December Newsletter: Banff, Canada


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Banff, Canada
Take in the splendor of the Canadian Rockies in the resort town of Banff, built in 1880 by the Canadian Pacific Railway as a resort. As a contrast to the flashy old hotels and tourist shops in Banff, see also the abandoned mining town of Bankhead, a short distance away. A trail with signs detailing Bankhead's history makes a circuit of the site. A beautiful clear day of blue skies graced this first photography trip outside of the United States.

City of Rocks
In the 1800s, travelers on the California Trail passed through southern Idaho, sticking to the mountains, where water was more plentiful. In the Albion Mountains, they came upon an extensive area of granite outcroppings on the mountainside which they named "Silent City of Rocks." Today this landmark is called City of Rocks Preserve, jointly a State Park and a unit of the National Park system. It is popular as a rock climbing venue, and offers hiking and camping, along with striking scenery, solitude and a commanding view of the desert wilderness below.

With winter upon us, and photography impractical, a number of new features have been added to improve the user experience on UntraveledRoad. On the tour pages you will find that the arrows have been moved to more intuitive positions around the images, and a new chart has been added in their place to show your current location and where you can go from there. This chart is generated on the fly when the page is requested. Your current location is in red at the center, and black dots show other nearby locations. If you hold the mouse over the dots, the names of streets and other items of interest will be show.

We have also added a discussion forum where travel experiences can be shared, questions can be asked, and any topic related to the particular location can be discussed. The forum is organized geographically. The forum is still new and we invite our registered users to help bring it to life with postings. Note that for the present time, you will have to register separately for the forums (at no cost). Vigorous protection against spam and other undesirable postings has been built into the forums. We welcome your feedback on their effectiveness.

You will also see that we now require users to register in order to have unlimited access. After experimenting both with this and having unlimited access for free, we have determined that this is the best way to provide for the continued growth of our virtual tours. If your registration has expired or you procrastinated making your payment, you may still log in with your existing name and password, and can find options for finishing your registration.

In 2005 we have worked to increase the coverage of some of our largest territories. The largest of these is centered around southern Idaho (our home turf), and now extends from Burley, Idaho to Milner, Colorado, and from Thayne, Wyoming to Ogden, Utah. You can travel a step at a time all the way across this area. The other largest area is centered around Death Valley, in California, and reaches from Inyokern, California to Beatty, Nevada, and Amboy, California (on Historic Route 66).

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UntraveledRoad * P.O. Box 327 * Paris, ID 83261