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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
Even though Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio has no shortage of natural beauty, it’s no wonder why Brandywine Falls remains one of its most popular sights. This 60-foot waterfall is not only beautiful, but educational for budding geologists who take the time to look at the thin layers of rock that create the falls’ “bridal veil” cascade. Located on the eastern edge of the national park, Brandywine Falls is surrounded by evergreens, maple trees, and hemlocks. Visitors to the park can look at the falls from various angles with the help of walkways and a pedestrian boardwalk. Jim Brickman is a songwriter and solo pianist. One of the most commercially successful adult contemporary artists, Brickman
The Feather River Canyon is a popular scenic driving route in Plumas County, California. A few sights along this route are particularly famous. One of them, featured in this video, is the intersection of the Tobin bridges over the Feather River. The upper bridge carries trains over the lower bridge, which carries automobile traffic. This location can be especially breathtaking as trains pass through the canyon. Even when they don’t, the interaction of this evergreen landscape, rushing river, and criss-crossing bridges can be a beautiful and relaxing scene in itself, as evidenced by this video. Brian Hughes is a contemporary jazz guitarist. He has released several albums since the 1990s and been a frequent accompanist and
Most of the impressive waterfalls in the United States are well-documented and well-traveled. Many are located in parks and some even have a infrastructure or nearby tourism economy to accommodate sightseeing. The falls of the Beaver River in Minnesota is not one of these falls. Right next to the city of Beaver Bay– population 181– these falls flow under Minnesota Highway 61 and empty into Lake Superior. If not for the relative isolation of Lake Superior’s North Shore, it’s hard to imagine these beautiful and dramatic falls wouldn’t be more famous. Gregg Karukas is a contemporary jazz keyboardist. After launching his solo career in the 1980s, Karukas formed a band that featured Dave Koz and Boney