Virtual Travel – British Columbia

Our last province, British Columbia. As the saying goes, we saved the best for last!

2017 09 06 34 Rearguard Falls BC - Copy

 

 

We start out in far southeastern BC at the town of Sparwood. Named for the lumber that went into making spars (poles) for ships, Sparwood is a mining town. As you enter town you can’t miss Terex Titan, one of the largest trucks in the world, now retired in front of the visitor center.

 

 

Eastern BC has a number of great waterfalls including those below: Helmcken, Dawson and Rearguard Falls.

2017 09 06 50 Helmcken Falls BC - Copy

 

 

The town of Lake Country BC is home to a Kangaroo Farm! It was very cool, especially holding a baby kangaroo.

2017 09 07 62 Lake Country BC Kangaroo Farm - Copy

 

 

High above the town of Kamloops is the Myrna Canyon Trestle Trail. Once a railway, now one of the best bike paths anywhere.

2017 09 07 111 Kelowna BC Myrna Canyon Tresle Trail - Copy

 

 

In Hope BC there is another path, much lower that goes through the Othello Tunnels. Nearby is the Bridal Veil Falls.

2017 09 08 23 Hope BC Othello Tunnels Trail - Copy

 

 

The Vancouver suburb of Burnaby has a great park with these native statues. The persistent rain and fog added to the atmosphere.

2017 09 08 60 Burnaby BC - Copy

 

 

Capilano Park in North Vancouver has an amazing bridge (that bounces!) and a forest canopy walk, along with more totem poles.

2017 09 08 121d Vancouver Capilano Park - Copy

 

 

Vancouver is one of the world’s great cities. Situated on a bay, with islands and the mountains, the views are fantastic. They have height limits on the buildings so that they don’t block the views.

 

 

The Museum of Anthropology has the largest native sculpture collection anywhere.

2017 09 09 16 Vancouver MOA

 

 

Vancouver is even better from the ‘Lookout’, especially after a nice walk along the harbour.

2017 09 09 293 Vancouver

 

 

Vancouver has character!

 

 

 

Our final stop is Victoria, on Vancouver Island (which Vancouver is not). BC Ferries will get you there.

2017 09 10 25 Ferry to Victoria BC

 

 

 

The city is the capital of the province, and has a great history.

2017 09 10 233 Victoria BC

 

 

It is also home to numerous gardens, including Hartley Castle and Gardens.

2017 09 10 50 Victoria BC Hatley Castle & Gardens

 

 

 

Our virtual trips across North America has come to an end, but there is more coming – up next Chicago – History through Maps and Photos…. stay tuned.

 

 

Breezewood, Pennsylvania – August 2019 – Abandoned Turnpike

The Pennsylvania Turnpike was America’s first ‘superhighway’. Built primarily along a disused railroad right of way in the 1930s, it set the standard for all interstates to come after.

When first built it passed through 7 tunnels as you make your way through the Appalachian Mountains. Originally the 4 lane highway narrowed to 2 lanes for each of these tunnels, but they always caused traffic jams, so in the 1960s they added a second tunnel to have a continuous 4 lanes across the state.

During this expansion there were 3 tunnels that were bypassed by building the highway up over the mountains. Two of these are in a 13 mile stretch that was completely abandoned. About 20 years ago the Turnpike Commission deeded them over to the Southern Allegheny Conservancy, and it now serves as one of the more unique bike trails in the country.







After a 2 mile hike we reached the first tunnel…


At 2500′ long it was one of the shortest on the turnpike…



You likely can make it through without a lantern but we went about 1/2 way in and decided to head back…

The second tunnel further on up is the Sideling Hill Tunnel, which was the longest on the turnpike at almost 6800′ long. Clearly we need to come back with bikes and really bright lanterns.





Instead we enjoyed the graffiti display…







And headed back the 2 miles to the car. It is a really interesting experience walking along this old road, knowing how many million cars, trucks and people had traveled along this same route.





