You Know What They Say About All Work and No Play, Right?

Natural beauty and awesome adventures await. From the desert to the mountains to the sea and all the pristine rivers, lakes and islands in between.

Islands and Seas

Makali‘i voyaging canoe heads to 2 islands in Papahanaumokuakea

The Makali’i voyaging canoe is embarking on a journey of more than 300 miles northwest to the islands of Nihoa and Mokumanamana. The canoe’s voyage — named Hanaunaola” — is part of a project funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Native Americans. Hanaunaola refers to “sustaining generations through voyaging,” organizers said. The Makali‘i voyage to the Northwestern Hawaiian islands and back is expected to last about a month. The voyage is unique because the provisions aboard the canoe have all been grown, harvested, and prepared by the Makali‘i’s local community, including 10 schools from Hawaii island.  “Sometimes people forget that there’s 10 more islands past the island of Niihau. so going back to those islands is really, for us, about remembering,” said Paishon, who referred to them as kupuna islands.” By Nina Wu 

Currents and Coasts

Tourists See Humpback Whale Sneak Right Next to Their Boat, Its Next Act Is Chilling

Curated by Steve Howard for the “Western Skies and Island Currents” digital magazine.

It started when the whales began breaching, a term describing the action in which whales use their tales to propel themselves fully out of water, creating an enormous splash as they land. As Goodridge noted, this isn’t just to put on a show for nature lovers. “To see a whale breach is really amazing,” Goodridge told Caters News. “They actually do it to clean their skin of all the barnacles and parasites that have built up.” As the day went on, the watchers got to see more and more of a show. For the grand finale, which Goodridge managed to capture on camera, one whale breached right next to the boat. Bondi Beach is a legendary Australian beach, where surfers, swimmers, and sunbathers all converge. It’s also an amazing place to see the beautiful wildlife that thrives in the Pacific Ocean only a few miles away from Australia’s biggest city, Sydney. The area regularly plays host to humpback whale migrations throughout the summer months, which are actually Australia’s coldest as Sydney is over 30 degrees south of the equator.  Robert Jay Watson

Mountains and Rivers

Thanks to abundant snow, the West can expect a long, rollicking river rafting season

Chris Moore watched in awe this winter as the snow piled up on his multiple trips to Bear Valley Mountain Resort in the central Sierra. “I’ve never seen a winter quite like this,” said Moore, California regional manager for O.A.R.S. rafting company. What all this snow means is it’s going to be a long and exciting whitewater season, so I’m stoked. “We’re going to have big flows in the late spring and early summer and a more drawn-out whitewater season on rivers here in California.” Moore’s enthusiasm is widespread among rafting outfitters up and down the state, some of whom are still recovering from the drought, which just two years ago saw April 1 snowpack measurements of 5% of normal throughout much of the Sierra.This year, however, the snowpack is 140% of normal for the Northern Sierra and 169% of normal for the Central Sierra, according to the California Data Exchange Center.” By Brian E. Clark

Mountains and Lakes

Lake Tahoe’s top beaches

Lake Tahoe might be best known as a state-line-straddling winter destination housing more than a dozen ski resorts that were all buried in powder a few months back. Two seasons and one big thaw later, it’s now time to bask in Tahoe’s balmy flipside. More than 70 miles of shoreline ring North America’s largest alpine lake, including some of the world’s prettiest patches of sand above 6,000 feet.What’s the perfect shore on Lake Tahoe to jockey for umbrella space this summer? Here’s a personality tailored lineup.” CNN Travel Jordan Rane

Vikingsholm turns 90; Fundraising efforts underway to preserve and protect the castle

Vikingsholm was originally built to be the summer residence of Mrs. Lora Josephine Knight, a native of Illinois. Impressed by her architect nephew Lennart Palme’s Nordic-inspired home in New York, Mrs. Knight traveled to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland to research ideas for her Lake Tahoe house. Together with Palme, Mrs. Knight visited old wood churches and ancient stone castles before construction on Vikingsholm began in 1929. The castle is now 90 years old and the Sierra State Parks Foundation is launching the 90 for 90 Vikingsholm Forever Endowment campaign to preserve the historic mansion for another 90 years and beyond. 90 Founding Members, with donations of $1,000 or more, can be the leaders that ensure this National Historic Landmark will remain the guardian of Emerald Bay forever.” Submitted by paula

Deserts and Lakes

How hot was it in Lake Havasu City? So hot (128) they’re celebrating the record

As anniversaries go, Lake Havasu City’s is a hot one. Twenty-five years ago, the thermometer notched a record-breaking 128 degrees for a U.S. city. Now, it hopes to beat the June 29 record scorcher — and plans a party with cookie-baking on car dashboards and stamping visitors with “We Know We’re Hot” temporary tattoos. The Arizona city posted the super-high temperature on June 29, 1994, the hottest day recorded in roughly a century of record-keeping in the state. “It was a whole week’s worth of 120 to 125 degree temperatures, and then that spike up to 128,” said Doyle Wilson, an environmental scientist and adjunct professor at Arizona State University’s Havasu campus. “We actually had our highest and second-highest temperatures ever during that three- or four-day period.” By Jay Jones

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