Virtual Travel – Arkansas

Today’s stop on the virtual tour of the United States is Arkansas. Located in the south central part of the country it is a state I have only visited a couple of times, and then very briefly. I have however managed to collect 34 different years of state highway maps.

The only photo I have taken with Arkansas actually is 1/2 Texas – Texarkana Post Office and Courthouse – literally split down the middle by the two states.

2015 09 24 5 Texarkana AR TX.jpg

 

 

We start today’s tour with a 1958 map highlighting a freeway interchange in Little Rock. While there have been limited access highways in the United States since the 1930s, the U.S. President in the 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower, was a strong proponent on the improvement of the road system in the country. As a result the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 was passed.

This act authorized the construction of 41,000 miles of limited access (no crossroads, etc) freeways. While some states had made some significant progress by 1958, in Arkansas it was limited – the exit shown was one of just a handful in the state.

Government State Arkansas 1958.jpg

 

 

 

We move ahead 10 years to 1968 and find the cover with a nice view of the Ozark Mountains. The Ozarks aren’t particularly high, reaching a maximum elevation of 2,560.

While the Ozarks reach into Missouri, they are best known as part of Arkansas. As this photo shows the terrain is tree covered with numerous rock outcroppings. In addition there are a number of scenic rivers and lakes.

Government State Arkansas 1968.jpg

 

 

 

The 1970 map starts an amazingly long period where the look of the maps do not change. The maps are consistently basic, with the inside being the statewide map, and the backside having a few city maps. Unlike most states there is little in the way of tourist information like guides to parks.

The covers continue to highlight the natural scenery with this view of the Ouachita Mountains. Much like the Ozarks they are relatively small, tree covered mountains. As the map notes this view is overlooking the Hot Springs National Park. Situated next to the city of the same name Hot Springs has long been an attraction.

The town has famous and infamous periods, including being an attractive location during prohibition for people like Al Capone to come hang out. The town has a collection of historic bathhouses and many other architectural significant buildings.

Government State Arkansas 1970.jpg

 

This checkered history is celebrated with a statue of Al outside the Ohio Club in Hot Springs. (photo from Dayton Daily news website).

Statue of Al Capone outside the Ohio Club in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

 

 

 

By 1972 the Interstate System was nearing initial completion. This view features Crimson Clover for ground cover.

More than just a 1960s pop song, Crimson clover is a winter annual and herbaceous legume. The leaves and stems of crimson clover resemble those of red clover, but the leaves are round-tipped with more hair on the stems and leaves. Seedlings grow rapidly from the crown forming a rosette. This rosette enlarges as weather becomes favorable. In the spring, the flower stems develop rapidly and end their growth with long, pointed conical flower heads comprised of 75 to 125 florets. Florets are a bright crimson color and open in succession from the bottom to the top

Government State Arkansas 1972.jpg

 

This image (from the internet) gives a nice closeup of Crimson Clover.

Crimson Clover | Best Forage

 

 

 

The 1973 map has a view of Little Rock, the largest city and capital. With about 700,000 people in the area it makes up about 20% of the states population.

With it’s location near the Ouachita Mountains, the city is made up of some rolling hills, along the Arkansas River.

Government State Arkansas 1973.jpg

This photo from the internet shows that the skyline has changed little in the 40 + years since this map was published.

 

 

 

For the American bicentennial the cover is a tribute to the early pioneers.

Government State Arkansas 1976.jpg

 

 

 

The eastern border of Arkansas is the lower Mississippi River. This area is known as the Arkansas Delta, which has geographic similarities to their neighbors in Mississippi. It is the region where cotton is grown.

The area is dotted with lakes, many of them as a result of the river changing course over time. The bald cypress tress shown here are typical of the area.

The area is also known for their music, including blues and country. The most famous person from this area is Johnny Cash.

Government State Arkansas 1977.jpg

 

 

 

The Arkansas State Capitol is featured on the 1979 map. As with the vast majority of state capitol buildings in the country it is built in the Neoclassical style. This building is much newer than many other state capitols, having been completed in 1915.

Government State Arkansas 1979.jpg

 

 

 

For 1981 the photographer chose a view of a small river (the Spring River), a two lane road and a train.

