History of Clark Fork, and Hope, Idaho

The Hope/Clark Fork area stretches along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille from the Pack River to the mouth of the Clark Fork River, the major waterways that feed mighty Pend Oreille. Lake Pend Oreille is one of the West’s largest freshwater bodies of water with several islands near the Clark Fork estuary, including the islands off Hope and the Hope Peninsula, Warren, Cottage, Pearl, Eagle, and Memaloose Islands, as well as the Islands at the end of the Clark Fork River, called the Clark Fork Flats, which includes Derr Island. There are three major peninsulas that thrust into the lake: Sunnyside, the Hope Peninsula, and Sagle. Sagle is actually more like an area the lake wraps around, but nonetheless is a major abutting feature of Lake Pend Oreille.

It is important to note that the histories of the two communities are closely tied to one and other. They have a shared past of railroads, mining, and logging, and sportsman activities. More recently, both Lake Pend Oreille and the Clark Fork River have been a draw for tourists seeking the mountain/lake lifestyle. In recent years the area has attracted national public attention, being featured on several broadcasts, in articles, and by developers. The most famous golf course in this part of North Idaho, Hidden Lakes, was purchased by Jack Nicklaus, and is slated to open in 2009 as the Idaho Club. However, with the federal and state owning over 70% of the land, growth has been measured.

Glacial Floods and Lake Pend Oreille

The most prominent feature of Hope and Clark Fork, Idaho is Lake Pend Oreille. With 111 mile of coastline and 148 square miles, it is one of North America’s prominent lakes, and the nation’s fifth deepest. Formed by cataclysmic floods when the mile high Ice Age ice dam broke time after time, the features of the land and lakes of Bonner County and Western Montana all the way to the coast in Oregon were formed by these monumental floods. Just one of these deluges was ten times the combined volume of all the rivers on earth, with walls of water moving at super highway speeds. To learn more about the Ice Age Floods visit Ice Age Floods Institute.org

Centuries before white man discovered the region, the Kalispell and other Indian tribes, such as the Flatheads, inhabited North Idaho. Visit North Idaho History The first white men to trade in North Idaho were the intrepid adventurers “Big Finan” McDonald and explorer and “land geographer” David Thompson, who established the first permanent wooden structure in 1809 on the Hope Peninsula, taking advantage of Lake Pend Oreille and the Clark Fork River. This trading post, Kullyspell House, is still standing as a stone building on the shores of the lake. Kullyspell House still stands on the Peninsula, Idaho’s most historic home. It sits at the end of Kullyspell Road. As you turn right on David Thompson Road, you will pass several white houses on the left. This grouping of summer homes is the family retreat of the Kienholz family. Ed Kienholz is easily one of our nation’s most famous artists.

The first true transportation the region enjoyed were the steamboats of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, which brought its first engine and hardware from Portland, building the 108-foot Mary Moody in 1866.

As the railroads came into the area, Northern Pacific Railroad built the 150-foot Henry Villard in 1883 to supply the men laying the rails. Steamboats continued to be an integral part of transportation around Lake Pend Oreille until the 1930s. Later in the era, steamboats became popular excursions, much as Pend Oreille Cruises is today, and dignitaries staying at Hotel Hope and other resorts would spend days on the water.

In 1864 Congress granted the Northern Pacific Railroad a charter to build a line from Lake Superior to Puget Sound on a route north of the 45 parallel. In 1872, the Clark Fork Pend Oreille route was chosen. With the railroad came the people who established the towns of Clark Fork and Hope.

Railroads came to prominence in the 1880s, as local construction began on the northern transcontinental line in 1881. Trestle Creek, at more than a mile long, became the line’s longest structure. It was at this time that Hope became the center of railroad activities and the largest city in the county. Along with Chinese Coolies, over 4,000 rough and ready railroad workers lived in a tent city along the Clark Fork River. Railroads brought people, and the lumber industry, which began to service the rails and trains, became the stalwart of the North Idaho economy for the next 100 years.

History of Hope, Idaho

At first Hope was just a stopping point along the railroad, but in 1890, the Northern Pacific moved its division point west from Montana to the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. Hope was incorporated on July 17, 1891. East Hope was incorporated on June 28th 1902. Hope was a busy port in its early days. Steamboats crossed the lake carrying supplies and mail to mining sites around the shore before roads were built. The boats were used to carry supplies up the Clark Fork River to Cabinet Gorge while the railroad was being constructed. The lake had long supported a fishing fleet, bringing in tons of fish every day. The populations were decimated by the introduction of tiny krill. The Federal government added these small shrimp in an attempt to increase fish populations; the experiment had the opposite effect. Recent years have seen a small recovery in fish populations, and now Hope is the center of some fine sports fishing.

Hope began to grow in 1882 when the Northern Pacific came through and in 1900 set its Rock Mountain division point in the hillside village. Incorporated in 1903, the village was named in honor of the veterinarian who tended the construction horses. A wise and kindly man, Dr. Hope was widely respected. Hope was the largest town in the area during the 1880s, achieving prominence as the Rocky Mountain division point on the Northern Pacific line. Engines turned around in the large roundhouse, and the railroad built shops, offices, and a “beanery” there.

The Hotel Jeannot, now known as Hotel Hope, was able to capitalize on this business with its location right above the depot, and with its tunnels providing easy access for passengers to the hotel. Many say that the tunnels were used to entertain the Chinese “coolees,” working on the railroads, who were normally not allowed in the establishments that served the locals and travelers.

