Grinding Horde Levels 10 – 20

At character level 11 you should already know where Far Watch Post is in the Barrens. Go into the center of the Barrens and on the way find Grol’dom Farms. Then keep traveling until reaching the center of the Barrens at the Crossroads. Go to Zharg near the camp fence and get an easy quest to deliver meats to Ogrimmar via the flight master in the camp (Meats to Ogrimmar). Find the Crossroads flight master. Part two is actually taking a flight to Orgrimmar (Ride to Ogrimmar). When you find the Ogrimmar innkeeper and deliver the meats the innkeeper then gives you a letter to take back to Zharg, but first you need to find the Ogrimmar flight master (Doras the Windmaster Rider). Finding him is not hard since you found him on the way into Ogrimmar in the first place. He then gives you the final leg quest back to Crossroads (Return to Crossroads). Find Zharg back at camp and finish the quest.

Sergra, the Crossroads camp leader, wants you to kill enough Plainstriders, ostriches, to gain 7 beaks (Plainstrider Menace). Sergra then directs you to kill enough Zhevras to bring back 4 Zhevra hooves (The Zhevra).

At the Crossroads go to the alchemist troll Helbrim in the middle of the camp and get his delivery quest to Ratchet, a port south of Crossroads (Wharfmaster Dizzywig). You gain points for finding the goblin Dizzywig on the Ratchet wharf. Helbrim also asks you to find some mushrooms for him near the Barren oases (Fungal Spores). You find the mushrooms at the Lush Oasis southwest of Crossroads. You can take out some centaurs at the same time for other quests (Kolkar Bracers).

Gazrog, near the camp inn, wants you to kill 12 raptors for him for stealing his silver (Raptor Thieves).

Thork at Crossroads gives you a quest to fight the Razormane pigmen in the area. You are to kill 8 thornweavers, 8 waterseekers and 3 hunters (Disrupt the Attacks). The hunters are tougher because they also have a pet wolf with them.

At level 12 you go to your class trainer in Orgrimmar, Sorek, who directs you to seek out Veteran Uzzek at Far Watch Post, on the border of Durotar and the Barrens (Veteran Uzzek). Uzzek then wants you to go get 5 thunderlizard scales. Uzzek then tells you to find Thungrim Firegaze, and orc hermit on one of the hills in the Barrens (Thungrim Firegaze). Thungrim then challenges you to get his iron box back from Razormane thieves in Thorn Hill (Forged Steel).

In the meantime Sergra at Crossroads wants you to kill prowlers and gain 7 prowler paws after you completed your Zhrevra quest (Prowlers of the Barrens).

On the way west of Crossroads you find Rethgar’s base. He gives you a charge to kill Kolkar Centaurs while in the area (Kolkar Bracers).

Tonga at Crossroads asks you to find a source of power leaking from one of the Barrens’ oases (The Forgotten Pools). You need to get in the pool, go underwater and swim around until you find a bubbling crack in the bottom to complete the quest.

Level 13 requires 11,400 points. This is a grind level on anything that moves in the Barrens.

At level 14 Manrik at Crossroads wants you to find his wife lost in battle near Camp Tourajo (Lost in Battle). Manrik also hates the Bristleback Razormane near Camp Tourajo and wants you to kill enough to bring back 60 tusks. Do this while doing other quests on the Razormane (Consumed by Hatred).

The troll apothecary in Crossroads wants you to make a delivery to Zamah in Thunder Bluff. You have 45 minutes to complete the quest (Apothecary Zamah). Simultaneously, Tonga at Crossroads wants you to take seeds and place them in a fissure in the Stagnant Oasis, southeast of crossroads (The Stagnant Oasis).

The numerous quests continue with Tonga asking you to go kill snapjaw turtles in the Oases so he can examine them. He needs 8 shells (Altered Beings). Tonga then guides you to talk to the druid Hamaal Runetotem in Thunder Bluff (Hamaal Runetotem). Use a flight master to get there quick. He is in the Hall of the Elders. Hamaal then tells you to talk to Nara Wildmane (Nara Wildmane). Nara is in the same tent so this is an easy quest. Tonga also asks you to talk to Mura Runetotem at the Sepulcher. The Sepulcher is in undead land, and you will need to return to Ogrimmar and take the blimp to Tirisfal Glades to get to the Sepulcher (Mura Runetotem).

