Preservation, Road Trips

Strolling through Madison

Madison, Indiana, is a preservationist’s dream town. A whopping 133 blocks of its downtown is a Historic District and a National Historic Landmark.

On Main St.

Main Street

Founded in 1810, the town competed with Louisville and Cincinnati as Ohio River port cities. It grew rapidly into the railroad age of the mid-1800s, but railroads leading to those other two cities performed better than the one leading to Madison. Indeed, Madison’s railroad failed in 1862. Even though its line ended up becoming a part of the vast Pennsylvania Railroad system, the die was cast. After the Civil War, Madison’s growth stalled.

Bank

Broadway Hotel

Madison’s antebellum loss is our modern gain as it largely froze the town in time. You’ll find all the major architectural styles from the nineteenth, and even some of the twentieth, centuries in downtown Madison.

Ohio Theater

Hinkle Hamburgers

Residences surround the downtown commercial area, and most of the homes are simply stunning.

House in Madison

Madison street

Dr. Hutchings

The river is just a few minutes’ walk from anywhere in Madison’s historic district. Goods are not received at any port here anymore — you’re far more likely to see powerboats racing here. It’s been happening in Madison for at least 100 years. An annual powerboat race, now known as the Madison Regatta, has been held annually since 1929 over the Independence Day weekend.

Bench on the Ohio

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The S Bridge at Blaine

The S bridge at Blaine
Canon PowerShot S95
2011

This is one of my favorite road-trip photos. I just love the juxtaposition of the 1828 stone-arch S bridge against the 1933 open-spandrel concrete-arch bridge. Both are engineering and visual marvels in their own ways.

But what I love most about this photo is that my friend Jeff, in his orange shirt, cuts across the scene. He provides such visual interest, injecting orange and blue into an otherwise beige and green scene. He also shows the massive scale of these two bridges.

The newer bridge runs so much higher than the older one because it means to level out what had been a steep hill. The ascent from the end of the older bridge was quite challenging for cars of the day.

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Photography, Road Trips

single frame: The S bridge at Blaine

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At the Capitol

Ulysses S. Grant is off center
Canon PowerShot S95
2018

When you shoot the US Capitol straight on, you discover that the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial isn’t centered before the dome.

My OCD is most displeased.

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single frame: Ulysses S. Grant is off center

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We’d hoped to encounter the famous ponies of Maryland’s Assateague Island on the beach. But on the day of our visit we saw them only along the highway near the entrance to Assateague State Park. These are feral horses, left largely to their own devices, one of the last wild herds in the United States. They seemed unpurturbed by us as we pulled our car over and photographed them from the other side of the road. Few were out this day, and only these two were close enough to photograph, even with my camera at maximum zoom.

Wild ponies at Assateague

Wild ponies at Assateague

Wild ponies at Assateague

Wild ponies at Assateague

Wild ponies at Assateague

Wild ponies at Assateague

Canon PowerShot S95

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Wild ponies at Assateague

Photos of two wild ponies we met on Assateague Island in Maryland.

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Assateague is a skinny island just south of Ocean City in Maryland. Where Ocean City was all tourist attractions and (probably) trucked-in sand, the beaches along Assateague are natural and wild. The northern part of Assateague Island is in Maryland and hosts both Assateague State Park and Assateague Island National Seashore. The southern end of the island is in Virginia and hosts the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

Assateague is perhaps best known for the wild ponies that roam it. I’ll share some pony photos soon, but for now, just enjoy the beach.

The beach at Assateague State Park

The beach at Assateague State Park

The beach at Assateague State Park

The beach at Assateague State Park

The beach at Assateague State Park

Canon PowerShot S95

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The beach at Assateague

Just some photos of the wild, natural beach on Assateague Island in Maryland.

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Photography, Road Trips

Touring Arlington National Cemetery

If you know the region, you’re not at all surprised to see a photograph from Arlington National Cemetery that includes the Washington Monument. But for people like me who grew up more than 600 miles away, for whom this cemetery was only ever seen through television on a significant anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s death, it was a surprise.

Arlington National Cemetery

Indeed, Arlington National Cemetery is on one side of the Potomac River, and the National Mall is on the other. The cemetery is just a mile from the Lincoln Memorial. The Arlington Memorial Bridge connects the two sites.

Arlington National Cemetery

It’s a truly lovely cemetery of gently rolling hills. I could tell it had been there for a long time as the terrain looked natural. Today, building such a place would certainly begin with big earth-moving equipment to create a desired landscape. Anyway, I was right: veterans have been buried here since the Civil War.

Arlington National Cemetery

Not just any veteran can be buried here. Anyone killed in active duty can, but beyond that the rules are fairly restrictive to honor the limited space.

Arlington National Cemetery

It’s staggering how many of these little grave markers there are, row after row in every direction as far as you can see.

Arlington National Cemetery

We visited just before sunset. The low sun created golden light and long shadows. It was an ideal time of day to visit; it created a reverent atmosphere.

Arlington National Cemetery

Behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is the stunning Arlington Memorial Ampitheater, completed in 1920.

Arlington National Cemetery

Its classical style was also enhanced by the setting sun.

Arlington National Cemetery

The cemetery was closing as we reached the last place we wanted to see: the eternal flame at John F. Kennedy’s burial site. This was just after we saw the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, by which I was so moved that I could not find it in me to photograph Kennedy’s grave. Instead, I turned around and photographed the cemetery as it led away from there.

Arlington National Cemetery

The trees, freshly flowered, were a lovely counterpoint to how I felt: struck by all the loss families had suffered across the generations as their children fought for their country.

Arlington National Cemetery

Canon PowerShot S95

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