Category Archives: Travel

02-17-20 – Wander Sierra


A trip to nowhere in particular, just enjoying being outside and seeing the sights. This trip skirted around Lake Isabella and up into the Sequoia National Forest

01-04-20 – George Washington Carver National Monument


George Washington Carver National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service in Newton County, Missouri. The national monument was founded on July 14, 1943, by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who dedicated $30,000 to the monument. It was the first national monument dedicated to a black American and first to a non-president.

The site preserves of the boyhood home of George Washington Carver, as well as the 1881 Moses Carver house and the Carver cemetery. His boyhood home consists of rolling hills, woodlands, and prairies. The 240-acre (97 ha) park has a ​3⁄4-mile (1.2 km) nature trail, film, museum, and an interactive exhibit area for students.

The park is two miles west of Diamond along Missouri Route V and approximately ten miles southeast of Joplin.

It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_Carver_National_Monument

01-03-20 – Gateway Arch National Park


Gateway Arch National Park, formerly known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial until 2018, is an American national park located in St. Louis, Missouri, near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Gateway Arch and its immediate surroundings were initially designated as a national memorial by executive order on December 21, 1935, and redesignated as a national park in 2018. The park is maintained by the National Park Service (NPS).

The memorial was established to commemorate:
the Louisiana Purchase, and the subsequent westward movement of American explorers and pioneers;
the first civil government west of the Mississippi River; and
the debate over slavery raised by the Dred Scott case.

The national park consists of the Gateway Arch, a steel catenary arch that has become the definitive icon of St. Louis; a 91-acre (36.8 ha) park along the Mississippi River on the site of the earliest buildings of the city; the Old Courthouse, a former state and federal courthouse where the Dred Scott case originated; and the 140,000 sq ft (13,000 m2) museum at the Gateway Arch.

The Gateway Arch, known as the “Gateway to the West”, is the tallest structure in Missouri. It was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and structural engineer Hannskarl Bandel in 1947 and built between 1963 and October 1965. It stands 630 feet (192 m) tall and 630 feet (192 m) wide at its base. The legs are 54 feet (16.5 m) wide at the base, narrowing to 17 feet (5.2 m) at the arch. There is a unique tram system to carry passengers to the observation room at the top of the arch.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gateway_Arch_National_Park

01-02-20 – Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument


The Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, a National Monument of the United States, commemorates the life of Charles Young (1864-1922), an escaped slave who rose to become a Buffalo Soldier in the United States Army and its first African-American colonel. It is located on United States Route 42 in Wilberforce, Ohio, in a house purchased by Young in 1907 that was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974.

The Charles Young House is located in a rural setting southwest of Wilberforce, on the north side of US 42 between Clifton and Stevenson Roads. The house is an eclectically styled 2-1/2 story brick building, with a gabled roof that has deeply overhanging eaves. A T-shaped porch extends across the middle three bays of the five-bay front facade, supported by square posts. A series of ells extend to the rear, giving the building a T shape.

Charles Young was born into slavery in Kentucky in 1864. He was the third African American graduate of West Point, the first black U.S. national park superintendent, the first African American military attaché, and the highest ranking black officer in the United States Army until his death in 1922. He also taught military science at Wilberforce University, during which time he purchased this house, which he called “Youngsholm”. The house was built in 1832, and is reported to have served as a way station on the Underground Railroad.

On March 25, 2013, under the Antiquities Act, President Barack Obama designated the house as the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument, a unit of the National Park Service.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Young_Buffalo_Soldiers_National_Monument

12-28-19 – Cuyahoga Valley National Park


Cuyahoga Valley National Park is an American national park that preserves and reclaims the rural landscape along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland in Northeast Ohio.

The 32,572-acre (50.9 sq mi; 131.8 km2) park is administered by the National Park Service, but within its boundaries are areas independently managed as county parks or as public or private businesses. Cuyahoga Valley was originally designated as a National Recreation Area in 1974, then redesignated as a national park 26 years later in 2000, and remains the only national park that originated as a national recreation area.

Cuyahoga Valley is the only national park in the state of Ohio and one of three in the Great Lakes Basin, with Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior and Indiana Dunes National Park bordering Lake Michigan. Cuyahoga Valley also differs from the other national parks in America in that it is adjacent to two large urban areas and it includes a dense road network, small towns, four reservations of the Cleveland Metroparks, eleven parks of the Summit Metro Parks, and public and private attractions.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuyahoga_Valley_National_Park

12-24-19 – Pullman National Monument


Pullman National Monument, also known as The Pullman District and Pullman Historic District, is located in Chicago and was the first model, planned industrial community in the United States. The district had its origins in the manufacturing plans and organization of the Pullman Company, and became one of the most famous company towns in the United States, as well as the scene of the violent 1894 Pullman strike. It was built for George Pullman as a place to produce the famous Pullman sleeping cars.

