Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

More "Wows" (part 2 of ?) (6/18/14 to 9/10/14)

Location: New Rockdale RV Park; Mansfield, Louisiana


This is part 2 of a series of posts about some of the Wow spots I've been too over the last 2 years. I have thought of doing these for a while but never had the time while traveling. I have the time now while my youngest son is recovering from his second stroke and I want to be near him. He continues to improve every day and it seems as though it will be like it was after his first stroke with his hand and arm being the last to come around. I will be surprised and saddened if he isn't walking and driving in about 6 weeks.

As I said in the last "Wow" post; it is very hard to pick just a few pictures out of the hundreds and hundreds of pictures taken during this portion of my travels. If you want to see more pictures or the blog post about a particular location, use the map below to isolate the time period, then go to the Archives on the right bar of the blog to find the post.  

This portion of travel picks up as I leave Maine with my distant destination being Lake Itasca in Minnesota which is the beginning of the Mississippi River. There were 22 stops at campgrounds along the way before arriving at Itasca State Park.  





Travel route for 6/18/2014 to 9/10/2014



Awwww,,,, Lady Liberty, as seen from New York Harbor. This is the view some of the 14 million immigrants that arrived in America between 1886 and 1924 would have seen. It must have been an amazing feeling they experienced after escaping their lives in the old countries and arriving in America where the sky was the limit as to what you could achieve if you tried hard. The part of Emma Lazarus's poem  that I like the best is, 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,,,,,'. The key words there are "free". That is what makes America so different than any other country; Freedom. There are always silly people that want to chip pieces of it away, but it still survives.

In the right side of the picture is the One World Trade Center building. It is the replacement for the World Trade Center. They were putting the final touches on it while I was there and couldn't take a tour. It is a nice looking building though and it shows our resiliency and determination.    

This is a view from the Empire State Building. I wondered how many people lived and worked in the buildings shown just in this view. Too crowded for me, that's for sure. 

As I've said before, this lifestyle allows a person to experience opposites. After the hustle and bustle of New York City, the opposite was this Pennsylvania State Park. 

This picture is of a veterans memorial in a small Ohio city. The name of the town is not important because I have seen these type of memorials in just about every town I've visited. It is great to know that the heartland of America still appreciates and will never forget the sacrifices of their veterans.  

This office building was one of those accidental "wows". It is located next to a major highway so I was able to turn around and go back to get a good picture. The secondary "wow" was that my daughter's third grade class had just seen a picture of this building in one of their school books just a few days before they saw it on my blog post. That was cool.

The blueness of Lake Huron was a major "wow" for me. I was shocked when I first saw it after setting up camp at Lakeport State Park. It was amazing. This picture was taken on a boat tour and doesn't highlight the blue of the lake. None of the pictures I took captured it. It is one of those things that will just be in my memory.

This is another one of those unexpected 'wows'. It is from Lakeport State Park on the banks of Lake Huron. When I first arrived, there were only a few stones in this pile but after just a couple days it grew to this size. I asked about what it meant and was told this: At the end of camping season in late fall the locals will find a nice stone and take it home with them. During the winter time, they will personalize it by painting it. On their first camping trip of the season in the springtime they will place it in this pile. The person telling me this story was able to point out several different stones of people she personally knew. She said, by the end of the season, the pile will be 10 to 20 times the size it is in this picture. I thought the idea was neat and I said "wow" when I found out about it.

From Lake Huron, I moved to Lake Michigan. Just after setting up camp at Muskegon State Park, I got lucky and was able to catch this storm coming ashore. I was hoping to catch a storm crossing the lake and did. As I stood there watching this large storm slowly creep towards me with the temperature dropping and the wind increasing, I got the sense of the extreme power of the storm. I have experienced many large storms at sea in the Navy as well as on land, but this one was different somehow. I still haven't figured out that difference. 

After the storm on Lake Michigan, I awoke to another "wow" moment. Dense fog with fog horns bellowing their warnings. Everything was calm, no wind, no noise except the fog horn. Until the fog lifted some, as in this picture, the feeling was an eerie apprehension as I tried to see through the dense fog. That feeling was probably brought on by memories of horror movie scenes with similar settings. I may have said "Oh, _ _ _ _", as many time as "wow" on this one.

The Mackinac Bridge over the Mackinac Straits that connect Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. This bridge is what separate the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) from the rest of Michigan. 

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the island. A nice tour by horse pulled wagon and lots of walking. I had to see this hotel after seeing it in one of my favorites movies, "Somewhere in Time" with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour. The hotel charges you $10.00 just to walk around the place but after traveling so far, I paid the price to see it. It was worth it. 

This is the International Bridge connecting Sault St. Marie, Michigan with Canada. I took the picture while on a boat tour of the Soo Locks which connect Lake Superior to the lower Great Lakes. Several "wows" were here for me. My father was the concrete superintendent for the company that built the bridge sub-structure. I was looking at concrete that he and his concrete crews poured 50+ years ago. 

This is from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore out of Munising, Michigan on Lake Superior. I took nearly 500 pictures on this tour, it was amazing. The different colors are created by different minerals in the rocks.  



This was one of several waterfalls I visited in the U.P. of Michigan. This one has a small hydo-electric dam located just downstream of this spot. A perfect example of nature and technology working together to make human life easier. 

The ducks coming home from a hard day of swimming as the sun sets over Lake Superior. 



The beginning of the Mississippi River as it exits Lake Itasca in the background. It will take 90 days for water passing this point to reach the Gulf of Mexico. 
There are a lot of campgrounds and places I skipped over to keep this blog post brief. They all hold some sort of "wow" for me. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll cya down the road.

6 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your son's progress. Tell him an Old Fat Man in Texas is rooting for him.

    WOW WOW WOW WOW and I could keep going for quite a while. Thank you for the pictures and the narrative to go with them. This is a lot of work you are putting in and I appreciate it.

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    1. Thanks Barney. Glad you're out and about again.

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  2. I love this. Thank you! Your sunset picture should be a post card.

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    1. Hello Flowergirl, you're very welcome. I'm glad you liked it.

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  3. Beautiful pics and narrative! We said WOW quite a few times. Glad that Brandon is improving and you are there for him. Take care.

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    1. Thanks K&S,ya'll take care and have fun

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