Saturday, October 5, 2019

7 Days in Tuscany - by bicycle

October, 2018, a month that will be forever etched in the memory banks of Nineteen (19) cyclists from the USA, for better or worse - I hope for better. One year and 5 months prior to this date the first ever epic St. Vrain Chain Gang cycling club "SVCG" European escapade took place - London to Brussels, this second epic adventure to Tuscany, Italy was just as awesome!.

All Nineteen (19) riders (one coming via Morocco) arrived into different regions of Italy at staggered days/weeks prior to the bike tour, yet descended into Florence with military precision on October 5th and 6th, 2018. The next 8 days would turn strangers into friends, strengthen friendships, bring out great camaraderie, challenge and inspire, and most of all create memories that would last a lifetime.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Exmoor National Park, England

Having recently moved back to the UK after spending the past 20 years in the USA, it is a joy to "re-discover" parts of England I have not visited for many years, and top of my list are the National Parks scattered throughout this "small" island.

The UK is home to 13 National Parks, mostly all created during the 1950's under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949. Exmoor National Park was the 8th park to be created, and lies in west Somerset and north Devon, in the southwest of England.

One big difference between US National Parks and UK National Parks is, UK parks are free for all to enjoy, and generally are not government owned (they are made up of working towns, privately owned lands, farms etc). The purpose of the parks is the same though, preservation and recreational enjoyment.

Typical Exmoor Landscape

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pisa & Florence, Italy

A short 2-hour flight from London, UK you can find yourself in the "heart" of Italy, better known as Tuscany. Easyjet, BA and Ryanair all serve Pisa airport, and although the airport is relatively small, it is well connected via the Italian train network - and only an hour train ride from Florence.

Easyjet to Pisa flying over the Alps

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Weekend in Custer State Park, SD: A campers dream escape

I first visited the Black Hills in September 2012, and even though it is a relatively small region, every trip there since I have found something new and different to explore. The Black Hills aka "Island in the Prairie" is a relatively short drive from Northern Colorado and offers a peaceful get away from the increasingly busier Denver corridor.

Custer State Park is a real jewel and one of my favourite areas in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. The State Park occupies 71,000 acres and is South Dakota's largest, and was also the States first being founded in 1912. The State Park is a real nature lover and campers paradise, the park boasts 9 campsites, a $20 per car entrance fee is required (valid for 7 days).

SD 87 as you approach the State Park from the South

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Mountain Peaks to Valleys, Western History and Bullwinkle all in one day!

With the Western US being so vast, there are very few one-day road trips you can make from Northern Colorado that take in the variety that this 350-mile loop has to offer. You will have a chance to see Antelope, Deer, Marmots and Moose, stunning mountain scenery, and plenty of western history. My preference is to drive the route counter-clockwise, just to avoid the crowds in the Snowy Range, but you could drive either way around.

350-mile CO-WY loop drive