In contrast to Hope’s early boom, Sandpoint grew slowly following completion of the railroad. An 1883 visitor found only 300 people in town, and nine years later another traveler reported that “Sandpoint is made up of between three and four dozen rude shacks and perhaps a dozen tents.” The town experienced tremendous growth, however, following the turn of the century.

When the division point moved to Sandpoint, Hope began to decline. Hotel Hope continued to draw people until the 1960s, partly because the picturesque setting of the town beside Lake Pend Oreille attracted many tourists. Some of them prominent: J.P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt, Gary Cooper, and Bing Crosby.

The original Hotel Jeannot (Hotel Hope) was a wooden structure which burned down in about 1886. It was then that Joseph M. Jeannot started on his fireproof commercial building, which he shared with his brother Louis. He constructed one section at a time, and added on over the years, finally completing the three-bay, two story hotel in 1898. The rectangular building has two full stories above two separate basement sections. The facade is divided into three approximately equal bays which vary in design and building materials indicating that the hotel was built in sections over a period of years. This theory collaborated by the analysis of the structure during restoration as well as through oral accounts. The first section to be built was the first story of the east bay with its walls of rock-faced random-coursed granite ashlar with beaded joints. Next came the first story of the center bay with its lower facade walls of poured concrete. Following this, or possibly built at the same time, was the red brick second story over the center and east bays. The west bay was the last to be built, either all at once or in two stages. The first floor is of poured concrete with the second floor of red brick.

Various businesses have occupied the building over the years including a saloon, a restaurant, a general store, a meat market, and even a post office. The vaulted meat cooler adjoining the west basement was probably built when Louis ran his general store and meat market in the period from 1895 to 1897. Hotel Hope still stands as a testament to the times.

J. M. Jeannot’s hotel and saloon were not his only business interests. He was also involved in mining and had several claims across Lake Pend Oreille in the area of Green Monarch Mountain. Hope had a large Chinese population which had arrived with the railroad, and Jeannot supposedly took advantage of this source of cheap labor for his mines. According to one of Jeannot’s friends, he allowed these men to use the meat cooler under the hotel as a clubhouse. They gained access to this room through the small tunnel which connected it to the railroad depot, thus bypassing the more obvious entrances. This vault in the hotel is one of the few sites left in Hope which may be connected with the large number of Chinese who used to live in the town.

Jeannot’s mining operations as well as his losses at gambling led to his unstable financial condition which may have been one reason the hotel took ten to twelve years to complete. According to one source, the construction was held up for more than a year when Jeannot lost all of his money in a bet on William Jennings Bryan in 1896. Uncertain finances continued to plague Jeannot and he mortgaged and remortgaged the hotel over the years between 1907 and 1918, eventually losing the building in 1918. A friend paid off the debt in 1920, and ran the hotel until her death in 1968.

Today the era of lumber and trains has been supplanted by tourism and manufacturing in Bonner County, and Hope and Clark Fork have become known as an artist colony. This is in great part due to Ed Kienholz.

Born in 1927 at Fairfield, Washington. He studied at schools and colleges in the Inland Northwest. He first earned his living as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, as the manager of a dance band, as a dealer in secondary cars, a caterer, decorator and vacuum cleaner salesman. In 1953 he moved to Los Angeles.

In 1954 he made his first reliefs in wood. In 1956 he founded the NOW Gallery, and in 1957 the Ferus Gallery with Walter Hopps. In 1961 he completed his first environment Roxy’s, which caused a stir at the documenta “4” exhibition in 1968. His retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1966 provoked the County Board of Supervision to attempt to close the exhibition. The theme of his environments is the vulnerability of the private life of the individual to intervention by the environment and social convention.

In 1972 he met Nancy Reddin in Los Angeles. In 1973 he was guest artist of the German Academmic Exchange Service in Berlin. He moved to Hope with his wife Nancy, and around this time also established himself in Berlin . His most important works during this period were the Volksempfänger (radio receiving apparatus from the National Socialist period in Germany). In 1975 he received a Guggenheim Award.

He died in 1994, but his wife, Nancy Reddin Kienholz continues as a world-renown artist, frequently visiting Hope.

Because of their notoriety, and the astonishing beauty of the area, we now have over 600 artists in our enclave.

The Kienholz couple befriended many wealthy patrons in Berlin, and over the years, two families have also created their own family retreats on the Hope Peninsula. As you turn from David Thompson Road on to Kullyspell Road, the Max Factor group of homes is on your right. These go down to the beginning of the property line for Kullyspell House. The other family is the Groenke family. Klaus Groenke is the managing director and part owner of Trigon Holding GmbH, a Berlin based international real estate company. He is also reported to be a leading share holder in Coca Cola Company, and a regional board member of the Deutsche Bank Berlin/Brandenberg. They built the Groenke Estate, a 150 acre compound at the end of David Thompson Road that becomes Kienholz Road. It is here that a full section of the Berlin Wall stands, encased in lexiglas, graffiti and all intact as it was before its fall. Recently the family sold half the estate, where many multi-million dollar homes have been built or are planned.