You find an empty keg among the loot of a razormane. The solution is in Ratchet (Chen’s Empty Keg) when you find the orc brewmaster. The brewmaster then gives you a quest to get some of Chen’s brew. You have to get 5 plainstrider kidneys, 5 prowler tusks, and 1 stormsnout horn (Chen’s Empty Keg 2).

You meet Sputtervalve the Goblin near the Ratchet flightmaster and he asks you to figure out the Venture Company samophlange. The Venture Company site is to the north of the Crossroads near the mountains (Samophlange).

At level 16 through 18 you can gain a couple hundred points just exploring the lands around Ratchet. The Goblin Mebok in Ratchet needs 5 raptor horns from sunscale scythclaws (Raptor Horns). Also you need to kill 12 pirates and 6 cannoneers south of ratchet (Southsea Freebooters). Gazlowe then wants you to take a ledger down to the dock (The Missing Shipment). The dockmaster tells you to return to Gazlowe with the response (The Missing Shipment 2). Gazlow thinks the missing items were stolen by the pirates so charges you to recover the item (The Stolen Booty).

Thork at Crossroads charges you again to kill 8 Geomancers, 8 Defenders, and Greenig Karlsnout the leader of the local Razormane (The Disruption Ends). Thork advises you to report to Kadrak at the Northern Barrens watch post (Report to Kadrak).

Rethgar then charges you to kill the Kolkar leader Barak Kodobane (Kolkar Leaders). Barak is located near the forgotten pools. Bring back Barak’s head. Rethgar then wants you to get Verog the Centaur’s head. He’s located near the stagnant oasis (Verog the Dervish). Grind on raptors, hyenas and centaurs.

Segra at Crossroads gives you her final warrior assignment to kill the king of the lions (Eechekayaa). The lion is located south of the Venture Co. mining in the north barrens. Sergra then decides it’s time for you to tackle scythclaw raptors (The Angry Scythlaws). Grind on raptors to finish off level 18.

For level 19 and when done with your Crossroads quests, Sergra tasks you to find Jorn Skyseer in Camp Tourajo (Jorn Skyseer).

Jorn tasks you to kill the king of Raptors and bring his fang back to Jorn (Ishamuhale). The dead tree south of the razormane and east of the crossroads is his lair. Kill a zhevra for bait, and then wait for him to appear. Jorn then wants you to kill thunder lizards and return with 3 blood samples (Enraged Thunderlizards). Jorn then asks you to find and hunt an Thunderhawk and bring back its wings (Cry of the Thunderhawk). Just find a Thunderhawk hatchling outside of Camp Tourajo.

After killing the raptors near the Crossroads, Gazrog is happy but still wants his silver. He directs you to find the raptor nests south of Ratchet and get his silver (Stolen Silver). Finally, grind on pirates on the merchant coast south of Ratchet to close out level 19. Congrats, you made level 20.

History of Clark Fork, and Hope, Idaho

The Hope/Clark Fork area stretches along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille from the Pack River to the mouth of the Clark Fork River, the major waterways that feed mighty Pend Oreille. Lake Pend Oreille is one of the West’s largest freshwater bodies of water with several islands near the Clark Fork estuary, including the islands off Hope and the Hope Peninsula, Warren, Cottage, Pearl, Eagle, and Memaloose Islands, as well as the Islands at the end of the Clark Fork River, called the Clark Fork Flats, which includes Derr Island. There are three major peninsulas that thrust into the lake: Sunnyside, the Hope Peninsula, and Sagle. Sagle is actually more like an area the lake wraps around, but nonetheless is a major abutting feature of Lake Pend Oreille.

It is important to note that the histories of the two communities are closely tied to one and other. They have a shared past of railroads, mining, and logging, and sportsman activities. More recently, both Lake Pend Oreille and the Clark Fork River have been a draw for tourists seeking the mountain/lake lifestyle. In recent years the area has attracted national public attention, being featured on several broadcasts, in articles, and by developers. The most famous golf course in this part of North Idaho, Hidden Lakes, was purchased by Jack Nicklaus, and is slated to open in 2009 as the Idaho Club. However, with the federal and state owning over 70% of the land, growth has been measured.

