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We have a soft spot in our hearts for Victoria, BC, as you will see. These articles are property of their respective authors, selected for their slant on what to do on your way to or from Alaska. There is one about using a GPS, too; a fun tech travel tool. There are cut and paste links. We hope you find them practical as well as entertaining as you plan your trip north. - Hal

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The State of Alaska


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Discovery III

Hal Travel!


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Travel Articles


For an Adventure of a Lifetime Travel Alaska by: Kevin Erickson

Alaska's Alyeska Resort - Family And Ski Vacation Extraordinaire by: Kevin Erickson

Hello from Victoria (1) - Reaching the West Coast by: Susanne Pacher

Hello from Victoria (2) - Exploring Victoria and Its Vicinity by: Susanne Pacher

Lost About GPS? Here's Some Direction! by: Keith Thompson.

Cruising To Alaska - A Trip To Remember by: Ron Richards

RV Camping by: Steve Gillman

Whistler Back In The Saddle by: Carrie Haggerty

For an Adventure of a Lifetime Travel Alaska by: Kevin Erickson
EDITOR'S NOTE: As life long Alaskans we could not agree more. Kevin echoes our sentiments and adds a few of his favorites.
Are you like John Locke of the TV series Lost and simply dying for an adventure? Or perhaps you're simply bored to death and you want to experience more of life. Have no fear because there's no need to travel half-way across the globe to taste adventure in the wilds of Africa or the rain-forests of South America. Why should you when you've got Alaska. Alaska... the 49th state and fondly known as the Land of the Midnight Sun and The Last Frontier. Most people believe that Alaska, a name which comes from an Aleut word meaning "land that's not an island" is simply tundra in the middle of nowhere because of it's distance from the lower 48 states and because most of the stories you hear about it are usually related to the cold and snow and so-called vast, desolate, open spaces. But you thought wrong. Alaska - the largest state (by land mass) is also one of the least populated - is a land that combines the beautiful snowy scenery of the Alps with the challenge of an adventure trip to the Congo. Don't believe me? That's okay because I've got proof.

River Fishing
When someone mentions Alaska, people usually visualize a land of ice and frozen desert. So it's a bit hard to imagine people being able to fish in such a place. But like I mentioned earlier, Alaska is a place filled with adventure, a place well worth traveling to. For your Alaska fishing adventure, you can try your luck at hooking any of a variety of prized fish like: Silver Salmon in Resurrection Bay during August and September, the King Salmon of the Lower Kenai River from May to July or Red (Sockeye) Salmon, Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout in the Upper Kenai River.

Yes, you can raft to your hearts' content and pretend you're a lone wanderer having an adventure in the midst of the vast array of Alaskan wildlife. Travel and encounter the many natural wonders of Alaska. Listen to the stories of the natives. Catch a glimpse of moose and bald eagles as you hold on for dear life while traversing the rapids of Kenai River Canyon - a trip that is highly recommended and one that you don't want to miss.

This is an adventure you must grab because there's virtually nothing that compares to backpacking in Alaska. You can of course choose your own adventure travel destination: Brooks Range, Arctic Refuge, Talkeetna Mountains, and Wrangell-St. Elias to name just a few.

Sea Kayaking
This not so common adventure is one that only traveling to Alaska can bestow upon you. This is not for the feint of heart and make sure, that you don't attempt this alone.

Expeditions to Walrus Island
So you haven't seen any of those furry adorable creatures up close? Find yourself aching for more of a marine adventure rather than a landlocked one? Or perhaps you're content to simply watch. Have no fear because Alaska's Walrus Island has it all. You can view walrus, other marine mammals and rare bird species from the comfortable deck of a cruising yacht. But if you want a bit more of a challenge, you can take a hiking trip and see more of the Alaskan wildlife.

Dog Sledding
This is probably the most popular sport in Alaska and an adventure worth telling your grandchildren, great grandchildren, friends, barber or whoever will listen. If you so choose, you can simply watch the dog sled races or try it out yourself by mushing your own team. The Siberian huskies, are highly trained so there's no need to worry about your safety. Plus, if you have the time, you can also visit the renowned author, husky owner and Alaskan original Mary Shields.