New Orleans – May 2019 – Getting Around The Big Easy

Getting to and around New Orleans has always been an adventure. Situated near the mouth of the Mississippi, the city is essentially surrounded by water and swamps.

While most people likely fly into the airport, or take I-10 from Mobile or Baton Route, the best route into the city by car is from the north across Lake Pontchartrain.



The Lake Pntchartrain Causeway is a 24 mile long bridge. Completed in the 1950s it is to this day the longest bridge in the world over water.



Which results in a funny looking navigation system – we are in the middle of the lake, still 14 miles from shore.



Eventually you get close enough to see the skyline of the city off in the distance.



Once you make it to town you see plenty of the ride share bicycles.



Although this person chose his own unique ride.



The Port of New Orleans is one of the busiest ports in the country, with constant ships coming in off the Gulf of Mexico and up the Mississippi River.



The tugboats stay busy all day.



At the base of Canal Street is the tourist ship The Natchez, a faux stern-wheeler.



The best transportation however are the streetcars.





New Orleans turned out to be a fairly easy city to navigate.






Columbus – March 2019 – An Afternoon Circus

The Ohio Expo Center (aka – State Fairgrounds) has numerous events every weekend, with the past weekend offering such diverse events as an Archery event, Gymnastics competition, a Roller Derby bout, and the circus.

While we intended to check out the roller derby, we ended up at the Shriners Circus.





The ringmaster tried to energize the afternoon crowd.



The local shriners were the clowns, entertaining the kids with their shtick.








With circus’s today retiring most of the animal, the acts were a collection of skilled entertainers – such as the BMX bike riders.







This lady is the perfect spouse, she could change from one outfit to another in (literally) 2 seconds. After seeing this I looked it up on the internet and apparently ‘quick change artists’ is a growing act.





The circus featured an act with a car that would do all sorts of things on it’s own, terrorizing the driver.





A group of trained rescue dogs were the best act – why bring jumps when the hostess can do handstands.









A father – daughter duo did an act where they were 50 feet in the air on these poles that swayed back and forth, until they finally traded poles.





The finale featured a couple of guys on their motorcycles doing jumps and flips.





Given the relatively low ceiling, their jumps took them into the rafters. While not the greatest entertainment we have ever seen, the performers gave their best and the profits all goes to a good cause.







Volo, Illinois – December 2018 – Movie Cars and More

Late December found us back in Chicago again. For this cold, rainy day we made our way to the far (far) suburb of Volo to check out the Volo Auto Museum

As it turned out it was far more than an auto museum.

But first we passed through Niles, Illinois – and the Tower of Pisa (half height replica)

Finally we arrived at the Volo Auto Museum. It is a collection of 18 different buildings and shelters. Volo is unique in that almost everything is for sale so we saw a great collection of classic cars with prices on them.

As we made our way into the first building it was apparent that they had far more than just cars including a collection of nicely restored jukeboxes.

A Zoltar from the movie ‘Big’. There is a large collection of movie props scattered throughout the museum.

Pedal Cars – They had one of the largest collections I have seen (Gilmore had more, but not by much)

Motorized Bicycles – the famed Whizzers.

Kiddie Rides galore

As noted previously, they have a large collection of props from movies, or marketing from the various entertainment groups like Disney or Warner Brothers.

And a small, but classic, camper collection

A great scooter collection.

Snowmobiles.

A very early Ford with tractor drive wheels and ski’s on the front.

But we are here for the cars.

Some of the ‘cars’ are very custom designs – like a Skate Car

Lots of movie and TV cars. All of the cars you see in the movies and on TV are really one of many of the exact same car (often 10 or more). Volo prides themselves in getting one of these original cars.

Usually they are looking for the car that was used for the publicity so it is not all beat up.

Let’s start with KITT from Knight Rider.

Terminator 3

The Beverly Hillbillies Movie

One of the first Fast and Furious movies

The Ecto Mobile from Ghostbusters.

