Southern Ohio – October 2020 – Views from Above

Todays Drone Tour starts out along the Ohio River at Portsmouth. The first view shows the flood wall covered in murals (later posting revisiting the murals).

The sun was just rising in the east, giving the U.S. Grant Bridge and the Ohio River some interesting lighting.

The Carl Perkins Bridge across the Ohio River, where the Scioto River enters.

The hills in Kentucky with the clouds reflected in the river.

Spartan Stadium was home to the NFL’s Portsmouth Spartans from 1928 until 1933, when the NFL had teams in relatively small cities. The Spartans moved to Detroit and live on to this day as the Detroit Lions.

An overview of the city of Portsmouth. The town has for decades lost population, dropping from a high of 43,000 in 1930 to the current population of 20,000.

The view east

Norfolk Southern Railroad has a large yard along the river in east Portsmouth.

Lake White State Park near Waverly.

The next stop was the city of Chillicothe. This view is of a large paper mill.

The same neighborhood has this large grain elevator. Unfortunately at this time the rain came and the drone became grounded.

Central Ohio – October 2020 – Views From Above Part 3

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.

Mansfield Reservoir

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.

Central Ohio – September 2020 – Views from Above Part 2

Part 2 of the Drone Views of Central focus more on structures.

Up first is the Perkins Observatory near the city of Delaware, Ohio. Completed in the 1920s it once had the 3rd largest telescope in the world, but they discovered Ohio’s cloudy weather, and light pollution from Columbus made it impractical.

The Delaware tour continues with the football stadium for the small college called Ohio Wesleyan. It too dates from the 1920s – with the claim to fame that all 9000 seats are between the 15 yard lines.

The Delaware County Fairgrounds is home to one of the largest harness races in the country with the Little Brown Jug. The race will occur this year, without spectators.

Somewhat of a continuation of the posting from earlier this year of Columbus Sports Venues is this birds eye view of a few of them, starting with the vacant and partially torn down former Cooper baseball stadium.

From above it is easy to see the outline of the field. The stands continued around the first base side – but were torn down years ago.

Not far away is the new stadium, Huntington Park.

The Ohio State Fairgrounds is home to Mapre Stadium – the Columbus Crew soccer stadium.

The new stadium is under construction just down the street from Huntington Park.

All over town you see ‘brown field in fills’, taking either vacant in town property or tearing down existing structures to build new apartments and condos.

Another brown field redevelopment near Grandview Heights.

Even suburban Dublin, Ohio has gotten into this, with this large new area called Bridge Park replacing a car dealership and shopping center.

A park in Dublin is home to Chief Leatherlips, who was a renown leader of the local Wyandot. This interesting sculpture of him goes down the side of a hill.

O’Saughnessy Dam and Bridge – This is one of my favorite of the recent drone photos.

In this part of Ohio we grow plastic houses in our fields.

The confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. Clearly low water season.

From Bicentennial Park. The building on the left of the river is Center of Science and Industry (AKA – COSI).

The drone does provide some nice views of the bridges and buildings.

German Village is one of the most interesting neighborhoods in town – but tough to shoot with the drone because of all of the trees.

I will recreate later in fall after the leaves drop.

We end up in suburbia – with the distant view of the skyline of downtown along the horizon.

Columbus – July 2020 – Sports Venues Past and Present

Today we take a look at the extensive history of sports venues in Columbus. While many are associated with Ohio State University, the city has a long history of professional sports.

 

Baseball

For more than 150 years they have played professional baseball in Columbus – all at the minor league level.

The first true stadium in the city was one of the first in the country to be constructed of concrete and steel. Previously many were built of wood, and often burnt down.

The stadium was called Neil Park.  It was located on Cleveland Avenue just north of downtown.

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This stadium was the home to professional baseball until the 1930s. Today there is no sign of any history of the venue, now being a facility for Abbott Labs

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The next stadium was built on the near west side of the city, along Mound Street. It was originally named Redbirds Stadium, as the team was a farm team for the St Louis Cardinals, and were called the Columbus Redbirds.

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The stadium served the city until 2008, although it changed names a few times, usually when the team changed names. From 1955 until 1970 they were the Columbus Jets

 

 

Finally it was named after a county commissioner who was able to secure a team in the 1970s after a 6 year absence, Harold Cooper.

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2008 06 14 92 Columbus Clippers Baseball

 

 

Today it sits vacant, partially torn down. It has been the subject of numerous schemes for redevelopment over the years, but nothing has come of it.

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2020 07 05 89 Columbus Sports Venues Past and Present

 

 

The current stadium is called Huntington Park (the naming rights were sold to a local bank). It is located much closer to downtown, in the middle of a large area of gentrification.

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Professional Football

The National Football League generates the most revenue of any sports league in the world, with it’s 32 teams scattered across the United States. But the NFL did not start out that way – they started in an assortment of cities and towns scattered around the Great Lakes, including Columbus.

For 12 years their headquarters was in  the historic New Hayden Building.

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The Columbus team was comprised mostly of railroad workers who worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Panhandle Division. So named because it traversed the Northern West Virginia panhandle, the railroad had a large yard on the south side of the city.

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While most of the teams in the league were made up of former college players, the Panhandles were tough railroad workers who quickly became known for their physical play. Their logo was reflective of the Pennsylvania Railroad Logo

 

Because they worked for the railroad, and had free travel on the trains, they played most of their games in other cities. Their home field in Columbus was at Indianola Park, an amusement park located just north of the city.

