Posts tagged with "hiking"

Agriculture illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

USDA Announces Investment

USDA Announces $218 Million Investment in Land and Water Conservation

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the USDA Forest Service will invest more than $218 million to fund Great American Outdoors Act projects to conserve critical forest and wetland habitat, support rural economic recovery, and increase public access to national forests and grasslands.

Leveraging the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) provided by Congress, this investment will improve public access by funding strategic land acquisitions. Funds will also support work with state agencies to encourage private forest landowners to protect their land through conservation easements or land purchases.

“These investments reflect President Biden’s commitment to supporting locally-led conservation efforts from coast to coast and to honoring and building on the proud private land stewardship traditions of farmers, ranchers, and forest owners,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The investments will not only protect our natural heritage, but they will also create jobs, expand access to the outdoors, and help tackle climate change.”

The Forest Service administers two LWCF programs: The Forest Legacy Program and the Land Acquisition program. Together, these programs conserve critical and strategic lands across the nation’s forests on both private and public lands. The Forest Service will invest more than $94 million to fund 28 projects under the Forest Legacy Program and $123 million to fund Land Acquisition Program projects, including projects for recreation access and other needs.

Land Acquisition Program highlights include:

  • $6.4 million in FY 2021 to acquire 8,590 acres for the Lolo Trails Project in Montana. This project aims to mitigate the effects of climate change by providing the cold water that federally listed bull trout and other species need to sustain healthy populations in a warming climate.
  • $3.7 million to acquire 1,550 acres in the Yakima River Basin for the Washington Cascades Project. Supported by a wide coalition of public, private and non-profit partners, this project seeks to ensure a long-term water supply in the face of climate change.

Forest Legacy Program highlights include:

  • Protecting 12,500 acres of habitat, water and timber on the Ceylon Forest in Georgia. 2.5 million people depend on the Ceylon for drinking water that flows from and through the forest. As a working forest, the Ceylon supports a local wood-based economy that includes 121 mills, with a $1.69 million payroll impact. Once completed, the area will also become part of a much larger Wildlife Management Area and serve as an ideal hunting and fishing destination for sportsmen across the Southeast.
  • The East Grand-Weston in Maine builds on a century-old tradition of sustainable forestry and expands recreation opportunities over more than 4,300 acres. The property supports a thriving local recreation industry by protecting lands, waters and trails while also providing sustainable wood products to up to 15 mills. The property will remain in private hands while continuing to be managed for public benefits.
  • The second phase of the Kootenai Forestlands Conservation Project will permanently protect nearly 28,000 acres of land in northwest Montana. The project area belongs to the Stimson Lumber Company and contributes to the local economy while allowing free public access as a recreation destination for hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, snowmobiling and more. The project will also protect the area from further residential development, reducing future firefighting costs by more than half.

Background

The Forest Service has been administering LWCF projects since 1964 along with the Department of the Interior. The fund supports Forest Service-led conservation projects including acquisition of critical non-federal lands within the boundaries of national forests and grasslands. Now, with full and permanent funding through the Dingell Act and the Great American Outdoors Act, the Forest Service is poised to strengthen its conservation program and provide greater recreation access to national forests and grasslands.

The agency worked with partners, considered multiple criteria and used established competitive processes to select projects for fiscal year 2021. During the review, the agency evaluated the environmental, social, and economic benefits of proposed projects and whether they contributed to other conservation initiatives. The Forest Service also considered local recreation access needs, the level of local support for strategic land acquisitions and how likely it would be for project areas to be converted to non-forest uses.

For more information on the Great American Outdoors Act and related projects, visit the website.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration under Secretary Vilsack, USDA is committed to transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit USDA.

Las Vegas-Based Tour Provider

When Bindlestiff Tours owner Rachel Urban opened the Las Vegas-based adventure tour company nearly 10 years ago, she sought to offer adventurers the most immersive experiences throughout the Southwestern United States, Alaska and Western Canada. In the days leading up to the pandemic, Bindlestiff Tours was doing just that. Business was booming and the company welcomed thousands of international visitors each year.

Then borders closed, shutdowns began and the international tourism industry dried up. As reservations were cancelled and trips delayed, many tour operators opted to close their doors entirely. Yet, Bindlestiff made the bold, yet tough, decision to remain open last year as one of the only fully operating national park tour companies in Las Vegas during the height of the pandemic. Today, Bindlestiff continues to fight challenges created by the pandemic while still welcoming drive-market travelers to keep the business afloat.  