Today Hope, Idaho is a tourist and summer lake destination, with numerous artists and eclectic folk. It is a bedroom community to Sandpoint, and is considered by many, with its spectacular lake and mountain views, to be among the most picturesque areas of North Idaho. In fact, many travel magazincalled the journey along the cliffsides from Sandpoint to Hope one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

History of Clark Fork, Idaho

While totally distinct towns, many in North Idaho think of Clark Fork and Hope as one community. In fact, the two share the same Chamber of Commerce website: [http://www.poby.org/]

The City of Clark Fork also became a viable town in the early 1880’s as the construction by the Northern Pacific Railroad continued through the nearby Bitterroot and Cabinet Mountains. This small community has been geared towards mining, logging, sawmills, farming, Forest Service activity, fish hatcheries, dam construction, fur trapping activity, collegiate studies and homes for teens. Also, for most of its history the railroad maintained a station and section crew in Clark Fork. Clark Fork was incorporated 1912. Today the University of Idaho Clark Fork Field Campus is located there.

In the 19th century the Clark Fork Valley, like the shores of Lake Pend Oreille around Hope, was inhabited by the Flathead tribe of Native Americans. It was explored by Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition during the 1806 return trip from the Pacific. The river is named for William Clark. A middle segment of the river in Montana was formerly known as the Missoula River.

Much of Clark Fork’s story over the following years had to do with crossing the river. The bridge fording the Clark Fork River provided one of the only passes to the north, and with the steamboats bringing miners making the arduous journey to the Kootenai gold rush, this was one of the only ways to travel. Before a bridge was built, Clark Fork had a ferry to make the crossing. Early ferries were nothing more than logs lashed together. Later, some records indicate a ferry was operating in 1893, but this was a decade after the Northern Pacific line was put in place, so it is safe to assume there was a brisk business with ferry crossings during construction.

It is important to be reminded that the Cabinet Gorge Dam was not in place then, and reporters at the time wrote in 1916 that “The Clarksfork river handles a volume of water much larger than the Snake river. At times during high water, the flow amounts to as much as 94,000 cubic feet per second. The average width of the river is about 1300 feet. The velocity of the river at certain times is very large, about eight miles an hour. Due to this it is necessarily very hazardous to operate a ferry at Clarksfork at any time and very dangerous and at some times impossible to operate a ferry at all.”

Certainly this ferry crossing created a need and a place for travelers, not only to cross, but at times to rest, restock supplies, and take advantage of the occasional saloon.

Until WWI there was a lot of sawmill activity, then to a lesser degree through the 1950s. Early sawmills include McGillis and Gibbs, Lane and Potter. From the start until the late 1950s, mining operations played an important role in the community’s economy. The Whitedelph mine and mill located near the Spring Creek fish hatchery began operation in 1926 until it closed in 1958. It yielded galena ore assaying principally in silver, lead and zinc. The Lawrence mine was located on Antelope Mountain near Mosquito Creek and near the University of Idaho Clark Fork Field Campus. Area hills and mountains had numerous small mining holes tended by small operations and prospectors.

Interview of Therold Prudent, Author of "Glory Days and Tragedy"

It is a great pleasure to have Therold Prudent with us today. He has written a thought provoking book that gives us a glimpse of what life could be like when tragedy strikes a small community. Welcome to Reader Views.

Irene: Please give us the gist of your book Therold.

Therold: The gist of “Glory Days and Tragedy” is about the untold story of what life was really like growing up in a small Caribbean town called Gros Islet, and a heart wrenching tragedy at sea which followed. The book brings into direct focus the meaning of childhood innocence and friendships in its purest form, while at the same time refusing to ignore the existence of the societal ignorance and religious bigotry which for the most part influenced our early perception of right and wrong. However, as the story grows to paint a colorful picture of a way of life not known in many developed countries and societies, it gradually brings into clear focus the unifying sentiments of a divided community after it is struck by a tragedy at sea. Six young men from the community of Gros Islet are presumably lost at sea.

Irene: You talk about societal ignorance and religious bigotry. However, that is “normal” in their society. By leaving the island and being exposed to other cultures is when I would assume you realized that life could be different. Am I correct in assuming this?

Therold: Not at all. While leaving the island and being exposed to other cultures aided in broadening my understanding of the world and fortifying my sense of personal independence, it should be noted that the process of freeing my mind of ignorance and religious bigotry began in St. Lucia. I have a very intelligent mother who never accepted everything that was passed on to her in the society as norm. She was in every sense of the word a societal rebel. In fact, in the early days when women in St. Lucia would shy away from politics and other social and religious issues and too afraid to speak their minds, my mother was never afraid to speak to up. From a very early age she impressed upon us the virtues of always searching for truth and standing up for our principles even when the majority would laugh in our faces.

I understood then, like I understand today, that I should always show respect for the religious and political convictions of others no matter how far removed it is from my own. However, having said that I do not want to leave you with the impression that societal ignorance and religious bigotry exist today in St Lucia. As a nation we have moved a very long way. We have lots of educated young men and women in the country who have shown that they can think for themselves.

Irene: What inspired you to write this book?

Therold: The painful nature of that tragedy, my love for Gros Islet, its people, and a life long desire to place our small island of St Lucia on the world stage.

Irene: St. Lucia is on a stage – but as a tourist attraction. You are teaching the reader about the life of the local inhabitants. What reactions have you had from the locals about your book?