Glacial Floods and Lake Pend Oreille

The most prominent feature of Hope and Clark Fork, Idaho is Lake Pend Oreille. With 111 mile of coastline and 148 square miles, it is one of North America’s prominent lakes, and the nation’s fifth deepest. Formed by cataclysmic floods when the mile high Ice Age ice dam broke time after time, the features of the land and lakes of Bonner County and Western Montana all the way to the coast in Oregon were formed by these monumental floods. Just one of these deluges was ten times the combined volume of all the rivers on earth, with walls of water moving at super highway speeds. To learn more about the Ice Age Floods visit Ice Age Floods

Centuries before white man discovered the region, the Kalispell and other Indian tribes, such as the Flatheads, inhabited North Idaho. Visit North Idaho History The first white men to trade in North Idaho were the intrepid adventurers “Big Finan” McDonald and explorer and “land geographer” David Thompson, who established the first permanent wooden structure in 1809 on the Hope Peninsula, taking advantage of Lake Pend Oreille and the Clark Fork River. This trading post, Kullyspell House, is still standing as a stone building on the shores of the lake. Kullyspell House still stands on the Peninsula, Idaho’s most historic home. It sits at the end of Kullyspell Road. As you turn right on David Thompson Road, you will pass several white houses on the left. This grouping of summer homes is the family retreat of the Kienholz family. Ed Kienholz is easily one of our nation’s most famous artists.

The first true transportation the region enjoyed were the steamboats of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, which brought its first engine and hardware from Portland, building the 108-foot Mary Moody in 1866.

As the railroads came into the area, Northern Pacific Railroad built the 150-foot Henry Villard in 1883 to supply the men laying the rails. Steamboats continued to be an integral part of transportation around Lake Pend Oreille until the 1930s. Later in the era, steamboats became popular excursions, much as Pend Oreille Cruises is today, and dignitaries staying at Hotel Hope and other resorts would spend days on the water.

In 1864 Congress granted the Northern Pacific Railroad a charter to build a line from Lake Superior to Puget Sound on a route north of the 45 parallel. In 1872, the Clark Fork Pend Oreille route was chosen. With the railroad came the people who established the towns of Clark Fork and Hope.

Railroads came to prominence in the 1880s, as local construction began on the northern transcontinental line in 1881. Trestle Creek, at more than a mile long, became the line’s longest structure. It was at this time that Hope became the center of railroad activities and the largest city in the county. Along with Chinese Coolies, over 4,000 rough and ready railroad workers lived in a tent city along the Clark Fork River. Railroads brought people, and the lumber industry, which began to service the rails and trains, became the stalwart of the North Idaho economy for the next 100 years.

History of Hope, Idaho

At first Hope was just a stopping point along the railroad, but in 1890, the Northern Pacific moved its division point west from Montana to the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. Hope was incorporated on July 17, 1891. East Hope was incorporated on June 28th 1902. Hope was a busy port in its early days. Steamboats crossed the lake carrying supplies and mail to mining sites around the shore before roads were built. The boats were used to carry supplies up the Clark Fork River to Cabinet Gorge while the railroad was being constructed. The lake had long supported a fishing fleet, bringing in tons of fish every day. The populations were decimated by the introduction of tiny krill. The Federal government added these small shrimp in an attempt to increase fish populations; the experiment had the opposite effect. Recent years have seen a small recovery in fish populations, and now Hope is the center of some fine sports fishing.

Hope began to grow in 1882 when the Northern Pacific came through and in 1900 set its Rock Mountain division point in the hillside village. Incorporated in 1903, the village was named in honor of the veterinarian who tended the construction horses. A wise and kindly man, Dr. Hope was widely respected. Hope was the largest town in the area during the 1880s, achieving prominence as the Rocky Mountain division point on the Northern Pacific line. Engines turned around in the large roundhouse, and the railroad built shops, offices, and a “beanery” there.

