Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Alaskan Inside Passage Ketchikan | Buy Custom Wood Maps


The first city to welcome you in the Alaskan Inside Passage is Ketchikan. The area has the highest zip code in the entire United States of America, 99950. It also houses a massive collection of standing totem poles, the world’s largest. The name ‘Ketchikan’ was derived from the Tlingit name ‘Kitschk-hin’ which means creek. Salmon fills the town each summer and attracted the Tlingit Natives to build communities in the area which has lasted for centuries. Ketchikan sits about 90 miles north of Prince Rupert and stretches along the shoreline in the southwest corner of Revillagigedo Island. The area of the city is less than 10 blocks wide and because of the minute space; they've built their airport on a separate island. The city of Ketchikan was founded in 1885 as a cannery area. Salmon was the main industry in the city. Within a span of decades, the $55 million Ketchikan Pulp Mill were built in 1954 at Ward Cove. Now, with the resolution of the passage of the Tongass Timber Reform Act of 1990, it stated it would reduce timber harvest in the national forests. During the 1970's strikes began to emerge in the city and the changes in public policy greatly affected the logging industry. This resulted in the closure of Louisiana-Pacific to close down the sawmill facility in 1983. Soon after in 1997, the company closed down the pulp mill facility. Hundreds of workers lost their high-paying jobs because of the closures. Now, the city is home to 8,245 residents, a relatively small number of people compare to other cities in the world. However, Ketchikan ranks as the 5th most populated city in Alaska. The city also labeled their area as the “Salmon Capital of the World”. Despite its land area, about 5.0 square miles, it attracts almost a million visitors each year. Cruise ships frequently stop at Ketchikan to let their passengers tour the area. Here are the top 6 interesting places and fun things to do while in Ketchikan:

1. Totem Heritage Center

The city of Ketchikan oversees the Totem Heritage and it contains the world’s largest collections of Totem poles. Most of these totem poles are from the 19th century and are untouched and unrestored. Authorities recovered the totem poles from the deserted Tlingit settlement areas on Village Island and Tongass Island. Also, some of the poles came from Haida village of Old Kasaan. In 1976, the city founded the Totem Heritage Center to care for and preserve these poles and built a cultural center. The center also displays artifacts and art pieces from Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian villages, they promote the village’s culture to visitors.

2. Totem Bight State Historic Site

Located north of Ketchikan, the Totem Bright State Historical Park has a total land area of 33 acres and considered as a national park in Alaska. The area was a former site of a traditional Native campground called Mud Village and Mud Bright Village. The site also encloses several totem pole collections and a replica of a house for the chieftains. The house contains a wood frame structure and has a low circular like entrance which leads into a square chamber. Ravens often serve as a main facade decor of the wooden houses. A native from Saxman, Charles Brown helped with the carvings on these houses.

3. Tongass National Forest

The Tongass National Forest sits in the southeastern part of Alaska. It is also the largest national forest in the country. The forest spreads across the state with 17 million acres of land and most of it is part of the WWF ecoregion. It is home to thousands of rare and endangered species both flora and fauna. The United States Forest Service supervises the Tongass National Forest, which also includes the islands of Fjords, glaciers and the Alexander Archipelago. The NFS also oversees the Coast Mountain’s peaks, the international border shared with Canada. The massive national park has 9 local ranger district offices which are located in Juneau, Hoonah, Craig, Ketchikan, Sitka, Petersburg, Yakutat, Thorne Bay and Wrangell.

4. Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary

The Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary is a nature preserve located in Gateway Borough in Ketchikan. The 40-acre of rain forest reserve comprises of spruce, cedar trees, hemlock and hundreds of flowers and different varieties of berries. You can explore the very charming beauty of Alaskan sceneries in this place. You can walk easily on its boardwalk that travels half a mile in Tongass, passing through some of the totem poles, aviary exhibits and the historical sawmill in Alaska.

5. Misty Fjords National Monument

Aside from being a national monument, The Misty Fiords (Fjords) National Monument, of which the US Forest Service has declared it as a wilderness area, now part of the Tongass National Forest. The National monument is situated about 40 miles from east of Ketchikan and along the Inside Passage of the southeastern part of Alaska. It contains a land area of 2,294,343 acres (928,488 ha) including the Tongass National Forest of which the government designated about 151,832 acres (61,444 ha) of wilderness. You can explore the beauty of the Misty Fiords National Monument by boat, by foot, or by air.

6. Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show

Back in the days, Alaska was well known as a lumberjack capital and for its historical sawmills. The city now offers shows that feature lumberjack competitions and a little story line for tourists who wants to know more of their rich history. The place is fully equipped with heaters to make the audience more comfortable watching their shows.

Want to commemorate your time in Alaska?

How about buying the Alaska Inside Passage 3D Wood Nautical Chart?

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Best Activities in Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is a popular destination for tourists. It offers wide-ranging fun activities and restos satisfying both the body and the belly.

Sleeping Bear Dunes

You have not been on Lake Michigan if you did not see the magnificent view of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. You can walk along its sandy beach and spend the whole day swimming or just soak under the sun. But the best part of it is to hike the dunes. Nothing can beat the scenic view from the dunes. The deep forest laid out and the stunning dunes make it easy to fall in love with the lake.

Glen Haven Historical Village

If you are spending time in the Sleeping Dunes, you might want to come for a side trip in this historical village. It’s great for families to teach their young children about a thing or two about history. Try to spend the afternoon and let the kids have fun watching the blacksmith do his work. Glen Haven Historical Village also hosts a boat museum. The kids will love the rescue cannon fire activity. Overall, it’s a nice and unexpected place to catch a glimpse of history. check out Carved Lake Art for the best deals on laser cut wood maps and charts of the lakes, steams, and oceans of the world

Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

Another awesome experience for your trip on the way to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes is the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Trees lines up the road and will look picturesque during the fall season. The road will come alive with the autumn colors perfect for a more dramatic effect on your pictures. There are several viewing decks along the road and make to do a couple of stops. The view are just breath taking, you can visibly see the pristine waters of the lake. Best of all, it’s free and you will be able to drive in a National park. check out Carved Lake Art for the best deals on laser cut wood maps and charts of the lakes, steams, and oceans of the world

Cherry Republic

Michigan is best known for its cherries. The perfect place to experience their ‘cherry innovations’ is at the Cherry Republic”. They offer great cookie and pie treats made with dark and white chocolates. You might want to try their pecans cookies and cherry crumb pies. They stand up for their name, cherry drinks, everything that you can imagine, they have it. They have drinks like Cherry Ginger Beer to the culinary delicacy of Cherryaki sauce. Don’t know how to use it? Don’t fret; they have recipe cards that might help you. Also, you might want to have wine tasting and the staff will surely assist you in everything. check out Carved Lake Art for the best deals on laser cut wood maps and charts of the lakes, steams, and oceans of the world

H & H Stables

To really have a truly rustic experience with your kids, try to visit H & H Stables. Your kids will love horseback riding activities. The staffs are knowledgeable when it comes to choosing the right horses for your loved ones. If this is your first time riding a horse you don’t need to worry. The staffs are very accommodating in giving you a tour and guide you on your horses. The trail ride is just superb, a scenic view across the county. A great way to end your vacation in one of the Great Lakes adventures for your family. check out Carved Lake Art for the best deals on laser cut wood maps and charts of the lakes, steams, and oceans of the world

Check out;

If you are a lover of the Great Lakes, you would enjoy our framed 3D Nautical Wood Chart of Lake Michigan depicting the shoreline and depths and bottom contours of of one of the BEST of The Great Lakes. Maybe share this with a friend for a future gift idea!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Exciting Winter Activities in Lake Ontario

Okey, winter can sometimes be a little too boring for the adventurer. While most people are busy
planning and doing holiday parties, others find it a too easy to spend the time indoors. Well, there are
still a few things left to do during the winter season. So, for the adventurous mind, here is a list of some of the things you might find exciting (if not challenging). If ice skating is too boring for you. You’re welcome and enjoy.

Ice fishing

Let’s start with something subtle like ice fishing. When you are up for a bit of fresh (icy) air ice fishing can be refreshing. Also, this is a good time for people who do not have boat access to fish into some of the best spots. Some of the best fishes to catch during winter are lake trout, walleye, pike, perch, and whitefish. check out Carved Lake Art for the best deals on laser cut wood maps and charts of the lakes, steams, and oceans of the world

Bird watching

Birds as many as 120 species flock Toronto between December and February. It is when owls take the center of attraction. Hedwig anyone? If you are lucky you can easily spot (even against the snow) a snowy owl. These species are very loud during the winter season as it is also their breeding season. Some of the birds you might see during your trip are pigeons, sparrows, and flocks of starlings, blue jays even cardinals. One great tip from experts: you have to move slowly in the bushes and just listen to the birds calling out to each other.

