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T-Boy Society of Film & Music’s Favorite Natural Wonders

Curated by Ed Boitano

With human activity on hold, Mother Earth has been allowed to heal and we are reaping the rewards. For the first time, many of us are basking in pristine, crystal clear  images of Natural Wonders as if we’ve never seen them before. Profound, majestic, ethereal; no words can describe their unmatched magnificence. We only hope that they remain. With that said, time is of the essence for the results of the T-Boy Society of Film & Music’s Five Favorite Natural Wonders. Like our previous poll, there were no clear cut winners. I found members’ deeply personal lists to be mesmerizing, with many taking me to the depths of my soul. Perhaps Richard Carroll summed it up the best, This one really makes you think about your life in regards to the world of travel. So, without further ado, here is the T-Boy Society of Film & Music’s Favorite Natural Wonders. — EB

Geirangerfjord, Norway
Norway’s Geirangerfjord and her Seven Sisters is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. PHOTO COURTESY OF XIMONIC (SIMO RÄSÄNEN) via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 3.0 .

Ed Boitano – T-Boy editor:

  • The Geirangerfjord and her Seven Sisters Norway: The fjords were carved out in a succession of ice ages, approximately 12,000 years ago. When glaciers retreated, plants soon appeared, animals thrived, and humans eventually made their way into this spectacular, but remote, heaven on earth. With its jagged mountain peaks jolting dramatically from the sea and stunning waterways sandwiched between them; the Geirangerfjord and her Seven Sisters would be my pick for the most beautiful place on the planet.
  • Ha Long Bay Vietnam: As our wooden vessel glided along Vietnam’s pristine Ha Long Bay, I stood in awe of the hundreds vertical karsts that surrounded us. Vendors in little skiffs tapped on the side of our ship, selling unfamiliar exotic fruits – mangosteen, rambutan (aka Harry Cherry), longan, star and jack fruits.
  • The Dylan Thomas TrailSouthwest Wales: The path’s enchanting land and seascape helps you understand Thomas’ passionate bond with nature. The Gower Peninsula is where Dylan would camp and often walk the Gower Cliffs. Two of his best loved short stories, Extraordinary Little Cough and Who Do You Wish Was With Us? are set there. If you’d like to hike further, the 870 mile long Wales Coast Path spans the entire length of the Welsh coastline.
  • Yosemite National Park California: Humankind finally got it right when esteemed conversationalist John Muir persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 for the creation of a unified and protected Yosemite National Park.  Today the park’s 1,200 square miles  of granite cliffs and waterfalls, giant sequoia groves, lakes, mountains, meadows, glaciers, and biological diversity are known throughout the world. While sitting by a tranquil crystal-clear steam in the meadow of the valley’s floor, I realized I could have stayed there forever.
  • Spitsbergen Svalbard Archipelago, Arctic Ocean, Norway: I was surprised to see the rush of the Spitsbergen Adventure Team to the bow of our Hurtigruten expedition vessel to view a retreating glacier. Later I asked the team leader why everyone was so excited about this particular glacier. The man replied, I’m not suppose to say this, but due to climate change we’ve never been so close to it before. Prophetic words, indeed.
Venice canal
Venice remains the only 21st century functioning city in Europe where every form of transport is on water or foot. PHOTO COURTESY OF NICOLA GIORDANO FROM PIXABAY.

Richard Carroll – T-Boy writer:

