Marcy Hill ramble

Supremecourt river

During today’s walk, I passed the NM Supreme Court building, with an entrance overlooking the Santa Fé River. I know it just looks like channelized run-off, but this river was a main water supply for pre-modern visitors.

Marcy hill view

I wound my way up Marcy Hill, and had this view back at the city. Fogged in. Fort Marcy is up here, just foundation ruins now, being worn down by foot traffic. A sign said it was the first fort built west of the Mississippi by the US military. It was not where the troops lived, but a place of secure refuge if needed. The star fort was built in 1846, and abandoned in 1868.

Deer marcy hill

I checked out a little-traveled area, and found this trio. Notice how the young one is trailing the adults and not so alert. Checking social media, perhaps.

Capital rear entrance

Homeward bound, I checked out the rear of the capital building. Looks like children engaged in tug-a-war. Metaphor for activities in the building?

Santafe trail marker

At some point I followed the Old Santa Fé Trail, and found this marker.

Faux stable

And a faux stable. No flies, I’m guessing.

Homeward (no angel)

Southern States

Proof that we’re southbound. Also, proof that it was sunny early on.

Spitty rain

We drove into rain, and never out. Some stretches had incipient rain, but the perception was that rain would restart any moment.

Cow catcher

We made the NC transportation museum our big stop. It’s centered on a roundhouse, but I even saw a dugout canoe and motorcycles. My digital dictionary indicates cow-catcher is hyphenated; coulda fooled me.

Wagon hub

Wagon hub. Looks like a fancy locking pin.


Have no idea why forty men and eight horses.

Dusty car

Dusty, chrome-laden car.

Stone mtn

Aha! Stone Mountain.


Aha! Atlanta traffique.

Mall walking plus

DC tunnel

Urban travel today is likely to involve routes underground, whether you are in a vehicle or afoot. A tunnel in the central civic-ceremonial zone of WashDC.

Parking ramp joke

Ronald Reagan building parking/security team joke.

Silver rose

A rose to you for getting through the traffic.

Ancient eraser type

How many US citizens under the age of, what?, 40? know what this is…that it’s not just an aesthetic combo of shapes and colors. Often, in my (limited) experience, the eraser would solidify and the bristles would get bent before the eraser was used up.

Verrocchio banner

Our first stop: the Verrocchio exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. Verrocchio has many names in the literature (WikiPee indicates his birth name was Andrea di Michele di Francesco de’ Cioni), but most cognoscenti refer to him as merely Verrocchio, referring to the goldsmith he trained under, poor guy. He was an accomplished goldsmith, architect, painter, and sculptor. One of his mentees was Leonardo da Vinci.

Alex the great

Verrocchio’s Alexander the Great. Is that a dragon on your head, sir?

Terrier feet

Love the sandal strap details. Many art historians think Leonardo painted the ghostly terrier.

Davids foot Goliaths head

This is Goliath’s head with David’s foot in Verrocchio’s version of the same moment as the famous Donatello statue of David. We saw the latter in Florence; I like both. Again: footwear detail.


We got lunch in a downstairs museum café, and headed to the mall. Left: view of Capitol Hill. We went that way last time. We went the opposite way this time.

Washington mon

Toward the Washington monument, all sparkly clean and open for business again.

Lincoln mem

And from the hill at its base, we could see our quarry, the Lincoln Monument. But first, at this end of the Reflecting Pool, the WWII Memorial.

WWII mem

Sobering to see over 4000 stars here, each representing 100 American war dead.


We climbed out, paralleled the pool, and worked our way through the crowds up the steps and into the main room of the Lincoln Monument, which the Romans would have called a cella. Many old guys in wheelchairs…this weekend’s groups of Honor Flight members and their attendees. One group whose members we kept encountering were from “Flag City,” Ohio.

Vietnam mem

We tore ourselves away from the Abe and visited the Vietnam Maya Lin wall. Sobering also. It’s all about the names, each life lost.

Mallows bay

Enough malling, we headed back to our parking garage. [Ended up with 16K steps for the day. Outdoor mall-walking.]

The “island” out there is a sunken ship. There are over 230 of them in shallow Mallows Bay, on the Maryland side of the Potomac, a bit downstream and opposite Quantico. Look at GooSatView and see how many you can count. Many are steam ships and many date from WWI.

Rappahannock bridge

We paid $6(!!) to cross this bridge over the Rappahannock, the next big river south of the Potomac, both flowing into Chesapeake Bay. The beams are pretty, and the light was nice, but I prefer the bridge that spans the two peninsulas way NNW of here, plus the crossing is cheaper.

Built environment, especially bridges

Taftsville Covered Bridge

Taftsville Covered Bridge, with autumn complement of leaf-peepers….

Barn event space

When no longer farming, used a large quaint barn, barnyard as event space.

Fall color variation

Fall color mosaic varies. We are westbound here—nice light.

VT State Fair main gate

Main gate, Vermont state fair, with ginger breading.


Armory with asymmetric towers.

Ticonderoga mill dam

Ticonderoga’s mill dam. There were at least two mills on the river, both long gone.

Desilu light

Lucille Ball was the backer of the original Star Trek; her money, exclusively as I understand it, got the pilot made, then a second pilot made with new actors, and on the air. She and Desi were divorced by then, but the studio name stayed, and she ran it.