Fjord Exploration
If you've ever dreamed of experiencing the sheer scale of an honest-to-goodness glacier that the pages of a book or movie screen just can't convey then Alaska is the place to be? Unless, of course you prefer Greenland or Iceland for your icy adventure. I think not... and just another of many reasons why we should be thankful for the great State of Alaska.

So... are you now convinced that traveling to Alaska is an adventure that you must not miss? I sure hope so because if you're not - what's wrong with you. Just kidding! However before making reservations be sure you've got everything you need like clothes for wide range of temperatures and a comfortable pair of hiking boots. And clearly... compare the available travel packages being offered by the travel agencies that cater to Alaska or you can make your own travel itinerary and then simply hire a guide to assist you along the way. A great place to start planning your trip is Alaska - The Last Frontier. A website dedicated to being a complete resource on Alaska. About The Author: Kevin Erickson is a contributing writer to the following websites: and and BACK TO TOP

Alaska's Alyeska Resort - Family and Ski Vacation Extraordinaire by: Kevin Erickson
The "Land of the Midnight Sun" has always been an amazing source of raw, rugged beauty and many think of Alaska only as a great summertime vacation destination. On the other hand, if you like to ski you may want to consider Alaska when planning your next ski vacation because it has some of the best skiing in the world. And one of the top resorts in all of Alaska is the Alyeska Resort. Alyeska has a top elevation slightly above 2,700 feet, a vertical drop of 2,500 and the area gets an average annual snowfall of 631 inches. In addition to offering some of the best skiing in the world, another nice benefit of Alyeska is that you won't run into long lift lines or overly crowded slopes. There are nine lifts, including six chair lifts, two surface lifts and one cable car line. The majority of their trails are designed for the intermediate skier but with 68 trails they also have countless runs for both the beginner and expert. Night skiing is not only allowed but it may be one of most awe inspiring ski experiences you'll ever have. Snow capped mountains, hanging glaciers and the famous Northern Lights are just a few of the visual bonuses of night skiing at Alyeska. It was ranked number nine in Skiing Magazine's annual top twenty-five killer ski trip reviews. The season begins in mid November and runs through mid April at Alyeska and with close to sixteen hours of daylight each day during April, this area of Alaska boasts the longest period of daylight anywhere in the United States. On the other hand, in December, there are only about seven hours of daylight but with their fabulous night time skiing it's really not an issue.
TerminationDust! The Alyeska Prince Hotel is the wonderful place to stay. You'll enjoy elegant rooms, fine dining and nightly entertainment is also available. In addition, there are other nightlife watering holes in the area that are not associated with the hotel. If tubing interests you, then visiting the Glacier Tubing Park is an absolute must. It features two lanes of terrain and a surface lift and everyone in the family will enjoy spending time at the tubing park. The Alyeska Terrain Park is a must for snowboarding enthusiasts. Other winter activities that can be enjoyed in and around the Alyeska Resort include flightseeing, heliskiing, ocean cruising tours, dog sledding,
Virtualaska picture of Termination Dust,
fall 2005, at Alyeska near Girdwood, Alaska.

ice climbing, back country skiing, and mountaineering. The Alyeska Resort not only offers some of the best skiing on the continent but when you consider the broad range of available winter activities that can be enjoyed by the entire family, it represents one of the best winter vacation destinations in the world - bar none. About The Author: Kevin Erickson is an entrepreneur and writer. You can find more of his articles at: BACK TO TOP

Hello from Victoria (1) - Reaching the West Coast by: Susanne Pacher
EDITOR'S NOTE: Having spent three years "exiled to an island off the west coast of British Columbia (boarding school)" I can say BC is exquisitely beautiful and Victoria has evolved from a relatively sleepy town of "the newly wed and the nearly dead" of the mid-1900s to an energetic Provincial capitol, cultural center, and college town. It is still a favorite place of ours.

