Scenic Earth

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Derived from the Tehuelche word for “blue” Torres del Paine National Park encompases over 448,000 acres of Chilean Patagonia. With the three granite towers making up the iconic Cordillera Paine, stunning lakes and glaciers, the park attracts 252,000 tourists a year.

Heatwave’s Always and Forever was a stand out single for the band that broke away from their largely disco repertoire. The song’s classic and timeless appeal has lead to it being performed by numerous artists, including Luther Vandross, Whistle, who both contributed to Always and Forever charting on Billboard’s Hot 100 3 times.

Links

Torres del Paine – Chile – Sudamérica
Torres del Paine National Park – Wikipedia
Torres del Paine National Park – Wikitravel
Parque Nacional Torres del Paine
Heatwave (band) – Wikipedia


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Colca Canyon, Peru

featuring Kim Waters' "Easy Going"

Peru’s Colca Canyon spans more than 4800 miles and is one of the deepest canyons in the world. The area around the Colca River features an extremely varied landscape and extraordinary biodiversity.

Many inhabitants of this area have pre-Incan ancestry. They have preserved their traditional culture and continue to farm the stepped terraces along the canyon and sell traditional goods to the many tourists that come to enjoy this beautiful and relaxing place on earth.

Kim Waters is a jazz multi-instrumentalist primarily known for his saxophone talent. In addition to fronting over a dozen albums, Waters’ chart-topping performances blend jazzy grooves with R&B and have been included on albums by genre greats including Al Green and Isaac Hayes.

Links

Peru Tourism Bureau
Wikipedia article: Colca Canyon
Kim Waters Official Site


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Yosemite National Park (Lake & Meadow)

featuring Chris Botti's "The Way Home"

California’s Yosemite National Park is known internationally for its amazing geology, ecology, and scenery. Since 1890, it has been a destination for rock climbing, hiking, skiing, biking, rafting, and just about any outdoor activity imaginable.

This scene features just as few of the countless natural sights in the park, including the calm Tenaya Lake and the Tuolumne Meadows, where wide expanses of grasses and trees are complemented by boulders and the winding Tuolumne River. The clean water through this river is ultimately used as drinking water by San Francisco, where it requires only minimal treatment.

Chris Botti is a contemporary jazz trumpeter who has become one of the top-selling instrumental artists of the 21st century. His performances blend pop, jazz, and classical music– resulting in a style that reaches beyond only jazz audiences.

Links

National Park Service: Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Conservancy
Wikipedia: Yosemite National Park
Chris Botti Official Site


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Pia Glacier, Tierra del Fuego

featuring Boney James' "Hypnotic"

The Patagonia region of South America (between southern Chile and Argentina) is known for its breathtaking natural scenery, but the alien landscape around the the Pia Glacier might be some of its best.

As this river of ice carves its way down its rocky mountain, it spawns an assortment of waterfalls and icebergs in the channel below. Boulders of ice are scattered across the terrain, and lucky visitors may even see the glacier calving– when large pieces break off and crash into the water.

This is one of the many glaciers along the Beagle Channel’s “Avenue of Glaciers.” The surrounding area is extremely desolate but a popular destination for cruise ships and adventure excursions.

Boney James is a saxophonist who, despite his resistance to being labeled as strictly a jazz artist, was named the “No. 3 Top Contemporary Jazz Artist of the Decade” by Billboard Magazine in 2010. Influenced by many genres including R&B, James is a three-time Grammy-nominee who has sold more than three million records.

Links

Wikipedia article: Beagle Channel
Complete Geology of the Voyage of the Beagle, by Charles Darwin
Official Travel Guide to Tierra del Fuego (Argentina)
Boney James Official Site


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Gstaad, Switzerland

featuring Doc Powell's "Together We Can"

One look at the Swiss town of Gstaad leaves no question why the area is known for its many ski resorts. Though the town itself is small and only lightly populated, the surrounding mountains provide plenty of dramatic views, dozens of hiking trails, and clean white slopes for the area’s most famous pastime.

In addition to skiing, Gstaad is also known as a relaxing getaway for the rich and famous. Countless celebrities have lived or kept homes in the hills around the village, and plenty of expensive boutiques cater to the elite. Despite this, the town maintains an accessible and laid-back atmosphere, true to its early roots as an medieval agriculture and trade center. One reminder of Gstaad’s long history, prominent in this eScapes scene, is the chapel of St. Nicholas, which was completed in 1402.

Doc Powell is a Grammy-nominated guitarist who has built a legacy as a musical chameleon. His signature guitar sound has been featured in over 140 recordings by some of the premier stars in pop, R&B, jazz, and gospel music; a critically-acclaimed gospel project; and ten top-charting contemporary jazz solo projects with guest appearances by some of the genre’s biggest artists.

Links

Official Gstaad Tourism Portal
Official Website of Switzerland Tourism
Wikipedia article: Gstaad
Doc Powell Official Site


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Skagway, Alaska

featuring Peter White's "Baby Steps"

Nicknamed the “Gateway to the Klondike,” Skagway, Alaska, was a gold rush boomtown at the end of the 19th century, after gold was found in the Yukon Territory. Situated at the head of a convenient path to the region, the town became Alaska’s first incorporated city and saw thousands of prospectors passing through on their journeys. The famous Jack London novel The Call of the Wild is set in Skagway at this time.

Since the end of the gold rush, the population of Skagway has dwindled to less than a thousand, but the area retains a healthy tourism economy based on the town’s history and its cruise ship port, which accounts for three quarters of its annual visitors. A number of museums and historical attractions can be found throughout the town, and visitors can also hike the surrounding natural landscape, enjoying beautiful scenery like the views featured in this video.

Peter White is an English smooth jazz guitarist who played with several artists, including a 20-year span as accompanist and writer for Al Stewart, before launching a solo career in 1990. With several Top 10 jazz albums under his belt, White is a frequent winner of the National Smooth Jazz Award for Best Guitarist.

Links

Skagway Convention & Visitors Bureau
Travel Alaska: Official State Travel Information
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Peter White Official Site


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Copper Harbor, Michigan

featuring Brian Hughes' "There She Goes"

Situated at the northernmost tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Copper Harbor is a destination for anyone seeking great scenery and outdoor recreation, year-round.

Settled as a successful copper mining town in the mid-1800s, Copper Harbor is home to the oldest lighthouse on Lake Superior, Copper Harbor Light, built in 1848. The harbor itself is also significant for its ferry route to Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park, an island 50 miles away.

This eScapes video features a scenic view from a vantage point atop nearby Brockway Mountain. Here, sightseers can absorb a panoramic view of the harbor, the surrounding forests, and the buildings of downtown.

Brian Hughes is a contemporary jazz guitarist. He has released several albums since the 1990s and been a frequent accompanist and sideman for various artists, most notably Loreena McKennitt. His style blends smooth jazz and world music, especially Latin music.

Links

Official Site of Copper Harbor, Michigan
Terry Pepper’s Seeing the Light: Copper Harbor Lighthouse
Michigan Travel and Tourism Information
Brian Hughes Official Site


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The Toledo Zoo Aviary

featuring Joe McBride's "Midnight in Madrid"

Founded in 1900, when its only exhibit was a single woodchuck, Ohio’s Toledo Zoo has come a long way to become a nationally recognized institution. Now home to over 9,000 animals from over 800 species, the Toledo Zoo not only promotes family fun, but the conservation of the natural world.

One of the oldest buildings at the Toledo Zoo, built during the Depression-era Works Progress Administration, is the award-winning Aviary. The Aviary was remodeled in 1998 to include walk-through exhibits and new interpretive areas, some of which can be seen in this eScapes video.

Joe McBride is a smooth jazz pianist and singer. A Missouri native, McBride released his debut album in 1992 and has also toured and opened for popular R&B/jazz acts including Whitney Houston and Larry Carlton.

Links

The Toledo Zoo
Greater Toledo Convention & Visitors Bureau
Portland Spirit River Cruises: The Columbia Gorge
Joe McBride Official MySpace


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Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

featuring Chuck Loeb's "Presence"

The most accessible mountain area in Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge offers spectacular views of the park and numerous hiking opportunities. Miles of forested land, rugged mountains, wildlife, and wildflower meadows greet park visitors year-round.

Named “Hurricane Ridge” for its frequent strong wind gusts (over 75 miles an hour), this location receives up to 35 feet of snow each year. The weight of this snow discourages tree growth along much of the ridge, creating open meadows and bare slopes like those seen in this sample video.

During the winter, the road to Hurricane Ridge mostly remains open, though often threatened by the risk of avalanches. Ski and snowshoe rental is offered at the ridge’s visitor center.

Chuck Loeb is a guitarist, composer, and producer. Known for his smooth jazz recordings, he is a versatile artist who has explored various other musical styles including classical and rock guitar. In addition to his extensive solo discography, Loeb has appeared on albums from many of jazz’s biggest names, as a performer and producer.

Links

Olympic National Park: Visiting Hurricane Ridge
Port Angeles, Washington Chamber of Commerce: Hurricane Ridge
Official Site of Washington State Tourism
Peter White Official Site


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Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego

featuring Brian Hughes' "Soul Fruit"

One of three passages past South America between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Beagle Channel is surrounded on both sides by remarkable scenery. It was here that Charles Darwin first saw glaciers while accompanying the channel’s namesake, the HMS Beagle, on a hydrological survey of the Tierra del Fuego region.

Glaciers can still be spotted along the channel to this day, and though the channel is narrow, smaller boats including excursion cruises can maneuver the waters with ease. They also need not be as cautious as the Beagle was on its voyage: though a survey barque with no military objective, the 19th-century ship was equipped with six cannons.

Brian Hughes is a contemporary jazz guitarist. He has released several albums since the 1990s and been a frequent accompanist and sideman for various artists, most notably Loreena McKennitt. His style blends smooth jazz and world music, especially Latin music.

Links

Wikipedia article: Beagle Channel
Complete Geology of the Voyage of the Beagle, by Charles Darwin
Official Travel Guide to Tierra del Fuego (Argentina)
Brian Hughes Official Site


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