After the previous failed sunset we went up South Mountain, just 5 miles south of downtown Phoenix. This time there were no clouds to obstruct the view!
With minimal travel we had a weekend hiking close to home that gave a few photo ops of downtown Columbus, as well as nearby Licking County.
The trip to Licking County included a hike in Blackhand Gorge Park. Named for a (now long gone) Native American petroglyph the hike goes through a small ravine along a creek. The sandstone cliffs have a variety of vegetation growing on them.
The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering the backroads of the county.
We came across this fantastic abandoned schoolhouse. As I approached for a closer look the bird came flying out adding to the excitement.
Lancaster is a town 30 miles southeast of Columbus. As one of the earliest settlements in Ohio, it has a number of historic buildings.
This site was chosen where the Zane Trace Trail crossed the Hocking River near a 250′ high sandstone hill. Now known as Mt Pleasant , a hike up offers great views of the area.
Lancaster is the birthplace of a number of famous people, none more than Civil War General William Sherman.
The drone tour of Central Ohio continues….
Highbanks Metro Park, with the first tree changing colors for fall
Big Meadows in Highbanks
The sheep farm across the road from Highbanks Park is the last bastion of the former rural atmosphere. The entire area around it is now suburbia.
The largest office building in Ohio – a horizontal skyscraper. The Chase offices in Polaris has 2 million square feet of office space. To compare the tallest building in the state is Key Tower in Cleveland (947’/289m) only has 1.5 million square feet.
Note the entire roof is covered in solar panels and the parking lots and garages to the right are being covered in solar panels.
Ohio gets cold, Ohio gets snow, but alas – no mountains, so this qualifies as a ski resort. Snowtrails near Mansfield.
A covered bridge in Union County.
Just down the road from the covered bridge is this corn maze (Maize maze?)
A berry field with a pumpkin sales.
A grain elevator in Urbana, Ohio.
Literally turning to the right you get a view of the old train station, the vacant factory and the rest of the town.
A massive shrub nursery surrounds the town of New Carlisle.
Deceased people and cars.
This view of Madison County shows Interstate 70 along the upper right, US 40 (The National Road) through the left middle, and an airport runway running along side – all in perfect East-West orientations.
Scioto Downs Horse Race Track and Casino (newer building on the left)
The 105,000 seat Ohio Stadium. The GPS in the drone would not allow me to fly any closer without seriously violating FAA rules (which I did not!)
Franklin Park Conservatory
A view along East Broad Street in Columbus
New apartments surrounding Columbus Commons Park.
We end this tour with a view of downtown Columbus, including the State Capitol surrounded by 30 to 40 floor buildings.
Today’s posting is a collection of drone views from various points around Central Ohio.
We start with a number of Metro Parks.
Below is a smaller one called Homestead Metro Park. The large white bubble in the back right is an indoor tennis court.
There are numerous covered bridges in Central Ohio, and they are popular enough they build new ones on trails as shown in the center here.
Nearby is Prairie Oaks, featuring this lake for fishing.
The northern end of the park crosses Big Darby Creek with a unique bridge (I need a drone with a zoom!). This cable stay suspension bridge has towers 86′ above the creek.
As the name suggests Prairie Oaks is in the middle of fields with some trees.
The late summer colors were vivid.
The last of the Metro Parks for this day is Darby Creek.
Darby Creek is famed for their bison (again – drone with a zoom is needed).
The park was once a massive farm/estate of the Galbraith family, who owned (among other things) race horses.
Closer into town is this interesting view from above. My first thought when I saw the photo is it looks like a graveyard.
From the ground we see the concrete corn cob sculptures – indeed a graveyard for the farmlands of Ohio.
There are a number of abandoned quarries around Columbus. This one is partially filled with water.
Another mystery from above
It is a Native American mound. The natives in this area were prolific mound builders, this one (Shrum) being one of the smaller ones.
The military cemetery portion of Greenlawn Cemetery from the ground.
Much more impressive from 200′ up.
The drone views will continue with part 2 in a day or two.
I have been fortunate enough to have been in all 50 states, and all but 2 provinces of Canada – Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Today’s visit takes us there (obviously all photos will be from the Internet).
Manitoba is home to 1.4 million people, most of which live near Winnipeg. The city has long, cold winters with November through March all having average HIGHS below freezing (32 f/0 c). It is listed as the second sunniest city in Canada, so you have that going for you.
But eventually it does thaw out!
It has a very diverse economy, with no one industry being dominate.
It is the capital of the province, so government is big business.
Winnipeg has the highest population of aboriginal people in all of Canada. The city is 12% Native Canadian
The small, far northern town of Churchill each fall has a migration of polar bears pass through town as they migrate from their summer home to their winter home.
Tours are apparently very popular
Riding Mountain National Park is also in Northern Manitoba, just not nearly as far north.
It is known for it’s bison
As well as the moose
Our final stop – an Indiana Jones nightmare – is the Narcisse Snake Dens. Tens of thousands of red sided garter snakes reside here during the winter before migrating to a nearby swamp.
Let’s move westward to Saskatchewan.
