Scenic Earth

Karukinka Natural Park, Chile

featuring Brian Tarquin's "Santa Fe"

On the Chilean part of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago lies the Karukinka Natural Park, offering more than 700,000 acres of untouched wilderness. The park’s private ownership and relative inaccessibility, along with proactive conservation efforts, have kept this area a pristine and therapeutic getaway for nature enthusiasts.

The careful stewardship of this land is especially noteworthy given its history. When an American company bought the land in the 1990s, it was for logging purposes. After those plans were spoiled by environmental group opposition, the land was bundled with other assets and sold to investment giant Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs eventually donated the land to the Wildlife Conservation Society, a New York-based nonprofit.

This eScapes video shows just a few of the beautiful spots inside this Patagonian park. Recently, the park has become more open to ecotourism and the addition of more hiking trails is scheduled for this year.

Brian Tarquin is an Emmy-winning guitarist with a diverse career. A chart-topping contemporary jazz artist, Tarquin is also a prolific composer and instrumentalist on television and film scores. In 2006, he founded his own label, BHP Music, specializing in instrumental guitar music.

Links

Karukinka Natural Park
World Culture Pictorial article on Karukinka Park
Official Travel Guide to Chile
Wildlife Conservation Society
Brian Tarquin Official Site


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Tettegouche State Park, Minnesota

featuring Acoustic Alchemy's "Reference Point"

Minnesota’s Tettegouche State Park offers gorgeous views of Lake Superior’s rugged shoreline. Dense forests and steep cliffs combine to create a stunning vista, as well as a venue for hikers, naturalists, and rock climbers.

This eScapes video features views of the park’s Palisade Head and Shovel Point formations. The exposed bedrock cliffs were formed during the glacial excavation of Lake Superior, but the rock itself originates from volcanic lava and is about one billion years old.

Today, these cliffs are a popular spot for peregrine falcons, which nest in the cliff faces. During nesting season, rock climbing in certain areas is prohibited at the park.

Acoustic Alchemy is a smooth jazz group from London. Originally a duo of acoustic guitarists, the band has expanded and renewed itself over the decades to accommodate artistic choices and lineup changes. Now a group that mixes genres, styles, and influences, Acoustic Alchemy is a favorite adult contemporary and new age act.

Links

Minnesota DNR: Tettegouche State Park
Explore Minnesota Tourism
Acoustic Alchemy Official Site


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Steep Creek Falls, Washington

featuring Fourplay's "More Than A Dream"

In many places (like Minneapolis), a 52-foot waterfall like Steep Creek Falls would be well-known by the locals and often visited by tourists. Along the Columbia River, however, amazing natural sights are everywhere, and a waterfall of this size can remain relatively unknown.

One of the most accessible waterfalls in the area, Steep Creek Falls near Stevenson, Washington is a picturesque cascade that feeds Rock Creek, a tributary of the Columbia. Steep Creek Falls is perfectly complemented by the surrounding environment. Even though the waterfall is easily accessible and visible from a nearby gravel road, the beauty of the surrounding trees and rocks create a sense of seclusion.

Fourplay is a jazz “supergroup” formed in 1990. Permanently featuring jazz keyboard legend Bob James, bassist Nathan East, and drummer Harvey Mason, the group has also included prominent guitarists Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, and Chuck Loeb (currently active). Fourplay is the only musical group ever to be recognized with a Congressional Record from the the United States Congress.

Links

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
Northwest Waterfall Survey: Steep Creek Falls
Washington State Tourism Alliance
Fourplay Official Site


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Rocky Mountain Winter

featuring Jim Brickman's "Quiet Time"

Snow is usually found at the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, but only in winter does the entire landscape get a brilliant white coat.

This eScapes video takes you to the Colorado Springs area to take in a perfect winter day among the rocks and pine trees. It’s no wonder that this region originally inspired America, The Beautiful.

As you might imagine, the slopes in this area are a favorite destination for skiers, and the United State Olympic Committee and training center is even headquartered in Colorado Springs.

Jim Brickman is a songwriter and solo pianist. One of the most commercially successful adult contemporary artists, Brickman has six Gold or Platinum albums and multiple prestigious awards and nominations. His romantic pop-inspired piano sound is often accompanied by star vocalists. Brickman tours more than 125 cities each year, and also hosts a cruise event.

Links

Colorado Springs Conventions & Visitors Bureau
Geology of the Pikes Peak Region
Colorado Tourism Office
Jim Brickman Official Site


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Niagara Falls (American Falls)

featuring Eric Marienthal's "Sunstone"

The United States-Canada border is the longest national border in the world, but the most dramatic spot on it must be the famous Niagara Falls. A set of three waterfalls– the Horseshoe, American, and Bridal Veil Falls– the Niagara Falls may be the most well-known waterfall in the world, although it’s not special for its size as much as its accessibility.

Plenty of taller and more voluminous waterfalls exist in the world, but none allow visitors to get as close to them so easily. Niagara Falls is extremely tourist-friendly. Opportunities on both sides of the border allow visitors to experience the falls from every angle, whether from their base on the famous Maid of the Mist tour boat or from the top floor of a nearby casino.

About 750,000 gallons of water flow over Niagara Falls each second. As impressive as that is, the falls have taken a loss from the commercial development that has made it a household name: 1.2 million additional gallons per second are diverted from the falls to generate hydroelectric power.

This eScapes video focuses on the flow of Niagara’s American Falls section, complete with a rainbow. The skyline of Niagara Falls, New York can be seen in the background.

Eric Marienthal is a contemporary jazz saxophonist who has been successful as a solo artist and as a member of various groups including the Rippingtons, the Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band, and the revival of the Jeff Lorber Fusion.

