29 April 2010

After the bad news yesterday, let's travel!

Granville Gorge, Massachusetts. Find it on Google Earth! (hint: along Rt 57 between Granville and Southwick MA).

27 April 2010

Movie Night at WSC and Food Drive

My Recreation Geography Class is
Conducting a food drive to benefit the local
Westfield Food Pantry.

Enjoy the cult classic "Reefer Madness"!

Thursday April 29, 2010
8 PM on the Westfield State College Green

Please bring a non-perishable food item to donate!

26 April 2010

Appalachian Trail monitoring

I have been a trail monitor for the Appalachian Trail for probably over 15 years. A monitor, more precisely a corridor monitor acts as the eyes and ears for the AT. A monitor surveys the property and must like to bushwhack in the woods. Good map and compass work is needed in order to follow the property lines to make sure outsiders are not disturbing the National Park Service land.

Typical impacts might be littering, ATV use, hunting and other things you would not want on your property. Sometimes we find someone building a road or a building on these public lands.

If interested in checking this out, let me know.

24 April 2010

Medical Tourism Association

Ahhhh, Spring Weekend at WSC. What better time to check out the latest Recreation Geography Blog, right?

Who am I kidding!

Anyway, if you care, you might want to check out the Medical Tourism Association homepage to get some background information on the subject. In particular, you may check out the certification program for facilitators:

21 April 2010

Administrative Assistant's Day

Ok, it might be a Hallmark moment, but at least, be sure to say "thank you" to the women and men that support us on a daily basis. After all, these individuals are always there to help us!

20 April 2010

Medical Tourism

This week's lecture will be on Medical Tourism. We established a web presence last year at
http://www.wsc.ma.edu/medicaltourism/ where tourists could access a survey. We posted some of the basic findings on sustainable medical tourism, but have taken the link down to collect more data. One paper has been published on the USDA-FS website and another paper is currently under a second review for Tourism Review.

Check out the bibliography on the website to see the variety of papers out there on the subject.
http://www.wsc.ma.edu/medicaltourism/medtourbib.htm. Over 212 and counting! If you find a web accessible paper, please send me the details!

18 April 2010

Airport and Airline rating

My recreation geography class is working on the last lab assignment now, where they get to plan an overseas trip somewhere in the world next winter break. The lucky ones got a place near the equator since New England can be quite cold that time of the year.

So anyway, this site (http://www.airlinequality.com/) lets you assess the quality of airlines around the world. It also rate airports! Check it out to learn the best around and which ones to avoid!

16 April 2010

Iceland Volcano disrupts air travel

Of course the big news today is the impact that the Icelandic volcano has on transatlantic air travel.
Seems the dust and soot does not agree with jet engines.

to see some of the impact click on this link:

Add to this an estimate $200 US million loss per day according to International Air Transport Association http://www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/Pages/2010-04-16-01.aspx

Now is an excellent time to search the web for imagery!

15 April 2010

Westfield River Canoe Races this weekend

Time for the annual Westfield River Races again. Might be a tad cold this year...to bad it is not like last week with temps in the 90s. Oh well, it is New England.

But even if the air is warm, the water is darn cold, ice cold that is. So a wet suit is a good thing to have, especially if you dump at "Hill and Dale Rapids". (see photo)

That's Mike Young in the stern.

13 April 2010

NERR a success

yep, just got home from the annual road trip to the NERR conference held for that past 15 plus years at the Sagamore. Researchers from 29 states and a half a dozen countries braved the pleasant spring weather to give talks on recreation themed topics. Besides the typically outdoor recreation and management sessions, there were papers on diverse populations, climate change, planning and partnerships, ecotourism and a lot more!

Maybe you can go next year?

10 April 2010

Should Taxpayers foot the bill for rescued Hiker, what do you think?

For some dumb reason, I can't link the AP story about New Hampshire.

Anyway, the jest of it is that NH was going to bill a hiker for his rescue in the tune of $25K. The hiker, hurt his ankle, got off the trail and state had to search for him for 3 days. The hiker eventually paid $1000, but who should pay the rest of the bill?

What do you think? Should taxpayers pay for rescues of hikers who get lost?

Do a Google search on AP for the full story.

