Sunday, September 12, 2010

My car needs a bath

  DURANGO - After four months on the road, I am home.
  That's the good news. The bad news is there are things to put away and things to clean. Like my Nissan Frontier, which has not been to the car wash since June. Or was it May? (See accompanying photo taken at trip's end.)
  Although I had an awesome time, with many adventures, it's great to be back.
  For those of you who read my blogs, thanks for tuning in. The last Herald column on my Summer Detour will appear in the Sept. 20 paper. May you all get the opportunity to chase your own grand adventures.

Ol' Smokey

  CAPITAN, N.M. - In 1950 a forest fire raged in Capitan Gap, which you can see on the horizon. When the smoke was still clearing, a cute little bear cub was found clinging to a tree, badly burned. He survived and went on to become a spokesman against human carelessness.
  You know him as Smokey Bear, and he'd be really mad if you started one of those fires that torches a forest. Yeah, he's long dead, but his memory lingers on. So don't play with matches, and make sure those campfires are out.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Double-take in Texas

  EASTLAND, Texas - When I noticed a huge Campbell Soup can I had to look twice to make sure I wasn't seeing things.
  It wasn't what I expected to see, not by a longshot, in this small town between Fort Worth and Abilene on Interstate 20.
  It's part of Eastland's Outdoor Art Museum, replicas of famous artworks located at businesses, churches and community buildings around town. Art teacher Cathi Ball's first project in 2002 was to turn an oil drum into a facsimile of pop artist Andy Warhol's famous, or infamous, work.

The Koran Baptists

  KORAN, La. - I didn't ask anyone, but I wonder if the people of Koran get a hard time from their neighbors for sharing a name with Islam's guiding book.
  This was taken on a Sunday, appropriately enough, when the good folks of the small Louisiana town were tucked away in their nice church.

Down around Vicksburg

  VICKSBURG, Miss. - It still blows me away how friends and relatives killed one another in mass quantities during the Civil War.
  Vicksburg National Military Park tells the story of how the Union invaded the area to take control of the Mississippi River. After a couple of their major offensives were held off by the more strategically placed Confederate troops, the Union just waited them out in a month-plus-long siege. The siege ended July 4, 1863, the day after the final battle at Gettysburg, Pa.
  About this photo, taken of the Alabama monument at Vicksburg. OK, maybe I'm interpreting it wrong, but doesn't it look like the woman is telling the nearly dead guy on the ground to get the heck up and keep fighting?
  The things we do for women.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hammerin' Hank

  MOBILE, Ala. - It's kind of odd, but Hank Aaron's boyhood home now sits next to Hank Aaron Stadium, home to the Class AA Mobile Baybears of the Southern League.
  Workers moved the stadium and refurbished it, basically rebuilding it, during the last couple of years. As of April 10, 2010, it is a museum that you can visit before or during the game. You can follow the former all-time home run leader's career, as well as see period trinkets and appliances, some actually from the home that sat about 7 miles away.
  Sorry, you'll have to wait until next year. I caught the season finale Sept. 2. They beat the Chattanooga Lookouts 5-1.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Operators standing by ...

  BAY MINETTE, Ala. - This billboard was photographed Sept. 1 just north of Interstate 10 in Alabama.
  It's not far from Mobile Bay, which was affected by the BP oil spill this spring. Nice to know that lawyers are handy and willing to help you in your time of need.