Southern California Coast

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“To me, everything outside of Los Angeles is the ‘south,’ including places like San Diego. It’s sort of like the saying, ‘Everything is God.’ Indeed it is.”

– Buzz Osborne

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“Well, when I was a kid, I grew up in San Diego next to the ocean. The ocean was my friend – my best friend.”

– Robert Ballard

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“The San Diego region in many ways is defined by our relationship with the ocean. It’s our front yard and a beautiful playground for families and visitors. It should be clean, safe, and inviting.”

– Scott Peters

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“People actually enjoy it when it rains in San Diego because we never get it. It’s a nice change of pace. When you live in Southern California, everybody says, ‘It’s so expensive there.’ I tell them, ‘It’s just a very expensive weather tax.'”

– Steve Finley

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Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax, ” said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! “

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Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise
Bring your alibis

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San Diego Sunsets

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“…time can be slowed if you live deliberately. If you stop and watch sunsets. If you spend time sitting on porches listening to the woods. If you give in to the reality of the seasons.”

― Thomas Christopher Greene, I’ll Never Be Long Gone

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“One day,” you said to me, “I saw the sunset forty-four times!”

And a little later you added:

“You know– one loves the sunset, when one is so sad…”

“Were you so sad, then?” I asked, “on the day of the forty-four sunsets?”

But the little prince made no reply.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

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“Because I can count on my fingers the number of sunsets I have left, and I don’t want to miss any of them.”

― Suzanne Collins, Catching Fire

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“Sunsets, like childhood, are viewed with wonder not just because they are beautiful but because they are fleeting.”

― Richard Paul Evans, The Gift

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Ahhh, the ocean…the waves….the sunset!! An awesome, must see location. You will not be disappointed. Beautiful views. People out walking, running and bike riding. Enjoyable and relaxing.

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“A sunset is the sun’s fiery kiss to the night.”

― Crystal Woods, Write Like No One is Reading 

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“And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered.”

― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

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“Oscar Wilde said that sunsets were not valued because we could not pay for sunsets. But Oscar Wilde was wrong; we can pay for sunsets. We can pay for them by not being Oscar Wilde.”

― G.K. Chesterton

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“The setting sun burned the sky pink and orange in the same bright hues as surfers’ bathing suits. It was beautiful deception, Bosch thought, as he drove north on the Hollywood Freeway to home. Sunsets did that here. Made you forget it was the smog that made their colors so brilliant, that behind every pretty picture there could be an ugly story.”

― Michael Connelly, The Black Echo

WOLFE ISLAND, ONTARIO

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Wolfe Island is an island at the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River in Lake Ontario near Kingston, Ontario. It is the largest of the Thousand Islands.

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Wolfe Island can be accessed by ferry from both Canada and the United States. The ferry from Kingston (Wolfe Islander III) is operated by the Ministry of Transportation and is free of charge. Just walk or drive right on, and away she goes!

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The island was part of the traditional hunting lands of the Tyendinaga Mohawk people and the original name of the island is Ganounkouesnot (“Long Island Standing up”). It was called “Grand Ile “by the French, but was later named after British General James Wolfe by British settlers.

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A feature of Wolfe Island is the Wolfe Island Wind Project, a wind farm developed by Canadian Hydro Developers and now owned and operated by TransAlta. The 197.8 MW wind plant consists of 86 wind turbines, which have been in commercial operation since June 26, 2009.This is currently the second largest turbine project in Canada.

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The power produced from Wolfe Island is sold under a 20-year Renewable Energy Supply II Contract with the Ontario Power Authority. TransAlta owns and operates the Wolfe Island facility through its wholly owned subsidiary Canadian Hydro Developers.

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Wolfe Island is designated an Important Bird Area and is an important stopover location for migrating waterfowl including swans. The island has a large population of wild turkeys, deer, and other wildlife. The Big Sandy Bay Management Area is classified as a provincially significant life science Area of Natural and Scientific Interest which includes sand dunes, wetlands, rare plants, trees, and birds.

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Credit: M. Sarko

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The billion-year old rocks of Ontario’s Precambrian Shield form the nucleus of Wolfe Island under its limestone cover.

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Glacial striations are etched in the flat rock which line the shores of Wolfe Island.

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Wolfe Island’s limestone dates back over 450 million years into the Palaeozoic Era.

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Make Wolfe Island one of the many stops on your next Ontario road trip!

A River Runs Through It – Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec, Canada

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I tell you this with hesitation. And I tell it happily, too. It is about a place I know well; one that is full of curious equivocations; somewhere half serene, half rugged, on the lip of a body of water that is half river, half sea. I think everyone should know about it for it holds so much beauty, so much Canadian history, but then again, another part of me wishes people might stay away, so it will remain a secret.

