Across North and South America – The Depot Tour Continues

A few years worth of depot and station photos have been added, resulting in a very long posting.

Boise, Idaho – No longer used as a station.

Spokane, Washington – Just the clocktower remains from the Great Northern Station.

Missoula, Montana

Wichita, Kansas – The old passenger terminal and the freight station are side by side.

Kansas City, Missouri

Clifton, Arizona

Tucson – Not only does Amtrak stop in Tucson, it does so at this classic building.

Phoenix – Unfortunately there is no passenger rail service in Phoenix, so the building is locked away.

Abilene, Texas

Brooklyn, New York – Brighton Beach Station on the historic car day

San Isidro, Argentina – There are two stations here, one is on the more touristy Coastal Route

The main San Isidro station is on the Tigre-Retiro Line.

Tigre, Argentina

Buenos Aires

Retiro Train Station

Concepcion Train Station

Once Train Station

A Sampling of Subway Stations

For more detailed looks check out these postings.

Toronto – Streetcars

Depot in rail museum

Hamilton, Ontario – GO Station

Brooklyn, New York – MTA Museum. A former subway station (Court Street) is now the MTA Museum with a number of historic cars. The coolest subway platform in town.

Galveston, Texas – Santa Fe Railroad Station and Office Buildings. Now a rail museum.

New Orleans – The St Charles Streetcar

Washington – Union Station

Chicago – Union Station

Chicago El Stations

Howard El Station – Vintage Train waiting to take us to the Skokie CTA Shops

Washington/Wabash

Quincy – Dating from 1897, the Quincy Station has been left fairly intact to original.

Pittsburgh – Penn Station

Manhattan – City Hall Station, Built 1904, Abandoned 1946.

Manhattan – PATH station in the World Trade Center Oculus.

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The train to Hoboken

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Hoboken Terminal

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Jersey City – New Jersey Transit Light Rail – Newport Station

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Urbana, Ohio

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Columbus – near German Village – The High Street Streetcar Line Car House. Very nicely restored as a banquet facility.

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On this Sunday morning they were setting up for something – so the door was open 🙂

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Berea, Ohio Depot – Now a restaurant and tavern.

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The Berea Depot sits along two major rail lines, and the parking lot had a number of die hard Railfans hanging out to watch the freight trains go blowing by.  Apparently this spot in the best spot east of Chicago for those type of activities.

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While in nearby Olmstead Falls is a small depot that was also once located next door in Berea.

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It is part of a railroad themed shopping and entertainment complex.

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Elyria, Ohio is a medium sized city, so they had a larger station. It too has recently been restored.

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The Elyria station features some nice architectural touches.

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Amherst, Ohio Depot.

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As with many others it too is a community center.

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Oberlin, Ohio is home to to Oberlin College – the oldest co-educational college in America, and second oldest in the world.  It continues to be one of the highest ranked liberal arts colleges in America – in this tiny little northern Ohio town!

Their train depot is located in a small park.

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It is nice to see how many towns have retained these historic buildings.

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Just down the road in Wellington is the Lorain and West Virginia Railway Museum. While situated along the tracks, this depot was moved to the site.

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The museum offers rail excursions.

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The little town of New London, Ohio has a tiny little depot that has been moved to a local park.

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Our last stop of the day was in Galion, Ohio. We came upon this great Queen Anne style station that was open for a ‘Doors Open’ event.

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The station’s interior needs some work,  but it is standing and seemingly solid.

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The stone and brick building still features much of the canopy for waiting passengers.

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This station was home to the ‘Big Four’ railroad – that connected Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus & St Louis (they must have skipped Indiana).

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Outville, Ohio

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Johnstown, Ohio.

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On our Labor Day weekend throughout the Midwest we visit a few stations that were along the way.

Battle Creek, Michigan

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Three Oaks, Michigan – It is now an upscale clothing store in a tiny little tourist town.

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Ada, Ohio

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Forest, Ohio

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Chicago – Union Station (Interiors)

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Buffalo Central Terminal – There is a dedicated posting for this amazing station

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Jersey City – This station is at the dock for the ferries to the Statue of Liberty. Currently unused, it appears to be being restored as part of Liberty State Park

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Portland, Oregon

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St Louis – Union Station. Now a hotel and a shopping mall

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Philadelphia – 30th Street Station

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Boston – South Station

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Denver – Union Station. I understand it has been restored since this photo was taken.

