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  • Tips for hiking in Yosemite
    is an easy hike 0 5 miles roundtrip and it takes about 20 minutes in a leisurely stroll from the parking lot to the base of the waterfall Views of the falls are better from a distance compared to reaching the end of the trail Bridalveil Fall Yosemite 2 Mirror lake One of my favorite easy hikes on the valley floor is Mirror lake It s a flat and easy trail covering 2 miles roundtrip over paved roads and dirt trails on the other side of the Merced river There is also a 5 mile loop around the lake which takes over two hours to complete Views of the mountain cliffs are spectacular and also are beautiful in water reflections on the lake Mirror Lake Yosemite 3 Lower Yosemite Falls This flat and paved trail is only 1 mile long and takes about 30 minutes to complete Beautiful views of the lower and upper falls can be seen on this hike 4 Upper Yosemite Falls Hiking in Yosemite doesn t get any better than this moderately strenuous trail covering 7 2 miles round trip The journey takes between 6 to 8 hours and you will climb to a height of 2 700 feet from the valley floor There are many switch backs on this trail but you will be rewarded with gorgeous views of monuments and panoramas in the valley when stopping to catch your breath at many of the lookout points 5 Vernal Fall This moderate hike covers 1 6 miles round trip which can take 1 5 to 2 hours and climbs to a 400 feet elevation at the footbridge To get to the actual falls would be a 3 mile hike on the Mist Trail with up to a 1 000 feet elevation gain Wonderful views of Vernal Falls can be taken at the footbridge At the time of this photo in September the falls were down to a trickle which did not show up so well in photographs Vernal Fall Yosemite 6 Nevada Fall Reaching Nevada Fall requires that you first hike to Vernal Fall on the Mist Trail A more strenuous trail this hike covers 5 4 miles and takes 5 to 6 hours with a 2 000 feet climb in elevation You can also hike the John Muir trail and bypass Vernal Fall The framed views of Nevada Fall are spectacular from below or photographed from Glacier Point where the images here were taken 7 4 Mile Trail 4 Mile trail is one of my favorite trails in Yosemite valley because of the amount of scenic panoramas on different parts of the hike A strenuous trail covering 9 6 miles round trip the journey takes 6 to 8 hours with an ascent of 3 200 feet The views of the valley and monuments from this trail are quite spectacular and worth the effort Also you can choose to take a shuttle to or from the top of Glacier Point to hike one leg of

    Original URL path: http://myitchytravelfeet.com/2013/09/24/hiking-in-yosemite/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Ideas for Montana Off The Beaten Path Adventures
    Town to read more about our experience Coolidge Ghost Town in Southwest Montana Standing in a clearing surrounded by falling down buildings it s hard to imagine that Coolidge Ghost Town was once a vibrant town Click on Coolidge Ghost Town in Southwest Montana to read more about our experience Tips for Visiting Polebridge Montana Looking to avoid the typical tourist hotspots in Montana A trip to Polebridge has jusT about everything for a perfect Montana weekend Click on Tips for Visiting Polebridge Montana to read more about our experience Off the beaten path at Twin Lakes If you re looking for off the beaten path fun in Montana Twin Lakes in the Bitterroot National Forest certainly qualifies Click on Off the Beaten Path at Twin Lakes to read more about our experience Painted Rocks by iPhone On a drive up the West Fork of the Bitterroot River in our Montana backyard Alan and I arrived for a first visit to Painted Rocks Reservoir State Park at just the right time Click on Painted Rocks by iPhone to read more about our experience Exploring in our Montana backyard We found adventure in our Montana backyard while driving Skalkaho Highway on the way to Skalkaho Pass in the Sapphire Mountains Click on Exploring in our Montana Backyard to read more about our experience The Western Heritage Days Parade Learn a little Montana history by watching the Western Heritage Days Parade in Stevensville Montana Click on The Western Heritage Days Parade to read more about our experience Searching for Paradise in Montana Stillwater River Valley is one of those places we had to go to after being blown over by its photo in a new car brochure That s right a car brochure Click on Searching for Paradise in Montana to read

    Original URL path: http://myitchytravelfeet.com/montana-off-the-beaten-path/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Tips for visiting Ouray, Colorado
    me Outdoor adventures are sprinkled throughout the 13 000 ft mountain peaks that loom over Ouray Hikers trek to Box Cañon Falls Trail or Lower Cascade Falls Trail directly from town A short drive in any direction leads to trails that wind high into the San Juans Frequented by mountain bikes ATV s and four wheel drive vehicles the trails offer fun Colorado adventures wrapped in a scenic setting that just might inspire you to belt out a round of The Hills Are Alive from the Sound of Music It s that good If you don t believe me check out our experience 4 wheeling in Yankee Boy Basin Exploring the Ouray area in a 4 wheel drive vehicle is one of our favorite boomer adventures If you d rather someone else do the driving while you enjoy the views of Colorado s Swiss Alps several companies offer 4 wheel drive tours As an expert driver guides the vehicle along bumpy trails with jaw dropping views you ll be taking non stop photos And there ll be opportunities to explore the many abandoned mines and ghost towns crumbling relics from Colorado s silver and gold mining boom Looking for more boomer travel fun Check out our favorite Colorado 4 Wheel Drive Adventures Lodging choices include bed and breakfasts historic hotels and chain motels Some have their own hot springs Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and Lodge sits atop a cave system where Ute Chief Ouray once steeped in the waters Today patrons come to relax and renew themselves in the vapor caves Across town steam rises from the rocks above Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs where a series of decks house redwood hot tubs holding hot spring water I rode Pedro along a Ouray mountainside and lived to tell about