  • The Canals of Venice – The 177 canals of Venice, for me, are an international treasure. Lined with buildings dating to the 13th century, the latticework of canals flowing throughout the heart of the ancient city with 409 bridges, and numerous islands, has a history that touches all of Europe. Best enjoyed off-season.
  • Mexico’s Copper Canyon – Each of my six visits to Copper Canyon has been spectacular. Located in Southwestern Chihuahua in Northwestern Mexico, the canyon is four times larger than the Grand Canyon and home to the Tarahumara, noted as excellent long distance runners. The textures, and long casting shadows at dusk are memorable, as is a barefoot Tarahumara playing a crude handmade guitar singing in his native language.
  • The White Cliffs of Dover – The first glimpse of the White Cliffs of Dover is an historic welcoming for travelers and for pilots during World War II. The eight-mile long chalky cliffs are on the narrowest part of the English Channel and visible from France on a clear day. To walk the White Cliffs of Dover footpath is to relive history..The nearby 11th century Dover Castle, the largest in England, a medieval lighthouse, wild flowers and active bird life, set the imagination a flight.
  • The Pacific Ocean – The mighty Pacific, the largest and deepest ocean, seems to be staring up at me wherever I travel in the world, whether it be Columbia, Antarctica, Alaska, Fiji, or French Polynesia. With great respect I’m aware of its fickle personality and temper tantrums, creating monster waves, or in contrast a lake-like setting perfect for a canoe, a sip of wine, and a lingering browse. Best of all what lies beneath the rippling waves.
  • Mt. Whitney – Rising 14,505 feet into an oxygen-starved sky in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, and only 84 miles from the lowest point in the country at Badwater in Death Valley, is a gorgeous natural wonder to experience. Only 15 miles from the town of Lone Pine, Whitney offers challenges, the easiest being from the Portals, and a 22-mile round trip hike via switchbacks to the summit, a view forever, and changeable weather.
Humboldt County
Humboldt County is home to the Redwood National Park, the Avenue of the Giants, and more than 40 other parks, forests, reserves, beaches and recreation areas. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID MARK FROM PIXABAY.

T.E. Mattox – T-Boy music critic:

  • The Redwoods National Park Humboldt County, California: Majestic and massive and incredibly serene.
  • Mt. Fuji Japan: Over 12,000 feet and everyone one of them…up!
  • Amalfi Coast Italy: Like living on a postcard.
  • Grand Canyon Arizona: An upside down mountain. There’s a whole desert down there.
  • Yosemite California: The beauty from the Valley floor… and eating blueberry pancakes in the Lodge while staring up at Half Dome. Things you never forget.
Adirondack Park fall
New York’s Adirondack Park is the very definition of natural beauty, serenity, and solace. PHOTO COURTESY OF SUMMITPOST.ORG.

Richard FrisbieT-Boy writer:

It is hard to pick just five (I hate creating listicles) and, at the risk of sounding parochial, these show my New York and United States bias, but here goes:

  • The Adirondack Park (NY): Created in 1892 by the state of New York, at six-million acres is the largest park in the contiguous United States. It covers one-fifth of New York State and is equal in size to the neighboring state of Vermont. These National Parks – Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Everglades, and Great Smoky – would all fit inside it.
  • Lake George (NY): Just named the prettiest lake in the United States.
  • Giant Sequoias (California): Ancient redwood trees growing in only 77 groves in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains – the tallest being General Sherman at 274.9 ft.
  • The Dehesa (Spain): Rolling plains of grasses and wildflowers dotted with cork and oak trees primarily in the Extremadura region of Spain. Famous as the free range of the black-hooved pigs and black cattle that produce the finest pork (jamon) and beef in the world.
  • The Mississippi River (US): A network that bisects the US, draining more than 1/3 of the country, and facilitating trade and human migration between the northern and the southern border (& parts in between) as well as the East Coast.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya, “The Smoke That Thunders”) is a waterfall on the Zambezi River in southern Africa, considered to be one of the world’s largest due to its width of 5,604 ft. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNE DIRKSE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Susan Breslow – T-Boy writer:

  • Victoria FallsZimbabwe
  • Grand CanyonArizona
  • Arches National ParkUtah
  • Mount FujiJapan
  • Niagara FallsCanada
Paradise Bay, also known as Paradise Harbor, is a wide embayment behind Lemaire and Bryde Islands on Antarctica’s west coast. PHOTO COURTESY OF DEB ROSKAMP.

Deb Roskamp – T-Boy photographer & writer:

  • Paradise Bay Antarctica

      A reverence of silence
      Shimmering with purity
      ethereally pristine
      I sensed that we had floated into a space
      that was utterly and purely divine
      This, from one who (normally) abhors the cold

  • Sugar Loaf Mountain Brazil
  • Lake Lucerne Switzerland
  • Mount Orohena Tahiti, Moorea
  • Ha Long Bay Vietnam
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, constituting the first national park in the U.S. PHOTO COURTESY OF JUNG RYEOL LEE FROM PIXABAY.

