#TBT – Oh the Places I’ve Been: Some Odds and Ends

“You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go!” – Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go

Sumoflam at the White House - July 1990

Sumoflam at the White House – July 1990

As a Throwback Thursday menagerie, I thought I would throw in some of my odds and ends from the past…some going way back and some not so long ago.  I have been blessed to travel so many places and many of my travels happened long before I began writing about them.  So, here they are, a potpourri of places diverse.  ENJOY THE RIDE!

Mt. Fuji, Japan as seen from my airplane seat in 1990 as I flew to Tokyo from Oita.

Mt. Fuji, Japan as seen from my airplane seat in 1990 as I flew to Tokyo from Oita.  Indeed, I soared to high heights!!

“You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.” – Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go

Visiting Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1979.  I have always enjoyed visiting old Indian ruins.

Visiting Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1979. I have always enjoyed visiting old Indian ruins.

Most of my early life was spent in the western U.S. and, as such, I got to see deserts, mountains, Indian ruins and more.

Visiting Montezuma Castle National Monument in Cottonwood, AZ in 1983.  I was a tour guide at the time

Visiting Montezuma Castle National Monument in Cottonwood, AZ in 1983. I was a tour guide at the time

Enjoying the splendor of Monument Valley in southern Utah and Northern Arizona around 1983

Enjoying the splendor of Monument Valley in southern Utah and Northern Arizona around 1983

The red rocks near Tuba City, AZ look like someone stacked them.  This was taken in 1983

The red rocks near Tuba City, AZ look like someone stacked them. This was taken in 1983 (and no, I was not really pushing)

Growing a love for antiquities and old things, I had many opportunities to visit old places during my many visits to Japan.  I am especially fond of the awesome castles and amazing old shrines, many of which I have had the opportunity to visit.  Here are a couple.

Himeji Castle in Himeji, Japan...visited in 1987

Himeji Castle in Himeji, Japan…visited in 1987

One of Japan's smallest castles, the Hikone Castle, supposedly has tiles of gold on top.  I visited here in 1990

One of Japan’s smallest castles, the Hikone Castle, supposedly has tiles of gold on top. I visited here in 1990

Perhaps the best "old shrine" in Japan, Nikko has been around for centuries.  This is north of Tokyo.  I visited Nikko in 1990.

Perhaps the best “old shrine” in Japan, Nikko has been around for centuries. This is north of Tokyo. I visited Nikko in 1990.

The colorful pagoda in Nikko

The colorful pagoda in Nikko

While living in Japan, I also visited Kyoto on a couple of occasions.  Kyoto has wonderful old historic shrines and temples, and colorful Geisha…

Hanging with a Geisha in Kyoto, Japan 1987

Hanging with a Geisha in Kyoto, Japan 1987

Visiting the Gold Pavilion "Kinkaku Ji" in Kyoto in 1987

Visiting the Gold Pavilion “Kinkaku Ji” in Kyoto in 1987

Back in the U.S., I have been to both coasts and to the north and south and most points in between.  Here are some of the places I have visited…

In New York City in 1990 before the World Trade Center Twin Towers met their demise

In New York City in 1990 before the World Trade Center Twin Towers met their demise

I was in the US in 1990 for the first cross-country solar car race, called the GM Sunrayce.  During that visit I also made a trip to Washington D.C. and visited the Smithsonian

I was in the US in 1990 for the first cross-country solar car race, called the GM Sunrayce. During that visit I also made a trip to Washington D.C. and visited the Smithsonian

While working on my Masters Degree at Arizona State University, I was afforded the opportunity to represent ASU at West Point and do a paper presentation.  It was a neat experience to visit this amazing institution in 1986

While working on my Masters Degree at Arizona State University, I was afforded the opportunity to represent ASU at West Point and do a paper presentation. It was a neat experience to visit this amazing institution in 1986

Then, there was the visit to Graceland, home of Elvis back a few years ago

Then, there was the visit to Graceland, home of Elvis back a few years ago

And let's not forget Nashville.  I have been there a dozen times since.

And let’s not forget Nashville. I have been there a dozen times since.

I got to visit the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco as part of Antsy McClain's tour team.  Great music hall

I got to visit the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco as part of Antsy McClain’s tour team. Great music hall

I have discovered that the world abounds with natural beauty.  I have been blessed to see this beauty in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, the Philippines and other places.

Coal Mine Canyon in Northern Arizona, 1990

Coal Mine Canyon in Northern Arizona, 1990

Island Hopping in the Philippines in 2006

Island Hopping in the Philippines in 2006

Visiting the Matsushima Islands near Sendai, Japan in 1990

Visiting the Matsushima Islands near Sendai, Japan in 1990

Visiting the Matsushima Islands near Sendai, Japan in 1990

Visiting the Matsushima Islands near Sendai, Japan in 1990

On a cruise ship enjoying the splendor of Alaska's beautiful mountains

On a cruise ship enjoying the splendor of Alaska’s beautiful mountains

Sitting on top of the world at Echo Lake near the base of the summit of Mt. Evans near Denver, Colorado

Sitting on top of the world at Echo Lake near the base of the summit of Mt. Evans near Denver, Colorado

Enjoying wintertime at a resort at the base of Mt. Fuji, near Fujinomiya, Japan in 1987

Enjoying wintertime at a resort at the base of Mt. Fuji, near Fujinomiya, Japan in 1987

Down in Japan's version of Mammoth Cave in 1988

Down in Japan’s version of Mammoth Cave in 1988

Enjoying Fall Colors in Algonquin National Park in Ontario, Canada in 2008

Enjoying Fall Colors in Algonquin National Park in Ontario, Canada in 2008

Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines in 2007

Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Philippines in 2007

Visiting the Everglades in Florida in July 1990

Visiting the Everglades in Florida in July 1990

Of course, when taking trips there are always fun things to try.  When in Japan I tried quite a few new adventures.  Perhaps my favorites were taking hot springs baths and going to the Sumo Wrestling events.

