A brief stop in Wichita, the last city of any size before heading west across the vast plains and into the desert. So they have that going for them.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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/
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/
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 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 24 – Crushed Corvettes https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2017/01/14/national-parks-road-trip-day-24-back-to-ohio/
Welcome to Mississippi, the Magnolia State.
State Capitol & Symbols
The State Capitol in Jackson was completed in 1903, using a typical Beaux Arts style. (Photos from Wikipedia)
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.
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’.
State Reptile – American Alligator
State Shell – Oyster Shell
State Fossil – Prehistoric Whales
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.
The Piney Woods region is flatlands covered in pine trees. (photo from American Forest Foundation)
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)
1983 1986 1994 2001 2003 2004 2005 2006 2011
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.
The Great River Road follows the Mississippi through towns like Clarksdale.
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.
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.
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.
Welcome to Minnesota!
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.
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.
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.
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)
1946 1967 2003 2013
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.
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)
The lake however can kick up some mean storms…
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!
Next 2 photos from website Green is the New Black.
There are even lakes in the middle of Minneapolis.
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
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)
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.
The bridge below links Duluth with Superior, Wisconsin. Note the float plane in the sky.
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.
Lift bridge in the inner harbor.
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)
St Paul (Photo from twincities.com)
St Paul scenes
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
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.
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.)
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)
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?
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)
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)
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.
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)
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.
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.
Industry still surrounds the harbor beyond.
It is a traditional east coast city with row houses, and small city lot single family houses.
One of the most beautiful libraries in the world is in Baltimore, the George Peabody Library.
Baltimore holds an annual Kinetics Festival, bringing out the best of their creativity.
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.
We made a stop in Ocean City one November day to find the town completely empty.
It is a bit more crowded in the summer. (photo from Maryland Coast Dispatch)
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.
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.