Tag Archives: Travel Series

America’s North Country Trip~Part 12

6 Dec

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

 

Day 12 (Tuesday)

 

This morning I headed east on I-80 to visit the Wyoming Frontier Prison located in Rawlins, WY. Construction of this facility began in 1893 as a replacement for the old Wyoming Territorial Prison, in Laramie. Even though new, the first 104 cells (cell block “A”) had no electricity or running water, and very inadequate heating when first opened. Over the years, Cell blocks “B” and “C” were added to handle the ever growing number of inmates. The prison employed several different means of discipline, including a dungeon, solitary confinement and even a “Punishment Pole” where men were secured and whipped with a rubber hose. Just one more remnant of the grizzly past of the “Old AmericannWest.”

 

 

While I was in Rawlings, i decided to check out the Carbon County Museum. This was a small museum, very nicely displaying historical artifacts and memorabilia associated with the surrounding southwestern Wyoming area.

 

 

Now I headed east on I-80 again to visit the Laramie Railroad Museum in Laramie, WY. This museum turned out to be located in the old Union Pacific train station (designated “The Overland Route”) of the Union Pacific System. Unfortunately the museum was closed today. So, I took a stroll around the small Railroad Heritage Park adjacent to the museum, where I took a photo of the restored Union Pacific locomotive # 535 pushing a snow plow and pulling a 6-man crew-bunk car and a caboose.

 

 

As I passed thru downtown Laramie, I pass the St. Matthews Episcopal Cathedral and just had to stop and take a photo of that majestic old structure. Built in 1892, it somehow reminded me of the Laramie city historical marker, I had just seen, that informed me that Laramie was founded in 1866, and was named after the fur trader Jacques LaRamie. Interesting how civilization and architecture had a way of pushing its way west, even in those early days of territorial life.

 

 

Next I visited the Wyoming Territorial Prison located west of the city on the Laramie River. Built in 1872, the prison was problem riddled with fires and jail breaks from the beginning. Of the 44 prisoners accepted in the first two years of operation, 11 escaped. Butch Cassidy was a prisoner there from 1894 to 1896. Prisoners were transferred to the new Wyoming State Prison located Rawlins, WY in 1901, the prison was closed, and in 1903 and the University of Wyoming used the facility to conduct experiments in livestock breeding until 1989. The facility was opened to the public in 1991 as the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historical Site. If this prison was opened 11 years before the Wyoming Territorial Prison in Rawlings, I can just imagine what horrible things the prisoners had to endure in this prison.

 

 

Leaving Laramie I headed east on I-80 again to visit the old Cheyenne Depot Museum (AKA: Wyoming Transportation Museum) located in downtown Cheyenne, WY. This museum was located inside the reconditioned Union Pacific Railroad terminal which was built in 1886. The Union Pacific Railroad serviced its last passenger from this terminal in 1971, after which it was closed. The terminal was subsequently re-opened (after much renovation) to the public as a museum in 1990. The two-story museum displays exhibits related to the history of the Union Pacific Railroad, and its role in the development of the city of Cheyenne.

 

 

Across the street from the depot, is the Cheyenne Depot Plaza where you will see a number of 8’ tall painted cowboy boots. These boots are each painted to show a different part of the history of Cheyenne. You can take a cell-phone audio tour (looking for other Big Boots), that guides you to 19 different locations of interest in the city. Pretty cool idea, if you have the time and want to see the city.

 

 

Just a few blocks from the park, I visited the Nelson Museum of the West. This was a small museum, beautifully displaying artifacts and memorabilia from the surrounding Wyoming plains area, dating from the early frontier days to the present.

 

 

On my way to my next museum, I passed the Wyoming State Capital building and stopped to take a photo of that beautiful structure.

 

 

I hadn’t gone far before I saw another beautiful structure. This turned out to be the St. Mary’s Cathedral. I am always impressed with the architectural beauty of the various churches, cathedrals, and government buildings I see on my trips in different parts of this country of ours.

