd when speaking about already being in the intense heat of July – that is not too tough to handle. It is also historic, beautiful and, unlike most desert communities, offers trees galore. Santa Fe, New Mexico is the location, and from music festivals to Indian art to needing peace and quiet while sitting in truly reverent beauty, Santa Fe is definitely the desert-lovers choice.

So, book now or get into that station wagon and head across America (in one direction or another) to have a ball in the U.S.A.!

Source:  Baret News

Want To Cruise? Now is the Best Time for Deals


Want To Cruise? Now is the Best Time for Deals

By Burt Carey

Full disclosure: I’m neither a travel agent nor a cruise line employee. I do love cruising, though, especially when the industry is practically giving away cabin space.

If you think that’s just a ploy to sucker you into pulling the ol’ credit card out of your wallet, well, I’m just not that plastic. With fall here and winter fast approaching, cruising is at its least expensive right now.

Try something simple: A three-night Bahamas cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas sets sail Sept. 25, Oct. 2, Oct. 9, Oct. 16, Oct 23 … (you get the picture) from Port Canaveral, Fla., for as little as $249 per person. That’s with stops in Coco Cay and Nassau.

Royal Caribbean. $249. Crazy, right?

How about a seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruise, leaving Miami Oct. 10 on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Getaway for just $499? That’s with stops in St. Thomas, Tortola (BVI) and Nassau. There’s lots of cruise time – time to hit the tables, see the shows, sip tropical drinks and slip-slide down five stories of waterslides.

Well, somebody is taking advantage of the late-year deals. Celebrity Cruises is pushing November deals now because earlier departures to the Southern Caribbean, Western Caribbean and the Eastern Caribbean (seeing a theme here?) are all sold out. But hey, they still have some Ocean View cabins available for a Nov. 15 departure on the Celebrity Silhouette out of Fort Lauderdale. That’s a seven-night cruise to the Western Caribbean, with stops in Cozumel, Georgetown, Falmouth, and Labadee in a cabin where you can actually see the water for just $799.Cruise, late-year deals, bargain rates, travel, vacation, fall trips, Caribbean, plan ahead

Carnival Cruise Lines has what could be the coolest, no-frills website for finding a ship to ride, with per-person charges shown on departure dates on a calendar layout. No photos of beautiful people swimming or sitting by the pool. You just click a date and all of your options pop up. Or you can manually pick a destination, match it to a departure point and select your preferred trip duration, then pay THIS amount to get THIS type of cabin. Brilliant!

Just for giggles, I selected prices for suites, then clicked on Nov. 1 for a four-day jaunt to the Bahamas out of Port Canaveral, with stops in Freeport and Nassau. Experienced Carnival customers know the drill. But even experienced Carnival customers expect to pay more than $539 per person for a suite!

Here’s a seven-day Western Caribbean sail, balcony cabin with ports of call in Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay and Grand Cayman for just $649. Seven days! Balcony cabin! The Carnival Splendor sails out of Miami on Nov. 1.

There’s always the option to let Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz or some cruise broker find a deal for you, but you can make these bargains happen just as easily. While taxes, fees and port expenses will add to these prices, it’s hard to ignore the calling of the sun-drenched salty sea, fruity drinks with little umbrellas sticking out of them, and a team of professional sailors to get you there and back for less than $100 a day per person.


Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle


For September Travel, San Francisco is Hard to Beat


For September Travel, San Francisco is Hard to Beat

By Burt Carey


Just like the iconic Tony Bennett song, you too can leave your heart in San Francisco, and September could be the best month of the year to go there.

While September typically marks the end of the summer travel season, it also means most Americans are back to work, their kids are back in school, summer peak hotel rates are coming down, Bay Area weather is becoming quite moderate, and getting reservations at one of its famed restaurants isn’t as daunting as it was just a month ago.

San Francisco, Travel, September, Muir Woods National Monument, Redwood trees, World-renowned chefs, Ghirardelli,  accommodations, public transportation, Golden Gate, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz

Tony Bennett’s heart sculpture America’s Greatest City By The Bay at Union Square


You’ll get the biggest bang for your travel buck in September, visiting such landmarks as the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz and Lombard Street. Of course the shoppers among us shouldn’t miss a trip to the Mission District, and for some eclectic exposure to the famous San Francisco culture, you might want to experience the Castro and the Haight districts.

