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.

Virtual Travel – Oklahoma

Today’s stop is Oklahoma.

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In the early 1800s the United States government was taking over Native American land at a fast pace. One of the concepts they came up with for the people they were displacing was to create ‘Indian Territory’ in the middle of the country. The map below shows how the area that was to become the state of Oklahoma was divided up amongst the various tribes.

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In 1889 the government was going to open up the area in the middle that was ‘unassigned’. The plan was to allow people to head for this land at noon on April 22, 1889, however a number of people took off early, despite a ‘sooner clause’ stating anyone who did would be denied land. Originally the term Sooner was derogatory, but now it is embraced by most Oklahomans.

In downtown Oklahoma City there is a large statue collection celebrating that day.

 

 

Oklahoma became a state in 1907. The current State Capitol building was completed in 1917, and has the unique feature of a working oil well on the grounds.

 

 

Unusual state symbols of the day

Official State Caricature Artist – Teresa Farrington

 

State Monument – Golden Driller – This guy is huge – 76′ tall.

The Golden Driller monument in Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

 

Native Americans

1958     1991     1993

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The Native American culture is celebrated far and wide throughout Oklahoma. The largest celebration is the Red Earth Festival.This multi day cultural event includes a parade. (photo from Wikipedia)

 

 

Everywhere you go you see signs of the Native culture. Many are excellent tributes, but some are a bit more commercial (like the gas stations with tepees).

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Nature

1975     1977     1983     1985     1986     2009     2011

 

Oklahoma is mostly a vast plains.

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Oklahoma is known as the center of tornado alley, having suffered from numerous deadly tornadoes each year. The National Weather Center is located in Norman, and has a collection of weather collecting devices on display.

 

There are a few areas that aren’t flat plains, like Gloss Mountain.

 

 

There are also hills in Southeastern Oklahoma. (photo from Pintrest)

Aerial View of the Kiamichi Mountains-Southeast Oklahoma-The ...

 

As you travel around the state you come across a number of random sights.

 

 

 

 

Transportation

1980     1995     1996     2008    2011

 

 

Wait, was it left on 28 or right on 82….

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Oil is big business in Oklahoma, once home of Phillips Petroleum.

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Darryl Starbirds’ National Rod and Custom Hall of Fame is located in far eastern Oklahoma. Well worth going out of your way to get there.

 

Grand River Dam.

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Cities and Towns

1999    2001    2003     2005     2007     2015

 

 

Oklahoma City is the state capitol, and largest city (not by much – Tulsa is nearly as large). It is a nice city, with a decent downtown, and a hipster neighborhood called Bricktown.

 

 

Tulsa – As noted, Tulsa is nearly as large as OKC. It has long been a center of the oil industry.

 

Tulsa has always been a center of the music scene, with the ‘Tulsa Sound’. Eric Clapton is such a fan, most of his band is usually made up of Tulsans.

tulsa, cains ballroom

 

Bartlesville was the headquarters of Phillips Petroleum. It is home to a landmark Frank Lloyd Wright skyscraper.

 

 

Oklahoma seems to be a center for statues.

 

 

Just south of Oklahoma City is the Museum of Osteology.  Oklahoma was surprisingly interesting, well worth a visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – New Hampshire

Welcome to the Granite State – New Hampshire.

Daniel Webster stands guard over the state capitol in Concord.

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The city of Concord is one of the smaller state capitols, with only 43,000 residents. (photo from Wikipedia)

 

 

New Hampshire has their fair share of unique State Symbols. (photos from Statesymbols.org)

State Amphibian – Red Spotted Newt

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State Beverage – Apple Cider

 

 

 

Mountains & Seasons

1962     1973     1977     2001     2010

 

 

Most of the small state of New Hampshire is mountainous, as a northern portion of the Appalachians. Being just a few hours drive from Boston, the state has been a tourist attraction for 150 years.

The maps have often celebrated this physical feature of the state.

The highest, and most famous is Mount Washington. At 6288′ (1918m) it is one of the tallest mountains in the east. It is legendary as having the strongest recorded wind in the country, 231 MPH (372 KPH) before the anemometer blew away. (all photos from Wikipedia)

Driving Mt Washington Auto Road, New Hampshire: The surprising ...

 

The Mount Washington Cog Railway has been a tourist attraction since 1868. This was the world’s first cog railway, and remains to this day as the 2nd steepest railway in the world, having some grades as steep as 37%.

