Lunch Read: Must-Visit spot of the world for 2016

Landscape Arch

Landscape Arch

Lists are good. Lists are fun. Here’s another one: The Fodors list of absolute must-visit places to hit in 2016. Absolute top in the world? Utah. Trust me, it’s right.

Click here for the full list »

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Happy Thanksgiving

SANDY, Utah — So we don’t get to go to our family in Oklahoma or Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving this year. Instead, we’re homesteading it in the Salt Lake City suburbs.  In a way it’s a relief – we don’t have to be anywhere at any time, and if we ruin a dish, we can pretend like we didn’t want to eat it anyway. So long as we get green bean casserole and pumpkin pie, we’re good.

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Hiking with kids: Bald Mountain

Climbing Bald Mountain

Climbing Bald Mountain

WESTERN UINTAS — A blowing, bitterly cold wind. Tired feet. Hail stinging the face. Windburned cheeks. And she weas loving every minute of it. My 5-year-old had just summited Bald Mountain on her own two legs. Continue reading

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Amid the ancients: Great Basin National Park

Lake Stella, Wheeler Peak in the background

Lake Stella, Wheeler Peak in the background

Hours of empty driving. Sagebrush, playas, dust devils, the occasional semi. That’s what it takes to get to Great Basin National Park.

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Hiking with Kids: Looking for Lake Catherine… or even the trailhead

A picnic at the memorial grove for Alta

A picnic at the memorial grove for Alta

Every year I try to make it as far into summer as I can without turning on the air conditioning at home. Usually that means heading for altitude as often as possible, where the air’s a little sweeter and cooler.

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A very important message from the Jersey Shore

Lucy. The Sky. No Diamonds.

Lucy. The Sky. No Diamonds.

I take a break from our regularly-scheduled Jersey Shore vacation to bring you this very important photograph of Lucy the Big Giant Elephant.

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I wrote my senator, for what good it did

I spent a decade in newspapers, so I never got involved in any causes. I’m a private citizen right now, so every now and then I like to exercise my right and do my hopeless bit to try to make the world a better place.

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Hiking with kids: Silver Lake

This is Silver Lake in the Fall.

This is Silver Lake in the Fall.

BRIGHTON — It’s late May, and before too long, the snow will be gone, opening up the Big Cottonwood Canyon and Brighton Ski area to some fantastic hiking.

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Salt Lake City With Kids (on the cheap): The Bees 

A beautiful night

A beautiful night. And that’s my child rolling down the field.

The great thing about minor league ball is that it’s affordable for the families.

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Lunch Links: Hiking with Kids (in Oklahoma)

SAND SPRINGS – Back when I was at the Sand Springs Leader, I covered quite a bit of the formation of the Keystone Ancient Forest Preserve. Just minutes from Sand Springs, the acreage includes some of the oldest stands of hardwood trees in the region.

It’s a preserve, so free-wheelin’ hiking opportunities are hard to come by. Fortunately for those wanting to introduce their children to nature and good hikes, the forest has several free open hiking days, set for 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The Tulsa World has a full breakdown. Those dates are May 9, June 13, July 11, Aug. 8, and Sept. 12, the World Reports.

The Nature Conservancy notes that the Crosstimbers ecosystem once covered 30,000 square miles of America, including much of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Today, it survives only in small pockets, like that outside of Sand Springs.

When exploring the preserve, take note of the craggy nature of the trees. These trees survived because of the landscape – impossible to farm and generally free from fires. Never of use to man, it survived unchanged. Today, you can find trees dating back to before the day s of Columbus. Encourage your kids to get on ground level and explore the forest floor. Have them peer up and search for nests. Ask them about the character of each tree – imagine what those trees have seen in their time.

Read more on the summer hike schedule at the Community World »

Here’s directions from downtown Sand Springs:

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