On January 1, 2017 I sat on a beach in Ocean City, Maryland to watch a spectacular sunrise and pondered to myself about the opportunities I would have to travel throughout the year. Little did I really know the extent that I would actually travel over the year and I’m grateful that I’ve had a wonderful year of seeing more of this beautiful country.
Beginning with that glorious morning in Maryland, over the course of the year I have driven nearly 15,000 miles on road trips, many to visit family or be with family, but all of the trips have been wonderful. Some have been close by doing what I refer to as “staycation“ trips in Kentucky. But, throughout the course of the year I have been to 19 different states and have seen a plethora of places and things. Many of the trips included time with my wife, my children and my grandchildren. That makes things so much better and enjoyable!
In July we had a family reunion. It was the first in five years and all of my 10 grandchildren and all my five children were here at one time or another and even my sister and her husband and daughter came up to visit. During that time we also visited my extended family in Cleveland, Ohio. So, travel was not the only joyful thing. Family is the best.
The following photos tell just a small story of the past year. I have already posted some of the things in more detail and have five or six others in the works about specific places. But here are just some of the places and things form this past year. ENJOY THE RIDE!
It has been a while since I’ve written in the blog. The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity beginning in July with a family reunion and continuing on with the new job at comicbook.com.
In the midst of all of that I have spent the last couple of months using most of my “writing time“ to complete my first book which was referred to in my previous post a couple of days ago. Now that that book is published and on Amazon.com. I’m going to try to knock out a few of the blog posts that have been piling up on me.
Over the next couple of weeks you’ll see blog posts about the new murals in Lexington, KY; Mammoth Cave National Park and the Wigwam Motel in Cave City, KY; Watkins Glen State Park in New York; Letchworth State Park also in New York; Fayetteville and New River Gorge in West Virginia; places in Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, and Ohio, as well as Cairo, IL and Paducah KY. Indeed, I have been to numerous places over the last few months. I neglected to mention the Montour Trail in Pennsylvania, a lovely bike trail. And also the Virginia Creeper Trail that we took again this year (near Damascus, VA) but with a different twist. So there will be plenty of travel opportunities to read about in the upcoming days.
For those of you that visit my blog frequently, you may recall that many of my blog posts were lengthy and covered a lot of territory and are more like a travel log. I have decided that going forward each area or each place will get it’s own separate blog post and will be shorter and more concise. I think that is a learning experience from doing my recent book. Hopefully you will find the blog posts to be more enjoyable and easier and quicker to read. Enjoy the ride!
This is part two of my Midland Trail series and this post will focus on West Virginia’s Capital Charleston. During most of May I spent a great deal of time in this lovely river town while visiting a friend of mine who was ill and eventually passed away. That is another story.
During my time in Charleston, I took the opportunity to drive around the town and get photos of the unique Capitol Building, a few other buildings, murals and other things. The town certainly does have its own unique personality.
Charleston is the capital and largest city West Virginia. It is located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers in Kanawha County. The city apparently got its start in the late 1700s and historical conjecture indicates that Charleston is named after Col. George Clendenin’s father, Charles. Col. Clendenin acquired the deed to the area in 1786. Charles Town was later shortened to Charleston to avoid confusion with another Charles Town in eastern West Virginia, which was named after George Washington’s brother Charles. Daniel Boone was a resident for a time and served on the Virginia House of Delegates.
A short drive around the area near the Capitol Building provides the opportunity to see a few murals, one of my favorite things to look for. Here are a few murals in the area…but I don’t think I found them all yet!!
Another mural I came across was on the back side of a convenience store in an alley.
Murals aren’t the only public art in Charleston. As noted in their website Public Art in Charleston, the town has promoted art works including murals and sculptures for over 13 years. While driving around town I came across one sculpture that looked oddly familiar. Titled “Hallelujah,”, the piece below is by artist Albert Paley, who made four massive sculptures entitled “Odyssey” in Council Bluffs, IA (see my post here).
Another interesting sculpture, very close by is the “Festival Delle Arti” by artist Harry Marinsky. This whimsical work of art is likely appealing to children (and adults with the hearts of children!).
More scenes from downtown Charleston include some buildings and signs. Really a fun place to visit.
I found Charleston to be a wonderful town…lovely bridges, a nice river, beautiful buildings and artwork.