Saturday, May 22, 2010

[轉載] An open letter to Wang Jin-pyng (給王金平院長的公開信) (含中文翻譯)


An open letter to Wang Jin-pyng

Sunday, May 23, 2010, Page 8
Dear Mr Speaker, Wang Jin-pyng (王金平),

As strong supporters of a free and democratic Taiwan, we would like to call your attention to a number of concerns we have regarding the ongoing negotiations between the Taiwanese and Chinese governments to arrive at an economic cooperation framework agreement.


While in principle, an economic agreement between the two countries would be laudable, it concerns us that there has been a lack of transparency and legislative checks and balances on the part of the government in Taiwan: Media and civic groups have complained about the secrecy of the negotiations and the fact that there is no clarity on what the agreement would entail or what impact it would have on Taiwan’s economy, in particular its agriculture sector, small and medium-size industries and the labor force.


Furthermore, the Legislative Yuan appears to be sidelined in the decisionmaking process, which does not bode well for the country’s young democracy. Against this background, we urge you to emphasize that you attach great importance to checks and balances in a democratic system. It is also imperative that the Taiwanese government seeks a democratic consensus on this important decision through a public referendum of all people in Taiwan before the agreement is signed.

此外,立法院顯然被屏除在決策過程外,這對年輕的民主國家並非好事. 在這種背景條件之下,我們極欲強調您(指立法院)在民主體制下身負審查與制衡的重要性. 同樣的,台灣政府面對重要決策時,協約簽訂前以公投,民主的方式尋求人民共識也茲事體大.

Many in Taiwan and abroad are also concerned about the impact of closer economic ties on Taiwan’s de facto independence and sovereignty: They feel that closer economic ties will give the government in Beijing leverage to push Taiwan into further political isolation. This would make it increasingly difficult for the people of Taiwan to maintain their freedom, basic human rights and democracy, as well as to determine their own future. The problem is, of course, that China unjustifiably claims sovereignty over Taiwan and doesn’t recognize its right to exist as a free, democratic and independent nation.

許多台灣與海外人士也非常憂心發展與中國更緊密的經濟關係會對實質獨立的台灣在主權上有不良的影響: 她們擔心更傾中將使得北京政府利用此而進一步在政治上孤立台灣. 這將使得台灣人民要維持自由,人權,與民主更加困難,也勢比使得台灣人自己決定台灣未來的可能性更低(按:我是意譯,因此加入一些連結語句).當然,根本問題是,中國不切當的宣稱對台灣擁有主權,而不承認台灣是個自由民主與獨立的國家.

If Taiwan increasingly moves into the sphere of influence of a still very undemocratic China, this will have a negative impact on democracy and human rights in Taiwan itself and on its role as a beacon for democracy in East Asia. We feel that the present approach by the Ma administration is too much predicated on China having a say in how Taiwan relates to the rest of the world.

如果台灣持續地向不甚民主的中國傾斜,這將不利台灣的民主與人權,也不利台灣在整個東亞扮演的角色. 我們深感目前馬政府採取的方式過份地依賴中國解讀台灣與世界的關係(而非台灣自己積極的扮演一個角色).

In our view, Taiwan should be accepted in its own right and be able to sign free trade agreements with other nations without going through China.


We may also refer to recent statements by two of Taiwan’s strongest supporters in the US Congress, who are very critical of the proposed agreement: In a briefing on April 28, Congressman Robert Andrews referred to it as a “cage” for Taiwan from which it will be difficult to escape, while Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen referred to it as a “Trojan Horse,” one gift-horse Taiwan should not allow in because Beijing is using it as a political tool with the ultimate goal of absorbing Taiwan.

我們也認為最近美國兩位友台議員發表的聲明殊關重要: 在4/28日一個簡短聲明中Robert Andrews 議員認為
與中國簽訂ECFA將把台灣囚禁於鳥籠之中,而且再也難以逃脫;而另一位議員Ileana Ros-Lehtinen則指ECFA是特洛伊木馬,是個台灣應該拒絕的禮物因為它將與許北京對台灣施以更多政治干預,已達到併吞台灣的最終目的.