Now let’s move on to more of the fun side.


Dogs need a little bit of exercise too during the winter season. They need to get out there and do warm up but not too much. I know there a number of ways to travel across the snow terrain; ATVs, snowmobiles, snowshoes and even on large trucks. But for another adventure and an experience from the good old days, try dogsledding. You can experience the full natural beauty of the season in sled where a team of Siberian huskies pulled you all the way across the terrain. You just need to have steady hands and a good set of arms. Just like in the movies. check out Carved Lake Art for the best deals on laser cut wood maps and charts of the lakes, steams, and oceans of the world

And then, there more for the adventurous…


If you are a true blood surfer who cannot stay dry and out of the water, try surfing during the winter. Some people think it is not too cold as what others think. But don’t start when the temperature drops. You can start warming up when the winter season is about to start, to ‘acclimatize’ your body. You don’t want to start shivering up when your foot just touched the water. Just feel the breeze and be with nature. check out Carved Lake Art for the best deals on laser cut wood maps and charts of the lakes, steams, and oceans of the world

Scuba Diving

Why wait for the winter season to dive? One answer, algae. The lake contains from algae bloom during the summer which makes it hard for divers to see underwater. The cold environment kills all the algae making it easier and more enjoyable for divers. Believe it or not, some locals dive into the lake even when the temperature goes below zero. Before hitting rock bottom, (of the lake of course) make sure you are well hydrated and ate a decent meal. If you don’t it could greatly affect your performance underwater. A situation where you don’t want to put yourself into. check out Carved Lake Art for the best deals on laser cut wood maps and charts of the lakes, steams, and oceans of the world

So, whatever adventure you choose before winter hits again. Make sure safety is your top priority. Adventure won’t do you any good if you are six feet under.
If you are a lover of the Great Lakes, you would enjoy our framed 3D bathymetric charts of Lake Ontario depicting the shoreline and depths and bottom contours of of one of the Great Lakes. Maybe share this with a friend for a future gift idea!

Exciting Activities from Lake Mendota to Lake Monona|Buy Topographical Maps For Both

There are several different ways to spend your time in these lake regions. But I would suggest rent a bike first and go around the lake region with it. You’ll be able to get the vibe of the city if you want to explore something, it easy to get back to it. Here is a list of must dos whenever you visit the city or cities.

Go Biking and experience the first Bike elevator

You can start at Olin-Turville Park where you can get stunning views of the 12-mile bike ride. This course will take you to more scenic lake views and old-fashion neighborhoods in the area. But please, do stop around the mile 7 mark to stretch your legs and grab some ice cream at the famous Monona Bait & Ice Cream Shop. When you are done with the course, take your bike at the Monona Terrace to experience the first bike elevator. Just go to the east side of the building and it can accommodate up to three bikes. This will take you from the lake level to the street level. Don’t worry Madison is one of the bike friendly cities in the country.

‘Hail’ (Take) a Water Taxi

Bummer- no cool video-- go and shoot one!

If you want to be in the water but don’t want to get wet then take a water taxi. The Edgewater open its first water taxi which served a ferry between the Memorial Union Terrace and the Edgewater Pier. There are even water boats for Happy Hour cruises and private events. But for now, you can just get off from the water taxi and head on to Memorial Union Terrace.

Memorial Union Terrace

This had a very uni-vibe during the warm season. The scenic view from the park is just amazing with several seats. Cafes and restaurants lined the area where you get something to eat paired with a great beer. Memorial Union Terrace serves as a great place to just relax and unwind for the rest of the day. Different people from all ages flock the area to hang around. There’s ice cream for the kids and beer for adults to indulge in. Because is a popular place, it can get pretty crowded if the weather allows for the sun to come out. Also, activities from swimming to paddle boards are available in the area.