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Today the former Amusement Park and NFL home is a strip mall and church.

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College Football

What Columbus lacks in professional football it makes up in college football. Ohio State  football. The budget for athletics at Ohio State is over $200m a year, with the football program generating much of that revenue. But it wasn’t always that way.

The first team was fielded in 1890, with 22 players making the trip to the nearby town of Delaware, Ohio for a game again Ohio Wesleyan College.

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Later that year they had their first home game. It occurred a few miles away from campus at a field in German Village – now home to a grocery store.

 

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Football quickly became popular and the university built their own stadium – Ohio Field. This field was located on North High Street – near 17th Avenue.

Most people sat around the field until 1907 when the first stands were built. As college football continued to be very popular and by the time the stadium was abandoned in 1921 it has seating for 14,000.

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Today a parking garage and campus buildings occupy the site.

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With much debate and fanfare the university opened Ohio Stadium in 1922, with an astounding 62,000 seats. Many thought they would never fill it, but by the last game of the year again Michigan they did.

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Today it seats over 105,000.

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2017 03 05 49 Ohio State University

 

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2015 04 12 124 Ohio State University Tour

 

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2015 01 24 1 Ohio State Championship Celebration

 

 

Ohio State football is such a big deal they have this airplane hangar sized indoor practice facility, complete with a statue of legendary coach Woody Hayes out front.

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Arenas

Columbus is home to a number of arenas that have served the city and university over the years.

The State Fairgrounds Coliseum (aka – Taft Coliseum) was built in 1918 with 5000 permanent seats. It has hosted everything from Ohio State basketball to minor league hockey games to horse shows, and one of the venues for ‘The Arnold’.

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St Johns Arena

The Fairgrounds Coliseum served as the home to Ohio State basketball until the 1950s when St Johns Arena was completed on campus.

It was opened in 1956, named for a former basketball coach and athletic director. The 13,276 seats are very cool old school wood.

Once Scottenstein Center was completed, the arena has been relegated to secondary sports like gymnastics and volleyball.

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2015 04 12 139 Ohio State University Tour

 

 

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Nationwide Arena

The only major league team in town, the Columbus Blue Jackets, play their home games at Nationwide Arena. Completed in 2000 for the expansion Blue Jackets it is typical of the arena’s built in the last 25 years – with a large number of luxury suites, and quirky designs including an ear piercing cannon that they shoot off when they score.

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2017 03 11 25 Columbus OHSAA Hockey Championships

 

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Schottenstein Center – Value City Arena

This 20,000 seat arena opened just a couple of years before Nationwide Arena, so the city has 2 very large indoor venues.

When they were planning both arenas the city wanted the site to be downtown, whereas the university wanted it on campus – 3 miles north. When the university didn’t get what they wanted they ‘took their ball and went home’.

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Soccer

Mapfre Stadium

When the MLS started in the 1990s all of the teams played in stadiums built for American football. The Columbus Crew was no different, playing in the 105,000 seat Ohio Stadium.

In 1999 they became the first MLS team to build a soccer specific stadium. This 20,000 seat stadium sits on part of the Ohio State Fairgrounds. Ironically they sometimes played high school football here as well.

In 2015 they sold the naming rights to an insurance company, hence ‘Mapfre Stadium’.

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After shaking down the city and state with a threat to move to Austin, Texas the Crew has received 1/2 of the $200m required to build a new stadium downtown.

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The artist renderings show what a difference it will be.

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Jesse Owens Stadium

Our last venue is on the Ohio State campus, Jesse Owens Stadium. This facility is home to track and field, as well as soccer.

In front is a statue and Ohio Historical Marker detailing the amazing feats of Jesse in the 1936 Olympics.

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2015 04 12 24 Ohio State University Tour

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – Quebec

Bienvenue au Québec

 

 

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Quebec is 2 1/2 times the size of Texas, and nearly as large as Alaska, stretching from the USA border to past the Arctic Circle, with nearly all the people living within 100 miles of the American border.

With French being the primary language it truly feels like you have arrived in Europe, only it looks ‘North American’. I have always enjoyed visits to Quebec and look forward to going back.

 

Quebec City is the capital of the province. It is one of the oldest towns in North America, having been first settled in 1535, and founded as a town in 1608.

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Nearby is Montmorency Falls, one of the largest volume waterfalls on the continent.

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Canyon Saint Anne is another impressive natural setting, with a series of waterfalls dropping over 200′ through the canyon.

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Pohenegamook is a small town on the Maine border, where some houses literally are sitting in both countries.

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Montreal is the 2nd largest French speaking city in the world.

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Old Montreal was the original setting for the town. Today it is the tourist center.

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Montreal is home to a number of impressive cathedrals.

 

 

Parc Jean Drapeau is on a couple of islands in the middle of the St Lawrence River. It is home to, among other things, the Formula 1 racetrack. It is easily accessible via the Metro.

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The Montreal Botanical Gardens is one of the finest in the world.

 

 

Montreal was host to the 1976 Olympics.

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Olympic Stadium was home to the Montreal Expos until left town to move to Washington DC

 

 

The city has a great collection of architecture.

 

Au revoir du Québec, c’est parti pour l’Ontario

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virtual Travel – Texas

Texas!

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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

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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.