Chicago – September 2021 – Phoning In Some Murals

An unexpected, brief, trip to Chicago left me without a camera – so this posting is solely the result of an iPhone camera.

A quick internet search for some of the more interesting murals in the city, plus discovering some not on the list by chance. I like to find murals that the surroundings add to the photo as well.

Many were in locations that made it tough to get a clear photo, but the varied angles also have added to the composition, rather than a ‘directory of images’.

Central Arizona – September 2021 – Wanderings

A 3 day weekend of wanderings resulted in a number of topics for a posting, and a few random shots that weren’t enough for a single posting.

Jerome, Arizona – What was once a medium sized town for a large copper mine, the town went nearly extinct, but has returned to life as a tourist attractions as … a ghost town full of people.

Another mountain town is Superior – east of Phoenix.

Roosevelt Lake is located near the Tonto National Monument. The reservoir supplies water to Phoenix.

Phoenix – August 2021 – Architecture Tour on a Sunday Morning

While much of Phoenix is a vast suburban landscape, there are a number of architecturally interesting buildings in the area.

Tempe Municipal Building
What was once the Santa Fe Freight Depot is now the Maricopa County Assessors Office.
The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office in one of the few remaining old houses downtown.
The Arizona State Capitol
An Arizona State Government building.
What I thought was an observatory is a church.
Side view of the historic Maricopa County Courthouse, with a streetcar stop.
The Luhrs Tower dates from 1929. The building made an appearance in the movie Pyscho, and is thought to be haunted.
Arizona State University Music Building – Designed by Wesley Peters, son in law of Frank Lloyd Wright (more below on him). This is known as the Birthday Cake building.

Frank Lloyd Wright lived and worked in Phoenix for many years. There are a number of his designed homes, churches and public buildings in the area.

Gammon Auditorium – Designed by FLW but completed after his death.
First Christian Church
The Arizona Biltmore Hotel
The Norman Lykes House

Signs of Change Across America – August 2021

After an entire lifetime of living in the east, life has dealt us a curveball, resulting in us relocating from Ohio to Arizona. We took the opportunity to take a bit extra time during the 2000 mile move to stop and see a few sights along the way. Some of the more extended stops will have their own posting.

Let’s start by leaving Columbus

Time to head west.

First state – Kentucky

Our first stretch break was south of Louisville at Bernheim Arboretum. In addition to the natural scenery there were many sculptures.

After a very long drive across much of Kentucky, we reached the Tennessee border in the far northwestern corner of the state.

It was on to Memphis for the night. We saw enough sights in our brief visit to Memphis to warrant it’s own posting.

The next day started with a drive across the Mississippi River into Arkansas

After extended stops in Little Rock and Hot Springs (postings follow this one), we found ourselves near the small town of Murfreesboro at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. This park is known for being an open diamond ‘mine’ where you pay $10 and are welcome to go dig around for diamonds.

The park has a sign detailing recent and records finds – each day someone find small diamonds, and every once in a while a big find is made.

We did not strike it rich so we continued west, passing Texarkana, which as the name suggests is on the Texas/Arkansas border.

Our last brief stop of the day was in Sulphur Springs, Texas. Their very nice courthouse square has a public restroom with one way mirrors, so you can ‘take care of business’ while watching the world go by 🙂

A couple more hours lead to a great sunset while arriving in Dallas.

The next morning started out across West Texas, passing the town of Cisco (must be where they got the name of the company)

Our first extended stop of the day was in Abilene (posting to follow).

Texans are very proud of their home.

The drive across Texas continued, passing wind turbines then oil derricks.

After 575 mile we were through Texas (or so we though…), arriving in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Eastern New Mexico was still oil country but it quickly transitioned to the mountains. The peak of our trip was in Cloudcroft, New Mexico.

After dropping more than 4000 feet we arrived in Alamogordo, home to White Sands National Park (individual posting later).

The plan was to drive the 70 miles to Las Cruces for the night but there was a landslide, resulting in a detour adding an addition 50 miles, resulting us ending up back in Texas (briefly) again.

Eventually we made it to Las Cruces, and the next morning started on the literal home stretch.

After 2000 miles we have reached our new home state! With this move we have a fantastic opportunity for new sights and experiences, so stay tuned….

Celina, Ohio – July 2021 – Cars in the Lake

Each year the small town of Celina, Ohio has a festival celebrating their position on a large reservoir known as the Grand Lake St Marys. The highlight of the festival is a gathering of Amphicars.

These cars were built in Germany from 1960 until 1965 – specifically to be able to not only drive on land but become a boat in water.

The car owners come from all over the country to Celina to celebrate their eclectic, but very cool, little car/boats.

The highlight of the cars visit to Celina is known as the ‘Splash In’, where the drivers enter the water.

The queen was on hand to kick off the celebration – and go for a ride.

Then it was time for the others to enter the water….

Once they were in the lake they cruised around for a while…..

Eventually the queen(s) headed home….

As the sun set the boats came into the harbor to turn into cars again….

Central Ohio – May 2021 – Weekend Wanderings

With minimal travel we had a weekend hiking close to home that gave a few photo ops of downtown Columbus, as well as nearby Licking County.

The trip to Licking County included a hike in Blackhand Gorge Park. Named for a (now long gone) Native American petroglyph the hike goes through a small ravine along a creek. The sandstone cliffs have a variety of vegetation growing on them.

The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering the backroads of the county.

We came across this fantastic abandoned schoolhouse. As I approached for a closer look the bird came flying out adding to the excitement.

North Central Ohio – May 2021 – Wanderings on a Saturday

A recent Saturday was spent wandering the back roads of North Central Ohio from Columbus all the way to Lake Erie.

First stop was in the small town of Mt Gilead, the county seat of Morrow County. The old county jail dates from 1850.

Next door is a soldiers monument.

Next stop – Galion, where we checked out the old train station and theater.

The Huron County Courthouse clocktower in Norwalk.

At last – the Lake Erie shoreline in the town of Huron. The lighthouse was built in 1939, reflecting the style of the period.

Sandusky is the center of the lakeshore for this area. Home to what is generally acknowledged as the best amusement park in the world (Cedar Point), Sandusky relies heavily on tourism.

Starting back south we made a stop in Castalia, at the fish hatchery. Unfortunately it was closed, but the nearby creek has a number of well feed fish, along with some birds looking for lunch.

We passed through Bellevue and had the photo op of a very long, slow moving freight train passing the Mad River Railroad Museum – providing a contrast of the size of locomotive from the past and today.

Time to cruise on home, amazingly following the same vintage car southbound that we were behind for about 20 miles going north earlier.