The Hotel Jeannot, now known as Hotel Hope, was able to capitalize on this business with its location right above the depot, and with its tunnels providing easy access for passengers to the hotel. Many say that the tunnels were used to entertain the Chinese “coolees,” working on the railroads, who were normally not allowed in the establishments that served the locals and travelers.

In contrast to Hope’s early boom, Sandpoint grew slowly following completion of the railroad. An 1883 visitor found only 300 people in town, and nine years later another traveler reported that “Sandpoint is made up of between three and four dozen rude shacks and perhaps a dozen tents.” The town experienced tremendous growth, however, following the turn of the century.

When the division point moved to Sandpoint, Hope began to decline. Hotel Hope continued to draw people until the 1960s, partly because the picturesque setting of the town beside Lake Pend Oreille attracted many tourists. Some of them prominent: J.P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt, Gary Cooper, and Bing Crosby.

The original Hotel Jeannot (Hotel Hope) was a wooden structure which burned down in about 1886. It was then that Joseph M. Jeannot started on his fireproof commercial building, which he shared with his brother Louis. He constructed one section at a time, and added on over the years, finally completing the three-bay, two story hotel in 1898. The rectangular building has two full stories above two separate basement sections. The facade is divided into three approximately equal bays which vary in design and building materials indicating that the hotel was built in sections over a period of years. This theory collaborated by the analysis of the structure during restoration as well as through oral accounts. The first section to be built was the first story of the east bay with its walls of rock-faced random-coursed granite ashlar with beaded joints. Next came the first story of the center bay with its lower facade walls of poured concrete. Following this, or possibly built at the same time, was the red brick second story over the center and east bays. The west bay was the last to be built, either all at once or in two stages. The first floor is of poured concrete with the second floor of red brick.

Various businesses have occupied the building over the years including a saloon, a restaurant, a general store, a meat market, and even a post office. The vaulted meat cooler adjoining the west basement was probably built when Louis ran his general store and meat market in the period from 1895 to 1897. Hotel Hope still stands as a testament to the times.

J. M. Jeannot’s hotel and saloon were not his only business interests. He was also involved in mining and had several claims across Lake Pend Oreille in the area of Green Monarch Mountain. Hope had a large Chinese population which had arrived with the railroad, and Jeannot supposedly took advantage of this source of cheap labor for his mines. According to one of Jeannot’s friends, he allowed these men to use the meat cooler under the hotel as a clubhouse. They gained access to this room through the small tunnel which connected it to the railroad depot, thus bypassing the more obvious entrances. This vault in the hotel is one of the few sites left in Hope which may be connected with the large number of Chinese who used to live in the town.

Jeannot’s mining operations as well as his losses at gambling led to his unstable financial condition which may have been one reason the hotel took ten to twelve years to complete. According to one source, the construction was held up for more than a year when Jeannot lost all of his money in a bet on William Jennings Bryan in 1896. Uncertain finances continued to plague Jeannot and he mortgaged and remortgaged the hotel over the years between 1907 and 1918, eventually losing the building in 1918. A friend paid off the debt in 1920, and ran the hotel until her death in 1968.

Today the era of lumber and trains has been supplanted by tourism and manufacturing in Bonner County, and Hope and Clark Fork have become known as an artist colony. This is in great part due to Ed Kienholz.

Born in 1927 at Fairfield, Washington. He studied at schools and colleges in the Inland Northwest. He first earned his living as a nurse in a psychiatric hospital, as the manager of a dance band, as a dealer in secondary cars, a caterer, decorator and vacuum cleaner salesman. In 1953 he moved to Los Angeles.

In 1954 he made his first reliefs in wood. In 1956 he founded the NOW Gallery, and in 1957 the Ferus Gallery with Walter Hopps. In 1961 he completed his first environment Roxy’s, which caused a stir at the documenta “4” exhibition in 1968. His retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1966 provoked the County Board of Supervision to attempt to close the exhibition. The theme of his environments is the vulnerability of the private life of the individual to intervention by the environment and social convention.

