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Sunday, October 3, 2004; Page P02

WORTH A TRIP: Poem, poem on the range . . . Every January, Cowboys & Indians magazine says, folks descend on Elko, Nev., with "guitars, heads full of classic cowboy tunes, handwritten lines of rhyme and a fierce love of the West and its lore." It's the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and there's plenty of song and dance, too. Last year's hit was a group of virtuoso "Asian cowboy" musicians from Mongolia.

WORTH A FLIP: Get a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth's splendiferous "working wardrobe" at London's new Kensington Palace exhibit -- or in the pages of Royalty ("Your mirror on the world's Royals") . . . "Quebec is one of the most bike-crazed regions on earth," Bicyling claims. Even better, its superb Route Verte trail is strewn with cheese shops, chocolatiers and vineyards . . . A hot stone massage and a colonoscopy? SpaFinder reports that spas are taking wellness to new depths with high-tech medical evaluations and counseling . . . Spiffy new mag Urban Climber conquers the heights of Rat Rock in (of course) New York City, along with other Big Apple ascents . . . Greed! Lust! Revenge! 18,000 square feet of gold leaf! Read the truly operatic tale of how Venice's La Fenice ("The Phoenix") opera house rose from its ashes, in Conde Nast Traveler.

WORTH A GAWK: Hey, kids, let's go to the Striptease Hall of Fame -- er, the World's Largest Ball of Twine! Frommer's Budget Travel hits the wackiest roadside attractions in every state. Can you say "jackalope?"

-- Gayle Keck

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