Friday, May 24, 2019

Hannibal (Day 29)

After St. Louis, we continued north with Des Moines, IA as our destination. It probably seems like an underwhelming destination in the context of all of the cities and national parks, but there was a good reason. Brenda's brother and family lived in Des Moines back then, so we went out of our way to visit. On the route to Des Moines, we passed through American author Mark Twain's boyhood hometown, Hannibal, MO. There were a few tourist plaques there, and it was a good opportunity to get out of the car, stretch the legs and get lunch.

Looks like a postcard for Hannibal, MO.
So, at the end of a day's drive, we arrived at our destination, visited a bit with family, then crashed. The next day was an opportunity to have a nice relaxing day at a lake picnicking and playing in the water.

This might be Des Moines' only tourist attraction, the capitol building.
The itinerary from Des Moines would take us to Denver, CO through Nebraska. We wanted to maximize our time in Denver and Utah, so we decided that the 11-hour drive to Denver would be an overnight. I thought everyone could sleep through it, and wake up ready to explore Denver. I don't think anyone got much sleep that night.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

St. Louis

So, after the Great Smoky Mountains, we headed toward Nashville, TN, and stayed a night there. It was somewhat uneventful, except for a dinner at an interesting restaurant called "Aquarium". Just like any other novelty restaurant, it was more about the novelty of eating in a space surrounded by aquariums than it was for the food.

We stayed in a basic motel, swam in the pool and headed north toward St. Louis the next morning. Believe it or not, there aren't really any campgrounds in St. Louis. There was a campground in East St. Louis, nestled between an industrial area and some railroad tracks. That was not one of our better camping experiences on the road. But, that was not the point of being in St. Louis. What I wanted was for us to experience/see the Arch early in the day. Yep, it's one of America's great monuments.

After seeing the Arch, the museum below it, and going up to the top (it's and interesting elevator ride, and the view is unique, but not the best part of the visit), we went on a 'stern-wheel' riverboat ride on the "Tom Sawyer". It was an different way to see the waterfront.

I do have to show my Pacific Northwest bias once again by noting that the Mississippi river is brown and ugly compared to the Columbia.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Great? Well, Maybe.

So, we were sad to leave the Outer Banks and had so much fun there. Next on our itinerary was to visit Great Smoky Mountains NP. This is it. Surely this would be hard for people in the eastern US to accept, but the Great Smoky Mountains are underwhelming. Yes, there are beautiful scenes like the one above, and we certainly appreciated them, but we are from the west. These are what we call "hills". Honestly, the most memorable thing about our visit was a meal we ate. We were camping the night we spent at the park, and stopped at a small country store to get groceries. For some goofy reason, I thought chili-mac hamburger helper would be a good meal. NOPE! It was terrible, and that is what most of us remember about our visit to Great Smoky Mountains NP.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

12 years?

How does 12 years go by like that? Well, technically it has only been 11 years, and approximately 6 months.

Whatever. It seems like the rest of the photos from the Ketah's big cross-country adventure are still around somewhere. If they can be found, perhaps they, along with photos from adventures since, will make it here.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

OBX (Days 21-24)

We left DC and drove down through Maryland and Delaware to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Some readers may remember that as the area where the Wright Brothers first flew.

At the visitors center there was a monument to the history of flight, from that first one up to the last few years.

It was about lunch time when we got there, so we went and ate lunch. We were not yet to our destination, but the ocean was right there next to the place we ate.

That was pretty much a preview of what we would do for the duration of our stay, play in the 80 degree water of the Atlantic Ocean.

But first, we made a stop at the place where the two brothers first flew.

These markers represent their first flights. What was really cool about going to this place was that we had seen the actual plane they flew at the National Air & Space museum 2 days before. I didn't add any photos of that visit because the camera battery died.

Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like the power of the ocean!

The section of the Outer Banks where we stayed was only about 400 yards wide. We were able to see sunrise and sunset out over the ocean.

We also visited America's tallest lighthouse at Cape Hatteras.

Body surfing can beat you up a bit!

Among the fun stuff at the ocean, Andrew got to do a little bit of 'Boogie Boarding'.

We will definitely go back!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

DC part 5

We went to the National Zoo. It was a really good zoo. The cool thing about Washington DC is that all of the museums and the zoo are FREE! Each of these attractions are also better than the ones you pay for anywhere else in the country.

The kids loved watching the otters! They seem so happy and carefree! There are several of them in the enclosure, and they seem to enjoy one another's company. Groups of people might learn something about interaction from watching otters.

This was the vicious, man-eating Panda.

I think this one actually would eat a person if given the opportunity.

Look daddy, a flutterby!

Andrew loved the reptiles and amphibians.

Abigail is going to make a suit of armor out of animal parts and use this pelvis as her mask!

That little kid looks tasty!

Andrew has become a fan of staged photos!

Anything Andrew does, Abigail must do!

When a Tiger looks at you, you know it would kill you. They just have a piercing stare that says, "you are lucky I can't get to you!"

When Andrew gets angry or frustrated, he skowls with his eyebrows, purses his lips, and folds his arms. When we saw this photo, we recognized it as a near ringer for 'angry Andrew'. Brenda came up with the name "An-grilla".

We thoroughly enjoyed DC, and will go back some time!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

DC part 4

My main goal in visiting Washington DC was to visit the National Museum of the American Indian. I really appreciated this opportunity, and it was a very personal experience. It affected my thinking on issues of race, religion, and heritage.

I know the guy who carved this totem, he lives and works in my hometown.


Native creation mythology tells that Raven brought light to the world.

Both the sun and the moon.

My grandmother told me about this.

Where did the term "Indian Giver" come from? The one's who couldn't keep their word were many of the early presidents of the United States. Theft, exploitation, and genocide...plain and simple.

The first woman sculptor to have permanent work included in Washington DC. A Native American woman whose art will be outside the NMAI.