The Golden Frog, symbol of Panama, is nearly extinct, making it that much more compelling for some to see. A current effort to revitalize the frog is being led by a Smithsonian research team based in the lovely mountain resort town of El Valle de Anton (El Valle for short) near to where the frog last had its natural habitat. The cumulative efforts to revive the frog are known as Project Golden Frog. In addition to Panama efforts, a major participant in the revitalization project is the San Diego zoo.
Most people come to Banff, Canada, in the Rocky Mountains near Calgary, to take in the fresh mountain air, ski, hike, boat, raft, golf, study at one of its famous institutes, or simply to experience the sheer beauty of the place.
Others come specifically to stay at one of the world’s great luxury resort hotels, the Banff Springs Hotel, currently a part of the Fairmont Hotel chain.
Situated on a high point in Banff, the hotel has an absolutely fantastic mountain view, even when compared to the generally extraordinary views all around Banff.
The Sid Richardson Museum located in downtown Fort Worth one-half block off Sundance Square, the well-known tourist destination, occupies an unassuming storefront space. If you are in downtown Fort Worth for any reason, try to visit this place. The museum is open every day of the week, meaning that you can visit even on Mondays when most museums are closed.
The Blackland Prairie Raptor Center is about one hour outside Dallas on the shore of Lake Lavon in rural but fast-developing Collin County to the north. The actual site lies on Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) land that the Raptor Center has leased from ACE since 2004. The center encompasses a very fertile strip of land that once ran from San Antonio up to Oklahoma known as the Blackland Prairie, mostly disappeared, and one of the largest lost habitats in the U.S. The Raptor Center also encompasses an old ACE park that was abandoned due to lack of funding known as Brockdale Park, east of the City of Lucas. Scouts frequently use the area for camp outs.
A museum of particular interest to history buffs is tucked away in the Canadian city of Saskatoon. Its fantastic, newly-opened and highly-acclaimed, modern art museum, is attracting all the attention, but Saskatoon’s Western Development Museum is a work of art in itself, recreating a typical village during the Canadian push westward and documenting the life of its pioneering settlers, many of whom also settled in the northwestern US.
Today I demonstrate how travel opens your eyes and teaches new ideas. I visit a Hutterite colony. I am transported back in time. This community, Riverview, is one-half hour outside of Saskatoon, Canada, but there are similar communities in far northern US states, such as Montana. I called ahead for a tour of a unique way of life in this agrarian religious sect.
Is it time for “truth and reconciliation” in America? Most Americans who know what this is, think this is a process that took place in South Africa after the end of apartheid. But a truth and reconciliation process has recently completed in Canada, without any American news coverage I know about.
In Western Canada, about 110 million years ago, the oldest discovered dinosaur fossils were living creatures. In fact, southern Alberta is the site of a gigantic dinosaur fossil bed. The area was once covered by ocean, so it is rich in fossils. In the city of Drumheller, about 90 miles from Calgary, the marvelous Royal Tyrrell Museum, considered by many to be the best dinosaur museum in the world, has a great exhibit that explains all the pre-historic creatures and how they fit together.
I recently travelled to a place where few people go, Saskatoon, in Saskatchewan, Canada, but I think is about to start getting a lot of visitors as a result of a new museum opening there. Most Canadians skip right over this gem known affectionately as “Paris on the Prairie,” a nickname recently made into a song by the popular band Tragically Hip. One nice Canadian gentleman told me he was visiting Saskatoon because he had been to every province of Canada except Saskatchewan, and he wanted to go each one. Contrast that with the young lady who explained she was born in Saskatoon, and now worked in Calgary, but that all who come from Saskatoon eventually return there.