About: Jim Becker


Articles by: Jim Becker


Seniors Discover Susanville

pagetopThis senior was looking over a map of California and discovered a city up in the northeast corner of the state called Susanville.

Susanville was named after Susan Roop, daughter of Isaac Roop, an early settler. It was at one time the center of farming, mining and the lumber industry.

susanville_bizz_johnson_trail_thumbSusanville, formerly known as Rooptown, is the seat of Lassen County and is highly scenic. Located on the Susan River in the southern part of the county, it sits at an elevation of 4,186 feet.

The population runs around 17,000, the majority of which are held at two state prisons: the California Correctional Center, a minimum-medium security facility, which opened in 1963 and the High Desert State Prison which opened in 1995. The Federal Correctional Institution, Herlong is nearby, having opened in 2007.

Seniors Hike The Bizz Johnson Rail Trail


TripAdvisor wants senior visitors to know about the Biz Johnson Trail, the Susanville Ranch Park and the Lassen Historical Museum. Geocaching, the recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website, is a populars activity in the area.

Roop’s Fort, also known as Roop’s Trading Post, Fort Defiance, and Roop House, is a historic building in Susanville. The site, that was built in 1854 by Isaac Roop, was the first building constructed by white settlers in Lassen County. The fort was originally a trading post for westbound migrants and was the first post west of Fort Hall in Idaho.


The historic Susanville Railroad Depot was built by Southern Pacific Railroad in 1927 and is a historical landmark that emphasizes the cultural heritage of the region. The Depot also serves as the main trailhead for the Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail which is a converted railroad track that follows the old Fernley and Lassen Branch Line of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Seniors Follow Trail Through The Canyon

bizz_johnson_rail_trail Today, the 30-mile trail is used by senior hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, and cross-country skiers. For the first 16 miles, the trail follows the Susan River. As it winds through the rugged Susan River Canyon, the trail crosses the river 12 times on bridges and trestles and passes through two tunnels.

Senior visitors can also enjoy fishing, wildflower viewing, wildlife viewing, birdwatching, historic sites, and interpretive programs. This rail trail was rated the most scenic rail trail in California by the Rails to Trails Conservancy.


Visitors enjoy the Lassen National Forest that lies at the heart of one of the most fascinating areas of California. The Forest was named after pioneer Peter Lassen, who mined, ranched and promoted the area to emigrant parties in the 1850s.

Facebook suggests not only great stops for a cup of coffee, but information on where to stay and local landmarks. Consider a movie at the Historic Sierra Theater in Susanville’s Old Town Area.

Seniors, Susanville is awaiting your arrival. It will be a fun time. -jeb





 Narragansett And Seniors Click

narra-top5Narragansett is a town of 16,000, however, during the summer months the town’s population more than doubles to nearly 34,000. And here’s why, senior beach enthusiasts: Narragansett Town Beach is a classic New England Saltwater Coastal Beach front that offers some of the best, cleanest and accessible beach conditions for the residents and tourist in New England.

Located in the center of town, the beach offers ample parking in the North, South, West and Cabana parking areas along with food, restrooms, first-aid office, surfing area and a beautiful sandy beachfront. Narragansett Beach is known as the “surfing capital of RI.” Bring along your beach chairs and enjoy watching the surfers.


Seniors Seek Out The Great Seafood Restaurants

The local Chamber of Commerce notes that Narragansett is conveniently located within minutes of Newport and Providence. They would like you to come for a relaxing vacation full of great seafood restaurants, ocean views, activities for the grandkids, swimming, fishing and boating. The town is colloquially known as “Gansett”.

The town of Narragansett, occupies a narrow strip of land running along the eastern bank of the Pettaquamscutt River to the shore of Narragansett Bay. It was separated from South Kingstown in 1888, and incorporated as a town in 1901.


This senior would want to spend time investigating the thirteen different buildings and districts in Narragansett listed on the National Register of Historic Places. TripAdvisor notes two dozen attractions not to be missed.

Senior Fishermen, Check Out The Fishing Village

Galilee is a fishing village on Point Judith within the town of Narragansett and is notable for being home to the largest fishing fleet in Rhode Island and for being the site of the Block Island Ferry. Another major site not to be overlooked is called The Towers.