 

 

A little ways north of town, I decided to visit the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum located there in Cheyenne. This is a frontier town type museum, with restored buildings set up to represent “Main Street” in the early 1800 days in the Cheyenne area. The buildings are occupied with tour guides dressed in period clothes ready to tell you all about what it was like “back in the 1890’s old west days.” I just happened to be in Cheyenne the week of the “World’s Largest Outdoor Rodeo & Western Celebration.” This is a huge annual event in Cheyenne that had a big part of the city’s streets blocked off, and I was unable to visit the CDF Museum located close to the Frontier Park & Arena because of that.

 

 

Now I headed for a quick check to see if Greta could find the Big Boy No. 4004 steam locomotive located in the Holiday Park there in Cheyenne. It was one of the world’s largest steam locomotives ever built. Big Boy No. 4004 was one of 25 Big Boy locomotives built between 1941 & 1944 for the Union Pacific Railroad. It went into service in 1941; measures 132’ long, weighs 1.208,750 lbs. & carries 25,000 gal. of water. The Big Boy locomotives were so long that their frames had to be “hinged” or articulated to allow them to negotiate curves.

 

 

I headed for the motel there in Cheyenne, and after getting checked in I relaxed and enjoyed my leftover Baby Back Ribs from last night at the Open Range Restaurant.

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 14

26 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

Our final day in London. We were sad to see this day approach. We have so thoroughly enjoyed our time in the British Isles, and London in particular.

Again we took the Tube into London, and we walked along the Embankment – the Thames Embankment – which includes the Victoria Embankment. The Victoria Embankment is a road and riverwalk along the north side of the Thames, from the Palace of Westminster to Blackfriars Bridge (Wikipedia). My notes say that we walked along the Embankment and the Queen’s Walk. According to Wikipedia, there is a difference between the Queen’s Walk and the Victoria Embankment. I’m a bit confused on this matter. All I remember is that we did a lot of walking along that embankment – but thoroughly enjoyed it.

Here are a few pictures that we took along our walk. Unfortunately, Big Ben was in scaffolding – that seems to be our lot in life! But we did get to see it, and that is what matters the most.

 

Following our walk along the river, we took a bus to Greenwich.

 

 

We, along with quite a few other people, took our turn at straddling the Prime Meridian. Here are our girls doing just that.

 

 

From Wikipedia I gleaned: Greenwich is world-famous as the traditional location of the Prime Meridian, on which all Coordinated Universal Time is based. The Prime Meridian running through Greenwich and the Greenwich Observatory is where the designation Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT began, and on which all world times are based. That information is just in case you didn’t know where Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT came from. All time on this planet is based from this spot.

In looking at maps, I just realized that Greenwich is actually part of London! If you go down the river Thames a ways, you will come to the Greenwich Foot Tunnel, which connects the north and south islands. Greenwich is on the south side. While we were at Greenwich, we toured through the National Maritime Museum which may be the largest museum of its kind in the world. Part of that museum includes the Cutty Sark, a clipper ship that was launched on the Clyde in 1869. She was a fast ship, involved in the China tea trade. Fascinating to go aboard and look around the ship.

 

 

Our last thing to do was to head back toward our B&B, but go to the Royal Botanic Gardens, in Kew, which weren’t far from there. It is a beautiful garden, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time walking through the gardens. Here are some pictures we took:

 

 

I’m not exactly sure what “Open Day 1983″ represented, but here are pictures of it in flowers:

 

 

The following day was our day to fly back to the United States. We had packed up and were ready to head to Heathrow Airport, but it was a bit of a walk, even to the Tube station near our B&B, especially carrying our luggage. So we asked our host if they would mind giving us a ride to the station. Much to our surprise, they volunteered to take us directly to the airport! We were quite glad for that! And appreciated the British hospitality shown to us.

We made a safe flight back to the U.S., but were so very thankful that we had the opportunity to explore England, Scotland and Wales.

And so ends our Circuitous Travel tale. It was a great deal of fun – and I hope you have enjoyed the journey with us!

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~The End~~~~~~~~~~

 

America’s North Country Trip~ Part 10

22 Nov

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

 

 

 

 

Day 10 (Sunday)

 

Since the airshow gates didn’t open until 9:00, and it was located on the other side of the airport runway, I decided to check out the Red Barn Hanger there at the Idaho Falls Reginal Airport first. Built in 1930, the hanger served the city of Idaho Falls, during the early pioneering years of aviation, helping to provide a link between the eastern and western parts of the country. They hadn’t opened all the hanger doors yet this morning, but I could see a couple of modern twin-engine aircraft parked inside.