Jetlag is an amazing thing. It's barely after 5 am and I have already been reading for an hour an a half. So I figured I might as well use this bout of sleeplessness and record my first impressions of British Columbia. My WestJet flight out of Toronto left a 7:15 am yesterday, so that meant I got up at 4:30 am, after 2.5 hours of sleep, to check all my luggage, eat a brief breakfast and get myself out to the airport. Sometimes a little travel savvy goes a long way, I had decided to use my Airmiles to go to BC and upon doing some research I found out that WestJet had a special on that only required me to use 1600 Airmiles instead of the regular 3900 Airmiles, so off I went and booked the trip, saving myself 60% of the Airmiles that I would have otherwise spent. When you travel frequently, you have to look at every available option of savings costs and my travel reward miles came through big for me. I was able to book a flight from Toronto to Calgary and another from Calgary to Vancouver. WestJet is always an interesting experience because its flight attendants are known for cracking jokes over the PA system. The flight to Calgary was actually really bumpy and for about an hour we went through what felt like a dirt road in the sky full of potholes, hitting the occasional air pocket and dropping a few feet. But the WestJet crew brought us down safely and humorously, something I was very happy about. In retrospect I actually felt pretty lucky, considering that the very night before my departure an Air France flight had crash-landed in Toronto. Fortunately, all 300+ passengers and crew survived and only 43 people ended up with light injuries, despite the fact that the plane went up in flames. Not surprisingly the newspapers referred to this incident as the Miracle Flight. Well, my aerial transport went a lot smoother and after about 7 hours of flight and transfers our plane touched down in beautiful Vancouver. The natural setting of Vancouver is indeed impressive: it is set in the Coastal Mountain Range, surrounded by Vancouver Island and the Pacific Ocean. It certainly looked breath-taking from the air, but my exploration of this city had to wait since my first item of the agenda was to get myself to the City of Victoria, on Vancouver Island. I located the Pacific Coachlines desk at the Vancouver airport and for just over C$70.00 I bought a return ticket for a coach and ferry ride across to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. I only had about a half hour between my arrival at the airport until a comfortable air-conditioned bus whisked us to the Tsawassen Bay Ferry Terminal, following which the bus went onto the BC Ferries boat itself. The ferry was a very large vessel with 3 different decks for cars, trucks and buses. There are 3 additional passenger decks including an open-air sitting area in the front of the ferry. We slowly started our crossing of the Straits of Georgia and I thoroughly enjoyed the panorama of mountains and water. Due to my lack of sleep my head got a little heavy and I fell asleep on the open-air deck. When I woke up we were just chugging through the narrows between Galiano Island and Mayne Island. The narrow channel is embedded in between these islands which are covered by coniferous forests. The entire approach to the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal was one of the most scenic waterways I have ever seen. Punctually at 2:25 pm people headed back down to the bus, at 2:35 the bridge was lowered onto the ferry and our bus was the first vehicle out of the boat. Another 45 minutes later and we arrived in downtown Victoria at the bus terminal, right next to the Fairmont Empress Hotel, one of Victoria's most famous landmarks. Designed as a chateau-style luxury hotel, it was built in 1908 for $1 million and was extensively restored in the late 1980s to the tune of $45 million. But more extensive exploration of this stunning building would have to wait, since a local friend was picking me up at the bus station. My co-worker Clare, who works with me in my full-time business in new business development, relocated to Victoria with her husband Haishan in March of this year, and the two of them have been graciously accommodating me since my arrival yesterday. Both Clare and her husband are originally from mainland China and have been calling Canada their home for the last few years. Haishan came to pick me up and after a beautiful drive through Victoria and some of its suburbs, I arrived at Clare and Haishan's beautiful house in a little hillside community outside Victoria. After a couple of hours of rest due to my utter exhaustion, I got up to a beautiful Chinese dinner complete with 3 different meat dishes and the most delicious chicken with chestnuts dish I had ever eaten. While we were savouring this gourmet meal, a deer made its appearance in the backyard, and Clare had already informed me earlier that deers show up in the backyard on an almost daily basis and take care of all newly planted landscaping and flowers, much to the chagrin of the residents. After this delicious dinner we went sunken garden
on a little drive in the neighbourhood and drove down to the lagoon from where we had a perfect lookout to the Olympic Mountain Range in Washington State, across the narrow strait from Vancouver Island. One of the mountains was snow-covered and this majestic mountain range combined with the waters of the Pacific creates one of the most stunning sceneries this lovely planet of ours has to offer. We had a view of a historic light house and the Esquimalt navy base.
(Virtualaska Photo: Bouchart Garden's "Sunken Garden" near Victoria)