“Like many small businesses in the tourism industry, we’re fighting every day to keep our operation running while safeguarding our staff and customers’ health and well-being,” said Urban. 

With group size limits, mask enforcement rules and social distancing guidelines differing state by state, Bindlestiff’s high operating and cleaning costs for their spectacular multi-state tours through Nevada, Arizona, Utah and California have risen while the number of guests they are able to accommodate continues to remain restricted. 

Navigating which national parks and campsites are open also presents another obstacle for Bindlestiff Tours. A spike in COVID-19 cases often leads to sudden park or campsite closures or limited access to certain destinations which creates challenges in how Bindlestiff times tours, according to Urban.

Last-minute tour reservations and cancellations also add to the company’s dilemma of planning how many guests they are able to welcome on a given day. 

“While it certainly has been difficult to accommodate travelers visiting Las Vegas on a whim, it brings us such gratitude knowing there are still domestic tourists searching to get away and immerse themselves in nature,” said Urban. 

The immersive tour operator celebrates the small victories such as welcoming travelers from neighboring states, even if group sizes remain small, and continues to offer flexible booking conditions, value tour pricing and additional traveler options. 

Among these additional options are Bindlestiff Tours’ new multi-day, self-driving camping tours and private, custom single- or multi-day tours from Las Vegas.


The self-drive camping tours, also available with hotel upgrades, offer travelers an opportunity to socially distance under the stars. According to Urban, these tours are designed for guests interested in driving to the national parks of the American Southwest on their own, while still receiving expert guidance and an immersive, personalized adventure. 

Guests are provided with all the necessary camping equipment and tour guides assist with camp set-up in scenic locations. Expert tour guides meet guests at key locations throughout the tour and escort groups on remote hiking trails to spectacular viewpoints while providing live interpretive wildlife and nature content throughout the adventure. 

According to Bindlestiff, guides also facilitate evening campfires and locally sourced, fully catered al fresco dining options at camp or for hotel guests. 

To enhance the self-drive experience, Urban says guests can download the recently reconfigured Bindlestiff Tours mobile app. Now featuring tour narrations in English for domestic travelers in addition to multiple languages for international visitors, the app allows travelers to access additional details, instruction and information.


For families or groups of friends of four or more interested in experiencing national parks in a more intimate setting, Bindlestiff also offers private, custom tour options. These tour packages are pre-made and offer exclusive one-on-one attention from a dedicated, expert local guide. Guests may select day tours or multi-day outdoor camping tours or the comfort of hotel accommodation. Guides escort groups on a completely private tour throughout the experience. Guests have the option to choose from classic itineraries or request a custom-tailored tour and add on other areas of interest, according to Urban. 

Despite the overall decrease in travelers resulting from the pandemic, Bindlestiff Tours understands the importance of continuing to provide vacationers with spectacular opportunities to visit some of the country’s most breathtaking national parks when they are ready to travel again.

“During the height of the shutdown last year, we were one of the only fully operating tour providers in Las Vegas,” said Urban. “We understand the importance of offering travelers expert guides for incredible experiences they’ll never forget, especially during such a difficult time. It truly brings our team joy.” 

As Bindlestiff continues to expand its tour offerings when more people begin to travel again, the challenges of remaining viable and laying the foundation for recovery in a post-COVID economy remains present. This year, Bindlestiff is excited to launch “glamping” tours that allow families and private groups the peace of the great outdoors paired with more elevated living accommodations.

According to Urban, the tour company remains hopeful about the future. She said guests booking trips with Bindlestiff this year have felt reassured about their health and safety – some even going as far as sharing their uplifting experiences on social media. 

“Our company is beyond grateful we have remained open throughout these challenging times to welcome those searching to get out of their houses and into the wilderness,” said Urban.

For more information about private custom tours and self-drive tours, visit www.bindlestifftours.com

Rita Azar illustration for 360 MAGAZINE travel stories

Free Ways to Have Fun in Montreal This Summer

You don’t have to break the bank to have an amazing time in Montreal. The city is filled to the brim with stunning museums, gorgeous nature parks, and frequent cultural festivals. The best part? Most of the best things to see in Montreal are actually completely free.

