Category Archives: Travel

What Time Is It? How About Island Time?

Moonrise the night before the “official” full moon.

As if we haven’t been traveling enough, Kathy & I decided to head for Hilton Head Island, SC to (hopefully) escape some of the election shenanigans.  Here at the beach we don’t care about a whole lot other than having enough to eat and drink.  Oh, and maybe taking a few pictures. 😉

Sunset colors looking toward Tybee Island, Georgia from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Sunrise colors looking toward Tybee Island, Georgia from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

We arrived Friday afternoon to crystal clear skies, awoke to same on Saturday morning but unfortunately are dealing with gale-force winds and a dense cloud layer Saturday evening.  So, no “full” moon for us.  Fortunately I caught the moon in it’s “pre-full” stage on Friday.  And to my way of thinking, since the full moon occurred this morning at 10:30, my “almost-full” moon is “as full” as the moon coming up this evening.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 🙂

Moonrise the night before the “official” full moon.

Not That Stonehenge

Stonehenge replica serving as a war memorial along SR-14 near Maryhill, Washington

One of the stops on our drive along the Columbia River from eastern Washington was Stonehenge.  No, not the one in England, but the one in Washington. 😉

Stonehenge replica serving as a war memorial along SR-14 near Maryhill, Washington

The Washington Stonehenge is a replica of England’s Stonehenge located in Maryhill, Washington. It was commissioned in the early 20th century by the wealthy entrepreneur Sam Hill, and dedicated on 4 July 1918 as a memorial to the people who had died in World War I.  The memorial is constructed of concrete, and construction was commenced in 1918 and completed in 1929.

Stonehenge replica serving as a war memorial along SR-14 near Maryhill, Washington
Stonehenge replica serving as a war memorial along SR-14 near Maryhill, Washington

The dedication plaque on this Washington Stonehenge is inscribed:

“In memory of the soldiers and sailors of Klickitat County who gave their lives in defense of their country. This monument is erected in the hope that others inspired by the example of their valor and their heroism may share in that love of liberty and burn with that fire of patriotism which death can alone quench.”

Vineyards in the Columbia River Valley from Stonehenge along SR-14 near Maryhill, Washington
The Columbia River Valley from Stonehenge along SR-14 near Maryhill, Washington. Mount Hood (Oregon) is in the distance.

Weekend In Asheville: A Preview

College Street in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina

Kathy & I spent last weekend in Asheville, NC celebrating our 40th anniversary.  While the weekend was mostly about celebration, we did manage to do more than just eat and drink – I took a few (hundred) photos.  About 770, actually! 🙂

Downtown Asheville, North Carolina
Downtown Asheville, North Carolina
Public art in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina

I did something a little bit different (for me) this time, taking only my X-T4 and 3 prime lenses – the 14mm f2.8, 23mm f1.4 and the 35mm f1.4.  Before heading out the door I would decide which lens to take, then “see” at that focal length during our outing.  I love doing that, as it is a good exercise in visualizing a scene then adjusting with my feet as needed.  I mostly stuck with the 23 and 35 except for our visit to Biltmore House, where I used the 14 and which I will detail in a future post or two.

Asheville City Hall in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina
Pack Square Park in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina
Flatiron Building in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina
Historic buildings in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina

I’m still trying to get through the rest of my photos from our Northwest road trip, so before I spend too much more time with these Asheville photos I’m going to try and get the Northwest photos done first.  So expect a little bouncing around the country as I get through the rest of my Northwest photos. 🙂

Downtown Asheville, North Carolina
Downtown Asheville, North Carolina
Downtown Asheville, North Carolina
Wall Street in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina

Wide Open Spaces

US 183 in north central Nebraska

Kathy & I have been a little surprised by the questions and comments we’ve gotten from people since we returned from our western road trip.  Questions like, “did you have any trouble finding places to stay?”  “Where did you eat?”  “Are there a lot of people on the road?”  And comments that begin with phrases such as “One of these days…” and “When this is all over…” and “If it’s ever safe to travel again…”  Yeesh.  Of course we’ve gotten our share of “Good For You’s” and “That’s Great.” and we really appreciate that.

