Book: Best Hikes With Kids Colorado (2012) by Maureen Keilty
By Jennifer Close
With the snow (mostly) gone around Denver, we have been hiking together as a family just about every Sunday.
After researching a hike on the web and then heading to the trail only to find that it was not in fact appropriate for elementary school children, we decided that we needed a resource that was tailored to family hikes. After digging around the library and wandering through the bookstore, I finally turned to social media for hiking with kids suggestions. Over and over again, my Colorado peers suggested Best Hikes With Kids Colorado by Maureen Keilty.
After purchasing this book and putting it through its paces, I can understand why.
Best Hikes with Kids Colorado is a compilation of 100 hikes around the state of Colorado that are great for kids. Twenty-eight of those family hikes are located within an hour of Denver. The book begins with a list of the hikes and features the hike name, difficulty, season that the hike is doable, and a few brief highlights about the hike. It is a quick way to pick a hike that you are interested in. There is a short introduction that shares ideas to keep kids entertained on hikes, things to pack, and how to use the book.
Each hike has its own section with an overview and information about the hike. There is a paragraph explaining how to get to the hike, which we have found is pretty accurate. Trailheads are not easy to find and parking is sometimes impossible to find. The paragraph lists details about the parking situation and where to look for trailheads. As a parent, I appreciate that the logistics of each hike includes whether or not bathrooms and drinking fountains are present, if camping is allowed, and the best time to visit.
On The Trail shares things to look for on each hike from start to finish. This is my favorite part of the book. I hate finding out that we missed some great landmark or field of flowers after we have finished a hike. There is also a trail map just in case the maps are not available where you are going.
The book of family hikes is small enough to jam into your windbreaker pocket or backpack. We have been thankful that we have had this book along with us several times.
The best part about this book is that if you don’t live in the state of Colorado, the publisher has put out a number of Best Hikes with Kids books including Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine as well as Oregon, San Francisco, New Mexico and more.
We have made it our goal to make it through all one hundred of the hikes listed in Best Hikes with Kids Colorado. So far, we have completed six hikes. Only 94 more to go!
At A Traveler’s Library we reveal affiliate links. If you shop at Amazon through the links from the book cover or book title, it will cost you no more, but we will earn a few cents, no matter what you buy. Thanks so much for your support.
Travel experiences of a lifetime. These are scanned pictures, because most of our major trips were taken years ago, before digital cameras, so you’ll have to forgive the lack of technical excellence. It is the trip that counts. 1. Gaping at exhibits at the New York World’s Fair in 1964.
2.Hiking through Aravaipa Canyon in Arizona in 1989.
3. Hiking the trails and driving the roads of Glacier National Park in 1989.
4. Seeing the sights and meeting the people of Israel in 1990.
5. River rafting through the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River 1990.
6. Climbing the Steps of Angkor Wat and exploring other Cambodian Temples in 1999.
We had many other striking adventures in the years between these. And of course the 21st century has brought more adventures. I think of seeing the Parthenon for the first time, sailing the Aegean, attending an Presidential nominating convention and an Inaugural Ball, visiting Taiwan, flying into Hong Kong, exploring New Zealand and many more, but the ones on this page make the top of our list for “once in a lifetime” experiences” because we only did them once, or because they were long-term goals that we finally realized. Each is unique in its own way.
This is my contribution to Travel Photo Thursday, sponsored by Nancie McKinnon at Budget Traveler’s Sandbox. Click over there to see many more photos by travelers. What is YOUR once-in-a-lifetime experience?
Destination: American South
Albums: Camilla, Wellspring, Twilight by Caroline Herring
BY KERRY DEXTER
Caroline Herring knows the American South, its heart and soul, its history and landscapes. The stories which rise from this deep knowledge of her native ground are what she draws on the create her music.
The name of her album Camilla is also the name of a small town in Georgia. It is a town where, during the civil rights days of the early 1960s, a woman went to see a friend in jail. There is a story that flows from that action, a story of courage and fear and loss and strength, which Herring tells with poetic economy in the song from which she takes the album’s title.
The dark and light of the American South, both history and present day, are what Herring most often turns to in her songs. On the album Camilla, there’s another piece having to do with the the civil rights times, a song called White Dress. Mae Frances Moultrie, the only African American woman on the first Freedom Ride in 1961, was wearing a white dress the day her bus was firebombed as they rode through Alabama. Grounded in vivid detail, Herring’s treatment is neither a polemic nor a recounting of fact, but rather a story of connection and disconnection and the many faces courage may take.
“I could write about heroes of the civil rights era all day,” Herring says.“They each deserve a song.”
She does, however, write about other things — lots of other things. Summer Song entwines the experience of grief with the heart of nature, framed in references which will resonate with anyone familiar with southern landscapes. Traveling Shoes is a story about journeys of several sorts, inspired by a story by Eudora Welty. Fireflies “is about a little girl chasing fireflies,” Herring says.
These threads of landscape, history, family, and vivid emotion told with understated grace have long run through Herring’s writing. On her first album, Twilight, celebrating the wisdom and feeling the pain of the south’s divided history underlie two very different songs, Wise Woman and Standing in the Water.
Carolina Moon is a bluegrass-tinged love song with a decidedly southern flavor, while Delta Highway frames thinking about change in the landscape of a drive on a stormy night.
On her album Wellspring, Herring turns to history for the story in Mistress, which is drawn from the life of an African American woman who lived as the honored wife of plantation owner, and how her life changed. Colorado Woman, also on Wellspring, is the feisty story of a pioneer. Trace explores the many layers of history along the Natchez Trace, and Magnolias is a gentle story of growing love.
Twining the threads of love, history, hope, and family,I’ll bring you back again to Camilla. One of the songs on that album came from Herring’s experience when she and her young daughter set out to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama. Things did not quite go as they had planned. Still, images of history and present day and the connections of all that to being a parent fill the song.
In the chorus, Herring sings,
“Honey, it goes like this: you take your hand,
you lift it up, you put it on your heart,
and there you stand– singing — ‘This land is your land, this land is my land…‘”
Will Caroline Herring’s music make you want to take a road trip to the American South? Perhaps. Whether you travel southern roads in real time or in imagination, Caroline Herring’s music will add dimension to how you think about this land of light and shadow.
Books About the South
As A Traveler’s Library is a place for readers, I thought you might also like to know that Herring first encountered the story that led to the song Camilla while she was reading Taylor Branch’s history of the civil rights years, Parting the Waters. Herring’s husband, Joseph Crespino, is himself a scholar of the American South and an award winning author whose books include Strom Thurmond’s America and In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution.
When she’s not looking into stories drawn from the history and culture of the south, Herring has been working on songs inspired by children’s books. She has recorded one album from this, The Little House Songs, and at this writing is working on plans for two others, also with book connections. This is a different sort of venture from her other recordings as she is funding these herself and through Kickstarter. You can learn more about the children’s music project and help by following this link to Kickstarter.
Note: It is the policy of A Traveler’s Library to reveal affiliate relationships. Album cover images, titles, and book titles here are links to Amazon, where you can listen to partial music tracks and shop for albums and books. If you click on the link and make a purchase at Amazon, it will benefit Music Road, for which we thank you. Video is from YouTube.com
Food Book: Philadelphia Chef’s Table : Extraordinary Recipes from the City of Brotherly Love (2012) by April White
By Brette Sember
Philadelphia conjures notions of freedom and American spirit. I visited Philadelphia once years ago and have a few memories of the city that are rather different. The hotel fire alarm malfunctioned in the middle of the night, which did not create a restful trip. The Liberty Bell was extremely underwhelming (MUCH smaller than you might expect) and the famous “Rocky” stairs (at the Philadelphia Museum of Art) were indeed daunting. The cheesesteak was pretty good. The best memory I have is of a meal we had at the restaurant school. So, Philadelphia and food are wedded in my mind.
Philadelphia Chef’s Table (Lyons Press, 2012), by April White, has just solidified this connection for me. This little gem is a collection of recipes from more than 50 of the city’s best restaurants. If you cook from the book, you can visit the city without leaving home. The book is organized by course, and within each it is organized by restaurant. First you get a great introduction to the restaurant and the chef (with a photo also): why it’s hot or well-known, their history, their specialties, and how they think about food there. Then you get at least one of their best recipes – often more (with photos!).