Government State Arkansas 1981.jpg

 

 

 

The Interstate 40 bridge linking West Memphis, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee is featured on the 1982 cover. Covering a distance of 9400 feet, and rising over 100 feet above the river, the official name for this bridge is Hernando de Soto Bridge. The two arches of the bridge are to represent the letter ‘M’ (for Memphis), hence the nickname of the structure is the M bridge.

Government State Arkansas 1982.jpg

 

This photo from the internet shows the bridge at night with the ‘M’ lit up. Photo by Trevor Birchett.

 

 

 

The photo for the 1984 edition shows the early fall scene in Garland County. With Arkansas being located in the south this scene likely dates from late October or early November.

Garland County is the home of Hot Springs.

Government State Arkansas 1984.jpg

 

 

 

Another year (1985) another two lane road in the woods. This time we are in Yell County. Strangely this relatively small county, in both population and square miles, has two county seats. In addition it is a ‘dry’ county, with no alcohol sales. Perhaps that is why they Yell.

Government State Arkansas 1985.jpg

 

 

 

The Interstate 430 bridge over the Arkansas River at Little Rock is shown on the 1986 map. This freeway bypasses the city to the west.

Government State Arkansas 1986.jpg

 

 

 

The 1987 map has a radical departure on the look of the title on the cover, but not much else. More bridges and roads through the countryside.

Government State Arkansas 1987.jpg

 

 

 

Once again in 1989 the scene goes unidentified. But good news – there is a bridge involved.

Government State Arkansas 1989.jpg

 

 

 

For 1990 we get a return of the red backgrounds for the titles, along with descriptions of the scene. This view is from Highway 7 in Perry County, with a dogwood tree in full bloom in the foreground.

Government State Arkansas 1990.jpg

 

 

Perry County is home to a huge Goat Festival (photo from KARK TV station). The festival attracts 4000 people to the small town of Perrysville.

Goat Festival Perryville AR 201710 KSJ_5638ps_1538704669851.jpg.jpg

 

 

 

Big changes for the Arkansas map in 1993 – Bill Clinton, a native son was elected president. Unfortunately they have returned to photos of generic scenes without descriptions. This pattern continued for the next few years.

Government State Arkansas 1993.jpg

 

1994

Government State Arkansas 1994.jpg

 

 

1995

Government State Arkansas 1995.jpg

 

1996

Government State Arkansas 1997.jpg

 

 

For 1998 the descriptions have returned. This mountain scene is U.S. Highway 65 near the Buffalo National River in Searcy County.

Government State Arkansas 1998.jpg

 

 

Searcy County is known as the Chocolate Roll Capital of the World. A chocolate roll is a crust filled with chocolate. A recipe found on the internet could be a good thing to fill some time today….

Searcy County Chocolate Roll

Pastry:
1 c. flour
1/2 c. vegetable shortening
1/4 c. cold water
dash of salt

Filling:
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/3 c. butter or margarine
1/3 c. sugar

Incorporate all pastry ingredients into a pie crust-like dough. Roll out. Cream together cocoa powder, sugar and butter and spread on surface of pie crust. Roll from one end, tucking in sides like you would a burrito. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden and molten. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

 

In 2001 we visit Beaver Lake Dam in Carroll County. The dam has created a large lake that provides recreation as well as drinking water for much of Northwest Arkansas.

Government State Arkansas 2001.jpg

 

 

 

A Corvette and a country road back in Perry County. Since this county is dry too, they are likely headed to the next county to buy a bottle of wine for dinner.

Government State Arkansas 2002.jpg

 

 

 

In 1803 the United States purchased a massive area (828,000 square miles) of land from France for only $15 million dollars. What seems like a good deal was likely a better deal for France as they really didn’t control most of the land – it was still inhabited by Native Americans. The U.S. was buying ‘preemptive’ rights to obtain the Native lands by treaty or conquest (steal).

The entire state of Arkansas was included in this deal.

Government State Arkansas 2003.jpg

 

 

 

To get your Kicks on Route 66 in Arkansas you have to go to Stone County and take the state highway with that number, since the famed U.S. highway of the same number did not go through the state, although it went nearby in southwest Missouri.

