United States

Photographing Antelope Canyon, Arizona, Part One

Arizona's slot canyons have long held a fascination for me. Especially notable for their beauty are the Antelope Canyons, both Upper and lower, located near Page, Arizona on the land of the Navajo Nation. Formed over millennia by flash floods that eroded the Navajo Sandstone, the canyons are easily accessible and considered the most visited and photographed of the Southwest's slot canyons. Antelope Canyon is actually two separate canyons, Upper Antelope called “The Crack: and Lower Antelope, known as “The Cork-screw.” When I learned that noted Santa Fe photographer, Craig Varjabedian, was taking a small group of adventurers on a week-long photo trek that included three days exploring the canyons, I immediately reserved a space on the tour.

Photographing Antelope Canyon, Arizona, Part Two

. AntilopeCanyon2 More than just an opportunity to take great photos, a visit to the slot canyons comes pretty close to being a spiritual experience. Lower Antelope, called Hazdistazi by the Nav-ajo, meaning "spiral rock arches," feels in places like a cathedral, a place where water and wind has sculpted sandstone grain by grain to form swirls and arches of magnificent shapes and colors. The sandstone walls curve and bend in flowing shapes, alternating in shades of salmon, orange, purple, brown and yellow, thanks to sedimentary formations of Hematite and Geothite. As an interesting aside, evidence of Geothite’s use has been found in paint pigment samples taken from the caves of Lascaux in France.

A walking tour of "Little Italy" in Boston's North End, part one


If you have a passion for the food and wine of Italy, a walking tour of: Boston’s" Little Italy” will allow you to experience the authentic tastes and tantalizing aromas of one of the oldest Italian communities in America. Called the “North End Market Tour,” a three-hour guided walk covers an area of Boston that is actually only one square mile. Like a little village in Italy, this vibrant neighborhood of narrow streets and pocket parks has its own butcher and baker

A walking tour of "Little Italy" in Boston's North End, part two 


Boston’s North End has been an Italian enclave since the turn of the century when mass immigration from Italy brought thousands to the city. Back then, butcher shops had no refrigeration so families learned to trust and befriend their neighborhood supplier. Pizzerias were an extension of the family’s kitchen, hav-ing come to America from Naples by way of Egypt through Greece where the pizza pie originated in the form of pita bread

Bozeman, Montana: Lots to see and do in an upscale but homespun and hip haven


Known as a cowboy town and home to Montana State University, Bozeman, with its friendly semibohemian character, has evolved into a mini-metropolis loved by residents and visitors alike. First-time visitors are often astounded and pleased, as I was, at the overflowing cup that is Bozeman. History and culture blend in seamlessly with the city’s nearby access to outdoor adventure. Environmental awareness is high too. That is no surprise seeing how Montana’s big sky and stunning mountain ranges envelop everything with their magic.

Romance Rules at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, a Modern Day Shangri-La


For the ultimate love-enhancing interlude with your sweetheart, look no farther than California’s Shangri-la, the Ojai Valley Inn & Resort. A leisurely 35 mile drive from Santa Barbara, this sprawling Spanish-colonial style resort was chosen by Director Frank Capra as the setting for his 1937 classic film,“Lost Horizon.” In the movie’s legendary paradise, the hero finds love and inner peace in Shangri-la, a
place whose inhabitants enjoy unheard-of longevity.

Finding Fall Color Gold in Southern Utah. Part One


“Go for the Gold” this fall with a trip to Southern Utah for some of the country’s most extravagant foliage colors. Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks and Kolob Canyon are some of the stellar sites where Mother Nature’s paintbrush sketches a brilliant palette of orange, gold and scarlet set against a backdrop of soaring red rock towers, deep canyons and massive monoliths.

Maine lobster, blueberries and ice cream: A prized catch 


Looking for that magical late summer and early fall escape? Little more than an hour’s drive from Boston’s Logan Airport, the craggy coast of Maine has drawn artists, sailors and seafood lovers to its shores for decades, And the jewel along this rock-strewn coastline is the town of Ogunquit. Once inhabited by Native Americans, its Abenaki Indian name means “beautiful place by the sea.” Money Magazine agreed, naming the Ogunquit region as one of the top vacation spots in the country.