April 2017 archive

Apr 30

Michigan in Spring (Subtitle: Closed Until Spring)

Michigan is a winter wonderland with skiing and snowmobiling and a summer spectacular with great weather and many things for tourists to do.  Before visiting Michigan in spring, I spent some time googling “Traveling in Michigan in Spring” and “Michigan in Springtime”.  The searches didn’t come up with much.  There were mostly articles about the …

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Apr 24

Traverse City State Hospital Extended Tripod Photography Tour (Sanity Check)

Last year, I really enjoyed visiting the deserted buildings of Pripyat, Ukraine in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.  So, when I heard about the Traverse City State Hospital Extended Tripod Photography Tour with a professional photographer at the deserted buildings of the Traverse City State (Mental) Hospital, I had to go.  These tours only run a …

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Apr 17

Amtrak Across America (I’m Going to WIN!)

I like train trips.  My some of my favorites were the Transsiberian trip across Russia and the Canadian Via Rail to Churchill – the Polar Bear Capital of the world.  This year I got to take Amtrak Across America – at least half way.  My trip on the Amtrak Empire Builder started at one of …

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Apr 08

Winnipeg Manitoba (The Short Journey to Churchill)

Anyone on their way to or from Churchill should definitely consider a stop in Winnipeg Manitoba.  Visiting the zoo is a nice companion to your Polar Bear excursions in Churchill, and you can see bears up close and personal.  There are plenty of other things to do. Arrival in Winnipeg We arrived in the very …

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Apr 08

Road and Train to Churchill, Manitoba (The Looooong Journey to Churchill)

Churchill is known as “The polar bear capital of the world” and I wanted to go there in late summer.  My parents live just south of Manitoba in Minnesota so I asked if they would like to road trip to Churchill and they joined me for the adventure.  There are not many ways to get …

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Apr 07

Swimming Polar Bear in Hudson Bay (Polar Bear Plunge)

While on a zodiac boat to snorkel with beluga whales in Churchill, Manitoba, I was lucky to witness a swimming polar bear in the Hudson Bay. Yeah… I see YOU!

Apr 07

Things to do in Churchill, Manitoba (Belugas, and Borealis, and Bears, Oh My!)

In August 2015, I was lucky to get a chance to visit Churchill in Summer.  The following are my suggested things to do in Churchill as I took a trip to Churchill in August. Take the Train to Churchill Upon train arrival in Churchill, the friendly Tundra Inn van met us passengers.  They hauled us …

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Apr 02

Visiting Kyiv Ukraine (Chicken Kiev in Kyiv)

In early 2016, Ukraine was not on my travel radar at all.  Russia had been aggressive towards them and Crimea was basically a no-go zone.  My real destination was Jordan.  Petra has been on my wish list for years, as well as Syria, and after seeing what had happened in Syria I wanted to get …

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Apr 01

Visiting Chernobyl Exclusion Zone – Soloeast Tour (Chernobyl Diaries)

Most people visiting Chernobyl do so in a whirlwind 1-day tour from Kyiv, with 2 hours diving each way.  It’s also possible to do longer trips, but these are much more expensive and for those that have a deep interest in Chernobyl.  My friend and I decided to do the middle trip – a 2-day …

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Apr 01

The Russian Woodpecker (Chernobyl Exclusion Zone)

A highlight of a Chernobyl tour is a visit to the Russian Woodpecker, or Duga-3.  It’s a 1 km long, by 150 meter high hunk of rotting metal radar technology.  The “woodpecker” name comes from the tapping sound it makes while in use.  This remnant of Cold War time was a way for the Soviets …

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