Worcester Living: The Cog Railway celebrates its 150th year of ...

 

 

 

A much smaller mountain in the far southern part of the state is home to the Andres Art Institute. Since 1996 Paul Andres has invited artists from all over the world to come to this former ski area to create their stone and metal sculptures.

It is a workout to see them all, but well worth the effort.

 

 

The most popular tourist season is fall, with the changing of the leaves. The Kancamagus Highway is one of the most scenic routes in the state, having been designated as a National Scenic Byway. (photo from Tripsavvy.com)

 

Among the attractions along this route are the Albany Covered Bridge.

Autumn at Albany Covered Bridge, Albany, New Hampshire, USA

 

The Flume Gorge

Flume Gorge, New Hampshire

 

Sabbaday Falls (photo from NewEnglandWateralls.com)

Sabbaday Falls, New Hampshire

 

Finally – we visit Rocky Gorge. (photo from Alltrails.com)

Photos of Rocky Gorge Scenic Area Trails - New Hampshire | AllTrails

 

 

 

Lakes and Rivers

1970     1972     1974     1976      2006

 

 

There are numerous lakes and rivers throughout the state. The largest, and most popular is Lake Winnipesaukee. This lake is 69 square miles, and has over 250 islands scattered throughout it. (photo from Wikipedia)

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There are a number of large rivers throughout the state including the Connecticut River – separating New Hampshire from Vermont. This river travels 406 miles from it’s start at the Quebec border to the Long Island Sound.

There are an amazing 15 dams in the 406 miles, most in the upper areas of the river. The largest of these is the Moore Reservoir Dam, providing electrical power, flood control and recreation. (photo from EcoPhotography.com). Interestingly the dam, and many others, are owned by a Canadian company.

The Moore Dam and Moore Reservoir on the Connecticut River in ...

 

New Hampshire has a small, but well developed, Atlantic Coastline. The shore is only 13 miles long, wedged between Massachusetts and Maine.

The largest town along the coast is Portmouth. (photos from Boston Magazine.com)

 

 

Non Natural Attractions

The largest city in the state is Manchester. In the early 1800s a canal was opened around a natural waterfalls that spurred the development of water powered cotton mills, prompting one of the early developers to proclaim it is ‘The Manchester of America’ . The former mills line the waterway to this day. (photos from Wikipedia)

Clockwise from top: Manchester skyline from above Amoskeag Falls, Hanover Street, a Fisher Cats game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, the Arms Park Riverwalk and Millyard, the Mill Girl statue at the Millyard, and City Hall.

 

The small town of Warner is home to the New England Telephone Museum. This small, but comprehensive museum has a large collection of telephones, and telephone company equipment from the earliest days through the 1990s.

 

 

 

 

Across America – May 2019 – Random Scenes Part 2

Central Tennessee – Bus Graveyard







Northern Alabama – Rock Zoo





Scottsboro, Alabama – Did you ever lose your luggage on an airplane and never get it back. It likely ended up here, as they buy all of the unclaimed luggage from the airlines and sell it in essentially a thrift store.





Pawhuska, Oklahoma



Bartlesville, Oklahoma – Phillips 66 Petroleum Company Headquarters







Vinita, Oklahoma – Will Rogers Rodeo



Eastern Oklahoma – Pensacola Dam. A mile long and releasing a lot of water because of the recent rains.





Joplin, Missouri – America’s 2nd largest truck stop.



Southern Missouri – Presumed dead armadillo



Somewhere else in Southern Missouri – Coke Machine Graveyard



Scenes around Cairo, Illinois – At the confluence of the Ohio River and Mississippi River – with flooding.











Evansville, Indiana – Restored Greyhound Bus Station, now a hipster hamburger place. Manhattan prices in small town Indiana.

The interior looked nothing like a bus station.



Evansville, Indiana – County Courthouse



Scenes around Louisville, Kentucky







And after 3 weeks of running around the country – back in Ohio (in Cincinnati). Only 2 hours to home.






Columbus – February 2019 – The Ice is Back

This weekend is a bit of a repeat from last weekend with visits to icy places and botanical gardens (to recover from the cold)

While Columbus doesn’t have anything close to Lake Erie, they do have a few streams that have enough drop to have small waterfalls, including Indian Run Falls in Dublin.





The falls are very small, but with enough splash onto the rocks for some nice ice formations.





