Thursday, September 30, 2010

On the road in Arkansas

Rarely are there places to stop on this route to see the view, but when there is one on an interstate, it is usually worth a stop.

Not this time though!  I pulled into the parking area of the "overlook", looked around, and was puzzled as to what I was supposed to be ooh-ing and ahh-ing over.  I guess it's this?

It looked like maybe the trees had grown since they first built it, but it's still maintained.  Oh well, better to stop for a minute than miss a great view.

Here are a couple more photos from the road in Arkansas.  Bugs on the windshield contribute added authenticity to the scene.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sometimes my photos look like this

When I take photos along the way, I don't look at the camera, I keep my eyes on the road.  This means that photos often come out like the one above.  This is the mighty Mississippi River, from the bridge heading west out of central Memphis.

The one below is of the bridge itself, it's a little better.  I also don't take photos if there are any vehicles in front, beside or behind me, so I was lucky I had a chance to point it out the windshield and click.  The sign up ahead says "Arkansas".

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The rest areas in Tennessee were named after musicians.  Johnny Cash had his own; all the lesser musicians had to share two or three to a rest area.

I saw some amusing roadside signs in Tennessee- those advertising "FLEA WORLD" and "LIQUOR WORLD" particularly.  On entering Texas there was an electronic sign that said "DRINK AND DRIVE".  It alternated with the message "GO TO JAIL", but on a slow cycle, so someone who was drinking, driving AND speeding could easily miss that little detail.

Monday, September 27, 2010

From Virginia into Tennessee

Here are a couple of photos from Thursday.  This is a road shot from Virginia:

Here's my Corolla parked at a rest stop just inside eastern Tennessee.  It's more mountainous and hilly than it looks in this photo.  That's Interstate 81 behind me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Polar bears on parade

Every tourist cave in Virginia and Tennessee seems to have an unrelated tourist attraction that goes along with your ticket admission.  The guy who owns the Shenandoah caves is also a float builder for parades, and he has a big building beside the caves with his old floats on display.  These polar bears are from a Rose Bowl parade back in the 1990's.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

More cave formations

More photos from the Shenandoah caves.  This was a guided tour, so I couldn't go too nuts with taking photos.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cave bacon

This is from the Shenandoah caves, in Virginia, just off Interstate 81.  Cave bacon.  Very cool- it forms as a thin strip from the ceiling, and gets stained in bacon colours by the different minerals.  I think the guide said that National Geographic named these two strips below as the most perfect cave bacon anywhere.

It's so thin, and this one has a wave to it too:

Very bacony!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Day 1 photos: Across the border and through New York to Pennsylvania

OK, I seem to have a good connection tonight.  I'm currently in Dandridge, Tennessee.  I finished Interstate 81 this afternoon, so tomorrow start the long trek west on Interstate 40.

But for tonight, here are my photos from Tuesday, day 1 of the trip.  This is crossing the bridge at the Thousand Islands, from Ontario into New York state:

This is at the first rest stop- looks like Canadians are welcome, but they gave this one a hard time at the border!  Pulled me inside for a secondary interview.  Having no fixed address looks very suspicious at the border, but even though he didn't like any of my answers to his questions (apparently, following all the rules counted against me, it was a little surreal), he did let me in in the end when I showed him my bank balances and that I had enough money to support myself there without working.  I didn't conceal the fact that I had looked into working there before (which also counted against me, despite the fact that the process I had followed is mandated by the American federal government!  I think someone needs to tell the border guards about the NAFTA agreement, and that certain categories of workers, including nurses, are allowed to seek work in each others countries.)

I think New York has the nicest rest stops:

The photo below is taken at a different rest stop, I took one here last year too:

Here's a random snap from the road, I think I'm in Pennsylvania here:

That's all for day one, I stopped for the night at Wilkes Barre, south of Scranton.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Greener, hotter, steamier

I'm on day 2 of my relatively slo-mo drive across America.  I tried to post some day 1 photos yesterday but the internet connection was lost, I'll try again soon.

I spent last night in Wilkes Barre, which is just south of Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Tonight I'm in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  It's hot down here!  It's been pretty toasty all day today, through all 4 states (highway 81 cuts through slivers of Maryland and West Virginia between PA and VA.)  I guess it can be like that in Ontario this time of year too, but it hasn't been since I got back from Arctic Bay, so it was a bit of an oppressive novelty.

It reminds me why I go all the way to California for my winter warmth... I don't like humidity, and they have plenty of that here too.

I went to some caves today, and I think I got some good photos, I'll post those later on too.  Yesterday I wasted so much time trying to upload pictures, that I'd hate to do that again tonight and not have them go through, so my regular readers will just have to wait in suspense.

Tomorrow I drive to eastern Tennessee.  Hopefully the drive will have less traffic, fewer construction sites, and a thinner concentration of Corolla crushers on the road than today's drive did.  Pennsylvania sure is pretty though, and the leaves are starting to change in the mountainous areas, so the drive did have it's pleasant moments too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sculptures at Remic Rapids

At Remic Rapids in Ottawa, a local sculptor does these works in balanced stone every year.  The theme to this year's display is "Community", if I remember correctly.  He's been doing these for a long time, and I think he keeps improving over the years, although they were always very good.  They get knocked down every spring when the river breaks up.  I think after doing them for so many years, he must know the rocks there pretty well- I wonder if he goes looking for his favourites?

Usually they are all or mostly in the water, but this year the water is very low, so they are mostly milling about the shoreline.  There are a million ugly green signs propped against them telling you not to touch them, but I have thoughtfully photoshopped most of them out for you.  I took these pictures on September 15.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Flight over South Baffin and Northern Quebec

When I flew home on Sept. 7, the weather was clear and beautiful heading out of Iqaluit.  The tide was low and the tidal flats (do they call them that in the arctic?) were exposed:

These next two pictures are of the south side of Frobisher Bay:

Heading inland over south Baffin island:


At the coast of south Baffin island.  There's a waterfall (I think, or rapids) visible at the mouth of that river in the upper left hand corner:

This is the coastline of northern Quebec:

I don't know what river this is heading north, but it's a big one:

Heading inland into northern Quebec.  I love the different patterns of the lakes and rivers the glaciers carved in different areas:

Another river:

A big lake:

I think the photo below shows the treeline, or at least the shrubline.  ;-)  The trees are growing in the lower areas near the waterways:

This is a closeup of the river in the above photo.  This looks like a man-made dam of some kind, but we're still pretty far north:

A little further down the same river:

... and, after that, there were clouds and the rest of the trip was overcast until we got to just north of Ottawa.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Beach at Victor Bay

There's more than one beach at Victor Bay, but here's the one that's closest to the road.  The sand is reddish on this beach.

In places the sand is mixed with pebbles, but in other places it's smooth and sandy like this.  Some bird was making tracks before I happened by:

Here's another creek coming out onto the beach from the land:

Making it's way through the pebble beach to the ocean:

Just another shattered rock.

Here's the ATV waiting for me at the end of my walk.  There are still some tents pitched down below on the spit that projects out into the bay:

The road leading back to Arctic Bay: