Thursday, June 17, 2010

Plus One : Pennsylvania

I love History. I soak it up like a sponge. One place that is swimming in memorable historic events is Pennsylvania. From Valley Forge to Philadelphia, to the hallowed fields of Gettysburg, where 51,000 Americans died during the famous Batlle of the Civil War, Pennsylvania offers guys like me a buffet of The Past that is forever full.. Having traveled  the 283 mile East-West trip from the Ohio state line to New Jersey, Pennsylvania is a beautiful state, with Pittsburgh in particular catching my eye, nestled at the confluence of the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers. A beautiful place indeed.

Colorado Chronicles : Nederland and The Frozen Dead Guy

What's not to like about a town that is famous for, amongst other things, a frozen dead guy ? I used to live in Nederland and it's one of my favorite places ever. It's located 15 miles up Boulder Canyon from the city of Boulder. Ned, as the locals call it, is a very small town where everything is within walking distance of home. There's no Wal Mart there, but there is a supermarket, restaurants/pubs, Eldora Ski Area, South Boulder Creek (which was about 7 feet out my backdoor!), Barker Reservoir (pictured above) for trout fishin' and a liquor store. What else could you want? If I could convince my wife to move there, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I still have lots of friends in and very fond memories of Nederland, Colorado.

Maine Minutiae : S L Wadsworth

On any given day, you can turn on the TV and hear the announcer on a commercial say something like, "serving the people of Hooterville for 75 years!" "...100  years! "  I scoff at those newcomers! S L Wadsworth and Son has been serving the residents of my wife's hometown of Eastport since 1818! Put in perspective, that's since James Monroe was president and Abe Lincoln was 9 years old! 192 years of the same family running the business for SIX generations. Amazing. As a matter of fact, you can go to S L Wadsworth and Son today and instead of buying whale oil, you can get a house key made. This place has been around since McDonalds' signs said "Over 3 Served". That's a looooooooong time.

Texas Tidbits : McDonald Observatory

The stars at night are big and bright (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the Heart of Texas!! It's hard to imagine a place where the stars would be brighter than atop the 6778 ft peak of Mount Locke in the Davis Mountains of Far West Texas. There sits the University of Texas-McDonald Observatory. It's so dark at night that one can literally not see one's hand in the front of one's face. The seclusion of Mount Locke offers maximum star-gazing opportunities. The Observatory, despite its remote location (or maybe because of it) hosts more than 180,000 visitors a year. that's 350 per day. I have traveled about 4/5 of Texas' 267,000 square miles and have never been to the McDonald Observatory, despite it being a life-long dream. Maybe some day. Stars. Big and bright. Indeed.

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker