Monday, September 29, 2014

Favorite Trips: The Great Southwest

I've picked out my four favorite trips to post about this week and next. I've done a lot of traveling, and it was hard to pick out just four trips to highlight. My criteria for selection was partly the photos I took on the trip, but was mostly the impact that the trip had on me, both intellectually and emotionally. I find that travel changes me in good ways. It broadens my mind and often opens my heart. The trips I'm writing about in these posts have had an important effect on me.

Starting out at number four was my trip to the southwest in October of 2010. For sheer stunning scenery the Colorado-Utah-Arizona-New Mexico area is hard to beat. Above is a view of Arches National Park. October turned out to be the perfect time to visit that popular park as the weather was mild and wonderful but there was very little traffic. I wouldn't say I had the park to myself, but it was close. 

Next up is a view of the Chama River valley just north of Abiquiu, New Mexico, in the north central part of the state. The fall colors added beautiful hues to the countryside. 

Finally I have the view of a lifetime. The iconic Monument Valley is pictured below, lit by a full moon. Monument Valley is a Navajo Tribal Park, and they have a wonderful hotel (called "The View") in which every room has this view. That made it very convenient to take pictures like this in the middle of the night. It is a stunningly beautiful place, and it makes sense that Native Peoples consider it sacred.

My trip to the southwest in 2010 really opened my eyes to the grandeur of the American west and the amazing sights and resources we have in this country.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Old Chatsworth

Chatsworth Illinois was one of those towns laid out for the benefit and support of the railroads. The railroads have declined, but Chatsworth has survived, and now has over 1200 people. In 1887 one of the worst train accidents in American history occurred just east of town, referred to as The Great Chatsworth Train Wreck. This is an infrared view of the old Kankakee and Southwestern Railroad tracks through town.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lincoln's Tomb

After living in the central Illinois area for almost 15 years, I finally made over to see Abraham Lincoln's tomb in Springfield this summer. I don't know what took me so long. As you can see, it is an impressive edifice. Oak Ridge Cemetery is quite large and also has a number of other interesting monuments. I trust that if you visit Springfield to see the various Lincoln-related sights, you won't be remiss as I was and forget to visit his tomb.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Main Street

This is Lime Springs, Iowa, a town about 500 people in northeastern Iowa, just south of the Minnesota border. This view is actually of Center Street. Main Street is the street running at an angle in the background. It was a stormy day, which gave the old town an evocative feel.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Civic Monument Paintings: Dubuque Town Clock

Here is the Dubuque town Clock, symbol of the city, on its pedestal on Main street. The gold dome of the Dubuque County Courthouse is in the background.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Civic Monument Paintings: Minnesota State Capitol

This is an evening view of the Minnesota State Capitol, rendered as a painting. The St. Paul Cathedral is in the background.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Civic Monument Paintings: Washington Monument

I've been using the painting effect that I enjoy this week on photos of civic monuments. Today it's the Washington Monument with flags flying and a nice, wispy cloud in the sky.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lake Superior

This is the rough looking waters of Lake Superior, just east of Ashland, Wisconsin. On the horizon is the Ashland Breakwater Lighthouse.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lake Mead

A desiccated tree on the shore of Lake Mead, just upstream from Hoover Dam, and just east of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lake Michigan

This is Lake Michigan at Milwaukee, with the Milwaukee Art Museum in the foreground.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Paris 1965-66

I am posting photos this week from the year we spent in France in 1965 and 1966. I was seven years old, and I had an old Kodak box camera.

This is a photo of the American Church in Paris, where we lived, and where my father worked, during our year in Paris. It is located on the Quai d'Orsay, right on the Seine in the very heart of Paris. You couldn't ask for a more wonderful location. Our apartment was on the top floor of the building to the right of the church spire.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Paris 1965-66

This week I am posting some of the very first travel photos I ever took, from our year in Paris in 1965 and 1966. I was in the second grade, and I had an old Kodak Brownie box camera that shot 120 film.

We did a fair amount of sightseeing that year, as you might expect. One sunday in the spring of 1966 we took the train out to Fountainebleau to see the famous Chateau de Fointainebleau, where I took this photo of part of the main entrance garden. I remember it as beautiful day and a beautiful place.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Paris 1965-66

I took my very first travel photos in France in 1965. My family had moved to Paris for a year, and my parents gave me a Kodak Brownie box camera that shot 120 film. I was seven. The camera was old and hard to use, but I loved it from the first moment I held it in my hands.

My parents immediately regretted giving me the camera, because I wanted to shoot photos all the time, and would run through a roll of film in minutes. As a result, my access to film was sporadic, and the film was always black and white.

I took this photo of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine from the deck of one of the Bateaux Mouches, the sightseeing boats that ply the Seine. I don't know exactly when I took it, but was probably in the spring of 1966.