Ninja Turtles

The Bluesmobile.

A more recent Mad Max movie car

A really wacky one from a movie called Son of the Mask

Vehicle and prop from Alien

One of the original 1960s Batman TV show cars.

The Munster’s Car

Christine. Stephen King made us all afraid of this car.

A later Batman movie car

And finally – a prop car for the Flintstones! The Volo Auto Museum is quite the place – well worth a few hours of wandering around.

Cleveland – July 2018 – A Day in Town

Having come to Cleveland for the Fuel Cleveland event, we had enough time to check out a few other sights.

I had recently read they had a velodrome in the Slavic Village neighborhood, so on the way into town we went to check it out – only to find that the freeway was closed due to construction.

Never fear – we eventually made it there.

2018 07 28 47 Cleveland Velodrome.jpg

 

 

Amazingly there are only 28 velodromes in all of America.

When we arrived late morning there were a few people practicing.

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The track had a steel structural frame with what appeared to be layers of plywood for the track.

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I was surprised at how steep the banking is.

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We watched them run a few laps and headed out.

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After the motorcycle event, we headed over to Edgewater Park and Wendy Park, where the restoration of a classic old coast guard house continues.

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With a warm July day watercraft of all sizes were out.

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Many seemed content just to park and hang out.

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The railroad lift bridge was down for an extended time, causing a backup of boats – but the trains over-rule pleasure boats every time.

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A sailboat with the high rise apartments in Lakewood in the background.

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An interesting mix of old an new – the newer apartments and Lakefront Rapid (light rail) framed by the old Shoreway Bridge and some of the older buildings that have been restored.

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A mix of skyscrapers downtown.

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Look familiar? It is the light house on this blog’s home page – just not covered in frozen mist.

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I am always amazed that the kayaks will get in the same water as the massive ore boats. Note a view of a portion of the Cleveland Browns Stadium on the right.

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The top of a Cleveland landmark – the Terminal Tower.

2018 07 28 289 Cleveland.jpg

 

 

A lift bridge and a skyscraper.

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From upper Edgewater the view across the harbor shows just how busy it was on the water.

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While on land some artwork makes for an interesting setting for hanging out.

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While we were there 4 different wedding parties came along for their photo opportunity. Running of the Brides Cleveland version.

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Pittsburgh – July 2018 – Bicycle Heaven

Another repeat visit that was totally worth it was a second trip to Bicycle Heaven, located on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

2018 07 08 263 Pittsburgh Bicycle Heaven.jpg

 

 

When you collect a few thousands bicycles you also end up with nice collections of parts – the Schwin exhibit.

2018 07 08 266 Pittsburgh Bicycle Heaven.jpg

 

 

In addition to the massive used bike inventory – they have some new ones that have unique designs.

2018 07 08 275 Pittsburgh Bicycle Heaven.jpg

 

 

There are some nice miniatures along the counter.

2018 07 08 277 Pittsburgh Bicycle Heaven.jpg

 

 

Small bike backed up by large banana seats.

2018 07 08 281 Pittsburgh Bicycle Heaven.jpg

 

 

There are some true vintage bikes scattered about the collection.

2018 07 08 283 Pittsburgh Bicycle Heaven.jpg

 

 

 

As you walk through you see huge piles of bike parts – need a tire?

2018 07 08 293 Pittsburgh Bicycle Heaven.jpg

 

 

Perhaps a chain guard?

2018 07 08 301 Pittsburgh Bicycle Heaven.jpg

 

 

This is known as the Groovy Cranky Panky Sprocket Room.

2018 07 08 310 Pittsburgh Bicycle Heaven.jpg

 

 

There are a few non bikes features.

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A great old peddle airplane.

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Bikes high and low.

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An 1890 bike mixed in.

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Oreo bicycles – must be double stuffed Oreos.

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Bicycle Heaven is always worth a visit, or two.

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