In 1972 he met Nancy Reddin in Los Angeles. In 1973 he was guest artist of the German Academmic Exchange Service in Berlin. He moved to Hope with his wife Nancy, and around this time also established himself in Berlin . His most important works during this period were the Volksempfänger (radio receiving apparatus from the National Socialist period in Germany). In 1975 he received a Guggenheim Award.

He died in 1994, but his wife, Nancy Reddin Kienholz continues as a world-renown artist, frequently visiting Hope.

Because of their notoriety, and the astonishing beauty of the area, we now have over 600 artists in our enclave.

The Kienholz couple befriended many wealthy patrons in Berlin, and over the years, two families have also created their own family retreats on the Hope Peninsula. As you turn from David Thompson Road on to Kullyspell Road, the Max Factor group of homes is on your right. These go down to the beginning of the property line for Kullyspell House. The other family is the Groenke family. Klaus Groenke is the managing director and part owner of Trigon Holding GmbH, a Berlin based international real estate company. He is also reported to be a leading share holder in Coca Cola Company, and a regional board member of the Deutsche Bank Berlin/Brandenberg. They built the Groenke Estate, a 150 acre compound at the end of David Thompson Road that becomes Kienholz Road. It is here that a full section of the Berlin Wall stands, encased in lexiglas, graffiti and all intact as it was before its fall. Recently the family sold half the estate, where many multi-million dollar homes have been built or are planned.

Today Hope, Idaho is a tourist and summer lake destination, with numerous artists and eclectic folk. It is a bedroom community to Sandpoint, and is considered by many, with its spectacular lake and mountain views, to be among the most picturesque areas of North Idaho. In fact, many travel magazincalled the journey along the cliffsides from Sandpoint to Hope one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

History of Clark Fork, Idaho

While totally distinct towns, many in North Idaho think of Clark Fork and Hope as one community. In fact, the two share the same Chamber of Commerce website: []

The City of Clark Fork also became a viable town in the early 1880’s as the construction by the Northern Pacific Railroad continued through the nearby Bitterroot and Cabinet Mountains. This small community has been geared towards mining, logging, sawmills, farming, Forest Service activity, fish hatcheries, dam construction, fur trapping activity, collegiate studies and homes for teens. Also, for most of its history the railroad maintained a station and section crew in Clark Fork. Clark Fork was incorporated 1912. Today the University of Idaho Clark Fork Field Campus is located there.

In the 19th century the Clark Fork Valley, like the shores of Lake Pend Oreille around Hope, was inhabited by the Flathead tribe of Native Americans. It was explored by Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition during the 1806 return trip from the Pacific. The river is named for William Clark. A middle segment of the river in Montana was formerly known as the Missoula River.

Much of Clark Fork’s story over the following years had to do with crossing the river. The bridge fording the Clark Fork River provided one of the only passes to the north, and with the steamboats bringing miners making the arduous journey to the Kootenai gold rush, this was one of the only ways to travel. Before a bridge was built, Clark Fork had a ferry to make the crossing. Early ferries were nothing more than logs lashed together. Later, some records indicate a ferry was operating in 1893, but this was a decade after the Northern Pacific line was put in place, so it is safe to assume there was a brisk business with ferry crossings during construction.

It is important to be reminded that the Cabinet Gorge Dam was not in place then, and reporters at the time wrote in 1916 that “The Clarksfork river handles a volume of water much larger than the Snake river. At times during high water, the flow amounts to as much as 94,000 cubic feet per second. The average width of the river is about 1300 feet. The velocity of the river at certain times is very large, about eight miles an hour. Due to this it is necessarily very hazardous to operate a ferry at Clarksfork at any time and very dangerous and at some times impossible to operate a ferry at all.”

Certainly this ferry crossing created a need and a place for travelers, not only to cross, but at times to rest, restock supplies, and take advantage of the occasional saloon.

Until WWI there was a lot of sawmill activity, then to a lesser degree through the 1950s. Early sawmills include McGillis and Gibbs, Lane and Potter. From the start until the late 1950s, mining operations played an important role in the community’s economy. The Whitedelph mine and mill located near the Spring Creek fish hatchery began operation in 1926 until it closed in 1958. It yielded galena ore assaying principally in silver, lead and zinc. The Lawrence mine was located on Antelope Mountain near Mosquito Creek and near the University of Idaho Clark Fork Field Campus. Area hills and mountains had numerous small mining holes tended by small operations and prospectors.

