Welcome to the new Green Tortoise 'Crawler Chronicle,' our monthly newsletter! Sammy
Tortoise Wing Green Tortoise Crawler Chronicle Tortoise Wing March 2007   
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In this Issue ...
Click on a headline to jump to the story.
Welcome to the Crawler Chronicle!
Sammy's Choice: Alaska's World Ice Art Championships
Goodbye Baja Beach Camp?
Friends of the Tortoise: The Flying Kiwi
Help Name our New Bus
Green Tortoise Adventure Travel
Canyons of the West
April 20 - April 29

"Great trip! I will remember it forever. I made some amazing friends that I'm sure I will stay in touch with for years. Making this trip was an eye opening and life changing event for me--I'm now on a mission to save money so I can travel around the world. Thanks!"

Beth Fennell, USA

Pyramids and Playas
April 8 - April 21

"The style of travel was perfect. Instead of wasting the day at an overpriced hotel, the day was jam packed with cool stuff to do. I also liked how the drivers took us to places I would have never known existed and then let us do our own thing once we arrived."

Aimee Jones, USA

Death Valley
March 16 - 20
March 30 - April 3

"I'm still on a high from it two weeks later. We have some nice scenery over here in the U.K. but nothing like you guys. The sheer scale of all the National Parks is phenomenal ... particularly Death Valley. I couldn't think of a better way of experiencing it than going with the Green Tortoise"

Jim Harris, UK

Green Tortoise Adventure Travel
  494 Broadway
  San Francisco, CA 94133 USA
U.S. and Canada:
   1.800.TORTOISE
(1.800.867.8647)
San Francisco and Worldwide:
  001.415.956.7500
www.greentortoise.com
For more information, or to unsubscribe, send us an e-mail at:
tortoise[at]greentortoise.com
Copyright 2007 Green Tortoise Adventure Travel

 
Welcome to the Green Tortoise Crawler Chronicle!

Yosemite National Park

Welcome to the Green Tortoise Crawler Chronicle, our brand-new monthly newsletter! We wanted to treat our loyal riders and friends to a more personalized and interactive communication than our former YahooGroups e-mails could provide. We sincerely hope you enjoy reading this and subsequent editions as much as we've enjoyed putting it together for you. If you have any technical problems, suggestions, or praise to share, please contact us.

Future editions of the Crawler Chronicle will be a collaborative effort between our drivers, office staff, mechanics, and, most importantly, you, the extraordinary people who truly make the Green Tortoise the only trip of its kind. Have you been on an adventure with us? Are you considering it? Do you have a story you're itching to share with the Tortoise community? Each month we plan to feature a new "Traveler's Tale," written by you. So if there's anything you want to contribute--whether it be a description of an incredible place you experienced, a reflection on a quiet epiphany you had while watching a sunrise, an outrageous moment you shared with your fellow travelers, or the ways in which the Green Tortoise has changed your life--please feel free to share it with us. If we publish your submission, you'll receive 500 frequent crawler points good towards the adventure of your choice on the fabled green bus!

This newsletter is just one of several exciting changes currently afoot here in San Francisco. We just acquired another new bus (be sure to read about our "Name the Bus" contest in this issue), completing the modernization of our fleet to provide a more comfortable and environmentally friendly ride. On the technical side of things, our website is currently getting a complete makeover--all the valuable information and useful features you've come to expect from our site will soon re-emerge with a fresh new format and navigation scheme. We expect to launch the new greentortoise.com just in time for the busy summer season, so check back often and let us know what you think.

Thanks again for supporting the Green Tortoise. We hope to see you on the bus soon!

- The gang at Green Tortoise Adventure Travel

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Sammy's Choice: Alaska's World Ice Art Championships

Ice Alaska 2006
"Sunrise Over Spring Water," which won first place for "Multi-block Abstract" in 2006.

Just over 350 miles north of Anchorage, Fairbanks is known as the "Golden Heart of Alaska." Warm, wonderful long days, a variety of outdoor adventure options, and a central location make it a prime destination throughout the summer. What many people might not realize is that Fairbanks also hosts a variety of cool winter activities (including sighting the natural phenomena of the Aurora Borealis) and is home to one of the most spectacular displays of creativity around, the World Ice Art Championships.

Originating in 1934 as the Fairbanks Winter Carnival, this once local event first became an international competition in 1990. With over one hundred fantastical sculptures, the modern event features a few main categories including Single Block and Multiple Block Classics. Ice for the competition, harvested locally, is so exceptionally clear and thick that it has earned the title of Fairbanks' "Arctic Diamond." Amateur competitors receive a chunk that is 3x5x3 feet and just about 2700 pounds while Multiple Block professional competitors can receive up to 10 pieces 6x4x3 feet, each weighing 4,400 pounds!

This year's championship has been going on since February 27 and boasts 38 teams of sculptors. Visitors can watch the sculptors at work through March 9, and after a lighting ceremony on March 10, the sculptures will be on display until March 25. The ice park and its interactive kids area (including ice mazes and slides!) are open daily from 10 am to 10 pm. For more information write to Ice Alaska, P.O. Box 83134, Fairbanks AK 99708 or visit http://icealaska.com/

Do temperatures as low as -65 F (-54 C) make you shiver? Consider visiting Fairbanks--as well as the best pristine wilderness in both the Yukon and Alaska--in the summer instead! Come join us on the annual Green Tortoise Alaska Expedition this year:

http://www.greentortoise.com/alaskan.expedition.html

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Goodbye Baja Beach Camp?
This season could be the swan song for our beloved hideaway, "Playa Escondida"

Playa Escondida
"Playa Escondida," the famous Green Tortoise beach camp in Baja.

A vaulted ebony sky specked with countless stars descends into the light of dawn; a desert terrain of cardon cactus, century plant, and ocotillo stand in silhouette against the deep azure of the horizon. As the bus gently crawls its way over the dusty gravel road, navigating the hills and vados, sleepy passengers rub their eyes in disbelief at the sight they now behold. Finally, the bus comes to a stop at the top of a 400-meter-high rugged cliff as the rising sun paints the sky over the Sea of Cortez an arresting fiery orange. This is the first view most Green Tortoise passengers get of "Playa Escondida," the hidden jewel in Baja California Sur that forever remains in the hearts and souls of those who've ventured to our secret beach camp there and sought to unlock her many secrets.

But nothing lasts forever ...

As some of our recent Baja travelers have surely noticed, development and rampant land sales have begun in the greater Loreto area. Although the area where we have pitched our seasonal camp has not yet suffered the deluge of foreign investment like nearby beach communities, it appears that it's only a matter of time before this pristine region falls prey to the same fate.

The specific beach where we camp, as well as the area to the south, was slated to be sold by January of this year, but there is a property line dispute with neighbors which has put it on hold. Rumors fly like turkey vultures about the true future of this area.

We hope to secure our existing beach camp or one in the same region for our 2008 Baja season, but with so much up in the air, you might consider joining us by the sea before our 2007 season ends.

Upcoming Baja Adventures:
- Fri, Mar. 23 - Sun, Apr. 1
- Fri, Apr. 6 - Sun, Apr. 15

For more information about our Baja Beach Daze Adventure, check out our website:

http://www.greentortoise.com/baja.beach.whale.watching.html

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Friends of the Tortoise: The Flying Kiwi

Flying Kiwi Adventure Travel

Flying Kiwi is the original way to enjoy adventure travel in New Zealand. Their unique vehicles carry bikes, sports gear, tents and even the kitchen sink and all your food is provided. You can stay in tents or cabins and get to visit the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand with heaps of optional activities to try. Trips range from three to 27 days and there's plenty of flexibility. Check out a full listing of their adventure travel camping and cabin trips online at www.flyingkiwi.com.

Book directly with Flying Kiwi, tell 'em Green Tortoise sent you, and get 15% off your trip fee!

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Help Name our New Bus
Winner will recieve 250 frequent crawler miles

Name our newest bus!

The latest addition to our rolling family is now under construction and will be plying the highways by this summer. Green Tortoise bus number 309 is another MCI D3, powered by a Detroit Diesel series 60 engine and coupled to a seven speed manual transmission. The 36-passenger coach boasts an incredible 9.3 miles per gallon (that's exceptional for a bus), representing our continued commitment to greener travel.

That's all well and good, but what do we call her? That's where you come in! As you may know, all of our buses have names, adding character to your trip. We invite our readers--whether you're a seasoned Green Tortoise rider or anxiously planning your first trip with us--to name our newest bus. Send us an e-mail with your inspired ideas; our staff will pick the winning name, and the winner will receive 250 frequent crawler miles.

Bus names have leaned towards the celestial in recent years: Starship, Mercury, Luna, Sol, Venus, and Isis ... but feel free to let your imagination soar!

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. ... Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

- Mark Twain

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Copyright 2007 Green Tortoise Adventure Travel