After a brief drive through the hilly coastal roads (and another close encounter with a deer) we drove back to Clare's beautiful house on the slopes. After another hour or two of shop talk I was positively exhausted and dropped into bed like a sack of potatoes, only to wake up before 4 am, unable to sleep. Well, this early rise has given me a chance to record my first impressions, and I have avidly been reading my guidebook on Vancouver and Victoria, laying out a draft itinerary for today. The sun is coming up now so I've got another couple of hours of reading ahead of me in preparation of today's discovery. About The Author: Susanne Pacher is the publisher of a website called Travel and Transitions ( Travel and Transitions deals with unconventional travel and is chock full of advice, tips, real life travel experiences, interviews with travellers and travel experts, insights and reflections, cross-cultural issues, contests and many other features. You will also find stories about life and the transitions that we face as we go through our own personal life-long journeys. Submit your own travel stories in our first travel story contest ( and have a chance to win an amazing adventure cruise on the Amazon River. "Life is a Journey Explore New Horizons". The travel story with photos is published at Travel and Transitions Travel Stories (

Hello from Victoria (2) - Exploring Victoria and Its Vicinity by: Susanne Pacher
Another perfect day with beaming blue skies, great temperatures and no humidity greeted me yesterday. After a lovely strengthening breakfast and some business issues, Clare and I set off by car to explore British Columbia's capital Victoria. We started by parking our car pretty close to "Mile Zero", right next to Beacon Hill Park. This expansive city park is right next to the waterfront and at its southern end you have a perfect view across the Juan de Fuca Sound to Washington State's Olympic Mountain range. Beacon Hill Park has beautiful landscaping, hundreds of flower beds, a petting zoo with screaming peacocks, serene shady ponds hosting various families of ducks, an assortment of totem poles and a great variety of shade trees, many of which I have never seen in Toronto. The whole waterfront around Beacon Hill Park reminded me very much of California and seeing the odd palm tree just reinforced that image. I had to remind myself that we are still in Canada here. Our next step was to explore the waterfront to the east along Beach Drive. We moved past lovely well-kept houses and various inlets and bays and about 3 km east of downtown we arrived in the Oak Bay area. When we saw the Tudor-style gables of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel we decided this needed further exploration. We stopped the car, went through the lobby and outside the back door and saw one of the most beautiful patios and backyards on the ocean. The hotel, just like so many other places in Victoria, has gorgeous landscaping and a multitude of brilliantly coloured flower beds, right next to the Pacific Ocean. Coming up next we checked out the Oak Bay Marina and then turned inland towards the quaint Oak Bay shopping area, bedecked in hanging flower pots, and featuring many outdoor patios. We knew an exploration of the Empress Hotel and the Provincial Parliament Buildings was on our menu, so we started heading downtown on Yates Street. We turned right at the waterfront and to find a parking spot in this bustling neighbourhood, we ended parking on Johnson Street, right in front of a retail store that had large mechanical doll dressed up as an old lady with a big hat in front of it. The doll was able to open and close its eyelids and move its head from side to side, much to the fascination of the local tourists. We filled up the meter and made our way along the waterfront along Victoria's serene Inner Harbour Area. Past various buskers, mimes and outdoor performance artists we slowly made our way towards the Empress Hotel, a gorgeous chateau-style grand hotel dating back to 1908. Just southwest of it are the intricately styled Parliament Buildings, built between 1893 and 1898. With expansive lawns and flower beds out front and introduced by a statue of Queen Victoria, they offer an impressive visual delight. Having strengthened ourselves with a tasty turkey sandwich and a delicious ice cream, we slowly walked back past the Empress on Government Street and checked out the various retail stores. This area is just hustling and bustling with people, and we saw several street musicians and bands. Many of the retail stores are located in historical buildings that have been painted in bright colours. Just as our meter was expiring we briefly checked out Market Square, an outdoor market area with many eclectic little shops. Back in the car we crossed the bridge at the north end of the Inner Harbour and checked out the west side of the harbour which features a beautiful boardwalk, flanked by upscale condominium buildings, most of them retirement homes, surrounded by luscious landscaping and fragrant flower beds. Sea planes were landing and taking off, and the tiny local harbour ferry boats were zipping around on the water.