Therold: I am very pleased with the local reaction to my book. Judging from the many persons who have taken the time to contact me personally after reading the book, the general sentiment is that I have truly presented a very compelling story which simply isn’t just about the tragedy which occurred but of the forgotten memories of what life was once like in St Lucia in the olden days. Also, if I may for a moment return to your statement that “St. Lucia is on the stage- but as a tourist attraction”, I’d like to say that I do agree. However, is that all there is to St Lucia?

Certainly not! And so, it is for that very reason that I have decided to pursue a path of educating the world that St. Lucia is not just about sun, fun, rum, casino gambling and calypso. As a matter of fact, while it is true that the Tourism Industry plays a pivotal role economically, the world must also recognize that there is a local society out there with a very interesting history and unique way of life. As St. Lucians there is more to us than what is seen through the eye of the tourist. Our local customs and traditions far supersede the natural and physical beauty of our island.

Irene: There is much talk these days because of Frey’s book being nonfiction with some, shall we say, admitted creative additions. Your book is considered non-fiction and is based on a true story. How much creativity did you allow to enter into your book?

Therold: None at all! In my book “Glory Days and Tragedy,” what the reader gets is an honest and candid reenactment of a factual series of events by an author who spent years researching and piecing together the story. The focus of my mission was not to embellish any parts of my book, but rather to use my God given abilities to write in clear, precise and very descriptive form in order to capture the reader’s interest. Moreover, unlike Mr. Frey who could not provide any sources to substantiate some of his claims, I do have a legend of living persons in a beautiful island called St Lucia who undoubtedly will vouch for the authenticity of “Glory Days and Tragedy.” I hope that Oprah is taking note (Laugh). There are some real heart wrenching life stories out there, that aren’t a fiction of the writer’s imagination.

Irene: Of six young men that went out into the sea, how many survived the ordeal? And, in what emotional state are they now?

Therold: Of the six young men that went out into the sea, only one survived. His name is Kennedy Philip, a young man whom I am proud to call my friend. After weeks at sea, his boat made landfall in the South American country of Columbia. Among the dead was his brother George and first cousin Perry. Today, although the memories of what occurred nearly 20 years ago are still painfully fresh in his mind, Kennedy has been able by the grace of God to rebuild his life.

Irene: How much of the information about the ordeal was Kennedy able to give you?

Therold: Other than my account of what transpired back ashore during the ordeal, the entire story of what really occurred at sea and later in Columbia came from Kennedy himself. At this time I should also make mention of a very good friend by the name of Stanislaus “Nourgearo” Phulchure. He is also a personal friend of Kennedy who took it upon himself to attempt a series of rescue mission at sea during the ordeal. In the summer of 1994, which is about the time I decided to begin work on the book, I relied a lot on “Nourgearo” to help me piece the events as they occurred ashore during the ordeal.

Irene: The story is very close and dear to you. Did you have to write this book as part of your own grieving process in losing close friends?

Therold: Yes I did. It was also something which I believed I owed to my childhood friend (George) who perished in that tragedy. Had I not attempted to write the story, his memory and that of the other boys who perished at sea would be completely forgotten. I have also pledged to use some of the proceeds from the book to erect a memorial to the boys. I know the road ahead will be very rough, but I am a very small but tough guy who knows how to make things happen by keeping his word.

Irene: What was the major belief by the island people when the boys didn’t return within a given time?

Therold: Not many people were aware of what had transpired. In fact, the news did not break fully until Saturday afternoon, which was almost a whole day after the boys had set out to sea. Other than “Nourgearo “and a few close friends, many people were kept in the dark. However, by the time the news broke on the streets at around 4 or perhaps 5 pm, a crowd of people had begun to gather in the streets. At first it was sheer disbelief, but this would all change.

Irene: And, how did they react?

Therold: I saw grown men with tears in their eyes, which moved me tremendously as a teenager. Later, everyone had a story to tell about their personal experiences with each of the boys. I think it was this kind of humbling atmosphere which brought the community together, and helped to sustain it during the entire ordeal.

Irene: Did they give up on the boys’ return?

Therold: Oh boy! As the days went by I wouldn’t say that they gave up on the boys. This was perhaps one of the saddest periods which I had ever experience on the island and in particularly the town of Gros Islet. But eventually with no signs of their return, there were a great number of people who seem to have gradually accepted the probability that the boys had perished at sea.

Irene: What was the reaction by the locals when Kennedy returned to St. Lucia after his ordeal?

Therold: Kennedy’s return to St. Lucia was like a celebration fit for a hero. A large number of people had traveled to the airport to witness his grand entry into the island. I was not present at the airport that evening, but I was one of the fortunate few to seat with him in private the following morning. To this day, that moment has continued to resonate with me. As if it were just yesterday, I can still see Kennedy’s thin frame and the paleness in his face as he walked to greet me for the first time since the ordeal.

Irene: Your home country is St. Lucia. Where do you reside now and what made inspired you to leave?

Therold: While St. Lucia will always be considered home to me, I reside in a very quiet and lovely town in Queens, New York, called Laurelton. I consider it my home away from home. My main reason for leaving was to pursue a life long goal of educating myself. I have accomplished that goal quiet successfully, and have therefore turned my attention to conquering another passion called professional writing.

Irene: There is much belief in spirits and mysticism in many of the Caribbean countries. Tell us about some of the beliefs and how they are passed down the generations.

