Holbrook, Arizona – April 2022 – The Wigwam Motel

Dating from the 1940s, the Wigwam Motel is a throwback to the times when the route west was the famed Route 66. We had the opportunity to spend a night in the ‘Wigwam’.

There were originally 7 Wigwam Villages built, with only 3 remaining. The one in Holbrook has embraced the Route 66 connection, complete with strategically placed, rusting vehicles, along with a large collection of petrified wood.

As the sun set on the end of a great day, we prepared to settle in for the night.

Night time brought the fantastic neon sign to life.

Waking the next morning to comments about the frequency and volume of the trains all night. Walking outside we saw why, a major dual track freight line was about 100′ from our wigwam. Despite being rocked to sleep, it was well worth it for a night to time travel back to the 1950s.

Petrified Forest National Park – April 2022 – A Gem in the Desert

A petrified forest is created when fallen trees are washed into a space and then buried under layers of mud, ash and other materials, depriving the oxygen required for rot. Over millions of years the wood’s cellular structure form into a stone like material.

Generally considered the world’s best example, the Petrified Forest National Park is in northern Arizona, situated in the Painted Desert (next posting).

The setting and colors of the Petrified Forest is amazing. Most look just like wood, some even appear to have been cut with a saw.

Tucson – August 2021 – Saguaro National Park

The Saguaro Cactus is present throughout much of central and southern Arizona. The Saguaro National Park has two areas around Tucson, one west of town, and one east – we visited the eastern one.

Saguaro cactus can live to 150 years old – the older they are the more arms they have, although they can grow old without growing arms.

In addition to the Saguaros there are numerous other natural Sonoran Desert plants, all of which were at their peak color because of recent monsoon rains – probably the greenest desert you will ever see.

Mansfield, Ohio – September 2020 – Surprising Interesting Architecture

Mansfield, Ohio is another old industrial city, where much of the industry has left. Mansfield, unlike many of those towns, has managed to keep much of their downtown buildings in use and in excellent condition.

We start with an impressive old house that is currently undergoing restoration – it will be grand when finished.

St Peters Catholic Church

The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building

The tallest building in town – the Farmers Bank Building

This building dates from 1926.The upper level cornices are very detailed.

Mansfield is very proud that the movie Shawshank Redemption was filmed in the area, including Central Park.

Around this nice space are a couple of Art Deco style buildings.

We end our tour with a number of restored buildings along North Main Street.

Marion, Ohio – August 2020 – Random Views of Marion County

This posting is the start of a series of Ohio County focused random views. Unintentionally many of Marion County’s turned out to be barns and other structures in various states of disrepair.

A right hand drive Rolls Royce.

The late summer provided many contrasting colors with the barns.

The corn is so high it felt like walls along the road.

Marion is a railroad town. The light off in the distance was an oncoming train, but is a couple of miles away.

Marion was home to President Harding.

They have built a new Presidential Library for Harding, showing that no matter how crooked you are you will eventually get a Presidential Library.

Across America – A More Detailed Look at the National Park Tour of 2015

While we continue to stay very close to home, I have had a chance to go back and look at some of the older postings. I realized that one of the best road trips we have ever taken was the 2015 ‘National Parks’ road trip. When looking I realized it featured very few photos, so that has been corrected.

The links below will take you to each day of the trip, only with many more photos showing the beauty of the parks, as well as the other cool and quirky sites of the country.

Day 1 – Trip through Lower Michigan  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/11/national-parks-road-trip-day-1-lower-michigan/



Day 2 – Pictured Rocks National Seashore  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/11/national-parks-road-trip-day-2-pictured-rocks-national-lakeshore/



Day 3 – Across the UP and Northern Wisconsin  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/11/national-parks-road-trip-day-3-abandonded-air-force-base-marquette-mi-and-duluth-mn/



Day 4 – Fargo and Beyond




Day 5 – Theodore Roosevelt National Park  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/11/national-parks-road-trip-day-5-theodore-roosevelt-national-park/

2015 09 08 76 Theodore Roosevelt National Park ND.jpg



Day 6 – Makoshika State Park & Pompey’s Pillar National Monument    https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/12/national-parks-road-trip-day-6-makoshika-state-park-pompeys-pillar-and-billing-montana/