Mr Speaker, we hope you will agree with us that maintaining a free and democratic Taiwan is essential, not only for the people of Taiwan, but also for the cause of freedom and democracy in East Asia as a whole. We thus urge you to take a critical look at the proposed trade agreement and ensure that the economic, political and strategic interests of the Taiwanese people are fully safeguarded.

(敬愛的)講者,我們希望你同意我們的看法,那就是維持台灣民主與自由有其必要性,不但是為了台灣人民,還是為了整個東亞的自由民主. 我們因此敦促您採取具評論性的觀點來檢視(中國提議的)貿易協定,以確保台灣的經濟,政治,與策略性利益.

Looking forward to hearing from you,


Sincerely yours,

Nat Bellocchi

Former chairman, American Institute in Taiwan

Coen Blaauw

Formosan Association for Public Affairs, Washington

Gordon G. Chang

Author, The Coming Collapse of China

Peter Chow

Professor of economics,

City College of New York

Stephane Corcuff

Associate professor of ­political science, China and Taiwan studies,

University of Lyon

Michael Danielsen

Chairman, Taiwan Corner, Copenhagen

June Teufel Dreyer

Professor of political science,

University of Miami

Norman W. Getsinger

US Foreign Service (retired); Graduate program,

The George Washington University

Terri Giles

Executive director, Formosa Foundation, Los Angeles

Michael Rand Hoare

Emeritus reader,

University of London

Thomas G. Hughes

Former chief of staff to the late Senator Claiborne Pell, Washington

Richard C. Kagan

Professor emeritus of history, Hamline University; author, Taiwan’s Statesman: Lee Teng-hui and Democracy in Asia

Jerome F. Keating

Associate professor,

National Taipei University (retired); co-author, Island in the Stream, a Quick Case Study of Taiwan’s Complex History

Hon. David Kilgour

Former member of parliament and secretary of state for Asia-Pacific, Canada

Andre Laliberte

Associate professor, School of Political Studies,

University of Ottawa

Daniel Lynch

Associate professor, School of International Relations,

University of Southern California

Victor H. Mair

Professor of Chinese language and literature,

University of Pennsylvania

Donald Rodgers

Associate professor of ­political science,

Austin College

Terence C. Russell

Associate professor of Chinese, Asian Studies Centre,

University of Manitoba

Christian Schafferer

Associate professor of international trade, Overseas Chinese University; chair of Austrian Association of East Asian Studies; editor, Journal of Contemporary Eastern Asia

Michael Stainton,

York Centre for Asia Research, Toronto

Peter Tague

Professor of law,

Georgetown University

John J. Tkacik Jr

Former senior research fellow, The Heritage Foundation; former officer at the Taiwan Coordination Desk, US Department of State, Washington

Arthur Waldron

Lauder professor of ­international relations,

University of Pennsylvania

Vincent Wei-cheng Wang

Professor of political science,

University of Richmond

Gerrit van der Wees

Editor, Taiwan Communique, Washington

Michael Yahuda

Professor emeritus, London School of Economics

Stephen Yates

President, DC Asia Advisory; former deputy assistant to the US vice president for national security affairs.

Friday, May 21, 2010

轉載: Taiwanese-Americans attack ECFA

因為忙,已經非常久沒有更新部落格,連之前自由之家發佈的新聞自由評比都落掉了! 好不容易怕忘記又開始記了幾篇流水帳. 今天看到這新聞,轉貼如下. 原文在此.
'ONE-WAY TICKET': At an academic conference, one writer warned against Taiwan tying itself to Beijing through an ECFA when economic bubbles in China are set to burst
By William Lowther
Saturday, May 22, 2010, Page 1

A large group of Taiwanese-Americans have launched a three-pronged attack on an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) between Taiwan and China, claiming that it is no more than “a fast track toward annexation of Taiwan by China.”

They have sent a joint statement to US President Barack Obama calling on him to urge Taiwan’s government to conduct a public and democratic referendum on an ECFA; they have organized a Washington conference for prominent academics to condemn an ECFA; and they have released a letter from 28 major US supporters of Taiwan to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) asking him to make a critical review of the proposed agreement.

The joint statement to Obama, backed by 16 of the largest and most influential Taiwanese-American organizations, also asks the president to negotiate a free-trade agreement with Taiwan.

It says that because China may use an ECFA to take over Taiwan, the agreement would ultimately have a negative impact on the US strategic position in East Asia.