Don’t worry about trying to drive – or park – here. Public transportation is both plentiful and fun in the city celebrated for its cable cars. If you’re planning to stay more than a couple of days, a a 7-day CityPASS ($94 per adult) will cover an unlimited number of rides on the city’s Muni system transportation, which includes diesel and electric trolley buses, historic streetcars and the world-famous cable cars. Without CityPASS, a single, one-way cable car ride costs $7; a Muni bus is $2.25. CityPASS does not include rides on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

San Francisco, Travel, September, Muir Woods National Monument, Redwood trees, World-renowned chefs, Ghirardelli,  accommodations, public transportation, Golden Gate, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz

Cable car on California Street


Hotels in San Francisco can be pricey regardless of the time of year you visit. Fortunately, the city is home to a bevy of bed-and-breakfast establishments as well as family-owned or independent hotels. Instead of staying near Fisherman’s Wharf or SoMa (South of Market Street), consider the Marina District or even Nob Hill for accommodations.

World-renowned chefs, such as Food Network television host Tyler Florence and Michael Mina, have opened restaurants here, contributing to the Bay Area’s diverse culinary scene. You’ll find just about every type of cuisine known to humankind, but you’ll want to sample all of the regional foods – sourdough bread, bay shrimp, Dungeness crab, and the Hangtown Fry (Gold Rush-era scrambled eggs, oysters and bacon) – you can muster during your trip. It’s important to note that many of the city’s restaurants close relatively early, around 10 p.m.

And for dessert, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and Ghirardelli Square will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Spending a day or two away from the city is also a fine option. Muir Woods National Monument is where you’ll find 380-foot-tall Redwood trees, and across the San Joaquin Valley in the Eastern Sierra, Yosemite National Park are both extraordinary trips. And just north of the Bay Area is wine country and the Napa Valley.

Just because temperatures may feel good in comparison to the biting winds of a San Francisco spring, you’ll be best advised to bring a jacket. The city is renowned for fog and cooler temperatures than the interior portions of California.

San Francisco, Travel, September, Muir Woods National Monument, Redwood trees, World-renowned chefs, Ghirardelli,  accommodations, public transportation, Golden Gate, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz

Fog over the Golden Gate Bridge


Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

USA: The Runner’s-Up Are Taking Over


USA: The Runner’s-Up Are Taking Over

~by Cindy Haynes


There are familiar stand-out locations in America that people wish to move to in their retirement years (or a heck of a lot sooner). But now, the runner’s up – the previously second or even third choices out there in America – are finding their way onto peoples’ bucket lists because of the complete overhaul these towns and cities have been accomplishing, even receiving awards for the ‘most upcoming destinations’ across the map.



1) Whenever people think of N.J., their minds actually switch to N.Y.C. in most cases. In other words, N.J. is the runner-up between them. A distant runner-up for quite a while. Yet now Wildwood, New Jersey, out of the blue, is receiving massively positive reviews as being an extremely cool location to not only visit, but settle. For those who would really like to turn the clock back because of how the world is running at this moment in time, Wildwood is all about the 1950s. Here you have the carnival atmosphere of the Boardwalk, pier fishing, and a calm, overall nostalgic view of the simpler things in life.


2) Charlotte, North Carolina is certainly a well-known locale that everyone has heard of and some people even dream about one day living. However, there is another out there – Nags Head, North Carolina – that is drawing more people. Eleven miles of beach are here in this Outer Banks town, south of Kitty Hawk, and everything from diving and seeing shipwrecks up close and personal to hang-gliding is available. Walking near the lighthouse, taking in that historic architecture and ‘feeling’ the great minds of the past who actually taught the world how to fly, Nags Head is bringing more and more to its shore.


3) In Arizona, Phoenix is a biggie, as everyone knows, for choosing a place to retire. When it comes to wealth, there are places like Paradise Valley and Carefree – every lovely neighborhood in Arizona most definitely comes along with a lovely name. Now, however, it’s Prescott that is getting the thumbs-up reviews. Located in the Bradshaw Mountains, surrounded by the stunning conifer forests, Prescott provides the Great Outdoors to anyone who’s looking to commune with Mother Nature, while also being able to golf to their hearts’ content on six perfectly pristine courses. Not shying away from the Old West, Prescott also offers museums, historic trains – and if it was good enough for Doc Holiday’s wife – it’s good enough for you.


4) Nashville is the first place people think of when it comes to Tennessee. The music is what it’s all about. But now, its’ basically overlooked cousin, Knoxville, has moved up in the ranks as being a fantastic place to settle down. Riverboats, museums, not to mention massive sports fun when it comes to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, there is far more than just Civil War history to learn about.


5) Speaking of sports…we all know about Denver. But it is Telluride that is moving up on the list of ‘must-see’ and ‘must-settle’ in Colorado. The San Juan Mountains are stunning, and Telluride lies in their midst. This is the calm respite people are looking for who wish to fish for the perfect trout, hike in the majesty of the forests, or ski when winter comes to call. This is one of those ‘gold rush’ towns that brings about the history bug, as well.


So before you look at a map and let your eye generally wander to the most well-known city/town in each state, make sure to take a second look. Because the ones that used to be a passing thought are swiftly taking over for best overall living, traveling and retirement opportunities.