Enjoying an outdoor bath in Amagase, Japan.  This was actually part of TV series I was hosting in 1988

Enjoying an outdoor bath in Amagase, Japan. This was actually part of TV series I was hosting in 1988

Beppu is probably the most famous of the hot springs resort towns in Japan.  Located in Oita Prefecture, I had the opportunity to visit often and for different kinds of “baths”

A hot spring shower in Beppu...and yes, the towel was necessary.  1990

A hot spring shower in Beppu…and yes, the towel was necessary. 1990

Relaxing on one of the cozy hot pools in Beppu in 1987.  You are required to be totally disrobed...this is the least revealing photo.

Relaxing on one of the cozy hot pools in Beppu in 1987. You are required to be totally disrobed…this is the least revealing photo.

Then there are the Sand Baths, the Sawdust Baths and more.  I was buried in hot sand and it felt great.  Beppu in 1989

Then there are the Sand Baths, the Sawdust Baths and more. I was buried in hot sand and it felt great. Beppu in 1989

Then there are the Sumos…I got to go to two of their tournaments and see the giant Konishiki wrestle.  I will always be a fan of Sumo wrestling.

Visiting the Fukuoka Sumo Basho in 1991 with my wife.

Visiting the Fukuoka Sumo Basho in 1991 with my wife.

I took this shot of Konishiki from my seat in Fukuoka in 1991.  He made me look small!!

I took this shot of Konishiki from my seat in Fukuoka in 1991. He made me look small!!

Of course, as a history major, I have always had an interest in things historical.  One of my classes at Northern Arizona University was on Japanese literature and we studied Kunikida Doppo, who was considered one of Meiji Japan’s most well traveled writers.   While living in Oita, I was able to visit his studio in Saiki.  Ironically, my professor at NAU, Dr. Atkins, was a Kunikida Doppo expert, so it was a special trip for me.

Visiting the Kunikida Doppo monument in Saiki, Japan

Visiting the Kunikida Doppo monument in Saiki, Japan in 1988

Some of Japan's oldest stone carved Buddhas can be seen at Kumano Magaibutsu park in Oita

Some of Japan’s oldest stone carved Buddhas can be seen at Kumano Magaibutsu park in Oita

The village of Usuki, also in Oita, is home of a famous Buddha statue.  It is also the original landing place of the Dutch when they first arrived in Japan in the 1600s.

The village of Usuki, also in Oita, is home of a famous Buddha statue. It is also the original landing place of the Dutch when they first arrived in Japan in the 1600s. (That is my oldest daughter Amaree popping behind me in the photo)

One cannot study Japanese history without learning about the atrocities of World War II.  The Americans dropped two atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.  I have been able to visit both places.  Ironically, in 1979 I also visited the Los Alamos museum where the bombs were initially built.  So, I have seen both sides of the story.

Nagasaki Peace Park in Sept 1988

Nagasaki Peace Park in Sept 1988

Remains from A-Bomb in Nagasaki in 1988

Remains from A-Bomb in Nagasaki in 1988

And now, for a few other odds and ends, just for fun…

Old Christian Church in Nagasaki 1988

Old Christian Church in Nagasaki 1988

Visiting JFK The Twine Ball man in Lake Nebagamon, WI in 2007

Visiting JFK The Twine Ball man in Lake Nebagamon, WI in 2007

Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, NY 1990

Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, NY 1990

Visiting the shopping area in Carbon, Cebu, Philippines

Visiting the shopping area in Carbon, Cebu, Philippines

Beale Street in Memphis, TN late 1990s

Beale Street in Memphis, TN late 1990s with my high school pal Russ Graves

Photo bear in Gatlinburg, TN

Photo bear in Gatlinburg, TN

Enjoying a visit to the Tulum Ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico

Enjoying a visit to the Tulum Ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico

At Lake Erie on the Ontario, Canada side with sign pointing to Cleveland, OH, my birthplace

At Lake Erie on the Ontario, Canada side with sign pointing to Cleveland, OH, my birthplace

The famed "Spindle" sculpture as seen in the movie Wayne's World.  Apparently, it wasn't worthy.  This was taken in 2007 and in 2008 it was torn down...meh

The famed “Spindle” sculpture as seen in the movie Wayne’s World. Apparently, it wasn’t worthy. This was taken in 2007 and in 2008 it was torn down…meh

Fort San Pedro on Cebu Island in the Philippines

Fort San Pedro on Cebu Island in the Philippines

Giant fish attacking me in Japan in 1976, in Kanazawa

Giant fish attacking me in Japan in 1976, in Kanazawa

Sumoflam and Big Fish in Bena, MN

Sumoflam and Big Fish in Bena, MN

On Glacier Bay in Alaska

On Glacier Bay in Alaska

At the Starship Enterprise in Vulcan, Alberta 2007

At the Starship Enterprise in Vulcan, Alberta 2007 – with my Canadian pal Crafty Jack

Enjoying the view of the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula

Enjoying the view of the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula

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