Marietta, Ohio – September 2019 – Sternwheeler Festival

In the early days of river transportation a common style of boat was the sternwheeler. With it’s distinctive large wooden wheel on the back (stern) to propel it, it was a common sight along the Ohio River.

Today most of the sternwheels are mostly decorative, with a traditional propeller providing most of the propulsion. The boats at the Marietta Sternwheeler Festival were mostly campers on boats.


































Buenos Aires – August 2019 – Various Views of the City

Some random views of the city.

Sunrise over the port.



A walk through the historic financial district.





The view of a school out from my 6th floor office window.



Where out of nowhere the window washer dropped down from above on this sketchy looking seat.



The Argentina relief on the Torre Monument.



The plaza in front of the Torre Monument.



Views from the top of the aforementioned monument.







Subway Art.



The Hall of Lost Steps at the Law School of The University of Buenos Aires.





The Floralisa Generica – a giant metal flower that opens and closes throughout the day.



Views from the 31st floor.





Sunrise on my last day in town for this trip. The more time I spend here the more I want to come back.





Buenos Aires – August 2019 – Day Long Urban Trek

With the weekend by myself in Buenos Aires I was looking for something to do when I came across an 18km (11 mile) ‘Urban Trek’ across much of the city.

Note – with an all day hike this post is somewhat long…

The tour started out at the visitor information center in La Boca, a working class neighborhood along a seriously polluted river. It reminded me of Youngstown and Cleveland in the 1970s.



Our trek started out with 7 intrepid hikers and a guide. It would not finish that way.



The people of La Boca are proud of their neighborhood…



The center is a tourist area packed with colorful shops.









The area was setting up for a Sunday artist market.



We quickly left the area and passed by the colorful houses which legend says were painted various colors with the left over paint from ships.



La Boca is most known for their soccer team. The stadium is called La Bombonera, which translates to the Chocolate Box, from the shape of the stadium. The seating is in an incredibly steep pitch.

This 49,000 seat stadium is jammed in the middle of the neighborhood.



The walk through the rest of La Boca provided a number of interesting views.





Eventually we made our way to the San Telmo neighborhood, along with more diverse photo ops.















We passed under a freeway that once housed an interrogation center during the military dictatorship era in the 1970s. Sadly during the construction of the freeway they found remains of many who never made it out of the center. There are tributes to those lost during those times.



Port Madero is a new area of tall buildings built in the former port of Buenos Aires.







One young lady on our tour, who was from Mexico, took selfies at virtually every stop along the way. She was very entertaining in making sure she had the perfect look – and a great sport when I asked to photo her taking her photo.



Our final stop on the morning part of the hike was the Plaza de Mayo.







After a break for lunch we headed out for the afternoon with a new guide, and only 4 hikers.

Having spent a few weeks in this part of town I was familiar with much of what we were passing, but it was still entertaining as our new guide was a very funny young lady.







A review of San Martin Plaza and Palacio.









Pelligrini Plaza.



The Addams Family Palacio (not really but it seems as though it should be)



An finally a stop at Recoleta Cemetery. Our hike continued for another couple of miles but didn’t produce any interesting photo, or the photographer was too tired to take them 🙂

While long, it was a very worthwhile day. Both guides were knowledgeable and entertaining, and I was able to see many areas of the city that most don’t. If you have an entire Sunday to spend in Buenos Aires I highly recommend putting on your best walking shoes and heading out…





Buenos Aires – August 2019 – Palace of Running Water

An earlier post had a single photo of the Palacio de Aguas Corrientes (Palace of Running Water), but with a brief break for lunch from work one day I was able to go check out the small museum, and the most amazing collection of toilets you will ever see (not something I thought I would ever note in this blog) shown on the feature photo for this posting.



Completed in 1894, it is an amazing building on the outside, hiding the basic functions of water pumping and filtration on the inside. A small museum details the history of plumbing in Argentina 🙂

















The outside of the building is amazing from any angle. Amazing architecture and a huge toilet collection, what else could you ask for.








Breezewood, Pennsylvania – August 2019 – Abandoned Turnpike

The Pennsylvania Turnpike was America’s first ‘superhighway’. Built primarily along a disused railroad right of way in the 1930s, it set the standard for all interstates to come after.

When first built it passed through 7 tunnels as you make your way through the Appalachian Mountains. Originally the 4 lane highway narrowed to 2 lanes for each of these tunnels, but they always caused traffic jams, so in the 1960s they added a second tunnel to have a continuous 4 lanes across the state.

During this expansion there were 3 tunnels that were bypassed by building the highway up over the mountains. Two of these are in a 13 mile stretch that was completely abandoned. About 20 years ago the Turnpike Commission deeded them over to the Southern Allegheny Conservancy, and it now serves as one of the more unique bike trails in the country.







After a 2 mile hike we reached the first tunnel…


At 2500′ long it was one of the shortest on the turnpike…



You likely can make it through without a lantern but we went about 1/2 way in and decided to head back…

The second tunnel further on up is the Sideling Hill Tunnel, which was the longest on the turnpike at almost 6800′ long. Clearly we need to come back with bikes and really bright lanterns.





Instead we enjoyed the graffiti display…







And headed back the 2 miles to the car. It is a really interesting experience walking along this old road, knowing how many million cars, trucks and people had traveled along this same route.





Allentown, Pennsylvania – August 2019 – A Long Trip Down a Short Hall

One of the places on my list for a long time to visit was the Mack Truck Museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Since we were making the long drive from New York City back to Ohio, and passing Allentown we decided to stop for a brief visit – which turned out to be a total fail.

It is required to go on a guided tour, and our tour guide literally took more than an hour to go down this short hall! He covered in detail everything from the entire family tree of the founding family to what Sarah Palin means to Alaska (not kidding). I kept thinking we will move into the museum part just down the hall, but nope – we continued with our painfully slow walk down this hallway (and this photo shows the entire hallway).









Eventually we made it to the museum part, which we were immediately told to stay with the group and not wander around to take photos. With that I gave up, took a few photos of the display, and headed out.

Epic fail – with a few cool photos of garbage trucks, which seemed fitting.