Gadlinks for Monday 8.17.09

Another week of summer has come and gone, and we’re just hanging on to those last few certain days of warmth before fall kicks in! Last week we had some great travel reads, and this week will likely be no different. But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to catch our normal Gadlinks, for today’s links are in keeping with the “scenic” theme we have going here on Gadling today. Check these out for some scenic inspiration:

‘Til tomorrow, have a great evening!

More Gadlinks HERE.

The scenic Monterey coastline

If you haven’t heard of the 17 Mile Drive, now you have, and now’s the time to enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful coastlines. Minutes from downtown Monterey, California, the 17 Mile Drive winds through the prestigious gated community of Pebble Beach in Carmel, past the Del Monte Forest, and along gorgeous stretches of secluded coves, pristine beaches, and oceanfront mansions.

There are hundreds of attractions along this scenic coastal road that makes traffic sometimes unbearable during the summer. You can avoid crowds by entering at the Spanish Bay gate, or it may be worthwhile to enjoy this route by bike or during the off-season, though it may be colder, foggier, and less sunny.

Aside from passing three lovely golf courses (Poppy Hills, Spyglass Hill, and Pebble Beach), this scenic road boasts natural attractions such as Fanshell Beach, Seal Rock, and the Lone Cypress tree. There’s even a new big wave surf spot called “Ghost Tree” that’s a spectacle in itself when the swell is just right.

There’s a helpful brochure that you should pick up at the entry gate in Pebble Beach that outlines the “21 Points of Interest” along the 17-Mile Drive. All you have to do is follow the marked route and enjoy the sights along the way.

If the drive is not enough, and you’re not so into golf courses and coastal vistas, there are plenty of fine dining establishments and quaint bed and breakfasts along the route.

Scenic America: The Four Corners

When you’re figuring out where to go for vacation, you might want beautiful vistas, clean air, ancient ruins, and traditional cultures. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking they have to go to some remote country to find all that. You don’t. Head over to the Four Corners region and you’ll get all that and more.

The Four Corners, where the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah meet, is home to several national monuments and parks as well as some of the most stunning scenery in the country. Much of the area is taken up by various Native American reservations, including the Navajo Nation, which is the largest. This region has been a center of native culture for thousands of years, and includes several well-preserved pueblos, adobe villages preserved by the elements and their builders’ natural ingenuity. The best are Canyon de Chelly and Mesa Verde.

“Awe inspiring” is a hackneyed phrase in travel writing, but you’d have to be a robot not to be moved by the vast open spaces, rugged mountains, and varied colors of the landscape. The desert has a subtle beauty to it that grows on you the longer you stay. Sometimes it’s not so subtle, like when you pass through the massive buttes of Monument Valley or watch the sunset change the sky from pink to crimson to purple over the course of a quiet half hour.

While the region seems remote, it’s quite easy to get to. One scenic route is to fly into Phoenix (definitely not a scenic start, but it gets better), drive a rental car up to the old logging town of Flagstaff in the mountains, stop at the Grand Canyon and Painted Desert, and continue on to the Four Corners. You can see a lot in a long weekend, but you might want to consider staying a whole week and exploring some of the more untrod areas.


Views at NYC’s new High Line Park

The High Line has been open for a couple of months now, but in case you haven’t made it to NYC (or the west side) yet, we took some photos of the truly beautiful new park in the sky.

As we noted in “New York’s High Line Park stories,” the first section to be opened (and the one we photographed) was/is the section from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, stretching through the Meatpacking District and Chelsea. From scenic views to creative and eye-catching architecture, you’ll definitely want to see the new city park in person.

Our stroll from the bottom to the top of the park included astonishing views of the city and the Hudson River, walking by cute couples, cute children, people relaxing on built-in lounging chairs, people having a picnic, gelato stands, and lots and lots of greenery — it’s like they’ve built a meadow up there on the old railroad tracks. We did our darndest to sort out the best of the photos, but High Line Park is long and hard to capture; you’d best come see it for yourself.

For information about free events and guided tours, click here.

SkyMall Monday: Digital Nightvision Scope

Outside of the SkyMall Monday Headquarters, I’ve seen some epically beautifully things. Soaring mountains, raging waterfalls and rolling meadows that stretched towards what seemed like an infinite horizon. Yep, the world is a beautiful place. But, sometimes that beauty is hiding. Sometimes, that beauty tries to evade you. Sometimes, you have to hunt for that beauty. You see, from time to time, the greatest natural wonder is also the most clever: human. What’s more beautiful than a young lady who perhaps you once datedl. Or who is living in a fifth floor apartment? Or whose court ordered restraining order requires you to stay 100 yards from her? Yes, that is the truest of beauties. But how does one appreciate this gorgeous scenery when the sun goes down? And how does one gaze upon its wonder from a distance approved by local law enforcement? Thankfully, SkyMall understands that beauty is not always about mountains and waterfalls that everyone can share. Sometimes it’s about a beauty that only you deserve to see. And in those complicated times, there’s no better tool for the lover of beauty than the 250′ Digital Nightvision Scope.

With its 250′ range and six hours of battery life, it’s a shame that it doesn’t come with a sandwich, because you’re going to be lurking in the bushes for a while. Now, neither distance nor darkness will stop you from appreciating the natural beauty of that girl who just doesn’t understand that only you can make her happy. Don’t think that a Digital Nightvision Scope is the way to appreciate all the beauty that the world has to offer? Why won’t you people just leave me alone? Well, at least the official SkyMall product description understands me.

Perfect for late night counter-surveillance or daytime surveillance operations…With the help of a tripod, it can be used for stationary long-term viewing as well as for video recording on peripheral equipment.

She will be mine. Oh yes, she will be mine. Sure, you could use the Digital Nightvision Scope to view those mountains and waterfalls and meadows. But that scenery won’t help you pleasure yourself (unless mountains are your thing, freak).

So, fix yourself a sandwich, grab your favorite lotion and bring the Digital Nightvision Scope with you as you perch yourself on your favorite tree branch. You finally have a room with a view.

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.