Fodor’s notes a summer resort destination during the Victorian era, Narragansett still has as its main landmark The Towers, the last remaining section of the 1886 Narragansett Pier Casino designed by McKim, Mead & White. The town is much quieter now, but it has beautiful beaches and remains home to a large commercial fishing fleet.


 Seniors, take a scenic drive down Route 1A to see the ocean and grand old shingle-style homes. You’ll eventually wind up at Point Judith Lighthouse, which has been in continuous operation since the 19th century.

And that name Narragansett. The Narragansett Indians are the descendants of the aboriginal people of the State of Rhode Island. Archaeological evidence and the oral history of the Narragansett People establish their existence in this region more than 30,000 years ago.

 Facebook is a helpful source of good information for senior visitors to Narragansett. This is an exciting destination for senior travelers heading for the north eastern Atlantic sea coast.  -jeb






Seniors Happy They Stopped In Everett

unknown-1Everett is the county seat of Snohomish County, Washington. Named for Everett Colby, son of founder Charles L. Colby, senior travelers will find the city 25 miles north of Seattle.

Everett is situated along the Port Gardner Peninsula in the Puget Sound region in Snohomish County. Everett includes the second biggest marina on the West Coast. The city is home to a prominent Boeing Assembly facility and a large Kimberly-Clark paper mill.


The international shipping port is a major factor for the economy. Everett is hometown to Air Force One.

The Boeing Tour Center allows visitors to view airplanes in different stages of flight testing and manufacturing. Everett’s early economy was tied to the lumber trade.

Seniors Enjoy Everett’s Small Town Feel

 Facebook has done some work for senior visitors in preparation for a visit to Everett, highlighting places for food, for lodging, landmarks, museums and where to take a nice stroll in a park.


Now top that off with TripAdvisor who places The Flying Heritage Collection, the Imagine Children’s Museum and the Schack Art Center at the top of their list. The city has that wonderful small town feel as seniors will discover.

The land on which Everett was founded was surrendered to the United States by its original inhabitants under the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. Permanent settlement in the area by European descendants started in 1861 when Dennis Brigham built a cabin on a 160-acre claim on the shore of Port Gardner Bay.

Over the next several years a handful of settlers moved to the area, but it wasn’t until 1890 that plans for platting a town were conceived. Steam riverboats utilized during the Yukon Gold Rush were constructed in town.


Historic District And Scenic Views Draw Seniors

The Everett Events Center and the Xfinity Arena host a variety of concerts and a myriad of other types of performances. The Everett Historic District features a large number of impressive homes.

The district contains many old and stately homes, including the home of the former U.S. Senator Henry M. Jackson. The historic Everett Theatre still stands majestically with a proud past. Several churches are found in Everett and each with a renown history.


Everett, Washington is filled with sites and surrounded by beautiful scenery in all directions. I’d want to visit the Evergreen Arboretum and Gardens with its conifer, dahlia and woodland gardens and scenic views of Puget Sound.

Another must see would be Nishiyama Garden, a traditional Japanese garden located at the Nippon Business Institute at Everett Community College.

Senior visitors can enjoy the whale watching tours in the Puget Sound, San Juan Islands and Seattle areas. Guided deep-sea fishing trips are popular. Opportunities for river fishing are also available.

Enjoy Everett! -jeb




Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Stop In Salina

ffk-custom-sliderpic-salina-ks Senior travelers will find Salina, Kansas 80 miles north of Wichita in the center of the state. The city has a population of nearly 46,000 and was originally settled in 1856 along the Saline and Smoky Hill Rivers.

Salina was the westernmost post on Smoky Hill Trail. It was established as a staging post in 1860 for prospectors who were moving to Pikes Peak. It also served as a trading post for the local native tribes.


 Senior visitors can enjoy two shopping centres and three parks, museums, a wildlife park and a Natural Area. If you have ever driven through Kansas, then you know that there are wide acres of wheat. Salina celebrates annually with a Wheat Festival at the end of the harvest.

