Cindy Blankenship

Cindy Blankenship

Journalist, Travel Writer

Journalist since 1997, degree in education, Oregon Publishers Association awards. Specialties: outdoor travel (U.S. mostly), nature, health, environment, animals, green living, human rights.

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Cindy Blankenship's stories for
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USA TODAY

Fun Things to Do Near Brookings, OR | USA Today

"If you're looking for exciting nightlife, head to Portland, but if you enjoy outdoor, seaside activities, you'll find fun in the Brookings area. Oregon's southern coast near Brookings offers stunning scenery and sunsets, expansive beaches and secluded coves in the mild climate of what Oregonians call the 'Banana Belt.' If surf and scenery don't satisfy, there are river adventures, a parade of festivals and harbor activities...."

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USA TODAY

Rafting in Rogue River at Shady Cove, Oregon | USA Today

Rafting in Rogue River at Shady Cove, Oregon | USA ...

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eHow

Campgrounds in Joshua Tree National Park | eHow

"Campers come to Joshua Tree National Park for many reasons, often to climb. Some scale vertical walls soaring to the desert-blue sky. Others enjoy less-dizzying challenges. If you've ever wished you could be a kid again scrambling over the smooth rock formation and climbing through the tunnels on Disneyland's Tom Sawyer's Island, Joshua Tree is your answer – without the water but with a whole lot more rocks, and in the form of arches, tunnels and varying sizes and astonishing shapes. Photographers, nature lovers and those seeking the desert's solitude and enchanting sunrises and sunsets pitch their tents or park their RVs at Joshua Tree...."

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AZ Central

Things to Do in Honolulu When It Rains | Getaway Tips - azcentral.com

"Unless you're on the beach after sunset in winter – when average lows dip to 65 degrees Fahrenheit – Honolulu, with its daytime temperatures averaging in the 80s year-round, is almost always pleasant. Sometimes, though, rain in Honolulu and its Waikiki, means more than soft sprinkles on one side of the street and a rainbow on the other. Rarely in summer, but always in winter, the city and its beaches get a good soaking. When a storm hits, beachgoers can head to a dryer side of Oahu. If, however, you want to stay in Honolulu, you're not destined to while away the hours in your hotel room. In fact, by the end of the day -- you may be glad it rained...."

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AZ Central

What to Do in Oahu When It Rains? | Getaway Tips - azcentral.com

"Hawaiian rain to most visitors means a light afternoon shower quickly chased by rainbows. Oahu’s south shore with Waikiki and most of Oahu’s hotels receive most of its rain from occasional winter storms. Rain waters Windward Oahu's abundant greenery and tropical flowers almost daily, usually beginning at night with loud drumming on tin roofs. By afternoon, the sun almost always appears. Because of Oahu's microclimates, the rain may pour in once place, while the sun shines in another, just minutes away. Even if it rains all day at Waikiki or an island-wide storm hits, you don't need to let rain wash out your vacation...."

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USA TODAY

Guided Waterfall Tours in Oahu | USA Today

"The waterfalls of Oahu have inspired songs, provided sustenance, set Hollywood scenes and encouraged relaxation, romance and laughter. The waterfalls are also an important part of Hawaiian culture and history. At Oahu's many botanical gardens and parks, small but tranquil waterfalls can be easily enjoyed, but some of the more dramatic or fun ones are hidden further from view, rewarding you if you make the effort to reach them."

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eHow

Camping Near Ka Lae, Hawaii | eHow

"One of the main attractions at Ka Lae is Hawaii's only green sand beach, Papakolea, which is tinted by olivine crystal that falls from an eroding cinder cone. Also known as South Point, Ka Lae is the southernmost point of land in the United States. It is here in the Kau District where the first Hawaiians landed: Polynesian explorers who, navigating by the stars, paddled their double-hulled canoes thousands of miles before discovering the Hawaiian Islands in the middle of the Pacific. At South Point, home to Hawaiian temples and the island's first fishing villages, ancient canoe moorings juxtapose with remote-control boats that today’s fishermen use to cast lines in the face of rough seas and winds. Camping nearby lets you spend more than a day experiencing this sacred and interesting place."