“Annexation of Taiwan by the [People’s Republic of China] would deprive the United States of a heretofore reliable ally in the western Pacific,” the statement says. “Since Taiwan straddles the sea lanes that supply materials and energy to South Korea and Japan, the loss of Taiwan would substantially increase the vulnerability of these US allies to China’s coercion.”

In their letter to the speaker, the Taiwan supporters — including former chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan Nat Bellocchi and former deputy assistant to the vice president for National Security Affairs Stephen Yates — say they are concerned by the lack of transparency and legislative checks and balances in ECFA negotiations.

“There is no clarity on what the agreement would entail or what impact it would have on Taiwan’s economy, in particular its agriculture, small and medium-sized industries and the labor force,” the letter says. “Many in Taiwan and abroad are also concerned about the impact of closer economic ties on Taiwan’s de facto independence and sovereignty; they feel that closer economic ties will give the government in Beijing leverage to push Taiwan into further political isolation.”

The letter and the statement to Obama were released at the Washington conference of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), which featured presentations by Wu Rong-i (吳榮義), former Taiwanese deputy premier and now president of the Taiwan Braintrust; June Teufel Dreyer, a political scientist at the University of Miami; Arthur Waldron, professor of international relations at the University of Pennsylvania; and Gordon Chang (章家敦), author of The Coming Collapse of China.

Wu warned that Taiwan could be “totally marginalized” by an ECFA and that there was speculation the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) wanted to “accelerate” unification with China.

Dreyer said the Ma administration was not telling the truth about all aspects of an ECFA and that it was “doing its very best to obfuscate.”

“While it is saying that [an] ECFA is going to create 100,000 jobs, what it is not telling you is that it may destroy 200,000 jobs,” she said.

Chang said that China’s economy was on a “sugar high” and was full of economic bubbles that were getting ready to burst.

“If Taiwan ties its economy to China through an ECFA, it loses control of its economy,” he said. “If China’s bubbles burst and its economy collapses, as a number of scholars, investors and analysts have said that it might do in the next 12 months, then Taiwan’s economy could crash as well. ECFA is a one-way ticket to economic failure in China.”

Waldron said one problem in dealing with China was that trade and economic relations were not genuinely free — the currency was not convertible, exchange rates were controlled, interest rates were essentially determined.

“If Taiwan signs an agreement in which she places her economic future in the hands of another vast population that is in flux and is ungoverned by any sorts of laws, then she is giving away another piece of her autonomy and her sovereignty,” he said.

“At a minimum, we should call for a full and open discussion of this agreement so that everyone in Taiwan is fully informed of what it says and what it means. But consulting the people of Taiwan is exactly the opposite of what the negotiators want to do,” he said.

Koh Sebo, a spokesman for the Taiwanese-American associations, said that the government in Beijing wanted to use an ECFA as a tool or first step to get Taiwan into the Chinese sphere of influence and put the Taiwanese economy “firmly in the grip of China.”

“If Taiwan becomes an ­unsinkable aircraft carrier for China the whole western Pacific will be threatened,” he said.

The last word came from FAPA president Bob Yang.

“Members of the US Congress have already referred to ECFA as a ‘Trojan Horse,’ a ‘cage’ and a ‘trap.’ We agree,” he said. “The bottom line is that ECFA is a political tool that masquerades as a trade instrument to achieve China’s ultimate goal of annexing Taiwan.”

延伸閱讀: Taiwan at crossroads in relationship with China

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Legend 2010 (5): 惡地國家公園(Badlands NP)


老實說,我們,好吧!至少我,原本對於惡地國家公園(Badlands NP)的期待不高.原因之一是在羅斯福NP已經看到不少惡地地形,之二是在AZ(的石化森林國家公園, Petrified NP)也看過一些,加上惡地之所以為惡地,變化應該不多,要變化也只是規模大小,成色(因含礦物質不同)差異而已. 只要比較像本裡的第2,3,4張照片就可清楚看出顏色不同.

正因為如此, 我們只安排了半天的行程,原本應該非常充裕的, 但是 “路過”前一天因為天候沒去成的黑熊之鄉,當時天氣已經稍微放晴,又進去繞了一大圈. 於是乎到惡地已經是下午時分了.

