"WOW" moments (Part 1 of ?)

 Location: New Rockdale RV Park (el. 224 ft); Mansfield, Louisiana

This is part one of an unknown number of posts showing some of the "wow" moments in my travels. I'm taking advantage of a lull in traveling while my son recovers from a stroke. 

I always have a destination in mind when traveling. It is a point of interest for me and is usually a few months down the road. My route to that destination is never a straight line due to the many side trips to other locations. There is also rarely a time table that I need to meet in reaching the destination. I say "rarely" because I remember I had to wait for Glacier National Park and Crater Lake to thaw out before I went to those destinations. I like to call it,,, I'm heading to a destination with several journeys along the way.

It has been harder than I thought in putting this post together. I've had to cull so many pictures and locations because of the size of the post. I feel as though I'm minimizing those stops along the way that didn't make this list but never the less left a mark on me for various reasons. But I'll give it a shot and see how it turns out. There will be a lot of captions on the pictures to help explain them. 

This is good for me in organizing my memories and I hope any readers enjoy it as well.  

These are the first 23 stops I made after retiring. My destination was Bangor, Maine. There wasn't anything special to see in that city except to say I that I had been to Bangor, Maine. It is mentioned in several songs and I just wanted to see it.

This was taken on the day of my retirement. So many of my friends and co-workers wanted to see Liberty, so I brought her to work on my last day. I had been talking about RV'ing for a few years before I retired. I'm sure several people thought I was just blowing smoke. I pulled out around noon and began my new life as a Full-time RV Traveler. 

I crossed the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, headed east. I stayed 6 days in Vicksburg which was too long. There was plenty to see to keep me busy, but I learned the rule that,, "Find one or two things to see in a place, see them then move on. The number 1 and number 2 things in a place down the road are usually better than the number 3 and number 4 in the place you're in."

This is the first picture I took of a "thinking bench". It was at Jenny's Ferry in Alabama. I have taken dozens and dozens of such pictures since then. Many people have asked me the story behind the pictures of empty benches. So far, I've been elusive in my answers. There are actually several reasons which I'm sure to explain sometime in the future. Maybe that will be another post,,,, a "Benches Post"...lol

The Great Smoky Mountains. So many "Wow" moments. 

Another picture of the Smoky Mountains. This one shows the clouds forming which is the reason for the name "Smoky".

One of the benefits of this lifestyle is you can go from one extreme to the other in the span of a couple days. I went from the Smoky Mountains to the Atlantic Coast. This is the deserted Virginia Beach. The home port of the ship I was stationed on during the 70's was the Little Creek Amphibious Base about 30 minutes north of here. 

Cape Hatteras Light House. 

Appomattox Court House. Instead of posting some of the pictures, I thought this picture of the picture of the signing of the surrender documents was the best. It is in stark contrast to the recent wave of events throughout the country to erase all memory of the civil war. Incidentally, there is one union officer just out of the picture on the right. Some said it was done intentional due to the cocky attitude of the officer. That officer was George A. Custer.   

This ghoulish statue stands at the entry point to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. It looks strangely out of place, but once you read the plaque it makes a little more sense. It is still strange that they placed it in such a prominent location. 

The plaque sums up in just a couple sentences just exactly what the U.S. did for the world in World War II. "Restoring Freedom" and "halting the extermination of a people." As the sole super power in the world at the end of the war, we could have conquered the world if we had so desired. But that was not our way. However, in hindsight, General Patton may have gotten it right when he said something to the effect, "As long as we have the armies over here, let's go ahead and take out the communists." Many lives would have been saved and changed if that had been done. Oh well, live and learn.  

The official entrance to the National D-Day Memorial. It is located in the small town of Bedford because there were more men lost from Bedford during D-Day, per capita, than any other town in the country.

A drive through the Shenandoah Valley and up to the Skyline Drive. 

The Tomb of the Unknowns. They have been guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since 1937. It is a humbling time spent in the presence of the tombs. 

The view of Washington D.C. from Arlington House, the old homeplace of General Lee and his wife Mary Anna Custis Lee, who was related to George Washington. When the Civil War broke out, the Union forces immediately took control of Arlington House and the estate. It is obvious as to why since it was on high ground to the west of D.C. During the war, the Union starting burying the Union dead around the house with the intention to prevent the Lee's from wanting to live there after the war. The Lee's never lived there again. But it brings to mind all of the Confederate Memorial being removed lately. Will the next move be to dig up all the Union soldiers who are buried on property formerly owned by General Lee? Trying to erase history never works. 

This is the Flight 93 memorial located near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The white marble wall is the direction the plane was flying before crashing about 400 yards away. It is another somber place to visit. I was very happy to see it has not been commercialized and hope it remains so. This plane was suppose to crash into the capitol building while congress was in session. 

Another bench. This one at Erie, Pennsylvania. I was lucky and caught the U.S. Brig Niagara as she was returning from a training exercise. 

Niagara Falls. The American Falls on the left and the Canadian Falls in the center. Also notice the old electric power plant on the right near the waters edge. That is the Maid of the Mist boat in the center. I took that trip and it was great. I highly recommend this location.

I also took a boat ride on the Erie Canal. I'm not sure some of the younger generations remember the importance of the canal or even the song. :)

A bench overlooking one of the finger lakes in upstate New York. They are impressive to see not only their size but their beauty. They were created when the retreating glaciers dug out soft spots in the earth as well as some hard rock. The melting glaciers filled up the hole, creating the lakes. 

The view from the top of Cadillac Mountain near Bar Harbor, Maine in the Acadia National Park. Looking out to the Atlantic Ocean. I took a boat ride around the islands and it was great.

Sunset over the bay from the campground near Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine.
That ends the first installment of the summaries of some of my travels. It took much longer to put together than I anticipated. It will definitely be a good reference for me in the future. 

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

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