And yet it’s a secret only to the modern world, because in an older one, it was well known; famous, even. It was where many in the 19th and early 20th centuries went to find their recreation and traditions of summer, partly because the river – in this case, the St. Lawrence River – was nature’s easy, wide-open highway that took passengers to hundreds of special places along its shores. I often think of the St. Lawrence as a deep incision into the body of the land, exposing its innards, all its idiosyncrasies and unexpected treasures. But that description is only half-right – true geographically, but not in its suggestion of violence. In this part of the province of Quebec, bounded by the St. Lawrence, where it is wide like the sea, there is only tranquility.

– Sarah Hampson in The Globe and Mail

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The Gaspe Peninsula has an extraordinary mountain environment. The Chic-Chocs and McGerrigle Mountains cross the region. Among them, Mont Jacques Cartier is the second highest peak in Québec. The altitude of these mountains deeply influences the climate that moulds the landscape and creates a diversity of species unique to Québec, and even the world. Arctic-alpine plants and tundra landscapes form a habitat for a herd of woodland caribou, the last representatives of this species south of the St. Lawrence.

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“Rivers and the inhabitants of the watery elements are made for wise men to contemplate and for fools to pass by without consideration.”

– Isaac Walton

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“What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn’t have any doubt – it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn’t want to go anywhere else.”

– Hal Boyle

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“I thought how lovely and how strange a river is. A river is a river, always there, and yet the water flowing through it is never the same water and is never still. It’s always changing and is always on the move. And over time the river itself changes too. It widens and deepens as it rubs and scours, gnaws and kneads, eats and bores its way through the land. Even the greatest rivers- the Nile and the Ganges, the Yangtze and he Mississippi, the Amazon and the great grey-green greasy Limpopo all set about with fever trees-must have been no more than trickles and flickering streams before they grew into mighty rivers.”

– Aidan Chambers, This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn

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“Eventually all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world´s great floods and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

– Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It 1976

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“A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.”

― Laura Gilpin

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“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.”

– Henry David Thoreau

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“Fly fishing is the most fun you can have standing up.”

– Arnold Gingrich, 1969

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“For the supreme test of a fisherman is not how many fish he caught, nor even how he has caught them, but what he has caught when he has caught no fish!”

– John H. Bradley, “Farewell Thou Busy World”, 1935

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“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.”

– Steven Wright

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“Some act and talk as though casting were the entire art of fly fishing, and grade an angler solely by the distance he can cover with his flies. This is a great mistake and pernicious in it´s influence. Casting is but a method of placing a fly before the trout without alarming it and within it´s reach. It is merely placing food before a guest. The selection of such food as will suit, and so serving it as to pleasure a fastidious and fickle taste, still remain indispensably necessary to induce it´s acceptance.”

– Henry P Wells “Fly-Rods and Fly Tackle” 1885

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“A bad day’s fishing is better than a good day at work.”

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“Fly-fishers are usually brain-workers in society. Along the banks of purling streams, beneath the shadows of umbrageous trees, or in the secluded nooks of charming lakes, they have ever been found, drinking deep of the invigorating forces of nature – giving rest and tone to over-taxed brains and wearied nerves – while gracefully wielding the supple rod, the invisible leader, and the fairy-like fly.”

– James A. Hensall, MD, 1855

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“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.“

– Marcus Aurelius

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“There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process.”

– Paul O’Neil, 1965

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Sit by a river. Find peace and meaning in the rhythm of the lifeblood of the Earth.

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“There is certainly something in fishing that tends to produce a gentleness of spirit, a pure serenity of mind.”

– Washington Irvin

Colorado National Monument

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Colorado National Monument (locally referred to as The Monument) is a National Park Service unit near the city of Grand Junction, Colorado. Spectacular canyons cut deep into sandstone, and even granite–gneiss–schist, rock formations.

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When John Otto first saw the rugged red rock canyons south of Grand Junction in 1906, it was love at first sight. The following year he wrote . . .

“I came here last year and found these canyons, and they feel like the heart of the world to me. I’m going to stay and build trails and promote this place, because it should be a national park.”

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The area was established as Colorado National Monument on May 24, 1911. Otto was hired as the first park ranger, drawing a salary of $1 per month. For the next 16 years, he continued building and maintaining trails while living in a tent in the park.

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Otto spearheaded fundraising campaigns, collected signatures for petitions, and penned newspaper editorials and endless letters to Washington politicians in support of national recognition for the ancient canyons and towering monoliths of his adopted home.

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This is an area of desert land high on the Colorado Plateau, with pinion and juniper forests on the plateau.

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There are magnificent views from trails and the Rim Rock Drive, which winds along the plateau.

