“Pic of the Week”, April 10, 2020: Airplane Weathervane, Whitehorse

03 Airplane Weathervane Yukon Transporation Museum (95)

The world’s largest weathervane, an actual Douglas DC-3 aircraft, sits on a pedestal in front of the Yukon Transportation Museum.  It’s an interesting sight made more impressive by the fact that the plane slowly and quietly moves, always with her nose pointed into the wind.  The plane is so finely balanced that even a 5 knot wind will turn her.  I made a point of watching over a period of several days and she always seemed pointed in a slightly different direction.  

The idea for this weathervane belongs to the The Yukon Flying Club (which morphed into the the Yukon Transporation Museum).  In 1977, members of the Club started a multiyear project to create what was to become …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 3, 2020: Sloppy Joe’s Bar, Key West

Key West, Florida (500)

Sloppy Joe’s Bar is located on Key West’s main business street, Duval Street.  The bar opened in 1933, the day prohibition ended.  It was to move locations and have a name change or two before it ended up being at its current site in Key West.  The name finally chosen was borrowed from the original Sloppy Joe’s bar in Havana, Cuba, although today the name has really stuck to the Key West location.

Local legend has it that Joe Russell, the original owner, was a friend of author Ernest Hemingway who lived in Key West at that time, and that Joe provided Mr. Hemingway with some illegal hooch during prohibition. It seems likely that Hemingway would have visited the bar when …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Exploring Midland Provincial Park

05 Midland Provincial Park (41)

Midland Provincial Park is located in Alberta’s Badlands and was established in 1979 to help conserve some of Alberta’s coal mining history.  The park was once the site of the Midland Coal Mine and the land was donated to the province after the mine closed.  The park is home to one of my favorite museums, the Royal Tyrrell, and adjoins the Red Deer River. 

Today’s post focuses on exploring the Midland Coal Interpretive Trail located roughly midway between the city of Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum.  This trail has a series of educational interpretive signs providing information about coal-mining in the area and to help you understand the artifacts on the grounds, A former mining office survives.

Coal Mining office, Midland Provincial Par

Coal Mining office, Midland Provincial Par

A rich …

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“Pic of Week”, March 27, 2020: District of Columbia War Memorial, Washington DC

03 District of Columbia War Memorial

In a city filled with a lot of memorials, including some grand ones named after men like Lincoln and Washington, this memorial seems tiny in comparison.  I didn’t even know it existed until I came across it while making my way from the Reflecting Pool to the newish Martin Luther King Memorial.  It was built as tribute to the 26,000 residents from the DC area who served in the First World War.

The site occupies 2-acres and is surrounded by a deciduous trees.  At the center is the circular memorial designed to resemble a small Greek temple, with 12 Doric columns supporting a domed roof.  The white marble used to build it was quarried in Vermont.  It is …

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“Pic of the Week”, March 20, 2020: Alpenglow on the Kootenay Rockies

03 Kootenay Rockies, February

I was passing through the Kootenay Rockies of Eastern British Columbia at dusk, just as the sun was setting.  That occurs early during the winter months, around 4 – 5 pm.  It was a clear day and I could see a bit of the alpenglow on the snow clad mountains. 

The alpenglow is a band of reddish light observed in the direction opposite of the setting sun, and occurs just as the sun dips below the horizon.  It’s best appreciate on the mountain tips, as you see here. The phenomenon lasts just a minute or two, then it’s gone.  But it was a lovely scene.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

 

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.All Trips / Alberta / Car Culture / Central Canada / North America

Great Cars along the Highway: 1958 Buick Special, Calgary

00 1958 Buick Special

A marquee car for Buick was its Special, considered an entry-level vehicle. This lovely 1958 model is the last year the Special was made. In the 1959 model year, the LeSabre was to replace the Special.

The chrome work on many cars from the 1950s is lovely, and this one certainly is not an exception.  Note the gas cap in the middle of the rear bumper.  The engine is a 364 cubic inch nailhead V8.  It has an automatic transmission. 

1958 Buick Special. Note the steel antennae by the wheels

1958 Buick Special. Note the steel antennae by the wheels

I was wondering what the function of these steel antennae behind the rear wheel was, and have to conclude that they were there to help with parallel parking.  If you hear metal scraping the curb, you’re too close.  A single antennae is also …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 28, 2020: The Hurricane Monument, Florida Keys

01 Hurricane monument

A quick stop worth your time when driving along the Overseas Highway (Highway 1) is to see the Hurricane Monument in the small island town of Islamorada, at mile marker 81.5.

The monument commemorates the more than 400 people killed in the severe hurricane which swept through the area on September 2, 1935.  The number of deceased is an estimate as an exactly count was not possible as many bodies had been washed out to sea.  Many of the perished were World War I veterans who had been working on the construction of the Overseas Highway as part of a Great Depression work project.

The Hurricane that hit the island was a Category Five storm and one of the strongest hurricanes ever …

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.All Trips / North America / South Carolina / Southeastern USA

“Pic of the Week”, February 21, 2020: Battery Park, Charleston

01 Charleston Battery Park

There are many places in Charleston where you can enjoy views of the city’s Harbor and, if you turn around, get to see rows of beautiful historic homes.  If you also want a place to sit and relax, and enjoy the fresh breeze, among the best spots in town is historic Battery Park

The Battery features a seawall and was constructed several centuries ago as a defensive site.  The place has been witness to a lot of history.  Dozens of pirates were hung here from oak trees and gallows in the early 1700s and were left to ripen on the noose as a deterrent to other pirates.  During the War of 1812, the point was occupied by Fort Broughton; cannons were …

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