Santa Fe Day is a cultural heritage celebration that takes place in and around the Smoky Hill Museum in downtown Salina. It’s a fun-filled, family day outing. Salina Downtown, Inc. was one of the first business improvement districts in Kansas.

 Seniors Enjoy Salina’s Orchestra And Art Center


The Salina Symphony Orchestra is always a great way to spend an entertaining evening in town. The Salina Art Center has impressive programming that is connected to a schedule of contemporary visual art exhibitions of work by regional, national, and international artists.

Senior visitors will find Salina to be a scenic city with an attractive historic downtown, a wide array of historical buildings and a beautiful surrounding landscape. For birders, the Birdpark is home to over 200 species of colorful birds.


Salina was named an All-American City in 1989, and that says a lot about this city. Kansas Wesleyan University and the Brownie Mackie College are found in Salina. Hutchinson Community College and Kansas State University also offers courses in Salina.

Seniors Find Vibrant Art Community

Manufacturing is the predominant industry in Salina. Tony’s Pizza employs nearly 2,000 and Exide Battery adds an additional 800. The local Chamber of Commerce provides senior visitors with a host of helpful links including upcoming events.

A Visitors Guide, found under Visit Salina link, provides lots of information on the city. The Chamber further notes that…“Every community may boast of having ‘something for everyone’, but in Salina…we actually DO!”

b9b9602c1086c6faf9d7a5f7be10c339Salina has a welcoming reputation as a vibrant arts community. Concerts, theatre performances, museums, festivals, galleries and studios, public art throughout the community…it all speaks to the cultural traveler.

Lovers of the great outdoors will find great opportunities exploring 700 acres of parks, playing golf, fishing, swimming, hiking and biking.”

Seniors, enjoy your visit to the Sunflower State and especially your stop in Salina.-jeb







Seniors Enjoy Tetbury, England

images-1Get your coffee and come with these seniors to England, this time to settle into Tetbury, a town within the Cotswold district of Gloucestershire.

It lies on the site of an ancient hill fort, on which an Anglo-Saxon monastery was founded, probably by Ine of Wessex, in 681.


The town crest features a pair of gold dolphins and no one really seems to know why. Historically in other countries like Slovakia, they were a symbol of trade.

Tetbury abounds with notable historic buildings that include the Market House, built in 1655 and the late-eighteenth century Gothic revival parish church of St Mary the Virgin and St Mary Magdalene and much of the rest of the town center, dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.


The Market House is a fine example of a Cotswold pillared market house and is still in use as a meeting place and market. Senior visitors will also enjoy the Police Bygones Museum, Chavenage House, Highgrove House and Westonbirt Arboretum.


 Seniors Visit Award Winning Town

Just around the corner from the Market House is the famous Gumstool Hill where the Woolsack Races take place. The runners, having gone well over 200 yards, have to drop their woolsack so the other runner can pick it up and run back up the hill to the finishing line. The weight of the woolsack for men is 65 pounds and for women, a more recent addition, 35.


For a village of around only 5,600 inhabitants, Tetbury has won numerous awards:  from Best Small Town to Community Achievement to Britain in Bloom  Campaign. Seniors, enough reasons right there to visit Tetbury!

TripAdvisor has 17 things not to be missed by senior visitors that include the famed Chavenage House and Highgrove Gardens. The Tetbury Music Festival attracts internationally acclaimed performers as well as new musicians.

Tetbury is internationally famous for its range of antique shops and its close proximity to Prince Charles’s residence, Highgrove. The Cotswolds are almost synonymous with antiques and offer the widest choices available outside London.


 Seniors “Fall For Tetbury”

Several of Tetbury’s retailers have received national awards for excellence and senior visitors will notice that many of the town’s businesses bear the Prince of Wales feathers as a sign that they hold the Royal Warrant.

Tetbury has a wide choice of tea shops, bistros, cafes, pubs and restaurants that offer a wide choice of local foods and drink.


The Guardian notes that Tetbury is terribly seductive. A writer notes that…“I could fall for Tetbury. We could all fall for Tetbury. A town like they used to make them. A town untroubled much by the travails of modern life. A town seemingly composed entirely of the kind of picturesque, biscuit/fudge-colored Cotswold buildings you see on biscuit tins and fudge packets. Tetbury has been rich since the 15th-century wool trade.” That is what Tetbury is all about folks.