Government State Arkansas 2004.jpg

 

 

 

The 2005 map shows the field of daisies at an Interstate interchange. Given the view you would think that the daisy would be the state flower but it is not. The state flower is the apple blossom, a tribute to the time when Arkansas was a large apple producing state, which it no longer is.

Government State Arkansas 2005.jpg

 

 

 

The 1956 Interstate Act 50th anniversary is celebrated on the 2006 map. Ironically neither of the two freeways shown here are interstates, they are both state routes.

Government State Arkansas 2006.jpg

 

 

 

The tunnel shown here is the Bobby Hopper Tunnel. It is the only vehicular tunnel in Arkansas.

Government State Arkansas 2008.jpg

 

 

 

For 2009 the cover shows the recently completed Greenville Bridge, a cable stayed design over the Mississippi River. Construction of this bridge took 16 years.

The new bridge replaced one built in 1940.

Government State Arkansas 2009.jpg

 

 

 

Hot Springs National Park is the scene again for the 2010 map.

Government State Arkansas 2010.jpg

 

As noted previously there are numerous bathhouses in Hot Springs, including one that was in the park itself. The Ozark Bathhouse was closed in 1977 and restored as the National Park Visitor Center. (photo from NPS site)

Ozark Bathhouse viewed from Central Avenue, looking up the front steps.

 

 

 

Another two lane road in 2011 – this time in Pope County. Located in the north central part of the state it is home to the town of Russellville. It is yet again another dry county.

Government State Arkansas 2011.jpg

 

 

 

Logan County is featured on the cover of the 2013 map. This county was originally called Sarber County, after John Sarber, when it was formed in 1871, but the locals felt Mr Sarber was a carpetbagger, so they renamed the county for an early settler James Logan.

Like most of the scenes in the series of Arkansas maps, it is located in the Ozark Mountains.

Government State Arkansas 2013.jpg

 

 

The theme continues in 2015 with this scene from Stone County.

Government State Arkansas 2015.jpg

 

 

 

 

The historic Lawrence County Courthouse is featured on the 2016 map. The courthouse is part of the Powhatan Historic State Park. And yes Lawrence County is like most of north and west Arkansas in that the county is dry. Lets move on to California so we can have a beer!

Government State Arkansas 2016.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – Arizona

Time to head to the sunshine of Arizona on our virtual tour of the country. Arizona has some of the most impressive geology and topography around, with the world’s greatest natural wonder – the Grand Canyon.

Our virtual tour also time travels back to 1952 for the oldest map in the collection. Ironically for a state that is mostly desert it features Canyon Lake. Located 50 miles east of Phoenix it is a result of the damming of the Salt River.

Government State Arizona 1952.jpg

 

 

 

The state was sparsely populated place in 1952 with less than 800,000 people in a state with almost 114,000 square miles. Phoenix, the capital, had barely 100,000 people.

Today the metro Phoenix area alone has almost 5 million people, with over 7 million living in the entire state.

Government State Arizona 1952 2.jpg

 

 

Government State Arizona 1952 3.jpg

 

 

 

Our trip moves on to 1956, with the fairly boring subject of a rural intersection featured on the cover.

Government State Arizona 1956.jpg

 

 

The backside of the map features the state flag bird, flower, seal and tree. The calendar of events is interesting, again showing the changes in the last 65 years.

The February golf tournament in Phoenix had a purse of $15,000 (est $200,000 in 2020 dollars). Today that tournament has a purse of over $7 million.

Other events like the rodeo in Yuma are also still in existence.

Government State Arizona 1956 3.jpg

 

 

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s the Arizona State Map was shaped like more like a book than a map. This map features the state flower, the bloom from the Saguaro Cactus. These massive cacti grow to heights of 40′ or more.

Government State Arizona 1967

 

 

 

1968 again features water in the desert. This time we are at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. While most of Glen Canyon is in Utah, it is dammed at Lake Powell, Arizona. The output from this dam heads down the Colorado River into the Grand Canyon.

Government State Arizona 1968.jpg

 

 

 

 

For 1970 we have the full view of the Saguaro. The backside of the map has a great collection of saguaros throughout the state.

Government State Arizona 1970.jpg

 

Government State Arizona 1970 2.jpg

 

 

As we move a few years ahead we again have cacti on the cover.

