Virtual Travel – Pennsylvania

As with Ohio I have spent considerable time in Pennsylvania, with Pittsburgh feeling like a ‘hometown’ (Go Pens/Pirates/Steelers!)

 

History & State Capitol

1938     1955     1956     1986     2013

 

 

As with most states, the state capital is located (somewhat) in the middle of the state. Given that the vast majority of the people of Pennsylvania live on the ends, this meant a smaller city has been the capital – Harrisburg.

While outside the Pennsylvania Capitol looks like many others, inside is amazing!

2018 05 07 282 Harrisburg PA State Capital - Copy

 

 

Unusual State Symbols

Official State Aircraft – Piper J-3 Cub. For decades Piper Cubs were built in Lock Haven, PA.

Piper J-3 Cub

 

State Colors – Blue and Gold Featured on the flag and every license plate ever.

Blue and gold PA license plate with keystone symbol

But in Pittsburgh the colors are Black & Gold! All the sports teams follow this color scheme.

Flag of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.svg

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Pennsylvania has a long industrial history, much of which has been lost. The city of Bethlehem has a vacant steel mill that is now a National Park site that serves as a reminder of this legacy.

 

 

 

Roads

1952     1960     1964     1973     1974

 

 

It is impossible to find a city with more cool bridges and tunnels than Pittsburgh. While it makes the commutes tough, it is a great visual experience driving around the city

 

 

 

The Pennsylvania Railroad was the largest, and most famous railroad in the country in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This history is celebrated at two major rail museums, Steamtown in Scranton, and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

 

 

Not to be outdone the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, PA has a great collection of streetcars and interurbans.

 

 

 

 

1976 – Philadelphia

 

 

There is another large city in Pennsylvania other than Pittsburgh 🙂

Philadelphia of course is the seat of the independence movement in the 1700s. That history is on evidence everywhere in the city. Trivia moment of the day – there are only 2 cities that have been in the top 10 in population for every official United States Census – New York and Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

 

Near Philadelphia is one of the world’s best gardens – Longwood.

 

 

1989 – Seasons

 

 

Most of Pennsylvania is beautiful rolling hills and mountains. Much of this area is filled with small towns and wooded countryside.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous structure is located in these hills – Fallingwater. Nearby is a second FLW house – Kentuck Knob. Both are stunning.

2008 09 06 29 Fallingwater.JPG

 

 

U.S. Route 6 traverses Northern Pennsylvania, and passes a number of interesting venues including Kinzua Bridge. When completed in 1882 it was the tallest bridge in the world, towering 300′ above the valley. It was decommissioned in the early 1960s and sold to the state with the purpose of becoming a park.

In 2003 a tornado struck the bridge and destroyed a large portion of it, but the remainder makes for a great walk.

 

 

As you make your way along U.S. 6 you pass the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum in Galeton, the Coudersport Ice Cave, and the Zippo Lighter Museum in Bradford.

 

 

 

1995 – Hunseckers Mill Bridge – Lancaster County

 

 

It is thought that Pennsylvania has more named places than any other states as each hill and valley seems to be another named small town. Some are more famous than others such as Punxsutawney – home of Phil! Each February 2nd this little town is overrun by 40,000 people coming to see a groundhog pulled out of it’s fake home to see it’s shadow.

It is celebrated with another collection of fiberglass statues.

 

 

The town of Ridgway has an annual Chainsaw Carving contest that draws artists from all over the world.

 

 

The C.F. Martin & Company has built outstanding guitars since 1833. Their factory is open for tours, and they welcome photography throughout! We have been of many tours of facilities over the years and this was one of the best.

 

 

 

 

2007 – Pittsburgh

Government State Pennsylvania 2007.jpg

 

As noted in the opening, while I was not born or raised there I grew up close enough, and have spent most of my adult life spending time there, that it feels like home.

Built on steep hills along the 3 rivers (Ohio, Allegheny, and Mon), it has character. With the long history of steel, the city had enough wealthy people in the early 1900s that there is a great collection of historic skyscrapers. With the lack of build able land, the skyscraper construction has continued to this day.

 

The interiors and trim are just as impressive.

 

Pittsburgh has it’s fair share of quirky places, including Randyland and Bicycle Heaven. The best, by far, is Anthrocon – 7000 people descending on the city dressed in furry animal costumes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Clovis – This small eastern New Mexico town is legendary for the recording studio there that was the place where Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and others had their start. Our amazing good fortune had us show up, unannounced, to a tour with a cool guy named Dave who had been a backup singer in the studio.

There is a museum in town as well, but the studio is the true museum – with most of the original equipment still there. For this posting I have included a photo of nearly every piece of original equipment.

2019 05 28 231 Clovis NM Norman Petty Studio

 

 

 

Quirky New Mexico

1947 – Dude Ranch         1950 -Taos Mountains

 

As you travel across the state you always come across something unusual and interesting.

