Railroad Ruminations

I have decided to go for atmosphere over focus and clarity, both of which are hard to achieve on a moving train. Last night departing Kansas City about 10 pm.

Animals in Nature, With a Twist

Variations on a Theme: Fiberglass Zoo

Fiberglass animal molds in mold yard, FAST (Fiberglass Animals, Shapes & Trademarks), Sparta, Wisconsin. The molds were used for roadside attractions, advertising, displays, playground and pool equipment, etc.

Join Weekly Prompt’s Photo Challenge: Animals in Nature

 

CB&WC: Benches

Solitary: Flight 93 Memorial

Bench on the observation/visitor center level of the Flight 93 National Memorial in rural Pennsylvania. United Airlines Flight 93 was hijacked on September 11, 2001 as part of coordinated terrorist attack on the United States. The heroic actions of the 40 passengers and crew prevented the plane from reaching its final destination, Washington, D.C. The plane crashed in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all on board. The observation level overlooks the Flight 93 flight path, crash site and debris field, the final resting place of the crew and passengers.

Join Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Benches

On the Road Again: Home Again

Road Trip Complete

Home again after 3445 miles (5544 km), 19 days, 9 states (Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, West Virginia), 1 wedding, 5 sisters, 2 brothers, 12 nieces and nephews, a grand niece and nephew, 2 extra family from Alexander street, one extra sister from Crookston, a Kokesh gathering, gladiola, several scenic byways, one camping trip, one river headwaters, one trip down memory lane on the University of Minnesota campus, a great visit with friends in Iowa and Ohio, and so much more. Had a wonderful road trip.

End of Day

Some lighter moments

The scariest Paul Bunyan ever. Looks like a serial killer.

Paul Bunyan, Akeley’s Bunyan is the only one kneeling,, Minnesota

Karaoke with camping

Karaoke night at Zorbas on Little Sandy Lake, Minnesota

After The Wedding – Taking Home the Glads (My brother grows them)

After the Wedding

 

 

 

Backroads America: Roadside Attraction Graveyard

Where do all the molds for roadside attractions and other fiberglass art go? If it was manufactured by FAST (Fiberglass Animals, Shapes & Trademarks) look no further than their mold yard in Sparta, Wisconsin.

In business for over 30 years, FAST began producing roadside attractions. It now makes water slides, fountains, sculptures, and many of the fiberglass animals on parade in cities.

FAST allows guests to wander through the mold yard at their own risk. It is well worth a visit if you are in the area. The weather and nature have not been kind to the molds but that adds to their appeal.

Overstock item are displayed along the road. Priced are listed on FAST’s website. Santa goes for $11,193.

Products can be seen in Sparta.

Backroads America: Valatie, Columbia County, New York

The Hudson River Valley is home to many villages, hamlets, towns, and cities. Valatie is a village of about 1,900 that sits in the middle of the town of Kinderhook. It was settled by the Dutch in 1665 as part of New Netherlands. The original inhabitants of the area were Mohigan, an Algonqin Indian Tribe.

At the height of its prosperity, Valatie had 9 cotton mills and a number of grist mills. The mills were powered by two waterfalls on. Valatie means “little falls” in Dutch. This is the Beaver Mill Overlook; the mill no longer exists.

Valatie was an important regional center of commerce. It was home to the workers though it has a number of large houses. The John Morgan house dates to 1830.

The owners lived in Kinderhook, where large stately home can be found.

It has a lovely cemetery.

In 1946, it was the home of the first Santa Claus Club.

Agriculture is one of the economic drivers in the area. Bio fuel corn has replaced many grain crops. Fruit and vegetables are important and roadside markets are scattered throughout the area.

Locally grown strawberries are in season at the moment.

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