Travel Oregon Awards Funds to Oregon Communities Through its Innovative …

— /PRNewswire/ — Travel Oregon, in partnership with Sustainable Travel International, will donate more than $14,000 to projects throughout Oregon that improve the environment, support local culture and enrich the destination for future visitors through the Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund (OTPF).

OTPF is the first statewide program of its kind. The goal of the program is to improve experiences for visitors and locals by connecting them to participating businesses that directly improve and enhance Oregon communities.

“We chose to donate to projects that represent some of the best work being done to steward the environment, build community and showcase the food and culture that make Oregon a great destination,” said Kristin Dahl, Senior Manager of Destination Development at Travel Oregon.

The fund supports one project from each of Oregon’s seven tourism regions. Examples include: the creation of the Mosier Plateau Trail, a sustainable non-motorized trail to be built on Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust land with direct access to the community of Mosier, Ore.; support of the Sustainable Seafood Initiative to encourage visitors and businesses to buy local, sustainable seafood through the expansion of Haystack Rock Awareness Program’s educational outreach; and in Portland, the Living Highways Project will plant and maintain over 5,000 trees along I-205, as part of the Greenspace Initiative. Each of the seven projects will receive more than $2,000. For more information on the fund, go to http://www.traveloregonforever.com.

“The Oregon Travel Philanthropy Fund is helping us create a European-type trekking experience that allows people to love the Columbia Gorge without loving it to death,” said Kevin Gorman, Executive Director of the Friends of the Columbia Gorge.

Current participants in the OTPF are: The Heathman Hotel (Portland), The Jupiter Hotel (Portland), The Double Diamond Lodge BB (Oakridge), Geiser Grand Hotel (Baker City), Old Parkdale Inn (Parkdale), WildSpring Guest Habitat (Port Orford), Cannon Beach Vacation Rentals (Cannon Beach), Black Walnut Inn (Dundee), Hotel Lucia (Portland), The Governor Hotel (Portland), Hotel deLuxe (Portland), Surfsand Resort (Cannon Beach), Stephanie Inn (Cannon Beach), Stephanie Inn Dining Room (Cannon Beach), Inn of the Four Winds (Seaside), Wayfarer Restaurant (Cannon Beach), Lumberyard Rotisserie Grill (Cannon Beach) and Inn at Seaside (Seaside). 

For more information, or to participate in the OTPF, contact Harry Dalgaard at Harry@TravelOregon.com.

Travel Oregon The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors’ experience by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission aims to improve Oregonians’ quality of life by strengthening economic impacts of the state’s $8.8 billion tourism industry that employs nearly 92,000 Oregonians.

www.TravelOregon.com

Sustainable Travel International Sustainable Travel International’s (STI) forward-thinking solutions strengthen the positive impacts of tourism worldwide, with a clear focus on the bottom line. The STI team specializes in connecting constituents across the value chain in order to affect change in the industry. As a result, STI partners with destinations and multi-national corporations to advance their sustainability efforts, and offers small to medium-sized businesses a suite of turnkey sustainability management tools.

Ultimately, STI’s programs help tourism businesses safeguard the authenticity of the destinations they serve, helping to protect their natural and cultural heritage, while contributing to local economic development. www.SustainableTravel.org

SOURCE Travel Oregon

Article source: http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/02/28/4656543/travel-oregon-awards-funds-to.html

Cambodia Travel: 5 Free Things To Do And See In Phnom Penh (PHOTOS)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — The Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh is rapidly modernizing. A gargantuan hotel and casino called NagaWorld has recently been completed, and dime-a-dozen skyscrapers are popping up all over the city. But some of the city’s most interesting places are connected to its past. A number of museums honor victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide, while French Colonial architecture harkens back to a bygone era when the city was known as the Pearl of Asia. Decades later, the nickname still seems apt, suggesting pure beauty inside a tough shell.

Phnom Penh’s developing tourism sector also means that nearly every attraction has an entry fee, even if just a dollar or two. But in keeping with history, some sites cost nothing at all.