US 183 in north central Nebraska

When we tell people that we were in Oregon, we sometimes get a shocked look and some kind of question about “how bad was it?”  The News would have you conjure up images of us driving down some rural highway with flaming trees falling across the road as we passed.  Yes, there were fires nearby.  “Nearby” as in 40-50 miles and in another valley and over a ridge or two.  Yes, there was sometimes a lot of smoke and at times it got stinky.  The fires have been devastating for a lot of people, but for those of us just passing through it was just an inconvenience.  Mostly it was like driving in the fog.  Yes, in some towns the restaurants and wineries with outdoor seating had decided to close.  Who wants to eat or taste wine in the smoke?  But there was plenty to see and do and we just had to adjust a bit.  There is nothing like a road trip to teach you to be flexible!

US 183 in north central Nebraska

My message is that the world is still out there.  It’s a big country, and you don’t have to sit at home and watch The News telling you how bad things are.  Everything – or just about everything – is open.  We stayed away from the “famous” places like Yellowstone and Glacier, mostly because this trip was not about seeing those places.  This trip was specifically intended to take us off the beaten path.  We’ll get to those famous places at another time.

Passing Zone

Restaurants on the road are operating just like they are at home.  We carried a cooler with breakfast and lunch, to give us the flexibility to not have to go in search of food in the middle of nowhere.  Hotels have scaled back their services a bit but they welcomed us everywhere.  Gas is readily available everywhere and we had very little trouble finding a restroom when we needed one.

US 183 in north central Nebraska

Not everybody has the travel bug but we do.  And if you do, this is really not a bad time to travel by car.  Trains, buses, planes and cruise ships?  Not yet.  But car?  No big deal.  It’s fall color time – get out there!  Figure out how you can travel in a way that makes you comfortable and go.  Try an overnight, a weekend or a week.  But go!   Someday is today, and times a-wastin’!

US 183 in north central Nebraska

An Unexpected Treat

Rock Island Railroad Depot in Fairbury, Nebraska

Kathy & I like to seek out train stations during our travels, especially ones that appear to be historically significant or that have some amount of architectural uniqueness.  That’s what took us to Fairbury, Nebraska on our recent trip.

Rock Island Railroad Depot in Fairbury, Nebraska

When I photograph these train stations, they are usually locked up tight, so I mostly walk around the outside, documenting interesting features and taking overviews of the building and surroundings.  Since most of these stations are in fairly busy towns I get my usual curious looks from passersby, but for the most part no one pays any attention to me.

Rock Island Railroad Depot in Fairbury, Nebraska
Rock Island Railroad Depot in Fairbury, Nebraska
Old Diebold Safe

The station in Fairbury houses a museum, but I knew when we were on our way there that – even if the museum wasn’t observing a Covid-related closure – that we would arrive well after their normal business hours.  But as we pulled up, a good 30 minutes after closing time, a woman was coming out of the building on the opposite end of where I parked.  I got out and started my usual walking around.  The woman drove down to the end of the building where I had parked.  I said hello and told her – as if she hadn’t made the assumption – that I was just a train station buff out to take a few photos.  Then she said, “would you like to see the inside?”  Uhhh, sure (it didn’t take me that long to say yes)!

Timetable
Rock Island Railroad Depot in Fairbury, Nebraska

As it turns out they were having some kind of meeting there that evening, and she had been there to make sure things were set up.  With evidently nothing else to do she talked to me and Kathy for about 30 minutes while I wandered through and took a few pictures.  She told us that a local train club was in the process of building a model train layout in one of the upstairs rooms and apologized for that room being locked, but otherwise I had the run of the place.

Self-Explanatory
Telegraph Equipment
Old radios and typewriters
Old radio equipment

Not wanting to overstay our welcome and knowing that we still had several hours of driving left, we politely said our thanks and goodbyes, and headed off for the rest of our adventure.  It was a special and unexpected treat to be able to get inside this old station, if only for a few minutes!

You never know what you’ll find!