Tag Archives: Get Out There

National Parks Fee Free Day This Monday!

National Parks Fee Free Day! On Monday, January 16, 2017, all 400+ U.S. National Parklands are providing free admission in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. So if you have the day off, why not spend it in a National Park or at a National Monument or Historic Site? Find a park to visit at FindYourPark.com.

The National Parks are yours to enjoy and appreciate. A visit to one of these national treasures is the perfect way to celebrate the beauty and heritage of the United States. So this Monday, bring a friend and get out there to enjoy America’s National Parks… and share your photos!

First Light Illuminates Badwater XplorMor IncCopyright © XplorMor Inc [Beach;Bocas;Bocas del Toro;Ocean;Panama;Zapatillos;sea;snorkeling;white sand]

Badwater Basin, Death Valley National Park, California, USA

A bit of history…  On March 1, 1872, Congress passed an act that officially established Yellowstone National Park “as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” This event started a worldwide movement. And, today our planet houses more than 1200 national parks or equivalent preserves.

Furthering efforts to support and protect our park system, President Woodrow Wilson signed an act on August 25, 1916, creating the National Park Service, a federal bureau in the Department of the Interior. This “Organic Act” states that “the Service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations . . . by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Everglades National Park XplorMor Inc

Hiking in Everglades National Park, California, USA

The U.S. National Park System now comprises more than 400 designated areas covering more than 84 million acres in 49 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands. These areas have been deemed to hold national significance, and therefore protection in accordance with various acts of Congress.

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Panum Crater Hike, Inyo National Forest, California, USA

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees now care for America’s national parks and “work with communities across the nation to help keep local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.” Learn more and get involved at www.nps.gov

Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail: A Hiker’s Promised Land

Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail in Inyo National Forest, California has it all: from spectacular views of 14+ lakes, 14,000 ft. mountain peaks, and access to the southernmost glacier in the United States and the largest in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Palisade Glacier.  There are flowing rivers and waterfalls, rocky switchbacks, Golden Trout, Jeffrey and Lodgepole pines, Aspens, a gorgeous rock cabin built by Lon Chaney Sr. and glacier-fed lakes.  This trail is truly a nature lover’s paradise.

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Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail by Julia at XplorMor

John Muir once said, “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”  Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail gives life to these words.  From the moment your car leaves the 395 at Big Pine, California and heads into Big Pine Canyon, it’s clear another world awaits; the further into the canyon, the clearer the vision.  The road ends at the parking area for Inyo National Forest, and the trail head for accessing Big Pine Creek North and South Fork trails.

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Second Lake in Inyo National Forest by Julia at XplorMor

The trail is well-defined throughout its about 19 miles, except one mile in from starting at the Glacier Lodge trail head where signage is missing (Read more on Finding the Trail).  As the trail winds up Big Pine Canyon glimpses of a possible destination, Palisade Glacier, are seen through the trees and past the overlooks.  The trail to the glacier gains more than 4,000 feet in elevation with intervals of steep narrow rocky switchbacks and sharp drop-offs, yet the destination beckons an enticement of wonder and untouched natural landscape.  Many hikers do not reach Palisade Glacier as it requires extensive hiking and possibly an overnight stay in this rugged wilderness.  Regardless of whether the hiker follows the loop past seven lakes on a day excursion or ventures further overnight to the glacier, the scenery will not disappoint in this hiker’s promised land.

View slide shows and read more about Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail and Inyo National Forest.

Sierra Leone Kabala Mountain Event

For decades, the people of Kabala have celebrated New Years in a very unique way. To them, the New Year is a way of bringing together the different chiefdoms and tribes in the region to showcase their traditions and culture. This is often accompanied with magical displays of the arts, the wearing of traditional dresses (which are no longer used daily but are known to have some significance in the region), other stunning symbolic performances, and finally an outing to the top of the tallest mountain in the region.

Sierra Leone Kabala Mountain Event XplorMor Inc

Sierra Leone Kabala Mountain Event

The five day event takes place annually from December 28th to January 1st. Originally the festival only included inhabitants of Kabala and its surrounding territory, but today it has grown to a national event, and has been hosted by almost every ruling president in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leoneans from the Diaspora and tourists from around the world come to Sierra Leone to grace the occasion. From December 28th to the 31st, local tribesmen, paramount chiefs, magicians will all gather in an open field (mostly used as a football field) to showcase some of Sierra Leone’s oldest traditions and way of life. This often includes showcasing some of the cloths and garments worn by earlier and current paramount chiefs and local chiefs which have lasted for over 500 years. Some of these garments are believed to have magical powers which protect the wearer from evil spirits and enables them to disappear during an encounter with any evil force.

Sierra Leone Kabala Mountain Event XplorMor Inc Copyright © XplorMor Inc [XplorMor;africa;african cultural heritage;african cultural photographs;african culture;african heritage;african tribal costume;african tribal gathering;african tribal photos;african world heritage;cultural photography;cultural photos;culture;culture photographs;explore sierra leone;explore the world;sierra leone;sierra leone culture;sierra leone tribal gathering;travel sierra leone;tribal costume;tribal gathering;tribal photos;world culture;world heritage;world photography;xplorer journal;xplormor team member] Sierra Leone Kabala Mountain Event

Sierra Leone Kabala Mountain Event

Each year on the 1st of January, both local and visiting participants will make the long journey to the top of the mountain for a whole day outing. The mountain top is a flat land about the size of a football field. From the mountain, there is a magnificent view of Kabala city and a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. Numerous other activities take place throughout the event, including dance, fashion, and magic performances.

     Sierra Leone Kabala Mountain Event XplorMor Inc Copyright © XplorMor Inc [XplorMor;africa;african cultural heritage;african cultural photographs;african culture;african heritage;african tribal costume;african tribal gathering;african tribal photos;african world heritage;cultural photography;cultural photos;culture;culture photographs;explore sierra leone;explore the world;sierra leone;sierra leone culture;sierra leone tribal gathering;travel sierra leone;tribal costume;tribal gathering;tribal photos;world culture;world heritage;world photography;xplorer journal;xplormor team member] Sierra Leone Kabala Mountain Event   Sierra Leone Kabala Mountain Event XplorMor Inc

If you would like to join in celebrating the next Kabala mountain event visit: www.visitsierraleone.org or www.vsltravel.com.

Sierra Leone Kabala Mountain Event XplorMor Inc

Sierra Leone Kabala Mountain Event XplorMor Inc

We are thrilled to have Jaime Yaya Barry as a contributing author for XplorMor. He is currently based in Sierra Leone, reporting on the country’s cultural identity and happenings.