順帶一提.中午是在Rapid City的湖南(Hunan)中餐廳用餐. 我們原本預定在Walls用餐的,因為到了黑熊之鄉,整個行程再度延後. 此外, 在第三天早上去過Devils Tower後又回到Spearfish用餐. 剛好看到金龍 (Golden Dragon)就在金龍午餐. 這是此次出遊唯二的兩餐中餐. Rapid City當然比Spearfish來得大,湖南的菜色上當然也比金龍來得多樣且精緻.


我們是從Pinnacles Entrance這個入口進去的,因為到的時間比預期晚了,沒有再往西邊走,所以Hay Butte Overlook等都沒機會去.

雖然天氣已經放晴,但天空還是灰濛,所有照片的天空還是灰暗,有點可惜. 另外,雖然用了接圖的功能,還沒研究怎麼把圖放在一起,很難描述它的壯闊. 這樣說好了! 在一開始的入口處不遠的Pinnacles Overlook花了我21張的接圖, 這樣有稍微傳達出它的壯闊了嗎? 也是這樣, 我們在這個公園一路發出的驚嘆聲都是: 好大,真的好大. 其餘無他.

這樣的開始算是給我們一個不小的震撼, 也提升我們對這個國家公園的期待. 沿著景觀道路一路往東. 我們進行的方向幾乎和絕大部分的遊客相反.不記得到達哪個overlook時,來自加州的遊客問我們是否看到動物,還問我們Pinnacles 的景觀如何,並且告訴我們接近Ben Reifel Visitor Center的 “城堡區” (Castle)非常壯觀, 不可錯過.

前一天在風洞國家公園(Wind Cave NP)拿到惡地國家公園的介紹(brochure) 時候我們還不切實際的想參加化石步道解說導覽(Fossil Exhibit Trail), 因為進度整個落後,當然也錯過了. 不過我們還是下車走了步道,這是在惡地國家公園裡唯二走的一小段步道. 因為是從西往東,我們差一點就趕不上到位於最東邊的遊客中心蓋章. 最後就在遊客中心關門前15鍾衝進去,很快瀏覽一下中心的的展覽與商店後就被趕出遊客中心了.

靠近遊客中心的城堡區的確也很壯觀,而且景觀略有不同,否則一路走來我們的驚嘆聲就是: 好大,真的好大! 真要說形狀變化的話,遠比不上土耳其的 Cappadocia. 緊鄰城堡區的還有 “窗區” (Window), 讓我想起位在猶他州的幾個國家公園也是以奇石著稱,即使如此卻各有特色,絕對值得一遊.

離開惡地後到飛彈紀念地(Missile Historic Site). 當然,我們前一晚想參加的一點半導覽也是不可能實現的願望了.這就留待後話了.

延伸閱讀: 旅人行腳之惡地國家公園

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Legend 2010 (4): Jewel Cave (珠寶洞穴) and Wind Cave (風洞)

這次重頭戲之一是參觀兩個石灰岩洞穴的景點, Jewel Cave(珠寶洞穴)Wind Cave(風洞).

一開始我們安排的行程是接連兩天的早上各去一個. 我們在前一天事先預約了Jewel Cave有導覽的風景之旅(Scenic Tour). 大概因為天氣不佳,加上我們預約最早的一團,結果只有我們一行四人, 解說員等於是我們的專屬導覽人員, 不但可依我們腳步調整速度,等我們照相,還可以幫我們拍合照,等我們做翻譯,真是幸運!

因為下雨,我們臨時把預定隔天才參觀的Wind Cave改到下午. 大概因為下午人多,加上季節(旺季)還沒正式開始, 只有亞當花園(?)一種導覽行程(Garden of Eden), 加上人數眾多(約有30人),洞穴又相對小,感覺上沒有早上的Jewel Cave來得盡興.

Jewel Cave也好,Wind Cave也是,公園的探險持續進行中.以Jewel Cave為例, 它本來是第四長的洞穴, 就在我們去的前幾週才升格成為第二長的洞穴. Jewel Cave裡面的特點應該是 “培根”或是 “爆米花”, 還有唯妙唯肖的 “培根”! 相對上Wind Cave 的地形就以蜂巢狀的Boxwork 為主.

