The John Shinnick 5 Year, 50 State (and D.C.) Pledge!

Recreated Feb. 20, 2021

Indiana

John Warnock, this is for you.  John was my supervisor once upon a time and was a proud Notre Dame alum.  I found myself near South Bend, so I visited the campus.  Of all the landmarks, this is the most noteworthy, or so I'm told.  I used to really HATE Notre Dame, but I guess they're okay.  (9-18-08)

Iowa

This is a shot from Effigy Mounds National Park, in northeast Iowa. It overlooks the Mississippi River at this point; that's Wisconsin on the other side.  The park itself is a preservation of several mounds constructed about 2,000 years ago by the tribes of the time.  Moundbuilding stopped about 700 years ago.  Thanks John & Louise for recommending this place.  (5-19-09)

Kansas

As a kid I used to watch Gunsmoke.  Well, I visited Dodge City where they have a replica (at least the exterior) of the original Long Branch Saloon, and I had a beer there!  Marshall Dillon was purely fictitious.  Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp who also had TV shows weren't.  The museum here is really worthwhile!  (1/29/09)

Louisiana

Saturday night, French Quarter, Bourbon Street, the Big Easy!  I'd had Etouffe (with crawfish), Red Beans and Rice, and Jambalaya, saw Jackson Square and where the Louisiana Purchase was made in 1803, and was feeling pretty good about my New Orleans experience.  But the music had been a disappointment until, at the very end of the street, this band showed up with an energy I don't think I'd ever experienced.  Drums, a Souzaphone for bass, a trombone, a sax and 3 trumpets (maybe cornets, it's hard to say) but DAMN!  The dancing that went on to their music was literally stopping traffic - pretty typical of the uneasy truce between car and pedestrian in this festive town.  I mentioned that I wished I'd spent an extra day in Florida.  Doing New Orleans on a Saturday night was why I didn't.  

I also saw what really goes on on the balconies lining Bourbon Street, but this IS a family website.  (5-30-09)

Maine

On June 15, 2011, my quest came to a successful conclusion with the Maine coastline within Acadia National Park looking just like I always thought it would.  Simply beautiful from sea to shining sea! (6-15-11)

Maryland

This is the peaceful view from Burnside Bridge.  It was 6-3-11, a beautiful Friday afternoon, neither too hot nor too cold. There was a delightful breeze.  The wood in the lower left is part of the bridge itself, and the beauty of the scene was almost too profound to be true.  It's hard to believe that on one fateful day in 1862, the bloodiest day in American military history took place here in Antietam, Maryland.  This bridge saw one of the more gruesome skirmishes.

In the lobby, a little girl of maybe six told her parents "I don't want to be here.  I had to wonder how many soldiers felt the same way about this place back then. (6-3-11)

Kentucky

I loved baseball as a kid.  Still do even though I hadn't swung at a hardball in more than 35 years.  So when in Kentucky I went to the Louisville Slugger bat factory.  Paul Bunyan (see Minnesota) couldn't swing this one!  

They've got a great museum as well as a great factory tour. Of course, they had a batting cage there with the pitches coming in about 40 mph (a big league pitcher is usually in the 90's). Suffice it to say that I was a perfect 20 humiliations for 20 pitches.  Yeah, computers was a better career choice than baseball  Still, it well worth the trip.  (5/23/09)