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New York – Grand Central Terminal. I have amazingly few photos of this great terminal despite having been in and out of there numerous times.

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Pittsburgh – Pennsylvania Station. Now luxury apartments.

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The Amtrak station is connected, but in an ugly little building near the lower level

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Greensburg, Pennsylvania

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Latrobe, Pennsylvania

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Dennison, Ohio – This nice little station has been restored into a museum.

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Scranton, Pennsylvania – Steamtown National Historic Park has a great roundhouse that serves as the museum.

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Also in Scranton is an old station.

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Canon City, Colorado – The spectacular Royal Gorge Scenic Railroad station.

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Greeley, Colorado – Centennial Village Union Pacific Depot

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Bowling Green, Ohio Depot – now located at Dayton’s Carillon Park

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Glendale, Ohio – Now serves at the Visitor Center

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Dearborn, Michigan – Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Museum.

A roundhouse

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Thurmond, West Virginia – Located in the New River Gorge National Park.

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Ironwood, Michigan

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Superior, Wisconsin

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Fargo, North Dakota

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Nelsonville, Ohio – Home of the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad

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Elmore, Ohio – Another visitor center

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Bellville Depot – It has been restored and is now a rest stop along a ‘rails to trails’ path.

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A stylish clock is on the other side of the path, facing a great looking bridge.

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The overall scene of the Bellville depot.

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The town of Mt Vernon has two passenger depots and a former freight building. The first building was a Baltimore & Ohio depot.

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It actually sits along active tracks.

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Used by the local community development organization, it is beautifully restored inside and out.

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The second station, just a few blocks away is restored as well.

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A passenger station for the Pennsylvania Railroad, it closely resembles the B &O station. If you have ever wondered why some towns have ‘Union Stations’ it is because of this, why have 2 stations – have a ‘union’ of railroads and build one.

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The tracks here have been converted to a rails to trails as well.

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The interior is fantastic.

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Even the heating radiators are stylish.

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We arrived at Granville in the pouring down rain, so I took a couple photos out the car window. As with many of the others, it is a stop on a rails to trails.

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Leaving the rain we stopped in the tiny town of Alexandria, where the station has been moved a mile or so from it’s original location to a parking lot of a business.

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The next day we headed to western Ohio to the town of South Charleston. This depot had the best of both worlds, it was on a bike trail going one way and an active track going the other way.

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Across the tracks was a park with a couple of cabooses.

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The small city of London, Ohio was our next stop.

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The station here was along unused tracks, and appears to be owned by a club. The building appears to have been restored, but the area around the building is a bit shabby.

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As with most of the medium size stations there is some character to the architecture.

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I had read that a depot from the southern Ohio town of Bainbridge had been moved to a place called Greene’s Museum Village, but when we found it, the place looked overgrown and someplace I didn’t want to go knock on a door – so a photo from across the corn fields sufficed.

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Finally back in Columbus we unexpectedly passed by some remnants of the streetcar years. This unused building is just north of downtown and was the business offices for the streetcar company.

A streetcar barn had been located across the street but has been torn down years ago.

I can’t believe someone hasn’t restored this great building.

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On the east side of Columbus, near Franklin Park is the Kelton Avenue streetcar barn. Actually this is the repair shop, the storage barns have been torn down here as well.

I have added the rest of the streetcar remnants to my list of places to go see, so stay tuned for more in the future.

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The Brice Station served a small town just east of Columbus, now it is part of an events center on the northwest side of town.

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We were lucky enough to meet a Reverend who was getting ready for his Sunday morning services. He was more than happy to let us look around the nicely restored station.

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In the back they have a dining car, that still functions as a dining car – it just doesn’t move.

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The counter is a work of art.

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Our next stop is owned by the same people, only located across town. It is called the Golf Depot, and serves as the restaurant and clubhouse for the golf course.

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I was immediately impressed with the views. Central Ohio is very flat and I was surprised that we were on a small rise, with a skyline view and a view of the nearby airport.

Where did this hill come from you ask? It was a huge landfill/garbage dump that they have re-purposed into this golf course. As with the last depot, the train never stopped here, since there were never any tracks anywhere close to here.

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They do celebrate their rail history with a mural.

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The depot was moved in tact and placed on the course.

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The restaurant has all of the original wood.

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We were having such good luck finding great little depots we headed 30 miles away to the small town of Sunbury, Ohio. I had read they too had a station, and a model train exhibit inside. Unfortunately the station was covered in some hideous faux shake shingles.