 Senior Visitors…Tetbury is awaiting your arrival. -jeb



Seniors Drop By West Bridgewater

thWest Bridgewater, a town in Plymouth County, Massachusetts has a population of just under 7,000. Senior travelers will find this small residential town comfortably settled between Providence and Boston.

This access along with availability of land has resulted in increased commercial, warehouse and industrial activity near the highway in this community which was once primarily agricultural. West Bridgewater does, however, retain working farms which contribute to its scenic character.


West Bridgewater, located about 25 minutes south of Boston, provides an easy commute for many of its residents. Also a quick 20 minutes from West Bridgewater is Foxborough which is home to the New England Patriots.

Seniors Find Oldest StandingParsonage

West Bridgewater was first settled in 1651 as a part of Olde Bridgewater. The town separated from Bridgewater, Massachusetts and was officially incorporated in 1822, the second of the three communities to separate from Bridgewater.

The town, like many in the area, had both agrarian and industrial roots with the river providing water power for milling and irrigation for farming. The town is home to the oldest standing parsonage in the U.S., the Keith House, 1662.


The town is also believed to be the site of the first industrial park in the U.S., now the site of the Town Park. The original Ames Shovel Works was located in the Town Park. Today, the town is mostly residential.

Senior visitors enjoy The Old Bridgewater Historical Society  that was formed in 1894. Nearby museums include Blue Hills Trailside Museum, South Shore Natural Science Center and the Easton children’s Museum.

Seniors Enjoy Historical Community

1280px-waterfall_in_the_war_memorial_park Friendship Park is a favored spot for the locals to enjoy strolling and for a great picnic. War Memorial Park is another favorite for photographs. Camera clubs find that they end up needing extra memory chips as there is so much to view in the Park.

I’d want to head for the Matfield Maple Farm on Matfield Street to check out all their fresh maple products. Here is where senior visitors can get a taste of New England and the pure maple syrup that so many of us enjoy.


West Bridgewater, Massachusetts is an exciting historical community with many older homes. And an a abundance of fine restaurants…28 to be precise,  can help appease the most demanding palate. TripAdvisor lists Crystal’s Kitchen as one not to be missed. Golf City and River Bend Country Club are two courses that will challenge your putting, so toss in your clubs enjoy playing both courses.

 Seniors, plan to walk or bike around town to get a real feel for West Bridgewater and enjoy your stay in historical New England. -jeb





Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Cary… A Great Stop For Senior Travelers

d6d019b4a5dda69f6e517c555d6f0d22Cary, North Carolina is where a PGA tournament was recently held, so this senior had to check out the town. Money Magazine named Cary the hottest town in the East and one of six Hottest Towns in America.

Cary was also recognized by Money Magazine as one of the Best Small Cities in America, ranking an impressive fifth on one of the magazine’s annual lists of Best Places to Live.

Cary, North Carolina, population 155,000+, is a thriving community in the heart of the Triangle area of North Carolina, between Raleigh and renowned Research Triangle Park. The Triangle area is repeatedly ranked among the top regions in the country to live or work, to find a home or start a business, to raise a family or retire.

From Bradford’s Ordinary To Cary, Seniors Learn


Cary lies only 8 miles from Raleigh, the state capital, so it could be said to be a bedroom community. Cary Towne Center features over 130 stores and restaurants, a favorite place to shop and to enjoy some great Carolina food.

In addition, one patron found the Waverly Place Shopping Center to be a “Very fun shopping center that is almost like a park area, with two levels of restaurants, cafes and stores. There is a little creek, mini waterfalls and in the evening the fire is lit by the fountains…”

In 1750, Cary began as a settlement called Bradford’s Ordinary. Allison Francis “Frank” Page is credited with founding the town as it is known today. Page was a Wake County farmer and lumberman.


He and his wife, Catherine “Kate”bought 300 acres surrounding the railroad junction in 1854 and named his development Cary, after Samuel Fenton Cary, a former Ohio congressman and prohibitionist he admired.