As noted in the Cleveland ice posting it had warmed up and rained (a lot) but it is now very cold again, resulting in frozen puddles, with interesting patterns frozen in them.




Further down river is Hayden Run Falls, the best in town. There is a nice boardwalk to get back to the falls, crossing over the flooded bottom.





After a short distance you arrive at the falls. The Featured Image for this posting has a closer photo of the falls.





Everything within 200′ of the falls had a nice coating on it from the continual mist coming off the water, although mostly on the side facing the falls.









The ravine walls had numerous icicles all over them










As we made our way back down the boardwalk we could hear the ducks quacking away.





Our last stop was Griggs Dam. Again with all the recent rain and snow melt off there is flooding, so the dam’s for the reservoirs are running at full capacity.





With this being a dam, and not a waterfalls there is little spray to cause ice formation right at the dam, but just down stream the trees along the banks were covered in ice.





They aren’t Niagara Falls, but a nice way to spend a few cold hours on a Sunday morning.







Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky Mountains – Late Fall 2016 Road Trip – Day 9

It was a very winding road from Boone, North Carolina passing through Mountain City on the way. Mountain City had numerous Christmas tree farms preparing the trees for delivery to the holiday sale lots. The two lane road curved through the hills with gorgeous views of trees in autumn colors and valleys with low lying fog.

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Our travel continued to the South Holston Dam, an earth-and-rock filled dam 285 feet high reaching 1,600 feet across the South Fork Holston River in Bristol, Tennessee. Construction of South Holston Dam began in 1942 and was completed in 1950 by the TVA to serve as a hydroelectric facility.  We drove across the top of the dam to reach the visitor center which had a lot of information for us to learn about the history of the TVA and the South Holston Dam.  The height of the dam also offered a beautiful scene of the sun shone through the trees with the fog settled over the river and giving a misty look of the colorful hills.

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A short drive from the dam is Osceola Island and Weir Dam Recreation Area. The weir dam (a dam designed to pool water behind it while also allowing water to flow over) helps control the water along a river, allowing engineers to measure the amount of water moving along the river, and also helps oxygenate the water.  It also makes for a pretty sight.

On an average day water gently tumbles over the ends but this isn’t always the case. The nearby South Holston Dam releases water from time to time as part of their hydroelectric operations. When this happens, three things happen: a loud siren plays a sound that echoes for miles down the river, bright yellow lights begin to flash on a sign cautioning visitors about the sudden increase in flood waters, and the water starts to rage across the top of the weir dam.

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The weir dam was built by the TVA for the purpose to revitalize the river by adding oxygen to the water to promote a healthy environment for fish, insects, and the river. The weir dam had rows of concrete horizontal barriers across the width of the river with interlocking wooden timber walls. The water that flows over the top of the weir falls over its side and acts like a natural waterfall creating oxygen that is added to the river.

The weir is an interesting sight that also attracts fishermen.Men were fishing from the footbridge and within the river. The fly fishermen stood thigh high in the river casting their lines in a rhythmic wave even though it was only 29o F. A short walk across the rusty metal footbridge is Osceola Island with additional walking trails but we crossed the bridge to the island only for new photo angles of the weir dam.

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Afterwards we drove into the town of Bristol, Tennessee, or perhaps Bristol, Virginia since the state border between Virginia and Tennessee divides the town. A sign straddles State Street so that south of the street sign is the state of Tennessee and property north of the street sign is Virginia. Flags of each state hung on their respective sides of the street. Having recently seen the Geico commercial we tried to spot the painted marker on State Street, but did not find it.

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Then off we raced to Bristol Motor Speedway to see an old NASCAR racetrack that was built in 1960. The structure looks like a football stadium from the outside but has a capacity to hold 162,000 spectators. Bristol Motor Speedway is the fourth largest sports venue in America and the eighth largest in the world.

Finding the stadium open we walked into the bleachers amazed at the size of this immense stadium.  The concrete oval short track was set below in the center of the stadium. It must be deafening to be here for a race with the noise of the crowd on metal bleachers and the thundering roar of the car engines within these enclosed walls.

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The Natural Tunnel in Duffield, Virginia was next on our list to see. A trail at the visitor center led us downhill to the creek and train tracks. Natural Tunnel State Park is a Virginia state park, centered on the Natural Tunnel, a massive naturally formed cave that is so large it is used as a railroad tunnel through the Appalachian Mountains.