CHROY CHANGVAR BRIDGE

To observe a country at a crossroads, what better place than a serene suspension bridge? Constructed in 1966 and rebuilt in 1995 after its destruction at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, the Japanese-Cambodian Friendship Bridge provides a panoramic look at life along both sides of the Tonle Sap River. Make treks across the narrow footpath if you dare, though be prepared to dodge oncoming traffic, or simply pause to admire a view that stretches for miles.

SISOWATH QUAY

For a waterfront adventure a bit closer to the ground, wander past the charming cafe, boisterous pubs and many shops along this popular riverfront stretch. With the Royal Palace in the background, duck into the galleries along Street 178, known to locals as Art Street, for a glimpse at local handicrafts and silk samples. Overlooking the Chaktomuk, the convergence point of the city’s three rivers – the Tonle Sap, the Mekong, and the Basaac – this paved walkway bustles at any time of day but comes alive at night, when tourists and locals alike pour into mainstays like the Foreign Correspondents Club bar.

PHSAR THOM THMEI

Beneath a lemon-yellow art deco dome, the Central Market offers miles of no-strings-attached window-shopping. But if you can’t stand the thought of leaving empty-handed, pick up flip-flops, jewelry, delicacies like juicy mangosteen fruit or fried insects, or khama scarves in bright, gingham-like patterns. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, the nearby Night Market (Phsar Reatrey) becomes to go-to spot for displaying handicrafts produced by local artisans.

TEMPLE TIME

With a pricetag of a dollar, admission to the centuries-old hilltop temple of Wat Phnom isn’t quite free. Nor are the elephant rides that are offered on site. But a free and carefree stroll along the bucolic grounds is a reward in and of itself. Sculpted into the hillside leading to the temple’s entrance is a functioning topiary clock, whereas the gigantic sculpture of a Naga, or sea snake, provides yet another photo op.

MONUMENTAL TRIBUTES

Though statues crop up in unusual places around town, two of the most iconic structures sit just steps away from the Royal Palace. Inspired by lotus blossoms and Buddhist stupas, or burial mounds, the bulbous spire of the Independence Monument is a striking shade of terra cotta by day and brightly illuminated by night. Glowing or not, it was constructed in 1958 to commemorate independence from the French that had been achieved five years prior. The concrete soldiers at the base of the Cambodian Vietnamese Friendship Monument, on the other hand, pay tribute to an alliance formed between the two countries in the aftermath of the 1979 fall of the Khmer Rouge. But its political message makes it a lightning rod for protest – in 2007, unidentified suspects detonated a bomb near the statue.