2015 09 09 7 Glendive MT.jpg



Day 7 – Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area & Legend Rocks Petroglyphs  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/12/national-parks-road-trip-day-7-bighorn-canyon-legend-rock-petroglyphs-and-thermopolis/



Day 8 – Yellowstone National Park    https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/12/national-parks-road-trip-day-8-yellowstone/



Day 9 – Yellowstone National Park  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/12/national-parks-road-trip-day-9-yellowstone/



Day 10 – Yellowstone to Jackson Hole  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/12/national-parks-road-trip-day-10-yellowstone-to-jackson-hole/



Day 11 – Golden Spike National Historic Site & Salt Lake City  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/12/national-parks-road-trip-day-11-golden-spike-national-historic-site-salt-lake-city/



Day 12 – Zion National Park  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/13/national-parks-road-trip-day-12-zion-national-park/



Day 13 – Bryce Canyon National Park & Capital Reef National Park  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/13/national-parks-road-trip-day-14-bryce-national-park-capital-reef/



Day 14 – Arches National Park & Canyonlands National Park  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/13/national-parks-road-trip-day-14-arches-and-canyonlands/



Day 15 – Natural Bridges National Monument & Hovenweep National Monument  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/13/national-parks-road-trip-day-15-natural-bridges-moki-dugway-monument-hovenweep-four-corners/



Day 16 – Mesa Verde National Park  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/13/national-parks-road-trip-day-16-mesa-verde/



Day 17 – Great Sand Dunes National Park & Santa Fe  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/14/national-parks-road-trip-day-17-great-sand-dunes-national-park-hot-air-balloons-santa-fe/



Day 18 – Anbuquerque & Sandia Peak  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/14/national-parks-road-trip-day-18-albuquerque/



Day 19 – Oklahoma City National Memorial  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/14/national-parks-road-trip-day-19-amarillo-oklahoma-city/



Day 20 – Paris, Texas  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/14/national-parks-road-trip-day-20-oklahoma-and-texas/



Day 21 – Mississippi Blues Trail  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/14/national-parks-road-trip-day-21-mississippi-blues-trail/



Day 22 – Mississippi Blues to Elvis  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/14/national-parks-road-trip-day-22-from-the-blues-to-elvis-the-natchez-parkway/



Day 23 – Nashville  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/14/national-parks-road-trip-day-23-from-the-blues-to-elvis-the-natchez-parkway/



Day 24 – Crushed Corvettes  https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/14/national-parks-road-trip-day-24-back-to-ohio/




Virtual Travel – Mississippi

Welcome to Mississippi, the Magnolia State.


2015 09 24 27 Vicksburg MS.jpg


State Capitol & Symbols

1939     1988

The State Capitol in Jackson was completed in 1903, using a typical Beaux Arts style. (Photos from Wikipedia)

Jackson December 2018 02 (Mississippi State Capitol).jpg


It replaced a building that had been built in 1839. The Old State Capitol is still standing. It serves the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Jackson December 2018 37 (Old Mississippi State Capitol).jpg


Our daily unusual State Symbols….(photos from statesymbols.org)

State Toy – The Teddy Bear. When President Theodore Roosevelt was in Mississippip in 1902 on a hunting expedition he refused to shoot an injured bear. A political cartoon lampooned him about this prompting a toy store to use his name on the small stuffed bears thus giving them the name ‘Teddy’s Bears’.

Teddy bear



State Reptile – American Alligator

American Alligator



State Shell – Oyster Shell

Oyster shell on beach


State Fossil – Prehistoric Whales

Basilosaurus cetoides fossil




Variety of Mississippi

1984     1990      2001      2010

Mississippi is divided into six major cultural regions with the Delta and the Piney Woods being the two largest.

In the Delta cotton is still king, although now the cotton picking is done by John Deere.

2015 09 24 60 Rolling Fork MS.jpg

2015 09 25 67 Clarksdale MS.jpg


The Piney Woods region is flatlands covered in pine trees. (photo from American Forest Foundation)

The Piney Woods Project | My Land Plan


In the northeast there are hills that are part of the Appalachians. The highest point in the state is Woodall Mountain (a bit of a misnomer), going to the height of 807′. (photo below from Wikipedia)

Woodall Mountain Mississippi.JPG





Road Trips

1983      1986     1994     2001     2003     2004     2005     2006     2011

Government State Mississippi 2001.jpg



Mississippi is home to two of the great waterways of the country – the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.