Originally built beyond the Chicago city limits, it is now in what is the Pullman community area of Chicago, the district includes the Pullman factory and also the Hotel Florence, named after George Pullman’s daughter. Also within the district is the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, named for the prominent labor and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph, which recognizes and explores African American labor history. Parts of the site, in recent decades have been owned by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency prior to gifting them to the federal government. Additional grounds remain owned by the state, as The Pullman State Historic Site. The Pullman District, including the national monument, state historic site, and private homes is east of Cottage Grove Avenue, from East 103rd St. to East 115th St. It was named a Chicago Landmark district on October 16, 1972. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 8, 1969 and declared a National Historic Landmark on December 30, 1970.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_National_Monument

12-24-19 – Indiana Dunes National Park


Indiana Dunes National Park is a United States National Park located in Northwestern Indiana, managed by the National Park Service. It was authorized by Congress in 1966 as the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the name by which it was known until it was designated the nation’s 61st national park on February 15, 2019.[2] The park runs for nearly 25 miles (40 km) along the southern shore of Lake Michigan; it contains approximately 15,000 acres (6,100 ha). Its visitors center is in Porter, Indiana. Located in the park are sand dune, wetland, prairie, river, and forest ecosystems.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Dunes_National_Park

12-23-19 – Effigy Mounds National Monument


Effigy Mounds National Monument preserves more than 200 prehistoric mounds built by Native Americans. Numerous effigy mounds are shaped like animals, including bears and birds. These were built mostly in the first millennium, by peoples of the Woodland Culture. In 2017, they were featured in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.

The monument is located primarily in Allamakee County, Iowa, with a small part in Clayton County, Iowa, in the midwestern United States. The park’s visitor center is located in Harpers Ferry, Iowa, just north of Marquette.

Lidar-derived image of Marching Bears Mound Group, Effigy Mounds National Monument.
Prehistoric earthworks by mound builder cultures are common in the Midwest. However, mounds in the shape of mammals, birds, or reptiles, known as effigies, apparently were constructed primarily by peoples in what is now known as southern Wisconsin, northeast Iowa, and small parts of Minnesota and Illinois. Exceptions are the Great Serpent Mound in south-eastern Ohio, and Mound A at Poverty Point, Louisiana, built in the shape of a large soaring bird.

Effigy Mounds National Monument takes in the western edge of the effigy region. The North Unit (67 mounds) and South Unit (29 mounds) are located where the counties meet along the Mississippi River. They are contiguous and easily accessible. The Sny Magill Unit (112 mounds) is approximately 11 miles (18 km) south of the other units, and offers no visitor facilities. Other mounds are located on remote parts of the Monument property. The monument contains 2,526 acres (10.22 km2) with 206 mounds, of which 31 are effigies. The largest, Great Bear Mound, measures 42 meters from head to tail and rises over a meter above the original ground level.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effigy_Mounds_National_Monument

12-22-19 – Homestead National Monument


Homestead National Monument of America, a unit of the National Park System, commemorates passage of the Homestead Act of 1862, which allowed any qualified person to claim up to 160 acres (0.65 km2) of federally owned land in exchange for five years of residence and the cultivation and improvement of the property. The Act eventually transferred 270,000,000 acres (1,100,000 km2) from public to private ownership.

The national monument is five miles west of Beatrice, Gage County, Nebraska on a site that includes some of the first acres successfully claimed under the Homestead Act. The national monument was first included in the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966 (ID 66000115).

The Homestead Heritage Center, dedicated in 2007, contains exhibits that treat the effect of the Homestead Act on immigration, agriculture, native tribes, the tallgrass prairie ecosystem, and federal land policy. The roof line of the center resembles a “single bottom plow moving through the sod,” and the parking lot measures exactly 1-acre (4,000 m2). A separate Education Center features science and social science presentations that can be shared with classrooms anywhere in the United States through distance-learning.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homestead_National_Monument_of_America

11-30-19 – Rainbow Bridge National Monument


Rainbow Bridge is made from sandstone originally deposited by wind as sand dunes, during the end of the Triassic and the Jurassic periods. Extreme fluctuations in climate during the Triassic and Jurassic periods—the region was alternately a sea and desert on par with the Sahara—produced layers of sandstone with different levels of hardness. By the end of the Jurassic, the sea returned to cover these layers of sandstone and compressed them so tightly that they would persist until the present day.

As Bridge Creek flowed toward the growing Colorado River during the last ice age, it carved first through softer rocks and veered away from the harder Triassic and Jurassic sandstones, eventually creating a wide hairpin bend that flowed around a solid “fin” of sandstone that would become Rainbow Bridge. The previous course of the creek is still visible above the bridge. Water flows back on itself at bends and wide spots, creating swirling eddies along the banks. As the creek flowed around Rainbow Bridge fin, these abrasive eddies formed on both the upstream and downstream sides and cut circular alcoves in the rock wall. The sediment in the creek eventually scoured the softer layers of sandstone away, leaving the harder layers behind.

Source: Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Bridge_National_Monument