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  • Local motorists transport the Chroy Changvar bridge, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Constructed in 1966 and rebuilt in 1995 after its destruction at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, the Japanese-Cambodian Friendship Bridge provides a panoramic look at life along both sides of the Tonle Sap River. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • The statue of former King Sisowath, center, is displayed at Wat Phnom, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. With a pricetag of a dollar, admission to the centuries-old hilltop temple of Wat Phnom isn’t quite free. Nor are the elephant rides that are offered on site. But a free and carefree stroll along the bucolic grounds is a reward in and of itself. Sculpted into the hillside leading to the temple’s entrance is a functioning topiary clock, whereas the gigantic sculpture of a Naga, or sea snake, provides yet another photo op. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • An overview of the Central Market (Phsar Thum They) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Beneath a lemon-yellow art deco dome, the Central Market offers miles of no-strings-attached window-shopping. But if you can’t stand the thought of leaving empty-handed, pick up flip-flops, jewelry, delicacies like juicy mangosteen fruit or fried insects, or khama scarves in bright, gingham-like patterns. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, the nearby Night Market (Phsar Reatrey) becomes to go-to spot for displaying handicrafts produced by local artisans.(AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • Cambodian jewelry vendors wait for customers in the Central Market (Phsar Thum They) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Beneath a lemon-yellow art deco dome, the Central Market offers miles of no-strings-attached window-shopping. But if you can’t stand the thought of leaving empty-handed, pick up flip-flops, jewelry, delicacies like juicy mangosteen fruit or fried insects, or khama scarves in bright, gingham-like patterns. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • A Cambodian vendor selling home goods waits for customers at the Central Market (Phsar Thum They) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Beneath a lemon-yellow art deco dome, the Central Market offers miles of no-strings-attached window-shopping. But if you can’t stand the thought of leaving empty-handed, pick up flip-flops, jewelry, delicacies like juicy mangosteen fruit or fried insects, or khama scarves in bright, gingham-like patterns. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • Cambodian vendors sit in their jewelry booths in the Central Market (Phsar Thum They) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Beneath a lemon-yellow art deco dome, the Central Market offers miles of no-strings-attached window-shopping. But if you can’t stand the thought of leaving empty-handed, pick up flip-flops, jewelry, delicacies like juicy mangosteen fruit or fried insects, or khama scarves in bright, gingham-like patterns. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • A Cambodian motorist transports a Buddhist monk, center, while driving past Independence Monument, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Independence Monument is a striking shade of terra cotta by day and brightly illuminated by night. Glowing or not, it was constructed in 1958 to commemorate independence from the French that had been achieved five years prior. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • The Cambodian Vietnamese Friendship Monument is seen at a public park near the Royal Palace, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Glowing or not, it was constructed in 1958 to commemorate independence from the French that had been achieved five years prior. The concrete soldiers at the base of the Cambodian Vietnamese Friendship Monument, on the other hand, pay tribute to an alliance formed between the two countries in the aftermath of the 1979 fall of the Khmer Rouge. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • A lion statue sits beside the Independence Monument, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Independence Monument is a striking shade of terra cotta by day and brightly illuminated by night. Glowing or not, it was constructed in 1958 to commemorate independence from the French that had been achieved five years prior. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • Tourists ride on three-wheeled pedicabs while passing an entrance of Wat Phnom, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. With a pricetag of a dollar, admission to the centuries-old hilltop temple of Wat Phnom isn’t quite free. Nor are the elephant rides that are offered on site. But a free and carefree stroll along the bucolic grounds is a reward in and of itself. Sculpted into the hillside leading to the temple’s entrance is a functioning topiary clock, whereas the gigantic sculpture of a Naga, or sea snake, provides yet another photo op. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • Visitors sit near a large clock displayed on the ground at Wat Phnom, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • Foreign tourists enter a museum, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Phnom Penh’s developing tourism sector also means that nearly every attraction has an entry fee, even if just a dollar or two. But in keeping with history, some sites cost nothing at all. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • Foreign tourists walk through an entrance of a museum, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Phnom Penh’s developing tourism sector also means that nearly every attraction has an entry fee, even if just a dollar or two. But in keeping with history, some sites cost nothing at all. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

  • WATCH: Obama Makes Historic Visit To Myanmar Cambodia

    President Obama becomes the first American leader to visit the countries of Mayanmar and Cambodia.

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/28/cambodia-travel-phnom-penh_n_2781757.html?utm_hp_ref=travel

Time Travel and Goal-Setting Go Together Like PB&J

If you had the opportunity to see your own future, would you take it? This is a question I wrestled with a lot while writing my YA novels, Timeless and Timekeeper (Random House), which tell the story of a girl who can travel back and forth through time — and whose actions constantly impact the world around her. As I put my characters in these surreal situations, I often asked myself, on a real-world level: Would it really be an advantage to know what lies ahead in life? Or would it more than likely lead down a messy rabbit hole of trying to change your destiny? What I came away with was a method for using the idea of time-travel to improve our lives and bring us the destiny we want and choose — right now.

Imagine that five years ago, you got to jump into the future for a sneak-peek of where you are in life today: your current home, job, relationship status, etc. Would the big reveal of Future You be a thrill or a disappointment? While we may not be able to literally see what lies ahead, we mere mortals can still create the future we want by doing a little time travel mind trick — or as I like to call it, mind travel!