Source:  Baret News Wire

TRAVEL THE United States of America & cross your fingers

TRAVEL THE United States of America & cross your fingers


I’m Will Roberts, and this is the Daily Scream! Ahhh, here we go!

Well, I just spent a week flying around our country for work. Seven states in 4 days, including the state of confusion. Whenever I travel that much I really feel it helps me get back to our countries Routes, that’s R-o-u-t-e-s. It helps me appreciate all that we have to offer. That’s why when I talk to someone who says “I’m leaving for vacation to France, Italy, Germany.” I have to ask them “Have you been around the US before? a lot say NO, this leaves me dumbfounded. I mean, the Untied States of America has so many different types of terrain, people, places, you just can’t beat it. If you are searching for a made in American sticker, I recommend traveling the US. Plus, you get a history lesson. Unless you’re on your phone the whole time, taking selfies.

I know this sounds like a travel ad, but it’s not.

So here’s the deal, one of my shows for the week was in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. Just in case you don’t know; that’s on the Bible Belt of America. And just so we’re clear, my 2 hour trip from Charleston to Myrtle Beach proved to me that they shouldn’t call it the Bible Belt. Maybe they should call it the bible girdle of America, it’s huge. In that 2 1/2 hours drive I saw a church ever quarter mile down that road, and ever 2 miles, a hospital. That is in case you didn’t get what you prayed for. Finally, a fast food Joint every 3 miles, that is for the young folks who think they’re immortal.

The US is a whole lot more beautiful than folks are giving it credit for these days. Oh and just for fun, every time you cross a bridge, cross your fingers, it can’t hurt.

Will Roberts
Get my cartoons FREE at


Will Roberts, The Daily Scream, Witt of Will, Travel, U.S.

Audio Link

Help TSA and us frequent fliers, shave your beard!


Help TSA and us frequent fliers, shave your beard!


I’m Will Roberts, and this is the daily Scream! Ahh, here we go.
There is a trend that has started up again, and we need to talk about it! NEXT
Now I do a lot of travel on planes for my job. A few months back I was in 9 states in 2 weeks, including the state of confusion.  So I see a lot of people.  But the thing, I can tell you, is that most people in airports  keep a watchful eye out for suspicious things. You know, a shoelace out of place or odd earnings, or odd hats. Things that look terrorist like. I don’t think were profiling, more like Americas now have a wanted poster permanently posted everywhere.
So here’s the trend that really seems odd to me;  Long scruffy breads! Now mind you I recently tried to sport a beard, but not the ZZ Top/Duck dy -nasty look. I just don’t get it.
But people, I know, have said to me, why not let your beard grow out?  Is it because it is itchy? NO. Because it’s hard to maintain, No!, Then why? Because I got tired of being stopped at the airport security and detained because I look like the spy in a Russian movie. I understand that beards can be cool, but the Rip Van Winkle look, can’t be attractive to possible suitors. My wife just had to say one time: Don’t kiss me you are scratchy, and I’m shaving.
So help the airport TSA and us frequent flyers like me. Contain the beard and stop looking like a terrorist.


Get Will’s daily cartoons at





Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle



~ Amy Lignor

My mammoth, beloved dog always reminds me that ‘dog’ spelled backwards is ‘god’. (No matter how snooty your cat may act,

they must also deal with the fact that ‘tac’ is not nearly as powerful).

Even after all this time dog power is utilized by hunters, campers, backpackers, hikers and plain, old people who want and need Husky_boenisch_2005the security, protection and love of the family friend. Dogs hit on all cylinders in life and sports, and play an extra-special role when it comes to the winter months.

Hunting and traveling has been done for centuries – far before the luxuries of RV’s and ATV’s came into our lives. The dogs were the ones who led the pack; they helped their masters and made sure to get the job done when it came to finding food, and working their proverbial tails off in order to pull the sled so travel could occur.

The dog makes up that amazing sled team that now not only helps their master hunt and travel, but also allows their master to enter events in order to show off just how amazing their particular sled dog team is.

Building the team is not an easy thing to do. A lot like the dreaded dodge ball choosing in grade school, dogs must go through a very intense selection process in order to see just where they will end up on the team. However, each and every dog has their own skills and talents required by the sled’s owner.

When picking the lead dog, the human must be very, very careful, seeing as that these are the facets of the team that are not only the head of the ‘mush’, but also take care of all the other dogs in their crew. They must be intelligent, courageous and able to keep going while encouraging all of their mates to do the same when times get rough out there.

Wheel dogs are also a huge part of the team. They need the most strength and power because their ultimate job in the harsh winter wonderland will be to pull the sled out from the snow if something bad comes to pass.

Right behind the leaders on the team come the point dogs; the swing dogs also work hard between the point and wheel dogs; and the rest of the team brings much-needed expertise to the pulling of the sled.

