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Archive for the ‘Historical’ Category

Flight 93- A Day of Bravery.

 

This boulder marks the site where Flight 93 ended the journey.

I was driving a pick up towards southern Armstrong County , Pennsylvania. I was delivering  signs for a bridge repair job. I turned the radio on to hear of a plane hitting one of the World Trade Towers in New York City. Suddenly, the reporter exclaimed of a second plane striking the second tower. I remember looking at my friend and saying, “We are under attack!”

The faces of those 40 brave individuals.

Yes, that day was one of fear and wonderment as to what was next to occur. Soon words were heard of a third plane at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.  Time would continue with reports of a plane going down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. We would learn of bravery among the passengers taking

People leave items for closure.

this plane down to prevent a fourth hit to an unknown position, possibly the United States Capitol building. The crash was eighteen minutes from Washington D.C.

That evening all of America was glued to the televisions attempting to understand what had happened this day and by whom.

Eventually, we would learn of the Islamic terrorists being the culprits to such tragedies. As I type this the events occurred seventeen years ago on September 11, 2001.

Today, we visited the Shanksville area to see the Fight 93 memorial.

The day began rainy, but at the time we arrived at the site the rains stopped and blue skies and some sun began to be the norm.  Laurie and I visited the visitor’s center which is a museum. Very little of the jet was discovered with the impact of over five-hundred miles per hour. (563 MPH) The massive fireball could be seen for miles. Thirty-three passengers and seven crew members passed away in an instant. The four terrorists died too.  The probable target was the United States Capitol building. Their bravery and willingness to act with a plan that meant certain death was heroic. I must admit the wet eyes happened periodically as we traveled about the site with thoughts of that day. Little else was found at the site because the fire destroyed so much.                                                                                                                                         

A tower under construction is one where forty chimes will be placed. Workmen were present at this memorial. The tower is called the TOWER OF VOICES!

At the visitor’s center one has the opportunity to pick up phones to listen to the frantic calls of that day. Laurie picked one up and quickly returned the phone. I wasn’t as brave. I knew what would happen to me.

We walked this bridge over a wetlands.

Later we walked the 1.7 mile trail and ended up at the actual crash site.  The memorial construction and mowed grass in the field makes it easy to see the flight path of the 747 jet.

We walked away saddened  to realize such an event could easily happen again under a lapse in security or intelligence.  A sad reminder is how so many of the young people of today do not have any realization of that terrible time in our history.

God bless America!

GOD BLESS THE USA

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Land stage of the Red-Spotted Newt.

We sure had a lot of rain stemming from the movements of Tropical Storm Gordon. I can’t say exactly how many inches of water fell, but a local paper had over five inches of moisture on Armstrong County. The creek below the house rose over its banks  and as write this entry the yard is very soggy. THERE WILL BE NO MOWING THIS WEEK! On Monday I saw a gobbler behind the house and a ‘possum at night. I haven’t seen my rabbits since the rain began to fall. Did they float downstream?

 

Foggy river hillside

This morning was in the fifties, but the humidity must have been up for my time afield was damp. I was exploring additional lands within a local state game lands.

Monarch Caterpillar

I arrived fairly early once I saw the weather forecast. No rain they said. Well, I felt something wet falling several different times throughout the morning. The wetness must have been my imagination, I guess! Thick fog moved about during the morning whenever weather conditions were just right.

 

 

Old rusty gas shanty

The exploratory mission had me seeing some areas I had never been before. High hills, steep hills bordering the Allegheny River and some deep valleys. I saw lots of Autumn Olive  trees loaded with berries. Those berries will be relished by everything from small birds to bear in short order.

 

Vultures

One interesting discovery were five different Red-Spotted Newts along the rim of the steep hill. The newts are the land stage  and they will become aquatic later. I saw six or so deer throughout my morning jaunt. I only saw one squirrel. A Cooper’s Hawk fluttered from a high tree. At one site I saw vultures flying around, but five were settled in an old snag trying to keep dry enough for future flights.

Field of Goldenrods.

I saw a few Monarch Caterpillars on Milkweed stalks. I guess they survived the deluge well.

 

Fog over the Allegheny River

 

White Snakeroot

 

On a sad note, we must remember the terrible disaster that occurred this day seventeen years ago. The Twin Towers were struck by terrorists. The Pentagon was struck by terrorists and the saving of some planned attack by the terrorists due to the actions of very brave AMERICANS on Flight 93.  WE must never forget!!!!