Visit Capitol Square on Saturdays to experience Farmer’s, Market

**This video is awesome because it shows people jumping during a protest-- just watch it :)

Every tourist must visit the Capitol building. The place is a great are to take a walk and see some familiar sights. You can also grab something eat.  Restos lined up in the place for locals and tourist to get some of their best tasting delicacies. But if you want to make your visit worthwhile, try to come on Saturdays. They held their weekly Farmer’s market within the Capitol area. Here you can buy, sample and eat the local produce, the best way to taste their authentic cuisine.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Some people say that Lake Monona is calmer than Lake Mendota. The best place to watch the lake is from Olbrich Botanical Gardens. You can just spend the day here contemplating or play Frisbee and volleyball with your kids. You can also rent a bike and go around the course for a couple of times before sitting in one of the best seats to view the lake.
Topographical Map Lake Mendota and Monona Wood Maps
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Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Festivities and Sights near Lake Huron|Buy Wood Nautical Charts

One of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron rests in between the borders of Canada and the United States. It divides the state of New York and Ontario. This article will show you some of the off path destinations in Ontario.

If you are looking for drama, (theatrical drama that is), then head on to this village in southwest Ontario. The Blyth Centre for the Arts is located in a rural Huron County. It celebrates theater at its finest year-round. You can get several amazing performances as the showcase student exhibit each season. You can also see famous Canadian artists perform in its stage even in off-season times. Some of the most memorable performances happen from June to August when you can laugh those stress away in gut-busting comedy performances. Drop by to its grand re-opening this month.

Celtic Roots Festival

The Celtic Roots Festival is one of the largest Celtic history festivals in North America. The town of Goderich, Ontario celebrates the traditional Celtic music annually.  You can get yourself immersed in the culture of the famous Celtic music. Locals showcase a wide variety of musical acts from many different musicians and artisans. The festival is not just for locals, as people all the way from Scotland, Ireland, and Wales traveled halfway across the globe to witness the famous festival. So if you are into music, fun, and travel this festival near Lake Huron will surely delight you.

Now, enough with the festival and let's travel the entire lake coast for its some of its famous and historical museums.

Huron County Museum

Some say, to know more about the place you must look into the past. The Huron County Museum will take you back to the early like in Lake Huron. The museum displays exhibit from military arsenal dating back during the WWII. The museum also houses an old stream train for the public to get a taste from the old transportation era. Huron County Museum also displays delicate China and old furniture.  If are a mechanic at heart, then you might find it fascinating to view their old farm tractors and equipment.

Bruce County Museum

You will never get a dull moment in the Bruce County Museum because they offer rotating displays for the kids in summer. They also have a big collection of shipwrecks and artifacts in the region. It’s a great place to go with your kids as the museum offers interactive activities for them to learn about history. The staffs are super helpful and very accommodating.

Huron Historic Gaol

This octagonal fortress served a dual purpose as a courthouse and jail for more than a century. This relatively small museum is one of the National Historic Site of Canada. You will find the site well-kept but filled with artifacts and historical items. This place was also the place where Canada held their last public hangings. The museum also offers grounds and some scenic view especially if you have a drone to bring with you. You can visibly see the magnificent architecture of the place.

What are you waiting for? Buy a 3d wood chart of Lake Huron!
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Friday, May 12, 2017

Best Family-Friendly Beaches in Lake Charlevoix|Wood Maps Of Charlevoix Coast Line

There are a number of great beaches along Lake Charlevoix. Many of these sandy beaches are great for families while some can cater for those who want quiet time with their loved ones.  

Ferry Beach

Families with small children will love Ferry Beach.  The swimming area in the beach slowly deepens making it easy for toddlers to swim and enjoy the calm waves. Compare to Lake Michigan, the water on Ferry Beach is slightly warmer. Ferry Beach is also equipped with a playground, concessions, picnic area and restrooms. The wooded area is paved with trails and very well maintained. You can even cook those perfect barbecues on the sandy beach. Another great thing about the beach is that you won’t have any problems with the parking area, as they have plenty of parking spaces.

Depot Beach

This beach is named after the nearby historic train depot. So if you are coming with your family, you can go on a side trip and check the historic train adjacent in the beach. The old train depot is well maintained and a good way to teach your child a little about of good old history. It marks how people flocked Charlevoix way back in the 1800’s.  It also boasts a wonderful garden near the sandy beach. The park has picnic areas with good tables, playground, grills, volleyball nets, and restrooms.