Still with me? The idea is this: As many a self-improvement guru will tell you, your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and imagined. And if you believe something to be real with every fiber of your being, your subconscious will do everything in its power to prove you right — by making your dream a reality. So the way in which time travel can be a useful tool is through visualization. Looking into the future, what do you want to see? Imagine it in as much detail as you can: your dream career, partner, house, and life. See yourself jumping out of bed in the morning excited to start your day, because there is so much fabulousness in your life and so much to look forward to! The most important part is this: believing that what you’re seeing in your mind is the future, that you caught a real glimpse of all that’s to come. By believing in this vision fully, your subconscious and your actions in the present will align to bring you toward the future you’ve just seen.

I know, that sounds super New-Agey! But I’ve seen it work firsthand. If I were to jump back in time to visit my younger self, I’d find a kid who was obsessed with books and who constantly daydreamed about becoming a published author. I know all that daydreaming, aka mind traveling, played a role in making this dream come true.

Sometimes all it takes is a leap of faith. Will you make the jump?

For more by Alexandra Monir, click here.

For more on GPS for the Soul, click here.


Follow Alexandra Monir on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/@TimelessAlex

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexandra-monir/setting-goals_b_2774789.html

Amazon nabs Food Network, Travel Channel for Instant Video

Food Network host Guy Fieri of ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.’


(Credit:
Scripps Networks Interactive)

Now that it’s wooed CBS for a whole slew of content, Amazon’s moved on to Scripps and its popular Food Network and Travel Channel shows.

The online retail giant has struck a deal with Scripps Networks Interactive to stream past seasons of Scripps’ most popular programming on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service.

This is the first time Scripps has partnered with a subscription service to stream its shows, according to a press release. Scripps’ networks include HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel. The shows include “Rachael Ray’s Week in a Day,” “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” “Cupcake Wars,” “House Hunters,” “Iron Chef America,” “Chopped,” “Drive-Ins and Dives,” and “Throwdown With Bobby Flay.” Prime Instant Video customers will also be able to buy and download some of the shows.

Henry Ahn, executive vice president of Content Distribution and Marketing for Scripps, said Amazon was already selling goods branded by Scripps’ shows on its platform, so the videos are a good fit:

Licensing content from our extensive library to Amazon provides our millions of avid fans with yet another opportunity to engage with our entertaining and informative content. And the Amazon platform is a great complement to our branded products such as books, cookware, furniture and accessories, lighting and more.

Amazon has been ramping up its efforts in the war with rivals Netflix and Hulu over premium and exclusive content. Within the last month, Amazon has extended its contract with CBS (CNET’s parent company), and struck exclusive deals with both FX and PBS.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57571844-93/amazon-nabs-food-network-travel-channel-for-instant-video/

Air travel chaos ends, for now

Flight schedules are finally back to normal after nearly a full-week of storm-induced chaos.

Only 90 flights had been canceled across the nation as of 11:35 a.m. ET, a relatively low number that’s indicative of a close-to-normal day. Of those, about a third came at the three delay-prone New York City-area airports and from Boston.

FLIGHT TRACKER: Is your flight on time?

But, today’s normalcy follows a rough week for air travelers after two potent winter storms roared through the central U.S. and into the Northeast within four days of each other.

Airline schedules took a hit during the storm, with more than 3,700 cancellations Sunday through today (Feb. 28) and another 2,100 during from last Thursday and Friday (Feb. 21-22), according to flight-tracking company FlightStats.

There were several tails of travel woe during that weeklong stretch, including a United Express regional jet got stuck for two hours on a snowy taxiway in Wichita. And, in Cleveland, a United 737 slid off an icy taxiway there.

RELATED: United Express pilot plays piano to soothe stranded fliers

There were some more uplifting stories, too — such as a pilot for United Express who took to a piano to help soothe stranded fliers in St. Louis.

But, even with improving weather, air travelers’ relief may be short-lived.

RELATED: FAA chief: Flights at major hubs face 90-minute delays

USA TODAY reports federal aviation officials and air-traffic controllers warned Wednesday that flights through big-city hub airports could suffer major delays under automatic government spending cuts scheduled to begin Friday.