A night in Greenville offered these perfect sunset photos over the river.


The bridges at Vicksburg.

2015 09 24 31 Vicksburg MS.jpg


The Great River Road follows the Mississippi through towns like Clarksdale.

2015 09 25 39 Clarksdale MS.jpg



While Mississippi has a small portion of the Gulf Coast, it is filled with sights.


In Moss Point there is the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch. It is an alligator sanctuary that also offer air boat rides – which is a very cool experience.



The Natchez Trace goes for over 400 miles from Nashville to Natchez. It is a parkway designed for non commercial, slow moving traffic.


2015 09 25 100 Tupelo MS.jpg



Mississippi Culture

2005     2014     2016     2019

While some may disagree the best product of Mississippi has been Blues Music. The hard times of life in the Delta in the early 1900s gave the genesis for what has lived on for more than 100 years in a variety of forms.

There are a plethora of locales that have history in the blues.

2015 09 25 26 Cleveland MS.jpg



According to legend Robert Johnson went down to the crossroads in Rosedale and traded his soul for the ability to play the blues.



The city of Tupelo in northeastern Mississippi is very proud of their native son Elvis.

The photo on the lower right is a group of British tourists checking out the outhouse – literally the King’s Throne. Elvis has not only left the building – he has left the state and gone to Memphis – time for us to leave as well.








Virtual Travel – Minnesota

Welcome to Minnesota!

2015 09 06 171 Duluth MN.JPG



State Capitol and Symbols

1941 – State Flag      1955 – Capitol     1958 – Centennial     1972 – Capitol



The Minnesota State Capitol is located in St Paul. The design was modeled after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and was completed in 1905.

2012 07 12 48 St Paul Minnesota.JPG


Among the unusual State Symbols are (photos from statesymbols.org):

State Fruit – Honeycrisp Apple. This apple was developed by the University of Minnesota in 1991. It is known for it’s sweetness and firmness.

Honeycrisp apples


State Muffin – Blueberry. Due to the abundance of wild blueberries that grow native in northeastern Minnesota (as well as seemingly all over Canada). In addition it uses wheat, another Minnesota staple.

Blueberry muffin



State Soil – Lester Soil. Found in 17 southern Minnesota counties, this soil is a result of the woods that originally covered the area. It is very fertile for growing corn and soybeans.



State Sport – Hockey. Minnesota is often referred to as the State of Hockey (photo by Doug Wallack on Flickr)


The U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame is in the town of Evleth. (photos from US Hockey Hall of Fame)

United States Hockey Hall of Fame.jpg   




Lake Superior

1946     1967     2003     2013

Government State Minnesota 1946.jpg


Lake Superior has for centuries been an important transportation route. Much of the development of the United States was aided by the iron ore found in northern Minnesota, used in the production of iron and steel.

The ore would make it to Duluth, where it was loaded onto freighters and shipped south to Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland for production.

2015 09 06 190 Duluth MN


2015 09 06 179 Duluth MN.JPG


Much of the Minnesota shoreline along Lake Superior however is still mostly undeveloped, offering scenic camping and boating opportunities.

Palisades Head (next 3 photos from Wikipedia)


Split Rock Lighthouse



High Falls of Pigeon River


Grand Marais Harbor (photo from minnesotamonthly.com)

grand marais, grand marais harbor, minnesota travel, lake superior


The lake however can kick up some mean storms…

2015 09 06 214 Duluth MN

2015 09 06 211 Duluth MN




1950      1954     2011


Minnesota’s motto has always been Land of 10,000 Lakes. Their neighbors, Wisconsin, claim to have 15,000. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources claim any body of water larger than 10 acres is a lake, and therefore they have 11,842. Wisconsin claims 15,000 but has no such minimum.

Minnesota has 2.6 million acres of lakes, compared to Wisconsin’s 1 million – so Minnesota wins!

2015 09 07 21 Akeley MN.JPG


Next 2 photos from website Green is the New Black.

The Land of 10,000 Lakes - Green Is The New Black. - Medium



There are even lakes in the middle of Minneapolis.