(Virtualaska Photo is The Empress Hotel on Victoria's Inner Harbor)
empress hotel After gazing at the Empress Hotel and the downtown area from the west side of the Harbour, we decided we were going to explore Victoria's next-door neighbour: Esquimalt, a much more basic area that is home to a large naval base. Esquimalt is definitely not as scenic and dressed up as Victoria, but it still appeared to be a pretty tidy place. We continued to head west on suburban roads and ended up having a beautiful nature experience at the waterfront of Albert Head Lagoon. We drove in through curvy roads in a shady forest, parked our car, and walked on the beach, besides hundreds of stranded wooden logs, to a shady corner at the west end of the lagoon where Clare and I had a beautiful chat about life, human relationships, changes in lifestyles and mentalities in the new China and other esoteric topics. Around 5 pm we decided to head even further west and we decided to find another hidden lagoon, called Witty's Lagoon which is part of a regional park system. We found the entrance and parked our car since only a footpath takes you down to the lagoon. Sheltered from the heat by a lovely overhead forest canopy, we walked down a steep slope past the Sitting Lady Waterfall. Along the way we saw hundreds of wild blackberry bushes that were just getting ripe, and we sampled some of nature's bounty. After about 20 minutes of walking beside a marsh on the left hand side, we finally ended up on a beach at the Southern tip of Vancouver Island that offered a perfect view of the majestic Olympic Mountains range. 18 minutes of uphill hiking later and we were back at the car, ready to drive downtown where we were picking up Haishan, Clare's husband, for dinner. The perfect meeting place was the Empress Hotel, of course. We picked him up and drove back over the Inner Harbour Bridge and reached our dinner destination: the Spinnaker Brew Pub at the Western End of Victoria's Harbour. On the outdoor patio we had a gorgeous view of the Victoria Harbour, looking down at the condo buildings, ships and sea planes that were still going back and forth. It was a little chilly outside at that time, but the restaurant supplied us with blankets to protect us against the evening cold. Having strengthened ourselves after a long day of sightseeing we arrived back at the house at about 9 pm and given the fact that I had pretty much been awake since 4 am due to jetlag, I thanked my gracious hosts for their hospitality and made my way to bed. It's now just about 2:15 am, that means I get another 3.5 hours of sleep before I have to get up, pack my bags, eat a brief breakfast and then get dropped off by Haishan on his way to work at the Victoria Bus Terminal. From there I'll have to say goodbye to pretty Victoria and make my way back to the mainland by ferry and bus, to check out my next destination: Vancouver. I am already excited..... For more information about the author, Susanne Pacher, see the previous article.

Lost about GPS? Here's Some Direction! by: Keith Thompson
If you've been confounded by all the technical jargon and hype surrounding GPS, confusing what's turning out to be a very useful tool, allow me to shed a little light on your roadmap to deciding whether or not this technology is for you! Originally designed with military applications in mind, the technology was made available to mere mortals in the 1980's for the many and varied uses we've found so far for these special tools. Not only handy for auto navigation, GPS units have made their way into maritime navigation, backcountry uses, and much, much more! How does GPS work? GPS (which stands for Global Positioning System) allows you to pinpoint your position anywhere on the planet to within an average of 15 meters, with some units doing much better than that. Twenty-four GPS satellites, paid for and placed in orbit by the Dept. of Defense courtesy of your tax dollars, send signals back to terra firma 24/7. These signals are retrieved by your handy dandy GPS receiver which uses three sources (satellites) to triangulate this information and compute your actual position. If there are four data sources, even altitude can be determined. Since there are normally eight satellites in line of sight from anywhere on earth, the opportunity for accurate positioning exists. Other things that can be determined besides latitude, longitude, and altitude would include things like speed, sunrises and sunsets, bearing, distance and more. While they will work in any weather, some hindrances would be electronic interference, buildings, and certain terrain. A good rule of thumb is that the units will generally not perform underwater, indoors, or underground. There are currently two Global Navigation Satellite Systems in use. Besides GPS, there is the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) Protocols are constantly being refined to enhance the abilities of these systems. A bright light on the horizon is Galileo, scheduled to go online in 2008, which promises even greater accuracy and functionality. So how do I know which GPS unit is for me? Quite a few choices now exist for consumers in the GPS marketplace. Whether you need a handheld unit for backpacking or boating, or one for your automobile (they are becoming an attractive option!) or for one of a myriad of uses, there are several reputable manufacturers of quality GPS units out there to help you find your way through the maze of choices. Names like Magellan, Garmin, Rino, Etrex and Meridian lead the market, and are readily available. Take your time, check out the various features each has to offer, and get yourself outfitted with one of the more useful and efficient navigational tools out there today! (Copyright 2006 Keith Thompson) About The Author: Keith Thompson is the webmaster at, where many resources and information on GPS can be found.)

