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Home Travel Western Travel Buzz Latest News, Deals & Savings for April 13

Latest News, Deals & Savings for April 13

This week: National Park Week celebrations offer plenty for you to explore, Grand Canyon National Park readies its second annual Celebrate Wildlife Day, and don’t miss New Mexico’s Billy the Kid Trail Ride and fandango

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National Park Week Festivities Set for April 18-26

Scavenger hunts, craft demonstrations, puppet shows, artillery displays, and nature hikes are just some of the hundreds of free special events taking place in national parks during National Park Week 2009, celebrated this year from April 18 through 26.

A list of activities for this Presidentially-proclaimed week is available at
www.nps.gov/npweek .

"Throughout the country, from busy cities to remote wilderness areas, national parks are places of history, recreation, and inspiration," said acting National Park Service Director Dan Wenk. "During National Park Week visitors, especially children, are encouraged to discover their national parks through many extra programs and special events."

Additionally, more than 225 National Park Service sites will host youth-oriented activities on Saturday, April 25, for the 3rd annual National Junior Ranger Day.

"The Junior Ranger program is the National Park Service's signature program for young visitors," said Wenk. "Throughout the year children earn badges and certificates after completing age-appropriate park related activities at their own pace. On Junior Ranger Day many parks will have additional special events and guided programs. Children will also receive commemorative 2009 Junior Ranger Day pins and certificates."

Among the many activities in the West on that day, young visitors can learn nautical skills at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, interact with wolves at Petroglyph National Monument, create Native American coup sticks at Washita Battlefield National Historic Site, and learn how to "Leave No Trace" at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.

To see the schedule of events visit
http://www.nps.gov/npweek/sched.htm for a state-by-state list.

Grand Canyon NP Readies 2nd Annual Celebrate Wildlife Day

The second annual Celebrate Wildlife Day at Grand Canyon National Park will be held Saturday, May 2, 2009, with special exhibits and programs, live animal demonstrations and fun for the entire family.

All Wildlife Day activities will take place at the Shrine of the Ages on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The day's outdoor activities will start at 7 a.m. and will include bird walks, track and scat identification workshops, telemetry workshops, and more.

The special indoor programs will begin at 10 a.m. and will include talks on bats, condors, squirrels and mountain lions, just to name a few. As last year, there will be an open house from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the shrine with exhibits, touch tables, informal activities and book sales.

New additions will include exhibits by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers. Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center of Phoenix, Arizona, a popular highlight of last year's event, will once again be conducting educational demonstrations with live animals from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Celebrate Wildlife Day will conclude at the shrine with a wildlife skit prepared by the students of Grand Canyon Unified School District at 7 p.m. followed by a special evening presentation by wildlife biologist, Robert Mesta, author of the book Condor: Spirit of the Canyon.

Celebrate Wildlife Day provides visitors with opportunities to learn about regional wildlife and about the work of wildlife biologists.

For a copy of the event schedule or to learn more about Celebrate Wildlife Day, please visit the park's website at
www.nps.gov/grca/naturescience/wildlife-day.htm or call Park Ranger Lori Rome at (928) 638-7783.

Fandango Celebrates Billy the Kid Trail Ride

Get a hands-on, seat-in-the-saddle look at New Mexico's Western heritage up close and personal with the folks in Lincoln, New Mexico when they celebrate completion of the seventh annual Billy the Kid Trail Ride May 16, 2009.

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The Billy the Kid Trail Ride begins in Ft. Sumner May 9, 2009 and travels 125 miles to Lincoln over the same route that Billy the Kid used to move between Lincoln and Ft. Sumner after his infamous escape from the Lincoln County Jail in April 1881.

With historically accurate reenactments, story telling, chuck wagon dinners and safe horsemanship, the Billy the Kid Trail Ride, through its host ranches, offers a true western experience while preserving lands and landmarks.

After the riders hit Lincoln May 16 - and after a well-earned opportunity to freshen up - they will join Lincoln residents and their visitors in the fun of an old fashion Fandango at the Lincoln State Monument Visitor's Center, beginning at 5 p.m. Green chile stew, frijoles, tortillas and homemade cobbler with ice cream are on the menu; and story tellers and musicians will provide the entertainment.

Lodging is available in Lincoln for the riders and other visitors are welcome to participate in the Fandango.

"This is a great way to share in the legend that is Billy the Kid," said Michael Cerletti, Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department. "It is incredible how everyone has came together to create this living monument to Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett and the Wild West of southern New Mexico.  The Billy the Kid Trail Ride is an unforgettable eight days of starry skies and campfires, history and memories to last a lifetime."

For more information about the Lincoln Fandango, call The Ellis Store Country Inn, (800) 653-6460, or the Dolan House, (575) 653-4670.

For more Information on the Billy the Kid Trail Ride contact Beth MacQuigg, (505) 550-9508 or
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .