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Saturday, July 20, 2013

New Hampshire & Maine

I just had a wonderful weekend in New Hampshire and Maine -- my first visit to Maine, which I somehow managed to miss when I was living in New England.

I flew up to Boston Friday evening and was picked up at the airport by my friend Tom, who lives in Portsmouth, NH. Tom is a great photographer, so Saturday morning we both took our cameras to see the a couple of lighthouses. The first was at Fort Constitution on New Castle Island. Here are a few view of that:

Leaving there to head to Maine, I got this photo of lobster boats:

We drove to Maine to get to the Cape Neddick Light, also known as the Nubble Lighthouse. As Maine was one of just five states I had left to visit, I was pretty excited!

The Nubble Lighthouse was really beautiful. It is on an island about 100 yards off Cape Neddick Point. Here I am by the pulley that carried supplies over to the island.

And more views of Nubble: 

After leaving the Nubble, we stopped by the USS Albacore, a 1950s submarine that is now a submarine museum.

For lunch, we stopped by BG's BoatHouse, serving fresh seafood for its 36th season.

We sat out at the air-conditioned bar looking out over the water. (It was so so hot and humid!) I ordered the lobster roll and french fries. Delicious! 

That night, we stopped by a local watering hole, the bar at Jitto's restaurant, then went to Ray's Fresh Seafood for dinner. 

At Ray's, I got the special advertised on the sign outside -- two twin lobsters, one pound each, for $17.99. Ray's catches all of the lobster they serve. 

After dinner, Tom and I walked outside, took pictures of the marsh and the sunset, and walked along the beach. 

It was a great end to a great day, with an almost full moon.

Sunday morning we rode into downtown Portsmouth and saw the old historical houses at Strawberry Banke, a 10 acre museum dedicated to preserving history and telling the town's tale. There, I took a picture of the Daniel Webster house: 

Me at Strawberry Banke (photo by Tom Lazour)

We walked around Prescott Park, enjoyed the harbor and the smell of salt air, then walked around downtown. 

Tom and I in Portsmouth

This tree was planted in 1776, by a signer of the Declaration of Independence, after he returned home to Portsmouth from Philadelphia: 

Downtown Portsmouth
After walking a couple of miles, we stopped in an Irish Pub, Ri Ra, and grabbed a beer. The pub was made from an old bank -- lots of character, and a gorgeous domed, stained glass roof:

Just before we got to the car to head back, I saw a sign for a pub with a $4.99 lobster role (State Street Saloon). I of course had to have it, and it was probably the best $4.99 ever spent. 

Leaving downtown Portsmouth, we went by the beach one last time, so I could stick my feet in the water. (It was a bit chilly - glad it was only my feet.)

Then, it was off to pack my things, grab the bus to Boston, and fly back to Atlanta. 

Complete album of pics can be found here

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

South Dakota - Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse

For several years, I've been wanting to go to Mount Rushmore. First of all, South Dakota is one of the few remaining states I had not visited. Secondly, it seemed like it would be the perfect little weekend trip. So last weekend at the beach with my parents and my sister and brother-in-law, we watched Nicholas Cage in National Treasure. The climax of the movie occurs at Mount Rushmore, so I decided it was time.

So Friday night after work, I flew from Atlanta to Columbus, OH to Minneapolis to Rapid City, SD. (ATL-MSP flights were delayed, so that looked to be the only way to make my connection.) MSP to RAP was delayed as well, so it was nearly midnight by the time I got there.

I checked out of the hotel at 8:00 am and headed to Mount Rushmore. Approaching, I got a glimpse and pulled over to take this:

After arriving and parking at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, I walked to the Grand View Terrace, then around the "Presidential Trail" stopping at the Sculptor's Studio.

Gutzon Borglum's original model in the Sculptor's studio

On the Presidential Trial, there were stations where you could see good views of each of the four presidents separately. Here's Lincoln:

One of my favorite shots
Another favorite

Leaving Mount Rushmore to go to the Crazy Horse Memorial, I got one final look at Mount Rushmore. I was surprised to see this as I was rounding the curve, having never seen this view before:

It was probably 15 miles from Mount Rushmore to Crazy Horse. I had thought about not going to the Crazy Horse Monument -- I knew it wasn't finished, but that's about all I knew about it. A fraternity brother recommended it, however, so I decided to go. It was worth going to, if only because it's a massive dream that has been under construction since the 1940s. The Lakota Tribe asked Korczak Ziolkowski, who had worked on Mount Rushmore, to do something to honor their people.  This monument is meant to "honor the culture, tradition, and living heritage of the North American Indians." It is the largest mountain sculpture. Ziolkowski died in 1982 but his wife still runs the nonprofit that works on the sculpture daily. They refuse to take Federal funds, so they raise all the money for the work from visitors and supporters.

Crazy Horse Monument
Here's a model of what it will look like when (or if) completed (with the monument in the background):

All four presidents of Mount Rushmore could fit onto Crazy Horse's head. That's how massive this is.
If you ever visit South Dakota, this is worth the trip. I hope to see some progress on it in my lifetime.

Other pictures from this trip can be found here.

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