Sunday, September 24, 2017

Washington, DC 2 (Too) - Monumental

This is my second post with the purpose of sharing the sights from my recent vacation to Washington, DC. There is so much to see there, and of course, I can't seem to keep myself from taking an excessive amount of photos. Some of you have expressed interest in seeing the photos, so I've grouped them by content, not date, and will be posting more here soon. I hope you enjoy!

District of Columbia War Memorial - for the over 26,000 Washingtonians who served in WWI

You can't get a picture of the White House without the fence, now, because there are two fences...

The Jefferson Memorial from across the Tidal Basin

Looking at the front of the Lincoln Memorial from beside the Reflecting Pool

Now looking the other direction, toward the Washington Monument

 The Jefferson Memorial

Todd, me, and Lindsey in front of the Jefferson Memorial


  Looking up

Wise and inspirational words...

No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry...

Looking from the Jefferson Memorial across the Tidal Basin to the Washington Monument

The Martin Luther King Memorial; I had never seen this one before.

One of the waterfalls at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

I had never been here before either. It was beautiful, huge, and elaborate.

"In 1974, Lawrence Halprin was selected to design the 7.5 acre site adjacent to the Cherry Tree Walk on the western edge of the Tidal Basin. Halprin created a new sort of memorial, a sequence of four galleries or garden rooms, crafted in a narrative sequence to tell the story of the U.S. during the four terms of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency. The memorial’s rooms and water features, built primarily of red South Dakota granite, use stone to express the fracture and upheaval of the times. Water, in the form of cascades, waterfalls, and pools, is a metaphorical component of the palette, with the volume and complexity escalating as the narrative progresses. The memorial also incorporates 10 bronze sculptures and 21 carved inscriptions, quotations from FDR’s speeches and radio talks. The sculptures, by Leonard Baskin, Neil Estern, Robert Graham, Thomas Hardy, and George Segal, depict images from the Depression and World War II, including a breadline and a man listening to a Fireside Chat on his radio."

His inspirational words were everywhere.

" The large stepped waterfall represents the Tennessee Valley Authority dam building projects, which helped stimulate the economy and electrify an area hard hit by the economic collapse."

I thought the Mural was really interesting; I believe it's made of copper.

"Walk straight, around the right side of the central wall, and you will see a large stepped waterfall directly in front of you with six columns standing in the center of the room. These columns are meant to represent FDR’s New Deal, depicted as rolls of an industrial printing press. The negative images are shown wrapped around the columns and then “imprinted” on the wall to your left as bronze reliefs. The images show different New Deal programs that FDR enacted to help the United States out of the Great Depression." 

George Segal created powerful sculptures to represent the despair of the Great Depression, such as this one entitled "Breadline."

Eleanor Roosevelt is one of my personal heroes, and her quote, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do" has given me great inspiration in hard times. Among her many political and activist accomplishments, she was also the first United States delegate to the United Nations.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial - no words can express how moving this is.

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of some of the monuments and memorials in Washington, DC. Next up - The Botanical Gardens and Arboretum!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Great Falls of the Potomac

Todd, Lindsey, and Colin at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center

On a recent trip to visit my son and daughter-in-law in Washington, DC, we went to the Great Falls of the Potomac. I never would have thought that, just a short distance upstream, the river would be so completely wild and natural. As you'll see, it obviously isn't navigable, so a series of canals was contructed to allow goods and people to travel the 184.5 miles along the Potomac from Georgetown to Cumberland, Maryland.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

One of the boats used on the canal.

"The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park preserves remains of America's colorful canal era. For nearly a century, the C&O Canal was the lifeline for communities and businesses along the Potomac, as coal, lumber, grain, and other agricultural products gently floated down the canal to market.... The C & O Canal runs right along the Potomac River and the two couldn't be more contrasting.... The canal is flanked by wide sandy paths (called towpaths) for biking, walking, and jogging, and its water is still and green." 

"The canal was completed on October 10, 1850 at a cost of about $14 million. It was 184.5 miles long, 6 feet deep and 60-80 feet wide. There were 74 lift locks built on the canal, 7 dams and 11 aqueducts....The canal was in operation from 1850 to 1924."   
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Looking up the canal. The Potomac is to the left of the tow path.

Ladybird examines the grooves made by the ropes as mules pulled boats up the canal.

 A beautiful canal-dweller.

Looking down at the Potomac from the tow path, I see this. Apparently, great birds think alike.

Unfortunately, the skies became more overcast as the day went on, but I think the photos still capture the overwhelming beauty of this place.

Everywhere you look, waterfalls.

 Bird needed to get a better view.

I hope you enjoyed the photos! If you're ever in the DC area, the Great Falls of the Potomac is a great place to see!