Monday, May 23, 2011

Sanctuaries of Loring Park - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Making our way to visit one of my friend's aunt, we happened to pass by this magnificent structure (the picture above was taken while we were on Interstate 94).  Although we did not have the chance to go into the first basilica of the United States, I was fortunate enough to get a few good pictures in!

On the other side of Loring Park is Saint Marks Episcopal Church, a church of many "firsts". 

Minneapolis skyline at night from Saint Marks.

The Saintly City - Saint Paul, Minnesota

Noted as one of the most distinctive cathedrals of North America, the Cathedral of Saint Paul definitely lays reign over the East half of the Twin Cities area as it is crests Cathedral Hill as the fourth standing Cathedral there.  Nearly anywhere I went while in St. Paul, the Cathedral could be seen!  I will most likely be making a trip back to St. Paul to go venturing inside the cathedral here sometime in the near future... 

Skyline of the Capital City.

Booming as the "Last City of the East" as the New Frontier, St. Paul was the gateway to the West as it sits on the conjunction of the Mississippi and the Minnesota Rivers and was a major railway head for the Plains states as well as being a major industrial center.  The rivers played a major role for the Industry sector by river boats as seen here in this picture, taking goods down to the Gulf of Mexico or as far as Fort Benton, MT.

Old Glory flying high in the Land of Lakes

Stumbled upon this area down by the Minnesota Centennial Steamboat stage next to the riverside while looking for a spot for a good view of the city skyline.


Monument to the Living

Completely funded by the Veterans of Minnesota and constructed by a former Vietnam soldier by the name of Roger Brodin, and then the statue traveled the state of Minnesota before settling in the Memorial Park in front of the Capitol Building in St. Paul.

Marked as the gun to fire the first shot of World War II against the Empire of Japan.  Fired by a crew of Naval Reservists of Minnesota on the USS Ward DD upon a Japanese submarine attempting to  attack at Pearl Harbor.  I felt a sense of Pride standing at this monument, knowing I am now apart of this History and Heritage of the United States Navy.

While visiting this memorial park in front of the Minnesota Capitol, there was a service going for fallen members of the St. Paul-Minneapolis area Police.  Having the flags half-mast and hearing the rifles sound made this experience all the more powerful.

Of all the state capitols I have visited, Minnesota rates up at the top overall.  Partly due to it's location overlooking both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, along with the open and well laid out memorial park encompassing it and the lane of globed lights give this building the honors it deserves!  I have to return someday that way I can see the interior though!

Music City, USA - Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville - Music City, USA.

This is one of the few cities I have been to where it feels great to be Lost!

Strolling along the Cumberland on a perfect spring evening made for a perfect sight-seeing night.  They say that New York City never sleeps, well Nashville has one up on them!  Any which way you go is something unique, beautiful, or down-right interesting and everyone you meet has a smile on their face and a story to go with it!  My recommendation to anyone wanting to see into getting their money's worth out of an American City - Nashville is my #1 recommendation.  On the right is the Shelby Street Bridge from the downtown side of the Cumberland River.

As I walked down Broadway toward downtown Nashville, the Union Station was definitely an eye catcher.  Opened at the turn of the 20th Century the Nashville Union Station was the connection of 
eight important railways, most of them heading West to the New Frontier of America.

Christ Church Cathedral standing out on Broadway.

For only spending the night, I felt more than welcomed into the arms of the Music City.  The diverse culture and history of the city makes it hard not to fall in love at first sight.  Next time I am going to try to make it a few more days that way I can really get into the groove of the place.

Staying Afloat - Memphis, Tennessee

On my way from California along the I-40 across the Nation, I was in luck by about 18 hours.

The Eastbound side had just opened but as you can tell the westbound is still submerged in spring flood waters which have been striking all the areas from the Delta at New Orleans up to the plains of Montana.

Among thousands of acres of farmland that will not be able to be utilized this year for crops, homes such as this one lay victim to the uncontrollable high waters from the spring run-off and roads and bridges made impassable to outlying families.

I was in utter amazement as I approached the famous skyline of Memphis and seeing the waterline of the Great Mississippi going over it's banks and servicemen and women of the Tennessee National Guard along with Citizens doing there best to keep back the water.

Memphis - The River City

Tennessee - The Volunteer State.

Hundreds of servicemen and women of the Tennessee National Guard, on call for the times when they are most needed, just as this situation was.

Red Rocks State Park - Gallup, New Mexico

Havasu Wildlife Refuge - Lake Havasu City, Arizona

The Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is the home to many desert species varying from the Nelson's bighorn sheep, or more commonly known as the desert bighorn, to other animals and birds that depend on it's 300 miles of shoreline to the Lower Colorado River.

Growing up in Northern Montana, I know the feeling of vast spaces, but taking a quick
stroll through the park and discovered some of the wonders of the desert such as the palette of desert reds and golds set on the crystal blue sky background. 

London Bridge - Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Brought from the historic city of London piece by piece to Robert McCulloch's  newly established city on the shores of Lake Havasu as an attraction.

The original bridge was built in 1831, but due to increased traffic as the Industrial Revolution pushed on, the bridge was considered to be unfit for public use.  Then in 1962 the bridge was bought by McCulloch and restructured with concrete reinforcements which connect the main city of Lake Havasu with Pittsburgh Point.

Mojave National Preserve - Eastern California

The Mojave Desert itself stretches from eastern California into Nevada, Arizona, and even to Utah.  The Mojave National Preserve was established in 1994 in order to protect over 1,800 desert plant species and can be identified by the famous Joshua Tree.

Driving my way from the West Coast to the East Coast, venturing through this area was strikingly beautiful due to the interesting rock formations, endless landscapes, and an untouched grandeur.  

Riding off into the Sunset.