Virtual Travel – Prairie Provinces

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

 

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.

Why The Forks in Winnipeg has it all this winter - Blog Viarail

 

But eventually it does thaw out!

Winnipeg

2019 Winnipeg Food Truck Guide | Peg City Grub | Tourism Winnipeg

 

It has a very diverse economy, with no one industry being dominate.

Packers to play in Canada: How much it will cost and places to go ...

What does the future hold for development in Winnipeg? - Winnipeg ...

 

It is the capital of the province, so government is big business.

File:Manitoba Legislative Building.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

 

Winnipeg has the highest population of aboriginal people in all of Canada. The city is 12% Native Canadian

Annual Festivals & Events | Tourism Winnipeg

 

 

 

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.

Why this town on the edge of the world is the greatest place to ...

 

Tours are apparently very popular

Northern winter safari to see polar bears, northern lights in ...

Churchill Sunday Photo - Polar Bears | Churchill Polar Bears

 

 

 

Riding Mountain National Park is also in Northern Manitoba, just not nearly as far north.

Riding Mountain National Park closed to visitors over long weekend ...

 

It is known for it’s bison

File:Bison herd - Lake Audy - Riding Mountain National Park.JPG ...

 

 

As well as the moose

BULL MOOSE, RIDING MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK – Lone Pine Photo

 

 

 

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.

Narcisse Snake Dens – Gimli, Manitoba - Atlas Obscura

 

Narcisse Snake Dens Update Page!

 

 

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.

Welcome to Saskatoon | Hotels, Restaurants, & Things To Do

 

 

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.

Saskatchewan Legislative Building and Grounds National Historic Site of Canada-1534691.jpg

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 – Nevada

 

Nevada: Latest updates on Coronavirus | Live Science

 

Unusual State Symbol of the Day.

Official State Locomotive of Nevada – Engine #40 of the Nevada Northern Railway. (photo from Flickr/State Symbols).

 

Deserts

1946     1958     1961     1970     1979

 

Nearly the entire state of Nevada is in desert, offering numerous interesting landscapes.

All photos from Internet sources

Calico basin red rock cumulus mediocris.jpg      Nevada Humanities

Considering a New State? Try Balmy Nevada | Investor Square ...

Nevada für Naturfreunde      The Road Trips That Will Move Nevada to the Top of Your List ...

 

This satellite view of Las Vegas illustrates the vastness of the desert.

Vegas.jpg

 

 

 

Lake Tahoe

1952     1960     1975     2009     2013

 

One of the more beautiful places in the United States is Lake Tahoe, on the California/Nevada border.

2016 05 25 10 Lake Tahoe.jpg

 

2016 05 25 7 Lake Tahoe.jpg

 

 

 

Situated high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains the area is a ski destination (photo from Freestock photos)

Skiing Down the Slopes of Lake Tahoe image - Free stock photo ...

 

 

 

Uniquely Nevada

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.

2005 06 27 Hoover Dam 3.jpg

 

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).

The bridge is silhouetted against the sky with the Colorado river far below

 

 

Las Vegas – Love it or hate it there is no other place like it.

2005 06 27 Las Vegas 35.jpg

 

 

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’

Extraterrestrial Highway (Rachel) - 2020 All You Need to Know ...

Are you brave enough to drive Nevada's Extraterrestrial Highway ...

Driving the Extraterrestrial Highway in Nevada: What You Need to Know

 

 

Burning Man is a massive event that occurs annual in the northwest Nevada desert.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement: Black Rock City's Future ...

Burning Man' Festival Hoping to Go Virtual—And We're Not Sure What ...

I.L.Y. - Burning Man 2019 by Lindsay Schaefer — Kickstarter

 

 

Nevada State Capitol – Carson City

This quaint building is the Nevada State Capitol. It was built from sandstone obtained from the Nevada State Prison.

Nevada State Capitol.JPG

 

 

 

Cowboys in the Desert

1965     1968     1985     1987

Government State Nevada 1965.jpg

Government State Nevada 1968.jpg

 

A number of ranches in Nevada cater to the tourist trade.

