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Rundown for the Week of August 22, 2003

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  Slideshow
Welcome to Craters of the Moon by Cathy Duchamp

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What happens when you combine curiosity and a couple extra hours on the road? For campers on the way to Yellowstone National Park it's a trip to the moon -- in the middle of Idaho. Craters of the Moon National Monument is 600 square miles of molten countryside, created by ancient volcanoes. Pioneers gave it the name after they saw the barren landscape as the Earth's version of the lunar surface. Cathy Duchamp went to Craters of the Moon National Monument, one best Salvador Dali-esque roadside attractions in the West.

Online resources
www.nps.gov/crmo: National Park Service Web site for Craters of the Moon National Monument
www.id.blm.gov/craters: Bureau of Land Management Web site for Craters of the Moon National Monument
www.nationalparkhotelguide.com: National Park Hotel Guide with suggestions on where to stay

Tracking Butterfly Migration

Some of history’s greatest travelers are the animals that migrate astounding distances every year. In just a couple of weeks, pilots at 30,000 feet will notice a burnt-orange cloud traveling next to them. The “cloud” will actually be several million Monarch butterflies riding the thermals 5 miles above ground, making their way from Canada to Mexico.

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Monarch Madness, with Sue Halpern
Author Sue Halpern was in El Rosario, Mexico, when she first saw the Monarchs traveling together and she was amazed. She wrote a book -- "Four Wings and a Prayer" --about how these butterflies could possibly fly thousands of miles to the same 50-acre pine forest every year.

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A chat with Elizabeth Howard, founder and project director for Journey North
If you want to follow this year’s butterfly migration, Journey North will help you do it. Journey North works with thousands of students across the U.S. and Canada to track the migration of species moving across the globe. Recently, they started tracking the southern migration of the monarch butterfly in a program called “Journey South.” Students go to their Web site and submit sightings of the butterflies. The data is then given to scientists who use the information to map the monarch’s final migration. Host Diana Nyad gets more from a chat with Elizabeth Howard.

Related media
"Monarch Madness": Originally aired on July 6, 2001
"Four Wings and a Prayer" by Sue Halpern is available at Amazon.com. Your purchase helps support The Savvy Traveler.

Online resources
www.learner.org/jnorth Journey North Program - pooling information on the internet, students across the United States and Canada track the Monarch's migration
www.smm.org/sln/monarchs: Science Museum of Minnesota's Web site exploring the Monarch's migration

The Impressive, The Perverse and The Strange at Burning Man by Rico Gagliano

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Burning Man, the free-form music jam with a nod toward the peace, love and mind expansion of the ‘60s, is swinging into full gear in the Nevada Desert now. There’s a mystique to Burning Man. One day, there’s wind blowing across miles of uninterrupted sand; a week later, singles, couples, families, the old, the middle-aged and the young converge to create Black Rock City, a temporary community of 30,000 people. Contributor Rico Gagliano spends a week meeting people who shed their professional lives and responsibilities to form the ninth largest city in Nevada, full of the impressive, the perverse and the, well, strange.

Online resources
www.burningman.com: The official Web site for all things Burning Man: hundreds of photos, program schedule and links to fan sites

Click here to search for other stories by Rico Gagliano

Travel Behind the Scenes A Hitchhiker's Tale

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Click here to
find out more
about hitchhiking
The spontaneity of rubbing elbows with strangers is one of the delightful aspects of travel. In our series “Travel Behind the Scenes,” we meet people who come across strangers going somewhere every day. Today, we veer away from the mainstream and set out with the ultimate spontaneous traveler: the hitchhiker.