Travelling on a budget may be tricky but in a city like Montreal, it’s easy to have an unforgettable trip without spending a fortune. 

#1. Explore the natural beauty of Mount Royal Park

The namesake of Montreal is also one of its main attractions, the beautiful Mount Royal. This peaked hill stands tall in the centre of the city, surrounded by a nature park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the renowned architect who made New York’s Central Park a reality.

Mount Royal Park is especially beautiful in the summer for picnics, relaxing by Beaver Lake, or hiking to the top for some spectacular views. You can spend a whole day here and all without spending a bit.

#2. Create your own bike tour of the city and surrounds

A great way to spend a day without breaking the bank is by seeing the city on a bicycle. Montreal is crisscrossed with bike paths that total a length of over 500km and all are open to the public for free.

Cycle along the Lachine Canal into Old Montreal, pass the Olympic Village, and enjoy the sights of Parc La Fontaine along the way. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can even make your way off of the island to explore the north and south shores.

#3. Get your culture fix at one of the city’s amazing museums

The Musee des Beaux Arts

For lovers of art and photography, there is no better way to spend an afternoon for free than at The Musee des Beaux-Arts. Along with a permanent exhibition, the museum features artwork from Canadian and European artists like drawings, engravings, silverware, and works of art from ancient Asia, Egypt, Greece, and South America. 

Modern art aficionados can also see Andy Warhol’s advertising on display too! Museum admission is free for all on the first Sunday of the month and every day for those 20 and under while seniors (65+) are admitted free on Thursdays.

The Redpath Museum

The Redpath Museum is named after a 19th-century sugar baron who financially supported the museum on the campus of McGill University. 

History and science geeks will get a kick out of the wide range of fossils (including dinosaurs), skeletons of rare and extinct animals, rocks and minerals, and a fine collection of Egyptian antiquities that the Redpath has to offer. And best of all, admission is free.

#4. Partake in the summer festivals

Montreal is known as a festival town and it’s no wonder with locals that love to eat, drink, and celebrate life every day of the year. 

The city is abuzz with music festivals throughout the year like the International Jazz Festival, Les Francofolies, Les Nuits D’Afrique, and the indie music festival Pop Montreal. Music lovers, rejoice! From shows and live entertainment, the summer is ablaze with music — and all of it is completely free.

#5. Enjoy the spectacle of the International Fireworks Competition

Summer visitors to Montreal will likely be familiar with the International Fireworks Competition there that takes place twice a week throughout June and July. This epic (and free) attraction draws locals and tourists alike to the waterfront of the Old Port, the Jacques Cartier Bridge, or the amusement park, La Ronde, for the best views.

#6. Stay in and relax

Whether you’re a Montreal local or on a summer holiday, some days you may just feel like staying in and snuggling up with a glass of wine and a good movie. 

For a fun and free good time, put on your comfiest outfit and try your luck at one of Canada’s great online casinos with free spins that require no obligation and are easy to activate. Who knows? Your free spins might end up paying off!

MONTREALIVE

The vibrance of the city is undeniable, as is the accessibility for all types of travellers on any budget. There are delicious cheap food choices, it’s easy to walk or cycle around, and there are plentiful free activities to do and things to see – especially in the summer when nearly every week hosts some kind of festival, street fair, parade, or cultural show.

Montreal has been called many things throughout the years. From “The City of Steeples” to “Festival City”, “The City of Saints”, nothing captures the essence of the city as well as its most recent nickname: “Montrealive”.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Elkhart Lake for 360 magazine

Elkhart Lake WI

By Elle Grant x Vaughn Lowery

As summer winds down and fall arrives, many find themselves itching for one last summer getaway, or rather, that first autumn weekend away. 360 Magazine was able to take advantage of such a trip, visiting Wisconsin’s Elkhart Lake this past September. Located in the heart of Moraine State Forest, Elkhart Lake is the ideal natural getaway, being home to lake activities as well as canopied hiking and biking trails.

Elkhart Lake, located on the East side of Wisconsin, is both a stunning sojourn into nature and also a historical destination. With a population just under one thousand, the village maintains a cozy quality, with local shops, restaurants, and activities maintaining a small-town, yet polished feel. Yet during the summertime, the town swells and comes to life. First inhabited by the Potawatomi Indians, the name Elkhart stems from the description Native people had of the area, that the lake resembled the shape of an elk’s heart. Native American culture can easily be explored in the area through local tours and at the Henschel’s Indian Museum. Elkhart is also a significant historical definition in terms of its relationship to racing, reaching its peak in the mid 1950s.