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Recently, Laurie and I spent several days in the Lancaster and Gettysburg areas of eastern Pennsylvania. The primary reason for being in these communities was  to see the stage production of “JESUS” at the Sights and Sounds Theater at Strasburg.  See http://www.sight-sound.com to learn more about this theater. Words can not describe the power of this production.  The acting is top notch and the stage props are outstanding. The props give the illusion of being in Jerusalem at the temple and other places. Live animals move about the stage. We saw sheep, goats, pigs, horses with Roman soldiers riding on them; white doves and donkeys. And there camels used , too. These animals often move up and down the aisles among the audience for effect. Speaking of effects the lightings, sounds, weather and raging seas allow for a great stage event.

One amazing feature that enhances the events is a huge multi-million dollar digital/ led computerized kind of back stage screening that shows actual scenes from Israel. One might see the city of  Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee and more. Another aspect that further enhances the view is the fact of the continual stages on both sides of the audiences with active acting events being shown.  This gives much depth to the overall experience.

The shows of that day were both sell-outs! We, both, highly recommend visiting the theater to see first hand one of these plays.

Park at Lititz, PA

We spent time in various Amish and Mennonite farm communities such as Lititz. Here we visiting a pretzel-making business and the home of Wilbur chocolates. Laurie and I spent some time in a beautiful park. We saw farms in Ephrata and other communities.

We saw another stage production at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater called “SWING.” I have always enjoyed listening to Glenn Miller and the like, A live band and professional singers and dancers covered the stage. The music covered the time of Harlem swing music into the World War two years of the Big Band era.

We, also, spent some time in Gettysburg the community made famous from the three-day Civil war battle being fought here in 1863.  We ate in the historic Dobbin House. This original building was built in 1776 and is the oldest building in Gettysburg. Visit their site at: http://www.dobbinhouse.com  for details. We spent some time walking the streets of the famous town and visiting the Gettysburg National Cemetery where Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address in November 1863. Over 3,500 Union soldiers are buried here. See: http://www.nps.gov for details on the cemetery.

That evening we watched another play called, “MAMA MIA.” This production was at the Totem Pole Playhouse. Their site is: http://www.totempoleplayhouse.org

I didn’t take many photos on this venture due to not being permitted at the plays to light rain conditions in Gettysburg.


 

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Upon waking up in Durango, Colorado one could easily see the outside was filled with smoke. The smell of smoke was strong outside, as well. The reasons for this white blanket of smoke were the two major wildfires north of Durango. The winds had shifted forcing the smoke southerly. Roads and ramps had been closed due to the intensity of the fires.  The train we were to ride had been cancelled due to the fire. We saw pillars of smoke miles away yesterday.

We headed east to another train known as the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.  This ride would take us on a 64

New Mexico

mile rail through areas of New Mexico and Colorado. This trek would include breathtaking sceneries through steep rugged mountains winding along the slopes and valleys. The ride includes scenery from the San Juan Mountains and the Conejos valley.

The old steam and coal engine dating back to the 1920 era would huff and puff its way along this railroad . This particular railroad is the longest and highest narrow gauge track in America. This preserved railroad is designated on the National and state Registered Historic Site. (Narrow gauge tracks are three feet between the rails instead of the standard 4 feet 8 inches. This aids in making tighter turns in the mountainous terrain.)

The rails began in 1880 between Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado. There is a 4 percent grade on this rail.

While traveling along the way the train suddenly stopped. We had derailed! The train was placed upon the track with a replaced bearing and we moved little before the same thing happened again. Another repair and stop yielded some disgust with the engineer. A decision was to lock all the car’s brakes, disconnect the engine and back in another engine. This wait was two hours in length of time. However, the weather was great and scenery was beautiful so I didn’t feel stressed at all.

There were two areas where the engine could have come from. They are Cumbres or Osier. Cumbres is 10, 015 above sea level.

One most beautiful site to behold was the Toltec Gorge. AT this point we were 600 feet above the Rio de Los Pinos and 800 feet across the opposite side. Two tunnels were used on the 64 mile trip.

Eventually we reached the goal of Antonito.

 

 

Additional photos to view are below.

Pine Beetle damage

 

 

 

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The title of this entry may be a little deceiving since a lot of interest was surrounding the man.  William  F. Cody, known commonly as Buffalo Bill, was born in Iowa and later spending much time in the west. He went to Denver to visit family for his final years. He died there in 1917 at the age of 70 years old. Supposedly he wanted to be buried at a site near Denver known as Lookout Mountain. Indeed the man was buried at the site.