    Original URL path: http://myitchytravelfeet.com/2015/04/14/visit-ouray-colorado/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Five Funky Things To Do in the Florida Keys
    I kneel on the dock holding a fish between my thumb and finger and wait A tarpon jumps to grab the tasty morsel I squeal and let the bait fish go It misses the tarpon s mouth but is quickly snapped up by another fish For 1 dock admission and a 3 bucket of fish you too can squeal when feeding the tarpon The funky shops at Robbie s Marina in Islamorada Florida Feeding tarpon isn t the only attraction at Robbie s Marina Enjoy browsing the mix of art crafts and kitsch at the open air shops scattered around the grounds before relaxing with a cool drink and Caribbean inspired meal at The Hungry Tarpon It s a beautiful day for walking the Seven Mile Historic Bridge Walk With Florida History on the Seven Mile Historic Bridge A road trip on the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys is meant for taking it slow and enjoying the scene In Marathon get out of the car at the Seven Mile Historic Bridge for a walk on a span of concrete that s now on the National Register of Historic Places Visitors and locals walk bike rollerblade or run the 2 2 miles portion of the bridge that s open to recreationalists Walking with history on the Seven Mile Historic Bridge Walking beside Florida history the bridge was originally part of Henry Flagler s railroad that connected Miami to Key West I peer over rusted highway rails and down into the clear water of the Gulf to look for sea life including sharks Next time I m planting my chair on the bridge in the late afternoon to watch the sun cast an orange glow across the water The sun sinks behind Sunset Key Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square in Key West What s funky about a sunset The street carnival known as Sunset Celebration held each evening at Mallory Square on the Key West waterfront definitely qualifies For two hours before sunset street performers entertain the crowds with acts and physical fetes that defy description Add arts and crafts booths street musicians food carts and more illuminated by a fiery red sunset for one funky celebration I start my evening with authentic Cuban dishes at El Meson de Pepe before walking over to Mallory Square It s hard to know where to begin Should I watch the Great Rondini perform mind blowing escapes or marvel at tight rope walker Will Soto And then there are the arts and crafts to browse But when that big orange ball of sun begins to dip behind Sunset Key it s time to join the crowd stand on my tiptoes and blindly click the camera shutter to capture the show The Jolly Roger 2 prepares to battle the Coast Guard in the Great Bloody Battle of the Conch Republic Watch a Sea Battle in Key West Harbor Probably the funkiest and most fun Florida Keys experience is watching the Great Bloody Battle of the

    Original URL path: http://myitchytravelfeet.com/2015/06/25/funky-things-to-do-in-the-florida-keys/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Learning to Blend Wine at Raffaldini Vineyards and Winery
    beakers sit on the tables along with instruction sheets and pencil and paper for taking notes I feel more like a chemist than a wine blender Will my creation end up in one of the hundreds of wine barrels stacked around the room Jay Raffaldini begins our wine blending education Jay Raffaldini leads the class educating us about wine sharing his family s Italian heritage and entertaining guests with humorous stories and quips The Wall Street businessman came to North Carolina in 2000 to make wine in the tradition of his Italian heritage which traces back to 1348 in Mantua Lombardy Brash funny and dry witted Jay makes it apparent that we re going to have fun and learn at the same time The blending session begins with Jay explaining how to rate the bottles of varietals placed on each table Determining qualities of appearance nose and palate will help us draw a conclusion about the wine Is it youthful ready to drink or mature Is the wine acidic tannic or balanced Do we find it acceptable good or outstanding Let the wine blending begin And then the blending begins Teaming up in two s we mix varietals taste rate spit out mix again taste spit out and in many cases start all over again And of course we can t forget to notate the percentage of each varietal used in the blend Later each team of two presents their blend to the others at the table The goal is for each table to come up with a blend by critiquing the work of the other teams before coming to a consensus on who has the best blend Naturally that means lots of tasting and clearing of palates with the water and crackers placed in the middle of the table And before we re done the group of would be winemakers must create a catchy name for the blend Unfortunately I can t remember the name of our blend obviously I swallowed more wine than I spit out Jay Raffaldini roams the room offering advice peppered with plenty of quips And then it s time for the big reveal Each table presents their wine with the reasoning behind the mix that s been created But the real test comes when Jay tastes the blend giving a thumbs up or humorous rendition of why it tastes awful or why it will in a couple of weeks How did my table do Let s just say that you won t be drinking our blend anytime soon The patio at Villa Raffaldini has a fine view After the class the wine experience continues with a tasting at Villa Raffaldini to sample award winning wines like the sparkling La Dolce Vita and Montepulciano Riserva 2012 The room is buzzing with visitors on a beautiful fall day Stepping out onto the patio I take in the fine view of the vineyards with the soft curves of the Blue Ridge Mountains rising in the distance From