Other "Travels Behind the Scenes"
"New York: Grand Central Shoe Shine": June 26, 2003
"Lost and Found Department, Disneyland, Anaheim, California ": June 13, 2003
"Adolphus Onyiante, ground operations coordinator, Jet Blue Airlines, JFK": May 23, 2003
"Fred Christina, former waiter at New York's Plaza Hotel": April 25, 2003

Sound Travels Climax Golden Twins

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This week, "Sound travels," the part of our show where we travel with just our ears as our guide, gives us a whirlwind tour through the music of life. OK, that might be a bit lofty, but the different sounds here were on a CD sent to our office in a white envelope with only the words "Climax Golden Twins" embossed on the front. What is it? We can tell you is this: These are sounds from all over the world. They're produced and arranged into discreet compositions: cultures are blended and sounds juxtaposed. It’s the perfect travel CD, actually.

For more information about the Climax Golden Twins
www.climaxgoldentwins.com:

Recent Sound Travels
"The Palio, Siena, Italy"
"Mongul Music"
"Summer in New York"
"Summer in Los Angeles"
"Summer in Seattle"
"Summer in Chicago"
"Summer in San Francisco"
"Indian Wedding"

Click here to search for all "Sound Travels"

Fix My Trip The case of the disappearing van reservation

It has happened to just about every traveler at least once: the disappearing reservation; the reserved hotel room that is “not showing up in the system;” the lost dinner reservation; or, the rental car reservation that produces no car. Actually, that last one happened to Ron Lancaster in Bowling Green, Ohio. He reserved a van through Budget to get his family to a reunion. When he was told no van was available, family members were forced to rent cars and drive separately. Since then, Ron says, Budget has been unresponsive. They sent him a form letter.
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So, what should Budget have done, and what can travelers do to avoid this sort of problem? Well, good thing it's time for “Fix My Trip,” where we help people fix travel snafus. We asked our Travel Troubleshooter, Chris Elliott, to see if he could even the score for Ron.
Real Audio Listen in RealAudio (Let's hear about the solution)

Online resources:
www.elliott.org: Christopher Elliott's Web site

Got a trip that needs fixing? Have you exhausted every possible remedy and don't know where to turn? Send us an e-mail at fixmytrip@savvytraveler.org and tell us what happened to you. Be sure to include your daytime phone number.

Deal of the Week European Low-Fare Airlines

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Historically, it cost too much to fly around Europe, right? Well, our Travel-Expert-in-Residence, Rudy Maxa, says Germany is beginning to boast several low-cost carriers we should pay attention to -- and it sounds like Berlin is becoming something of a hub for low-fare airlines!

DEAL(S): Fights to Europe these days are packed -- trust us. So, if you can’t find a good fare directly to the city you want to fly to, consider flying into Germany and taking one of these cheaper carriers onward:

-A new carrier called Germania Express has begun two flights a day linking Berlin and Vienna and Berlin and Zurich for $88.50 each way. Fly between Berlin and Istanbul for not much more: $114 each way.

-For its hub in Cologne, Hapag-Lloyd Express serves four Italian cities -- Palermo, Naples, Rome and Venice -- as well as other destinations, including Valencia, Spain. Fares: 23 to $352 each way, depending on how busy a flight is.

-And, here are two more airlines you might not have heard of: Germanwing (also out of Cologne, with 22 national and European destinations, and prices beginning at $22) and dba (which flies between Berlin and Venice -- $56 each way -- and flights from Berlin, Hamburg and Stuttgart to Nice, France).

-One more: Air Berlin has added shuttle flights from Berlin to Barcelona, London, Rome, Milan and Vienna beginning at less than $115 each way.

NOTE: You can’t find these airlines on the big U.S. travel Web sites -- just as you can’t find Southwest Airlines on Expedia, Orbitz or Travelocity. It’s best to visit the airlines’ Web sites.

Deal Info.
For more info. on Orbitz’s “Around the World Sale,” go to:

Air Berlin: www.airberlin.com, or (49) (0) 1801-737 800 (Eliminate first zero when dialing from North America).
Germanwings: www25.germanwings.com
dba: www.flydba.com
Germania Express: www.gexx.de
Hapag-Lloyd Express: book.hlx.com
General Web site that searches airlines from Germany, and where they fly to: www.attitudetravel.com

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Orbitz.com - The travel Web site where your travel missions are accomplished.
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