Category Archives: outdoor roadside attractions

In the Moonlight (in the daytime)

At the Ballston Common (Arlington VA) Farmer’s Market today, a guitar performer was singing “Dancing in the Moonlight”.

That’s an old song I remember from 1973, about the time of my “second coming”.  I remember one Sunday night driving back home in late February, to northern New Jersey through SE New York State (from skiing in Killington VT) and hearing the song, as the radio said, “we may be dancing on the snowflakes”.

I’m reminded of Reid Ewing’s song, “In the Moonlight (Do Me)” from Modern Family.

You can look up “Imagine Me Naked” if you like.

(Posted: Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 5 PM EDT)

 

Crabtree Falls, VA (near Monroe Institute)

I visited Crabtree Falls in Nelson County, VA, on VA 56, on the east side of the Blue Ridge, west of Lovingston, in the George Washington National Forest, about 5 miles into the forest.

The road is steep and winds along the stream below the falls.  The Falls may be the highest east of the Mississippi (about 1200 feet total).  The lower two segments are visible from the parking lot, only 0.1 mile walk.

In Nelson County, along US 29, there are many “No Pipeline” signs.

As a crow flies, it is not far from the Monroe Institute, south of Charlottesville.

The mountain ridge at the top is generally around 3500 feet.

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(Posted: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 9:45 PM EDT)

Shenandoah National Park fire site has largely recovered naturally; a revisit today

I revisited the site of the Rocky Mount fire in Shenandoah National Park today (see May 17, 2016).

At the Brown Mountain overlook, most of the ground cover had grown back.  Some scaring of trees was visible in the distance.

But the area has recovered very quickly.

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I didn’t get to where there was Verizon Internet again until I reached US250 at the southern end of the Park, and learned quickly about Trump’s saying he had been elected by voters in Pittsburgh.

(Posted: Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 11:30 PM)

Below: View from 675 after climbing Massanutten into the Fort Valley, looks like the scenery of my “Ocelot” story in my DADT-III book.

Roads and Rails Museum in Frederick MD creates a Rama world

I visited the little “Road and Rails” Museum in Frederick, MD today, on East Street (MD 85 which you get on from I-270 4 miles east of the main US 15 turnoff for Gettysburg, PA).  There is a parking lot behind the building, hard to see.

The main layout is an 850-square-foot space (the size of a one-bedroom apartment) with an interior.  On the south end there is a huge volcano peak. There is farmland, suburbs (one little mountain), a big city, then a northern mountain section with a range that runs south-north with a couple more rails on top.  On the east side there is an “old west” canyon;  on the west side there are circuses and othr roadside attractions. There is one small town on the NW corner.

Imagine if you went to live in this community as a Lilliputian for your afterlife.

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The layout reminds me of Choo-Choo Barn in Strasburg, OA and Roadside America, on I-78 west of Reading PA.

(Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 at 5:15 PM EDT)

Below: Fort Dietrick

 

Taste of Arlington (VA) bigger than ever, but charges admission, leading to lines to get in

The “Taste of Arlington” (Virginia) was bigger than ever, but charged $15 admission.  Tickets were issued for alcohol, but food could be bought with cash.  Food concessions were cheaper than at many festivals (offsetting the admission).

This event was perhaps “Gay pride for dogs” (or maybe Straight pride for dogs).  I never saw so many dogs at an event, who would be more interested in each other than in all the people (although they did want the food — as a dog onetime begged me for some hamburger at Gay Pride in DC).    Some of DC’s gay community (Cobalt, Town, Freddie’s, etc.) did seem to be around. I didn’t see an HRC pavilion, which might have been a good idea.

The area started farther south on Wilson Blvd than in the past, that is, just past where the Ballston Quarter is being re-constructed. It extended almost to Virginia Square.

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There was a climbing pole and some basket-court games.  The MLB Washington Nationals (who won today in Atlanta, breaking a 4-gane losing streak) had a major pavilion and advertised their new Visa card.

Something bizarre happened when I got the wristband wrapped on. “I’ll watch out for the hair”, the salesperson said, dispassionately, almost as if a character in “Twin Peaks”.  That’s never been said even at Town.  Last time was an “iv-critic” back in 1998 in the hospital in Minneapolis after surgery for my broken hip accident.

(Posted: Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 6:30 PM EDT)

 

Easter Sunday service at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC

For the first time ever, I attended the Easter Sunday Sunrise Service sponsored by Capital Church in McLean VA today at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.  In 2014, I had attended a service at Arlington Cemetery and filmed it.  But this service lasting about 70 minutes, was “contemporary” in style.

Here is a list of clips.

1  (birds, while waiting for Uber, which did come right away;  Metro wasn’t open yet)

2  The hymn “He’s Alive” reminded me of a Sunday night service in August 1979 at the old MCC Dallas (long before the Cathedral of Hope got built in Dallas) where a young man sung this with his guitar and a woman, paralyzed, got up and walked.  I actually saw this.

3  “Praise the Lord”

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At the end, there was an evangelical appeal to people to raise their hands as a sign of personal commitment to Christ, in public.  This is more common at evangelical services.

(Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2017 at 2 PM EDT)

A visit to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad site on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

On “Palm Monday” I visited the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park on the Maryland Eastern Shore (south of Cambridge), which is also a national monument run by the National Park Service.

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in Dorchester County, Maryland on 1822. She was injured in a shop when struck by an object thrown by an angry slaveowner weighing goods, aimed at someone else. She managed to escape, and eventually settled in Auburn, NY (near Syracuse), but made return missions and helped rescue over 70 families along an “Underground Railroad” which the motorist today can drive up Md 16 toward Denton on 404 (Reboboth Highway).

The exhibits diagram how slavery worked in southern Maryland. Farms were smaller than in the deeper south, and slaves were traded more often. Undercover “informants” would pretend to help slaves and then turn them in for bounties. Escaping slaves were often kidnapped, and sometimes free men were taken my mistaken identity and returned to slavery (as with the 2013 film “12 Years a Slave” by Steve McQueen. Slaves had a sense of very low station in life. The over all impression left by the museum is one of overwhelming racial bigotry.

The exhibit also raises the question of “resistance” (a term we hear today) in a moral context.  When is it right to disobey existing law?  How do we deal with this in the Bible (like here in Ephesians)?  We see this problem in other contexts, like African American soldiers serving in segregated units through World War II (remember the HBO film “Truman“).

The museum offered a 2 hour presentation of the opening ceremony by video, with Maryland governor Larry Hogan (Republican) speaking.  Later a biographical film will be offered.

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(Posted Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 9:45 AM EDT)