其實在Jewel Cave 裡也有一點點的Boxwork 地形, 當然規模上比不上Wind Cave裡的. 兩個解說員對於Boxwork的解說也不盡相同. 在珠寶洞穴的解說員表示蜂巢狀的Boxwork雖然看似脆弱,實際上極為堅硬. 有一次有人員探勘時不慎弄到,卻沒有因此傷到任何一點Boxwork的結構. 相反的在風洞的解說員就強調Boxwork的脆弱, 不知道是否想要藉強調不去碰觸的參觀原則?

因為珠寶洞穴實在比風洞大得多,我問導覽人員國家公園與國家紀念地的等級劃分的依據. 根據珠寶洞穴解說員的講法是國家公園需要經過議會(不知道是參議會還是眾議會)的同意,但是國家紀念區之屬只需要總統宣布(declare)即可,因此程序上簡單的多. 雖然成為國家公園系統的程序上簡單,經費上也相對較少: 解說人員提到風洞國家公園每天提供的導覽次數多很多,旅客人數也是. 此外,解說員還告訴我們風洞國家公園並不需要事先預約, 和我們原本獲得的訊息並不相同. 建議要到此處的人先跟園區確定.

前一篇提到過住在Custer的好處. 從Custer 到Jewel Cave 和Wind Cave都很方便, 分別只要16分鐘與23分鐘. 在參觀完Jewel Cave之後我們先回到Custer 鎮上吃飯不說,還回到旅館小憩片刻,打算參加2:30的導覽團. 我想這種方便是住在原先預定的Keystone或是附近最大城市Rapid City所沒有的.

到了風洞國家公園 “預約”了大約15分鐘後開始的導覽行程後參觀展覽室的展出. 應我們要求播放的影片中提到風洞國家公園特別之處在地底下的世界,而不在地面上的. 也許如此, 地面上的部份是不收門票的. 事實上地面上的景觀除了開闊的草原外也的確讓人納悶這裡成為國家公園的資格?. 展覽室裏介紹各種特殊石灰岩地形. 的確在之後的導覽行程也見到其中(除了Boxwork之外)幾種特殊地形如frostwork等.

這裡的解說員比珠寶洞穴的解說員更強調探勘洞穴之不易,尤其在過去技術還不如現在之進步時. 雖然洞穴裡已經有照明設備,解說員特別關掉所有照明設備只留下一盞蠟燭讓遊客體會所謂燭光探勘的辛苦. 如果旺季到了,國家公園也提供所謂的燭光之旅(candlelight tour),應該會是很特別的經驗.

由於洞穴內溫度相對固定, 園區除了特殊節日外是終年開放. 這對位於緯度頗高且海拔也高的珠寶洞穴與風洞來講頗為重要—可以想像嗎? 我們是因為下雨才更改行程,而我們到達的前幾天這裡還下雪,而且是heavy snow,沿路殘雪還處處可見!

因為我們在風洞只參觀了最短的導覽行程,也許這個評論並不準確. 但是如果擇一參觀的話,我想珠寶洞穴的規模遠大於風洞. 不過既然一趟路途至此, 兩個都參觀應該是比較符合經濟效益的作法.

我想惡地地形應該值得一篇獨立的流水帳? 最後再來寫些零碎的部份,含Deadwood, Iron Mountain Road (pigtail bridges), Custer State Park, 黑熊之鄉(Bear Country) 與 飛彈紀念地(Missile Historic Site). 所以沒有意外的話,Legend 2010 這個系列應該還會有(5)與(6)兩篇. 敬請期待?!

延伸閱讀: 旅人行腳的珠寶洞穴風洞

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Legend 2010 (3) : 惡魔塔 (Devils Tower)與四個總統像(Mt. Rushmore)

這天(第三天)原本預訂到魔鬼塔和四個總統像(Mt. Rushmore),依照計畫走完行程後順便繞道附近的瘋馬酋長(Crazy Horse)紀念區. 我們在魔鬼塔與四個總統像都走了(完整的)步道.

先講魔鬼塔. 它的官方網站是:。 它其實是在懷俄明州了!不過非常靠近南北達科塔州, 我們也因此一併排進這次的行程. 巧合的是,到這裡的大約一週前剛好在加拿大的旅館內看到重播電影 “第三類接觸”, 好像是在提醒我們該去這裡了!

