Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Virginia and Washington DC

Helen and I just returned from Virginia and Washington DC. I am posting a few pictures from the Shenandoah Valley and our capital city.

The Shenandoah River from near the town of the same name.

Helen's brother Richard took us to a wonderful German restaurant in Madison, Virginia

The town of Fredericksburg is full of Revolutionary War and Civil War history and has a very quaint downtown area that was great for walking.

Creative name for a tattoo shop in Fredericksburg

The falls on the Rappahannock River. These rapids limited upstream navigation of ocean-going ships and thus determined the location of Fredericksburg.

I am just fascinated with pre-Revolutionary War history in North America. This sign speaks to events that happened here at the falls.

Our first stop in DC was the Capitol building. We were treated to a tour with one of our congresswomans staff. There is a brand new visitor center that opened last November and it is excellent.

Entrance gallery of the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum.

George Washington's home at Mt. Vernon. I didn't have much interest in going here but Helen wanted to so I tagged along (rather than going to a baseball game at Camden Yards, Baltimore). I was truly impressed with the visit! There was an incredible new museum on the grounds that was superb.

The view of the Potomac River from George Washington's porch. The area across the Potomac in Maryland has been protected to preserve the view-shed. What foresight!

Linda (a friend of mine from Antarctica, 1986) and Helen in rocking chairs looking out over the Potomac from the porch.

John F. Kennedy's grave at Arlington. We were moved by this scene.

The National Park map at Arlington showed that John Wesley Powell was buried here so we hunted for his grave and found it. What a treat.

Ford's Theater in Washington where President Lincoln was assassinated. After seeing a History Channel special earlier this year (on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth), I wanted to visit this place. Like many other visits we had on this trip, there was a newly opened museum beneath the theater.

The Presidential Box where the crime happened.

We cruised by the South Lawn of the White House and took a quick picture. The vegetable garden was very near the fence.

We had great weather and it wasn't hot at all.

Helen at the Lincoln Memorial.


He was truly a giant among men. One cannot go to Washington, DC and not feel both pride at our many accomplishments as a nation and shame at our inexcusable failings. Our experiment in democracy has yielded unimaginable wealth - both in spirit and treasure. Yet we have gun-downed some of our most capable and honored leaders. Some of us look at the accomplishments and say, "We have achieved this," while others look at our failings and say, "We must strive harder if we are ever to realize the dream." We have a wonderful heritage, unique and bold. But we only dishonor our forefathers by assuming their gift to us is complete.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Opening of "Lasting Light" and "Painting the Canyon" at the Booth Western Art Museum

Helen and I attended the gala opening of the two exhibits, "Lasting Light" and "Painting the Canyon" at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia last night.

The evening began with an artists reception at the home of Seth Hopkins, the Executive Director of the Booth. We then attended a lecture by noted Grand Canyon artist Curt Walters of Sedona, who shared his many talents with an audience of about 125 people.

Helen and I were graciously introduced to one and all at the lecture by Mr. Hopkins (as newlyweds) and representing the Grand Canyon Association.

The whole connection between the Booth and GCA began after one of my GC Field Institute hikes in 2006 with a Boy Scout group from Atlanta.

After the hike the scouts volunteered for a public service project in Grand Canyon Village and by chance, were assigned to help carry the "Lasting Light" photographs for hanging in Kolb Studio, June 2006. (To view a catalog of the photo's in "Lasting Light," click this link).

One of the leaders of the scouts saw the photos and once back in Georgia mentioned them to Seth Hopkins, who pursued the idea of bringing the show to the Booth.

Never one to leave well enough alone, Mr. Hopkins also agreed to exhibit 30 paintings of the canyon from the National Park and GCA collections!

The Booth truly is a magnificent Western art museum, every bit as good as anything you'd see in Scottsdale or Jackson! This extra large Maynard Dixon classic hangs in one of the many galleries in the Booth. If your travels ever take you into or near Atlanta, plan on making the 45-minute drive north on I-75 to Cartersville for a visit to the Booth and its sister museum, the Tellus Science Museum. We had a fantastic visit to Cartersville.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Lecture at the Tellus Science Museum, Georgia

Helen and I are in Cartersville, Georgia tonight and I am giving a lecture about "Carving Grand Canyon". We spent the day exploring this wonderful museum, which opened the doors to its huge expansion earlier this year in January. The exhibits are stunning. Tomorrow night we will visit the sister museum, the Booth Western Art Museum where Curt Walters will give a talk about painting the Grand Canyon.

This state of the art facility opened its doors in January, 2009. It is a modern marvel in museum design.

Notice in the museum gift shop about tonight's lecture. We also saw a great show in the planetarium.

Then grand entrance hall to the exhibits with a cast of Apatosaurus (the former Brontosaurus) from Wyoming.

The Gallery of Fossils has many fine examples of Mesozoic dinosaurs.

Here are some Cretaceous marine animals - a 25 foot long turtle and another fish. Both swam in the Great Western Interior Seaway.

The Cenozoic Hall has a giant Wolly Mammoth and Smilodon (saber-tooth cat).