Top 16 Places To See In Australia

The land down under is vast and the list of things to see and do is HUGE! Whether you come to play at the beach, climb a mountain, explore a city, walk in a rain forest, camp in the bush, or get lost in the outback, Australia is both exciting and unique!

Top 16 Places To See…

Great Barrier Reef

One of the seven wonders of the natural world and one of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts, the Great Barrier Reef is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef. The reef contains an abundance of marine life and comprises of over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays and literally hundreds of picturesque tropical islands with some of the worlds most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches.


Uluru is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a large sandstone rock formation in the southern part of the Northern Territory in central Australia. It has a length of 3,4 km, a maximum width of 2 km, it’s 9 km in circumference, and most of its bulk is actually below the ground. The peak rises majestically to a height of over 350 m above the surrounding plain. Uluru is notable for appearing to change colour as the different light strikes it at different times of the day and year, with sunset a particularly remarkable sight when it briefly glows red.

Sydney Opera House

Another UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most recognisable images of the modern world – right up there with the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building, and is one of the most photographed and has come to represent ‘Australia’. It is a multi-venue performing arts centre and was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, who, in 2003, received the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honour.

The Great Ocean Road

One of Australia’s most famous drives is a 243-kilometre (151 mi) stretch of road along the south-eastern coast between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Warrnambool. Discover scenic attractions, wildlife and nature. See an amazing array of wildlife, the spectacular 12 Apostles, beautiful beaches, stunning rainforests, waterfalls and more.

Fraser Island, Queensland

Starts the Great Barrier Reef a few hours north of Brisbane. It is the largest sand island in the world and a World Heritage Site. You can only arrive on the unspoiled island by eco friendly tours or your own 4WD, as there are no sealed roads. There are limited places to stay on the island so make sure you book in advance. Drive and play on its long white beaches, witness some of the clearest fresh water in the world, trek through its ancient rainforests, and get up close and personal with wild dingoes.

Kakadu, Northern Territory

Is one of the few World Heritage Sites listed for its cultural and natural values. Kakadu is a place of exceptional beauty and unique biodiversity. Its Aboriginal owners and the Director of National Parks own it jointly. Kakadu experiences 6 seasons and has an abundance of unique wildlife and plant species.

Apart from the wetlands there are many beautiful gorges and waterfalls in the park and many people come to visit, not just for this, but to also learn more about the Aboriginal people who have inhabited the area for tens of thousands of years. It is best to visit the park on a guided tour or with your own car. Large saltwater crocs can be found everywhere here so do not ignore the no swimming signs.

The Kimberlys

While in Broome, you can hire a 4WD and explore the beautiful Kimberly region. Your best path is the Gibb River Rd, a 660 km dirt track that runs through the heart of the Kimberly region. Driving along the Gibb will take you through spectacular landscapes of red dirt, boab trees, intensely colored ranges, gorges, rock pools and waterfalls that this region is most known for.

The most popular falls and gorges to visit are Windjana Gorge, Galvans Gorge and the most popular Bells Gorge.

Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of both Sydney and Australia. The bridge is locally nicknamed “The Coat Hanger” because of its arch-based design.

The Bridge Climb is the ultimate experience of Sydney. Choose from three guided Climbs that take you to the summit of this world famous Bridge, 134 metres above Sydney Harbour.

Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth, Western Australia

Imagine visiting Great Barrier Reef fifty years ago, before tourists came and butchered. Well, you have that opportunity when you visit Ningaloo, one of Australia’s greatest unknown treasures. Exmouth offers you a “range to reef” experience with rugged ranges and gorges on one side and spectacular Ningaloo Reef on the other.

Ningaloo is one of those rare places on earth where you can walk from the white sandy beaches straight onto the coral reefs and begin exploring the underwater world -even just by standing in water that reaches your knees you will be surrounded by hundreds of curious fish swimming around your legs. Ningaloo is a great spot for scuba diving or better yet, swimming with the gentle whale sharks.