 Seniors Golfers Find Great Courses

MacGregor Downs Country Club is a private club, nestled on the shores of Lake MacGregor, and often rated one of the best golf courses in North Carolina and the Southeastern United States. The Prestonwood Country Club, another private golf club is located right in the heart of the city.

 Senior visitors can easily plan a trip to the Hemlock Bluffs State Natural Area. Seniors can enjoy fishing and boating on area lakes or pack a picnic to enjoy in one of half a dozen local parks.


The Town of Cary organizes numerous annual events and festivals like the Art Quilt Show, Martin Luther King Jr. Dreamfest, and Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival.

It is easy for senior outdoor lovers to indulge themselves in the enticing, natural beauty on one of the 39 greenway trails open sunrise to sunset. There are more than 70 miles of trails for walking, jogging and bicycling in a natural setting.

Cary is recognized as one of the Safest Places to Live in America, Best Places to Retire and Best Places to Raise a Family. Doesn’t that sound inviting?  -jeb





Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Discover Mt. Prospect Near Chicago


Mt. Prospect is a village that senior travelers will find about 22 miles northwest of downtown Chicago. The village population runs right at 55,000.

The present day Mt. Prospect was first settled by Yankee farmers after 1833. The Illinois and Wisconsin Railroad ran through the village around 1854. The real estate agent, Ezra Carpenter Eggleston, established a four block residential subdivision in 1871.

The area was named Mount Prospect by Eggleston. Mt.  Prospect was incorporated in May 1917 as a village. A local store owner named William Busse became the first village president.

 Senior Visitors Join The Downtown Block Party

showimage-aspxMt. Prospect has a number of distinct and award winning school districts. The Downtown Block Party is always a major draw for the locals as well as senior visitors.  

Toss in the clubs and play a round or two at the Old Orchard Golf course. It is one beautiful course to play in the fall with all its colorful trees. Many beautiful homes dot the area.

I enjoy what Facebook has to say about the cities we visit. Bar 145 rates high with Facebook as it also does with TripAdvisor. Seniors, if you would like a good stroll or hike, check out River Trails Park District.

Seniors Visit Victorian Farmhouse


The Dietrich Friedrichs house, now a historic museum, was built in 1906. It is Victorian farmhouse furnished to reflect the year 1917, as that was the year of the village’s incorporation. Bessie Friedrich Barnes, a long-time resident of Mt.  Prospect grew up in the house. Ms. Barnes’ recollections and personal artifacts were crucial to the creation of this exhibit.

I know my wife and I would make it a point to visit the house as we enjoy old historic sites. The Friedrichs were immigrants from Germany, a very common ancestry among Mt.Prospect’s first settlers.


Senior visitors can check out the several parks in Mt. Prospect. Perhaps spend leisure time at Mt. Prospect’s public library exploring the history and culture of the village.

You will discover ten botanical parks surrounding Mt. Prospect and each is loaded with historical and beautiful gardens.

The local Chamber of Commerce is highly active and provides a community profile and information on the village. Check out their Calendar of Events. They have a great listing  (Dining Tab) of local restaurants for you gourmet folks with a demanding palate.

Stop in  Mt. Prospect when you are in the windy city and enjoy this pleasant village. -jeb



Filed under : Family Travel, United States


Seniors Like The Space Coast


Nearby…yes senior travelers, not the one in Australia, but right along the Florida Atlantic coastline known as the Space Coast about 70 miles southeast of Orlando and 90 miles south of Daytona Beach.

Melbourne, “The Harbor City”, has a population of 77,000. The city, formerly called “Crane Creek”, was named Melbourne in honor of its first postmaster, Cornthwaite John Hector, an Englishman who had spent much of his life in Melbourne, Australia.

After the Civil War, pioneer families arrived, and Melbourne was founded in 1867 by former slaves. The first settlers arrived after 1877. Melbourne existed as a small village until its incorporation in 1888.  Some say that the city derived its name based on a drawing of straws, where each straw represented a possible name and the name “Melbourne” was chosen by this means.


Seniors Find High Tech Companies

The development of the Melbourne community paralleled the development of a similar community located a little to the north (Eau Gallie). In 1969, the two cities were consolidated into what is now present-day Melbourne, although the “Eau Gallie” district of Melbourne retains its own character and distinction.