 

 

People were already beginning to stream thru the airshow gate by the time I got there and got parked. I showed my ticket, got my hand stamped and strolled over to one of the courtesy carts and asked for a ride to the flight line. It was a good ¼ mile to where the Blue Angles aircraft were parked. However, there were not too many people at the flight line fence yet, so I was able to get a clear shot of all the planes.

 

 

The visitor viewing area for the airshow was shaped like a triangle with about ¼ mile sides, and by the time I got back to the gate I was ready to sit down and rest. Did I mention that the temperature in this area had been really high, and today it was forecast to be 94 (feels like 104).

 

 

 

By the time the airshow activities started the temperature had gotten up to about 90 degrees and everyone was looking for some shade. But, there wasn’t any!

 

 

I ask the courtesy cart lady, who originally had given me a ride to the flight line, if I could sit in her cart when she wasn’t busy, and she said, “Sure.” This turned out to be the best seat at the airshow; I had a place to sit, the cart had a roof for shade, and I had someone to talk to about the show. Best of all, every time her support people came by to give her a bottle of water, she got one for me. Then when they came by and gave her a big sub-sandwich for her lunch she said, “I can’t eat that much.” and offered me half. What a deal that turned out to be!

 

 

Since this airshow was being held in a location where there weren’t any vacant surrounding areas where pyrotechnics could be used, it limited the activities of the show somewhat. They started the show with parachute jumper who came down with the American flag while the National Anthem played.

 

 

Then there several single plane aerobatic displays, where the pilots did some of the most amazing things with their airplanes.

 

 

There was a 4-plane AT-6 demonstration team that performed some really smooth formation flying.

 

 

And one of my favorites, Matt Younkin flying his Twin Beech 18, always puts on one of the most amazing and beautiful aerial flight demonstrations with a twin engine airplane.

 

 

There was a three-plane demonstration team consisting of a Mig 15, Mig 17 & F-86 Saber that was the first of its kind I had ever seen.

 

 

And there was a F-35 flight demonstration that was amazing. The pilot did things with that airplane that were just hard to believe any modern jet could do. All in all, they put on a good show, even though there was some really long “no action” periods between events. Of course everyone was really there to see the Blue Angles put on their airial demonstration. I had seen the Air Force Thunderbirds perform at our Valiant Air Command Airshow last year, but had never seen the Blue Angles perform. They put on a really impressive demonstration and I didn’t see anyone leave during their performance.

 

 

Since I was watching this while sitting in the courtesy cart close to the entrance gate, I was able to thank the lady driver who had been so kind to me throughout the entire airshow, and beat the crowd to my car and out to the street. The police had many of the streets blocked off to help clear the airshow crowd from the area. This didn’t help me in my effort to get to the Museum of Idaho there in Idaho Falls for a visit. By the time I got to the museum it was closed, so I just took a photo.

 

 

I had planned to stay in Idaho Falls for two nights, so by now Greta was familiar with how to get me back to the motel. A shower felt really good after a full day out in that blistering heat (even though I was shaded most of the time), and then I enjoyed my leftover Casa Ranchero Mexican dinner again. All that hot open air exposure, a cool shower, and delicious meal (and there was nothing good on TV) made it very hard to stay wake. So it was very easy to go to bed early tonight.

 

—–To Be Continued—–

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 13

19 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

Today’s adventure in greater London was a bus tour to Windsor Castle.

 

Credit Google Search and Wikipedia

 

Fred and I had visited this magnificent castle back in 1970, and I shall present some of the pictures we took at that time in this post.

We were told that Windsor Castle is Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite castle. While I don’t remember going inside anywhere, I can still see why she loves it so much.

We saw many beautiful parts of this castle. We saw the King Henry VIII Gate.

 

 

We saw King George’s Chapel (here with a corner of the barracks).

 

 

We were allowed to be and see the inside courtyard, and took several pictures from different angles.