我們是從Sundance這端進到魔鬼塔的. Sundance在90號洲際公路有三個出口,如果要快的話走最後一個出口, 我們則是看到第一個出口就下高速公路,因此在Sundance這個鎮也繞了一圈,算是個觀光小鎮.

雖然一路上有幾個眺望點(實為遠望點), 其實可以等到進到園(紀念)區裡才開始照相. 當然啦! 使用數位相機的好處是 “底片”不用錢, 多拍幾張也無所謂. 不過相對上照出來的魔鬼塔很小,完全沒有驚人的氣勢.

關於魔鬼塔形成的原因,根據公園內的解說有三種. 後來到了珠寶洞穴(Jewel Cave)碰到的解說員則是相信火山造成的那一種. 科學說法之外還有深具故事性的印地安傳說. 當然這些都寫在遊客中心裡.

遊客中心外面還有個亭子(booth)是讓去攀爬魔鬼塔的人註冊的地方. 說是註冊,其實就是填完單子丟進信箱裡而已. 完全榮譽制. 我們走在步道上也看到一些攀岩客, 當然也看到已經爬在上面的旅客. 不過有點距離, 就算拍照存證相片上攀岩的人就跟木頭梯子(wooden ladder) 一樣看不清楚.

再來是四個總統像(Mt. Rushmore). 不到這裡也許看不出工程的浩大. 這四個總統 (華盛頓,傑佛遜,羅斯福與林肯)分別代表國家的誕生(birth),growth (成長), conversation (保存), 與development (發展). 除了這四個總統外, 餐廳裡的每根柱子上有歷屆美國總統. 另外,進到園區正面還有美國五十州的州旗,加入聯邦的時間, 以及屬地託管地的旗子. 不過並沒有各州的state seal (在波士頓近郊的Heritage Museum倒是有). 不知道國家寶藏(二) (National Treasure 2)之後這裡的遊客是否更多了?

毫無疑問的這裡完全是人工化的結果,但是走在步道上沿路常見的化石與結晶,雲母的礦石似乎在暗示我們再來的寶石洞穴(Jewel Cave NM). 我對這裡的一個抱怨是入園門票竟然不收信用卡! 不知道是當時刷卡系統故障還是什麼緣故. 而且 雖然門票號稱一年內有效, 但除了附近居民外有誰會一年內多次造訪呢?

我雖然對美國歷史了解不多,也對缺乏歷史的,用來宣揚國力強大的人工建築一向興趣缺缺,但是黃昏時間走在步道倒也舒適宜人. 我們離開這裡已經快七點,趕忙往Custer趕去.


Legend 2010 (2): 關於行前安排與羅斯福國家公園的流水帳


這次出遊的行前算是我們最鬆散的一次. 由於很多不確定性,旅館是前一天才開始定.這樣一來沒有時間慢慢和Priceline耗,試了幾次沒標到第一晚的旅館只好直接打電話去訂. 因為此時已經是出發前一天的晚上十點半了.

一開始我們是打算住在Dickinson 或是 Belfield. 前者選擇較多,不過我個人還蠻高興住到這個旅館的. 雖然它是這次出遊當中算是最貴的一晚,也沒有附早餐, 但也是最乾淨的旅館. 除了沒有附早餐,該有的都有(如上網), 而且服務人員也算親切, 可能和家庭式經營有關? 此外, Belfield離羅斯福國家公園更近,也讓停留在公園內的時間可以更長. 鎮上的(唯一?)餐廳也有一定的水準,算是不錯的選擇.

第一晚Check-in的時候問旅館女主人, 她告訴我們通常旅客只到南邊園區,不過我們原本就打算南北園區都參觀. 而且運氣不錯,北園區是當天才開放. 話雖如此我們隔天還是被臨時性的路標騙了,以為道路不通,白繞一大圈,後來決定碰運氣. 最後到了北園區的遊客中心後我們忍不住跟國家公園管理員抱怨了起來. 心想差點就錯失一個景點了. 就在我們還在參觀遊客中心的展覽時,管理員陸續接到幾通詢問電話,都是遊客打來了解園區是否開放的電話.

