The Sorry State of the Travel Channel

Given the amount of traveling I do I don’t have many opportunities to watch television. When I am back in the US I use Hulu and Netflix to catch up on some of my favorite shows as well as watch some of my favorite channels. In addition to the Discovery Channel and the History channel one channel I used to watch extensively before I started traveling was of course the Travel Channel. The Travel Channel was one of the ways I got my travel fix before I hit the road. When I’ve tuned in to the Travel Channel this month things were different.

It is hard to describe how disappointed I’ve become in the Travel Channel.

Outside of Anthony Bourdain, who is really a food guy when you get right down to it, Travel Channel basically has nothing to do with travel anymore. Take a look at some of their current shows:
Continue reading “The Sorry State of the Travel Channel”

August 2011 Question & Answers

The Brewers are up by 7.5 games in their division and the Packers are looking good in their preseason games for another run at the Super Bowl. Sweet corn is on sale on the roadside in Wisconsin and the weather is neither too hot nor too cold. All seems right with the world.

As such it is time once again for another Q&A.


Annabel Candy from GetInTheHotSpot.com asks: Hi Gary, I have three, yes three digital cameras. I love taking photos and, like everyone, I don’t think I’m bad.

Taking photos while traveling is always a highlight of my trip but I never get out of automatic mode, even on my SLR. It seems too complicated! So please can you share one or two easy ways to get out of auto mode?

Continue reading “August 2011 Question & Answers”

Photo Essay: The Glacier Fields of Kluane National Park

Kluane National Park is on the Canadian side of the St. Elias Mountain Range with includes Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. It is the home to Mt. Logan, the highest point in Canada and lies in the extreme Southwest corner of the Yukon.

I had the pleasure of having two aerial photography sessions over the ice fields of Kluane National Park in the Yukon back in June. One in a helicopter and the other the next day in a fixed wing airplane. It was one of the best photography experiences I’ve had in my 4.5 years of traveling.

I’d like to give a big thanks to Yukon Tourism for showing me a great time and giving me the chance to take such amazing photos.

Now I’ll let the photos speak for themselves….

Continue reading “Photo Essay: The Glacier Fields of Kluane National Park”

Garajonay National Park

UNESCO World Heritage Site #152: Garajonay National Park
Garajonay National Park: My 152nd UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for Garajonay National Park:

La Gomera lies to the west of Tenerife and is one of seven islands that make up the Canary Islands archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa in the Atlantic. The island is accessible by ferry from Tenerife. The park can be reached by road from the island’s major towns and villages.

The 1812 Constitution abolished the estates of the nobility and transferred ownership and administration of the forests to the municipal governments. The forests were declared public property and appeared as such in the last Register of Public Property listing dated 1879. The park encompasses San Sebastian, Hermigua, Agulo, Vallehermoso, Valle Gran Rey and Alajero mountains. It consists of an eroded plateau and gently sloping central terrain whose steep sloping escarpments comprise uneven steps that extend as far as the park boundaries.

La Gomera is the only island in the Canaries that has not experienced an eruption in recent times. Thus, ash and lava fields have been eroded away leaving mature soils formed from horizontal basalts cut by a series of ravines (barrancos ). The local landscape is further characterized by volcanic dikes and domes (roques ), examples of the latter being Agando, Ojila, La Zarcilla and Las Lajas in the south-eastern sector of the park.

The park harbors one of the largest continuous areas of laurisilva (laurel) forest, a habitat that has almost disappeared from southern Europe and North Africa. Almost half of the remaining forest in the Canary Islands is included in the park. In spite of being biologically diverse, a large proportion of the flora (25%) and fauna (50%) is endemic, and many species are considered to be nationally threatened.

Garajonay National Park sits in the middle of the island of La Gomera, one of the smallest of the Canary Islands. The laurel forest which covers the interior of this island can be extremely haunting, especially if the forest is in the clouds at the time.


View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain.

View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.

Last updated: Aug 1, 2017 @ 8:34 pm

Teide National Park

UNESCO World Heritage Site #151: Teide National Park
Teide National Park: My 151st UNESCO World Heritage Site

From the World Heritage inscription for Teide National Park:

Situated on the island of Tenerife, Teide National Park features the Teide-Pico Viejo stratovolcano that, at 3,718 m, is the highest peak on Spanish soil. Rising 7,500 m above the ocean floor, it is regarded as the world’s third-tallest volcanic structure and stands in a spectacular environment. The visual impact of the site is all the greater due to atmospheric conditions that create constantly changing textures and tones in the landscape and a ‘sea of clouds’ that forms a visually impressive backdrop to the mountain. Teide is of global importance in providing evidence of the geological processes that underpin the evolution of oceanic islands.

Mount Teide is the highest point in all of Spain and it sits at the center of Tiede National Park. The park itself is a giant caldera with geologically recent lava flows and a desert like environment. On the drive up to the park, you will pass through several different ecological zones including a forest of Canary Island Pine Trees. Tiede really is one of the most spectacular parts of the Canary Islands and if you are there on a clear day you will be able to see at least four other islands.


View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Spain.

View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.

Last updated: Aug 1, 2017 @ 8:33 pm