 

 

 

 

I really loved the stoneworks that make up this castle. It’s just lovely.

Back in 1970, as we were walking toward the castle, we were told by the guide to be very careful during the changing of the guards. Especially as they headed toward the barracks. He said that, because they had been on duty and were tired, that they stopped for no one on their march to the barracks!! So watch out!! Don’t get in their way, or you will be run over!

Outside the castle itself, we saw the castle from the distance, along with a bronze statue of Queen Victoria – in the middle of the street! It is well kept.

 

Credit Google Search and Mapio.net

 

While we enjoyed our tour of the castle grounds, Fred and I had the pleasure, back in 1970, of seeing a part of Windsor that is seldom seen by the general public. We were told, back then, that we would be able to see the Queen’s Apartment Gardens – but only because she was not in attendance at Windsor at that time. We were thrilled!! That was a once-in-a-lifetime event for us. Here are the pictures we took – of the Queen’s apartment, and the gardens she saw when she looked out her windows. Beautiful!

 

The Queen’s Apartments from the gardens

The Queen’s Gardens

 

Back in 1970, from one point in Windsor, we were able to see Eton College. Here is a picture from then.

 

 

From Windsor, we went to Hampton Court Palace.

 

 

This is another lovely piece of English history. The building was begun in 1515 by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey. In reading some articles on Google, it seems that King Henry VIII more-or-less confiscated it from Wolsey following a falling-out between them, in 1529. Henry then enlarged the palace for his own pleasure.

 

Anne Boleyn’s gate with clock tower

 

 

 

 

Hampton Court is a great place to visit if you are ever in the London area. And I would like to say here, that if you ever come to Orlando, and go do Disney World, and EPCOT especially, when you get to the country of “England” – look at the front of the store and you will see Hampton Court. The store front looks like Anne Boleyn’s Gate. But also look up at the brick chimneys – they remind me so much of Hampton Court! I hope they were built at EPCOT with that just in mind. Delightful!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 12

12 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

We are getting close to the end of our week in London – much to our sorrow. We love all things England, and the greater London area in particular.

However, we were excited about the day ahead of us. Our first venture was a bus tour to Warwick (pronounced War-ick, not War-wick) Castle.

 

Gatehouse

 

We were eager to able to visit this beautiful castle. We were told that many motion pictures that involve castles are filmed at this site. Makes sense – it is a beautiful site.

 

Castle grounds and gardens

 

From “Primary Facts” I gleaned: …..facts about Warwick Castle, located near the River Avon, in the county of Warwickshire.

 A motte-and-bailey castle was built on the site of Warwick Castle. This early castle was built in 1068 by the Normans following William the Conqueror’s victory in the Battle of Hastings.

The motte-and-bailey castle was upgraded to stone during the reign of Henry II. A curtain wall was built with buildings up against it.

 In the 14th century, a gatehouse was added and several towers were constructed.

 In 1469, during the time of the Wars of the Roses, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, imprisoned King Edward IV in Warwick Castle.

 Richard III ordered for two gun towers to be added to Warwick Castle in the 1480s. These were called Bear Tower and Clarence Tower.

 During the 16th century, Warwick Castle started to fall into disrepair. In fact, when Queen Elizabeth I visited, a separate building had to built for her to stay in.

 

Caesar’s Tower

 

We were pleased to see the Red Knight on display for us.

 

 

When Fred and I visited back in 1970, the castle was in private hands. At this point in time (1983) it was owned by the Madam Tussaud’s company, and the company had added animated figures in some of the rooms. Quite interesting.

Following our visit to the castle, we went on to Stratford-Upon-Avon, and we especially wanted to see Anne Hathaway’s Cottage.

 

The town gate

 

Again, when Fred and I had visited in 1970, the thatch on the roof of the cottage was being repaired. Seems that a young man in the village wanted to impress his girlfriend, so he set fire to the roof! We were fortunate to be there at the time the roof was actually being repaired. It gave us a true insight into how a thatch roof is constructed. Most interesting and entertaining.

 

1970 – Anne Hathaway’s Cottage with Reconstruction sign

 

 

Wikipedia provided the following: Anne Hathaway’s Cottage is a twelve-roomed farmhouse where Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare, lived as a child in the village of Shottery, Warwickshire, England, about 1 mile west of Stratford-upon-Avon.

We also found the town of Stratford-Upon-Avon to be quite entertaining. While we knew, of course, that it was the birthplace of William Shakespeare, it had other interests as well.

 

Shakespeare’s birthplace

 

The official Stratford-Upon-Avon website states:   Stratford-upon-Avon, a medieval market town in England’s West Midlands, is the 16th-century birthplace of William Shakespeare. Possibly the most famous writer in the English language, Shakespeare is known for his sonnets and plays such as ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Hamlet’. The Royal Shakespeare Company performs his plays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and adjacent Swan Theatre on the banks of the River Avon.

 

The Old Weaver’s House – built in A.D. 1500

 

So much history in England…and we thoroughly enjoy it!

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

America’s North Country Trip~Part 8

8 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

 

Day 8 (Friday)

 

After a short drive west on I-90 this morning, I visited the World Museum of Mining located on the outskirts of Butte, MT. This museum is located on a 22-acre site of what is an inactive silver & zinc mine named the Orphan Girl. As part of the museum, there is a 37- building reconstruction of a typical mining town called “Hell Roarin’ Gulch” which displays thousands of articles common to the miner’s way of life in the early 1890’s. I didn’t try to walk on the cobble-stoned streets, and stuck to the boardwalks on either side of the street.

 

 

I-90 makes a swing northwest, thru the mountains as I headed to visit the Old Montana Prison located in Deer Lodge, MT. I discovered that the Powell County Museum & Arts Foundation (PCMAF) operates what they describe as a museum complex, with several museums within a three block area. This included five of the museums I had on my list to visit there in Deer Lodge. I started with the Old Prison Museum. This is a massive prison complex, said to have been built using prison labor. This early 1800’s Montana Territory prison is now being maintained by the PCMAF but is not restored. As a result, there are only certain parts of the prison that can be toured.

 

 

Since one ticket gets you into all of the Museum Complex museums, I now walked next door to the Montana Auto Museum. This museum consists of over 150 beautifully restored automobiles dating back to 1903. It’s hard for me to walk thru an auto museum like this and not want to stop and take a photo of each and every auto, as well as read all about them.

 

 

Across the street I started with the Powell County Museum which consisted of local early Montana artifacts and memorabilia. Another store next door included handmade items (mostly leather goods) that inmates have made at the Montana State Prison and are brought here for sale.

 

 

The Cottonwood City park was a collection of restored early 1850’s Montana prairie structures including a church, a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop and a gazebo.

 

 

Next door was the Frontier Montana Museum which consisted of mostly pioneer and early Montana artifacts and memorabilia, including a covered wagon and a sheriff’s office and jail cell, and the Capa’s Cowboy Collection. This building also housed the WWII Exhibit which included U.S. Army and USAAC artifacts, and memorabilia. I was surprised to see a display for the memory of Bud Anderson, a B-24 pilot during WWII. I knew of a Bud Anderson who was a P-51 fighter ace during WWII, so couldn’t correlate the names with the planes they flew.

 

 

Now it was back onto I-90, heading west to visit the Smokejumpers Visitor Center located in Missoula, MT. This was a very informative facility, located adjacent to the Missoula International Airport. I was informed that Missoula is home to the largest smokejumper base in the U.S. The Visitor Center also has a smoke jumpers loft that allows visitors an opportunity to learn about firefighting procedures, smoke jumping history, and other fire related issues.

 

 

At the other end of the Missoula International Airport I visited the Museum of Mountain Flying. This museum turned out to be situated in a one large hanger with several beautifully restored aircraft, including the original DC-3 used to drop the Mann Gulch smokejumpers in August 1949. Unfortunately 13 jumpers were overcome and died in that fire. The museum also displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the Rocky Mountain flying history.

 

Now I went looking for the Boone & Crockett Club located on the Clark Fork River there in Missoula. Here again Greta had a hard time locating the address. She would tell me I had arrived at the requested address, when actually the building was below that location on the riverbank. This turned out to be a private club, founded by Theodore Roosevelt and other visionaries in 1887. The idea behind the club was basically wildlife conservation for future generations. Since I was not a member, and wasn’t a guest of anyone, I wasn’t invited in. That was just as well, since it was time to head for my motel there in Missoula for the evening.