Our stay at the Shore Club was nothing short of superb. The new owners, Tom and Kristin Pagel, have done an incredible job renovating the hotel. Renovations including adding updated technology to enhance guest stays: Netflix, Alexa, a digital concierge through the Whisper app, Peloton bikes will soon be available, and luxury motor sports for those interested. Furthermore, the site also boasts an indoor pool, a game room with ping pong tables and vintage arcade games, and a gym. For those interested in seeing Elkhart on two wheels, free bikes are available for guest use at the front desk. The restaurant on site, the Cottonwood Social, offered consistently well-done meals, including the perfect weekend brunch.

We began our lake escape with a pontoon cruise on the namesake of the area, Elkhart Lake. Before departing, we sipped and snacked on the Osthoff’s signature cocktails and hors oeuvres. On the pontoon boat, we were able to view the lake’s crystal-clear lake waters and receive a tour that included information of the area’s history, legends, and folklore. The evening air aboard the boat made this the perfect way to begin a stay. Following the pontoon ride, dinner at the Osthoff Resort’s newest restaurant, Concourse Restaurant and Lounge, proved to be a unique culinary experience. With specialties such as the honey balsamic trout, seared scallops with sweet pea risotto, and the veal schnitzel with pickled cucumber relish, there was a delicious and refined option forevery set of tastebuds. The restaurant’s décor, a tribute the area and Osthoff’s vintage racing roots, also deserves special note.

Elkhart lake is famed for its historic roots as a racing circuit in the 1950s. During this decade, the village of Elkhart Lake transformed into an open-road race circuit where top sports car drivers traveled from all around the world to take on the unique terrain. Likewise, thousands of fans were drawn to the area, eager to see the athletes and vehicles alike. The racing today is focused at Road America,but the historic circuit is marked with signs denoting Wacker’s Wend, Kimberly’s Korner, and Dicken’s Ditch. This auto focused tour of the area isn’t to be missed. Road America also offers an opportunity to join in on the fun with options such as go-karting and ATVs at this world-acclaimed facility.

Road America and Elkhart Lake are famous as one of the oldest, largest, and most iconic tracks in the world. Currently, its original course is registered on the National Register of Historical Places, emphasizing its significance. Gaining popularity in the 1940s and 1950s, the post-World War II economy spurred on the influx of sporting luxury automobiles. For Elkhart specifically, the notable Sports Car Club of America were the main organizer of their races. Incredibly popular races such as the RoadAmerica 500, SCCA National Sports Car Championship, the United States Road Racing Championship and the IMSAGT Championship. Today, it continues to host luxury races and draw motorsports fans and can even be found in numerous racing video games!

Following a wild time racing, time winding down at the Aspira Spa was well-needed. Inspired by local Native American practices and traditions, but fused with modern technology and science, the spa offers the ideal treatment for any interest party. The inside space of the Aspira is thoughtfully designed and embraces the concept of Feng Shui as well as the natural elements. Personally, we enjoyed the Element Facial; this facial is a mask focused in traditional Chinese medicine representing the five elements. These five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Harmony can be restored through the combination of colored light and essential oils inspired by these elements. By exalting the healing practices of indigenous cultures around the world, Aspira is able to provide a holistic, organic, and thorough approach to healing and relaxation.

Traveling back in time once again, visiting the Carriage Museum at Wade House transported us even further back – back to the 1860s stagecoach era located within this Wisconsin Historical Site. To get a full experience of the period, we were able to travel in that manner: horse-drawn carriage! The museum also features Wisconsin’s most diverse collection of transportation of this manner with over 100 horse-and-hand drawn vehicles. For the transportation enthusiasts, this isn’t to be missed.

When one thinks of wine country, Wisconsin might not exactly spring to mine. Yet award-winning sommelier Jaclyn Stuart operates Vintage Elkhart Lake, a charming shop where she hand-selects all wines available. The tasting at her bar came paired with cheese plates, potato chip flights, and other delectable pairing bites. The shop, beyond wine unique to the area, also sells other local delicacies for those interested in bringing home a taste of Wisconsin.