Therold: (Laugh) I don’t know how to really answer this question. However, I should point out that where St. Lucia is concerned (when compared to countries such as Haiti); the belief in spirits and mysticism isn’t a widely acknowledged norm or religion in our society. Now this isn’t to say that there aren’t a few people in St. Lucia with very strong beliefs in spirits and mysticism. Instead, what I am saying is that, those who do are often very secretive about it. Therefore, it would be very difficult for me to explain how those who believe in it have been able to pass it down from generation to generation.

Irene: Thank you so much Therold. I find this conversation fascinating and would love to take more time to chat with you. However, we need to end for now. I’m hoping that we have given a glimpse of you and your book. Is there anything else that you would like your reading audience to know about you or your book “Glory Days and Tragedy”?

Therold: I’ve truly enjoyed this interview and the opportunity to talk about my book and beloved country. It was certainly a pleasure. Thank You.

Bahamas Beaches

If you are looking for the best family beach vacation, Bahamas beaches are some of the best in the world. This island group may be best known for the tourist destination islands of Grand Bahamas and Nassau/Paradise Island, but the outlying islands offer a variety of remote villages and some of the best white sand beaches you’ll find.

Not only is this a great family vacation, but the crystal clear waters are known for all kinds of water activities such as glass bottom boat rides, snorkeling and diving or fishing. Of course, Bahamas beaches are great for collecting shells and coral or just lounging in the sun and playing in the waves.

If you are looking for a luxury vacation, then Grand Bahamas or Nassau and Paradise Islands are a good place to start. Nassau is the capital city located on Providence Island, which neighbors Paradise Island. With a combination of international flair and tropical breezes, some of the most luxurious resort accommodations can be found on these islands, and there are so many things to do on land and water that swimming with dolphins in their natural habitat or going down a 120 foot tower water slide is just the beginning of the day.

You can stroll through the marketplace and shops, observe sea creatures, or visit a native turtle sanctuary. At nightfall, there are a wide array of beachfront restaurants, nightclubs and casinos for the parents. It’s not unusual to end up gourmet dining with celebrity chefs. You can view Bahamas beaches from the air in a private charter plane, play golf, go birding or take a guided tour of the islands.

When you’re ready to spend the day at the beach, Paradise beach has portions open to the public, although parts of it are limited to guests of the Atlantis resort. There are little huts to change, eat and get out of the sun. Cabbage Beach has restaurants where you can eat and use the restroom, but you might opt for Western Esplanade, which is a short walk from downtown Nassau.

Caves and Cable beaches are great for vacations because Caves is away from the tourists and it is a beautiful beach, but Cable is closer to the shops, bars and gambling, but good for families because of restrooms, restaurants and it is 4 miles long. On Grand Bahamas Island, Xanadu Beach is a great place for families because of its convenience to facilities and restaurants, and the water is calmer.

No matter what kind of family vacation you are interested in, the Bahamas offers a variety of activities and some of the most beautiful beaches in the World. It has become a tourist destination for many families because of the diversity of the things to do at affordable prices. Whether you are looking for a luxury vacation, a relaxing beach vacation or an entertaining, fun-filled vacation, you can find something to suit the entire family and enjoy the tropical ocean breezes and island atmosphere of the white sand beaches of the Bahamas

Why You’ll Fall in Love on Your Nassau, Bahamas Vacation

Why Choose A Nassau Bahamas Vacation?  

Steeped in the culture of the ancient trade winds, Nassau is the ultimate cultural Bahamian experience.  A mix of Spanish, African and British cultures has created an island culture truly unique to Nassau. A Nassau Bahamas vacation is an easy choice for families. Generally speaking, children under 12 stay for free. On this dream like island British English is spoken, steel drum music wafts in the air and relaxation is a way of life.

Nassau Culture and History 

Nassau has been home to pirates, explorers and natives for centuries. The pirate atmosphere has deep roots to the days when local inhabitants would place lights on the reefs to lure ships to crash on their shores. Goods and booty would be collected from the waves and re sold. 

Nassau has a particularly strong cultural expression in part due to the fact that it is the capital of the Bahamas. The Bahamas became a reluctant member of the United Kingdom in 1629 when King Charles I claimed the chain of islands in addition to the Carolina’s in the American South.

Making Travel Plans For Your Nassau, Bahamas Vacation

Travel to Nassau is generally accomplished by plane or boat. The major airport is Nassau International. Taxis can be taken around the island and water taxis are common for inter island travel.

American planes flying into Nassau are cleared to bypass customs based on an agreement between the two countries. Your valid, U.S. passport will be required for re entry into the United States. 


Arrival to Nassau by water is very common. Many large cruise lines call on the port in Nassau and smaller sailboats and yachts frequent the water ways.

Island Activities

Nassau has deep cultural roots which make onshore activities vibrant and lively. Everything from destination weddings and gambling to architectural tours and horseback riding can be done on the island. 

Downtown Nassau is the cultural center of the Bahamas.  Walking tours of the areas colonial influenced architecture are a popular choice.  Maps of the central town squares can be found through almost any concierge for self guided walking tours. The architecture, food and music is a unique blend of Spanish, British and South African influences.

A water or beach activity is a must on your Nassau Bahamas vacation. Take a snorkel tour of a hidden lagoon or kayak the lapping shores. If vacation means relaxing on your back, go for a blow up mattress and float in the protected shoals of the Caribbean while tropical fish dart through the water.