As one of the largest population centers on the Space Coast, the Melbourne area is home to many high-tech companies such as General Electric, Northrop Grumman, Intersil, Rockwell Collins, Harris Corporation, and Liberty Aerospace.


The Melbourne area offers senior visitors 33 miles of unspoiled beaches, fishing, golf, snorkeling and a host of other outdoor activities. Fishing is abundant, both the freshwater variety offered by area lakes and the saltwater species found in the waters of the Atlantic.

Senior golfers, toss in the clubs and take advantage of the city’s 12 courses and tennis enthusiasts have their choice of 8 tennis courts.

Performing Arts, Museums And Galleries


Lovers of the performing arts can enjoy the Brevard Symphony Orchestra as well as Broadway shows and celebrity performances at the Henegar Center of the Performing Arts and the Maxwell King Center.

The area has a variety of galleries showcasing the works of local artists as well as museums such as the Museum of Art and Science. Forever Florida, a nature preserve and cattle ranch offers tours and close-proximity animal viewing. Annual events in Melbourne include February’s Grant Seafood Festival and April’s Melbourne Art Festival.


There are three sites on the National Register of Historic Places: Florida Power and Light Company Ice Plant (1927), William H. Gleason House and the James Wadsworth Rossetter House (c.1860s).

Spend a little time with TripAdvisor and you will note 67 attractions seniors will not want to miss. In Melbourne you can bask in the Florida sunshine…and for you gourmands, enjoy wonderful  seafood from the Atlantic. -jeb




Seniors Settle Into Colorful Glasgow

glasgow-bannerSenior friends, get you coffee and let’s head for Scotland, more specifically Glasgow The largest city in Scotland, derives its name from Brythonic Glas Cau, “Green Hollow or Green Glen”. There are over 20 towns named Glasgow in the US. Glasgow is twinned with several cities, including Jerusalem, Marseilles and Havana.


Glasgow was properly established in the 6th century by Saint Mungo, a Christian missionary who built a church on the site where the present Glasgow Cathedral stands today.

Situated on the River Clyde in the country’s West Central Lowlands, inhabitants of the city are often referred to as Glaswegians or Weegies. The present site of Glasgow has been settled since prehistoric times. There is much history associated with Scotland.

Seniors Like Glasgow’s Vitality


Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Britain. From the 18th century the city also grew as one of Great Britain’s main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies.

 TripAdvisor paid a visit to Glasgow and lists over 250 things for seniors to see and do. Lonely Planet chimes in with their take on Glasgow noting that the city blends sophistication with earthiness.

Glasgow has evolved over the last 20 years to become one of Britain’s most intriguing metropolises. The soberly handsome Victorian buildings, legacies of wealth generated from manufacturing and trade, suggest a staid sort of place. Very wrong.


“They are packed with stylish bars, top-notch restaurants and one of Britain’s best live-music scenes. The place’s sheer vitality is gloriously infectious: the combination of edgy urbanity and the residents’ legendary friendliness is captivating as you will soon discover.”

 Senior Find Glasgow’s Historic Buildings

Those well acquainted with Glasgow suggest that senior visitors begin your visit with the city’s iconic historic buildings and visit some of  the city’s wide array of museums and galleries.  

Senior visitors will find everything from Dinosaurs to Dali, the historic City Chambers to the magnificent Glasgow Cathedral. Charles Rennie Mackintosh lovers will find The Willow Tea Rooms, The Lighthouse, House for an Art Lover, and the Glasgow School of Art to be must-visits and the works of this eminent architect are sprinkled all over the city.


The main part of Glasgow is divided into the City Centre, known as “town” or “the toon” to the locals, and contains the majority of tourist sights and a good portion of the city’s shopping and entertainment.

The West End is the bohemian area full of cafés, restaurants and bars surrounding the University of Glasgow and famous Kelvingrove Museum.

Taks a look at the“Official City Website” and you will learn how and why Glasgow is voted one of the friendliest cities in the world.  Yes, Scotland’s biggest city is a stylish mix of arts, culture and unique Celtic charm. Enjoy your stay.-jeb


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