It would hardly be a trip to the lake without time spent on the lake fishing. Elkhart Lake is 119 feet deep and 292 acres wide, providing the perfect home to a variety of fish species: musky, walleye, northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill and crappie all inhabit the lake. Going with a licensed guide like Jay Brickner will aide in explaining all those numerous species. Below the surface isn’t the only place to find remarkable species – a variety of endangered bird call this estuary home including bald eagles. Whether or not fishing is an interest, time spent on this beautiful, blue lake is worth taking a boat out for. A little closer to shore also boasts the best of the lake’s charms. From the time when Native Americans lived along its banks, Elkhart’s pristine quality has been appreciated. Taking advantage of more advanced activities like a hydrobike or other watersports can be a more adventurous way to embrace lake life. Other options including standup paddleboard, jet skis, and speedboats. Even taking a walk in the sand along the shoreline is another greatway to take advantage of all the lake has to offer.

The natural beauty of Elkhart Lake region is its most obvious draw, but the culinary seen isn’t to be underestimated. Lake Street Café, serving California Bistro style fare, also offers Wisconsin’s third largest wine list ensuring the perfect pairing for any dish. Quit Qui Clubhouse features classic pub and grill fair with a Wisconsin twist, including homemade soups, chili, sandwiches, burgers, and more. Siebkens Resort and 67 Saloon are also phenomenal dinner options reflecting inspiration from the area.

Elkhart Lake proved to be a much-needed September getaway. The natural beauty paired with the historical aspects of the Native American culture in the area as well as the history of luxury racing makes this an incredibly well-rounded destination.

Kicking a Soccer Ball illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

CVB Virtual GO 92.0 

The Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau has created a virtual race called GO 92.0.  The CVB is inviting outdoor enthusiasts to join this virtual 92.0-mile run, walk or bike challenge that begins September 1, 2020 and ends September 30, 2020. Participants choose how to trek the 92.0 miles, while keeping tabs on progress using a favorite tracker app. For every 9.20 miles completed, participants will earn a virtual “badge” to celebrate their accomplishment. The CVB’s “virtual road team” plans to keep motivating those participating in the GO 92.0 by highlighting fun facts about Green Bay landmarks and tourist attractions.

“Many people have become active in the outdoors. Whether you’re biking a trail, walking your dog or hiking a path to see a waterfall, you’re challenging yourself to get out into nature,” says Toni Jaeckles, CVB Partnerships Director. “This virtual challenge can be done anywhere, whether you are at home or on the road,” she added.

“We’ve even created a version for our youngest athletes. There’s a 9.20 Kids Movement Challenge. We hope everyone in the family will participate,” says Jaeckles.

Proceeds for the virtual event go back to support Green Bay area tourism.

Follow Go 92.0: Facebook

360 MAGAZINE, VACATION, HOLIDAY, ILLUSTRATIONS

Puerto Vallarta Re-opening

VENTURE OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN PUERTO VALLARTA

Mexico is known for its outstanding beach towns, which pull hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. But just because a destination is popular with tourists does not mean that there are no local, under-the-radar secrets to be discovered. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico’s west coast beach capital, is a destination that is very much on the tourist trail, yet still provides adventures off the beaten path for those who are willing to look.

Puerto Vallarta is the jewel of Mexico’s west coast, strategically located on the Bay of Banderas. The city itself has a fabulous marina, hotel zone, and historic downtown, and is also within driving distance from some of the smaller beach communities that sit along the bay. It is a haven for luxury, fine dining, all-inclusive resorts, local culture, art, history, adventure travel, and more.

Of course there is plenty to see and do in the resort areas and on tours, but travelers looking to venture off the beaten path will find so much to discover. Adventure enthusiasts will love the many hiking opportunities available in and around Puerto Vallarta. One of the best is a coast-hugging hike that runs from the small village of Boca de Tomatlan to Las Animas beach. The hike is relatively unknown to tourists and is mostly a local activity, but those who make the journey are rewarded with dramatic views over turquoise-colored water, private beaches and coves, and even a secret beach club that acts like a private party hideaway on its own stretch of sand. To access the hike, hire a taxi or take a local bus south to Boca de Tomatlan to find the trailhead. To return travelers can hire a water taxi back from Las Animas to Boca de Tomatlan.