Cruising to Alaska - A Trip to Remember by: Ron Richards
Visiting Alaska by cruise ship has become one of the most popular ways to experience Alaska's breathtaking beauty and diverse culture. Cruises incorporate all that Alaska has to offer including glaciers, wildlife, exotic ports of call, entertainment and fine dining. Some of the most popular Alaskan cruises are glacier cruises. Much of the Alaskan terrain consists of gorgeous, formidable glaciers and ice fields which cover over 5% of Alaska's land surface. This natural beauty can be seen from many top tourist destinations of Alaska including Juneau, Valdez, Seward and the Matanuska Valley, but is usually only fully appreciated with an up close and personal view that only a cruise can afford. From this vantage point you will stand spellbound by tidewater glaciers that reach over 100 ft. in height and the antics of wildlife such as humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, dolphins, brown bears and bald eagles. The Gulf of Alaska is also a popular cruise option. Many cruise lines offer week-long cruises from Seward to Vancouver or vice versa. Along the way you can take in such highlights as Glacier Bay National Park, College Fjord and interesting ports of call including Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. At each port you can take advantage of unique and exciting land activities such as helicopter glacier landing, guided tours, and sightseeing, just to name a few. Because of the awe-inspiring beauty of the Alaskan inside passage and since many destinations along the Alaska inside passage are only accessible by plane or boat, these cruises have become one of the most popular tourist attractions of the state. From the waterway of the passage, one can look upon some of the most magnificent natural scenery to be found such as coastal rainforests, deep blue fjords and tidewater glaciers. Also to be found in the passage are numerous species of wildlife including humpback whales, sea lions and seabirds. Some Alaska cruise liners even incorporate land packages as part of their cruise options. With an optional land package, visitors can spend an additional five to seven days exploring all that Alaska has to offer from land. You can explore one of the many cities or national parks, take advantage of Alaska's world-renowned sport fishing, or visit famous mining towns. As you can see, there are many Alaska cruises to choose from, and each promise memories of adventure and excitement to last a lifetime. Which one is perfect for you? That is for you to decide. About The Author: A lifelong Alaskan, Ron Richards lives in the beautiful Matanuska Valley. Ron invites you to come and see Alaska. One excellent way to enjoy Alaska is by taking an affordable Alaska Cruise. Visit

RV Camping by: Steve Gillman
EDITOR'S NOTE: We spent seven winters through the 1990s RVing. Mr. Gillman is right, it is a wonderful way to travel, stop where you like, never unpack and enjoy living on the road. We will be sharing some of our RVing journals on another page in the coming weeks.

RV camping can make for a great trip almost anywhere, but I think it is best in the west. In many areas, you can just drive into the desert, and stay free for up to two weeks. It's true of most BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and national forest lands, and many state forest lands too. You have to move every two weeks, but how far is open to interpretation, and mostly yours will be accepted. Long Term RV Camping on BLM Land: RV camping, or "boondocking" is growing in popularity. In fact, the BLM has begun to establish special areas for longer stays, particularly in Arizona. A permit fee is around $140 now, but this allows you to stay up to six months, and you get dump stations, dumpsters and water. People are living in some of these areas. It's cheaper than paying property taxes or rent for a lot to park on. RV camping is common in Winter in Arizona. One of the largest gatherings of "boondockers" is in Quartzite. Several hundred thousand people spend at least part of the year in their RVs here. It's near the California border, on Interstate 10, only 20 miles from the Colorado River. Surrounded by BLM lands, Quartzite is famous for gem shows, swap meets, and the multiplying of its population each winter.

