Archive for July, 2015

10 Scenic Road Trips

July 23, 2015


10 Best Secret U.S. Road Trips

Sophie ForbesJuly 20, 2015

The U.S. has many iconic road trips. You could even say that the U.S. invented the road trip as a form of vacation.

Which makes sense, considering the country is known to have some of the best scenic driving routes anywhere on Earth. From the Pacific Coast Highway through California to Route 66 running from Chicago to Santa Monica, these drives have become part of many a bucket list.

This year, AAA revealed that one in four Americans embarks on a road trip each year. But rather than follow the crowd, there are plenty of incredible routes, both short and long, that are farther off the beaten path.

Yahoo Travel investigated some spectacular road trip routes that you may not have known existed:

1. Big Bend Scenic Loop, Texas 

10 Best Secret U.S. Road Trips

Scenic road FM 170 along the Rio Grande River in Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas. (Photo: Blaine Harrington III / Alamy)

This spectacular 250-mile route through western Texas skims the Mexico border and the path of the Rio Grande. The route, from Presidio to the Rio Grande Village, carves its way through the Big Bend Ranch State Park — a rugged desert wilderness area bigger than Rhode Island. With over 300 different bird species living in the park, it is a haven for birdwatchers. Or for those seeking a more exhilarating experience, the park is packed with outdoor activities, from rafting, horse riding, and 4×4 tours to canoeing, mountain biking, and fishing.

Related: The Best Playlist For Every #SummerTravel Road Trip

2. Colorado Scenic Byway


This Colorado route is full of great scenery and plenty of hiking and fishing along the way. (Photo: Dave and Les Jacobs/Blend Images/Corbis)

For wildlife lovers, there is no better road trip destination than through Colorado, where you are likely to catch a glimpse of bears, wolves, birds of prey, and many other forest-dwelling animals. The Colorado River Headwaters Scenic Byway runs 80 miles from State Bridge to Grand Lake, cutting directly through Rocky Mountain National Park. With several high-altitude lakes along the route, trippers can stop for a spot of boating or fishing, not to mention the multitude of excellent hiking trails that crisscross the region. Don’t miss the town of Hot Sulphur Springs, where you can take a healing dip in the natural spas.

3. Hana Coastline, Maui, Hawaii


The twisty, turny, tropical Hana Highway. (Photo: National Geographic Image Collection / Alamy)

Starting in Kahului, the 52-mile road to Hana winds its way, sometimes precariously, around the breathtaking Maui coastline. On one side is the ocean, sometimes crashing onto black-sand beaches; on the other, the dense jungle with soaring waterfalls, rock pools, and dramatic cliff faces. You can stop on the way to grab some fresh tropical fruit from a roadside stand or park and challenge yourself to a hike through the Pua’a Ka’a State Park. Try to time your drive to Hana to make it for sunset and watch the giant orange ball slip slowly below the ocean horizon.

4. Montana to Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming


See geysers, waterfalls, and plenty of wildlife as you tour Yellowstone. (Photo: iStock)

Begin your journey in Bozeman, Montana, by taking a dip in the geothermal hot springs before starting the 135-mile trip through Yellowstone National Park, across the state border into Wyoming, and down to the historic Old Faithful geyser. Breathtaking panoramic views and incredible wildlife spotting will keep you entertained the entire ride. Stop along the way for a hike to a waterfall, rafting, birdwatching, or just to take in the scenery.  At your destination, check out one of Old Faithful’s impressive, almost hourly eruptions, where up to 8,500 gallons of water is projected 145 feet into the air.

5. Bourbon Trail, Kentucky


Visit distilleries and learn all about what goes into making expertly crafted bourbon. (Photo: Bob Krist/Corbis)

A great option for those wanting to make overnight stops along a route is the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, connecting Louisville, Bardstown, and Frankfort in a large triangle. Trippers can enjoy tastings along the way at the distilleries of eight famous bourbons, including Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, and Buffalo Trace, where you can learn about the history of bourbon and its manufacturing process. For those interested in more than just the liquor, there are tons of other activities to take part in, from ATV rides, horse trekking, and riverboat cruises to hiking, ziplining, and caving.

6. The BBQ Trail, South Carolina


Can’t get enough brisket, ribs, and pulled pork? Eat your way through South Carolina’s BBQ Trail. (Photo: Magalie L’Abbé/Flickr)

Aside from taking road trips, there is another pastime that has become just as synonymous with American culture — the art of barbecue. So what better way to vacation than to combine the two activities. While Texas and Kansas are both big contenders on the “World’s Best BBQ” front, South Carolina is actually the birthplace of this fabulous food genre. The South Carolina Barbecue Map offers trippers the opportunity to customize their tour among more than 250 BBQ joints, so whether you want to journey to one or attempt to tick all of them off your list, the BBQ Trail might just be the greatest foodie challenge ever.