    Original URL path: http://myitchytravelfeet.com/2015/06/11/visit-raffaldini-vineyards/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Visit butterflies at Greathouse Butterfly Farm in Earlton, Florida
    s proboscis works like a child s party favor only backwards Later as you walk through the garden learn how to attract butterflies to your backyard at home Bet you didn t know a garden filled with butterflies requires plants for caterpillars as well as plants for grown up butterflies And stop spraying those weeds butterflies love them For me visiting the butterfly barn was the most fun of all After dipping a sponge paint brush into a Gatorade solution I giggled as butterflies landed to feed What is it about them that makes me smile Soon I had learned about recognizing caterpillar eggs the stages of a chrysalis and emerging butterflies Butterfly rests on a leaf at the Butterfly Rainforest in Gainesville Florida But wait your spring boomer fun isn t done yet Stop in at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida s campus in Gainesville to observe scientists working on the butterfly collection that spans three floors Stroll through the Butterfly Rainforest that s Vivarium in butterfly expert talk where hundreds of butterflies float in a screened enclosure A walking trail winds next to waterfalls decorated with sub tropical foliage and of course butterflies It s peaceful and exhilarating all at the same time I d say it s a butterfly heaven Did you know that the Florida Museum of Natural History participates in Butterfly Connection It s a program that provides free admittance to the Butterfly Rainforest for cancer patients and their caregivers as a peaceful escape from treatment and doctor s visits Butterfly heaven indeed Have you visited a butterfly farm or vivarium Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email to ask a question or share your experience Disclaimer This trip

    Original URL path: http://myitchytravelfeet.com/2009/04/07/celebrate-spring-with-floridas-butterflies/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Visit Mosswood Farm Store in Micanopy for a look at old-time living.
    checking out rooms filled with products I remembered from my grandmother s home The washing room contained all the supplies necessary for an organic laundry experience wooden clothes hangers clothes line mop and bucket organic soaps and non toxic detergent In another I found old style sewing baskets knitting needles and a wall filled with recycled overalls Come to think of it durable overalls rarely wear out Morgan is bringing them back to life your life Community oven I was tempted to stay inside browsing the book room filled with books on topics like green living or growing organic foods The handmade violins by Jerry Jenkins made me want to pick up a bow and play if I only knew how But the beautiful weather was calling me outside for a walk through the organic herb garden Plus I wanted to take a look at the stone oven behind the store available for local bakers use and reminiscent of those found in European communities If you visit Mosswood Farm Store on a Sunday afternoon you ll discover local farmers selling produce and other locally produced products accompanied by the tunes of bluegrass music During the rest of the week choose from the selection of organic foods both shelf items and prepared food available inside the store You ll even find organic pet food Browsing through Mosswood Farm Store takes hours but save time to explore the rest of Micanopy a Florida antique mecca that s a fun off the beaten path diversion from sunning on the beach Later drive over to Blue Highway a Pizzeria where Frank Ruffino serves up gourmet pizza in a former biker bar Better yet spend the weekend at Herlong Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Micanopy Then you ll have time to visit Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

    Original URL path: http://myitchytravelfeet.com/2010/02/23/mosswood-farm-store-micanopy-florida/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Visiting Dead Horse Point State Park near Moab, Utah
    Horse Point State Park near Moab Utah The road through Dead Horse Point State Park near Moab Utah ends at a parking lot with an overlook to the Colorado River some 2 000 feet below It s not only the end of the road for human visitors Legend says that the point was also used as a natural corral for wild horses The cowboys picked the best ones then left the other horses to die of thirst a gruesome story for a spectacularly scenic spot in the American Southwest On this visit Alan and I were ending a photography workshop in Canyonlands and Arches National Park In fact Dead Horse Point State Park is located near the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands making it convenient to combine a visit to both places But Alan was enthralled by the twisty dirt road edging along ledges that hugged the banks of the muddy Colorado River I predict a future visit where a four wheel drive adventure will be part of the fun I m okay with that as long as we don t have to camp After all this boomer gal is a travel princess Have you visited Dead Horse Point State Park Join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook or send us an email to ask a question or share your experience You may also like to read Discover Waterton Lakes with the Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies Sunrise on Maui s Haleakala National Park Seven Off the Beaten Path National Parks to Avoid the Crowds Montreal City Guide A Glimpse of Modern Portugal in Medieval Guimaraes About Donna Hull A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel

    Original URL path: http://myitchytravelfeet.com/2012/05/12/dead-horse-point-state-park/ (2016-04-26)
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