 

 

 

As luck would have it, on the way to the motel, I came across a Fuddruckers’s Restaurant (one of my favorites) and stopped in to experience one of their “Elk Burgers” for the first time. No. it didn’t taste like chicken. It tasted like venison, in case any of you has ever eaten venison.   As usual, it was delicious, and I went to the motel with a full and happy tummy.

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

 

 

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 11

5 Nov

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

JUDY

 

 

This day in London started off with my cutting Fred’s hair. Being in the U.S. military, he had a set way that he wanted his hair cut – as well as how often it should be shaped up. We had been gone from Germany for about 10 days now, and he was getting “shaggy” according to his specifications! It didn’t take long, but it had to be done!

 

 

We had arranged to take the bus to Canterbury on this day, and so we did. Fred and I had visited England many years before, when we lived in Wiesbaden, Germany. We knew we wanted to share this experience with our girls.

 

Canterbury Gate

 

We had an enjoyable time walking around the town and looking through the cathedral. It is a magnificent edifice, both inside and outside.

 

 

 

Once again, one of the amazing things about this cathedral are the parts that were built during the Norman times. It’s amazing to me that those areas – and stones – are still standing after all these centuries! According to Wikipedia, the cathedral was founded in 597 A.D. and was completely rebuilt from 1070 to 1077. The last alteration was in 1834. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England.

 

 

When Fred and I had visited Canterbury in 1970, we happened upon a building that was marked “Queen Elizabeth 1 Guest Chamber.”

 

1970 – Guest Chamber/Restaurant – second level

 

We had a meal there in the restaurant and it was quite lovely, and rather inexpensive, which surprised us. We found that much of the furnishings, i.e. tables, etc., were original to that time. The date on the front of the building states: 1573.   Elizabeth I visited Canterbury in 1573 and entertained the Duke of Alençon in what was then the state room of the Crown Inn. Apparently she stayed there for three days, celebrating her 40th birthday. So it was definitely something we wanted to share with our girls. Unfortunately, at that time (1983), it was not a restaurant anymore. But we were able to have an ice cream, so our girls were able to see the inside we had raved about. It was so fun.

 

983 – Guest Chamber – second level

 

One of the most fun things about that day in Canterbury, was that we came upon a couple that had been in our church in Heidelberg! Roy and Vicki Crawford. We visited with them for a few minutes, and decided to have supper together at a local Chinese restaurant. We then went on our ways and met up for supper. We enjoyed that time together, knowing we probably wouldn’t see them ever again – which we haven’t.

 

Judy, Karen, Janet Wills with Roy and Vicki Crawford

 

It was a rather long – but fulfilling – day. So after supper with the Crawfords, we headed back to the B&B for another overnight.

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 10

29 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

This day’s trip into London was a bit of a busy one. According to my notes, we made our way to a Christian bookstore to purchase a copy of the book The Flying Scotsman, the story of Eric Liddell. If you remember, and according to Wikipedia:

  “Eric Liddell was a Scottish athlete, rugby union international player, and missionary, who chose his religious beliefs over competing in an Olympic race held on a Sunday.

 At the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, Liddell refused to run in the heats for his favoured 100 metres because they were held on a Sunday. Instead he competed in the 400 metres held on a weekday, a race that he won [in record time. His record held for 20 years]. He returned to China in 1925 to serve as a missionary teacher. Aside from two furloughs in Scotland, he remained in China until his death in a Japanese civilian internment camp in 1945 [of an inoperable brain tumor].

 Liddell’s Olympic training and racing, and the religious convictions that influenced him, are depicted in the Oscar-winning 1981 film Chariots of Fire…”

We had been most impressed with the movie about Eric Liddell, and wanted the full story about him, hence the purchase of the book. This is a picture from Google and Park Baptist Church that tells of his running philosophy. Amazing.

 

 

After that stop, we went to a china rejects shop to look for some replacement china pieces we had broken. Really exciting, huh?

