On Tuesday we went to Cades Cove, a small valley within the Great Smokey Mountain National Park. This area was first settled in 1818 by the John Oliver family. By the time of the Civil War rolled around there were about 685 people here among about 120 families. The settlers established the Primitive Baptist Church in 1827. Many of the early settlers are buried here. There was also a Methodist Church. It has two doors, one for the men and one for the women. Finally, there’s a Missionary Baptist Church here because some of the members of the Primitive Baptist Church were expelled because they favored missionary work.
This place is very peaceful. Except for the caravan of automobiles and the paved roads, it’s almost a step back in time when you go here. There’s no electricity, no cell phone service, and no Internet. Kitchens in these homes were primitive, usually some sort of a wood burning stove or a kettle hung in the fireplace. Of course there was no plumbing or running water. The accommodations were tiny.
We took a lot of pictures, these are the best:
The other day I discovered a new bug… er’ I mean feature on my phone… The ability to do panoramic photography… but the weather stunk so I had to wait till today to try it out… I went to the Old Market section of Omaha, down by the riverfront to check out the flooding, and over by the TD Ameritrade Stadium while the Virginia and California College World Series game was underway. So… here’s a few panoramic pics and a little explanation on what’s in them.
This horse and buggy is shaped like a pumpkin. I imagine at night they light it up and it probably looks awesome.
This is lake in a park near the river.
The Missouri River about 12 feet higher than normal. I was here a couple of weeks ago and the lower walkway was about 5 feet above the water level. The current was just amazing.
This is the front of TD Ameritrade Stadium, The new home of the College World Series.
This is about a 180 degree pan across the street from the first pan with the horse and buggy.
Pretty awesome capability in the new phone… I’m impressed, I hope you like it too.
After I got out of work today, I went to the Pima Air and Space Museum which is just outside of Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ. It was amazing to see aircraft from the Wright Flyer to the B-1 bomber and everything in between. I toured the 390th Bombardment Group Memorial Museum and got to see my favorite plane, a refurbished B-17. I also got a bus tour and got to see most of the aircraft under the care of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at what most people know as the boneyard. If you served in the military or are an airplane buff, this is one off the prime places in the country to go. I snapped a lot of pictures and here are a few.
The pictures from our trip have been stuck on the laptop for a while. For some reason my large removable drive doesn’t connect properly to the laptop so I had to work hard to get the pictures into our archive and onto a machine we can use to create a DVD.
I’m using hard drive space on my firewall to move the pictures… I just copy it via Secure FTP and then copy it from the computer I want to store them on. The pictures ended up taking over 20 Gigabytes of space on the drive. The “raw” files are really big, but we saved them in case we wanted to do some artsy fartsy stuff with the pictures. Anyways, I can now do the video. and will lay it out tomorrow evening.
Starting to get a little tired of traveling… not too bad, was just a bit boring today when the scenery didn’t have too much variety… It got much more pleasant once we reached the Black Hills. We stopped in a Wal-Mart for souvenir playing cards for Nan’s collection and we were treated to watching a shoplifter get tackled by security. We were in the store about 10 minutes and the police were just arriving when we left. Guy was trying to heist 3 or 4 CDs… I don’t understand why people throw their lives away over junk like that…
We drove through the northeast corner of Wyoming and then into the Black Hills. There’s a lot of stuff to do here… I think we’ll make it a longer vacation destination later on. Nan is getting better with the SLR camera, she still gets frustrated when it wont shoot until it focuses, but she’s getting the hang of it…
Worked some HF again today and talked to w7sac in Fort Walton Beach. When we finished a station came back and wanted to ask what radio and antenna I am using because I sounded next door to him… he was in Minnesota, about 900 miles or so away. HF signals are much stronger now than when I was in the Yukon…
We saw a lot of livestock today, we passed some sort of power plant and like five or six LONG trains LOADED with coal. Nan took a picture of the sign announcing the name of the Crazy Woman Creek. I notice that Wyoming has Big Skies too. We saw quite a few oil wells and drove past a refinery in Newcastle… funny thing is gas in Billings was $4.09 a gallon… in Newcastle, where the refinery was, it was 4.37.
Ok, here are today’s Pictures. Will try to put some captions in today… first time…
We went on a nine and three quarter hour cruise yesterday… It was supposed to only be a nine hour cruise but we rescued a sailboat from some shallow rocks in a moraine in Northwestern Fjord. We saw a lot of sea live that we’ve NEVER seen in the wild:
- Humpback Whales
- Sterling Seal Lions
- Sea Otters
- Doll Porpoises
- Bald Eagles
I can’t remember them all. The highlight of the trip was a juvenile humpback whale breached himself not once, but twice and I got it on the camera BOTH times. Rumor has it that I’m the only person on the boat to catch this whale in the air. I do wish I had a more powerful lens, but I am quite happy with what I have.
These two shots were the cream of the trip.
We got to see many glaciers, including Northwestern Glacier which is one a few tidewater glaciers that still exist. In the past decade the glacier has receded about a mile… in the past hundred years it has receded about 10 miles. At the end of the last ice age it extended hundreds of miles out to sea and the state of Alaska was buried under ice like Antarctica.
We got to see some small bergs calve off of the glaciers and then when we started to make our way back we got word that there was a sailing vessel in distress about 4 or 5 miles from where we were… Apparently the keel fin got caught on a moraine just below the surface near another glacier.
The first picture shows the sailboat caught on the rocks and one of the sailors is in a rubber raft rowing a line to our boat. The second picture shows our ship pulling the sailboat off of the rocks with a line attached to the top of it’s mast.
It was a long day yesterday and we had to drive nearly 200 miles after to get to our room. The Alaskan Host Bed and Breakfast near Willow, Alaska.
Here are some pictures from yesterday: