Thursday, June 28, 2007

Heading North

I forgot to provide a picture of Old Faithful at Yellowstone. It is the only regularly predicted geyser in the park.

Here she goes blasting about 60-80 ft. in the air.

Many people wait and watch and photograph.

Leaving Yellowstone we head north to Glacier National Park. We stopped in the town of Virginia City, Montana, which has an interesting and lively history. It was a rough and tumble place in the 1800's with gun-slinging and rustling and everything else. The town even has a Boot Hill with the graves of criminals hung by town vigilantes. Virginia City maintains about 100 buildings from those days.

Next stop before Glacier is Missoula and a weekend visit with old friend Steve Begleiter. Steve teaches at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography. He has a wonderful wife and former actress, Katy, who teaches at the local schools. They have two young children, Makesh and Makita, which keeps them young at heart. This is the first picture of Steve and me since college.

Now off to Glacier. Here is a view from Many Glacier Road on the east side of the park.

Next I'll post images from the Going to the Sun Road.

Copyright 2007 James D. Fisher
All Rights Reserved.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Tetons, Yellowstone and more

Here's a few goodies from our trip. Enjoy!

First stop was the Grand Tetons with its glorious mountain ranges.

Yellowstone has fantastic falls with double rainbows.

The lakes are beautiful too.

We saw lots of bison.

Plenty of pools and geysers.

Some of them smelled pretty bad.

The hot steam felt good on a cold day.

The sunsets were powerful.

Copyright 2007 James D. Fisher
All Rights Reserved.

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Falls at Kent

Some things have changed in Kent. They did a nifty reconstruction project and made a very enjoyable park. Gone is the old falls and in is a man-made waterfalls with a walkway. The walkway leads to an observation deck. Also, there is a stone-laden shore next to the river perfect for fishing. Check it out.

This is an overview of the new configuration. The river water level is pretty low on this day but even with high-water, I don't think any drunk, college students are going to dive off the bridge anymore.

This is a great place for fishing. There were several father-son-daughter teams working their lines. Where are the moms?

The waterfalls has a long pool along the top which cascades over the edge to create a gently but sparkly effect. Note the observation deck in the upper right corner.

The Cuyahoga River flows south through Kent and Akron and then makes its reverse journey to Lake Erie.

On the other side of the bridge is the river and rail line that runs through Kent. I don't think there is any economic activity utilizing the railroad in Kent anymore.

Copyright 2007 James D. Fisher
All Rights Reserved.

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Have you been to Ashtabula lately?

I hadn't for a long time. I'm not sure why we ended up here today. It's a town that still focuses on shipping, especially coal, but not much else is going on. It has a great beach park east of the city with plenty of swimmers, sun-bathers and Frisbee flipping. The main street leading to the river focuses on tourist shops.

My wife, Mary, lived in Ashtabula while doing a journalism internship during her college days. We saw the apartment she lived in and it looked pretty good. The town has nice bluff which overlooks the river. It's next to a maritime museum.

The name Ashtabula is Iroquois for "river of many fish". I hope that is true today the way we've damaged so many of our fresh water rivers during the industrial era.

Here's a view of the Ashtabula river from the bluff. This would be a great place to sit in the evenings and watch the river traffic with all the lights. Maybe some evening we'll come back and get some night shots.

The most noticeable thing on the river is the conveyor belt that is suspended across the river. Material, mostly ores, coal, stones, are lifted over the water through the conveyor. My father, Paul, worked for the company, Dravo-Wellman, which built the conveyor. He was the project estimator and helped develop the conveyor spec.

Looking the other way from the bluff is this busy jack knife bridge.

It uses a gigantic, concrete counter-weight to lift the bridge.

This picture is toward the end of the main drag going toward the river. As you can see it has that early 20th century construction and charm.

There is always something quirky and charming about Midwest towns. Their pasts were often prosperous but their future seem unsettling. Will they get swallowed up by time and neglect or can they make a new present? Ashtabula, we're pulling for ya!

Copyright 2007 James D. Fisher
All Rights Reserved.

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Killing the Cleveland sports vampire

As much as I hate to listen to comments about the "long-suffering Cleveland sports fan", it is so true. I am one of them. But now we have an advocate, one who is someone that has lived here and feels the same way we all do. Best of all, unlike most of us, he is someone who can do something about it. That's LeBron James, one of the millions of long-suffering Cleveland sports fans.

Will LeBron drive a spike for all of us though the heart of the life-sucking vampire of Cleveland losses, disappointments, injuries, betrayals, etc? It's so much to ask and so selfish to put this on this young man's shoulders. But not only is he able, he seems so willing.

Can he lead us past the Spurs? I think so but just getting to the finals for the first time in 37 years is wonderful too.

Go LeBron! Go Cavs! Go Cleveland!!!

Copyright 2007 James D. Fisher
All Rights Reserved.

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