Escape Artists offers up a global discourse ranging from great finds close to home to adventures far afield. You'll find weekly travel deals here, too. Share your road wisdom, rave about great finds and rant about roadblocks that get in the way of a great trip.

Contributor: Travel editor Kerri Westenberg.

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Posts about Winter getaways

Delta adds more warm-weather destinations

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: September 30, 2014 - 10:18 AM

Delta announced new seasonal service from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to Montego Bay, Jamaica, and Nassau, the Bahamas, this winter.

Nonstop flights between MSP and Montego Bay will operate on Sundays, beginning January 18.

Saturday nonstop service between MSP and Nassau begins January 17; Sunday service begins February 15.

The flights will be operated on Airbus A320 planes with 150 seats.

Delta brings on the warm-weather destinations

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: September 18, 2014 - 11:05 AM
News from the Travel Desk:
Delta Air Lines announced that it is bringing back its nonstop seasonal service between Liberia, Costa Rica, with Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Seasonal service between San Jose and Minneapolis/St. Paul will be reinstated. Delta will also offer flights to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic from MSP during the cold months, when demand for such warm-weather destinations peaks.

Flights will be operated using Airbus A320 and Airbus A319 aircraft.

Food shelf weekend at Afton Alps

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: March 18, 2013 - 9:35 AM

Given the near white-out conditions outside, now seems like a good time to let you know that this weekend is "Food Shelf Weekend" at Afton Alps, the ski and tubing area in Afton, Minn. On March 23 and 24, donate 4 non-perishable food items and get a tube or lift ticket for a mere $8. The usual prices begin at at $32 for children 6-12 years old. More details at www.aftonalps.com. The press release announcing the deal said, "snow conditions are great," and that was written before today's dump.

In praise of the snowshoe

Posted by: Updated: February 11, 2012 - 9:42 AM

COALBANK PASS, COLO. -- The crunching tromp of my snowshoes features a sort of reggae backbeat. The loose back of the snowshoe scrunches an echo through the utterly quiet pines and snow. I parked my rental Jeep on the top of Coalbank Pass, just over 10,000 feet between Durango and Silverton.

Snowshoes are like tennis raquets. No longer big wooden contraptions. I strap the light aluminum snowshoes around my boots, throw on a packback with some food and water and tromp off. I soon confront a huge dropoff and, despite the snowshoe tracks that seems to scale this cliff, I double back and take a less steep route, tromping and crunching through snow-dusted pines, grabbing views of peaks and valleys balnketed with thick, fresh snow.

 

 

After about an hour, I throw down my jacket and just sit in a snowbank and take the photo on the right. The clouds dance and a few chickadees flit past. I tromp back to the rent-a-Jeep and drive north to Molas Pass, pull over again and head toward little Molas Lake. I run into my first human contact -- an old guy who hiked up Bear Mountain with his golden retreiver and his downhill skis. As I pet the dog, Boddie, I ask how far to the lake. He tells me I went the wrong way. I thank him and trudge on, a steady uphill climb that has me sweating and breathing hard. Heck, it's 11,000 feet. But jaw-dropping gorgeous.

In just over two hours, I see five people, including Karen and David Jensen of Grand Junction. They drove down through the San Juan Mountain Range, through Ouray and beneath lucious robin egg's blue skies, to visit their son at Fort Lewis College.It's his birthday and they'll take him downhill skiing tomorrow. But first, they will cross-country ski through this valley. Enjoy the day, Karen and David.

 

 

Southwest heads to Phoenix

Posted by: Kerri Westenberg Updated: April 27, 2010 - 1:41 PM

Southwest Airlines announed that it is adding a new stop,direct from MSP: Phoenix, Arizona. The non-stop flights, offered twice daily, begin August 15. Southwest began flying out of Minneapolis in March 2009 with direct flights to Chicago. It has since added flights to Denver and St. Louis, making Phoenix its fourth destiniation served by non-stops. The news is good for anyone with a hankering for some fun in the sun. Where Southwest goes, fares tend to drop with the added competition.

 

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