 

Looking west

A controversy arose over the decision since Cody, Wyoming wanted his remains to be buried in their community.

Looking east

This stirred quite an issue at the time, so much that Denver covered his grave with cement and , at one time, had a tank on the hill with the grave site. Wow! Well, Mr. Cody and his wife Louisa are buried at the site toady. They were married in 1866.

Buffalo Bill was a man of a lot of interests. he served as a stagecoach driver, civilian scout, served in the Union army during the Civil war, buffalo hunter and even was involved as a Pony Express rider.  he is most known for his western Wild West Shows. The shows actually went to Europe in the day!

 

Annie Oakley?

 

Lookout Mountain is a very high mountain near Denver. Today a museum is present. The painting above is on display at the museum.  One needs to walk up a trail to the very summit to see the grave site of Buffalo Bill and his wife. the Ute Indians favored Lookout Mountain. The view is breathtaking. One can view the Continental Divide.

AT the top of the mountain looking westerly one can view snow-capped mountains of the Rockies. By turning easterly one can see

No idea???

the foothills, buttes and off farther the plains.

The actual site of the Lookout Mountain is 65.7 acres at the very summit of the mountain.

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When I was a young feller I would see articles and photos of the Cave Dwellers  of southwest Colorado. I was totally fascinated with seeing and learning more of those early people and their rock homes. I really hoped to see the sites someday.  Years passed and I remained interested, but had realized I may never make it to actually view the homes and country.

  However, this was the year! I finally made the journey to the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings.         

The Mesa Verde is a national park. The park was established in 1906. Initially local farmers began coming upon the sites in the 1880 time frame. The acreage is vast. sad to say, The property has had much burned over land mass. the last one occurred in 2012. Remnant of snarled and skeletal snags can still be visible from the fire. the fire had burned so hot that the soil has been void of the needed nutrients to aid in plant and tree growth. Today one can see many Pinion Pines and Junipers in the area.

The Indians who have been credited for living at the stone homes built in the cliffs are Pueblo Tribes. Many may have read in books or saw documentaries where the tribe was called the Anasazi People.  However, this is a Navajo term.

 

Sagebrush Lizard (I think)

It is believed the Pueblo Indians lived at these sites for over 700 years. Interestingly, they seemed to have left the sites in the later 1200 time frame. Why did they leave?  For me many possibilities could be possible for their departure. Such possibilities could have been disease, warfare, absorption or capture into other tribes,  soil depletion leading to crop failures… the truth is we can’t say with one hundred  percent certainty what may have occurred during the 1200 era.

 

Burned over areas

 

A subspecies of a Yucca. The Indians used these for basketry.

The Pueblo natives were farmers and hunters. Their primary crops were corn, squash and beans.  Their has, also, been  evidence of trading with other tribes. The people were good with making baskets and pottery. Many intact pieces had been found in the dry caves protected from the elements.

Some sites have petroglyphs on existing stone. Petroglyphs are carved pictorials on the stones walls.

Today this area has over 4,500 archeological sites with 600 of them being cave dwelling sites.

To learn more see: http://www.nps.gov/meve

 

 

 

Down the hall

 

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The second day we stopped at an area in Iowa known as Amana Colonies. The story of this colony is interesting to those who enjoy history. See http://www.AmanaColonies.com for more details.

  Two men in Germany had mutual religious beliefs. They began in 1714 to travel about and writing throughout Germany and Switzerland. Their actions resulted in forming small congregations. they became known as the Community of True Inspirations or the Inspirations. They advocated freedom of speech and were persecuted. Remember Europe was a hotbed for persecution’s.

Later, in 1842 this group bought 5,000 acres in New York. They developed a communal system of living that would last eighty-nine years.

they eventually decided to move farther west settling in Iowa. This would become known as Amana Colonies. (Amana means to remain true.) Beginning in 1855 the villages were constructed with communal living being the normal way of operations.  Their way of living lasted until 1932.

Many of the original buildings are still in place. many have become localized shops  and homes. Some buildings have been added on to with time.

I enjoy old buildings and barns and weathered wood so I took many photos. I grew up in a climate of old weathered barns and fences. Most are in black and white to give a sense of age.

Westward Ho the Wagons boys and off to spend the night in Nebraska.

The Amana Colonies are registered as a national historic Location.

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