Investing in Multifamily Real Estate to Provide for Your Family

Are you interested in a secure financial future for your family and children? I am too. Here’s a small example on why I feel so strongly about creating wealth through investing in multifamily real estate.

As a parent, family person, or individual, one of the best decisions you can make is the right investment early on that will help take care of all the financial problems and needs of the future.

I am going to share with you a real example from my own life of how using an investment of $35,000 I secured a multifamily property generates $24,000 annual cash flow and will earn approximately a quarter-million dollars of equity over the next 12 years! Starting with that $35,000 investment, my wife, Lisa, and I secured a college fund, living expenses, and monthly income for our newborn son. Here’s how it happened…

About four years ago we had an opportunity to buy a mixed-use property (three apartments and one store) in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It was not a big property, but we liked the location (five minutes from new casino) and felt it would be a good long-term hold.

The purchase price was $65K but it needed $75K in renovations, which brought the total investment to $140,000. At the time we only had about $35,000 in cash budgeted for this, so I called an investor I had worked with in the past and he agreed to lend $105,000 at 10% for 1 year.

We closed on the property, had the renovations complete in three months, and the property was 100% occupied within eight months producing over $3,000 per month in income. Now for the best part: The beauty of commercial real estate is that if the cash flow is there, banks are willing to lend.

We have a friend that works in the commercial banking department at a small community bank in Pennsylvania. I called him up to inquire about a commercial loan on the income property and he told me it wouldn’t be a problem, I just needed to send over the package with income and expenses, the leases, the work completed, and a little background on myself.

Thirty days later I saw how easy it was to create wealth through multifamily real estate. I walked into the bank and was handed a check for $105,000 at 6.5% for 15 years, and it was under my company name. I immediately paid the investor off. Now, three years later, the property generates positive cash flow and only has 12 years left on the mortgage. In just 12 years, we will be making more than $24,000 in yearly cash flow and have accumulated over $240,000 in equity.

This is not a massive skyscraper deal, but it is an illustration of what you can do when a good opportunity pops up. As an investor you are armed with the right knowledge.

My son is just over a year old, and by the time he’s 12 that property will paid off completely by the tenants, and he will basically have an entire college fund along with cash flow at his disposal!

Now scale that scenario up to a 40-unit building — all you have to do is add a zero, the principles are the same! It is possible for you to create wealth for yourself through the purchase of an income-producing multifamily building just like we did and be on your road to increased cash flow and net worth.

Panama’s Real Estate Boom

DONALD TRUMP can’t be wrong, can he? Trump has fallen so much in love with Panama that he is building a $220 Million, 65 story (2.4 Million square foot) hotel/condo monoliths called the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower in a posh Panama City neighborhood. Trump will build 500 luxury condominium units along with a 312-room hotel. This complex will include a casino, private beach club and a marina. Groundbreaking is scheduled around this Christmas with a completion date in 2009.

Why is Trump doing this in Panama of all places? In an April 24, 2006 press conference in New York, Donald Trump said his interest in Panama was sparked three years ago when his “Miss Universe” pageant was held in Panama. He saw that Panama city was “beautiful” and vowed he would develop there if the right opportunity came up. His project was “easily funded”, noting that as many as seven “major financial institutions were fighting to put up money.” He agreed that “Americans are coming in droves to Panama,” due to it’s political stability, low cost of living, low interest rates, and being located outside of any hurricane path. “It’s great for baby boomers.” Trump said, although the project will be marketed worldwide. The condominium units will start at $180,000 with unobstructed ocean views.

Panama is just beginning to realize a real estate boom!

Besides Trump, many international real estate investors are also discovering Panama.

For example:

Bigger Than Trump: An even taller skyscraper will be built near Trump’s Tower. The Ice Tower will have over 100 floors making it the tallest building in all of Latin America, tied with the Empire State Building as the second-tallest in the Western hemisphere and 9th in the world when it is completed in 2010.

And Another! Even before Trump’s Tower and The Ice Tower are completed, another skyscraper (93 floors) called El Palacio de la Bahia will be completed in 2009 costing over $160 Million. They’ve already sold several dozen condos mostly to Europeans because this is a totally European investor project.

I asked a Panama City real estate brokerage owner, Daniel Hanna (Panama Real Estate Group), what he thought about how the Ice Tower and Trump’s Ocean Club will affect Panama’s Real Estate prices? His response echoes most real estate agents in Panama: “As Panama continues to grow in many different industries, these projects will definitely set a new standard of living in Panama, thus increasing the prices around the entire country.”

So, why are all of these real estate investors coming to Panama?

A little History will help explain these phenomena. Panama has always had a close relationship with the United States, which helped Panama to secede from Colombia in 1903 and was the first country to recognize the new Republic of Panama. The U.S. government built the Panama Canal starting in 1904. Only until the year 2000 did Panama actually take control of its Canal after the U.S. closed all of its military bases and left. People used to jokingly refer to Panama as the “United States of Panama” due to its close ties to the U.S. After the U.S. left, Panama’s economy slumped. Then American retirees re-discovered Panama as a peaceful, safe, and cheap place to retire.

Economical Growth: In 2004, real estate construction activity sprang up in different parts of the country. Mostly retirement communities nestled amongst the many beautiful unoccupied beaches and mountain valleys. In 2005, construction permits rose by 90% while Panama’s economy grew by a respectful 6.4%. The Panama Canal recorded its third consecutive year of double-digit growth in toll revenues. Tourism and financial services also made impressive growth gains.

