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Posts Tagged ‘weather’

In Texas, Even the Rain Is Big (Day 115)

November 12th, 2009 No comments

Not a lot to report on from Day 115. Stayed in a hotel in some place whose name has been lost to the ages (just south of Austin, consisted exclusively of motels, fast food joints, and truckstops — “Hillsboro”?) the night before, then woke up and drove to Driftwood to go to the Salt Lick, except that it was so packed that I just pulled on through the parking lot and left. From there, headed down to San Antonio where I got in around 4 and immediately locked myself in my hotel room and screwed around with grad school app stuff, trying to re-remember what I had left to do.

Here’s a picture of the rain, though:

san-antonio-rainLook at it go!

OTOH, it’s nice to finally be on the good side of the Carl’s Jr.-Hardees line. Oh yes.

bkd

Categories: southwest Tags: , ,

Natchez Trace, Part One (Day 106, Part 2)

November 3rd, 2009 No comments

How much do you want me to explain about the Natchez Trace? I’m guessing *this* much:

The Natchez Trace is a trail that runs from Natchez, Miss. to Nashville, Tenn., about 450 miles. It was used most famously by late 18th- and early 19th-century traders from Tennessee and points north, who would ship their wares down the Mississippi river to Natchez or New Orleans, sell them there, then sell the barge for scrap and walk home.

About right, right?

Then they built this parkway that follows the course of the Trace, which is what we were driving on. It features the trace itself (it’s just a trail) as well as some sights.

natchez-trace_burial-moundThis Indian burial mound, for instance.

natchez-trace_windshieldBTW, it rained all day — usually hard.

natchez-trace_mt-locust-innMt. Locust Stand — $0.25/night just 180 years ago.

natchez-trace_rocky-springs-churchRocky Springs, population 0 (not counting the 999 ghosts).

natchez-trace_windsor-pillarsWindsor Ruins — survived the war, but not the fire.

natchez-trace_swamp-surfaceThe swamp walk was the best part of the day.

natchez-trace_swamp-treesAlthough we didn’t see any alligators.

natchez-trace_swamp-bridgeYes, that’s what color the water is.

Ended up staying the night in Starkville. It was a Friday night, but fortunately, Mississippi State was on the road, so hotel rooms were plentiful enough. And Sonic was better than I remembered it.

bkd

My Day at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola (Day 103)

October 28th, 2009 9 comments

Here’s how my Day 103 started:

pensacola_rainAnd thus the Blue Angels canceled their practice session.

It supposedly rained like three inches in Pensacola that morning, which seems like a lot. We were the top news on the Weather Channel that day. That’s right, The Weather Channel. Which, btw, has some good-looking on-screen personalities.

pensacola_museum-entry-rainOne day I’m going to find a flag that’s not flying at half-mast. Maybe.

pensacola_museum-glingFiercest of the Navy’s 1920s night-fighters: the Gling.

pensacola_f8f-cowlingF8F.

pensacola_sbd-dauntlessDauntless.

pensacola_p-40-tomahawkCome to think of it, we may have already been fighting Japan when they attacked Pearl Harbor.

pensacola_many-tailsIt’s like a tails and folded wings convention in there.

pensacola_artworkNavy art. I like the composition.

pensacola_blimp-videoI am deeply concerned about naval blimpery.

pensacola_wide-viewAny color you want, so long as it’s navy blue.

pensacola_t-28Trainer.

pensacola_blue-angelsForever stuck in formation.

pensacola_museum-entranceIt eventually stopped raining.

pensacola_chopper-rowChopper row.

pensacola_fat-albertFat Albert: always a crowd-pleaser.

pensacola_door-21You asked me once, what was in Room 21. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 21 is the worst thing in the world.

pensacola_blue-angel (1)Yes, it *does* seem to be listing to port.

Beyond that:

  • The museum is actually on-base, which I thought was very cool.
  • I think the one thing this museum has going for it that no other flight museum has is the Blue Angels practices. Which get canceled when it rains three inches.
  • The museum has some usability issues, for instance: some of the displays are hard to read (see: “gling”); it was difficult to tell what the organization at the museum was meant to be — there are grouped displays, but their locations seem randomly selected; and some of the aircraft did not seem to have signs describing them.
  • Dave, our flight line tour guide, was exactly what you want a retired-Marine tour guide to be. Well done, very entertaining.
  • For some reason the four Blue Angels displayed in the museum (the old A-4s) are angled in a downward attitude. Seems sort of wrong.
  • The other thing this museum has that I thought was unusual and pretty cool was the artwork. They got a ton of artwork and a lot of it rulz — especially the WW2 stuff, which covered subjects I always thought should’ve been covered on canvas, but which I hadn’t seen before. Wish the National Museum of the Marine Corps had had that (seems like it’d be the rightful place for some of these, for instance — or maybe I just failed to notice them there).
  • I don’t think this museum quite nailed The Navy’s Big Moment (IMHO, that’d be Midway). I mean, they talk about it, but it doesn’t come alive or command attention the way you’d think it should. IMHO. Always IMHO.

But it was fun. Again, I thought it was particularly great that the museum was on-base.

It was also interesting to me that the base has its own lighthouse (what base doesn’t?):

pensacola_lighthouseIt keeps PBYs from hitting the control tower, I assume.

Once I got over the lighthouse, I left the base and headed to Warrington, which is where my parents lived when my dad was stationed in Pensacola. This is what the house looks like now:

pensacola_505-e-sunsetI like the gully.

Anyway — big day of naval aviation. And it’s still sort of disappointing to go to these places where my parents (and siblings) lived before I was born and then to find them to not be stuck in the era in which my family lived there. I mean, how hard would it be for Pensacola to pull off 1961? Oh well: maybe next year.

bkd

Sol Duc Falls and I, Breaker of Droughts (Day 30)

August 11th, 2009 4 comments

Never been to the Sol Duc part of Olympic National Park before. Now I have. Was pretty, the waterfall was unusual, and the weather was rainy.  I kind of prefer the spelling of droughth with the h at the end. Should’ve used it in the title.

We camped out by the rain forest. Started raining during the night some time — which you sort of expect in a rain forest, I guess. Drove out of there and tried — nearly failed — to get breakfast in Forks. We were, though, able to verify that the town’s economy is still mostly Twilight-based. If only the author had visited before writing the books. So lame.

The hike up to Sol Duc falls was only 0.9 miles from the trailhead, well within tourist range, even with the rain. But on the plus side, it was the first time all trip I got to break out my rain gear, which is really good at keeping rain out. Which you’d think would be true of all rain gear, but alas.

hwy 101 in the rainHighway 101 at 12:11:16 on August 10th.

sol duc fallsSol Duc Falls, with impressive triple-cascade action!

sol duc falls bridgeYou know it’s a tourist when he’s carrying a golf umbrella onto the trail.

crescent lake cloudsAnd then the loch ness monster came and ate our car.

I guess they’d had a long droughth up here. And it’s not that hard for me to look back at my 106-degree Yosemite photos and think about the two averaging out.

bkd

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