After that, we found a Scottish House that sold Scotland garments, cloth (tartans) and other items from Scotland. We were looking specifically for Fred’s clan’s tartan (Gunn Clan),

 

The Gunn Tartan

 

and a Gunn pin.

 

The Gunn Crest. Credit Google search

 

 

I had intended to make some kind of tartan garments for our daughters. I’ve since made a shawl for each of them. The pin has been lost, unfortunately.

Our next stop took a bit of time, and we thoroughly enjoyed it all. We went to Madame Tussauds wax museum, and the Planetarium . That was such fun to wander through and see all the wax figures there. We were most impressed with the figures of the Royal Family. Here are some pictures we took.

 

 

Our final stop of the day was to head out to Wimbledon to see a Wimbledon tennis match, if possible. At first, we were only allowed admittance to the “nose-bleed” section, which is also the “standing-room-only” section. Later, as the day wore on, and people began to leave, we were permitted to go down to some of the seats and finish out the match. Much better!! What we saw that day, was a doubles match, between John Newcombe and Tony Roche vs. Casal and Hocevar (sorry, I can’t seem to find the first names of Casal or Hocevar).

 

 

It was such fun to be able to see it in person! Much as we enjoy watching tennis on TV, there’s just something about being “in the stands” to see it live that makes it more enjoyable.

It was a good day, but we were eager to get back to the B&B and rest.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Circuitous Travel~Part 9

22 Oct

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

This day started out with another Tube ride into London. Surely was a good thing we were staying close to an Underground station! We certainly made good use of those Tube passes we purchased.

Our first venture this day was to the Tower of London.

 

So many neat things to see there. We went through the Tower, and saw the Crown Jewels. At that time – I’m not sure about now – we were not allowed to take pictures of the Crown Jewels. So we purchased a set of slides. They have changed color, so I’ve tried to “fix” them. Here they are. I really like the crown for Queen Victoria. It’s elegant and dainty.

 

 

Victoria’s Small Crown

 

I was also taken with the crown, orb, and scepter that is used during the coronation of the new King or Queen of England. According to Wikipedia, they are a sign of authority.

 

 

I was fascinated to find the following information concerning the crowns, etc., also from Wikipedia:

A symbol of 800 years of monarchy, the sovereign’s coronation regalia is the only working collection in Europe…and is the largest set of regalia in the world. Objects used to invest and crown the monarch variously denote his or her roles as Head of State, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces. Wives of kings are crowned as queen consort with a plainer set of regalia. Since 1831, a new crown has been made specially for each queen consort. 

….By the Tudor period it was usual for monarchs to inherit state regalia from his or her predecessor. Most of the present collection as a whole dates from around 350 years ago when King Charles II ascended the throne. The medieval and Tudor regalia had been either sold or melted down by Oliver Cromwell, a republican who overthrew the monarchy in 1649, during the English Civil War.

In addition to coronations, the Imperial State Crown is usually worn at State Openings of Parliament, where the Sword of State and two maces are carried in procession…

Although they are part of the Royal Collection and owned by the king or queen for the duration of his or her reign, the Crown Jewels do not belong to the monarch personally.

 

Here are some pictures we took of the Tower area. The courtyard includes barracks for the soldiers who guard the Tower.

 

 

Here is the entrance to the Tower itself.

 

 

Fred took this picture of the Tower Bridge from inside the Tower area. You will see ruins from the Norman time, which fascinated us!

 

 

And this picture of the site of the scaffold for beheading was interesting. At least eight people lost their heads here.

 

 

 

 

 

We saw the Tower Bridge, which is an amazing structure.

 

 

We also walked to St. Paul’s Cathedral. This is a beautiful church, and we thoroughly enjoyed exploring it.

 

I was pleased and touched to find the American Memorial Chapel within the Cathedral. It honors the 28,000 Americans stationed in the United Kingdom during the war, who gave their lives throughout the war. This picture we took of the pedestal holds the Role of Honour, under glass.