2012 07 13 80 Minneapolis.JPG


Northern Minnesota Lake areas appears to be the capital of larger than life animal sculptures





1968     1970     1973     1987 – Maple Leaf Drive


The saying in Minnesota is they have 2 seasons – 4th of July and Winter! (Photo from Minnesota Dept of Transportation)


All this cold does produce nice photos (from website awaywithmaja)





1976 – Roads over the years

Government State Minnesota 1976.jpg


The first government built roads in Minnesota were built in the 1850s to support military movements. They followed original ox cart paths that the earlier pioneers developed.

The Point Douglas – St Louis River Road Bridge below is the oldest existing bridge in the state, dating from 1865. (photo from startribune.com)

The Point Douglas-St. Louis River Road Bridge near Stillwater was built in 1863 from locally quarried limestone rock. The bridge once carried part of


Because of Minnesota far north location none of the famed transcontinental roads traversed the state.

With all the lakes, rivers and creeks, there are a number of bridges throughout the state, including covered bridges, and iron truss bridges. (photos from streetsmn.com)



One of the more interesting bridges is this small one in northern Minnesota. Note the sign on the right – it is the shortest Mississippi River crossing, as the ‘Great River’ is no more than a creek at this point near it’s headwater.

2015 09 07 11 Jacobson MN.JPG


The bridge below links Duluth with Superior, Wisconsin. Note the float plane in the sky.

2015 09 06 191 Duluth MN.JPG



The Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth Harbor is noteworthy as it was the first, and one of only two ‘transporter bridges’. Note the gondola suspended below transporting people and goods. It was later modified to be a traditional lift bridge.


2015 09 06 185 Duluth MN


Lift bridge in the inner harbor.

2015 09 06 235 Duluth MN.JPG



Minneapolis – St Paul

2005     2009     2015


The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul are one of America’s major metropolitan areas. With a population of around 4 million people, it makes up 3/4ths of the population of the state.

Both cities developed because of a natural falls of the Mississippi.

Minneapolis Aerial View (Photo from Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)

A new approach to improving air in Minneapolis | Minnesota ...


St Paul (Photo from twincities.com)



St Paul scenes



Minneapolis Riverfront


Target Field


Minneapolis Sculpture Garden












Virtual Travel – Maryland

For such a small state in area, Maryland has a very diverse topology, as well as culture. From the vast Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains, the state offers many scenic places to visit.

1949 – 1987 – 2011 – Images of Maryland


The oldest map in the collection is from 1949, and has a graceful elegance, with the state flag on a black background. As with most states, Maryland has a state bird and flower, but they go above and beyond with 23 different state symbols. The more unusual include:

The State Exercise – You would think it would be creative but the Maryland legislature took it upon themselves to designate Walking as the state exercise!

For a while they celebrated this with the Bay Bride Walk, but apparently it has been cancelled.

2006 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Walk


Maryland State Cat – Calico. Why? Because it’s colors match the Baltimore Orioles colors. (and yes it took about 5 seconds on pintrest to find a cat with an Orioles helmet on.)

Simba doesn't look happy to be an #orioles #fan #mlb #cat … | Flickr


Maryland State Dessert – Smith Island Cake. This island on the Chesapeake Bay is only reachable via boat. This cake comes in multiple layers, up to 15, filled with creme, frosting, crushed candy bars, and chocolate icing. Originally they were made for the fall oyster harvest.





Outdoors – 1961 – 2003 – 2005


Since 1986 the State Highway Administration has worked to improve the area around the highways with wildflowers.

The state flower is the Black Eyed Susan (photos from wikipedia)

Grow Black Eyed Susan – How to Plant & Care for Rudbeckia Flowers ...


Northeastern Wildflowers    Northeastern Wildflowers


The wildflowers are an added feature as you make your way north of Balitmore to the horse country. Maryland is known for it’s fox hunts.

It is said that in this area fox hunting is more popular than football?

Forget football, in Maryland's horse country foxhunting is the ...


Fortunately they use horses for thoroughbred racing as well. The second leg of the Triple Crown is the Preakness at Pimlico Race Track in Balitmore. (Photo from Philadelphia Inquirer)

Preakness 2019: Start time, how to watch and stream




Roads 1966 – 1975 – 2000 – 2009 – 2015

National Road – Middle Left     Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge – Lower Left        Thomas Johnson Bridge – Lower Right

While not the first road in Maryland, the National Road is easily the most famous. Starting in the town of Cumberland this route took early pioneers across the Allegheny Mountains to Wheeling, West Virginia and on to St Louis.

