Backpacking with the Bonds Gave Us a Liebster Award

A big hearty thank you to Backpacking with the Bonds for nominating us for the Liebster Award!

The Liebster Award is an award that is given by bloggers to other bloggers. Liebster is German for beloved, or dearest. The goal is to discover new blogs and part of accepting the award is answering questions posed by the nominator.

I first noticed the Liebster Award on Cass D’Alessandro’s site, Loving Life with Cass. Cass was a guest on our radio show on July 25…for the little bit of it we were on that night. That was the night we had major technical difficulties. (She’ll be back on September 12 for a full show, though…hopefully the Gremlins stay away!)

Interestingly enough, it was Cass who nominated the Bonds for the Liebster, and now here I am getting to write about it! Thanks, Carrie and Albert!

Questions Answered

Here are the questions the Bonds asked (in bold) with my answers underneath.

1. What is your favorite travel destination?

Hard one. Anywhere a cruise ship will take me. My preferred form of travel is on a ship!

But if I have to pick a destination, then I’d have to say Alaska. I don’t often want to return back to most places once I’ve seen them. I wasn’t thrilled about going on our first Alaskan cruise, but it ended up enchanting me.

This past summer we took our fourth Alaskan cruise. If it was up to me, I’d be up there every summer.

2. What makes your blog unique?

The niche. Paranormal, Halloween, horror…if people can travel to experience anything related to any of these, that’s what I write about.

It’s not the typical travel blog. It’s for restless spirits who like the darker side of tourism.

3. Where would you like to go that you haven’t been to yet?

There are a ton of places really.

In the U.S. (in no particular order):

  1. Gettybsurg, Pennsylvania
  2. Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
  3. Mackinac Island, Michigan
  4. Cape May, New Jersey
  5. Natchez, Mississippi
  6. Hudson Valley, New York
  7. Eureka Springs, Arkansas
  8. Hawaii

Internationally (in no particular order):

  1. Spain
  2. Germany
  3. Transylvania
  4. Norway
  5. Iceland
  6. Poland
  7. Romania
  8. Hungary
  9. Australia
  10. New Zealand

4. What inspired you to start your blog?

Cancer. Specifically, Stage 2 non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Scared the procrastinator right out of me.

I wrote about it all on the About page.

But, seriously, Haunt Jaunts would probably still just be a dream/a one-of-these-days goals if cancer hadn’t come along. (Which, by the way, I affectionately referred to as my “hitchhiker.” It tickles me it had a travel theme even before I decided to start my blog.)

5. Why is travel important to you?

My husband is part nomad. He lives to travel.

He also travels a lot for work, which means he’s gone a lot. Traveling is our “we” time. It’s our time to re-connect, make memories, and in general spend some quality time together.

6. Where are you traveling to next?

As of this post, probably back to my hometown of Denver, Colorado. My dad is back there and was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. For the foreseeable future, any travel will likely be there.

Although I do also have a trip planned to Lexington, Kentucky in September to The Scarefest. Skellie and I have a vendor table where we’ll be setting up a Skelfie Station (dress up and pose for selfies with Skellie) and selling some merchandise.

7. What’s your best travel story?

Crap. Hard question.

I have two favorites I enjoy telling that both happened in Alaska and both involve bears.

In Haines, AK we rented bikes and rode towards a lake. I started getting tired (and by “I,” I mean my lady parts and my butt.) I pulled over to rest and told Wayne to go see how much further.

My bike in the resting/waiting spot


The mountain-lined channel with wildflowers abloom along the banks of my resting spot
I was trying to smile, but my cheeks hurt too much…and not the ones on my face.

About 15 minutes later he comes racing back with an excited grin on his face gesturing wildly for me to hurry up and follow him.

“There’s bears!” he yelled over his shoulder.

So I hopped on my bike and pedaled to this gorgeous open meadow, where, sure enough, there’s a huge brown mama bear and her cub.

Mama Bear in the meadow

The cub stood on his hind legs, put his paw on mama’s rump and patted it as if to say, “Look, mom! People!”

She turned to regard us over her shoulder and that’s about the time I realized, “Holy BLEEP! We are not in a zoo. There are no fences. Wayne can ride faster than I can….unless I have a big enough head start!”

So I took off with renewed vigor towards the lake. (Which we found and was spectacular.)

This was our destination
Wayne reading the sign overlooking Chilkoot Lake

The other bear story happened in Juneau. We’d gone to check out the cemetery and were walking through a neighborhood towards Cope Park.

One part Evergreen Cemetery
I think the last name caught my eye and is why I captured this marker from the cemetery

Wayne works on vacation too. He had his nose in his phone (at that time, a Blackberry). That’s how he missed the black bear that ran across the street not 10 feet ahead of us.

I scared Wayne by grabbing his arm and pulling him to a stop as I shouted excitedly, “Did you see that?”

He was very annoyed at me and snapped, “What?”

“The bear!”

“Bear? There’s no bear.”

Well, there wasn’t then. It had jumped up on a ledge and had disappeared into the woods. At least, I hoped it had disappeared. We had to pass where it ran. I didn’t want it jumping out on us.

Wayne thought I was pulling his leg, so I looked around for a witness to back me up. There was an old man sitting on his porch.

“That was a bear, right?”

“A-yup,” he answered. “Juvenile. Maybe two, three years old. Got a bit more growing to do.”

Wayne still didn’t believe me, until a man walking his dog asked a couple who was standing reading a sign near the entrance to the park, “Did you see the bear?”

It had been even closer to them, but because of the angle of the way they had been standing, they missed it completely.

But Wayne asked the dog walker, “There really was a bear?”

“Oh yeah. Can’t believe you missed it! It was right in front of you!”

So to this day when Wayne is walking along with his face in his phone I say, “Better put it up. You might miss the bear.”

The “Blue Lagoon” in Cope Park
We Nominate

I’m not sure how many blogs I’m supposed to nominate. I think the Liebster originally called for 10. But I’m not  sure. I’ve seen anything from three to ten nominees on other blogs.

I’m sticking with three because it’s a nice number. Here are three travel blogs that also like paranormal, horror, and/or Halloween that as far as I can tell have not received the Liebster Award yet, but deserve it:

  1. Traveling Proud
  2. Pretty Scary
  3. The Bohemian Blog
Instructions to Nominees

Nominate at least three other blogs to receive the award, and then answer these questions:

  1. What is your idea of a dream vacation?
  2. Would you rather spend the night in a place with a ghost child or a ghost animal?
  3. What inspired you to start your blog?
  4. What do you never travel without?
  5. When did you start writing?
  6. What was the first trip you took?
  7. You’re a ghost. Where would be your ideal haunt: a hotel, a forest, a home, a garden, a bathroom, or a cemetery?

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