Getting to Africa During COVID!

To my readers, I’m making this post about international travel to Africa because I found myself anxious and reluctant to travel based on all the chaos the politicians and media create around COVID.  If it weren’t for my friend Ruth who organized the trip and was bound to go, I wouldn’t have ended up on a fantastic safari in 2021.  Anyone who is on the fence about international travel with connecting flights and long distances because they don’t know what to expect, this post if for you. I hope I can provide some clarity.

AFRICA BOUND!
sunset cruise on the zambezi

Things to Do in Livingstone, Zambia

History of Zambia

Zambia was once known as Northern Rhodesia and was an English Colony.  It gained its independence in 1964 and struggled through single-party rule for many years.  After 20 years of unrest, a new constitution was written, multiple parties were established, and elections were held.

While Zambia now operates more democratically, its economy still struggles.  A new president was elected while we visited in August of 2021 and celebrations could be heard nightly for a week!  It will be interesting to see what the future holds in Zambia.

While in Zambia, we spent a few days in Livingstone and then went on safari in South Luangwa National Park.  While in Livingstone, though slightly unorganized, we found a variety of activities.

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victoria falls

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls is located on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia in the Victoria Falls National Park and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.  Listed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Victoria Falls is a site to see.

The falls were discovered by Scottish missionary and explore, David Livingstone, who named them after Queen Victoria. It’s local name from the Sotho Language is Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning the smoke that thunders.  The World Heritage List recognizes both names.

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Things to Do in Twin Lakes

History of Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes was settled in 1865 and was then called Dayton.  It became an important transportation town between Leadville and Aspen, where silver and gold were discovered, and a rough toll road was established over Independence Pass.

 Additionally, a hotel was constructed on the south shores of the natural Twin Lakes, now dammed to augment its water storage.  The hotel only lasted 25 years, but at the time Interlaken was known for its deluxe accommodations and Twin Lakes was described as the most charming summer mountain resort in Colorado.

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Things to Do in Leadville

History of Leadville

Leadville was once a silver mining town with a population only second to Denver in the 19th Century!  It was laden with mines and smelters.  When the USA turned to gold as its standard, however, Leadville’s economy faultered.

Today, Leadville, situated between San Isabel National Forest, the Mount Massive Wilderness, the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness, and Collegiate Peaks Wilderness is a gateway to Colorado’s outdoor recreation.

Perched at 10,152 feet, Leadville is the highest city in the United States.  While its population has dwindled to 2,742 from its height during the silver rush, this historic city offers many things to do for both outdoor enthusiasts and visitors in general. 

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annie at timberline lake

Hikes in Leadville

Leadville is a historic mining town surrounded by national forest. It is a hiking mecca and attracts many to the Colorado Trail and surrounding 14ers. There are also many other hikes in Leadville, that don’t require as big a commitment. If you like wildflowers and lakes, see the list below:

HAPPY HIKING!

Top Things to Do in Crested Butte

History of Crested Butte

Crested Butte, once home to the Ute Indians, became a thriving coal mining town in the 1870s.  The coal mining survived many setbacks and lasted until 1952.  Thereafter, less industries relied on coal and the railroad removed its tracks.  Consequently, Crested Butte dwindled in size until 1958.

In such year, Texan Hubert Winston Smith established the Law Science Academy, an organization which provided educational programs for doctors, lawyers, and their families during the summer.  It resulted in the first large attraction of tourists.

Seven years later, in 1960, Dick Eflin and Fred Rice opened a ski area and added Colorado’s first gondola a few years later.  Today, Crested Butte continues to be a popular ski destination. 

Located at 8,885 feet near the Gunnison National Forest and Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area, Crested Butte also offers plenty of summer time activities.  Below are some things to in Crested Butte.

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wildflower hike in Crested Butte

Wildflower Hikes in Crested Butte

There are so many wildflower hikes in Crested Butte.  In fact, you don’t even need to hike in mid-July to see amazing wildflowers as they line Washington Gulch Road, Gothic Road, and FS 317.  It would be easy just to take a scenic drive to see the wildflowers in Crested Butte.  Personally, however, one of my favorite pastimes is hiking through wildflowers, and Crested Butte is one of the best places to do this.  There is a reason why Crested Butte calls itself the wildflower capital of Colorado.

HAPPY HIKING!

Happy Hiking: Green Lake Trail

After ten days of wildflower hikes in Crested Butte, I changed it up a bit and hiked to Green Lake.  I’m not exactly sure about how I’d rate the 8.5-mile Green Lake Trail.  If I were just walking the second half, I’d probably give it five stars.  If I were just walking the first half, I’d probably give it 1 star.  I suppose that averages out to three stars, but I wouldn’t want anyone to miss Green Lake.

HAPPY HIKING!
wildflowers on hasley basin loop near crested butte

Happy Hiking: Hasley Basin Loop

With as many hikes as I’ve been doing in Crested Butte, I would normally try to condense them into a few blogs.  But the wildflowers in Crested Butte during mid-July are simply remarkable.  It’s hard enough to condense my daily barrage of photos just down to ten.  As a result, each hike warrants its own post. Today, Hasley Basin Loop gets the honors.

HAPPY HIKING!