The full effect of the cuts is expected in April because controllers must be given 30 days notice about staffing changes.

Stay tuned …

Article source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2013/02/28/flights/1953747/

Sequester railroads Biden’s pricey plane travel

As the federal budget goes off the rails, Joe Biden’s getting back on — with Amtrak.

The looming sequester is forcing the veep to once again take the train — as opposed to military aircraft — to his weekend trips home to Delaware.

Biden said Wednesday he initiated the change, calling it the one thing about the sequester that’s working to his “benefit.”

Speaking at the National Association of Attorneys General, Biden said that while he took nearly 8,000 train trips as senator, the Secret Service made him travel by air because the Amtrak “gives too many opportunities for people to interact with me in a way they wouldn’t like to see.”  

But because of the looming budget cuts, Biden said: “I was able to say, ‘Look guys, I’ve got to take the train now — it’s cheaper than flying.’ So I get to take the train again.”

The plane trips to Delaware cost tens of thousands of dollars each, according to published reports.

Multiple sources confirmed the vice president’s plans.

“AF2 is grounded for weekend trips starting Friday,” one source said, referring to the pricey military plane Biden uses most weekends to travel home, often to play golf at Fieldstone Golf Club, a private club. Biden also occasionally flies by military plane to Delaware during the week.

“He’ll start taking the train again this weekend when the sequestration starts. It’s a huge expense to be taking the military flights,” a source said. “So now it’s back to ‘regular Joe.”

And by “regular Joe,” that means first-class seats, nowhere near the quiet car. Those familiar with the veep’s travel history say Biden would pass some of the one-hour, 18-minute trip from D.C. to Wilmington, Del., reading the paper or reviewing work materials.

But mostly he just talks, a source said. A lot. And poses for photos.

“He just walks around shaking hands posing for pics,” said the source. “He talks to everyone and anyone, and doesn’t sit still.”

Article source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/28/sequester-railroads-bidens-pricey-plane-travel/

Pet Flys offers stylish travel carriers


Ask me a question.

WASHINGTON, February 27, 2013 — Stylish, smart pets insist on traveling in dog carriers from Pet Flys. This American brand sets the bar when it comes to traveling with your four legged family member, with sophisticated touches dog lovers have come to appreciate. 

The Bon Ami Tote comes in four designs featuring air vents, a side mesh window, two generous cargo pockets, a convenient zipper compartment, a locking horseshoe window for safety, paw print metal feet on the bottom, a convertible mesh top (that can easily be zipped closed), two mats and a cuddle blanket. The Bon Ami Tote is airline approved and will accommodate pets up to 16 pounds.   

Made of 100% cotton, the Canvas Boat Tote is also airline approved. Weighing just 2.25 pounds, this carrier comes with a machine washable plush pillow and cuddle blankie. There’s a special pocket on the side for your important stuff including your pet’s health certificate, required to fly, and a silky fashion scarf. Choose from two designs; the “Mon Bon Chien” tote, or “Rescue” tote. Easily carries pets weighing less than twelve pounds. There is also a safety strap inside.  

Pet Flys RunAround Tote is for the pet that absolutely has to go everywhere with their guardian. This pet carrier is also lightweight, only 1.50 pounds, is lined with super soft faux mink, and includes everything your pet needs for comfort including a soft cuddle blanket, interior mat, and safety chain. For humans, there’s an animal print scarf, a matching shuttle purse and a sparkle-key-chain. The RunAround Tote accommodates pets from two to 16 pounds and is available in three colors. 

Never leave your pet unattended in any pet carrier. Sold on line at www.petflys.com and at fine pet boutiques.


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

Article source: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/traveling-your-pets/2013/feb/27/pet-flys-offers-stylish-travel-carriers/

DOJ spends millions on ‘nonmission’ luxury travel for Attorney Generals, FBI …

A Government Accountability Office report reveals that the Justice Department has spent $11.4 million to fly the Attorney General and FBI director on FBI luxury jets for travel unrelated to the agency’s mission.

