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Published: Saturday, July 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.


Vacationing this summer?

  • Send us a postcard, to Features Dept., Gainesville Sun, 2700 SW 13th St., Gainesville, FL 32608.
  • Include a phone number. Win a T-shirt!
  • See postcards online at gainesville.com

  • We received six Oregon postcards from Gainesville resident Joanie Sawyer, who visited Portland in June. Her don't-miss spots in this "beautiful city" with "unparalled views of snow-capped mountains" include:
    The scenic drive along the Columbia River
    Powell's Books, a new, used and rare bookstore downtown
    The downtown Saturday farmer's market The International Rose Test Garden, a free garden with more than 400 rose varieties
    The Grotto, a sanctuary dedicated to Mary that overlooks the city and Mount St. Helens
    On their postcard, G.K. and Patty Bonkemeyer of Jonesville describe the San Francisco de Asis Church near Taos, N.M.:
    "An oasis of peace just south of cramped and crowded Taos - a place for quiet contemplation in either the courtyard or the sanctuary. Has more spirit of 'old New Mexico' than many other more heavily visited sites."
    Besides visiting the church, they recommend taking a daytrip on the scenic loop road to Red River, N.M., where you'll reach altitudes of 9,000 to 10,000 feet. Also, if you're camping, get a spot at Taos Valley RV Park, which they say is well located and well maintained.
    Pat and Dick Kilby of Gainesville write: "Dear Gainesville Sun readers, Greetings from the magnificent Yosemite National Park. Awesome scenery everywhere one looks. You need to know there's been a major rockslide over Highway 140 west of El Portal so take another entrance into the park. The locals say it might take six months to clear the rockslide. Come anyway."
    If you go to Yosemite, Pat also recommends that you:
    Take a variety of clothing. The valley is warm but it can be cooler at high altitudes within the park.
    Ask rangers and volunteers lots of questions, as she found them very helpful.
    Consider going after Labor Day, since the park was beginning to get crowded when they were there in June.

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