Yosemite waterfalls roaring
There’s no better time than now to view the waterfalls in Yosemite Valley. The world-famous falls are likely to grow even wilder after this month’s storms, adding more water to the Merced River already swollen to twice its average size. “Right now we’re pretty close to the peak,” Yosemite National Park spokesman Scott Gediman said. Already, 16,200 gallons of water — per second — are flowing past Happy Isles Bridge, according to hydrologist Anthony Guerriero of the U.S. Geological Survey’s California Water Science Center. That’s more than twice the 7,480 gallons per second typical for mid-May. In the list of the world’s 20 tallest waterfalls, Yosemite Valley scores three spots: Yosemite Falls, Sentinel Fall and Ribbon Fall. But they won’t last long: Four of the park’s waterfalls are entirely ephemeral, disappearing by summer.
(San Jose) Mercury News
9 states support nonbinary passport
Nine attorneys general, including Minnesota’s, are asking a federal appeals court to allow an intersex Colorado resident to get a passport listing the person’s gender as nonbinary instead of male or female. The states filed a brief with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver asking the justices to uphold a lower-court ruling that said the State Department couldn’t deny a passport to Dana Zzyym. Zzyym wanted a passport marked “X” for gender, instead of “M” or “F.” The State Department refused, saying it would be hard to verify Zzyym’s identity and check Zzyym’s eligibility in government databases. A U.S. district judge rejected that reasoning, and the State Department appealed.
Water park for all
With 42 waterslides, rides, rivers and lagoons, the award-winning Aquatica water park in Orlando is part of the SeaWorld family. Check out the Walhalla Wave, a family raft ride that includes more than 600 feet of drenching twists, turns and drops into darkness. This year, Aquatica Orlando became the world’s first water park to be recognized as a certified autism center with the ability to offer resources and tools for families with members who have autism and other special needs (aquaticaorlando.com).
Egypt for the holidays
SmarTours has a sale on select holiday trips to destinations across the globe, including Antarctica, Africa, Asia and South America. For example, the nine-night Splendors of Egypt tour departing Dec. 24 starts at $2,799 per person double, a savings of $400. Also, pay by check and save an additional $100. Price includes round-trip airfare from New York to Cairo, five nights’ hotel in Cairo and Luxor, three-night Nile cruise, ground transportation, 17 meals, tours, airport transfers and taxes. Book by May 31 (1-800-337-7773, smartours.com).
Traveling in the red
VRBO conducted a survey of American travelers and found that millennials aren’t willing to put off their vacation, even if they can’t afford it. “Forget what you thought about millennials traveling on a shoestring,” said Karen Fuller, senior director of global market research at VRBO. “Our results revealed that they are actually the most likely to go into debt for travel, which is consistent with the notion that millennials like to accumulate experiences, not things.” Comparatively, only 27% of Gen Xers and 15% of baby boomers were willing to go into debt for travel.