Endurance is a must when it comes to creating the perfect team. Let’s face it, more often than not the dogs have a whole heck of a lot more endurance than the human being along for the ride.

Two of the most beautiful species of dogs ever created make up the majority of the sled dog team. Siberian Huskies, which literally look as if they were born to do nothing else (although they deserve a little down time in front of the warm hearth enjoying some Christmas cheer); and Alaskan malamutes, which are not only born with the inbred skills of a sled dog, but are also extremely hard workers who will never lay down on the job.

Just remember that recreational dog sledding is not a whole lot different than the competitive sport. With each, you must take into consideration the dangers that lie ahead. Checking weather reports is absolutely necessary before heading out there. But when it comes to a competition, you’re stuck with the dates handed to you, so the sled dog team needs to be in perfect shape before ever beginning the race of a lifetime.


Balto with Gunnar Kaasen

Balto with Gunnar Kaasen

Map the trail you’ll be using if night falls so that even if the worst type of weather creeps up on you out of nowhere, you can

recognize various checkpoints or familiar locations.

The most famous sled dog remembered was named, Balto. As the lead dog of the team that was responsible for the last leg of a

journey that carried the only cure to Nome, Alaska, where people were suffering the horrific diphtheria epidemic of 1925, Balto became a true hero. A statue still stands in this brave dog’s honor with a plaque that reads: Endurance – Fidelity – Intelligence, which are the three main factors that made Balto a hero we will never forget.

So as you get the team ready to venture out into that frozen land, make sure you always remember, honor, and respect the power of these beautiful ‘gods’ who have a history of saving lives, and never giving up.


Until Next Time, Everybody,



Taking up Residency with Mother Nature

Taking up Residency with Mother Nature

 ~ ZZ Troutski

Feather-marks the


Finding a place to dwell is not exactly the easiest of all projects to complete during your lifetime. Some prefer the small town atmosphere where everyone knows everyone else at the local coffee shop; others prefer the bustling streets and always having something to do and someplace to go whenever they want. But what the outdoor enthusiast needs to remember is that they still can have one or the other without giving up Mother Nature at its absolute finest.


Hiking, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, hunting – there are a list of things for people to do when it comes to the Great Outdoors. But instead of just picking a favorite spot for only vacation time, people are now searching for that one place where they can have everything they want whenever they want it.


There is such a thing as paradise on earth when it comes to nature. There are cities and small towns across the map that can offer hunters, anglers, bikers, etc., the ability to be part of the sport they love on the weekends, while still not sacrificing anything else. Major metropolitan areas are out there, and some are even right alongside the small, hidden lakefront villages that people are craving.


Say you wish to ski when the snow begins to fall; go out to surf the waves when the sun is high in the sky; and hike or camp at whim. This paradise does exist and is called, Portland, Oregon. The Cascades are right there for the skier; the Columbia River Gorge, as well as the coast offer the waves; and the city, itself, offers the diversity necessary for finding a good job, an affordable house, and having adventures in and out of the city.


Jackson Hole, Wyoming is a famous town in a way because of the celebrities who now hail from there. However, by only mentioning the Grand Teton National Park; Snow King, where the skiers can have a ball; and hiking through the most beautiful ranges available in the U.S., these alone make this city even more amazing to live in. And when it comes to hunting; with the moose, elk and deer, hunting seasons are brilliant.


If the east coast is what calls out to you, there is actually a healthy city in the United States – Burlington, Vermont. Exercise seems to be why this is such a healthy area, which is no surprise considering that biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, and more are available near the city. Which means you can be one with the Great Outdoors for a whole lot longer seeing as that health of both people and the surrounding habitats are thriving.


Now…staying in Vermont but opting out of the city, you can live in the stunning, Brattleboro. This is the definition of a mountainside town with farmer’s markets and art festivals, and antiquing that can not be done anywhere else. This is the small, cultural hometown of your dreams that you only have to share with approximately 12,000 other people.


The State of Arizona offers the same sort of thing for you city-lookers or small-town folk. Flagstaff is one of those in-between worlds. People choose this particular area because of the fact that it literally sits amidst the world’s largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest. A city is found there with lots of fun, but the hiking and biking also are there for the weekend getaway.


Just a short hop and a skip away is Sedona. The green pine is left behind as you literally stare in wonder at the red-rock formations. This is the smaller type of area that is all about instilling energy, with their spas and artisans.


A small desert town, Sedona is huge on heart. Its approximately 10,000 residents love the hiking and biking, and then enjoy all the massage and spa treatments they want. Talk about a small town that you would never want to leave!


So no matter what state you choose, there will always be that vibrant city and that out-of-the-way small town to choose from. Just pick which one you want…and head for home!