Government State Arizona 1977.jpg

 

 

The backside of the 1977 map however has some great photographs of the highlights of Arizona.

Government State Arizona 1977 3

 

 

 

For my collection 1980 is the last year of the ‘book sized’ maps. With a fantastic canyon view (amazingly not named on the map – guessing a view of the Grand Canyon I have not seen), the backside features many of the National Monuments located in the state.

Government State Arizona 1980.jpg

 

Government State Arizona 1980 2.jpg

 

 

We have been fortunate enough to visit a number of these locations including Wupataki Ruins. These ruins are nearly 1000 years old – home to a town of 2,000.

2005 06 26 Wupataki Ruins Arizona 1.jpg

 

 

 

By the 2000s Arizona had ceased producing traditional road maps, rather they produce a ‘Visitor Map’ on glossy paper, much like any other tourist map. It is filled with advertising. The 2002 edition has an unidentified road, while the 2004 map on the right is the area around Sedona.

Government State Arizona 2002.jpg        Government State Arizona 2004.jpg

 

In 2012 I passed through Sedona. An artist colony, it has amazing scenery as you make your way down Oak Creek Canyon.

2012 03 15 29 Sedona.jpg

 

2012 03 15 41 Sedona.jpg

 

 

2012 03 15 42 Sedona.jpg

 

 

 

The 2005 edition has Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon on the cover. This 8 mile trail descends over 4000 feet. The 2010 map on the right features Brittlebush with their spring wildflowers in bloom near Bartlett Lake.

Government State Arizona 2005            Government State Arizona 2010.jpg

 

It is hard to believe but it has been 15 years since we were last at the Grand Canyon. These photos are from the early days of digital – we need to go back.

We did spend 1 hour going down Bright Angel Trail, which equates to over 2 hours coming back up. Needless to say we did not reach the bottom. It was well worth the time, as soon as you get away from the crowds at the rim the views are so much better.

2005 06 26 Grand Canyon 29a.jpg

 

2005 06 26 Grand Canyon 38.jpg

 

2005 06 26 Grand Canyon 40.jpg

 

 

 

The 2011 map on the left features ‘The Wave’ in Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area. This is one place that is high on my list to visit. The 2012 map on the right revisits Sedona.

Government State Arizona 2011.jpg           Government State Arizona 2012.jpg

 

 

 

In 2012 they published two editions, the one below has Saguaro National Park featured. The 2014 map features Mogollon Rim near Payson.

Government State Arizona 2013.jpg           Government State Arizona 2014.jpg

 

 

For 2015 the cover takes us to the countryside outside of Flagstaff. At over 7000 feet in elevation, the terrain around Flagstaff is very ‘un-Arizona’ like. It is near here that there are ski resorts.

Again in 2016 they visited Sedona.

Government State Arizona 2015.jpg          Government State Arizona 2016.jpg

 

 

 

The final map in my collection has to be in of course…Sedona!

Government State Arizona 2018.jpg

 

But there is much more to Arizona than the natural scenery, as fantastic as it is.

In Arizona you can see the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City

2012 03 14 Route 66 Road Trip 66 Lake Havasu City Arizona.jpg

 

 

Take a trip on Route 66 and see the wild burros in Oatman …

2012 03 14 Route 66 Road Trip 98 Oatman Highway Arizona.jpg

 

 

Continue on Route 66 to the very kitschy little town of Seligman for some lunch at the Roadkill Cafe ...

2012 03 14 Route 66 Road Trip 175 Seligman Arizona.jpg

 

and ice cream at the famous Snow Cap…

2012 03 14 Route 66 Road Trip 182 Seligman Arizona.jpg

 

 

Catch the Grand Canyon Train in Williams….

2012 03 14 Route 66 Road Trip 219 Williams Arizona.jpg

 

 

And watch Spring Training in Phoenix! Arizona is easily one of my favorite states.

2012 03 15 151 Glendale Arizona Camelback Ranch Spring Training.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – Alaska

Our virtual travels take us north to Alaska. Being so large, and so remote there are few roads. As a result the Alaska road maps feature far more facts about the outdoors than the other states.