Construction on the National Road started in 1811 in Cumberland. It would reach Wheeling in 1818. This first stretch was the most difficult, as it had to traverse the mountains. (Photo from Maryland Tourism website)

Unique Sites Along the National Road | Visit Maryland


The first interstate built in Maryland was the Jones Falls Expressway. For many years it was the only freeway in Baltimore as residents fought having additional ones built through their neighborhoods. This is evident with the Eastern Termination of Interstate 70 just before the city limits.

There are still fewer freeways in Baltimore than in most major American cities.


One of the most impressive roadways in Maryland is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Crossing the bay from Annapolis for over 4.5 miles, it rises to a height of 186′ above the water, with low guardrails, high winds, and no shoulders, earn it spots on the scariest bridges lists.

2016 11 07 9 Annapolis MD Bay Bridge.jpg




Sailing – 1969 – 1978 – 1984 – 1993 – 1999

Maryland Dove and a Skipjack


Maryland has always been a seafaring state. With Baltimore as the primary harbor, ships of all sorts have graced the bay.

Among the most famous is the ‘Dove’, an early 17th century English ship. It has been recreated as the Maryland Dove, and is featured on the 1984 map cover. Her home port is St Mary’s, Maryland. (photos from Wikipedia)

Maryland Dove.jpg


The skipjack is a fishing boat used on the Chesapeake Bay for oyster dredging. It is so popular it is the official boat of the State of Maryland. It is featured on the 1999 map above.

Finally the Baltimore Clipper. A fast sailing ship it was used in the mid 1800s as cargo ships.



Down at the Shore – 1991 – 1997

Assateague Island is a barrier island just off the coast of Maryland (as well as going into Virginia). This island has a large feral horse population.

The island is a National Seashore.

2016 11 07 94 Assateague National Seashore MD.jpg


2016 11 07 91 Assateague National Seashore MD.jpg


2016 11 07 66 Assateague National Seashore MD.jpg




Baltimore – 1970 – 1979 – 2007

Maryland’s largest city (by far), Baltimore has a very long history. It has a huge harbor, and a secondary smaller inner harbor that abuts downtown.

Baltimore was the second city in the United States to reach 100,000 residents, doing so by the 1840 census. It was passed by Philadelphia as the second largest city in the 1860 census.

While much of the city is still economically challenged, the inner harbor has for decades enjoyed redevelopment.

2016 11 06 202 Baltimore MD.jpg


2018 05 05 2 Baltimore


2016 11 06 199 Baltimore MD.jpg


Industry still surrounds the harbor beyond.

2018 05 04 130 Baltimore Observation Deck.jpg


It is a traditional east coast city with row houses, and small city lot single family houses.

2018 05 04 157 Baltimore Observation Deck.jpg



One of the most beautiful libraries in the world is in Baltimore, the George Peabody Library.

2018 05 04 8 Baltimore Peabody Library.JPG



Baltimore holds an annual Kinetics Festival, bringing out the best of their creativity.

2018 05 05 186 Baltimore Kinetics Festival.jpg


2018 05 05 101 Baltimore Kinetics Festival.jpg




Various Cities & Towns 1971 – 2001 – 2017

Upper Right – Ocean City Convention Center (1971)

Lower – Fredrick


The Eastern Shore of Maryland has it’s fair share of kitschy entertainment.

2016 11 07 58 Ocean City MD.jpg


2016 11 07 52 Ocean City MD.jpg



We made a stop in Ocean City one November day to find the town completely empty.

2016 11 07 49 Ocean City MD.jpg


2016 11 07 27 Ocean City MD.jpg


It is a bit more crowded in the summer. (photo from Maryland Coast Dispatch)

05/21/2018 | Ocean City Ranked A Top 10 Hot Summer Destination ...



Mountains – 1981 – 2007 – 2013



Sideling Hill is a small mountain in Western Maryland that has an impressive cut through the top to allow the interstate to pass through. The rest area at the top has an observation deck to allow you to get even higher for a panoramic view of the area.

2018 05 08 29 Hancock MD Siedling Hill.jpg


The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was one of the earliest forms of transportation in the state. Maryland has a lot to offer, not to mention it is next door to Washington, DC.

2018 05 08 8 Hancock MD C & O Canal Four Locks.jpg


2018 05 08 16 Hancock MD C & O Canal Four Locks.jpg