Virtual Travel – Utah

2015 09 14 28

Welcome to Utah – the land of immense beauty and strange liquor laws.

We spent a week touring the National Parks in 2015 – they are all amazing, as well as the other scenery in the state.

 

History

1945     2002     2013

 

 

Salt Lake City – The capital and largest city in Utah, Salt Lake City is the center of the commercial aspect of the state.

The State Capitol is your typical building. It was completed in 1916, 20 years after Utah became a state. (photos from Wikupedia)

Utah State Capitol

 

State Symbols

The State Bird is a California Gull! They are credited with saving the crops in 1848 by eating the crickets that were eating the crops. (photos from statesymbols.org)

 

State Cooking Pot – Dutch Oven

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Spike – The point where the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869.

 

 

Hovenweep – A well maintained early Puebloan village in far southeastern Utah.

 

 

National Parks

1953 – Arches     1958 – Bryce     1963 Zion – Virgin River     1967 – Canyonlands – Angel Arch     1972 – Zion     1974 – Canyonlands Angel Arch     1979 – Bryce – Aqua Canyon     1995 – Bryce     2011 – Canyonlands

 

 

Zion National Park

 

 

Bryce National Park

 

 

Capital Reef National Park

 

 

Arches National Park

 

 

Canyonlands National Park

 

 

Natural Bridges National Monument (one step down from a National Park)

 

 

 

More Outdoors

1964 – Big Cottonwood Canyon     1965 – Lake Powell Rainbow Bridge     1970 Calf Creek Lower Falls     1971 – Monument Valley     1977 Manti-La Sal Forest     1986 – Eagle Canyon     2000 – Unidentified     2007 – Dirt Devil River Slot Canyon

 

Southwest Utah

 

 

Escalante & Devil’s Garden

 

Eastern Utah

 

 

Mexican Hat in Far Southeastern Utah. The great dirt road is Moki Dugway, dropping 1100′ in 3 miles of a dirt road. It was fantastic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – Texas

Texas!

2015 09 22 35 Amarillo TX

 

Texas is a big state with a great variety of places for photography, therefore this is a LONG posting.

 

 

 

 

Texas Culture

1952     1958     1991     2007     2009     2011     2012     2016

 

 

Austin – State Capital

2009 08 27 63 Austin

 

The Texas State Capitol dates from 1885. The land it is on was acquired in a barter deal, 3 million acres of Texas Panhandle for this land!

Texas shows it’s Tex-Mex history in the state foods…

State Pastries – two – Strudel & Sopiapilla

Apple strudel     

 

State Small Mammal – Armadillo

 

 

 

The city of Austin is proud of it’s motto – Keep Austin Weird.

With the music scene, including a statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the Congress Street bats it is a great place to be.

 

 

 

Prairies

1949     1969     1972     2013     2014

 

Roads & Bridges

1954     1964     1974     1975     1977     1978    1983     1987

 

I have more Texas Official Highway Maps than any other state. So many this section has combined the Prairies with the Highways which is appropriate because it features Amarillo and Route 66

 

Amarillo

You are half way there – IF you are going from Chicago to Los Angeles, or vice versa.

 

 

The legendary Cadillac Ranch. For more than 40 years people have been spray painting these cars. The good folks of Amarillo liked the planted Cadillacs they have expanded (in different parts of town) to VW Beetles and Combines.

 

 

Mountains

1953     1959     1970     1993     2017

 

 

Terlingua  – The ‘ghost town’ of Terlingua is a former mining town, but is not vacant, as it is a destination for tourist from Big Bend National Park.

Once a year they hold the world’s largest chili cook-off.

 

 

Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. These two parks cover much of the Rio Grande Valley of West Texas. Their natural scenery is stunning.

A plus is being able to take a row boat across the river to Mexico for lunch in Bouillas.

 

 

Marathon – Gage Hotel   We had the good fortune of spending the night in this crossroads town on the way to Big Bend. The Gage Hotel is a historic property that attracts people just for the atmosphere and food.

