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On June 13, 2011, I was in Boston, walking their "Freedom Trail".  This is a famous statue of Paul Revere in front of the Old North Church where the lanters today led him alert the town "The Canucks are coming!  The Canucks are coming. Look close - he's wearing a Bruins shirt as was half the rest of the town.  The cry worked.  Later that night the Bruins won the sixth game sending the series to Vancouver where they won it all! (6-13-11)


After the Big Easy, I returned to more educational pursuits in my travels.  And there's nothing like seeing a huge memorial commemorating man's inhumanity to man to bring you back to a somber mood.  So it was that I came to Vicksburg, home of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.  We just love building monuments and memorials, but we never seem to learn.  By the way, in the contest to build the biggest state memorial, Illinois won hands down.  Ironically, Mississippi nearly voted down the bill to have a state memorial at all.  (5-31-09)


Having just finished college, I realized I'd never been west of the Mississippi.  I hopped on a Greyhound in 1974, got to St. Louis and slept through this marvel!  The surface is stainless steel, and it's about 650 feet tall and as wide across the bottom.  It's part of the Jefferson Western Expansion Park, run by the National Park Service.  I rode to the top where the views are quite striking indeed.

Under the arch is a really cool museum chronicalling our westward expansion.  Once again, great job NPS!

I left, feeling an inexplicable need for a Big Mac.  (5-20-09)

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

Recreated Feb. 20, 2021



Homecoming.  The real mission of my Midwest venture (see also Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio) was to visit Mary from Michigan, the land of my birth and first 29 years on the planet.  One of my fondest memories of growing up was camping, usually in the upper reaches of the lower peninsula or the upper peninsula.  The parks we camped at had horrible outhouses!  

Fast-forward to now.  Some friends of Mary were having a birthday party on an undeveloped piece of property on the "thumb" of the state.  The extent of the development was 2 camper trailers (no electricity or running water) and this cute little outhouse!  I didn't have to hold my breath or anything. The door is perhaps 4 feet tall.  But it brought back great memories of camping trips past.  Thanks Laurie and Ray!  Great campfire!  (9-20-08)

Minnesota, eh?

This is either a really big man or a really small flag.  This was in Akeley, Minnesota, on the Lake County Scenic Byway.  I figured that Minnesota, being famous for its 10,000 Lakes, would afford some pleasant scenery, so I started at Detroit Lakes (a town name, although it's at a group of small lakes so named) and drove to Walker, the length of the byway.

Yes, 10,000 is probably an understatement, but they tend to be small and unspectacular.  Not so this guy!  And Minnesota is into Paul Bunyan.  So it is that I give this shot the nod for my Minnesota pic.  And they really do talk like Sarah Palin, but I saw a ton of Obama/Biden bumper stickers.  (5-18-09)


History is humbling.  What is today the Little Big Horn National Monument was the Custer Battlefield National Monument until an act of Congress in 1991 renamed it.  This is a part of the Indian Memorial which was part of the rededication.  2 tribes (Crow and Arikawa) fought with Custer while Sioux (Lakota) Cheyenne and Arapaho fought against.  The entire monument is well worth seeing.

Originally I was going to use Glacier National Park for Wyoming by weather dictated otherwise.  Still, I wouldn't have missed this.  Moving and informative.  (6-5-08)

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