Below is the RV Virtualaska used for seven seasons "on the road".
empress hotel If you ask around when you are in the desert southwest, you'll find there are RV communities that form every winter. Some of these temporary towns like "Slab City" in California, have bookstores, grocery vendors, and other businesses run by RVers. Once summer returns, these boondock communities disappear, and reappear again the following winter. Other RV Camping Opportunities: Just look around, and you'll find "hidden" places where you can park your RV for a week or a month in the desert southwest. Some are inexpensive, other's free. The Hot Well Dunes Recreation Area, for example, north of Bowie, Arizona, costs $3 per night, and has nice hot springs and plenty of wildlife. An annual permit costs $30, but you're limited to two weeks per month (permits are sold at the BLM office in Safford). You can stay outside the fenced area free, but then you don't get the hot springs and shaded picnic tables. For information on other areas, contact the Bureau of Land Management. They can tell you what's available under their jurisdiction. Also, the Woodall's campground guide lists campgrounds that are free. Keep your eyes open for other RVs parked out in the desert or forest. Finally, ask around. Other RVers will give you the best information on RV camping.
About The Author: Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the U.S. and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. For travel stories, tips and a free e-book, visit:

Whistler Back in the Saddle by: Carrie Haggerty
After winning the Olympics and realizing that Whistler, B.C. may have one of the nicest mountains with some of the best skiing, snow boarding, snow shoeing conditions in all of Canada. Whistler has always been a great escape from the everyday whether you are local or you travel great lengths to get here. It has been consistent and always a rush to go up for a great ski getaway. The last two seasons we have seen a dramatic difference in the conditions, where did all the snow go? Now all points seem to pull toward the massive warming of the earth due to green air gas emissions and global warming. I believe the tides are finally changing for our little whistler village, with our slopes opening up early and the snow has just kept on going. With the snow going like crazy so early in the season I can imagine that this is going to be one of whistlers best seasons in quite some time. So what next? I guess the influx of snow and the great conditions are going to bring their fair share of tourists, skiers, snow boarders etc. This means that if you are looking for a place to stay when you head in to Whistler Village the time to book is now. Your next question may be: Well what would be the best bang for my buck. There are a variety of options when you are looking for accommodations in the busiest spot of the season. When you are looking for accommodations depending on the length of stay you want to be more than anything comfortable and lets not kid ourselves you want it to be affordable. So lets go over the possibilities of what kind of accommodations there are available in Whistler. Hotels/Motels - Well if you are going to in up one day and out the next this could be cost effective. The wonderful thing about hotels is they have a bed, and a bathroom and if your lucky you could get there dried up continental breakfast, or you could spend some extra cash and go off to the next greasy spoon and eat your self into a heart attack. Now Im talking low end here folks we all know that you can get all the luxuries of home I suppose in the hotel/motel experience as long as you have the coin to back it up. Bed and Breakfasts - Now here is a truly comfortable way to travel in fact it is one of my favourite accommodation methods, you wake up to warm feeling and your breakfast is made for you before you step the last step in the kitchen, the conversation is friendly talking to the family that may be hosting or to some other travellers that happen to be passing through. Like I said my absolute favourite way to travel with the feeling of comfort and a feeling of home. Cabin/Condo Rentals - This is a great way to travel is you are travelling with a group of 5 or more people, I love the feeling of the great outdoors just outside my bedroom and the feeling of camaraderie when you are travelling with a few of your closest friends, and it gives you the feeling that you are camping. Now if you are not feeling much like your an outdoorsy person and require the same luxury of home and with a reasonable budget you can always rent a condo and live like you never left home. The choice is really up to you, whether you enjoy hotel living or you want to feel the comforts of living like you never left home in your own condo rental. One thing is for sure, Whistler has got their groove back and if you want to catch the best deals the time to book is now! Whistler is on the verge of their best season and if you wait too long you may miss the boat! About The Author: Carrie Haggerty is currently a marketing manager at and is working closely in the accommodations industry with her clients at If you are looking to stay in whistler this season or want to find out more information go to:


A horse drawn carriage in front of the Provincial Parliament buildings on the Inner Harbor; Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Need More Information? You can Google from here!

Tulips in profusion at Bouchart Gardens near Victoria, BC.

A lone moose feeds near the tidal flats near Alyeska Ski Resort south of Anchorage, Alaska.


alaska map!