Iowa Republican and ranking judiciary committee member Sen. Chuck Grassley — who requested GAO look into Justice Department aircraft being used to for “nonmission” reasons — released the report Thursday.

“These luxury jets were supposedly needed for counterterrorism, but it turns out that they were used almost two-thirds of the time for jet-setting executive travel instead,” Grassley said. “Nobody disputes that the Attorney General and the FBI Director should have access to the secure communications, but, for instance, there’s no reason they can’t take a less expensive mode of transportation, or cut their personal travel.”

The GAO looked at nonmission jet use from 2007-2011. In that timeframe, the report explains, the “three individuals who served as Attorney General (AG) and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) accounted for 95 percent (659 out of 697 flights) of all Department of Justice (DOJ) executive nonmission flights using DOJ aircraft at a total cost of $11.4 million.”

According to the report, personal flights accounted for 24 percent of nonmission flights and that the AGs and FBI director reimbursed that travel “in accordance with federal requirements.” Yet, as the report notes, that reimbursement “is generally less than the cost of operating a government aircraft” as it is largely reimbursed at the cost of a commercial rate.

Additionally, the GAO report revealed that over those five years DOJ spent $1.5 million to fly jets several miles from “an undisclosed location in the Washington area” to Reagan National Airport to pick up the Attorney General and FBI director Robert Mueller. The report notes that the FBI considers these “positioning flights to be necessary” because the location is “covert.”

“The taxpayers expect some discretion on this type of thing. I’m really interested in how the Attorney General can claim that federal law enforcement agents will be cut, knowing that over the last 5 years the Department has allowed for millions of dollars to be spent on personal travel. It’s ludicrous,” Grassley added. “The hypocrisy from the administration when they say that ‘the cuts apply to you, but not to me’ is hard to believe.”

NEXT PAGE: Holder says budget cuts leave Americans less safe

Article source: http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/28/doj-spends-millions-on-nonmission-luxury-travel-for-attorney-generals-fbi-director/

Helena’s Connolly stars in adventure show on Travel Channel

Athlete, adventurer and author Kevin Michael Connolly is at it again.

And no one who knows him in his hometown Helena is surprised.

This time, he’s scaling 50-foot trees in the Smoky Mountains, diving off 40-foot cliffs in Hawaii and street luging in L.A.

Connolly, a photographer and filmmaker who was born without legs, stars in his own new adventure series, “Armed Ready” on the Travel Channel at 8 p.m. Tuesday nights.

“It’s getting pretty crazy,” he said in an IR phone interview from New York City earlier this week.

“If you know me … you know I’ve been doing X-Games and have been an outdoors guy since day one.”

The show is “take an activity or sport you don’t think a legless guy can do and then you make him do it,” he said with a laugh. “Every new episode is breaking new ground in the adaptive sporting world.”

The adventures are all his ideas, he said. “It tapped into my inner 8-year-old,” which is apparently alive and well and having the time of its life. He’s doing things he always wanted to do, like trying out being an astronaut or knight, or tackling sports he’s never seen people with disabilities do.

In each show, Connolly works with a local “guide” to test his limits tackling new feats. Together, they improvise a rig that gives Connolly the mobility he needs to take him where he wants to go.

Eminent adaptability is something he’s an expert at — having fine-tuned the skill since he was a small child in Helena.

It started with his parents, Marie and Brian, the day they brought him home from St. Peter’s Hospital.

The crib they’d readied was no longer going to work, so they bedded Kevin down in a sock drawer.

They took to heart the words of the doctor who spoke with them after Kevin’s birth: “You have a beautiful baby. There’s nothing physically wrong with him … he just happens to not have any legs. The only limitations he has are what you put on him.”

Overcoming limits has been a theme of his life.

One source of inspiration was a popular 1980s TV show. “MacGyver,” according to Connolly’s memoir, “Double Take.”