My collection of Alaska maps is small, but our memories of the state are huge. The oldest in the collection is from 1973. This map pre-dates the famed Alaska Pipeline by a couple of years, and features a Native American Totem Pole Owl.

One unusual note on most of the Alaska maps is they were published by Rand McNally, and not the state government.

Government State Alaska 1973.jpg

 

 

In 1973 Alaska is still a remote frontier, reached by land only via the Alaska Highway through the Yukon in Canada. This closeup of the map shows Yukon on the right in yellow, and Alaska in white on the left. Note that the Alaska Highway in the Yukon was still gravel (indicated by the alternate white and red line).

The 1500 mile long Alaska Highway was build during World War II to connect the contiguous U.S. to Alaska. It was legendary for years as being a rough, challenging multi-day drive. The drive itself goes from Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Fairbanks.

Government State Alaska 1974 4.jpg

 

Government State Alaska 1974 3.jpg

 

 

 

The back of most Alaska maps have features of the vast array of wildlife found in the state.

Government State Alaska 1974 6.jpg

 

 

 

The follow year’s map features a boat! While this might not make much sense for a road map, it does in Alaska. In addition to the Alaska Highway the other surface route to reach the state is via the Alaska Marine Highway – an 1850 mile route of waterways from Seattle to Alaska. You can rent a cabin on the boat, or as many do – pitch a tent on the deck.

Government State Alaska 1974.jpg

 

 

 

For 1977 a dogsled huskie make an appearance on the cover, along with the state flag.

Government State Alaska 1977.jpg

 

 

 

As we jump ahead to 2002 the theme continues with wildlife and natural scenery being the focus.

Government State Alaska 2002.jpg

 

 

 

The final two maps in the collection have the same theme, campers in the wilderness, along a lonely highway. These maps dare from 2006 and 2007.

Government State Alaska 2006.jpg

 

 

Government State Alaska 2007.jpg

 

 

As with most Alaska maps there is also the view from the Marine Highway Ferry.

Government State Alaska 2007 4.jpg

 

 

 

The inside of the map shows the development over the past 40 years, but still nothing like the lower 48 states. The entire route of the Alaska Highway has been paved, but is still a real adventure to drive the distance.

Also note the road going due north from Fairbanks – the Dalton Highway. Built in the 1970s as a supply road for the pipeline, the 414 mile road is still an adventure, punctuated by the couple hundred trucks blasting along. There are only two tiny towns the entire route.

Government State Alaska 2007 3.jpg

 

 

Our one and only visit so far to Alaska was a very memorable one. We flew from Seattle to Juneau to start a 1 week ‘small boat’ cruise (30 cabins and 50 people).

The landing alone was amazing, coming through the clouds to see the water, trees and the Mendenhall Glacier!

2017 09 15 8 Flight to Juneau.jpg

 

 

As soon as we got our rental car we headed out to the glacier.

2017 09 15 34 Juneau AK Mendenhall Glacier.jpg

 

 

The waterfall next to it was equally impressive.

2017 09 15 13 Juneau AK Mendenhall Glacier.jpg

 

 

The next day we set off on our 7 day sail, seeing an amazing collection of natural scenery and wildlife.

2017 09 17 11 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

2017 09 17 89 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

2017 09 17 51 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

2017 09 18 45 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

2017 09 18 87 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

2017 09 19 49 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

2017 09 20 70 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

 

2017 09 21 35 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

2017 09 21 73 Alaskan Cruise.jpg

 

 

Upon our return to Juneau we had a chance to explore the mountains above town waiting for our night flights back to Seattle, Chicago and Columbus.

We look forward to returning to Alaska some day and exploring the interior of the state.

2017 09 23 10 Juneau AK Flume Trail.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – Alabama

I was born with ‘that travelling bone’, and since I was very small I wanted to see every place in the world. Since my family rarely went very far from home, I did most of my travel via maps and charts. Since that time I have always enjoyed maps and charts, eventually amassing a fairly large collection.

Now that we are all hanging around our respective homes it seems like a good time to check out the maps, and do some virtual travelling.

Each state in the U.S. has a Department of Transportation, who has traditionally published a new road map every year or two. While this is waning, the maps that they created often were works of art – promoting tourism and commerce in their state.

