Boone Tavern

Boone Tavern Histamaticized with Tintype effects

Boone Tavern Histamaticized with Tintype effects

Sometimes, a five-year age difference can make a big difference. Most of the time, my husband and I remember a lot of the same things from childhood, ranging from the kinds of candy we found at the drug store to popular clothing styles. Although, things he remembers from high school, I remember from elementary school.

Every once in a while, we find a TV show that was a big part of Pat’s youth was one I’d never heard of. Daniel Boone was one of those shows. While Pat watched every episode both in its debut and in re-run, I vaguely knew there was a show called Daniel Boone, but I had never actually seen it until I got hooked on retro TV a couple years ago.

I don't think Daniel Boone ever waited for gaps in car traffic to snap a picture of his namesake tavern

I don’t think Daniel Boone ever waited for gaps in car traffic to snap a picture of his namesake tavern

Watching Fess Parker battle bad guys on the American frontier felt nostalgic to me even though the show wasn’t part of my childhood. My brother and I used to play cowboys and indians as children and Daniel Boone with his coonskin cap was a pretty constant hero figuring into our games.

This may have been fueled, in part, because of family lore. Daniel Boone apparently came through the region my family settled in a few generations ago. I remember having a newspaper article in my photo album (curtesy of my mother) that described the experience of my “aunt” Polly (I think she was really my great, great, great aunt Polly and long gone by the time I arrived on the scene) with whom Daniel Boone stayed for some period of time. I can’t look up the details anymore, but in my memory, Daniel Boone lived with her family for several months when she was a girl.

The long-side of Boone Tavern surprised me with its size

The long-side of Boone Tavern surprised me with its size

For many years, I believed I was related to Daniel Boone. Who knows? Maybe I am.

Whatever my relations, whenever I passed the exit sign on interstate 75 that says, “Historic Boone Tavern,” I always want to stop. On this trip home from Columbus, I decided it was time. I was surprised to realize Boone Tavern is in Berea, Kentucky. This is the approximate halfway point between Columbus and Chattanooga and another place I’ve always wanted to stop. So, taking the opportunity to feed two hawks with one rat (as my friends at Save Our American Raptors would say), Tisen and I took another breather from the drive home in this small town.

The sign definitely takes me back to childhood

The sign definitely takes me back to childhood

Boone Tavern is an operating hotel today. Apparently it is not kept in its original state–a sign proudly declared it’s air-conditioned. Tisen and I didn’t try to go in together and it was too hot to leave Tisen in the car, so we made a lap around downtown Berea, checking out Boone Tavern from two sides instead of sipping a cold adult beverage at the bar.

Tisen making the most of the Kentucky grass

Tisen making the most of the Kentucky grass

Tisen was unimpressed by the view of the tavern. However, he did seem to take a special liking to the grass in the small park across the street from the tavern.

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Big Bone Lick

The sign at the entrance to the park

The sign at the entrance to the park

What’s in a name?  That which we call a park by any other name would smell as fresh.  So why not call it something that makes people think, “Hmm.  I really must go see what that is some time.”  I think that’s what the creators of Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky thought when they chose the name of the park.
Never mind that the area was a “lick” (as in “salt lick”) in ancient (and even more recent) times that attracted animals large and small with its mineral deposits.  Never mind that native americans talked about the “big bones” left behind by the giant animals that were trapped in the bog.  I’m pretty sure that someone in marketing decided naming the park “Big Bone Lick” would attract more tourists.

The one short stretch of shade on our way to find the bison

The one short stretch of shade on our way to find the bison

They were right.

After all, how many times have I driven by signs advertising parks I can’t remember the names of?  But “Big Bone Lick” has been the subject of several conversations–visitors often comment about it when they arrive at our place after having made the journey from the North.

Tisen casting a dark shadow that he tried to figure out how to stand under

Tisen casting a dark shadow that he tried to figure out how to stand under

Since I’d decided to take a day off work to drive home from Columbus with Tisen at a leisurely pace, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to find out what Big Bone Lick was all about.  As is typical of Tisen and my walks, we hit the park at the peak of the afternoon sun.  But on this day, I was surprised just how hot it was as we made our way up the trail in the harsh light.  Tisen couldn’t stop panting–I’m sure he was wishing his fur coat had a zipper so he could take it off.

If bison could pant, I think this guy would be panting

If bison could pant, I think this guy would be panting

But the park had something I wanted to see–Bison.  I guess it’s appropriate and historically accurate that the park should have bison.  I just wish they could roam free throughout the park rather than being fenced in.  For a moment, I flashed back to Montana’s approach to “fence them out” vs “fence them in,” but then I remembered the dead horses we saw on the road outside of Glacier National Park and decided I didn’t want to see any run over bison.