It is the first tunnel that I have seen that was not man-made and bricked. The Natural tunnel, which is up to 200 feet wide and 80 feet high, began to form from a small river, now called Stock Creek that was diverted underground and continued to erode the tunnel over millions of years continuing to this day. Time will eventually wear away the rock ceiling until it falls and forms a gap between the hills of the mountain.

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Local folklore of the area tells of a Cherokee maiden and a Shawnee brave who had been forbidden to marry by their respective tribes, jumped to their deaths from the highest pinnacle above the Natural Tunnel. The place is now known as Lover’s Leap after the couple sneaked away at night to climb the peak waiting until morning to jump from the cliff so that they could be together in the afterlife.

This seems to be a popular tale because we have heard this story before with multiple peaks known as Lover’s Leap. We hiked to the pinnacle of Lover’s Leap overlooking the park. Looking down over the edge at Lover’s Leap from this point most definitely certified death should anyone jumped from this cliff.

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After we hiked back, we went to McDonald’s for our usual order of chicken sandwiches with sweet tea before continuing on to the town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee, the southeastern end of the famous passage of Cumberland Gap that led west. The Cumberland Gap is a National Historical Park located in Middlesboro, Kentucky at the border of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Cumberland Gap is a natural break in the Appalachian Mountains.

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We started our adventure of this park by driving a four-mile road to Pinnacle Overlook, an elevation of 2,440 ft. This overlook provided a great view of the tri-state park and the Cumberland Gap. The Cumberland Gap was a trail used by elk and bison to the salt springs. Native tribes marked the trail before Dr. Thomas Walker who worked for the Loyal Land Surveyors documented the route through the gap in 1750.

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The Appalachian Mountains made it difficult to move westward but the Cumberland Gap allowed westward passage beginning in the 1770’s. Daniel Boone who was born near Reading, Pennsylvania made his first passage through the gap in 1769. Boone with thirty men was commissioned to mark out the Wilderness Trail from the Holston River in Tennessee through the Cumberland Gap in 1775. The significance of the Cumberland Gap was dubbed as the “Gibraltar of America” by Ulysses S. Grant.

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The Object Lessen Road was a path that brought attention to the importance of a road through the Cumberland Gap to people in the 1920’s. We hiked the Object Lessen Trail until we reached the intersection of Cumberland Gap and the Wilderness Trail. A large boulder at the crossing of these trails had a bronze plaque mounted on the face of the rock dedicated to Daniel Boone. Since the sun was beginning to set we left the park and traveled through the mountains to reach our hotel in Hazard, Kentucky.

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Muskingum Valley, OH – July 2016 -River Road Tour

For this trip we decided to take a drive all along the Muskingum River, which runs throughout Southeastern Ohio. Our first brief stop was at Dillon Dam, an Ohio State Park surrounding the man made lake above the aforementioned earthen dam. The visit was brief, a quick look at the lake, and below the dam, and we continued on our way.

2016 07 02 7 Dillon Dam.jpg

After passing through Zanesville Ohio Route 60 follows the river all the way to Marietta, our final destination of the day. At McConnellsville, 30 miles downriver from Zanesville, is a 1913 steel truss bridge. While no longer the main bridge for the town, it is nonetheless a classic looking structure and well worth the drive across. At the south end of town is the still functional Muskingum River Lock 7.

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As we continued downstream we came to the Big Bottom State Historical Park. This location was the site of a Native American attack on settlers who were encroaching on their land, at the encouragement of the Federal government. Twelve settlers were killed, and war continued in this area for another 3 years, with this event often cited as starting the conflict. A monument exists in the small park along the riverfront.

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When we arrived in Marietta we went straight to the Ohio River Museum. This museum celebrates the steamboat age of river traffic, with a timeline well documented as you enter the museum. Other exhibits on the museum grounds include the pilothouse from the steamboat the TELL CITY, a full-scale reproduction of a flatboat from Ohio’s early settlement period, and an 1800 dug-out canoe. Docked in the Muskingum River is the W.P. Snyder, the last intact steam powered pool type stern wheeled towboat in America.

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Boulder City, NV – June 2005 – Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is a massive dam that blocks the Colorado River on the Nevada/Arizona border. Built during the 1930s at the cost of over 100 lives, it has provided electricity and water to the southwest ever since.

The dam’s upstream reservoir is Lake Mead, one of the largest reservoirs in America by volume.

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