February 2nd is Groundhog Day here in the United States (and Canada.) Although the tradition begs for a relatively large imagination, lore has it that this particular rodent, Phil, who lives just outside town, can forecast the weather. As it was my wife’s birthday, we added this somewhat iconic town, Punxsutawney, to our weekend road trip through parts of Pennsylvania. So, despite some issues with snow, we did join the throngs of Phil worshippers, and made it back home by nightfall. Oh, and he did NOT see his shadow, indicating an early spring!
Thanks for viewing. Zoom in for a closer look. Comments are always welcome. M :-)
Lucy Kaplansky, a Greenwich Village honed musician and singer-songwriter with pitch perfect vocals and acoustic guitar mastery, has impressed us during a number of local performances over the years. This past Saturday, as snow fell on the city and suburbs, my city savvy son and I made the trek, first by car in N.W. Bergen County, NJ, to the local train station. The end of the line is Hoboken, just steps away from the ferry terminal where we waited a few minutes for the frigid ride across the Hudson River to the “Battery” terminal (WTC area.) A cold half mile walk thru accumulating snow and partly along the water front, brought us to the pleasantly impressive “City Vineyard” restaurant on Pier 26.
Preceded by an excellent dinner, Lucy would perform flawlessly with her music and stories, right there on the Hudson River, and practically in the shadow of One World Trade Center.
This is how we got there…
The last image above is through the window next to our high top table while watching the show, – overlooking the summer deck and Jersey City beyond.
City Vineyard is marked near the upper right on the map above.
After the show, with my son leading the way, we would take a cab uptown to Penn Station, where the trains would bring us back under the river and eventually to the car (via Secaucus Jct.) and the final slippery road home.
Note that these are i-phone images.
Thanks for viewing and comments are always welcome. M 🙂
Family Vacation, 32 years ago. American Airlines 747 from NYC’s Kennedy Airport to LAX. After the image below, is the story of “Early A.M. in L.A. on 11/10/87”
Twelve hours after landing, I would be exploring Los Angeles by foot before the morning’s rush hour, while the family slept off jet-lag in the Holiday Inn about a mile away. An awesome two hour adventure into an “architectually diverse” downtown, with parks and plazas, and… WHAT??? – a Giant Swiss Army Knife??? Yes indeed!
And, not far away, …Swinging Cars!hi
Years later, and of course living 3000 miles away, I wondered exactly where these two photos were taken. I searched maps, and photos where I could, without success – until now. Thanks to the remarkable 3D satellite image and orientation tools available on most any smart phone and/or computer, I “flew” between the buildings and first found the cars: W. Fourth street, and S. Grand Ave. See it below?
The Swiss Army knife was a lot harder. In fact, it’s not there anymore. BUT, by looking at the photo I took in 1987, and specifically for the glass pyramid in its background, I zoomed way in on the “Tom Tom” 3D map, and searched until noticing the glass pyramid structure. Below is from today’s mapping app, zoomed in showing that same glass pyramid. A “new” contempoary display is in the exact place where the knife was 32 years ago.
Below, another photo of downtown Los Angeles on that beautiful morning.
Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome, and zoom in for a closer look. M 🙂
Arriving very early this day, we all parked our cars in the growing line behind the barricades on an entrance ramp to the toll plaza, …under the overhead sign in the second image below. Finally, down by the booths, and after “Mr. First,” the lights turned green and we were on our way.
The view was spectacular, with Manhattan off to the left; Coney Island, Lower N.Y Bay and The Atlantic Ocean to the right. The car toll was $.50 each way. Today, 2019, tolls are collected westbound only ranging between $19 to $12.24 with E-ZPass!
(More information on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, can be found on Wikipedia, which we support with donations.)
Thanks for viewing, zoom in for a closer look, and comments are always welcome. M 🙂
Today, Wednesday, we would continue the adventure from Roberval, arriving at what would be our ultimate destination, indicated below as “Route du Nord”
In Part Two, I covered our initial 725 miles (1,167 km) non-stop drive over just under 22 hours from New Jersey to Roberval, Quebec Province, Canada. “Day Two” began at 9:45 AM August 31, 1966, in that lakeside town, driving North-West among more alpine lakes enjoying a smooth, well maintained paved road.
Within about 35 miles (56 km), however, we came across this worrisome signpost just inside another provincial park, (“Chibougamau Reserve”) indicating the end of the pavement. 🙁
65 mph (104 km/hr.) was no longer practical on the gravel surface that stretched endlessly ahead. Stones occasionally pelted the sides of the car; and as this was lumber country, massive logging trucks would fly by enveloping us in choking clouds of dirt and dust.
It would be 115 miles (186 km) before reaching pavement again, at the junction of Rt. 58 West (now known as Rt. 113.) After hours of gravel, the Sprite’s ride felt smoother than ever! Eight miles (13 km) later we would be in the last town while heading north in this part of the world, Chibougamau, serving a growing copper mining region, logging, and the Royal Canadian Air Force radar services.
Continuing, …the pavement ended again just past the town, as we once again were on the gravel road. Thirty minutes later we arrived at the barrier shown below. Its deterrent-rousing presence seemed to emphasize increasing aches and pains, emotional drain and weariness to us, not to mention the effects of dust inhalation and a worsening cold, on my part. We decided this would be our turn-around point as the road would end about 100 miles (161 km) further with limited or no amenities, and likely little change in scenery.
3:25 PM, 8/31/66, 918 car miles (1477 km) – 632 miles (1017 km) as the crow flies.
The non-stop return trip would first take us over 200 miles (322 km) on an unprecedented, unexpected overnightchallenge of gravel and poorly maintained, primitive dirt road before reaching dawn and the increase of population, north of Ottawa!
See the conclusion of “A Northbound Adventure,” (Part Four) here.
Thanks for viewing, and comments are always welcome. Zoom-in or finger-stretch for a closer view of the maps and images. M 🙂
It was late August. Summer jobs were finishing and my friend and I wanted to do something different before returning to school. “Let’s drive north, as far as we can go!”
(Three-second pause …) “Ok!”
Although my 1962 Austin Healy Sprite was slightly damaged by a rear-ending just a week before, its fun handling characteristics and open-air ambiance was an easy choice of vehicle, not to mention great mileage for college kid’s stingy budgets.
There was little debate, and in the warm, humid air of a New Jersey evening, we decided, …the trip was on.
Back in 1966, there was no internet or Google Maps. Preparation was more fly-by-wire as our available time and financial resources didn’t allow many options besides just …going! The Sinclair, Mobil, or Exxon paper maps were our planning media, and if it wasn’t on the map, we’d have to resort to local advice along the way.
Below is the 1098 cc Sprite as it appeared ten months prior our trip, when it was …clean! (“FANG,” the dog, agreed to be the model!)