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It was located where the tracks were, but are now gone. In it’s place is a very nice rails to trails path. I was disappointed in the depot, but the hike made up for it.

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We continued back toward the city by stopping in the small city of Delaware, Ohio where the list said there were 2 stations very close to each other. The list was correct, there was this small wooden depot.

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Mostly hidden behind barbed wire fence.

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And a larger one across the tracks.

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That had warning signs of the hazardous conditions. So much for our good luck with finding cool little depots this day.

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This small depot is located the Mad River and Nickel Plate Railroad Museum in Bellevue, Ohio.

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The small station serves as a display area for the museum.

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Bucyrus, Ohio is currently restoring their fine brick station.

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We are looking forward to a return visit when it is completed.

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Newark’s is already restored and serves as an office for a local business.

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While a nearby mural celebrates their rail history.

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The small town of Canal Winchester (so named because the Ohio and Erie canal went through the town before the railroads) has two stations – this one if for the Interurbans (regional trains).

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It serves as a community center.

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On the other side of town is a small depot for the mainline trains.

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A small museum resides inside.

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With a couple of restored cars outside.

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The Marion station is one of the nicer ones. The exterior is in great shape, and the interior is not bad. A local rail fan club maintains the building.

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Marion is located near multiple main freight lines and attract numerous rail fans.

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The building has a classic look.

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The nearby control tower oversees the activities.

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In a Lima part there is a small depot called Lincoln Park. This small depot was located in a nearby town and moved to the park as part of the rail display.

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It currently serves as offices for the park.

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The Franklin County Fairgrounds is the home of the Hilliard Depot.

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The National Road is more famous for automobile traffic, but this little depot served interurbans that eventually lost out to the cars.

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Another small depot in the town of Pickerington.

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Our last couple are more impressive stations. The Columbus and Toledo station on the near west side of Columbus is a great building with a pagoda look.

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With the main Columbus station gone, it is fantastic that this one survived.

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It currently serves as a union hall, but they rent it out for weddings and other events.

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Finally – Cincinnati Union Terminal.

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On of the best domes in the world, it is mostly used for a number of museums that make their home there.

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But Amtrak does use a portion of the building.

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Easily one of the best train stations in America, the woodwork is stunning.

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Art deco at it’s finest. My plan is to update this posting as we visit more depots and stations around Ohio.

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Across Arizona – June 2022 – Freeway Art

As you drive around the freeways of Phoenix and Tucson one of the first things you will notice is the artwork along the roadways. With little vegetation growing the Department of Transportation took the approach of incorporating artwork either within the concrete structures or with stone along the banks.

Much of the artwork is based on native cultures. It definitely adds to the usually boring aspect of a freeway.

A big thank you goes to my wife who (wisely) was the photographer for all of these photos, as well as many other ‘moving shots’ on the trip.

The Department of Transportation has a website called ‘The Art of Transportation’ if you would like to get more information and photos. https://azdot.gov/tags/art-transportation

Northern Arizona – June 2022 – Vermillion Cliffs National Monument

The Vermillion Cliffs are an eroded escarpment across far northern Arizona, rising as high as 3000′ above the nearby valley. It provides a very scenic drive from the Grand Canyon North Rim to Page, Arizona.

The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is at an area where the cliffs meet the Colorado River in Marble Canyon.

In the 1800s this area was known as Lee’s Ferry, with some historic structures situated along the river.

Many rafting trips depart from here and head down river.

Back at Marble Canyon is the Navajo Bridge, the last crossing of the Colorado River downriver for almost 300 miles (until you reach the Hoover Dam near Las Vegas).

There is an impressive view of the canyon from the bridge.

A bit further up the road, just before reaching Page, is the famed Horseshoe Bend. While impressive, it is not in my opinion as impressive as Gooseneck State Park in Utah (visited earlier in this trip).

Boise, Idaho – May 2022 – Old Idaho State Penitentiary

A cold, wet Memorial Day in Boise with little to do lead us to one of the few things in town open that day – the Old Idaho State Penitentiary. I am not sure why, but we have visited a number of these type of places over the years.

This complex is quite small, likely due to the small population of the state over the years.

Some of the buildings didn’t even have roofs.

The facility housed men, women and youth in the same complex, but in different buildings. This is the youth section

Southern Idaho – May 2022 – What Out For That First Step, It’s a Doozie

The day started out in Boise, with a tour around town to check out some of the architectural highlights.