I find that a big part of the character of a city is determined by its restaurants, and this book hands you Philadelphia on a plate. Unlike most of the books I review for this column, this one does not combine text or photos about the city with the recipes, so you’re not going to see cityscapes (other than the two on the front and back pages!) or descriptions of its deep and wonderful history. The focus here is just on the restaurants and their food, but it is an excellent way to virtually travel to and taste the flavors of this remarkable city.
No, there’s no recipe for cheesesteak (although there is a page devoted to discussing its history and popularity) and you won’t find any recipes using Philadelphia cream cheese. What you will find are creative, inspiring recipes, such as Grilled Veal Tongue with Pepper Mostarda, Spaghetti with Green Tomatoes and Razor Clams, Chicken Freekeh, Pumpkin Pancakes, Roasted Maitake Mushroom with Celery Root Puree and Glazed Carrots, Chicken Tikka Kabob with Chickpea Curry, and Squash Blossom Cupcakes. You’ll also find more standard recipes, which are done well, including Oyster Stew, Fish and Chips, Chicken Pot Pie, and Lasagna. And there are a few pages discussing the best places to get pizza in the city too.
If you’re tuned into the foodie world, you will recognize the names of many of the restaurants featured in this book: Morimoto, Buddakan, Parc, Vedge (rated as the third best restaurant in the city by Philadelphia Magazine), Sbraga, Osteria (considered by some to be one of the top Italian restaurants in the country), Zahav, and more. It’s a star-studded collection. It’s a bit thrilling to find recipes for wonderful restaurant dishes at your fingertips, such as this inventive dish from Morimoto.
- ½ pound dry soba noodles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup boiled edamame, shelled
- 24 bay scallops
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 1 /4 cups heavy cream
- 3 large egg yolks, beaten
- Dash of truffle oil
- Kosher salt and white pepper, as needed
- Parmesan cheese, as needed
In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook soba noodles for 1 minute less than the package directions. Drain well. Toss with olive oil and set aside.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook bacon until fat renders. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. In the same sauté pan over medium heat, cook edamame and scallops until heated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add bacon. Turn off heat.
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook white wine to evaporate alcohol. Add water, soy sauce, and cream and heat to 155 degrees. Add egg yolks and truffle oil. Season with salt and white pepper. Turn the heat to low and whisk until smooth, being careful not to let the egg yolks cook through. Add reserved bacon, edamame, and scallops and stir. Add soba and stir quickly.
Divide between four pasta bowls and sprinkle with cheese.
You may have missed some of the wonderful books that I talked about in March this year, so I wanted to remind you of the March of Women–a concentration on books featuring women characters.
Every book I reviewed was about one or more strong, unique, and sometimes iconoclastic woman character. First, a list of historical novels. Read the rest of this entry »
Book: Hawk Quest by Robert Lyndon (NEW April, 2013)
Talk about adventure travel! Robert Lyndon’s book of adventure travel in the Middle Ages will have you holding your breath as you flip through the pages. I found myself diving headlong into the adventures of French mercenary, Vallon, as he roamed through Medieval England, Scotland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Russia to Greece to Anatolia (modern Turkey) surviving one hair-raising adventure after another. And to add to my awe, this is a first novel, although Lyndon is an experienced non-fiction writer. Read the rest of this entry »
Some unusual flowers appear in the landscaping of my Tucson neighborhood in the Spring. Time to break out the traveler’s favorite companion, a cactus flower identification book.
Here are a few of my favorite cactus flowers and the blossoms of a desert tree. Read the rest of this entry »
By Jessie Voigts
Destination: New Zealand
Movie: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Last summer, my students and I read The Hobbit together. It had been 30 years since I’d read it. I have to admit, I reveled in the classic story, long buried in my brain under years of reading. As you know, it is a classic tale of a quest; a long, life-changing journey. The travelers have to battle (and avoid) various creatures, traverse extraordinarily vast plains, wend their way through mountain paths, and pursue their quest across Middle Earth. Read the rest of this entry »