 

 

Langtry – Made famous by Judge Roy Bean and his Law West of the Pecos, and even more famous when Paul Newman starred in a movie of the same name. The town is pretty much vacant, but the area is scenic.

Nearby is Seminole Canyon State Historic Park. This park holds significant cave art.

 

 

 

Cities & Beaches

1961     1968     2015     2019

 

 

San Antonio. While the city is large, it has a feel very different than Houston or Dallas. The downtown is much more compact, with a significant amount of Art Deco architecture.

 

 

Missions – There are five missions in San Antonio, and four of those are maintained by the National Park Service (the 5th is the Alamo). Mission San Jose is the most impressive architecturally.  Our day in San Antonio included a visit to Mission Concepcion.

 

Alamo – The most famous mission in the state, and likely the country, it is not known for it’s service as the Mission San Antonio de Valero, but more so it’s use as a fort in the Mexican independence effort when a group of Texas soldiers died defending it.

 

 

Houston – The city is the 4th largest city in the country, with 2.3 million people in the city. It is the 5th largest metro area (by some calculations) with 7 million people.

The city has more buildings over 150m (492′) than any city in the United States other than New York, Chicago and Miami.

There are still a few historic buildings downtown, but many have been destroyed over the years as they went taller and newer.

 

 

Houston Art – One of the great finds in our travels was the very cool, quirky art of Houston. From top to bottom. Giant Presidential Heads – Sanctioned Graffiti – Beer Can House – Luck Land – Smithers Park.

 

 

Parks and Rec  Houston also provided some unique ‘park’ experiences – from going under the Buffalo Bayou Park to see the Cistern, to the Botanical Gardens, and finally inside for some baseball.

 

 

Galveston     Another pleasant surprise was Galveston. It seemed like 3 cities in one – the typical seaside resort with amusement rides and motels, a great state park natural area, and finally the historic area on the bay side.

 

 

Dallas – Fort Worth    While Houston gained lots of photos on this posting I have actually been to Dallas far more, just some time ago and without a camera.

Dallas is corporate, Fort Worth is cowboy (I know – stereotypes, but it seems to fit).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – New Mexico

Welcome to New Mexico. As you will see by the length of this post, New Mexico was one of the last states I got to but has become one of my favorites.

2019 05 27 191 Carlsbad NM.jpg

 

2015 09 22 16 Tucumcari NM

 

 

State Capitol – In my opinion (!) the New Mexico State Capitol is the very finest in the country. Located in Santa Fe, which is amazing by itself, this is the only round capitol in the country.

It was designed to represent the Zia sun symbol when viewed from the air. This is the symbol on the New Mexico State Flag.

2015 09 21 81 Santa Fe NM

 

Unique State Symbols

Official Litter Control Mascot – Dusty the Roadrunner.

 

State Cookie – Biscochito

 

 

State Guitar – New Mexico Sunrise Guitar

 

 

 

 

New Mexico Cultures

1946        1973 Acoma         2007 Abo Ruins

 

 

Santa Fe – It seems as though New Mexico has a better respect for all of the cultures that exist in their state than most, and Santa Fe as the capital and cultural center embraces all of those.

Art and culture abound everywhere in the city. It has been recognized by UNESCO as a ‘Creative City’.

In addition Santa Fe was established before the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, and is home to the oldest public building in the United States (photo on bottom row – with bell at the top).

 

2015 09 20 161 Santa Fe NM

 

 

Albuquerque – Easily the largest city in the state with a metro population of around 1 million, Albuquerque is cultural unique like Santa Fe, but with a much more urban feel to it.

 

Hotel Andaluz – We were lucky enough to spend our one night in Albuquerque at the Hotel Andaluz. This historic hotel was opened in 1939, with an extensive remodel occurring in 2008.

 

 

 

Artesia – This small town celebrates it’s oil industry history with a collection of sculptures around town.

2019 05 28 19 Artesia NM