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Miscellaneous Sports

Friday, January 13, 2012

Favorite Travel Days 2011, Checking Out Miami’s Wynwood Walls


I can’t say I was thrilled with the idea of leaving the beachfront in Key Biscayne to head into downtown Miami to write a story on the emerging arts district called Wynwood. But when I stepped foot into the new restaurant, Wynwood Kitchen, and saw the freshly painted works of Shepard Fairey covering the bar walls, I was blown away. It only got better when I went outside and saw the display of international graffiti artists who came to Wynwood to showcase their works, lured to Miami by the country’s foremost contemporary art expo, Art Basel. Now I can’t wait to go back to Wynwood Walls and wow my friends with this discovery. 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/13/12 at 02:00 PM
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Austin-Lehman Adventures Offers a Yoga Retreat in Mexico

I had the privilege of traveling with Austin-Lehman Adventures last summer on a family trip to the Canadian Rockies and loved every minute of it. For 2012, founder Dan Austin is rolling out some exciting new adventures including a six-day biking trip through Burgundy and three trips in February heading to Yellowstone National Park in the quiet winter months. Yet, the trip that I’m most enthusiastic about is ALA’s first foray into yoga. From March 19-24, 2012, ALA will be heading to a private coffee plantation in Chiapas, Mexico. Wake up to sunrise yoga accompanied by the sounds of the tropical forest and a steaming mug of the plantation’s own coffee. Then head out to explore the Mayan ruins of Izapa, kayak through mangrove swamps on the Pacific Coast, hike to hidden waterfalls, and rest your weary body in a temazcal, an indigenous sauna bath, before digging into a dinner of local Mexican favorites. To a Boston boy who hates the month of March more than any other time in New England, this is the ideal warm-weather retreat.


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/30/11 at 02:00 PM
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Micato Elite Running Safari in Kenya

Named the World’s Best Safari Outfitter by readers of Travel & Leisure, Micato always seems to come up with something original each year. In 2012, the Kenyan-based owners are teaming with some of the country’s best-known athletes to create an elite running vacation. Your host is Kip Keino, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, who will introduce you to his Olympic training center and hometown of Kapsabet. Expect to run with some of the finest runners in the country today, including the former world record holder for the New York Marathon, Paul Tergat. This being Micato, you can be assured that you’ll be resting your weary body at some of the finest resorts in Africa, no doubt surrounded by the wildlife of the Great Rift Valley. 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/29/11 at 02:00 PM
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Now’s the Time to Go Apple Picking

Wow, talk about a gem of a Columbus Day Weekend in the Northeast. It hit 87 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday in Boston, breaking a 69 year-old record. Today, the temps are also supposed to be above normal. I’m hoping to get most of my writing out of the way this morning and go apple picking with the kids this afternoon. There’s no better fall activity than hitting an orchard, trying the variety of apples, buying homemade cider, and tasting the warm, just made doughnuts. We have photographs of the kids picking apples every year, and like the trees, they seem to sprout up far too quickly. I’m a fan of cortlands and macs, which are probably gone by now, but I don’t care. It will be great to get out there and climb those trees, even when I’m not supposed to be climbing those trees!

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/11/11 at 01:00 PM
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rock Climbing in Kananaskis Country with Yamnuska Moutaineering

Less than an hour outside of Calgary, you reach the U-shaped valley of Kananaskis, the tumultuous river of the same name that beckons whitewater rafters and kayakers, and the snowcapped jagged peaks of the Canadian Rockies that’s ripe with hiking and rock climbing opportunities. Albertans have no qualms about letting the masses rush by on their way to Banff, Lake Louise, and the Icefields Parkway up to Jasper. This is their mountain playground and what a spectacular spit of scenery it is.

On a family vacation with Austin Lehman Adventures several weeks ago, we hooked up Dave Stark, a highly respected guide at Yamnuska Mountaineering. So well-respected, in fact, that on the steep trail up to the rock face on Mt. Yamnuska, a man smacked Dave on the chest while passing and said, “Have fun up there, Dave.” Moments later, the soft-spoken guide told me that guy was the first Canadian to ever climb Everest back in 1982.