另一個誤打誤撞的"收穫"是住到Custer. 原本我們是打算投宿Keystone,那是最接近四個總統像(而且是個完全商業化)的小鎮. 比起來我對Medora的印象就好許多. 不過因為旅館訂得晚, 我們最後住在Custer,也是這次唯一住兩晚的旅館.

住在Custer有個好處: 以它為中心到Mt. Rushmore, Jewel Cave, Wind Cave 以及 Custer State Park都很近.鎮上有不算少的旅館與餐廳,我們試了幾家都不錯。尤其是母親節當天我們用餐的餐廳黑馬(Dark Horse)雖然寫著母親半價而且附送甜點,但其實是所有女性都半價! 最特別的是它的廁所寫的是公馬與母馬, 要上廁所時還得先想一下.

我想多講點關於旅館的經驗. 事實上如果想一次造訪上述幾個點, 我個人認為住在Custer要比住在Keystone好得多. 地點適中, 餐飲與旅館選擇不算少, 如果要體會小木屋的生活甚至可以花一晚住在Custer State Park 裡面的各個小木屋或是所謂的民宿. 這些是我們後 “開過” Custer State Park才發現到州立公園裡有不少另類住宿選擇. 如果真的住在州立公園裡的小木屋,開到Custer 鎮上用餐也算方便.

<羅斯福國家公園> 羅斯福國家公園官方網站:

要進到園區之前還有標示說你正進入另一個時區, 這是因為時區是以Little Missouri River為界, 以至於這個公園南北兩個園區竟在不同時區,也算是一大特色. (按:一個公園分兩個園區已經不稀奇了! 我第一次到仙人掌國家公園 Saguaro NP 第一次發現還大驚小怪了一番,現在想來當時真是井底之蛙,哈哈!

在North Unit (北園區): 基本上是沿著長為14哩的景觀道路走(14-miles scenic drive).起點是北園區遊客中心,我們還跟遊客中心借了小型加農砲出來照相. 北區沿途的風景點是 Longhorn Pullout >> Slump Block Pullout >> Cannonball Concretions Pullout >> Long X Trail Pullout >> River Bend Overlook >> Bentonitic Clay Overlook >> Man and Grass Pullout >> Edge of Glacier Pullout >> Oxbow Overlook.

除了加農砲石區 (Cannonball Concretions Pullout)還有River Bend Overlook (河灣鳥瞰點)下來走一小段步道外,其他風景點只有下車拍照. River Bend Overlook 的步道還蠻值得一走,路徑不長,坡度也緩, 但是到至高點後鳥瞰河谷確實眼界不同. 很難想像惡地中也有河川流過, 增添景色的變化.

雖然觀景點之一是長角鹿觀景點, 我們在北園區並沒有看到羊,也沒看到鹿. 遊客中心的服務人員說園區裡大抵有30頭,需要一點運氣才看得到 (“you will see them if you are lucky enough”).

在South Unit (南園區): 南園區比北園區大,沿著94洲際公路由東往西先來到彩繪峽谷(Painted Canyon Visitor Center),接著來到Medora 遊客中心. Medora遊客中心外面有(大)羅斯福總統當年在此地居留所宿之小木屋. 奇怪的是當時屋內並沒有廁所,莫非都回歸自然?

南區所在的Medora小鎮其實蠻有意思的. 這個鎮當然是以觀光為主,因為早上到了北園區, 中午回到Beldfield用餐順便加油,下午再到南園區. 如果只打算到南園區的人也許可以考慮在Medora 用餐. 這裡也有些汽車旅館可供住宿.

南區的景觀比北區更壯觀,但是變化也較少,基本上都是惡地地形. 北區則是草原加上惡地(還有 “加農炮” 地形). 相對上我們在南區看到的動物也比較多. 除了北區已經看到的野牛(buffalo), 南區還看到土撥鼠(prairie dog), 野生馬, 還有鹿.

我雖然不算特別喜愛動物的人,看到壯闊草原上的野牛與其他動物也興奮了起來. 喜愛動物的人應該會很喜歡這裡!

另, 我們在南區走的步道是風峽谷(wind canyon), 不過在拿到的公園地圖上並沒有標示出來.