Speaking of beaches, visitors can discover a small beach community only accessible by boat. The small fishing village of Yelapa is surrounded by jungle-blanketed mountains, offering a quiet beach escape far from the activity of Puerto Vallarta’s more central beaches. A handful of restaurants dot the shore, and there are a few basic hotel accommodations for those who wish to spend the night. One of the best things to do in Yelapa is to take the hike back into the jungle to find the beautiful waterfall.

Get your cameras ready for one of Puerto Vallarta’s ‘wow’ factors: its sunsets. Epic almost any night of the year, the skies over Puerto Vallarta explode with fiery colors. While most visitors will pick their perches down along the shore, those in the know will be high above the city taking in the sunset and views below from the Mirador Cerro de la Cruz. This hilltop vantage point has sweeping views over the entire city, Zona Romantica, and the bay. It’s beautiful at any time of day, but for those truly Instagrammable photos, sunset is unbeatable.

Finally, foodies will delight at the off the beaten path dining that packs the city. While the restaurant gastronomy scene is absolutely worthwhile, it’s the local spots that truly set Puerto Vallarta dining apart. Roam the taco trucks in the 5 de Diciembre neighborhood, or sink your teeth into delicious fish tacos and ceviche at El Solar Beach Club.

Tip: Remain at El Solar after sunset for live music and a local party almost every night of the week.

From isolated beaches to the next undiscovered taco experience, adventures in nature, and everything in between, Puerto Vallarta might be one of the most popular destinations in Mexico but it offers a world waiting to be experienced off the beaten path.

About the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board

The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board is responsible for promoting the destination in national and international markets. Nestled between the rugged, tropical Sierra Madre Mountains and Banderas Bay – Mexico’s largest natural bay and second largest on the American continent – on Mexico’s balmy Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is easily accessible from the U.S. and Canada. The city enjoys a warm tropical climate year-round, with average daytime temperatures of 80°F and cooler evening temperatures in winter months. Located four miles from downtown Puerto Vallarta, Gustavo Diaz International Airport receives more than four million visitors annually. The destination is home to 300,000 residents and offers an estimated 12,400 hotel rooms, with more than half in 4-star-plus properties.

Door County, Wisconsin, Travel, Food, Geiger PR, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Outdoor Adventures for Your Next Vacation

There’s nothing like quality vacation time to help you recharge and enjoy the important things in life. While it’s the perfect chance to disconnect and catch up on your rest, it’s also a great opportunity to add some adventure to your life. The truth is, most people long for exciting and meaningful experiences, but it can be difficult to find them in the day to day. If you’re preparing for an upcoming trip, take advantage of the journey and try something new and exhilarating. Whether it’s a family getaway or adults only, there are plenty of outdoor adventures you can choose from to broaden your horizons.

White Water Rafting

If you’re looking for an exciting activity that’s great for exploring nature while working as a team, white water rafting can be a great choice. It works well for groups of practically every size, whether you’re going alone or want to bring several friends or family members along for the ride. While most people assume you need to be a good swimmer to stay safe with this kind of activity, there are actually several levels of intensity to choose from. As long as you work with a company of highly trained professionals who provide quality safety gear, being a strong swimmer isn’t necessary to enjoy the adventure. However, many locations offer more relaxed options for those who are looking to float over gentler waters so they can take in the sights.

Ziplining

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush with a bird’s eye view, Denver ziplining is a unique and exciting experience for adventure lovers. A series of cables are suspended, usually over scenic locations, from forests and rivers to mountains and cliffs. Participants travel along the cable through the air from one base to the next while experiencing the beauty of the outdoors from an entirely new perspective. Some locations even offer nighttime packages so you can explore under the stars. Most trips usually last between two and three hours and some courses are open to children as young as four or five. However, the age requirements and duration will vary based on location and company, so be sure to check ahead before you book a package.

Camping and Hiking

For a more accessible approach to trying something new, camping and hiking are great options for the entire family and virtually every age. To keep things exciting, find parks and campgrounds with unique options, like treehouse cabins, beach grounds or even dark-sky zones for the best view of the stars. While you can plan your own hiking trip, consider hiring a guide to take you off the beaten path for a one-of-a-kind experience. Whether you choose a location with historic significance or scenic waterfalls, a professional can help you get the best views while pointing out unique flora and fauna along the way. If you do desire to plan your own itinerary, be sure you research the local guidelines and make the necessary safety precautions, especially when traveling alone or in small groups.