7. The Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway, Utah 


Yampa River, Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado. (Photo: Tim Fitzharris/Minden Pictures/Corbis)

This wondrous 480-mile circular route is accessible only from spring to fall, as certain parts of the trail are cut off by snow in the winter. Beginning just over the Colorado state line, in the town of Dinosaur, you can check out the Dinosaur National Monument Visitor Centre, featuring thousands of fossils from lots of different dinosaur species. This is just one of many dinosaur museums along the route. The three- to four-day journey will then take you in a loop through several national parks, including Arches National Park, the world’s greatest display of naturally formed rock arches (more than 2,000), before joining the Colorado River Scenic Byway with picturesque river and mountain views.

Related: Pacific Coast Highway: The Ultimate California Road Trip

8. Lake Michigan Gold Coast, Michigan


There are plenty of beaches and lighthouses — including the iconic Big Sable Point Lighthouse — on the coast of Lake Michigan. (Photo: iStock)

Starting the journey in Grand Rapids, the drive up the Gold Coast of Lake Michigan is one of the best secret road trips in the U.S. Seemingly endless stretches of pure white-sand beaches and soaring sand dunes and punctuated with quaint little historic towns, lakeside wineries, and lush, hilly landscape. The drive up to Glen Arbor, taking the coastal road, is around 190 miles but will take almost four hours. The perfect distance for a weekend getaway.

9. Dalton Highway, Alaska 


Enjoy some impressive Alaskan scenery — like the Brooks Range — as you cruise along the Dalton Highway. Bonus: no traffic! (Photo: Sunny Awazuhara- Reed/Design Pics/Corbis)

Alaska Highway 11, also known historically as the Dalton Highway, is a 414-mile road that cuts through Alaska’s dramatic landscape from just north of Fairbanks all the way to Deadhorse, close to the Arctic Ocean. This road trip is not for the faint of heart. Most of the route is gravel and is largely used by huge 18-wheelers, on the supply route along the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline. Stop-offs are few and far between, but warning signs cautioning of avalanches, rockfalls, and bears are frequent! Traversing the Yukon River means wildlife is plentiful along the thoroughfare, and aside from the odd grizzly, you might just encounter a herd of caribou or a wolf pack. Anyone attempting this extreme road trip is advised to be prepared, as cellphone service along the route is nonexistent.

10. Eureka, California to Coos Bay, Oregon 


Follow the famous PCH as it snakes along the California and Oregon coastline. (Photo: Dan Hershman/Flickr)

While the Pacific Coast Highway is the West Coast’s most iconic roadway, the 250-mile journey from Eureka in Northern California to Coos Bay on the central Oregon coastline is just as spectacular. Starting out in the historic Redwood Empire region of California, visitors can check out the historic old town or even venture up into the national forest to check out the towering redwoods in person. From there the journey weaves along the stunning coastline, with white-sand beaches, sand dunes, and even the dramatic forest-scapes where Jurassic Park was partly filmed. Once across the Oregon border, there are places to kayak, fish, and hike at almost every turnoff. You can even take a brief detour inland to one of Oregon’s fabulous wineries


The Tao of Louis CK

July 11, 2015
This is from an article by James Altucher  It was copied from:

Before I give a talk, I listen to Louis CK. Before an interview. Before I write. Before I see my kids.

I first saw Louis CK perform in 1996. He was great. But sometime in the mid-00s he started to get more “honest”. I don’t know if that’s the right word. I don’t think he was ever dishonest.

But he had a routine that basically was,”My kids suck” and he would list all the reasons why.

I played it for my kids. They were SHOCKED! My youngest said, “did his kids hear this?” She was afraid for them.

I don’t know if they did. It was true and it was funny and the reason my kids were shocked was because they were afraid that if I listened to this then their secret mission to drive me insane was over.

Maybe it opened their eyes a tiny bit about how rotten little people can be. And guess what? Big people are pretty rotten also.

I listen to Louis CK not because he’s funny (although it helps) but because he’s right.

Life is hard, and things go wrong, and we constantly make mistakes and fool ourselves into thinking we have anything resembling common sense.

Louis CK is uncomfortable…and then he’s not. Which is why we laugh.

Laughter has been around since before language. Mammals would use laughter to convey that a situation that they first thought was dangerous, turned out not to be.

That rustle in the bushes? It was just a breeze. Not a lion.

He points it out. The contradictions in every day life. The contradictions I see in my life. The things that we’re uncomfortable about.

Guess what? We don’t have to be.

Here are some of his thoughts. And below are some of my interpretations.

1. “What happens after you die?” “Lot’s of things happen after you die — they just don’t involve you.”

One time I got scared. Will Claudia meet another guy if I die? Will she actually KISS another guy after I die!?

How selfish is that of me? I would be DEAD and I still wouldn’t want her to be happy.

Also, why think about death? We just don’t know. Nobody knows. Right now there’s people we can help today instead of sitting down thinking.

Ask at the end of the day, “Who did I help today?” instead of wondering about life after death.

That gives you a better life. Nothing will give you a better death.

2. “I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. You live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of.”

Take a walk. Read a book. Write down ideas. Ask someone you love what they are up to.

We now have non-stop entertainment. Unlike any other time in history. And my kids will still tell me they’re bored.

Heck, I get bored.

But then I take a walk. And breathe. When I was a kid I used to complain I was bored to my grandparents. I could’ve been more curious about then. Then they died.

I’m still alive.