The sedentary rock was perfect for finding ledges you could grip with your hands or plant your feet. We threw on our harnesses as Dave went over ways to grip the rock through edging, using the inner part of the soft-soled shoes to balance, or smearing, heading straight up as you rely on the traction of the sneaker. While my son is an expert at the indoor wall climb, none of us had ever tried rock climbing before. Especially on a wall of rock that overlooks the spectacular valley below. Jake was first and climbed up the face like Spiderman. Yet, it was my 13 year-old daughter, Melanie, who really impressed me. She went up twice, doing the more challenging climb the second time. I know because I did it, barely. When I made it to the top on that first climb, I looked down and freaked out. Especially when Dave shouted to kick my legs off the rock and rappel down. After the slight hesitation, I did what he said and soon found my way back at the bottom. You really can teach an old dog a new trick. One that turns 47 years of age today.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 08/16/11 at 02:00 PM
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Friday, June 17, 2011

How Sweet It Is

I’m a creature of habit and if it happens to be a nice day this Sunday, all I want to do for Father’s Day is hit Cranes Beach in Cape Ann, pick my own strawberries just down the road, and grab a lobster roll and steamers at Woodman’s. The New England strawberries are especially ripe around Father’s Day. This year, they’ll taste even sweeter knowing that the Boston Bruins just won their first championship in 39 years! Most likely, I’m celebrating at the parade as you read this. To all my friends in BC, I feel your pain. It was only last year when the Bruins were up 3 games to nothing and had a 3 goal lead on the Philadelphia Flyers and then lost the series. So remember, there’s always next year and the Canucks certainly have the talent to pull it off. Thank you Tim Thomas and to everyone, have a great weekend!


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/17/11 at 01:00 PM
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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Try Geocaching

Geocachers savor the opportunity to get lost in the woods, but never get too disoriented because they always carry a Garmin GPS system that will direct them to the exact spot they need to find. The sport is a modern-day treasure hunt where you locate objects in a film canister, coffee can, or other containers hidden by geocachers. After carefully camouflaging the prize under a tree or squeezed into a rock, the person hiding the cache sends the coordinates to the website,, and folks start their search. The sport originated outside of Portland, Oregon, in 2000 when a man posted that first cache on a website, but it has its roots in orienteering and letterboxing. For families, geocaching is a great way to go on a hike and find treasure. Inside every cache is some sort of trinket, from a marble to a toy car to a sticker. The best part about the sport is not merely checking off another cache, but finding sites that no guide book has ever described, spots locals have cherished for decades and are now happy to introduce to strangers. They include hidden waterfalls, caves with hieroglyphics, and lonely mountain peaks with no other people.

I’m off researching a story on beaches in New England. I’ll be back next Wednesday. Have a great weekend and keep active!

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/09/11 at 01:00 PM
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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Swing Like Tarzan at the Catamount Aerial Adventure Park in Massachusetts

Two summers ago, Catamount Ski Area in South Egremont, Massachusetts opened the largest aerial adventure park in New England. This obstacle course in the trees features more than 150 different platforms and the chance to grab a trapeze swing and glide across a bridge or snag a rope swing a la Tarzan and fly into a web-like mesh. While the sport has been popular in Europe for decades, aerial adventure parks didn’t come to America until the Adirondack Extreme park was unveiled in upstate New York in 2007. Catamount is based on the Swiss design where you finish one course and return to the same starting platform to try another. Adirondack Extreme is based on the French design, with each course steadily becoming more challenging until you reach the end. After spending an afternoon at Catamount having a blast at this treetop playground, I have a feeling these aerial adventure parks will be popping up across the country like golf courses.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/08/11 at 01:00 PM
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Monday, June 06, 2011

Stand-Up Paddleboarding on Oregon’s Deschutes River

Back in the 60s, surfing instructors in Waikiki Beach used to give mainlanders a taste of their sport by placing them on longboards and handing them paddles to help with their balance. It was more of a gimmick, used as a ruse to take photographs. Then surfing giant Laird Hamilton picked up a paddle to help him master the monster waves, and voila, welcome to stand-up paddleboarding or SUP. Balancing is easier on the longboards, which average 12 feet in length compared to the standard 8 ½-foot surfboard. SUP has evolved quickly, crossing the ocean and landing in flatwater environs like rivers and lakes that are normally reserved for canoes and kayaks. Along with aerial adventure parks and kitesurfing, SUP is one of the many recent sports to finds its way into Oregon. One of the best places to sample stand-up paddleboarding is on the Deschutes River. Sun Country Outfitters in Bend offer 2-hour lessons and rentals.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/06/11 at 01:00 PM
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Kiteboarding the Madeleine Islands

In the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the dozen or so Madeleine Islands are unlike any other destination in Quebec—green hillsides, long stretches of beach, red cliffs, and the brightly painted houses of its inhabitants. Once there, you can explore the islands by horseback or bike, try deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, sea kayaking, or the latest craze, kiteboarding. Home of the Kiteboarding World Cup in 2006, the Madeleine’s strong, prevailing winds are ideally suited to a sport that uses a kite to propel you along the water. Give it a go at the first kiteboarding school in Canada, Aerosport, with more than 10 years of experience under their belt. 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/22/11 at 01:00 PM
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about us
photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

Adventure Travel Trade Association