Author Archives: Heather Dugan

Featured Photo: Trail View on Montserrat

Featured Photo: Trail View on Montserrat (Barcelona, Spain)


As we hiked up the “saw-toothed mountain” Montserrat near Barcelona, Spain, a backward glance revealed this view. The significance of this small building wasn’t immediately clear, but the trail eventually took us through cliff hugging hermitages (rock cavities that served as homes for solitary monks) and up a steep climb to a spectacular mountaintop view. Home to a Benedictine monastery founded in 1025, Montserrat was an easy one-hour train ride from the city and a highlight of our trip to Barcelona.

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Ziplining in Puerto Rico

Hang onto the metal clip. It’s your steering wheel as you fly across the treetops. It’s also your lifeline, connecting you to the cable above. Manage your speed and the adrenaline rush by either leaning way back with your feet forward (for maximum zip) or dangle your feet to be less aerodynamic. Your choice. Just remember to get a foot forward in time to land on the platform and avoid the tree. Especially the big one with the active bee hive nested just above. And for goodness sake, don’t yank on a vine and risk a rainfall of fire ants!

Ready? Here’s the video:

Ziplining in Puerto Rico:

Our morning with Yunke Zipline Adventure was one of the highlights of August 2010 trip to Puerto Rico and Vieques. Our rendezvous point was a covered basketball court at the side of a narrow road in Luquillo. “It’s the only one on the left,” Jaime assured me. From there we followed our guides to get our gear, be briefed on the adventure and start the hike up to our first zipline. Situated just outside of the El Yunque National Forest in the Luquillo Rainforest at the end of a winding dirt road on private land, one is unlikely to locate Yunke Zipline Adventure by accident. Calling or emailing a few days ahead of your proposed date is highly recommended. I highly recommend Yunke Zipline Adventure as well.

Family Vacation on raveable
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Road Ends in Water

Green River Ferry caution sign

A sign reading “Road Ends in Water” might alarm the unwary driver, but we drove the Green River Ferry Road for that very reason. Two rural ferries operate within Mammoth Cave National Park, and we were intrigued enough to seek out at least one of the river crossings.Ferry ride

Mammoth Cave National Park Map and Visitor Information

We drove down a hill and edged up to a stop sign to wait our turn, watching river water spray sideways as the unusual ferry boat glided nonchalantly across the few yards of river splitting the road. It appeared as a sliver of asphalt, flanked by a Porta John and an operator’s booth. As it putttered toward us, it gave physicality to the Irish Blessing: “May the road rise to meet you...”

Ferry crossingWe drove aboard with no notions of u-turns, and one additional car squeezed in behind us. There was just enough time to snap a couple of photos before the safety arm lifted, releasing us to explore the other side of the Green River. We honked a “thank you” as we drove off. The ferry captain tooted his horn in reply, loaded up with his next vehicle and began his return journey, bearing and sharing the essential missing piece of road.

Mammoth Cave National Park Map and Visitor Information

The largest cave system in the world; 367 miles so far…!

Miles of trails both above and below ground.

Hiking, biking, kayak/canoe, horseback riding, hunting/fishing, camping…

“Yes” for pets (not in Cave; kennel available within park)

 

Park Fees: None for park entry. Cave tours range from $5 – $48.00 with discounts for youth and senior citizens.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7; Mammoth Cave, KY 42259

Phone: 270-758-2180

Directions: Travel south on I-65 from Louisville, KY. Take Mammoth Cave/Cave City exit 53 and follow the signs to Mammoth Cave NP.

Park Website

View Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky in a larger map


Updated from March 31, 2009


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