3. “When you have bacon in your mouth, it doesn’t matter who’s president.”

Mmmmm. Bacon. I miss it. Claudia Azula Altucher has been trying to get me to be vegetarian and she does all the cooking.

But the reality is: no opinion matters when you’re eating bacon. No opinion matters when you’re in the bathroom. Or kissing someone you love. Or if you hold your breath for 20 seconds.

One time I was on a date and I actually told the date I was a big fan of Dan Quayle, only because she was a big fan.

Then when I tried to kiss her she pushed me away. So what good was my opinion?

People worry about oil and fracking. Guess what? A solar-powered plane just flew across the country.

Whatever opinion you have, just sit back and smile and rest a little bit. The problem you are worried about will get solved. Or it won’t. Chances are there’s nothing you can do either way. So enjoy the bacon.

4. “People say, “My phone sucks.” No, it doesn’t! The shittiest cellphone in the world is a miracle. Your life sucks. Around the phone.”

Blaming and complaining are draining. They never solve future problems and they only drain away energy from this moment.

We want that ugliness and fear that lives inside to be outside. We want to point the finger at it.

So we say, “He did it. He’s an idiot! This phone sucks! My house is too small! My hoss is a jerk!” and on and on.

Thoughts in our head can’t do anything. They are so invisible not even a microscope can see them.

Only forward motion works. A superhero doesn’t blame. A superhero flies through the sky and saves lives. Action!

5. ““Self-love is a good thing but self-awareness is more important. You need to once in a while go ‘Uh, I’m kind of an asshole.” “

If you’re great at ideas, or great at execution, but you eat bad and are constantly sick, then you’ll be constantly sick and never get anything done.

We’re as good as our weakest link. Find the parts of your life where you can jump on the steepest learning curves and make that jump.

But many don’t want to look at those weaknesses. I had always been bad at saying “No” but then I would blame other people for asking too much of me. Or I would feel overwhelmed and then I would get sick and anxious.

Instead, saying, “Ok, I’m bad at telling people ‘No’” and then trying to improve it, made me a lot happier and more relaxed.

By the way, I’m still bad at saying ‘No’. The goal is not to wipe out all of your problems. You can’t. There’s no goals. There’s just growth.

6. “ It doesn’t have ANY effect on your life. What do you care?! People try to talk about it like it’s a social issue. Like when you see someone stand up on a talk show and say, “How am I supposed to explain to my children that two men are getting married?… I dunno. It’s your shitty kid. You fuckin’ tell ’em. Why is that anyone else’s problem? Two guys are in love and they can’t get married because you don’t want to talk to your ugly child for five fuckin’ minutes?”

The key to the Tao of Louis CK is to not expend extra energy on things that don’t matter, things that you can’t change, things that you’re being stupid about, things that won’t be issues 1 billion years from now.

Instead, figure out the real issue: how do I talk to my kid, for instance. How do I talk to my wife. How do I avoid the people who are bringing me down. How do I stop wasting time thinking about these topics that are draining my energy.

Preserve energy for the people that need you. For the actions you can take that require all of that energy.

7. “Everything that’s difficult you should be able to laugh about.”

You always have two choices. Be anxious, or find joy in the situation in front of you.

Why waste any seconds of a preciously small life being anxious and afraid. Everything has joy.

When I wake up in the morning, I try to practice this first thing: I think of the things the day before that made me happy. I feel how my body feels.

I let that feeling soak into all the cracks, all the places where I might be anxious or nervous or afraid. Mmmmmm.

Then I begin my day. Usually by watching a Louis CK show. Or, this morning, Amy Schumer.

8. “Life’s too short to be an asshole.”

The universe spent 14 billion years to get us to this perfect point, exactly as it was supposed to be.

Who am I to say, “you should be different” or “I’m better than you so I want THIS”.

Because, in another flicker of time, we’re just gone. And everyone leftover will be happy about it.

9. “If a person is offended, then to them it is offensive. If someone else is not offended then to them it isn’t. They are both one hundred percent right. For them.”

It’s never my business what other people think.

If you ever want a lesson on this, look at any YouTube video and look at the comments.

Was it really worthwhile for those people to post hateful comments? Did they really change the world for the better by posting on a YouTube video among thousands of other comments?

Are they happy now?

10. “I don’t worry about how I’m doing, I just do what I’m doing.”

Doing my best in any situation is all I can do. If I worry about it while I’m doing it, I won’t do my best.

The next day I will do my best also. If it doesn’t work then ok, it’s a perfect opportunity to learn.

As Mac Lethal said to me the other day, “nobody remembers your bad stuff, just keep working at it and you’ll put out good stuff and that’s what they will see and remember.”

Why does Louis CK know so much? I don’t think he knows anything actually. And he doesn’t pretend he does. The man with nothing, has nothing to lose.

So that’s why I listen. I want to be the man with nothing to lose.

The author also wrote about the one trick for success that Louis CK and the Hare Krishnas used. Read more from the author… James Altucher, an entrepreneur, investor and best-selling author of “Choose Yourself” and “Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth”. He openly discusses the financial and emotional impact of making (and losing) money in his personal blog at