Will Hoge at The Grand Ole Opry

Will Hoge is a prolific country singer from Nashville.  Here he's concluding a brief set at the Grand Ole Opry.

The Opry is a weekly live radio presentation from a purpose-built auditorium in Nashville.  It hosts a variety of country, bluegrass, and Americana acts at least twice a week, and has been going since 1925.  It suffers from annoyingly frequent commercial pitches, but was still a wonderful peek into the tradition of American country music.

Olallie Lake

There was a lot more snow on this trip than on the last outing.  Perhaps 18 inches of new snow had fallen overnight, and contrary to the forecast it remained cloudy all day.  We chose this route as it offered low risk terrain for the extreme avalanche danger that was predicted that weekend.

Others were less fortunate -- three died that day at Stevens Pass, and a fourth behind Alpental.

One Awesome Ford

This truck was labeled One Awesome Ford.  I didn't witness its owner trying to mount it, and I think most folks would need a stepladder to hope to reach up to the doorsill.

Aside from four ridiculously oversized tires (compare them against the wheel arches), this truck is equipped with a 6.8L V10, an unusual engine layout more typically found in Lamborghinis.

Smash Putt

This is the Skee Ball hole of the Seattle Smash Putt course of 2012.  One of our foursome achieved an impressive hole in one here, straight into the top-right hole.

Other holes included fiendish mechanized foosball opponents, an angle grinder that imparted massive spin, a scratch and sniff puzzle, and a drill press at the end to destroy your ball.  It was an excellent evening.

River Confluence, Wyoming

This is the confluence of the Green River & Big Sandy River (joining from the bottom right) in Sweetwater County, Wyoming.  It's seen from 39,000ft, and is looking southwest.  The wedge in the lower right is curiously called the Little Colorado Desert on USGS maps.

Discovery Park

A Matson container ship heads out of Seattle to collect goods from Asia to bring back to the North American market.

In the foreground is the Discovery Park lighthouse.  Bainbridge Island lies in the immediate background, and the mountains of Olympic National Park are in the distance.

Pratt Lake Snowshoe

The Pratt Lake trail offers plenty of excellent terrain for snowshoeing, with low avalanche risk.  Although easily accessible off I-90, it's not too crowded in the winter, as the long hike upwards deters all but the determined hiker.


An additional visit to Philadelphia, this time just to the airport.

The weather was much nicer this time, and there were excellent views of the city across the Delaware River at sunset.

Party Float

Also in Puerto Rico: a Party Float.  I couldn't discern its purpose, though my uninformed guess is that it is promoting Sunday church service.

This vehicle was pulling into a gas station, and the biker gang that was filling up there and getting snacks seemed quite amused.

Arecibo Radio Telescope

Arecibo Radio Telescope is a 305m wide spherical dish nestled into a karst sinkhole in Puerto Rico.  Contrary to expectations raised by the GoldenEye Bond film, it is not a solid concrete surface, and could not contain any amount of water.  It's a mesh of aluminum panels raised off the limestone surface of the sinkhole, and carefully tensioned to match the intended spherical shape.

The telescope listens on numerous radio frequencies, but also transmits radar outwards to nearby bodies to listen to what they reflect back.

Holland Tunnel

Morning traffic queues to enter the Holland Tunnel.  The eastbound cash toll is $12, and the return trip is free.

Of the six fixed crossings of the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey, I've taken all but the North River Tunnels that carry Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trains from the New Jersey side to Penn Station.

Catharpin Park

This is Catharpin Park, a beautifully symmetric 5 diamond baseball park in Prince William County, Virginia.  It was redeveloped recently; Bing caught it as an empty graded field, and Google remembers its prior layout.

One can imagine the excitement on a busy summer weekend afternoon with five games going at once.

Washington Monument, Philadelphia

Also in Philadelphia: a massive collection of sculpted bronze.  The Washington Monument includes an impression taken of George Washington's living face, and depicts him as a mounted commander of the Revolutionary War.

It is surrounded by a continent's worth of allegorical figures, with moose, bison, and the unlikely nakedness of an Indian fishing woman.

Rocky Steps

These are the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, most famous for being the recurring destination of Rocky Balboa as he concludes motivational runs about town.

This district of the city is impressive, and the planners had grand visions of the cultural and academic institutions that might fill in the spaces available along Benjamin Franklin Parkway, which terminates here.  Not all of them were built, but the parkway is certainly aesthetically pleasing and an asset to the city.

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal is the finest rail station in New York City.  This is the information desk in the center of the main concourse.  As the railing of the circular desk is continuous, attendants can only access it via a stairway from the lower level.

A bomb was planted in nearby lockers by Croatian nationalists in 1976, and killed an officer trying to defuse it.  In the same plot, the Croatians successfully hijacked TWA Flight 355, flew to Montreal, Reykjav√≠k, than Paris, and were eventually arrested.  The ringleader was released from jail in the US in 2008, and hundreds (shamefully) cheered his return to Zagreb.