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.

Southeastern Ohio – October 2020 – Random Views

While travelling around for great drone views, there are still plenty of views from the ground.

Rock Mill and Covered Bridge – Fairfield County

Fairfield County Fall Views.

Interesting pattern to a vacant building covered in weeds in bloom, in October.

Fall views in Licking County.

Dillon Reservoir.

Fall view with Muskingum River in the background.

Industrial Scene in Zanesville.

Dam and Locks in Philo.

Vintage bridge in McConnellsville.

Classic architecture in McConnellsville.

Former coal mining town of Glouster.

Southern Ohio – October 2020 – Views from Above

Todays Drone Tour starts out along the Ohio River at Portsmouth. The first view shows the flood wall covered in murals (later posting revisiting the murals).

The sun was just rising in the east, giving the U.S. Grant Bridge and the Ohio River some interesting lighting.

The Carl Perkins Bridge across the Ohio River, where the Scioto River enters.

The hills in Kentucky with the clouds reflected in the river.

Spartan Stadium was home to the NFL’s Portsmouth Spartans from 1928 until 1933, when the NFL had teams in relatively small cities. The Spartans moved to Detroit and live on to this day as the Detroit Lions.

An overview of the city of Portsmouth. The town has for decades lost population, dropping from a high of 43,000 in 1930 to the current population of 20,000.

The view east

Norfolk Southern Railroad has a large yard along the river in east Portsmouth.

Lake White State Park near Waverly.

The next stop was the city of Chillicothe. This view is of a large paper mill.

The same neighborhood has this large grain elevator. Unfortunately at this time the rain came and the drone became grounded.

Southeastern Ohio – October 2020 – Views From Above

Todays drone tour starts out in Newark, with the world’s largest basket (building). Previously the headquarters for the Longenberger Basket Company, it is now vacant.

A view of eastern Licking County on a frosty early October morning.

Black Hand Gorge is a scenic area of Licking County.

Additional views of the Black Hand Gorge Natural Area

Views of Dillon Dam and reservoir.

Muskingum County hills.

With more confident drone flying a return to Zanesville allowed me to get a better view of the famed Y Bridge from 250′ up.

The primary destination on this day was the Muskingum River Valley. This view is in Zanesville.

There are a series of dams and locks along the river as it makes it’s way south. This one is located between the towns of Philo and Duncan Falls, and is known as Dam Number 9.

The right side gives a view of the bridges between the towns – the new one was recently opened.

The valley extends for more than 100 miles through southeastern Ohio.

Lock and Dam Number 8 is known as Rokeby Lock.

The tour this day ended at the town of McConnellsville, and the 1913 truss bridge.

Burr Oak State Park Lake.

The final stop for today is in Nelsonville, and an overview of the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad terminal.

Portsmouth, Ohio – October 2020 – Floodwall Murals

Portsmouth easily has one of the best collection of murals in the country. They have taken a massive, ugly concrete flood wall and created almost 1/2 mile of murals celebrating the towns history.

The drone view give an idea of how large they are – this is just a small portion.

The theme of the walls was 2000 years of history in 2000 feet of flood walls. They were created by a team lead by Robert Dafford, a famed mural painter.

Most sections of the wall are 40′ wide x 20′ high. Some, such as the view of Portsmouth in 1903, take up multiple sections.

Some aren’t even on the flood wall, including this mural on the side of the local Kroger Grocery store.

The floodwall not only runs along the river but in places goes inland. One of the inland sections celebrates sports, including the ‘Tour of the Scioto River Valley’, an annual bicycling event that goes the 100 miles from Columbus to Portsmouth, then back.

Another section of the inland wall includes a tribute to the local labor unions.

Another includes Portsmouth’s rich baseball history.

The original U.S Grant bridge is featured on this panel.

For a short time there was an amusement park located in Portsmouth, but it was badly damaged in the 1913 flood.

The shoe industry was one of the major employers in Portsmouth.

Streetcars provided transportation from the late 1800s until 1939.

Government Square was the center of the city in the early 1900s.

The murals are done with fantastic depth.

One of the original NFL teams, the Portsmouth Spartans.

Portsmouth has had a few devastating floods, including 1937.

Chillicothe Street has always been the main commercial street in town.

Industry in Portsmouth.

A close up of the detail of the right panel for industry.

A 3 panel education mural shows various periods.

Situated in southernmost Ohio, the railroads have always been an important part of Portsmouth’s industry.

The Portsmouth Motorcycle Club is the oldest in the world, having been founded in 1893. Obviously it had to be founded as a bicycle club first since the first motorcycle was not invented until 1898.

It was known as the Portsmouth Cycling Club from 1893 until 1913.

This western view would be the actual view if the flood wall was not in the way.

Much like the European settlers later, the Native Americans utilized trails that went through the area. One originated on Lake Erie near Sandusky and went south along the Scioto River to Portsmouth.

The original village was known as Alexandria, but was abandoned due to frequent flooding.

The first European settlers arrived in larger numbers in the early 1800s.

The completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal was a boom to the area.

Built in 1901 this rail station served both Norfolk and Western as well as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroads. It was used until 1931 when an art deco station was completed.

A close up of the Chillicothe Street mural.

The Riverfront in 1903.

The Portsmouth Murals are one of the most impressive art installations in Ohio – well worth a trip.

Central Ohio – October 2020 – Views From Above Part 4

This posting of drone views focuses on the fall foliage.

The leaves seem to be changing fast, so it is a tough call to wait a week, or capture the mix of green, and the changed leaves. Clearly the tree lawn trees in this neighborhood are all the same, as they all have the same red leaves for the moment.

One of my personal favorite photos in a long time – Alum Creek State Park.

Another nearby view.

The trees are changing but with enough chemicals the golf courses will stay green until December.

Delaware Ohio State Park

The dam for the park. Whoever lives in the house in the foreground has the greatest confidence in the dam, and clearly is not a Johnstown, Pennsylvania native.

A return to Fairfield County covered bridges, and in the case below, an old canal lock.

This challenged my drone flying – a small space between the power lines, the trees, and the ravine.

Another tight spot for a bridge view – note how close the tree on the right is.

A neighborhood in Lancaster. The large house on the hill appears to be ruling over the smaller ones scattered across the photo like some old English estate.