Water Sports

Whether you’re traveling to the coast or visiting a lakefront destination, water sports are a great way to add some extra fun to your vacation. From kayaking and paddleboarding to jet skis and sailboats, playing on the water is a rare treat for most people, so take advantage of it if you’re vacationing nearby. If you want to relax, enjoy a casual lunch and take a swim, renting a pontoon boat is a great option. However, if you’re looking for an extra adrenaline rush, give parasailing a try. 

As you plan your next vacation, why not add an outdoor adventure to your itinerary? There’s something for every age, interest and group size out there, so give something new a try. You can enjoy a unique experience while creating life-long memories.

California Poison Control Offers Rattlesnake Bite Prevention Tips  

By Dr. Rais Vohra

At California Poison Control System (CPCS), we want to remind residents that with warmer spring weather, rattlesnakes are more likely to be found on hiking trails and sunning in rural areas. Most bites occur between the months of April and October. Even baby rattlesnakes possess dangerous venom as soon as they hatch. 

This weekend, we received three calls about rattlesnake bites, a higher number per weekend than usual. About 300 cases are reported to CPCS annually in California, with additional other cases managed by physicians and hospitals. 

While the odds of being bitten by a rattlesnake are small compared to other environmental injuries, residents can follow precautions outdoors that can minimize the chance of being bitten. For example, children are naturally curious and may look into open pipes or under rocks, or kick loose brush and bushes where snakes may sometimes lie quietly. Children need to be carefully supervised outside, especially in wooded and desert areas where snakes tend to live.  Rattlesnakes do not always make a rattling sound, so someone can be standing next to a rattlesnake and not even know it. 

Some rattlesnake bite prevention tips include: 

  • Wear boots and long pants when hiking.
  • Stay on trails when hiking, away from underbrush and tall weeds.
  • Do not touch or disturb a snake, even if it appears dead. 
  • Carefully inspect logs or rocks before sitting on them.
  • Never hike alone in remote areas. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency. Calling for help if alone is not an option, as cellphones do not always work in remote areas.
  • Teach children to respect snakes and to leave them alone.

The symptoms of a rattlesnake bite may include extreme pain and swelling at the location of the bite; excessive bleeding; nausea; swelling in the mouth and throat making it difficult to breathe; lightheadedness; drooling; and even collapse, shock and death in rare cases.  If you are bitten by a rattlesnake, immediate medical attention is critical. Severe or even life-threatening symptoms may occur within minutes after the bite, or in other cases may begin after couple of hours. In either event, your best bet is to get to a hospital as soon as you can.  

The following steps are important for any rattlesnake bite:   

  • Get immediate medical attention.
  • Do not apply ice, do not use a tourniquet or constricting band, do not try to suck out the venom, and do not use any device to cut or slice the bite site.
  • Keep calm, do not run and keep the affected extremity elevated during transport to a medical facility.
  • Do not call the local hospitals to see if they have anti-venom, just go ASAP.

By the way, many veterinarians now carry rattlesnake anti-venom and rattlesnake vaccines for dogs and other pets that are bitten. Contact a veterinarian for more information.

Dr. Rais Vohra is Medical Director for the Fresno/Madera Division of CPCS.

Call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 (number is the same in all states) for questions about poison encounters. Trained pharmacists, nurses and other providers are available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free, confidential and interpreters are available. Get weekly tips about safety by texting TIPS to 20121 for English or texting PUNTOS to 20121 for Spanish. Follow CPCS on Facebook and on Twitter @poisoninfo. CPCS is part of the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy and is responsible to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.

Canyon Of The Eagles

Looking for an unconventional getaway in the splendor of the Great American Wilderness? The Canyon of The Eagles in Burnet County, Texas, can provide you with that experience, and more.

The Canyon Of The Eagles property is located on the scenic shores of Lake Buchanan, the largest body of water in Texas’s Highland Lakes Region. It is also conveniently accessible by car, just 90 minutes outside of Austin, Texas, and 25 minutes from the town of Burnet.

