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North America

Photo of the Day – Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota

Posted by on Dec 11, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota

It was 1939 when Lakota (Sioux) Chief Henry Standing Bear sought out the talents of sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to create a monument of Crazy Horse in the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota. The sculptor had first visited the area during work on nearby Mount Rushmore and in 1947 he accepted the challenge to create the world’s largest sculpture depicting a Native American icon. Blasting on the Crazy Horse Memorial began at a 1948 dedication ceremony and continues to this day with no end in sight. The first blast removed just 10 tons of rock from the mountain face. Following Korczak’s death in 1982, his wife Ruth and seven of their ten children took over the monumental project with the hopes of seeing his dream fulfilled. Today, you can see Standing Bear’s vision slowly becoming a reality. Crazy Horse’s face was finally unveiled with great fanfare in 1998 and in 2014, the crew is hoping to finish work on the hand and 219-ft high horse’s head. Korczak’s 1/300th scale model adorns the visitor center at the base of the mountain and a viewing platform offers visitors the chance to watch the painstaking work continue while gaining an appreciation for the project’s eventual spectacular result.   

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Photo of the Day – Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Colorado

Posted by on Oct 20, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Manitou Cliff Dwellings, Colorado

The Colorado Springs area offers a wide variety of incredible natural and historical attractions for visitors. When I visited recently, I headed straight for several of the region’s top sights including Garden of the Gods park and the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. But a quick stop at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings proved to be one of the area’s most unique sights. A rare historical treasure from the American Indian culture that roamed the Four Corners area of the Southwest from 1200 B.C. o A.D. 1300, these authentic Anasazi cliff dwellings were carved into a protective red sandstone overhang. I’d seen expansive cave dwellings on my recent summer trip to Cappadocia, Turkey and was surprised to find a smaller version of these intricate caves my own country. Constructed more than 700 years ago, the Manitou Cliff Dwellings are one of the United States’ most unusual archaeological wonders and a must-see when visiting the Colorado Springs area.

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Photo of the Day – West Bay Beach Roatan, Honduras

Posted by on Oct 14, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – West Bay Beach Roatan, Honduras

Located just 30 miles off the coast of Honduras, the island of Roatan sits atop the world’s second-largest coral reef making it an ideal destination for divers. Often called the most perfect stretch of sand in Honduras, West Bay Beach Roatan rivals many of the Caribbean’s most phenomenal beaches. It’s also a great spot to try your hand at diving for the first time, like I did on my 30-day trip around Central America. Not only is Roatan one of the least expensive places in the world to become a certified diver, the reef is just a short swim from shore allowing rookie divers like myself to reach it comfortably while also providing easy access for snorkelers. West Bay Beach is lined with a relaxed blend of casual beach bars and high-end resorts but it’s the reef system and the crystal clear turquoise waters that will leave most visitors wanting more.  

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Photo of the Day – Garden of the Gods, Colorado

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Garden of the Gods, Colorado

The US state of Colorado is renowned for its wild, natural beauty and the Colorado Springs area (also known as Pikes Peak Country) is home to some of the state’s best natural wonders. Just outside Manitou Springs, the Garden of the Gods is a 1,350-acre city park featuring soaring red sandstone rock formations, many dating back more than 300 million years. In 1879, Charles Elliott Perkins purchased the land that included a portion of where the park sits today. Upon his death in 1909, his family gave the land to the city of Colorado Springs with the provision that the park always remain free to the public.

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Photo of the Day – Provo Utah

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Provo Utah

I’ve been working college football for ESPN for 13 years now and this past weekend I finally got to visit a college town I’ve always wanted to see…Provo, Utah. Home to the Brigham Young University Cougars, Provo Utah sits at 4,549 feet above sea level in the Utah Valley at the base of the spectacular Wasatch mountain range. Owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, BYU is the largest religious university in the United States and one of the country’s largest private universities. Provo was settled in 1849 by 33 Mormon families from Salt Lake City and originally called Fort Utah. Today, the city is home to the largest Missionary Training Center for the LDS Church and was recently rated by Forbes as one of the top U.S. cities to raise a family.

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Photo of the Day – Diamond Head Lighthouse, Hawaii

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Diamond Head Lighthouse, Hawaii

Perched on the side of Waikiki’s famous extinct volcano, the Diamond Head Lighthouse was built in 1899 and spreads light 18 miles out into the Pacific Ocean. In the 1820’s ships were drawn to the coastline of Waikiki by what they thought were diamonds in the rocks of the volcano’s slopes. Though these “diamonds” turned out to be clear calcite crystals, the name Diamond Head stuck, as did the need to warn sailors of the dangerous reefs. Though the lighthouse is not open to the public, it can easily be viewed from overhead from the summit of Diamond Head crater for those making the early morning hike to the top. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, the lighthouse is no longer manned but continues to keep vigil warning ships of the danger of the Diamond Head reefs.

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