This posting series will features those maps, one posting for each state, along with some highlights of my photographs of travels to those states. Since there is no good way to prioritize them, we will go alphabetically starting with… Alabama.

 

 

The oldest map from Alabama in my collection is from 1946. The cover of this map features the State Capitol. Dating from 1850 this building has some infamous history – serving as the location for the swearing in of Jefferson Davis when the southern states seceded from the union in 1861.

IMG_5799.jpg

 

 

The rear cover is more innocuous – an unnamed waterfalls.

IMG_5800.jpg

 

 

The map itself is reflective of the times; a network of national and state highways. The interstates system was still 12 years from starting, so if you were making a trip through Alabama (or any state) it was a slow trip punctuated by numerous little towns.

IMG_5803.jpg

 

Contrasting that with the newest Alabama map in my collection from 2018. Between the interstates, and numerous 4 lane roads and bypasses, the trips are much faster.

IMG_5804.jpg

 

A look at the Alabama State Highway Maps over the years.

We jump ahead almost three decades to 1974. In an unusual move the cover is actually just part of the overall backside of the road map, so the state name is truncated. The family’s outfits however make this map classic – nothing like plaid to say ‘1974’.

IMG_5808.jpg

 

 

The late 1970s were fairly boring for the artwork. The state seal was on the 1977-1978 map, and just photo and text graced the 1979-1980 map. This map is the only one I have out of thousands that has just text for the cover. The rear is even more plain – HELP written across it in 40 point font.

IMG_5797.jpg        IMG_5796

 

 

By the 1980s the State Capitol has made a return to the map.

IMG_5795.jpg

 

 

Alabama is unusual in that most of the maps issued covered two years. The one below for 1985-1986 features the State of Alabama Highway Department building in Montgomery. It is also unusual in that the maps orientation is horizontal, a theme they continue on the next map as well.

IMG_5794 

 

 

The Mobile Bay I-10 Bridge is featured on the 1993-1994 map.

IMG_5793.jpg

 

 

The following year the map returns to the traditional vertical orientation. It also features a new governor (Fob James) and transportation director. The 1995-1996 map (left) features Lookout Mountain Parkway in DeSoto State Park near Fort Payne. The next map in the series from 1997-1998 (right) has the U.S. 431 Bridge over Guntersville Lake on the cover.

IMG_5792.jpg        IMG_5791.jpg

 

 

Another governor, another style. Governor Don Siegelman was elected in 1999 and served one term. The first map we have from his administration is also from 1999 and features two happy couples hanging out on the beach of the Gulf of Mexico. The second, and last in my collection from this era features a golf course.

Alabama has for many years done heavy advertising for their ‘Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’. Jones was famous for his golf course designs, having completed over 500 in his lifetime. The ‘Golf Trail’ in Alabama covers 468 holes at 11 locations, with the theory being you spent however much time you need golfing them all to come up with a cumulative score.

IMG_5790.jpg        IMG_5788.jpg

 

 

The next administration of Bob Riley covers 4 maps in the collection. All features happy people in happy places starting with Cheaha State Park on the 2003 map. This park contains the highest point in Alabama, the 2413 foot high Cheaha Mountain.

In 2004 the Alabama Renaissance Festival was featured. This festival takes place each year in Florence, Alabama.

IMG_5810.jpg     IMG_5786

 

 

In 2005 they went back to the biennial approach, with the map covering 2005-2006. This map continues the happy people approach with the family at Orange Beach in Gulf Shores. The 2007-2008 featured a non identified park full of wildflowers with a couple of bicycle riders.

IMG_5785.jpg      IMG_5784.jpg

 

 

We jump ahead a few years to the 2011-2012 map. This map ironically is back at Orange Beach on the Gulf Coast. The following map for 2013-2014 features a place called Gorham’s Bluff. Located on top of Sand Mountain in far northeast Alabama, it is the southern tip of the Appalachian Mountains. Both maps feature the ‘dual Adirondack Chairs’ look that is most famous throughout Canada.

This map is also the first to use ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, from the famous Lynyrd Skynyrd song of the same name.