Young State Park

If you are a boater you will surely love Young State Park. A number of boaters moor offshore and go for a quick dip into the water of Lake Charlevoix. The beach stretches from the northern part of Lake Charlevoix and Boyne City. This 560-acre state park offers a great general store where boaters load up with their supplies and a beautiful camping ground. It’s a family friendly beach where you can hike, bike and run along its sandy beach.   It’s a popular destination for local and tourist alike, and you may need to have reservations during peak times.

Fisherman's Island State Park

If you have outdoorsy teenagers and you want them to experience rustic camping, (or simply go camping), Fisherman’s Island State Park is your best bet. The beach is an off the beaten road destination but you will find the pristine water more welcoming. There sites where you have a direct access to the water. Be careful though, some of the parts in the beach are too deep and rough for you to swim in. Don’t worry if you can have too much fun in the water, you can always find superb Petoskey stones along its sandy shores.

Petoskey Stone Hunting – an added bonus in Charlevoix beaches! Happy hunting!

Petoskey stones are fossilized corals from 350 million years ago when Michigan when the open sea still flooded the whole state (or country).  Many people believed that the Charlevoix beaches are the best place to find them. If you are lucky you can find a Petoskey stones dating way back more than 300 million years ago. You can spot them easily because they have a hexagonal pattern. The stones are more visible when wet and a few yards away from the water. Don’t overload that bucket! Only 5 gallons are allowed for each person.  It’s really fun (more of an exercise) finding a Petoskey stone but you can also buy them in Charlevoix, Traverse and Petoskey City gifts shops.
Ready to buy a wood map of Lake Charlevoix to commemorate your trip? Hang it proudly in your office, den or dorm room!
Lake Charlevoix Michigan 3 D Nautical Wood Chart 16X20

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Great Outdoors Activities in Chicago for Runners, Hikers, and Bikers

Since most of the following post is about things to do on land, I had to sneak in a boating video!

Grant Park Loop

If this is your first time visiting Chicago, you would want to explore the city just a little bit more out from the ordinary. The Giant Park Loop is a perfect destination for you to see the city from a different perspective of a tourist. The 4-mile paved trail is located in downtown Chicago and is the site of the famous Chicago Marathon. If you don’t feel like running, you can just lounge around the Grand Park and visit some of the popular attraction near the area like the Buckingham Fountain and Art Institute of Chicago.

Lakefront Trail

The Lakefront Trail is an 18-mile long that stretches along the shore of Lake Michigan. It runs along from Lincoln Park in Kathy Osterman Beach to the South Shore Cultural Center. The trail is a great way to spend those running legs while still getting the full view of the city’s skyline. It passes some of the famous tourist destinations like Grant Park and Navy Pier. Also, the Lakefront Trail offers not just a scenic view but mile markers and drinking fountains as well.

Des Plaines River Trail

If you really love nature then head on to Des Plaines River Trail.  The 55-mile gravel trail is one of the longest tracks in the Chicago area. It runs along the Wisconsin border and the southern part is located at the O’Hare International Airport. However, the trail can sometimes be flooded with water usually spring time but it most days it’s the best way to explore nature and Chicago’s wetland without running too much away from the civilization.

Great Western Trail

This 17-mile gravel trail follows an old deserted railroad from the western part of Sycamore to the LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve.  Most of the landscapes are crushed limestone but once you reach the wetlands of Kane Counties and DeKalb you will encounter wetlands in there. Once you start running or biking, watch out for great blue herons that may come your way.

Palos Trail System in Palos Forest Preserve

Calling all hardcore runners! The Palos Trail System in Palos Forest Preserve is looking for a challenger to tackle its unpaved trails and swelling terrain of wetlands, and secluded ravines. Anyone who needs extra training to master those Ironman skills is welcome to run in the Palos Trail System. To experience the trail head on to Pulaski Woods parking lot to get a warm up from several of its routes. Just be careful as most of the routes can only accommodate singer track, be a lookout for mountain bikers and other creatures on the road.

Fox River Trail

Well, if the above trail bores you then try to experience the Fox River Trail. This 40-miles paved trail is perfect for runners who want to run in rushing water. This trail runs along from the south of Algonquin to Oswego. Bikers will enjoy the scenery but the track is made for ultra-runners who are up for the challenge of running into the earthy sometimes muddy trail. You can reach Fox River in different Metro stations.

Want to commemorate your trip to Chicago? How about buying a Nautical Wood Chart Of The Chicago Shoreline! 
Chicago Shoreline 3-D Nautical Wood Chart 13.5 x 31