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USA TODAY

Unique Places to Go in Hawaii | USA Today

"Hawaii itself is unique. It is the only U.S. state with a culture and language all its own -- Hawaiian and English are the official languages. And it’s the only state surrounded by water and where weather changes depend more on elevation than season. Chances are if you are looking for unique places to visit in Hawaii, you are looking for experiences off the well-worn path, places that are truly extraordinary in an already exotic destination. You will find many such places in this archipelago of rainbows in the middle of the sea...."

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LiveStrong

Camping Near Ka Lae, Hawaii | LIVESTRONG.COM

"Polynesian voyagers navigating by the stars likely first landed their double-hulled vessels at Ka Lae, or South Point, on the Big Island. Near this spot treasured by Hawaiians, the islands' first fishing villages and farms evolved. In addition to South Point's trails, nearby campgrounds and their environs spill over with hiking and ocean activities...."

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LiveStrong

Volcanoes in Hawaii & Camping | LIVESTRONG.COM

"With their cedar trees, berries and soft meadows, Hawaii's volcanoes resemble many other mountains. This is about where the similarity ends. Most of the water runs underground where it feeds springs, although waterfalls cascade on the east flanks of Maui's dormant Halealaka. On Hawaii Island's active Kilauea, tree ferns fill lush rain forest juxtaposing adjacent black lava fields, moonscapes of craters, some steaming. On Kilauea's eastern flanks, rivlets of red hot lava, flow to the sea, while lava bubbling deep inside Halemaumau Crater casts a red glow in the night sky. Campers on Hawaii's volcanoes can choose from a variety of activities, including hiking and mountain biking...."

LiveStrong

Hiking to the Captain Cook Monument in Hawaii | LIVESTRONG.COM

Hiking to the Captain Cook Monument in Hawaii | LIV...

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AZ Central

Private Snorkeling in Hawaii | Getaway Tips - azcentral.com

Private Snorkeling in Hawaii | Getaway Tips - azcen...

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AZ Central

Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii | Getaway Tips ...

"Hanauma Bay, formed by two craters near Koko Head on Oahu's sunny south shore, is one of the world's most popular snorkeling spots. Approximately 3,000 people per day, mostly tourists eager to don masks and view colorful fish in the turquoise water, descend on the narrow, 2,000-foot long sandy beach. Unlike other Hawaiian beaches, there's an entrance fee, albeit a small one. But if you think this bay is a tourist trap, reconsider. Since the marine life conservation district implemented plans to protect the bay, such as regulating commercial tours, closing on Tuesdays and charging non-residents of Hawaii an entrance fee, the number of daily visitors dropped from 10,000 to 3,000. When it comes to seeing lots of fish and in a wide variety near any of Oahu's shores, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve delivers...." For Insider Tips, read more.

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USA TODAY

Snorkeling in the South Maui Reserve | USA Today

"Snorkeling in Hawaii provides relaxation and close-up views of colorful tropical fish that dart in and out of coral and lava rock gardens and large schools that swim near. Sunlight refracted by the water dances dreamily on sand below snorkelers who float in pleasantly cool water under the warmth of South Maui’s warm sun. Snorkeling anywhere in Hawaii that is calm, clear and has ample fish habitat is rewarding, but some places, such as Ahihi-Kinau, also known as the South Maui Reserve, are treasured...."

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AZ Central

Snorkel Adventures in Hawaii | Getaway Tips - azcentral.com

"As you float in translucent turquoise water -- nearly pristine in Hawaii -- you enjoy the warm sun on your back while cool, but not cold, water refreshes you. Your mask and snorkel provide admission to an underwater world where sounds from above fade, replaced by the soft clicking of shrimp. Hovering over the blue, pink and peach coral, you get a sneak preview of the community’s goings on. Spiny urchins cling to the coral, as shells creep along its surface, tropical fish swim among the branches and dart in and out of miniature coves and caverns. Many of Hawaii's beaches lead to snorkeling spots, but some of the best snorkeling is reached by boat off the coasts of Hawaii Island and Maui...."