Visit a Winery.

Australia makes great wine and an abundance of it. There are several wine regions around the country you can visit and enjoy. A day trip to the wineries is an experience never to forget. You can usually jump on a tour and spend the day moving from vineyard to vineyard, sampling various wine and delicious cheeses. Most notably are the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney; The Barossa Valley in South Australia; and Margaret River in Western Australia.

Coober Pedy

In the middle of the South Australian desert, with temperatures hitting heights of near 50 degrees Celsius, you might be wondering why I would recommend a visit to this outback town. Coober Pedy produces most of the world’s opals; hence the only reason there is a town there and why it brings its 4,000 residents in from over 40 countries.

It is so hot in Coober Pedy that the town’s inhabitants actually live underground. Homes, shops, restaurants and pubs can be found down under in cool sandstone dugouts. Coober Pedy is a fascinating place to visit to learn about its history, drink beer in caves, play golf on a course that has not one blade of grass on it and pick up some precious opals.

Broome, Western Australia.

Broome is situated in the far north coast of Western Australia. It is a haven for backpackers, and pearl farmers. Backpackers run the majority of the shops in this small town and can be found lighting up the bar atmosphere at night. Broome is one of Australia’s most unique towns with its ‘country/outback feel’ right on the ocean.

Cable Beach is consistently rated as one of the world’s best beaches, and a day can be spent here playing cricket on the beach, or swimming with crocodiles and jelly fish (do be careful and read the signs) In the evening, catch a sunset cocktail from the Cable Beach resort or even take a casual beach stroll on a camel. You may even decide you want to stay for a while, work on a pearl farm and earn some money to fund your Broome adventure.

Explore Tasmania

Poor Tasmania gets largely overlooked by many of Australia’s backpackers and mainland dwellers. Taking the time to come to Tasmania will provide you with an unforgettable traveling experience. The travelers that do make the trek to Tasmania rave about its unspoiled beauty.

Tasmania is the Australia’s most mountainous state and has some of the oldest and tallest trees in the world. Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain National Park is a World Heritage listed site and is a fantastic hiking place to explore its beautiful lakes, rainforests, and waterfalls.

Karijini National Park, WA

Karijini is the second largest national park in Western Australia and one of the most spectacular sights in the Pilbara. It has breathtaking gorges, crystal clear rock pools, waterfalls, and stunning scenery. There is a system of excellent walk trails of varying levels which will lead you deep into the subterranean gorges and through waterfalls where you can dive into sparkling rock pools. There are excellent picnic areas as well as allocated camping sites within the park. One of the great benefits of the Park is that its scenery is so accessible. Once you park, you can literally walk 50 metres and peer into canyons to see waterfalls and emerald coloured rock pools.

Aboriginal Cultural Tours

Why not spend some time in Australia learning about the Aboriginal culture? Australian Aboriginal culture is the oldest living civilization on Earth. The Aboriginal people survived for 50,000 years as nomadic dwellers, never suffering from ailments such as the common cold. They lived off the land and know many secrets to the power the Earth holds for health, healing, and spiritual connection.

The most untouched area is Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. You must apply for permits before you arrive, as it is a highly protected area, owned and controlled by the Aboriginal people, and visitations are limited.

Join the Festival Fun

Australians love a good party. Wherever you are in the country you are bound to find a festival to join in on, especially in the summer months. Some of the most popular festivals being Australia Day that is celebrated on January 26 or my favourite ANZAC Day, which is celebrated on April 25. Make sure you head to your local pub at some stage of the day for a game of Two Up- the only day this gambling game is legal.

Texas Oil Boom

Only on occasion does a single event characterize the entire economical future of one state, but in Texas that occasion was on January 10, 1901. That occasion was the Lucas #1 at Spindletop, near Beaumont, Texas. It changed cotton and cattle domination in Texas, into an oil and gas power house of the twentieth century.

Before the 1901 Spindletop well, Texas only experience with oil and gas was in Corsicana in 1894. That happened when the city of Corsicana drilled a few water wells at a depth only 1027 feet and the oil boom was on. The small town of Corsicana, (Just south of Dallas, Texas) became the first Texas Oil Boomtown.