Transporter footware

Modern transporter footwear.

Magic hallway

Magic hallway—Drew, our guide, said that was the filming term. The arc was long enough that actors could walk/run-and-talk for a bit before reaching the end.

Warp core

Warp core.

Bridge Enterprise

Bridge of the Enterprise.

Tradl double bridge

Traditional double bridge.

Modern bridge

Modern highway bridge.

Apologies for late/”10:22pm” post; we had a l-o-n-g drive yesterday and I was pooped/too busy navigating.

Rolling or sedentary stone?

Mossy wall

Reading about ancient plant fiber technology…what solution was used to make fiber “longer.” Do you splice or use a kind of spinning to hold the new piece in place (if I have it right)? A recent study shows that across a big swath of the eastern Mediterranean, for generations most fiber workers (probably women) used splicing earlier and longer than previously believed. What’s most interesting to me is that this was widely used for a very long time…and across a wide area…without change. Why? Why do it the same way your grandmother and here grandmother did? Why no innovation? This duration issue arises in other places with other materials, techniques, and technologies. We generally think of humans as innovators, but archaeology shows repeated examples of continuity for dozens of generations and across huge areas, even when populations are low. Love mysteries like this!

Hawaii mysteries

Long lines maybe

We spotted this in a fishing boat, not sure what it is. Long line? Hooks…lines…carpet fragment.

Heiau kapu

This heiau (sacred place) is in a busy park at a good surfing spot. Many signs remind non-believers that this is a sacred place, to avoid—no cars, scooters or entrance. But, oh what a scenic place! I couldn’t tell if there was a adjacent village anciently; it could have been by itself overlooking the ocean.

Sacred places

Lagartija pale

We stayed up late (as in: after dark) last night chatting on the lanai/patio. At least three of these little lizards showed up to hunt bugs around one especially bright light. I hadn’t seen these pale ones before. This one has a shortened tail.

Beverages of morning

This morning I felt like I needed fluids. I doubled up with coffee and kombucha. After two portions of each, I felt not-quite-so-dry.

Arizona memorial

Our big expedition was to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. They’ve been fixing the landing dock for over a year, and we could not land, so we motored by, with first one side of our boat facing the memorial and then the other side, as passengers were required to stay seated at all times. The flag pole is attached to an original part of the Arizona‘s mast. The white float far right is above the bow. It was a solemn visit. The 20+-minute video before we boarded the boat was excellent; visitors were instructed not to talk during it and indeed (surprise), people were quiet.

Pacific cemetery punchbowl

Mid-afternoon, the Guru and I entered Puowaina, more commonly known as Punchbowl Crater. More military dead are interred here, in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. I believe the current tally of dead exceeds 53K; markers are all flat, which contrasts with Arlington National, for example. We were surprised that the floor of the crater is so high.

Iolani palace

Then, we went to the core of the civic-ceremonial and governmental section of Honolulu. This is the ‘Iolani Palace; construction began in 1879. It replaced an earlier building that dated to the early 1840s (if I have it right), built during the reign of Kamehameha III (born 1814; died 1854; reign 1825–1854). This building dates to the reign of King Kalākaua (born 1836; died 1891; reign 1874–1891). TMI?

IP mound

This fenced area is on the palace grounds; it is a burial mound and super kapu (forbidden—because of its extreme sacredness). The lands around the palace, including other city blocks, was part of a royal sacred area prior to the arrival of foreigners. Behind the fence on the back side, I saw a guy shooting up and that was during an idle glance; that was not something I wanted to see (and have seared into my memory). Elsewhere people were sleeping on sidewalks and on the grass. Homeless problem here, too, in that end-of-the-road way….

Manistique news

Lacey window

We trekked to Manistique and parked by the historic water tower and a cozy, small historic house that was the home of a friend of my grandmother’s.

Quelle surprise! Both were open! This is the view from the window at the stairs next to the small bedroom under the roof. I liked the pattern from the lace curtain very much; however, I don’t think it is “antique.”

Siphon bridge

Those two buildings are right next to the famous siphon bridge, which only did the siphon thing for about eight decades. The surface of the bridge was below the surface of the water (yes, it’s possible), and beneath the bridge the water was deeper, and this “sucked” the water beneath and past the bridge, and removed much of the pressure of the water level being higher than the deck of the bridge. If I understand correctly.

Bridge plaque

Despite the date on this plaque for construction of the siphon bridge, 1918, the centenary was celebrated this year. All other info we read indicated the bridge dates to 1919. These discrepancies happen with historical archival info.

Hot mess

Ds peony

The Île de la Cité will never be the same. The gargoyles are still coughing (I’m pretty sure).

River stories

Cormorants waiting

These cormorants are waiting for whatever cormorants wait for. Food? More than food? These rocks were under many more feet of water for decades in a huge mill pond.

Hooch mills whitewater

Downstream of the cormorants, some of the later mill buildings survive, most repurposed as river-front apartments now that the dams are gone and the water is white, as it was through the early 1800s. This is the Chattahoochee at the Fall Line in Columbus.

Whitewater running

Now, venturesome people in funky short kayaks dare the once-again fast-flowing river to overpower them. [This guy was just fine; this moment looks scary, however.]