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Estes Park is the quaint town at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. It is packed full of fun touristy things to do in town, but my favorite is to take a scenic drive in the surrounding area. Hop on HWY 34 from Loveland - take the Glen Haven turn off - get a fantastic view of Estes valley - bypass downtown and head straight up through the National Park to take in the natural beauty of the mountains - on the way back home stop in downtown to buy a malt or coffee. Remember to bring your camera and binoculars!
In the Czech Republic we love not only drinking beer, but also mushroom picking! This map shows my most loved place on the planet - our cottage, old gamekeeper's house in the middle of a forest in Bohemian-Moravian Highlands. There is no electricity, no WC... but there are many mushrooms aroun. The map is revealing where to find them for sure! Do not miss a proper session of mushroom picking next time you come to CZ!
Less obvious take on Lublin: Map of the Poligon -- a large, desolate area between two large housing estates. For decades an important part of a landscape for those who lived close by, now sold and soon to be transformed into houses and another shopping center.
Canyon Largo is a giant piece of BLM/public land 4 times the length of Manhattan, 50+miles long from the beginning (Blanco, NM) to the end where it meets up with the state highway.
The canyon is full of the remains of 3 cultures, the Anasazi /Pueblo people (1200 B.C. to A.D. 1300), Navajo and early Hispanic settlers. This is my favorite hiking spot. Quiet, endless, remote, surprising, harsh, beautiful and none of it paved.
No time is bad time to be in Big Sur. You can go in January to see the whales, December to see the monarch butterflies, May to see the wildflowers, or anytime to see the redwoods, waterfalls, mountaintops, seals, tide pools, beaches and sunsets.
This is just the nicest park in town! Forget about all the touristy places, the coffeeshops & the RedLightDistrict. Boring! Go picnic and chill with the locals. Walk a little further into the park to get away from the crowds, it's much nicer and you'll enjoy the walk!
I'm preparing for a research trip in spring 2012 to study seabirds and living environments in some of the Scottish Isles. This is for a graphic novel I'm working on: a fairy tale about a special relationship between a girl and an unusual bird for the area: a swan. TDAT gave me the perfect excuse to plan my route.