Even the bison were shedding

Even the bison were shedding

We followed the signs that said, “Bison.”  When we got to the “Bison Viewing Area,” there were no bison.  Just empty pastures with nothing like bison in sight.  I think someone was confused about what “bison viewing area” meant.

When I first spotted the bison, I thought I was seeing round bales of hay or something

When I first spotted the bison, I thought I was seeing round bales of hay or something

I felt betrayed by the park signs.  I looked at my poor, hot dog standing in a shadow panting like it was 100 degrees out and decided we’d better head back rather than keep looking.  However, there was another path that headed back towards the car.  I thought it would be shorter and, since it bordered a bunch of paddocks, perhaps we would see bison by going that way.  Both turned out to be true.  Although Tisen was less patience than usual waiting for me to take pictures, we left the park happy.

 

To Spring or Not to Spring

Flowering trees in the neighborhood next to the restaurant

Flowering trees in the neighborhood next to the restaurant

Returning to my home town for the first time in quite a few months, I was disappointed to discover it was still winter there when I arrived.  The temperatures dropped to the upper 30’s and the rain seemed never-ending.  I was regretting having left spring behind in Chattanooga.

Fortunately, the expression “if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes,” is as applicable in Columbus as it is anywhere else I’ve heard it uttered.  While it took more than 10 minutes to make a significant shift, the sun appeared, the rain dried, and the temperature started to rise.

I went from wishing I’d brought a winter coat to worrying about not having a raincoat or umbrella to wondering if I even needed a light sweater in just a few days.   I suppose it’s typical for spring–it comes in fits and starts.  One day it feels like August, the next we’re back to January and gradually the ratio changes and the high and low temperatures keep staying higher until most of the days feel like August.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember it’s a process.

Our friend on the patio while we wait for food

Our friend on the patio while we wait for food

By the time we met friends for dinner on Monday night, the weather was cooperative.  This was especially good because the restaurant we ate at had about 5 tables inside and 10 out.  Had it been bad weather, we would have been waiting for a table for a long time.  As it was, we were able to sit outside without a wait because the sky was gray enough to elicit looks of suspicion from patrons hovering around the bar with their food.  The weather may have been cooperative, but just barely.  By the time we finished eating, we were wrapping our jackets around us tight trying to stay warm.

Our other friend cooling off after walking to meet us and his wife

Our other friend cooling off after walking to meet us and his wife

One of the great things about eating in a new restaurant in our old neighborhood was that we actually ran into other friends while we were sitting there.  Friends we hadn’t seen in a really long, long time.  It made me think maybe we should try the approach one of my friends who moved to Seattle uses when she comes into town for a visit.  She schedules dinner at a place where people can easily come and go without throwing the staff for a loop.  Then, she invites all her friends to meet her there.  She gets to see many friends in a 2-3 hour window this way.  It does sound much easier to coordinate than trying to schedule 3 meals a day with different people.  However, I’m not sure I would get to actually talk with everyone that way.

In any case, it was cool to get to catch up with 4 friends at one meal.  Unfortunately, our surprise friends arrived after it was too dark to take photos with my iPhone.  I did manage to catch some blooming trees and the friends we’d scheduled our dinner with via Hipstamatic.  I should probably start experimenting with something other than tintype soon.

Tisen refusing to hold still after we returned to our host's house

Tisen refusing to hold still after we returned to our host’s house

Road Trip

Gina looking fierce in front of unwanted graffiti

Gina looking fierce in front of unwanted graffiti

Loading the car for a road trip used to be simple.  It was a matter of throwing in a small bag with some clean underwear, a change of clothes, maybe some special face soap, and, of course, my purse.  Now, it takes a whole lot more.

This would be a little more timeless without the sunglasses

This would be a little more timeless without the sunglasses

There’s the additional wardrobe required for business meetings.  This, of course, must be accompanied by additional baggage required for a laptop, a phone, a tablet, 3 chargers, headphones, business cards, and miscellaneous forms of paper.

Then there’s the additional wardrobe required for hanging out with friends and encountering a variety of social settings.  Limiting myself to 2 pairs of shoes is quite a challenge.

This reminds me of the kinds of photos my grandparents used to take

This reminds me of the kinds of photos my grandparents used to take

But the mass of what I loaded into the car was photography equipment.  It took two big bags of stuff plus my tripod–that’s without my umbrella stands.  Had I brought Tisen with me, the volume of stuff would have doubled.  Fortunately, my husband is taking care of Tisen for a few days and we’ll meet up later.

I managed to get the car loaded in one trip with my husband’s help.

I like driving.  At least, I like it until miscellaneous body parts start going numb, my shoulders start burning, and I realize I’m clenching my jaw like I’m performing one of those rope tricks in a circus where a lady is spun and swung all over the place while she bites on a rope.  Then, I would like a more comfortable seat and perhaps a massage.