The first well in the Spindletop Field was the Lucas #1 and was it a well. Unbelievable! This well blew oil and gas out for nine days before it was capped. I have been in the oil and gas business for a long time and I have never heard of any well, anywhere, produce these type of production numbers: 100,000,000 Barrels of Oil per Day. Are you kidding me. If we had a well today that produced those kind of daily numbers, that well would generate $9,000,000.00 dollars per day or $270,000,000.00 per month. The direction of the Texas economy had been defined.

The city of Beaumont went from a small town of 9,500 citizens to 50,000 plus, by the end of the year in 1901. Hundreds of oilfield contractors came to the area, many from Pennsylvania. The search for oil extended to the gulf coast. The next big discovery came in 1903, in the Sour Lake area of East Texas. This area was much different than the Spindletop area. Sour Lake was swampy and large wooded thickets. Almost impossible to navigate. Also, there was a danger that was much more significant in this area: Hydrogen Sulfide Gas. This gas was very hard to detect and many workers died. Today, we have very sophisticated equipment to signal it’s presence.

The next spectacular oil discovery was in Batson, Texas. This area was even more remote and marshy. This was a much more lawless area of Texas. Baston was basically a post office and nothing else and overnight it became a tent city of oilfield workers and soon had over 30 saloons and houses of prostitution. Gambling was the recreation of the day. In 1904 the Texas Rangers were called into the area to take control of the lawlessness.

The next big discoveries were in the northeast part of East Texas. Kilgore, Longview, Henderson and Gladewater. By 1931, there was a huge amount of drilling in all of East Texas. These were the early days of the Great Depression and workers from all over the country flocked to this area. By 1935 these fields were being over-produced. Today, we still drill new wells in this area and re-work old abandoned wells that didn’t have the technology we have today as far as “second stage recovery techniques.”

The most popular formation was the Woodbine Sand. I have a lot of experience drilling in the Woodbine. A sand formation that produces “Texas Sweet Crude.” The best oil in the world and serves as the benchmark for oil prices. It has very low sulfur content and greatly reduces the cost of refinement. In the early days of drilling, wells were drilled with cable rigs. Rotary drilling technology was basically invented and applied in this East Texas area. ” Wooden derricks “became “steel derricks”. Many of the rotary drilling methods that were invented in East Texas, are still used today. East Texas was a pioneer in drilling technology that we use all over the world today. East Texas provided almost all of the oil we used in World War II. There are still Cable Tool Drilling Rigs today, but they have very limited application and are used at very shallow depths.

In the following decades, almost all areas of Texas opened up for oil and gas drilling. I grew up in Odessa, Texas and the Permian Basin area became one of the biggest producing areas of Texas. My family are third generation oil and gas workers. My father is 83 years old and has drilled over 3000 oil wells across the world. He still works everyday and builds drilling rigs in Houston, Texas. Texas has produced more oil and gas than any other state in the U.S. and is still today, the biggest oil and gas producing state.

This gives you a little history of East Texas Oil and Gas Production and the significant effect it had on Texas and our economy. We are still discovering new oil fields in this state today. The Barnett Shale was a huge discovery in the north part of Texas. The Eagleford Shale in West Texas has been a recent discovery. We have better technology today when it comes to finding oil and gas hydrocarbons. 3D Seismic was revolutionary in drilling for deeper oil and gas producing zones.

My expertise has been drilling wells and venture capital. Investing in Oil and Gas Wells has been a part of this business for a hundred years. Brokers, Landmen, Geologist, Mineral Rights Owners have been selling oil and gas working interest since the first well was drilled in East Texas. In the beginning, until 1933, interest in wells were sold as “Shares,” or “Stocks.” Pretty dicey stuff. Oil and Gas Investments were regulated for the first time with the “The Securities Act of 1933.” The Securities Exchange Commission, were now in charge of oil and gas investments. Eventually, most oil and gas investments became non-registered (Regulation D Offerings.) There are some fully registered oil and gas investments, such as Master Limited Partnerships, which are expensive and time consuming to register.