IMG_5783.jpg      IMG_5782.jpg

 

 

The last two Alabama State Highway maps in my collection feature yet another Gulf Coast park for the 2015-2016 edition. The newest (for now) returns to the historic buildings, this time with the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham. This church was home to Dr Rev Martin Luther King from 1954-1960.

IMG_5781.jpg      IMG_5780.jpg

 

 

I have only been in Alabama a few times, but the most recent one was easily the best. During the summer 2019 road trip we passed through Huntsville and Birmingham.

Highlights of this trip include Cathedral Caverns….

2019 05 14 235 Grant AL Cathedral Caverns.jpg

 

 

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center and NASA Marshall Flight Center in Huntsville….2019 05 15 162 Huntsville AL US Space and Rocket Center.jpg

 

 

And my favorite, the Barber Motorsports Museum near Birmingham.

Alabama – our first virtual visit.

2019 05 16 382 Leeds AL Barber Motorsports Museum.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buenos Aires – March 2020 – Characters of Argentina

As I continued checking out the great collection of photos from the Argentina experience I found a number of real characters. A few might have made it into other postings but now the best of Argentina characters are here in one place!

 

We start with the slasher of Recoleta Cemetery. Why was this young lady running through the cemetery with a knife in her prom dress? No clue – but she had a photographer with her (other than me).

2019 06 23 271 Buenos Aires Recoleta Cemetery.jpg

 

 

My Spanish is so bad I couldn’t even understand these two characters talking with the young lady. The Argentina version of Bill Nye the Science Guy I think.

2019 10 26 132 San Isidro Argentina.jpg

 

 

 

A guy on stilts with his food truck – what else do you need?

2019 10 26 136 San Isidro Argentina.jpg

 

 

 

I made all the guys at work jealous getting to know a local TV reporter.

2019 10 26 201 San Isidro Argentina.jpg

 

 

 

Christmas in summer = elfs on roller blades.

2019 11 02 101 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

 

Some of the many street performers.

2019 11 03 22 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

2019 11 03 43 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

 

Parilla Argentina – the name says it all! I will miss the steaks.

2019 11 03 51 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

 

Every weekend on Avenida de Mayo there seem to be an event…

2019 11 09 126 Buenos Aires Open House.jpg

 

 

2019 11 09 137 Buenos Aires Open House.jpg

 

 

 

The gaucho festival was one of the highlights. They were the real thing…

2019 11 10 226 San Antonio De Areco Gaucho Festival.jpg

 

 

 

Which apparently meant when you were done you hung out having a cold beer. Not sure a Texas cowboy goes without socks, but most of these guys were amazingly skilled  horsemen.

2019 11 10 344 San Antonio De Areco Gaucho Festival.jpg

 

 

 

The cook at my favorite Buenos Aires empanada restaurant.

2019 11 14 5 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

Superheros of the Mate Festival.

2019 11 30 93 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

 

Mate men.

2019 11 30 114 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

 

Marino Santa Maria – a great artist and cooler person.

2019 12 01 136 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

 

About 95% of the T shirts I saw in Argentina had writing in English – sometimes a bit inaccurate – such as ‘New York Area 51’.

Also note in this photo the window. Some of the Subte cars are old and don’t have air conditioning so you open the windows. The sticker says ‘don’t stick your head or arms out the car window’ – seems like it shouldn’t need to be said.

2019 12 06 8 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

 

E Line Elvis. There are 6 subway lines in the city, all with letters, as this line is ‘E’. I saw this guy a few times doing his bit on the train – with the delivery and the sideburns I gave him the name!

It is very common to see people roll onto the train with their portable speaker and serenade the passengers. They always get applause, even if they don’t always get money.

2019 12 06 9 Buenos Aires.JPG

 

 

Not a setup – we walked into a record store one day and there was a guy dressed in a full Spiderman outfit that just reeked of beer. We did not stick around to see his musical taste – but I bet he went for that Mafalda CD just above him.

2019 12 06 10 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

 

Wandering the Palermo neighborhood we ran into a drag queen contest.

2019 12 07 125 Buenos Aires Palermo Soho.jpg

 

 

 

These 3 ladies were at the festival. Still not sure why she has a sticker on her chest.

2019 12 07 104 Buenos Aires Palermo Soho.jpg

 

 

 

The guards indicated that it was ok for us to take photos of them at the Presidential Palace, but there was no rule that said they couldn’t sneer.

