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Category: North America (Page 1 of 12)

The best countries for long distance cycling

150 travellers who completed epic cross-continental cycling journeys were surveyed.

Alee Denham at CyclingAbout.com writes » 

Each of the 150 cyclists got three votes to cast, and I simply tallied up the results. In the end, 80 different countries were favourited, which is pretty cool because that means most corners of the world have something, for somebody.

These are their top picks for the best countries for long-distance cycling »

10. 🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan
9. 🇨🇱 Chile
8. 🇲🇽 Mexico
7. 🇦🇺 Australian
6. 🇮🇷 Iran
5. 🇮🇳 India
4. 🇨🇳 China
3. 🇹🇯 Tajikistan
2. 🇺🇸 USA
1. 🇹🇷 Turkey

Song of Zion » There is lots to explore outside Zion National Park

(Source » Travel + Leisure)

The canyons outside Zion National Park offer incredible hiking, horseback riding, and rock climbing opportunities.

Hermione Hoby, writing for Travel + Leisure »

The air smelled like hot dust and cool pine trees. For a time, the canyon was soundless, except for the click-clacking of our carabiners. Unthinkably far below lay the silvery ribbon of Kolob Creek, a tributary of the Virgin River, which carved the mighty main canyon of Zion.

We paused, halfway or so along our route, to take in one of the hanging gardens, where an overhang of “weeping rock” creates a microclimate—a bright green, mossy efflorescence tucked into the side of the canyon. The occasional tree gave me pause, too: some little specimen asserting itself from the side of the rock face, flourishing against all odds.

Our route ended in a 100-foot vertical ascent that, in a mild fit of masochism, I resolved to climb without stopping. Breathless and triumphant at the top, I then followed Wright out to a terrifying overhang of rock where he encouraged me to lean back and let go.

More »

John Rae, the man who first mapped out a navigable shipping route through the Arctic

Nan Spowart writing in The National »

While John Franklin was lauded and falsely credited with the discovery of the legendary Northwest Passage, Orcadian John Rae was actually the man who first mapped out a navigable shipping route through the Arctic.

However, his reputation was trashed because he was brave enough to reveal that some of Franklin’s men had been driven to cannibalism in a doomed attempt to survive.

As a result, Rae, the greatest Arctic explorer of the era, was denied the status and glory he deserved, with author Charles Dickens a chief instigator of his vilification.

Read more » 

The People’s Congress in Beijing formally announced it will construct the “Polar Silk Road” through the Arctic, despite not being an Arctic nation

Heiner Kubny writing for the Polar Journal »

China has been steadily increasing its presence in the Arctic since it defined the far north as a “new strategic frontier” in 2015 and began promoting a “Polar Silk Road” three years later. Moreover, in 2018, Beijing declared itself a “Near Arctic State,” a move that primarily served to underscore the interests of its Arctic claim.

The government in Beijing has its eye on lucrative minerals and other raw materials in addition to the Arctic transport link. There is particular interest in interests in the Canadian Arctic and in mining rights in Greenland. This is because the Arctic is rich in natural resources such as fish, precious metals and fossil fuels.

Read the whole article at Polar Journal »

Related » China pushing it’s vision for ‘Polar Silk Road’ across the Arctic

China is pushing it’s vision for ‘Polar Silk Road’ across the Arctic

Reuters is reporting that China has unveiled its ambitions to extend President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative to the Arctic by developing shipping lanes opened up by global warming. The Chinese are calling it the Polar Silk Road.

“China hopes to work with all parties to build a ‘Polar Silk Road’ through developing the Arctic shipping routes,” the paper, issued by the State Council Information Office, said.

China, despite being a non-Arctic state, is increasingly active in the polar region and became an observer member of the Arctic Council in 2013.

Among its increasing interests in the region is its major stake in Russia’s Yamal liquefied natural gas project which is expected to supply China with four million tonnes of LNG a year, according to the state-run China Daily.

Shipping through the Northern Sea Route would shave almost 20 days off the regular time using the traditional route through the Suez Canal, the newspaper reported last month. COSCO Shipping has also previously sailed vessels through the Arctic’s northeast passage.

Read More »

Updated 2021.03.09

Related » The People’s Congress in Beijing formally announced it will construct the “Polar Silk Road” through the Arctic, despite not being an Arctic nation

Film » Transamericana » Ultra-Runner Rickey Gates runs 3700 miles across his country to better understand what America has become

Confused by the 2016 federal election results, Rickey Gates decides to run cross country in an attempt to get to know better the people of his own country.

From Salomon TV via YouTube»

In a time of uncertain politics and a crescendo of differences, American Ultra-Runner Rickey Gates sets off on foot across America. In the midst of the 2016 National Elections, which saw Republican candidate Donald Trump win the presidential elections,  Gates realised that the America he knew wasn’t necessarily the America that was. Intrigued and curious, Gates decides to head out and see for himself in order to try understand and empathise with his fellow Americans. Starting out on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in South Carolina, Gates journey takes him 5 months and nearly 3700 Miles to the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco, California. What begins as a search for the true America, during a period of political turmoil, ultimately becomes a story of identity as Gates begins to find clarity and meaning in his own life.

 

Conference Board of Canada report states trails play an important role in enhancing local economies, the environment, and quality of life while safely connecting Canadians to nature

Key Findings »

» Canada’s wide network of trails can help revitalize local communities’ economies and support their overall well-being. They offer outdoor tourism, recreation, and transportation space that can be used while respecting new physical distancing requirements.

» Trails provide various economic benefits. Their construction and maintenance increases income and employment in the region where the trail is built and across the country through indirect and induced impacts. Trails attract tourists and local visitors, whose spending in turn leads to other economic impacts. Trails also support local businesses and increase property values around the trail.

» Trails as green infrastructure systems provide many of the benefits of grey infrastructure, such as transportation corridors and outdoor facilities, while having additional advantages of storm-water retention, flood control, carbon reduction, pollution reduction, and preservation of natural ecosystems.

» Trails offer a relatively safe activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence from within and outside Canada indicates trail usage is increasing because it is naturally physically distanced and seen by many as safe.

» By providing safe spaces for users to enjoy physical activity and recreation, trails help to improve not only physical but also mental health. The fact that nature and physical activity have been found to improve mental health has important implications for today’s high levels of pandemic-driven mental stress.

» Evidence also shows that increased physical activity among Canadians could lead to a reduction in many chronic conditions. In Canada, 44 per cent of adults over age 20 have at least one chronic disease. Trails, therefore, could play a significant role to play in improving the health of Canadians and reducing medical costs.

More »

Note » This Conference Board of Canada report was completed with support from Trans Canada Trail.

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