Tag Archives: Travel

Open With Care

A good mystery catches my attention.

As an author, I ask and attempt to answer the question — What if?

What if the house really is haunted? Or a tornado takes the old barn? Or your sister gives birth to twins?

So imagine this, a girl is running away from an abusive situation at home. She sees lightning and hears the thunder coming closer. Will she open this door?

What lies beyond?

Good luck as you think about some of the “what if” possibilities.

Built to Last

Strong wood. Intelligent designer. Capable workmen.

The result is a structure which functioned for well over a century. After a few decades, the makeup of the burden carried changed in character. And grew in both size and weight.

Located in Southern Indiana, this covered bridge served the local residents from 1863 until the final decade of the 20th century. According to the sign above the entrance, it is 150 feet long and cost a total of $5,700 to construct.

I walked it during my visit. Imagine crossing it on horseback, horse-drawn wagon, or bicycle.

Carpenter’s Delight

The building trades have my respect. The skill and ability to work with metal, electricity, stone, and wood to create useful items and structures is worthy of much admiration.

On a recent road trip, my friend and I visited a fairly new tourist attraction. Based on ancient plans you can see the use of new methods and admire old-fashioned workmanship at the same time.

Size. Scale. Ingenuity. Use of simple concepts like gravity to the advantage of humans. Storage facilities using materials at hand.

I think if I visit this reproduction of Noah’s Ark again, I’ll bring a carpenter along to explain the construction details.

 

Power and Responsibility

For a good share of my life, I’ve lived close enough to the Mississippi River to be able to watch the barges with only a short drive to a viewing point.

It takes skill and attention to detail to control fifteen large floating containers (more on the Lower Mississippi) from a position of center rear. Other vessels, as small as canoes, share the same river. Pilots are also responsible for a crew. The men who ensure the barges remain cabled together, assist in all sort of ways when locking on the Upper Mississippi (or other rivers), and maintaining the equipment. It’s not an easy life. Perhaps an adventure for a strong, young person.

Not long ago, I happened upon the place on the Ohio River where many of these river pilots are trained.  Across the street from their training center a talented artist gives his interpretation of their “view.”

Sing Out a Welcome

American music. Think Country, Jazz, Blues, and Folk.

While is music is a form of entertainment and communication that crosses boundaries, it also has roots. And the Mid-South region of the United States has a jumble of them. The plants they support have grown, evolved, and even seeded new forms through the decades.

On our recent road trip (another great American institution) we found a state proud to proclaim their musical heritage.

TN Welcome Center

Yes, we make a point to enjoy a little music during our stay.

Second Look Required

Like most tourists, my friend and I sought out lunch. As we walked along, looking for and evaluating restaurant signs in the downtown area, I spotted this bright fellow across the street.

After a fine lunch a block away, we continued with our sightseeing. Hours later, our path again intersected this spot. And I discovered I’d not photographed a Red Bull. No, I’d captured a more elusive creature. A RED YAK!

 

Watch your Step

Today our title is good general advice. And it comes to the forefront in special situations.

Walking across an uneven pasture –keep an eye out for “gifts” from large animals. Climbing up or down steps –even familiar ones can be tricky. Along a hiking path — is that a stick or a snake?

Recently I was a tourist. I enjoy exploring the riverfront in various cities I visit. It’s spring. The American Midwest. (Did I mention it was a rainy spring?) It was good to step careful and keep my feet dry.

The Ohio River showing a town along her route that she’s in charge.

A Grand Welcome

You’ve seen them if you drive the Interstate highways across state boundaries. You may have stopped at a few. I like to pause for a rest at them if my travel time allows.

Pick up a map. Check over the tourist brochures. Enjoy a few minutes in front of a flower garden, historical marker, or public art. Take a bathroom break. Stretch your legs. If traveling with animals, give them a few minutes to check out the new territory.

Most of these functions are usually conducted inside and around a building constructed especially for this purpose in the final decades of the 20th century. A few are new — replacing older facilities.

Welcome to the exception!

Entering Kentucky from the North West you are greeted by a “Grand Old Lady”

Starting as a two-story brick farmhouse, Whitehaven was expanded and remodeled into a mansion in the early 1900’s. And now houses a welcome center which combines tours during the week.

Packing Season

Spring into summer. The traditional time for American graduations. Weddings are popular. Family reunions are just around the turn of the calendar. Professional conferences sprout like mushrooms after rain. It all invades into the space for a family, or personal, vacation.

With a little luck and some planning you may be able to combine some of these. Traveling to a graduation or wedding? Can you slip an extra day or two in for a real vacation?

This summer I’m doing a combination of hostess duties for travelers and road tripping with one of my guests. So pull out the luggage. Check it over – do all the zippers work? Handles secure? If flying consider the bouncing and flipping by the baggage handlers.

          Wash and dry and count and pack. Still searching for the elusive                     “pack everything you need and use everything you pack”

New York

It’s more than a city. It’s an entire state. With forests. Mountains. Farms. Factories. An international boundary.  One of the original thirteen states, it held a key position to connect New England with the rest of the young nation.

Have you heard of The League of the Five Nations? Think history, prior to the Dutch forming settlements. Upstate New York contains many references to them in the use of names as well as historical sites.

On my second trip to visit relatives in the state, we visited one of the historical sites on the shore of Lake Ontario.

new-york-20070001

 

No, this area does not have snow all year. This was taken in March. Also called the season of shrinking snowbanks.

Early fall brings out beautiful scenes. When touches of yellow, orange, and red decorate the hills among the green. I recommend spending some time in the Finger Lakes region. Admire beauties at the glass museum. Sigh at the sight of hills and clear lakes. Enjoy fruit of the vine along a wine trail.

Yes. I plan to visit the City. But first I’ll revel in the beauties of the Country.