The big draw to this location? Its breathtaking natural beauty and the chance to escape the everyday and immerse yourself in a peaceful and recharging environment. Guests will enjoy quiet accommodations in cozy cabins on the property, styled with a rustic Texas Southwestern charm. While the cabins are equipped with modern amenities, including wi-fi, the only television access exists at the Eagles Nest Lounge, it’s Hospitality Suite. This encourages conversation and quality time with loved ones and at the same time, inspires communal engagement in ways often lost to the digital age.

On the property, guests can also start the morning off with a rejuvenating Yoga session, or a relaxing lake pontoon ride. If you’re looking to add some more adventure to your stay, there are many opportunities to get out of your room and explore the scenery. You might find yourself mountain biking on Burnet County Trails. Catch breathtaking views on one of the hiking trails. Rent a kayak, and go on a Guided Tour or a solo paddle out on the beautiful Lake Buchanan. Book a spot on one of the Canyon Cruises, a 2 hour sightseeing and wildlife watching journey with the chance to see intricate naturally-weathered rock formations and waterfalls.

Some of the most incredible parts of Canyon of the Eagles comes out when the sun goes down and the night comes alive. The remote location of the resort and lack of light pollution opens up the night sky in ways one could never imagine. Stargazing is a popular nighttime activity, and the activity can be elevated by attending the Eagle Eye Observatory, where an on-site scientist and astronomer can explain to you the constellations. Fireside chats are another evening activity, covering topics such as local snakes and other wildlife to watch out for.

Food and drink options are also plentiful on the property and nearby. Experience authentic barbeque delights from Opie’s BBQ such as mesquite smoked brisket and pork chops or make your way to the best breakfast you’ll find at Bluebonnet Café where you can enjoy 14 varieties of fresh baked pies — including lemon, coconut, fudge and more. The walking tour of downtown Marble Falls features a snack at Choccolatte’s, where you can enjoy premium gelato or if you would like to get a drink and relax, you could head over to Bear King Brewery. Whatever your tastes are, you can be satisfied in the Highland Lakes Region.

Canyon of the Eagles is a family-friendly resort and vacation option for anyone looking to change up the fast-paced routine of modern life and sink into a simpler time. This location allows for great opportunities for families to get back together and enjoy each others company. The resort also offers options for corporate events and retreats, and would provide an excellent backdrop for a wedding or any other celebration. Whatever you make out of your stay, you won’t forget it when staying at the Canyon of the Eagles in the magnificent Texas Highland Lakes. For more information on what Canyon of Eagle’s could provide at your luxury stay, please check out their amenities and book your stay here.

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Surfing x Morro Bay

SURF’S UP TODAY IN MORRO BAY!

First-Ever World Surf League’s SLO Cal Open at Morro Rock Qualifying Series Event Starts Today Though March 1, 2020

Some of the biggest names in surfing are at Morro Rock Beach today through March 1, 2020 to compete in the first ever men’s and women’s qualifying series event SLO Cal Open at Morro Bay. Competitors include Conner Coffin from Santa Barbara, currently rated # 20 on the World Surf League’s Championship, along with the next biggest name in the sport, 24 year old Kevin Shulz from San Clemente. Shulz, pictured here, just won the SLO CAL Open at Pismo Beach last week and placed 2nd the year before. Cory Arrambide is also competing. He won the Pismo Beach title in 2017. Locally there are have two really good central coast boys competing: Austin Neuman and Braden Jones both from Pismo Beach.

On the Women’s side, it is a very young field with 34 confirmed surfers including 14 year old Sawyer Lindblad. She’s from San Clemente and just won the SLO CAL Open at Pismo Beach, her first professional surf contest. She is competing in Morro Bay along with local Sydney Beckett, who is a standout surfer from the MB High School Surf Team. More information about the event can be found here. More info about Morro Bay can be found here, www.morrobay.org.

About Morro Bay
A true #outdoorgoals destination, this active seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a fun and funky getaway for travelers who seek great wine, seafood and outdoor adventures filled with wildlife. Located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County just south of Big Sur, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers year-round activities in an unspoiled slice of California. From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for everyone. Sitting majestically between the beach and the harbor lays the iconic and historic landmark Morro Rock, welcoming travelers from miles away as they approach Morro Bay. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, and surrounded by vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, Morro Bay is a destination designed to fit any style and budget for families, couples or groups. Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town. For more travel information visit www.morrobay.org or follow Morro Bay on Facebook, Instagram, twitter and Pinterest.

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