2015 09 20 106 Northern New Mexico.jpg

 

2015 09 20 132 Santa Fe NM.jpg

 

2015 09 21 137 Albuquerque NM

 

The baseball team in Albuquerque is called the Isotopes, and have adopted the Simpsons as their mascot since Springfield’s team in the show had the same name.

 

 

2015 09 21 168 Albuquerque NM

 

 

2019 05 27 266 Carlsbad NM

 

The town of Portales has a retired fighter jet in the median strip.

2019 05 28 182 Portales NM

 

 

Roswell – I have had the good fortunate to travel in every state, and in 22 foreign countries but never have I seen a town play up their legend more than Roswell. And we loved it! Nobody is alien in Roswell.

 

And to top it off they have an ‘airplane boneyard’

 

Outdoors

1958 – Cristo Rey Church     1974     1992/1994 Pecos National Historic Park

Government State New Mexico 1995.jpg

 

 

Rio Grande Gorge

2015 09 20 124 Rio Grande Gorge Bridge NM.jpg

 

2015 09 20 128 Santa Fe NM.jpg

 

 

View from Sandia Peak in Albuquerque

2015 09 21 109 Albuquerque NM

 

 

Lonely Eastern New Mexico Highway.

2019 05 28 177 Roswell NM

 

 

Carlsbad Caverns – America’s best cave.

2019 05 27 200 Carlsbad NM Carlsbad Caverns National Park

 

 

 

 

Roads

2003 – US 84 near Abiquiu     2014/2015  Las Cruces

 

Government State New Mexico 1947 1.jpg

 

2019 05 28 343 Clovis NM

 

 

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

2015 09 20 114 Rio Grande Gorge Bridge NM.jpg

 

 

Cool freeway bridges in Santa Fe

2015 09 20 134 Santa Fe NM.jpg

 

2015 09 20 139 Santa Fe NM.jpg

 

 

Sandia Peak Tram

 

 

Trains in the plains.

2019 05 28 340 Clovis NM

 

 

Route 66 in Tucumcari

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleveland – February 2020 – Instruments of the Rock Hall of Fame

Cleveland Rocks – at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!




While they normally have a nice selection of the instruments that made all those classic songs, for a limited time they have pulled out many more and have them on display throughout the entire museum.

Johnny Otis wrote numerous songs, including contributing to the writing of Hound Dog.





Legendary bluesman John Lee Hooker’s guitar.




There is a section of the museum dedicated to the music of various cities – including Memphis.





A section celebrating the 25 years of Vans Warped Tours.





A number of guitars have unique shapes.





Chuck Berry – Keith Richards once said if they needed another name for Rock and Roll they should use Chuck Berry.





Elvis Presley’s Guitar – who knew he could even play a guitar.





Jerry Garcia’s Guitar.





Eric Clapton’s Strat.





Along with David Gilmour’s.





The collection continues through numerous rooms.









Jeff Beck’s worn out guitar.





As is Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Strat.






The bass guitar of Dee Dee Ramone.





The guitar god collection continues.





Paul McCartney’s rhythm guitar on the right.





Pete Townshend’s guitar – intact! Upstairs was another that he had destroyed.





Z Z Top guitars looking like they came from a Mad Max movie. The collection was excellent – too bad I only had a point and click camera with me!





Clovis, New Mexico – May 2019 – Amazing Music from a Small Town

Thanks to a man named Norman Petty the small eastern New Mexico town has a big piece of American music history. It is here that Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and others first recorded their music.

When I was planning out the road trip I discovered this, and made plans to stop by the ‘studio’. When the navigation system said we arrived it was in front of a newer building that was the Chamber of Commerce, as well as a museum. Upon entry I asked about the studio, the person at the desk said that is across town – and rarely open. Disappointed, we checked out the museum.



The museum was in the basement. After watching a video about Norman and Vi Petty, we toured their exhibits. They have a number of nice displays.












After leaving I was able to google and find the actual studio address. It was located across town, just a couple of miles away.

When we arrived I noticed the gate to the compound was open. When I walked in I tried a door to a building and to my surprise it too was unlocked. There were four people standing in the lobby and when I asked if I could take some photos outside they said yes, but then said they were starting a studio tour – would we like to see it!



Our first stop and the room that the recording engineer worked the soundboard.




Our tour was lead by a man named Dave Bigham. Our good fortunate hit the jackpot here, as Dave was one of Buddy Holly’s backup singers back in the 1950s.

Dave was a fantastic guide – he was very knowledgeable, adding tons of background to each of the songs. When he started to sing his backup parts along with the song he was playing I got goose bumps!



While the mixing board was updated in the 1970s, most of the other equipment is from the 1950s when Buddy and others recorded here.







In the back of the building is an apartment where the musicians would crash when recording here. The story was told that they tended to record overnight, and sleep through the day.




The studio is where the magic occurred. Nearly all of the instruments, amps and other equipment is original from the 1950s.