2013 Fall Foliage Travel Guide

ohio fall foliage
Office of TourismOhio

Don’t miss out on America’s grand costume change this fall. Leaf peeping opportunities abound as trees transform into a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, yellows and purples all over the country. There are many ways to enjoy the season — you can take an autumn road trip, go on a colorful hike or savor local foods and drinks against a spectacular backdrop.

See the full Fall Foliage Travel Guide on AOL Travel>>

And if you’re curious about what exactly makes the leaves change, the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau has a cool 3D site about fall foliage.

AAA Says Labor Day Weekend Travel Will Be Highest In Five Years

AAA
Eric Polk

A report by the American Automobile Association shows a bright spot in the nation’s economic news.

The AAA predicts that 34.1 million people are planning to take a trip of more than 50 miles from home this Labor Day weekend, up from 32.7 million last year and the highest in five years.

The rise is due to increased consumer confidence, with one poll saying it’s at a six-year high. A slight dip in fuel prices may also be a contributing factor.

The AAA says the average trip will cover 594 miles and travelers will spend $804.

Are you planning on going anywhere this Labor Day weekend? Are you feeling more or less confident about the economy and is this affecting your travel plans? Tell us about it in the comments section.

Stolen: A One-Mile Road In Russia

The unorthodox crime was allegedly committed by a 40-year-old Russian resident of Syktyvkar. The road had linked Parcheg with the Vychegda River before the mastermind carried in off in 82 reinforced concrete slabs.

How does one steal a road? NBC News reports:

Police uncovered the highway robbery when they pulled over a convoy of three heavy trucks carrying the slabs, which they said had been removed with a manipulator, an industrial machine that combines a bulldozer and a forklift.

The Interior Ministry valued the slabs at 200,000 rubles, or about $6,095.

The penalty for stealing a road in Russia? Up to two years in the pokey.

[via msnNOW]

Four Down Two Across: The Alaska Table Tennis Club And Mendenhall Glacier

It’s almost midnight in Anchorage as I write this, and the sun is just setting. Dawn is only a few hours away. The sheer length of a June day here takes some getting used to.

Robert and I started the day with a 9 a.m. meet-and-greet at KTOO, the public radio station in Juneau. About 60-70 listeners showed up. The station manager interviewed me on a small stage, and I ended by presenting some quick oral word puzzles – which the audience answered amazingly quickly.

On our way to the airport afterward, two ladies from the station graciously took us to see the Mendenhall Glacier just north of Juneau. They said the glacier has receded hundreds of yards in recent years, but it’s still an awesome sight.

Tonight in Anchorage, Robert and I joined the Alaska Table Tennis Club, which has a lot of solid players, including the reigning Alaska state champion. Karl Augestad runs the group. About 75 people turned out. As part of an exhibition, Robert performed some trick shots, including hitting the ball behind his back, around the net and with his shoe. We also played lots of matches. I won some and lost some in singles, but Robert and I were undefeated in doubles. A reporter/cameraman from KTUU, the local NBC affiliate, filmed part of the evening for a story to air on Friday night’s 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.
Regarding my word teaser yesterday, the answers were Juneau-Augusta-Tallahassee and Juneau-Austin-Indianapolis.

Here’s a new one: take the name ANCHORAGE and change three letters in it – without changing the order or positions of the six remaining letters – to spell a new word. At least one vowel has to change to a consonant or vice versa. Can you do it?

I don’t know if my answer is unique or not, but see what you can find.

Follow Will and Robert’s Trip across Alaska through next week at “Four Down Two Across.”

Tonke Campers Are The Modern Nomad’s Motorhome

When I was 3 years old, my parents invested in a Roll-A-Long camper. It wasn’t sleek, like the Winnebagos of the day. It was more like a super-sized camper shell mounted on the forerunner of a dually truck. It was badass, and survived innumerable family vacations and sleepovers (when my brother and I were in college, we’d bring friends down to my parents ranch, and use it as a dorm of sorts).

Sadly, my parents sold the camper after I graduated. Unbeknownst to them, I’d been silently contemplating living it it, in order to save money and support my nomadic lifestyle. Not long after the sale, my dad said, “If I’d known you were going to move so often, I would have just sold it to you.” Dammit.

I’ve longed to live in an RV ever since. I still fantasize about it, and despite my love of vintage trailers, I find the immediacy of a camper more appealing. Interior design is also crucial to me (the Roll-A-Long’s was hideous, even for the early ’70s). Therefore, I was delighted to discover Tonke Campers.

Thrillist aptly describes these groovy, custom Dutch campers as “old-world Gypsy carts.” The Fieldsleeper 1 model they feature is mounted on a Mercedes Sprinter. It boasts polished wood interiors and exteriors; teak flooring; colorful retro fittings; an ample kitchen; cozy sleepers for three; and a bathroom kitted out with a shower and eco-friendly toilet. The rear doors open for an al fresco dining experience, and there’s hidden bike storage. Most ingenious, hydraulic legs make it easy to ditch the shell so you have an “around town” vehicle. Should all that not be enough, Tonke Campers founder Maarten van Soest will happily create a “motorhome” to suit your needs. That’s what I call living the dream.