Author: Debbie Stone

Elevate Your Vacation to New Levels with a Heli-Hiking Adventure

Share: He seemed like such a nice guy. That was the group’s initial impression of our hiking guide, Paul, a mellow, Canuck with a wry sense of humor. He appeared calm and assuring as he gathered us around to talk about our first hike of the day. Moments before, the helicopter had gently set us down in front of Howser Towers, an impressive set of peaks in the Bugaboos, a range within the Columbia Mountains of British Columbia. The name “Bugaboo” actually means a hoax in Old English. Story has it that when folks came up here looking for...

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Mountains, Monasteries and More in the Mystical ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’

Share: A revered lama and leading astrologer, Master Wengdi of the Paga Monastery in Bhutan, told me that I’m a fire monkey, born under a metal sign that imbues me with confidence and energy. Driven to success, I often gravitate towards leadership roles where I can exercise control and call upon my ability to draw people to me. But, I can be competitive and stubborn (true), allowing my strong will and needs to overwhelm me, sometimes making decisions based on emotion and not logic (also true). To help balance the forces within me, Master Wengdi recommended that I practice...

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Discover the beauty of Appalachia on a Smoky Mountains hiking trip

Share: The humidity was so thick you could cut it with a knife, even a plastic one would easily do the job. At this point I was trudging up a trail, sweating profusely, swatting at annoying gnats, and solely focused on my discomfort. Ian, our guide, suddenly stopped the group and asked that we listen to the sounds around us for a moment. At first, I confess I was a bit annoyed, as I simply wanted to get to our destination as quickly as possible. But then, I had one of those “aha” moments, when I slowly became aware...

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Mayberry Meets Manhattan in Bentonville, Arkansas

Share: Telling friends and family I was going to Bentonville, Arkansas, was, based on their reactions, akin to informing them I was going to Siberia. I received baffled looks, followed by questions like, “Why?” “Whatever for?”–and my favorite, “You’re doing this on purpose?” I tried explaining the reasons for my trip: the primary one being to visit the renowned Crystal Bridges Museum, but still the confusion and puzzlement persisted. I admit Arkansas had never been one of those must-go-to destinations for me, most likely because I didn’t know much about our country’s 25th state. I envisioned the place to...

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The Allure of Off-Season Travel on Cape Cod and Nantucket

Share: Cape Cod There’s nothing like strolling on a pristine ocean beach with nary a soul in sight and only the occasional gull or plover to share the space. Far off in the distance, a pair of whales spout, while nearby, several seals play peekaboo in the water. The air is fresh and crisp, and Mother Nature’s good mood means ample sunshine. It’s April on Cape Cod and the crowds have yet to make their way to this captivating destination. Come Memorial Day, however, they will be here en masse, staking claim to their spots in the sand, lining...

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