James Boitano T-Boy writer:

  • Yellowstone National Park Wyoming, Montana & Idaho
  • Grand Canyon Arizona
  • Mt Rainier Washington State
  • The Westfjords of Iceland
  • Lake Bled Slovenia
Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon National Park’s 1,217,262’s acres was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. PHOTO COURTESY OF HALINA KUBALSKI.

Fyllis Hockman T-Boy writer:

  • Grand Canyon Arizona
  • Great Barrier Reef Australia
  • Sahara Desert North Africa
  • Aurora Borealis Alaska, Northern Canada, Greenland
  • Galápogos Islands Ecuador
the Matterhorn, Switzerland
Switzerland’s Matterhorn is a large, near-symmetric pyramidal peak in the Pennine Alps, whose summit is 14,692 ft high, making it one of the highest summits in the Alps and Europe. PHOTO COURTESY OF PEXELS FROM PIXABAY.

Lee OlsonTV producer & writer:

  • The Matterhorn Switzerland
  • Iguazu Falls Argentina & Brazil
  • The Great Barrier Reef* Australia
  • The Li River Valley China
  • The Grand Canyon USA

*I’m referring to the reef before the recent mass bleaching, from which the reef may never recover.

Steens Mountain Wilderness, Oregon
Considered one of the most remote land left in Oregon, Steens Mountain Wilderness’ 170,200 acres is one of the crown jewels of the state’s wildlands. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT OREGON AND WASHINGTON.

Stephen Brewer T-Boy writer:

  • Steens Mountain Oregon
  • Caldera Santorini, Greece
  • Dolomites Italy
  • Fingal’s Cave Scotland
  • Mekong Delta Vietnam
Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway consists of approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTHUR WARD.

Jim Gordon Co-host & co-producer Travel Guys TV:

All my picks are part of “Travel Guys” episodes and the picks are in no particular order.

  • Giant’s Causeway Northern Ireland
  • Grand CanyonArizona
  • Moorea Island Tahiti, French Polynesia (specifically the beautiful water/beaches)
  • Fjords/Waterways of Fjaeland, near Balestrand Norway
  • Great Barrier Reef Queensland, Australia
  • Honorable Mention as I must include one from Canada: Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick (specifically the “fastest rising tides in the world”)
Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
The most iconic landmark of South Africa, Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain overlooking the city of Cape Town. PHOTO COURTESY OF JEAN VAN DER MEULEN FROM PIXABAY.

Alex BrouwerT-Boy writer:

  • Table MountainCape Town, South Africa
  • Yosemite ValleyCalifornia
  • Mount RainierWashington State
  • Grand CanyonArizona
  • Cliffs of MoherIreland

Mayon Volcano in Albay, Philippines
Mount Mayon is an active volcano in the Philippines, erupting over 47 times in the past 500 years. PHOTO COURTESY OF FRANCISCO M. PAJARES JR. VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Raoul Pascual T-Boy co-founder, illustrator and art director:

  • Mount Mayon Philippines; the perfect cone volcano
  • Niagara Falls Shared by New York & Ontario
  • Mount Everest Himalayas (on border between Nepal & Tibet)
  • Zuma Rock Nigeria
  • Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National ParkPalawan, Philippines
Lake Chelan, north-central Washington
Surrounded by flowers and vineyards, Lake Chelan is a narrow, 50.5-mile long glacier-carved lake in Chelan County, in north-central Washington state. PHOTO COURTESY OF THEMERGANSER, via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY 3.0 .

Brent Campbell Musician and composer:

  • Lake Chelan Washington State
  • Mt. Saint Helens Washington State
  • Hurricane Ridge Olympic Peninsula, Washington State
  • Crater Lake Oregon
  • Grand Canyon Arizona
Mt. Rainier
Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, the still active Mount Rainier has the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S. PHOTO COURTESY OF GSS FROM PIXABAY.