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Nearby are the Book Cliffs and the largest flat-topped mountain in the world, the Grand Mesa.

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The park became more well known in the 1980s partly due to its inclusion as a stage of the major international bicycle race, the Coors Classic. The race through the park became known as “The Tour of the Moon”, due to the spectacular landscapes the race passed through on Rim Rock Drive.

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Just another day at the office!

Telluride, Colorado: Part 2

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“Well, we have this place in Telluride, Colorado. It’s somewhere I can just get away and relax and think.”

Joe Cocker

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“There is no such sense of solitude as that which we experience upon the silent and vast elevations of great mountains. Lifted high above the level of human sounds and habitations, among the wild expanses and colossal features of Nature, we are thrilled in our loneliness with a strange fear and elation – an ascent above the reach of life’s expectations or companionship, and the tremblings of a wild and undefined misgivings.”

― Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

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“How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!”

― John Muir

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“I’d never really experienced the West before moving to Colorado. The East Coast, where I grew up, has a lot of big cities, like Boston and New York, and is more densely populated, and I instantly fell in love with the big open spaces of the West, where you can see not just for a few miles but for a few hundred miles.”

Tyler Hamilton

“We lived in Colorado, and my parents were outdoorsy mountain people. My father would always say, ‘Go out and don’t come back until you have something to show me.’ Which meant he wanted me to come back with a scraped knee or an injury. When I went out to play, I felt like I’d better get hurt. “

Jessica Biel

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Colorado and Wyoming are America’s highest states, averaging 6,800 feet and 6,700 feet above sea level. Utah comes in third at 6,100 feet, New Mexico, Nevada, and Idaho each break 5,000 feet, and the rest of the field is hardly worth mentioning. At 3,400 feet, Montana is only half as high as Colorado, and Alaska, despite having the highest peaks, is even further down the list at 1,900 feet. Colorado has more fourteeners than all the other U.S. states combined, and more than all of Canada too. Colorado’s lowest point (3,315 feet along the Kansas border) is higher than the highest point in twenty other states.

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“I love Colorado. The mountains are so passionate. They just make me want to run to the top and yell obscene things to the valleys below.” ~ Ardith”

Author: Jocelyn Davies

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“I just love all this,’ Walt says. ‘The sights, the smells, making the effort and pushing yourself and getting something that’s really hard to get. I’ll fly on a plane and people will look out the window at thirty thousand feet and say, ‘Isn’t this view good enough for you?’ And I say no, it’s not good enough. I didn’t earn it. In the mountains, I earn it.”

― Mark Obmascik, Halfway to Heaven: My White-knuckled–and Knuckleheaded–Quest for the Rocky Mountain High

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“We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.”

― John Muir

Telluride, Colorado: Part 1

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Telluride is located in a box canyon at an elevation of 8,750 feet in an isolated spot in Southwest Colorado. Steep forested mountains and cliffs, some with elevations reaching over 13,000 feet, surround it on all sides.The town is a former silver mining camp on the San Miguel River in the western San Juan Mountains. In1889, Butch Cassidy, before becoming associated with the Hole-in-the Wall-Gang, robbed the San Miguel Valley Bank in Telluride. This was his first major recorded crime. Today, Telluride is known for being home to one of the greatest ski resorts in North America, in addition to hosting a variety of popular festivals including the Telluride Film Festival, Bluegrass Festival, and Mushroom Festival. I love the place because of its unparalleled ambiance, and the awesome mountain scenery and the opportunity it provides for photography and outdoor recreation.

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As a career ski bum who’s lived in Telluride for 25 years without a trust fund, my resume is lengthy and diverse. Along with the usual retail and restaurant jobs, I’ve taught at the high school, worked in festival production, guided peak ascents, coached young athletes and served on town council. It may appear that I have a touch of occupational ADD, but I tend to downplay the one common thread in my working life. It isn’t glamorous—and I’m certainly squandering an expensive college education—but the truth is, I keep body and soul together by painting Telluride’s multi-colored Victorian houses.

-Lance Waring – Telluride Ski Bum

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In the late 1960s, I ended up in Telluride, Colorado. It wasn’t like the country club that it is now. It was very raw.

Lance Henriksen

The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer, self-sufficient. There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of one thing and one thing only.

Joseph Wood Krutch

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A crystal clear Colorado sky opens above us, a blue so deep it makes you dizzy. The occasional bright white wispy cloud dances across the firmament, punctuating the deep blue vault of heaven stretching over this paradise.”

― Neil M Hanson, Pilgrim Wheels: Reflections of a Cyclist Crossing America

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Colorado is an oasis, an otherworldly mountain place.

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The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?

– J. B. Priestley

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