09 April 2010

Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium

Off to the Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium this weekend! Yes, it is my annual springtime conference on Lake George at the Sagamore. A great venue for the conference and a place I'd never be able to afford in the summer. The organizers are expecting close to 200 participants this year and as always, the USDA-Forest Service will publish the Proceedings.

The research at this conference serves as much of the readings I use in Recreation Geography. In fact, when I first taught rec geog online back in 1997, most of the course used readings from the conference. Since I am doing the online version in the fall 2010 semester, it is likely this government document will still remain an important part of the course.

My picture is available on Google Earth.

08 April 2010

Summer Vacation

Gosh, besides the roadtrip to Maryland to visit some family and eat steamed crabs, I don't know if a summer vacation is in the works.

We finally went to the Turks and Caicos last summer and fell in love with the island. Even got a chance to drive on the left side of the road, something I wouldn't dare to do on St. Lucia or any other island with steep topography or high populations. But on Provo, I am willing to take the challenge.

Saw this guy snorkeling in Coral Gardens in Grace Bay last summer and hope to say hi again.

07 April 2010

Vienna ISSRM July 2009

While I tend to like to travel to more rural destinations, Vienna is a fantastic city. I had the ISSRM conference there last summer where I presented research on Medical Tourism (topic for a lecture on 22 April 2010).

The photo was shot on one of my walks around the downtown area and is the Staatsoper Opera House. I didn't get a chance to see an opera, but did observe waltzing lessons and had a dinner in a Palace one night. Our hosts put on a great spread. Oh yeah, the paper went well too.

I'd highly recommend Vienna for a trip.

06 April 2010

ISSRM in Malaysia June 2011 !

Just found out that the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management will be held at the Sutera Harbour in Malaysia next June 2011. Time to start with the Anticipation Phase of the Recreation Experience and do my "virtual tourism" stuff. I have gone to this conference since my grad school days in 1988. I have probably attended the conference a dozen times both in the States, but also abroad in 4 different countries.

Gotta' start thinking how to Budget it. Whew, current exchange rate is about $1US to 3.2 MYR (Malaysia Ringgets), and air from BOS to BWN for this summer (not next year) starts at $3700US. Whew again.

And I still need to come up with a research paper topic. Oh well. Do a Google Earth search on the region to get psyched!

05 April 2010

Travel Picture of the Day

Had a chance to take an Alaska Cruise in 2006 and sailed southbound. Our first morning I saw this view in College Fjord. Spectacular eh? Except for the little wake, the water was still as glass. I think this was about 6 a.m. in the morning, so I only got a few hours sleep in the northern latitude. We hope to return to the area again, before the glaciers are all gone due to climate change.

04 April 2010

Send me your travel pictures

Over the next two weeks, please email me one picture from a recent vacation. I'll put together a little slide show of pictures.

It should be fun. Check out Pumpkin Bluff Beach in the video.

03 April 2010


The facts man:

  • Overseas markets remained down one percent for the year but grew two percent in December.
  • Europe declined four percent for the year and decreased five percent for the month.
  • Asia was down four percent for the year but grew three percent for the month.
  • Canada decreased nine percent for the year and was down six percent for the month.
  • The Caribbean decreased two percent for the year but increased seven percent in December.
  • For the year, air traffic to Mexico decreased 11 percent. For the month, Mexico was down one percent compared to December 2008.
  • South America was up one percent for the year and the month.
  • Central America was down two percent for the year but was flat for the month.
  • The Middle East was up 41 percent for the year and up 27 percent in December.
  • Oceania increased three percent for the year and increased 27 percent for the month.
  • Africa increased 25 percent for the year and jumped 18 percent for the month.

02 April 2010

ok, I'll admit it, yesterday's blog was a joke ...

Yeah. Ex-Governor Palin wouldn't close National Parks since now we can carry concealed weapons into parks. Her next step would be to permit huntin'. She does have a plan you know.


01 April 2010

Palin: Let's close National Parks to save money

Former Gov. Palin (Alaska-R) announced today her proposal to close National Parks in America in order to direct more money to "go and get Saddam Hussein". "Ex-President Bush started the job, it is now time for a woman to finish it", noting her enthusiastic mission to go after Weapons of Mass Promotion.

"Closing our National Parks for just the summer can expect to save $1 million dollars. Add this amount to the $500 Billion dollar war effort will mean we can finally capture this culprit".