2019 12 14 85 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

 

The dad of a good friend. He was a hoot, and we couldn’t even really talk to each other. Characters know characters.

2019 12 14 144 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

Christmas Morning – about 10 AM. All he wanted from Santa Claus was a bottle of champagne and  some sort of meat. Seems he got his wish.

The picture was clear – he is blurry.

2019 12 25 184 Buenos Aires Subte D Line Art.jpg

 

 

Same morning – not sure who asked for 6 big plastic bubbles, but they are getting it.

2020 01 01 76 Buenos Aires C Line Subway Art Tour.jpg

 

 

 

Rio De Lata Plata troubadour.

2020 01 04 153 Rio De La Plata Argentina.jpg

 

 

 

Ceffi the glacier hike guide and his assistant. True characters that kept people from falling into giant crevices.

2020 01 15 178 Los Glaciares National Park Argentina.jpg

 

 

 

Roci the petrified forest guide. Cool and smart.

2020 01 16 79 La Leona Argentina.jpg

 

 

 

Another day on the Rio De La Plata.

2020 01 26 123 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

This is Grace and her friend Sol. Grace is a tour guide but on this day I was giving her a tour of the subway’s H Line artwork so she could come up with a new tour offering.

2020 02 02 70 Buenos Aires Subte H Line.jpg

 

 

 

Carnaval a week late….

2020 02 29 141 Vicente Lopez Argentina Carnaval.jpg

 

 

2020 02 29 149 Vicente Lopez Argentina Carnaval.jpg

 

 

2020 02 29 296 Vicente Lopez Argentina Carnaval.jpg

 

 

 

Sometimes in Buenos Aires they blow their own horns! There was a lot to enjoy about our time there, but the people were the best part.

2020 03 01 158 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olivos, Argentina – March 2020 – Views from the 16th Floor

For five months we had the good fortune of having an apartment on the 16th floor overlooking the Rio De La Plata and the city of Buenos Aires. Little did we realize when we arrived the view would constantly change depending on the weather.

It became routine to leave the camera on the kitchen table to try and catch sunrises as we woke up each day. This long posting features the best of what Argentina weather and a 16th floor apartment overlooking a ‘river’ can provide.

The sun, water, clouds, moon – all shape the changing view.

 

2019 10 25 1 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2019 11 03 66 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

2019 11 10 413 Olivos Argentina.JPG

 

2019 11 13 3 Olivos.jpg

 

2019 11 15 1 Olivos.jpg

 

2019 11 28 7 Olivos..jpg

 

 

2019 11 29 1 Olivos..jpg

 

2019 11 29 4 Olivos.jpg

 

2019 12 04 2 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2019 12 04 17 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2019 12 11 1 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

2019 12 31 49 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

2019 12 31 52 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

2020 01 10 1 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 01 19 2 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

2020 01 26 7 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

2020 01 26 161 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

 

2020 01 29 5 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 01 29 13 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2020 01 31 1 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 02 02 1 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 02 02 3 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2020 02 02 12 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 02 05 1 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2020 02 05 4 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2020 02 07 2 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

 

2020 02 05 14 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2020 02 07 5 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 02 07 6 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2020 02 07 8 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 02 07 15 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 02 07 18 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2020 02 12 2 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2020 02 12 6 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 02 13 19 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2020 02 14 8 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2020 03 05 1 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2020 03 06 1 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 03 08 1 Buenos Aires.jpg

 

2020 03 09 120 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 03 10 5 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

2020 03 10 10 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 03 11 1 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

2020 03 13 4 Olivos Argentina.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Tigre, Argentina – February 2020 – Prowling Around Town

A Saturday in Tigre…

Murals of the town.
















An old car that is not a Ford Falcon (a rarity in Argentina). A classic Peugeot.





The bamboo store.






You can’t spend any time in Tigre without being along a river.





The tourists are coming back from a night on the islands.





A small market of local crafts.









The river is lined with restaurants in the park.






Jet airplanes in the yard? It is the Argentina Naval Museum.










We looked for, but did not find, the Mate Museum – but did see a giant teapot.





And with that it is time to go back to the stylish train station and head out of town.