Americans came back to Panama because of the excellent infrastructure built by the Americans, low crime, numerous English-speaking natives, great Immigration Visa programs; the currency has always been the U.S. Dollar, and great Tax incentives.

The Best Reason is that Panama is so cheap to live! Land, housing, local foods, transportation, leather goods, clothing, and local artisan wares are all far cheaper than anywhere in North America or Europe.

Don’t Take My Word for it. Read what leading experts have to say about Panama’s real estate opportunities.

The NY Times recently wrote: “Panama is increasingly lighting up the radar screens of those searching for an affordable alternative to the more traditional south-of-the-border retreats in Mexico, Costa Rica and the Caribbean, where escalating prices increasingly rival those along America’s own beach fronts.”

Forbes Magazine (July 11, 2005) praised Panama as a recommended “PARADISE FOUND: WHERE TO RETIRE ABROAD” where a U.S. couple “purchased a lot on a hill overlooking a golf course and have built a three-bedroom white-stucco house with a red-tile roof (total cost: about $250,000).” in Boquete. “You can hear the sound of rivers here,” says Janet. “It’s very peaceful.”

National Association of Realtors: Tom Stevens, who is their current President, recently visited Panama and explained: “We’re seriously thinking of investing here. It’s a great opportunity. Prices are what it was like in the U.S. 20 to 25 years ago.”

The London Financial Times wrote in its April 14, 2005 issue that Panama is now passing Costa Rica as the place to invest. “Like Costa Rica, Panama is loaded with exquisite beach towns, has inviting tax and ownership policies for foreigners and a long history of political stability. Moreover, Panama City is an urbane, safe city that has long had a military and civilian US presence because of the canal. A gated-community, three-bedroom luxury home on a golf course in the mountains can be had for $250,000 to $350,000, real estate experts say… Chuck Bedsole, who oversees Latin American real estate for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, thinks Panama is at an earlier stage in the real estate boom.”

Conde Nast Traveler’s October 2004 issue declared: “Panama is the new Central American bargain where the U.S. dollar – the market currency – goes a long way.”

Is it Safe to Buy real estate in Panama? Buying Real Estate in Panama is safe and secure for foreigners. The U.S. State Dept. verifies this by stating: “Titled land, and the process of buying this, is similar in concept to that of the U.S., and land deeds are duly recorded with the Public Registry…”

How Long Will this Boom Last? It’s just starting. Donald Trump hasn’t even broken ground yet.

Daniel Hanna, the Panama City real estate broker, reiterates: “Invest in Panama real estate now before the Towers are completed. Panama will become a hot real estate market because it has so many attractions than just real estate construction. Soon, the world will know Panama for its natural beauty, healthy climates, and charismatic people. Living in this beautiful country is just a benefit!”

The National Geographic Traveler predicted in December of 2004: “Panama is now where Costa Rica was 10 years ago. Panama is getting ready to explode.”

“Boom” I can hear the distant rumbling of a Big Boom yet to come!

Profiles of Timeshare Companies – Westgate, Wyndham, and Worldmark

Westgate resorts, with more than 10,000 timeshare units, is the third largest timeshare in the world. Westgate has over 400 owners and employs 6,500 people, says the Westgate website. The brainchild of David Siegel, Westgate was founded more than 40 years ago, nurtured from a garage business into an empire. Westgate has gone down into history as the largest privately owned timeshare in the world. One of the company’s proudest accomplishments is the building of PH tower, which, according to the company’s history, is the only timeshare tower connected to a casino in Las Vegas. According to the Westgate website, PH Tower will be worth over $1 billion when it is completed. Westgate also reports that the building will have more than 2,850 units.

Some of the other Westgate properties include Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa in Orlando, Westgate Miami Beach, and Westgate Towers, near Disney World in Orlando. There are also properties in Utah and Tennessee.

Wyndham Worldwide is a leader in vacation rentals and vacation exchange and ownerships. Properties range from resorts, and residence clubs to yachts. Wyndham’s vacation rentals has more than 200,000 units and 155 vacation ownership resorts. People who opt for vacation ownerships through Wyndham have the flexibility of staying in roomy condominiums around the world. There are about 820,000 owners. One of the highlights of Wyndham’s property collection is the Registry Collection, comprised of 160 high-end properties. According to Wyndham, it is the largest luxury property exchange. Destination properties are in Belize, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, Italy, Malta, Mexico, Portugal, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, and the United States.

Wyndham resorts is also a leader in vacation rentals, and according to company literature, Wyndham is the largest marketer of European vacation rentals. Some of the rental brands that Wyndham operates includes Canvas Holidays with campsite rentals, Cuendet, with villas in Europe, Hoseasons Group, with villas and cottages, Landal GreenParks, and Novasol. Wyndham resorts has been named one of Fortune Magazine’s Most Admired Companies in 2010.

Worldmark Resorts is a division of Wyndham and has 60 resort locations for vacation owners. Worldmark has both condominium-style accommodations and studios. The one and two bedroom condominiums are 60 percent larger than hotel rooms, Worldmark reports. Penthouse suites are also available to owners. Locations are in the continental United States, Hawaii and Fiji. Worldmark is also affiliated with another company, RCI and therefore can provide properties in the Caribbean, New York, Paris, Mexico, Australia, Ireland, Venice, Egypt, India, Hong Kong, China, Japan, the South Pacific, and the Cayman Islands.

