“Pic of the Week”, November 20, 2020: Bozeman’s Rusty

02 Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman (212)

 
Situated on the grounds of the Museum of the Rockies, part of Montana State University, you’ll find this rather striking statue of a draft horse.  It was created by artist Jim Dolan, a California native who moved to Montana, attended MSU, and is still a resident of the state.
Rusty is crafted of large iron chain links and is free for anyone to visit.  I rather liked this work of art, the size of a real-life horse.  True to his name, Rusty is indeed rusty.
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.All Trips / Car Culture / Central USA / Missouri / North America

Celebrity Car Museum, Branson, Missouri

00 Celebrity Car Museum, Branson (150)

Branson is known for its many family-themed attractions, a few of which feature cars.  I’m fond of seeing interesting cars and trucks and thought a visit to the Celebrity Car Museum might be fun. 
“Celebrity Car Museum and Attraction: The Velvet Collection” features over 100 vehicles that have ties to the movie and television industry.  Most of these are cars and many are easily recognized, but there were also some rare vehicles displayed so it wasn’t all about star power.  Besides the vehicles, you’ll see film-related memorabilia.  Video monitors throughout the museum run short film loops clips focusing on scenes in which the displayed cars are featured on film. 
Once you pay your admission, you can walk around at your leisure and …

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“Pic of the Week”, September 11, 2020: Hillbilly Hot Rod, Murdo

06 Murdo, South Dakota (7)

We pulled off the freeway to get some gas and walk the dogs as part of our road-trip to the Ozarks.  Murdo, South Dakota, is a small sleepy prairie town of a few hundred residents, and we didn’t have any plans to do anything except take care of our personal and pet needs before returning to the highway.
As I was filling the tank I noted that across the street was a parking area which contained several older vehicles, and I wanted to have a closer look.
Mostly these were cars of about 1970s vintage, but there were a couple of unusual beasts.  The oddest among these was a Frankenstein type of hot-rod, made of welded and bolted together odds and ends …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Montana / North America

Bozeman’s amazing Museum of the Rockies

01 Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman (2)

Montana is a big and not very populous state, but it has a first-class museum in Bozeman that’s well worth seeing.  The Museum of the Rockies (MOR) was founded in 1957 and is affiliated with Montana State University and also the prestigious Smithsonian Institution.  The museum’s collections have grown to include 300,000 items of which only a minority can be displayed.

Tyrannosaurus Rex  Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman

Tyrannosaurus Rex. Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman


The focus of the museum is the rich dinosaur history of the region, and their collection is world-class.  MOR features the largest collection of dinosaur fossils in the United States, mostly housed in a wing known as the Siebel Dinosaur Complex. 
The pride of the collection are the ever-popular Tyrannosaurus Rex, of which the museum has 13 specimens.  The …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Food / Kansas / North America

Danna’s Bar-B-Que and Burger Shop, Branson

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Danna’s Bar-B-Que and Burger shop is situated in a charming building that serves exactly what the sign says — BBQ and burgers
Everything at Danna’s is fresh.  Larger cuts of beef and pork are smoked for 12-14 hours over local hickory wood; smaller cuts of meat and ribs are smoked twice a day for 4 hours.  The result is food that tastes terrific!
Burgers and a variety of sandwiches are available, but most people seemed to be enjoying the plates of BBQ. Plate meals are served with Memphis rolls, delicious cole slaw and the tastiest baked beans I’ve ever had.
Missouri and its neighboring states are known for fine BBQ, and Danna’s won’t disappoint.
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.All Trips / Central USA / Kansas / North America

A visit to the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center, Oakley, Kansas

05 Buffalo Bill Cultural Center, Oakley (14)

It’s not every day you get to visit a small town that gave birth to a legend.  But Oakley, in western Kansas, was where the legend of Buffalo Bill began.  The legend was to grow from that of a skilled scout and hunter to that of the world’s first great showmen, owner and star of Wild West Show which toured in America and Europe more than a century.
Most legends have humble beginnings, as does Buffalo Bill.  William F Cody was working as a hunter in 1868, killing buffalo to feed men constructing the Kansas Pacific Railroad.  Even then he was recognized as a skilled hunter and was challenged by another to see who kill more bison.  This contest lasted 8 …

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Central USA / Missouri / North America

“Pic of the Week”, July 17, 2020: Titanic Museum, Branson, Missouri

00a Titanic

I was surprised by many things during a recent visit to Branson.  I was surprised how much I liked the town and its residents.  And I was also surprised that my favorite attraction (of the ones we visited) would be the Titanic Museum.
At first blush the Museum seemed a little too corny.  A museum about a ship sunken in the Atlantic located in a mid-western American city?  And the museum is shaped like the ship itself, complete with the iceberg that sank it?  Really?
Fortunately I overcame my original instincts to avoid the place and am very glad I bought those entry tickets, as this was a fascinating 3 hour visit.  The museum covers two floors and gives …

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.All Trips / Arkansas / Central USA / North America

A Visit to Thorncrown Chapel, Arkansas

00 Thorncrown Chapel (43)

One of the loveliest modern chapels I’ve ever visited is Thorncrown Chapel, located in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Thorncrown Chapel was designed by E. Fay Jones, who had apprenticed with the great Frank Lloyd Wright, and was built in 1980.  The chapel was commissioned by Jim Reed, a retired schoolteacher, who wanted to create a non-denominational pilgrimage chapel for meditation.  The chapel is elegant yet blends in with the local landscape, seeming an airy part of it.
Thorncrown Chapel is constructed mostly of local wood (e.g. Southern pine) and was built with the general rule of thumb that no materials bigger than what two people could carry should be used (e.g. 2x6s instead of massive beams).  The floor is constructed with slabs of …

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