Jersey Valley Cattle Company, Nevada - COWBOY SHOWCASE

 

 

Outdoors in Nevada

1995     2000     2002     2005     2007     2011

 

There are a number of beautiful state parks in Nevada (photos from Wikipedia).

Panaca Formations In Cathedral Gorge State Park Nevada Greeting ...

 

 

Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of fire State Park.jpg

Fire Wave Valley of Fire | Earth Trekkers

 

 

Ward Charcoal Oven State Historic Park

Ward Charcoal Oven State Historic Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – Michigan

Welcome to Michigan.

 

2015 09 04 1.jpg

 

 

Great Lakes

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

Big Sable Point Lighthouse, Michigan at Lighthousefriends.com Lighthouses of the U.S.: Michigan's Western Lower Peninsula

Beautiful Lighthouses in Michigan Worth a Visit | Michigan

Point Betsie Lighthouse Lake Michigan Canvas Print

3 Michigan Lighthouses To Receive State Preservation Grants – CBS ...

 

 

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.

Government State Michigan 1951 1.jpg

 

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.

How the 'Michigan Left' turn became a thing

 

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.

2016 08 20 121 Detroit Woodward Dream Cruise.jpg

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Parks

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.

2008 08 18 63 Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park MI.jpg

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Grand Marais is at the eastern end of Pictured Rocks National Seashore.

 

 

Pictured Rocks is one of the most dramatic locales in the east.

 

 

 

Variety  

1970 – Winter in Michigan     1976 – Bicentennial     2003, 2006, 2018 – Collages of Seasons and Regions

 

 

Frankenmuth is a faux German town. It is a huge tourist spot.

 

 

Grand Rapids is the second largest city in the state, far behind Detroit.

 

Meyer May House is a classic Frank Lloyd Wright design located in Grand Rapids.

2008 08 19 29 Grand Rapids MI Meyer Mey House.jpg

 

Also in Grand Rapids is the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

 

 

Battle Creek had a forest of trees killed by the emerald ash borer disease. Rather than just clear cut them, they had a number of carvers come turn it into something special.

 

 

Marquette is the largest city in the Upper Peninsula. It is also home to Northern Michigan University. With the long, cold, snowy winters they have opted for a domed football stadium. This one is special as it is primarily wood.

 

 

The Upper Peninsula people (affectionately known as Yoopies) are a unique bunch, with a creative side.

 

 

 

Bridges

1971 – History of Bridges     1984, 1997, 2007, 2017 – Mackinac Bridge

 

Government State Michigan 1970 1.jpg

 

The Mackinac Bridge is the most famous bridge in the state. It connects the Lower Peninsula to the Upper Peninsula.

 

Among the others in the state is the Ambassador Bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, Canada

 

Sault Ste Marie International Bridge Arch Greeting Card for Sale ...

 

In Battle Creek they have a park where they take all the old obsolete county road bridges and used them in the hiking/biking trail.

 

 

 

 

Detroit – 1973, 1978, 2015

 

 

Tiger Stadium – Home of the Detroit Tigers from 1912 until 1999. It sat empty for 10 years before the city tour it down – but not without much fight from the community.

2008 08 16 104 Detroit Tiger Stadium.jpg

 

 

It was replaced by Comerica Park.

2006 06 13 Detroit Comerica Park 3.jpg

 

 

The Detroit Institute of Art has an amazing Diego Rivera mural depicting the industrial life of the city in the 1930s.

2019 04 07 71 Detroit Institute of Art

2019 04 07 69 Detroit Institute of Art

 

 

The Guardian Building in Detroit is one of the best art deco skyscrapers in existence.

 

 

The Fisher Building is another great art deco building.

2019 04 06 141 Detroit Fisher Building.jpg

 

 

Detroit is Motown.Unfortunately many of the auto factories have long closed like this massive former Packard factory.

 

 

The Woodward Dream Cruise is the largest classic car gathering in the world. It occurs each August in the suburbs just north of Detroit.

 

 

Detroit is home to one of the most important New Car Shows as well.

 

 

Henry Ford spent much of his fortune on building Greenfield Village. He moved actual buildings in (like the Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop) to build the town.

 

 

 

1987 – Mackinac Island