至於北區南區孰勝?出發前朋友網誌介紹偏好北區,實地造訪後我倒是很難下定論, 我想這是個人偏好,就留給旅人們各自體會吧!

延伸閱讀: 旅人行腳的羅斯福NP

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Legend 2010 (1): 行程篇

這本來是去年的行程,但因為豬流感,去年沒成行(台灣家人沒到美國會合). 延到今年,趁著搬離此地前出遊.

這次原本預訂的景點有三個國家公園(Roosevelt NP, Wind Cave NP, Badlands NP),三個國家紀念地(Devils Tower NM, Jewel NM, Mt. Rushmore NM),一個州立公園 (Custer State Park, SD),一個私人景點(Crazy Horse),還有一個私人經營的野生動物園 (Bear County). 到了後來還加了飛彈紀念地.

由於大部分的景點集中在南達科塔州, 想要一網打盡的話不外有從東往西,或是從西往東玩起. 換個方向講,可以先北後南,或是先南後北. 此外, 點與點之間的車程不算的話, 從明尼蘇達出發的話單趟車程約有9小時.

我們最後決定由西往東,先北後南的走法. 這樣安排的好處是趁著一開始還有氣力,第一天就開到北達科塔州, 除了惡魔塔(Devils Tower) 之外,這裡幾乎是此次行程的最西點了! 如此一來,第二天起開始有景點,算是慰勞第一天的辛苦. 第三天起南下往南達科塔州,景點較為密集,車行時間相對短,比較不覺得累. 此外, 惡地國家公園(Badlands NP)是這幾個景點的最東邊,最後再玩這國家公園等於把漫漫長途的回程分成兩天,第一天先開個兩三小時的路程,玩完惡地國家公園,最後一天再趕剩下的六小時車程. 因為已經玩了幾天,想再一天開九小時車程已經不大可能了. 如果換成由東往西,先南後北玩過去就沒有這種好處. 當然啦! 如果是從西岸出發,就不妨倒過來走.

另一個好處是,相對起Badlands NP, 位在北達科塔州的羅斯福國家公園裡的惡地實在是規模小太多. 要是先看了惡地國家公園再到羅斯福國家公園恐怕會興趣缺缺.

以下是詳細行程, 黑色的是實際行程,藍色的是原先計畫行程. 調動的原因主要是配合天氣(壞天氣參觀洞內行程),其次才是因為發現新景點(國家公園管理員介紹或是在旅館看到灰狗巴士-greyhound tour行程後詢問國家公園管理員)適度調整.

Day 1 – From Minneapolis to Belfield, stay at Belfield (Cowboy Inn; Junction I-94 & Exit 42, 406 Hwy 10 East; 1-866-901-4245; #8442)

Dinner at Sanford's grub & Pub (in Dickinson, ND)
Day 2 – Roosevelt National Park (羅斯福國家公園), from Belfield to Spearfish, stay at Spearfish (Howard Johnson; 323 South 27th St.; 605-642-8105; #69173633)

Lunch at Trapper's Kettle (Belfield, ND)
Day 3 – From Spearfish to Devils Tower, from Devils Tower to Mt. Rushmore via Deadwood, Crazy Horse, stay at Custer (Days Inn; 519 Crook St. Custer, SD 57730; 605-673-4500)

Day 3— Devils Tower, Mt. Rushmore.

Lunch at Golden Dragon (Spearfish, SD), Dinner at Dark Horse (Custer, SD)
Day 4 – From Custer to Jewel Cave NM (Scenic Tour 605-673-8300), Wind Cave NP, stay at Custer (Days Inn)

Day4 – Jewel Cave NM. Crazy Horse. Bear Country.
Lunch at Dakota Cowboy (Custer, SD), Dinner at Captains Table (Custer, SD)
Day 5 – From Custer to Iron Mountain Road (pigtail bridges), Custer State Park, Bear Country, Badlands NP, Missile Historic Site, stay at Chamberlain (Best Western Lee’s Motor Inn; 220 W. King Ave. Chamberlain, SD 57325)

Lunch at Hunan Chinese Restaurant (Rapid City, SD), Dinner at Casey's (Chamberlain, SD)
Day 5— Wind Cave NP. Badlands NP.
Day 6 – From Chamberlain to Minneapolis

Lunch at Perkins