Worldmark differs from other timeshare resorts because it offers its owners more flexibility. The point system isn’t tied to the size of the unit or the location, so timeshare owners can stay at any of the 60 resort locations at any time.

Praia De Falesia, Algarve, Portugal – Resort Travel Guide

Praia de Falesia in the Algarve is located about 30kms from Faro between Albufeira and Quarteira.

Set on a quiet clifftop, surrounded by beautiful countryside, Praia de Falesia offers quiet and relaxed holidays for the whole family.

The golden sandy beach here has a backdrop of low cliffs and pine forests and is one of the longest in the Algarve, stretching for 6kms. With Albufeira to the west and Vilamoura to the east, the beach is so long that it never gets overcrowded. Because the beach has gentle shelving it is very safe for all the family to enjoy a dip in the beautiful azure waters or take advantage of one of the watersports on offer, including scuba diving, windsurfing and water skiing.

An alternative to lazing on this beautiful beach is a hike along the coastal path which leads to the quiet villages of Acoteias and Olhos d’Agua.

There are boat excursions available from Albufeira and Vilamoura which include rides along the beautiful Algarve coastline, dolphin watching and fishing trips.

The coastline and the surrounding countryside can be explored either on foot or by bicycle.

Praia de Falesia holidays are popular with golfers as there are several championship golf courses in the area. The best time to visit for a golfing holiday is in the spring or autumn when there is around 6 hours a day sunshine and temperatures average around 18-23C.

Evenings here are usually spent enjoying a relaxing meal in one of the local restaurants or having a drink or two in one of the bars. For livlier nightlife there is Albufeira or Vilamoura. Both have cafes, bars and discos and Vilamoura also has a casino.

Praia de Falesia has a typically Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters. May temperatures average around 22C which rise to 25C in June and up to 30C in July and August. During the summer the area enjoys around 12 hours of sunshine a day with virtually no rainfall. During the winter the temperature drops to around 18C with up to 6 hours of sunshine a day.

With something for everyone, Praia de Falesia is a great place to spend your family holidays.

Cheap holidays to the Algarve are always available throughout the internet.

The Coolest Items in World of Warcraft, and How to Get Them – Part 17 – Skull of Impending Doom

The Skull of Impending Doom is an off-hand item that looks like a skull with horns on a stick. You can utilization this item in some very useful ways.

The Skull of Impending Doom is a reward for the Forbidden Knowledge quest (this is a series quest), you can get it as low as level 30.   The item, when held In off-hand, will give a plus 7 Intellect increase, but when used (have a 5 minute cool down) will increase your run speed by 60% for 10 sec, and will deals damage equal to 60% of your maximum health and drains 60% of your maximum mana over 10 seconds (You gain speed, but at a cost).   When you use the Skull of Impending Doom you will make a chicken noises, so you can see how Blizzard plan you will use it, running away from a fight. This can be a very good thing if you don’t have a chance of winning the fight. One more plus to this, when you use it to flee, is that it can kill you (you will die anyway if you don’t) but as you die from an item and not from the damage of a fight, your equipment will not be harm, so you save the fixing fee (no durability damage).   Of course you can use it for many, more cool, ways:

  • If you use it, it will make damage on you every second, so you will be “immune” to traps, polymorph, seduction, sap and so on.
  • You can use it as a suicide item, if you need to die more quickly. Why do you need to die?
    Get to graveyard and pay the fee, equal a quick reaching to the nearby inn or town in most cases. Need to end the game, entering a new zone – endless reason on this one.
  • Run as fast as a mount, with no mount (less powerful now, when you get your mount at level 30 instead of 40). Can be use to catch some fleeing or mounted opponent.
  • Use while carrying the flag or to catch the one that have it.

When use in this situation you have to get in consideration that you can use it indoors, and that you can attack or cast instant cast spells while running.

And don’t forget that you can use it to catch that boat or elevator, how many times did you run to it just to miss it by a second.

You can disable the “buff” it puts on you as well, this will cancel the good and bad effects.

Horde Paths to Northrend

Where is Northrend?

Northrend is the area in World of Warcraft that was opened when the expansion Wrath of the Lich King was introduced. You will see it on your map above and centered between Kalmidor and The Eastern Kingdom.

Why Go To Northrend?

Northrend is where you will spend most of your time once you hit 68 till level 80, so it would be a good idea to get there as soon as you can to speed up your leveling and to get access to the upgraded gear and if for nothing else to have a change in scenery.

Horde Paths to Northrend

The areas for Horde players are the same general areas as those for the alliance, but not the same docks. So to get to Borean Tundra take the zeppelin from Ogrimmar, you will land across the zone at a different dock than the alliance, but be in the same area for quests, etc… If you prefer to get to Howling Fjord then take the zeppelin from Undercity, again you will have access to the same quest chains as the alliance, but be in a slightly different area.

Borean Tundra To Howling Fjord Without Flightpaths

You can find a tusker village on the coast that will have a giant turtle harbored for you to ride from Borean Tundra to Howling Fjord and vice versa one to the other, there will be a short stop in Dragonblight where you can switch turtles. This is free and is similar to riding the boats, it would be a good idea to open up flight paths on both ends of the ride as well as running in when in Dragonblight to find the flight master.