In each show, the former government agent improvised an array of ingenious gadgets out of household items to get himself out of some dastardly fix — from making homemade mortar rounds to lock picks. Connolly and his dad watched the show religiously and channeled their own inner-MacGyver.

From riding a motorized mountain board as he shreds ATV trails in Hawaii to scaling a tree in a sawed-off banquet chair, Connolly has rigged a rig to get him where he wants to go.

Long ago, he figured out the fastest way to cover ground since shedding his prosthetic legs decades ago as too slow and awkward.

Traveling on a signature longboard and using duct-taped “gauntlet” gloves a few years ago, he traveled through 27 countries, snapping photos of the stares and reactions from people around the world. Then, turning the tables on them, he created his own photo exhibit “The Rolling Exhibition,” which has shown at the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center, U.S. universities and overseas — including England, China and the Czech Republic.

Connolly excels at adventure and at overcoming fear.

“It’s not that he’s not afraid,” said his mother, Marie. “The difference is, he does it anyway. He’s not going to back away from a challenge.

“You have to make life adapt to you — make life as normal as possible,” she said of their philosophy. “What he hopes to teach people is that everyone has limitations. We can all push our boundaries beyond what’s comfortable.”

One of the first places he pushed his boundaries was on Montana’s ski slopes.

With the help of self-described “Dirtbag” Buck Rea, a ski bum and volunteer for Eagle Mount, a recreational program for the disabled, Connolly tapped into his fearlessness and amazing athletic ability.

“He was 10 or 11,” recalled Rea. “He’s a good kid and he’s willing to try anything.”

The two immediately hit it off and they spent countless weekends on the slopes.

Connolly regularly leaves two-legged, expert skiers eating his powder, as captured in an Outside Magazine feature on him in November 2010.

“He was amazing, you can’t even describe it,” said Rea of Connolly’s skiing. “He’s centered on one ski — it’s amazing to watch.”

Steep slopes, ice — Connolly was undaunted.

“The nice thing — there were no limits of where he could go,” said Rea. “He wasn’t disabled in that setting.”

Connolly would medal twice in the X Games — 2007 and 2010 — and was two-time overall Junior National Champion in the mono ski category, said Rea.

His parents are used to him pushing his limits, in fact, it’s something you could say they’ve encouraged.

“He spent his lifetime outdoors,” playing with a huge gang of cousins, said Marie. When he was still in grade school, he could pilot an 18-foot raft down the Dearborn River. He would later take a two-week solo trip into the Tobacco Root Mountains wilderness, climbing a 10,000-foot peak along the way.

That time he was armed and ready with pepper spray and a big knife.

Connolly’s adventuresome spirit and the Outside Magazine article attracted the interest of the Travel Channel.

“We’re all about having a fresh perspective traveling the world,” said Bonnary Lek, a Travel Channel communications manager.

“After speaking with Kevin, he came up with a bucket list,” Lek said. “They’re things he always wanted to do, but on these adventures he has a camera following him.”

The series builds on everything he learned in Helena, Connolly said.

It started when he was a small kid and his dad parked in the furthest corner of the Albertsons parking lot in January, so Connolly would have to push his limits just get in the door of the store.

“In every episode I’m going to be scared,” he said, citing a cliff dive, rafting Class 4 whitewater rapids and jousting on horseback.

“I think what the show sets out to say… it doesn’t matter what your physical ability or disability is … when you travel,” he said, “… if you give it enough elbow grease and moxie you’ll be able to do whatever you want.”

And just as MacGyver inspired ways to improvise in life, Connolly might just give some young kids with disabilities a few ideas.

While it’s primarily an adventure travel show, he said, “it would be cool if it makes the world a little easier for other kids with disabilities.”

Article source: http://helenair.com/lifestyles/recreation/helena-s-connolly-stars-in-adventure-show-on-travel-channel/article_5f83d4f6-8178-11e2-aa1c-0019bb2963f4.html

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Article source: http://bostonherald.com/entertainment/travel/2013/02/score_big_savings_at_aaa_travel_expo