May 3, 2016

Close Encounters at Devil's Tower, Wyoming

A geological wonder and the backdrop for Spielberg's 1977 science fiction classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Devil's Tower is an unmistakable landmark in eastern Wyoming. Flat on top and vertically lined, Devil's Tower is also referred to as "Bear Lodge", and Native American artwork depicts a giant bear clawing the sides of it to create its distinct facade.

devils tower wyoming close encounters of the third kind
On our 2007 road trip to Mount Rushmore, my friend Andrea and I visited Devil's Tower to hike the trails surrounding it. Rising over 1,200 feet from the Belle Fourche River below, the formation is quite imposing and really cool to see up close. Believed to be an igneous intrusion or perhaps a volcanic plug, the main consensus is that it's clearly a meeting point for aliens. Or at least that was the impression we got from a nearby gift shop. 

devils tower wyoming close encounters of the third kind



devils tower wyoming close encounters of the third kind
Devil's Tower in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

devils tower wyoming close encounters of the third kind

devils tower wyoming close encounters of the third kind


A few of the souvenirs I picked up.

devils tower wyoming close encounters of the third kind

devils tower wyoming close encounters of the third kind

devils tower wyoming close encounters of the third kind

devils tower wyoming close encounters of the third kind

devils tower wyoming close encounters of the third kind

devils tower wyoming close encounters of the third kind

devils tower wyoming close encounters of the third kind

May 2, 2016

Hatley Castle & Gardens in Greater Victoria

A grand estate on Vancouver Island, Hatley Park is comprised of formal Edwardian gardens, trails through mature forest, and an expansive Tudor Revival mansion that was once the home of industrialist and politician, James Dunsmuir. Constructed in 1908, the 40 room mansion is located in Colwood, in Greater Victoria, British Columbia, and was occupied by descendants of the Dunsmuir family until 1939 when it was sold to the Government of Canada.

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc
hatley park castle gardens victoria bc
At the outbreak of WWII, Hatley Castle was proposed as the King's royal residence as a contingency plan for the British monarchy to reside in Canada. The royal family decided instead to stay in London during the war. Following this, Hatley Park became the site of the Royal Roads Military College, a naval training facility, until 1995.

Today, Hatley Park is part of the public Royal Roads University and a National Historic Site of Canada. It's also a popular filming location and has appeared in several high profile projects, from Lex Luther's mansion in Smallville to Professor Xavier's School in the X-Men films.     

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park royal roads university
hatley park castle gardens victoria bc


hatley park castle gardens victoria bc
hatley park castle gardens victoria bc
hatley park peacocks royal roads

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc



hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc


hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc

hatley park castle gardens victoria bc


hatley park castle gardens victoria bc
hatley park castle gardens victoria bc


Apr 29, 2016

Ford Piquette Avenue Plant: Part 1

Constructed in 1904, the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit, Michigan was the second home of the Ford Motor Company, and most notably, the birthplace of the Ford Model T. On the third floor in the northwest corner of the Piquette Avenue Plant was Henry Ford's office, and it was here in 1907 that along with a small team of draftsman and engineers, that plans were developed for a car that would end up changing the world. 

ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum
The first production Model T was built at the Piquette Avenue Plant on September 27, 1908. Between 1904-1910, Ford assembled upscale Models B and K, and entry level Models C, F, N, R, S and T here. By 1910 Ford had already outgrown the factory, and after producing nearly 12000 Model Ts at the Piquette Avenue Plant, Henry Ford moved the operation to a new facility in Highland Park, Michigan. It was there that he developed the moving assembly line in 1913-1914, and would go on to produce 15 million Ford Model Ts.

Today the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is a museum with an impressive collection of classic automobiles from the early years of Detroit's booming auto industry. Here you can see the iconic Model T up close, and walk the same floors that Henry Ford once did. The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is the oldest automotive factory building in the world that's open to the public.     

ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum

ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum

ford piquette avenue plant detroit archival
An archival image of the Ford Piquette Plant.
ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum
ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum

A selfie in a Model T.
ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum


My dad in a Model T.

ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum



ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum

ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum

ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum

ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum

ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum

ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum

rare ford logo
This rare Ford logo is specific to the cars produced at the Piquette Plant.

ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum
ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum
fisher body plant 21 detroit
Abandoned Fisher Body Plant 21 across the street.



ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum

ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum

A rare Ford Mustang on display.


ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum






ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum


ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum
ford piquette avenue plant detroit museum


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