Mining is the largest industry in the province, whereas the finance and insurance industry makes up the largest white collar sector.
As the Guess Who sang, it is time for ‘Running Back to Saskatoon’.
Saskatoon is the largest city with a population of nearly 300,000. The population is fairly diverse.
Much like Winnipeg it is bitterly cold in the winter.
But it too eventually thaws out.
For a city of it’s size it has an excellent collection of architecture.
Regina is the 2nd largest city in the province. It is the provincial capital.
The Prince Edward Theater is a classic old hall.
The First Nations University has incorporated a tepee into the building design.
But our prairie time has come to an end, time to move further west to Alberta tomorrow.
Texas is a big state with a great variety of places for photography, therefore this is a LONG posting.
1952 1958 1991 2007 2009 2011 2012 2016
Austin – State Capital
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
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.
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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
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.
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).
Unusual State Symbol of the Day.
Official State Locomotive of Nevada – Engine #40 of the Nevada Northern Railway. (photo from Flickr/State Symbols).
1946 1958 1961 1970 1979
Nearly the entire state of Nevada is in desert, offering numerous interesting landscapes.
All photos from Internet sources
This satellite view of Las Vegas illustrates the vastness of the desert.
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One of the more beautiful places in the United States is Lake Tahoe, on the California/Nevada border.
Situated high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains the area is a ski destination (photo from Freestock photos)
1953 1972 2017
Without a doubt Nevada has their fair share of unique places.
Hoover Dam – Completed in 1935, this dam cost over 100 workers their lives, but has provided the water and power that has allowed the massive expansion of population in Nevada, Arizona and California.
Over 3 million cubic yards of concrete was used in the dam, with another million yards used in the power plant. This is enough concrete to build a 2 lane road from San Francisco to New York.
Since we visit 15 years ago they have completed the Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, routing all the non tourist traffic directly across the canyon. (photo from Wikipedia).
Las Vegas – Love it or hate it there is no other place like it.
Area 51 – Long rumored to be a site where the U.S. Government has made contacts with Alients, Area 51 is a secret Air Force base. It has a strong following of ‘believers’
Burning Man is a massive event that occurs annual in the northwest Nevada desert.
Nevada State Capitol – Carson City
This quaint building is the Nevada State Capitol. It was built from sandstone obtained from the Nevada State Prison.
Cowboys in the Desert
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A number of ranches in Nevada cater to the tourist trade.
Outdoors in Nevada
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There are a number of beautiful state parks in Nevada (photos from Wikipedia).
Valley of Fire State Park
Ward Charcoal Oven State Historic Park
Welcome to Michigan.
Michigan is known as the Great Lakes States, and the plethora of road map covers featuring them is evidence of the importance to the state.
Maps – 1947 – Lakeshore 1968 – Soo Locks 2000 – Lighthouses 2001 – Great Lakes Great Times 2010 – Fishtown in Leland 2012 – Unidentified Small Harbor
Bordering 4 of the 5 Great Lakes gives Michigan 3,288 miles of shoreline – more than any state other than Alaska. With that much shoreline, they have a large collection of lighthouses.
Below are two from the Lake Michigan area near Ludington.
Below photos are from various internet sources
Transportation in Michigan
Maps – 1951 – Unidentified Country Road 1974 – Modes of Transportation 1975 – Interstate 75 1993 – Boats and Cars 2005 – 100 Years of Michigan Transportation
For more than 100 years Michigan has been the automobile manufacturing capital of the world.
Detroit area map from 1951 – before freeways. Detroit, and other midwest cities, were the first cities in the world built with the car in mind.
Most of the main roads are multi-lane, with very wide median strips to enable ‘Michigan Lefts’.
In virtually the entire world there are left turn lanes, and protected by traffic light left turns. In Michigan where there is a boulevard, there are no left turns – rather you turn right, immediately jump over to the left laen, do a U turn, and go on your way.
This photo from the Woodward Dream Cruise shows the northbound traffic, with a U turn to return to Marshall Street Westbound . Also note the No Left Turn sign at the intersection itself.
Michigan has a long history of railroads throughout the state. While much of the passenger traffic is gone there are still some nicely restored stations throughout the state.
In the small town of Hickory Corners is the Gilmore Car Museum. Built across a campus like a small town, they have a fantastic collection of American cars, plus numerous buildings that have either been moved there or built there to recreate the original.
Below are some examples, a diner moved from Connecticut, and the Cadillac dealership.
The Sinclair station is in a nearby town.
Grosse Pointe is a wealthy suburb of Detroit. Each year they the Great Lakes Boating Festival at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.
Maps – 1965 – Douglass Houghton Waterfall 1980 – Au Sable River 1989, 2011, 2014 – Sleeping Bear Dunes 2009 – Roadside Parks 2013 – Pictured Rocks National Seashore Cruise 2016 – Isle Royal National Park
There are a number of National Park Service locations in the state.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It spans 35 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, and has dunes over 200′ high.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park is in the Upper Peninsula. There are two waterfalls in the park, with the upper falls dropping 48′, with a width of 200′ making this one of the highest volume waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. It’s nickname is Rootbeer Falls, due to it’s color.