Barre, Vermont – August 2019 – Rockin’ Out in Vermont

While New Hampshire may be known as the Granite State, Vermont has their fair share. Their statehouse is a great example of Vermont granite.



Just outside the nearby town of Barre is the Rock of Ages Granite Company.



It is like many of the old company towns I grew up seeing in Pennsylvania and Ohio, only instead of coal it is granite – everywhere.



When you arrive at the top of the mountain and look down you see this massive pit. It is 600′ deep, but 300′ of it is under water.



Everything is super sized here, as they cut away giant chunks of granite for processing.



This quarry has been used for over 100 years. Their tools today are much better than the early days, which have been left behind. In the early days they climbed down these sketchy looking ladders to use drilling and dynamite to break the granite apart.



The years of removal have left interesting patterns on the quarry walls.



The tall yellow tower was used to bring the multi ton pieces up to the surface.



It was dangerous work.



As we made our way back down the mountain we passed their stockyard. Nothing was behind fences as the threat of something carrying away a rock weighing thousands of pounds without getting noticed is fairly low.



It wouldn’t even fit in their pickup truck.



We arrived while the factory was on lunch, so we spent some time bowling on the granite bowling lane, with granite pins. They claim that they used to use real bowling balls, but the pins would break the balls, so now they use foam.



The factory is quiet…. for the moment.



The crew has returned. With the weight everything is moved with cranes.



The granite business has gone down tremendously over the years. In the early years much was used in the construction industry (all those cool Art Deco buildings), but now it is relegated to mostly head stones. Even those aren’t used as much as in the past.



This day all the work we saw was on the aforementioned headstones.







Artisans still do the detail work.


And someone named David is about to get his headstone.





Washington DC – June 2018 – Views of the City

A day and a half in DC gave the opportunity to visit numerous museums (later posts) as well as check out the town. This post are randoms views of the city.

Starting with an unusual view of the Washington Monument down the tracks.

2018 06 03 1 Washington DC.jpg

 

 

 

Stores near Eastern Market

2018 06 03 5 Washington DC Eastern Market.jpg

 

 

 

The Eastern Market interior. I was surprised how small it was.

2018 06 03 8 Washington DC Eastern Market.jpg

 

 

 

A lone runner going past the capital. The reason there are no people around is the visitor center is underneath, and the police keep everyone off the steps.

2018 06 03 61 Washington DC U.S. Capital.jpg

 

 

 

The aforementioned police.

2018 06 03 66 Washington DC U.S. Capital.jpg

 

 

 

 

For those who read this blog that are not from America – nearly every 8th grader (13-14 year olds) make a field trip to Washington DC. They always have matching shirts so their chaperones can keep track of them.

2018 06 03 70 Washington DC U.S. Capital.jpg

 

 

 

Apparently DC ducks don’t fly, so they have a ramp to get into the reflecting pool.

2018 06 03 76 Washington DC U.S. Capital.jpg

 

 

 

The view down the Mall

2018 06 03 171 Washington DC.jpg

 

 

 

A well protected fountain

2018 06 03 175 Washington DC Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.jpg

 

 

 

The famed Watergate Hotel/Apartment Complex.

2018 06 03 384 Washington DC Watergate.jpg

 

 

 

And finally a ride on the Metro.

2018 06 03 380 Washington DC Metro.jpg

 

Harrisburg, PA – May 2018 – Pennsylvania State Capital

In our travels we have seen half of the state capitals in America without really trying. Amazingly we had not seen the Pennsylvania state capital, despite having lived in that state for many years. Since we were in the area we stopped by.

We were immediately blown away by how ornate the interior is.

2018 05 07 299 Harrisburg PA State Capital.jpg

 

 

 

 

The walls and ceilings have decoration throughout, with stained glass and other impressive features.

2018 05 07 301 Harrisburg PA State Capital.jpg

 

 

 

The rotunda has medallions and lunettes.

2018 05 07 307 Harrisburg PA State Capital.jpg

 

 

 

The chambers are equally ornate.

2018 05 07 318 Harrisburg PA State Capital.jpg

 

 

 

The rotunda has an amazing ceiling. Who knew Pennsylvania had such an amazing capital.

2018 05 07 340 Harrisburg PA State Capital.jpg