The Boise Depot is a former train station that is now used for special events.

We then left town, headed for Twin Falls. Along the way we made a stop at Bruneau Sand Dunes.

After climbing on the dunes for a while, we continued across the southern Idaho countryside.

As we arrived in Twin Falls we crossed the Perrine Memorial Bridge. This bridge is 486′ above the Snake River. It is also the only place in the country where people can BASE jump without a permit at any time.

Also in town is Shoshone Falls.

Spokane, Washington – May 2022 – Biggest Thing Around For 278 miles

After a week of travelling about in the mountains, with a few small cities mixed in, Spokane seemed like the big city. And it has been that way for well over 100 years.

As a result downtown has a nice collection of older architecture.

The island in the middle of the river at the top of the falls was the home of the 1974 World’s Fair. This clocktower was part of the Great Northern Depot train station that was unfortunately demolished for the fair.

The falls itself is quite impressive.

Also of note is Manito Park and Duncan Gardens. As for that 278 miles – it is that far to Seattle.

Idaho Panhandle – May 2022 – Vastly Different Vibes

Our first entry into Idaho on this trip was in the northern panhandle. First stop was the small town of Wallace, and the nearby ‘ghost town’ of Burke

Burke is 7 miles up a canyon from Wallace. While it is known as a ghost town, there are still a few people residing in the area. It’s population was once 1400 (in 1910), now it is 15. It was the home to lead and silver mines. Now it is sort of a unique tourist destination to check out the abandoned buildings.

Back down the canyon is Wallace. When Interstate 90 was built from Boston to Seattle it’s route took it through these northern Idaho mountain to go past Wallace. Unfortunately the valley is very narrow here, and the good folks of Wallace didn’t want their town wiped out for the freeway, so for decades you could go from Boston non stop until you reached Wallace, where the road went through town – up to 10,000 cars a day.

The town decided this made it the ‘Center of the Universe’, with a sign proclaiming that fact to this day.

Finally they built the 4478′ long viaduct elevated above the town. And Wallace lost another of it’s claims to fame. But fear not, with the checkered history of Wallace they have other attractions in town, including a bordello museum (did not stop:)

About 40 miles further west is the small city of Coeur d’Alene. The entire town seems ‘squeaky clean’, with it’s lakefront resorts.

Montana – May 2022 – Helena and Missoula

Our trip’s northernmost stops were in Montana, Idaho and Washington. In Montana we spent the night in Helena.

When we first arrived we saw the state capitol on a hill as we entered town. To our amazement we just drove right up, parked on the street just outside and walked in!

As we wandered around we looked down a hall to a room that had a sign above that said ‘Office of the Governor’. A lady was standing in the doorway, and she encouraged us to come on in.

She told us the capitol is the ‘People’s Building’, and during business hours is always open to just come on in, no security checks whatsoever. She showed us around the office a bit, including the room that is used for the governor to greet people. It contained a set of flags for the state of Montana, as well as the 8 tribes that reside in the state.

She also told us the best way to see the rest of the building and encouraged us to ‘explore’.

The next day found us in Missoula. There we checked out the riverfront and some of downtown’s historic buildings.

Vernal, Utah – May 2022 – From Dinosaurs to Flaming Gorges

The small city of Vernal, Utah is in the far northeastern corner of the state. It is a short distance from two impressive, albeit very different, landmarks.

First is Dinosaur National Monument. While the entire park contains archaeological sites, as well as impressive canyons and rivers, it’s fame is due to the ‘Quarry’, an excavated wall with over 1500 dinosaur bones dating from 149 million years ago.

While some complete dinosaurs were removed and shipped to the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, the wall retains the ‘scraps’

This important wall is preserved in an enclosed space.

While most are fragments, washed upon a long ago sea, one is nearly whole.

The remainder are scattered about.

Just north of town, at the Wyoming border, is Flaming Gorge. This reservoir is a result of the damming of the Green River at the Flaming Gorge Dam, towering 500′ high.

The resulting reservoir is immense, covering 3.8 million acre feet of water.

The Flaming Gorge comes from it’s location (among others) in Red Canyon, with it’s vertical walls accenting the water.

Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah – May 2022 – What a Butte

Easily one of the most recognizable locales in the Southwest, Monument Valley is part of the Navajo Nation. The Tribal Park offers the opportunity to tour the valley via a 17 mile dirt and gravel road.

It is interesting to note that unlike a national park, people live in the valley, so you will see farms and homes scattered about.