 

 

The inscription on the base of this marble pedestal states: This Chapel commemorates the common sacrifices of the British and American peoples during the Second World War and especially those American Service Men whose names are recorded in its Role of Honour. This tablet was unveiled by H. M. Queen Elizabeth II on 26 November 1958 in the presence of Richard M. Nixon the Vice President of the United States of America.

While preparing this post, I was able to find a video clip of the dedication of the chapel from back in 1958. It is quite moving.

It was a beautiful end to an emotional day.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

 

America’s North Country Trip~Part 6

18 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

 

 

Day 6 (Wednesday)

 

I headed southwest on I-94 this morning. I had been noticing, for the last couple of days as I traveled through the North Dakota and Montana plains country, that the round hay bales were everywhere I looked! They were all over the fields, in huge stacks (40-50’ high & 200-400’ long) and even in the right-of-ways along the Interstate. This was a very unusual site for me, as I was used to the right-of-ways in Florida mostly being swales full of water.

 

 

My first museum visit today was the Range Riders Museum located in Miles City, MT. This was one of the most amazing museums I have ever seen! There were some 20 separate galleries under one huge roof, with 8 additional buildings outside. Every inch of every wall was covered with Indian, Pioneer, Homesteader, Westerner and Rodeo artifacts. I was informed that every single item in this entire museum had been donated by someone over the years, including the large main building.   I couldn’t begin to explain all there is or to try and show you about this museum adequately. Just Google “Range Riders Museum” and click on “Exhibits” to get a slideshow for a better idea of just how much there is to see.

 

 

On down the road a ways I saw a sign advertising the Brinton Museum Store located in Hysham, MT and decided to run up U.S. 10 a couple of miles to check it out. This turned out to be a one-room museum store consisting of a beautifully restored antique soda fountain and some local historical artifacts. The museum was closed but I was able to get a photo thru the front window.

 

 

Next I took a small side-trip, south on SR-47, to visit the Big Horn County Historical Museum located in Hardin, MT near the Crow Agency Trading Post. This museum is another frontier type museum with 24 relocated and restored buildings arranged to represent a 1850s Montana frontier village, with artifacts depicting those of that era in each building.

 

 

Another few miles down the road I visited the Battle of the Little Big Horn Monument, commonly known as the location of Custer’s Last Stand. This monument was packed to overflowing with visitors. At the battlefield there is a monument commemorating the 1876 engagement between the U.S. Army and the combined forces of the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indian tribes. There are headstones positioned on the hill where the 7th Cavalry solders died and were originally buried. There is also a new section set aside as a National Cemetery.

 

 

I was interested to learn that several relatives of General Custer were among those who died with him during this battle. There was Captain Thomas Ward Custer his younger brother, Boston Custer his second brother, 1st Lt. James Calhoun his brother-in-law, and Henry Armstrong Reed his 18-year old nephew. History seems to indicate that most of the Custer relatives (including General Custer) looked upon this trip as an opportunity to experience the west in all its grandeur and beauty. I think they got a lot more than they expected!

 

 

Now I headed northwest on I-90 to visit the Moss Mansion Historic Museum located in Billings, MT. I thought this was going to be a museum I could just walk thru, but no, it was a one-hour guided tour and I didn’t think my knees would be able to handle all those stairs. So I just took a couple photos and went to find the next place on my list.

 

 

That turned out to try to find the Boot Hill Cemetery there in Billings. When researching this trip I had discovered this location was going to be a little difficult to find, but I thought Greta (my Garmin) could handle it. However, now that I was relying on her to get me to the exact location, she was confused and was leading me in circles. I finally found it, using my trusty paper map, and was not impressed. I’ve seen much better Boot Hill cemeteries on other trips.

 

 

I tried to find the Rimrocks there in Billings, but here again Greta was unable to locate a specific address. I thought it was a city or county park, but as it turned out it was an area of high cliffs cut into the mountain side by the Yellowstone River that borders the east side of Billings.   I finally found the right road and enjoyed the natural beauty as I followed the road from the river level to the top of the high plateau.

 

 

By now it was time to head for the motel there in Billings, get checked in and relax while I enjoy my leftover CC’s Ground Beef Steak dinner which included green beans, mashed potatoes & gravy with Apple Crisp for dessert. Yummm!!

—–To Be Continued—–

 

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