Annie Brouwer T-Boy writer:

  • Mt. Rainier Washington State
  • Galápogos Islands Ecuador
  • Yellowstone Montana
  • Olympic National Park Washington State
  • Rainbow Mountain Peru
La Ceiba, Honduras
La Ceiba lies along the Gulf of Honduras, in a lush, hot valley at the foot of 7,989-foot Mount Bonito.

Raudi BenscoterTech maestro:

  • La Ceiba – Honduras 
  • Yellowstone – Montana
  • Roatán Coral Reef – Honduras 
  • Pulhapanzak Waterfall – Honduras 
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay is one of Vietnam’s eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. PHOTO COURTESY OF DEB ROSKAMP

Ringo Boitano T-Boy Writer:

  • Ha Long BayVietnam: It’s easy to be spellbound by Ha Long Bay’s 620 sq miles of jade green waters with hundreds of towering karsts dotting the seascape. With thanks to Harrison Liu, PR extraordinaire.
  • Tierra del Fuego National ParkPatagonia, Argentina: A life reaffirming display of coastlines, lakes, lagoons, peatbogs, wildlife and commanding forests; all protected on the southernmost tip of Argentina. This is the place to breathe the purest air ever found. Once again, thanks to Mr. Liu.
  • The US Rocky Mountains & Continental DivideColorado: Looking east and downward from the edge of soaring 14,271 ft. Mount Evans was akin to seeing a living map, where the mountain abruptly ends and the flat pancake plains begin. Also in Colorado, you can hike the Continental Divide, which cuts through Grand County, and witness the divided watersheds which either drain into the Pacific Ocean or the waterways that lead to the Atlantic Ocean. No doubt you will encounter an array of rugged Big Horn Sheep. My advice: stay out of their way.
  • Mt. Rainier Washington State: If you can see this majestic 14,411 ft alpine marvel from Sea-Tac airport it means it’s about to rain. If you can’t see, it’s raining.
  • Hoh Rain ForestOlympic National Park, Washington State: Yes, I’m used to rain, moss and ferns living in Seattle, but the temperate Hoh Rain Forest’ s lush, green canopy rainforest, both coniferous and deciduous, is like entering into a new misty world of enchantment.
Mono Lake, California
Mono Lake is a saline soda body of water in Mono County, California, formed at least 760,000 years ago. Tufa towers-mineral structures are created when fresh-water springs bubble up through the alkaline waters of the lake. PHOTO COURTESY OF KING OF HEARTS VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / CC BY-SA 3.0.

Greg Aragon T-boy writer:

  • Grand Canyon Arizona
  • Mono Lake California
  • Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park Wyoming
  • Amazon River: The largest river in the world by the amount of water discharged and the second longest river in the world.
  • Cuevas del Drach (Dragon Caves) Majorca, Spain: These cave feature mesmerizing Martel Lake, which is 82 feet below ground. The lake is surrounded by wonderful stalactites and stalagmites hanging everywhere in a giant natural cathedral, where visitors can sit and listen to live musicians paddle by on gondolas.

Steve Rosenfield T-Boy writer and photographer:

I’ve been struggling a bit with my favorite places since some of them date back to the 1970s when I was traveling overseas. Many of those places have changed and may either not exist as they were back then or they have become more touristy and maybe lost some appeal.

Anyhow, my most recent favorites would be – in no particular order:

wildebeest river crossing
  • The Serengeti, Tanzania – The Great Migration is a year-round event, but the river crossings only occur as the herds head north through the Serengeti from around June through September.
Victoria Falls
  • Victoria Falls on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Cape Town, South Africa for its natural beauty, friendly people and history.
Santorini, Greece
  • Santorini in Greece for its natural beauty and the donkey ride up to the town from the port – many people are now saying that the donkeys have been abused for many years, but, when I was there, it was the main mode of transportation up short of walking.
Normandy beach, France
  • Normandy in France with its coast beaches and memorials that are everywhere. One cannot help feeling the pain and heroism of what took place on those beaches and changed the history of the world – opposite of what Trump is doing (had to throw that in).
Normandy veteran
  • The old man receiving the US flag was a veteran of the invasion and was given the flag during the lowering ceremony the day we were lucky enough to be there.
Normandy beach, France
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