Links

Niagara Falls Visitors Site (USA)
Niagara Falls Tourism Site (Canada)
Wikipedia article: Niagara Falls
Eric Marienthal Official Site


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Columbia River Gorge Moonrise

featuring John Tesh's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight"

To mark today’s Lunar New Year, eScapes brings you a peaceful “moonrise” over the tranquil Columbia River. The actual moonrise on a Lunar New Year isn’t quite as dramatic– the Lunar New Year always falls on the new moon.

The Lunar New Year is important to many eastern cultures and traditions that use lunar or lunisolar calendars instead of the Gregorian calendar. The most widely known tradition tied to the Lunar New Year is the Chinese New Year, which today celebrates the beginning of the Year of the Dragon.

This eScapes video brings you the beauty of the moon with the terrestrial beauty of the Columbia River Gorge. Separating Washington and Oregon, this gorge is one of the most scenic areas in the United States and the perfect place for a relaxing evening hike or boat ride.

John Tesh is a composer and instrumentalist also known for his work on radio and television. Tesh left his long television career, best known for his seat on Entertainment Tonight, to pursue music in 1996. Since then, he has been a force in the classical, new age, and worship music genres and has gained even more recognition as the host of the nationally-syndicated John Tesh Radio Show in which he blends music with lifestyle advice and tips.

Links

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
Columbia River Gorge Visitors Association
Wikipedia article: Lunar calendar
John Tesh Music Official Site


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Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

featuring Chris Standring's "C.S. in the Sunrise"

The Columbia River Gorge along the Washington/Oregon border is home to many great natural sights. Even away from well-known landmarks like Multnomah Falls and Mt. Adams, the general beauty of the region is engaging and a wonder on its own.

This eScapes video tracks the aptly-named sternwheeler Columbia Gorge riverboat as it paddles through the heart of the gorge, dwarfed by the forested Cascade Mountains. Also visible is the “Bridge of the Gods,” a cantilever bridge spanning the river. This bridge is named after a land bridge that once crossed nearby and is a prominent part of local American Indian legend.

Chris Standring is a jazz guitarist who has distinguished himself in the contemporary jazz realm with adventurous, lyrical compositions leavened with pure-pop perfection, dazzling guitar solos and thick beats. Though predominately influenced by jazz, Standring has expanded his sound with rock, blues, R&B and electronic elements.

Links

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
Columbia River Gorge Visitors Association
Portland Spirit River Cruises: The Columbia Gorge
Chris Standring Official Site


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Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

featuring Alexander Zonjic's "Amazing Grace"

Established as the first National Lakeshore in 1966, the beautiful Lake Superior coast at Pictured Rocks was adopted by the National Park System as an answer to increased private ownership of the Great Lakes coastlines.

Though the Lakeshore is home to sand dunes, forests, wetlands, and sandy beaches, it is best known for its steep sandstone cliffs and unique rock formations. The harsh wind, rain, and freeze/thaw cycles on Lake Superior are responsible for forming these dramatic landscapes are still at work: parts of some of the Lakeshore’s most iconic landforms have lost pieces in recent years.

This eScapes video features Miner’s Castle, a major landmark at Pictured rocks. These seaside formations can be seen from land or by sea– boat tours and kayak excursions are common in the area.

Alexander Zonjic has performed on stages around the world as a solo performer, with his own group, and as part of jazz great Bob James’ band. An accomplished jazz flutist, Zonjic has performed worldwide and at major classical and jazz festivals throughout North America, including critically acclaimed appearances at Carnegie Hall and New York’s Apollo Theater. Alexander Zonjic can also be heard as a daytime host on the eScapes Television Network.

Links

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Munising Visitors Bureau
Alexander Zonjic Official Site


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Colca Canyon, Peru

featuring Dave Koz's "Castle of Dreams"

Peru’s Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world, is home to extraordinary geological and biological diversity. Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the Colca area is home to a desert landscape, rolling hills, stepped gardens, steep cliffs, and the Colca River.

Cacti and aloe plants thrive on the landscape. Birdwatchers are drawn to the canyon for the Andean condor, one of the world’s largest birds, drawn to the currents of warm air rising from the canyon.

Dave Koz is a smooth jazz saxophonist who has released over a dozen albums in his 20-year solo career. He is also a radio host on the Smooth Jazz Radio Network and of the syndicated Dave Koz Radio Show. Koz is also the founder of Rendezvous Records.

Links

Peru Tourism Bureau
Wikipedia article: Colca Canyon
Dave Koz Official Site


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Avenue of the Giants, California

featuring Jeff Lorber's "Sun Ra"

The Avenue of the Giants– US Highway 101 in Humboldt County, California– runs for 31 miles through one of the most scenic landscapes in the country. Along the way, the road cuts through Humboldt Redwoods State Park, home to over 17,000 acres of old-growth coast redwood trees.

These redwoods spurred much of the early settlement in the area. Settlers in the second half of the 1800 found opportunity for logging in the forest, although it could take up to a week to fell one of the giant redwoods.

Much of the redwoods were eventually cut down before conservation movements were born in the early 20th century. Fortunately, preserving the forest created even more economic opportunity through increased tourism, which is a centerpiece of the Humboldt County economy to this day.

Jeff Lorber is a keyboardist and composer who was influential in the jazz fusion movement– the joining of jazz with rock, R&B, and funk elements. Lorber’s innovative jazz style still blends various styles into an innovative sound, as evidenced in the more than 20 albums he has released since 1977.

Links

Avenue of the Giants: US Highway 101
Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Official Travel Site of Humboldt County
Jeff Lorber Official Site


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