I keep thinking I should make the drive at a leisurely pace, stopping to shoot interesting sights and exploring the area each time I stop.  Unfortunately, I never have that kind of time to get from one place to another.  This time, I opted to drive a few hours the night before I needed to arrive at my destination.  Then, I stopped at a hotel for the night before driving the rest of the way.  This divided the drive up nicely, allowing me to get a decent night’s sleep and also to miss rush hour traffic outside a major city in the morning.  Had I not stopped, I would have needed to leave by 5AM to make sure I got to my meeting on time.

Gill and Gina looking strangely contemporary in this tintype-effect Hipstamatic shot

Gill and Gina looking strangely contemporary in this tintype-effect Hipstamatic shot

After doing my work stuff, I got to have some time to relax with my hosts, who we like to call Gina and Gill.  It’s a beautiful sunny day for a change.  Gina and Gill have the perfect porch for a sunny day.  We ended up hanging out on said porch, enjoying the warmth and the breezes.  I decided that the big front porch on their 100+ year old house was the perfect setting to pull out the Hipstamatic app and use the tintype film.

After taking a few shots of Gina and Gill on the front porch, Gina and I took a little walk where we found some unpleasant graffiti to shoot her in front of.  I like the urban look.

Ready Rower

Waiting for me

Waiting for me

5:15AM seemed a little extra early this morning when the twittering of my iPhone interrupted my dream.  I awoke confused, unsure of whether it was really time to get up, having just fallen into a dream state a few minutes before the alarm went off.

I got up, turned off my annoying phone and then looked back over my shoulder at the warm bed I had just left behind.  My dog remained curled on his bed on the floor, snoring softly through slightly curled lips.  My husband seemed oblivious to the alarm, his own snores harmonizing with my dog’s–my husband forever the musician.

The rowing center bay glows like a fireplace

The rowing center bay glows like a fireplace

I slipped back under the covers for just a few minutes.  I thought about rolling over and falling back into whatever dream I had been pulled from.  But then, I remembered why I’d set the alarm for 5:15AM.  It was because I was going to row for the first time since last fall!

The thought of entering the river all by myself in the dark after not having rowed for months set off a new alarm, awakening the rabble of butterflies in my stomach.  With so much fluttering going on, there was no possibility of going back to sleep.  I decided coffee was in order.

I managed to get myself caffeinated, dressed, and assembled enough to take Tisen (who had managed to get out of bed) for a quick walk around the park.  Then, I was off.

A pedestrian bridge on the river walk reflected on the water

A pedestrian bridge on the river walk reflected on the water

I stuffed my rowing equipment into my saddle bags and rolled my bike out of the garage.  I carried it up the flight of steps to ground level, mounted, and rolled off into the dark feeling somewhat stoic, like I was about to face an enemy.

The quick 2 mile ride to the rowing center warmed up my legs and helped me relax.  The rabble in my belly died as I pumped my way up the slope of the Walnut Street Bridge looking over the stillness of the river below.  I reminded myself that it wasn’t that cold.  The worst thing that could happen is I could get wet.  I would make it back home slightly chilled, but no worse for wear.

Looking across the rests used for sculling boats to McClellan Island

Looking across the rests used for sculling boats to McClellan Island

I was the first rower of the morning.  I turned on the lights and tried to find my favorite boat to no avail.  I found another one and quickly learned I’d forgotten the art of carrying a rowing scull, but I managed to get it out safely.

I did everything out of order, but once I was seated in the scull and rowing, it was like I hadn’t missed a week.  The rhythm of legs pushing while arms pull oars through water, bending arms, straightening arms, sliding slowing back up to the catch, listening to the oars in the oarlocks and watching the Great Blue Heron soar a foot above the water all to a slow count of 4–it’s hard to imagine a better way to start a day.

One thing I forgot after a 5-month hiatus--what these things are called

One thing I forgot after a 5-month hiatus–what these things are called

Breaking a Lens

Twiggy decided on a dip in the river before the storm started

Twiggy decided on a dip in the river before the storm started

This evening, I slipped out with Tisen in a hurry to get him out and back in before it started to rain.  A storm was promising to break lose at any moment–the smell of rain hanging in the air as if the deluge was over instead of yet to begin.  Whether it was the tickle of electricity forming far away in the clouds or the accumulating energy evidenced by the swirling winds, Tisen and I both had extra spring in our steps.

We didn’t make it very far before we ran into some neighbors–everyone was out with their dogs.  Tisen made a couple of new friends and caught up with several old ones.  Then, Twiggy and her daddy arrived on the scene.  Tisen was beside himself.

I let Tisen follow Twiggy, his favorite trail leader.  We meandered along and followed the dogs.  Distracted by Twiggy’s feminine wiles, Tisen was suddenly oblivious to the impending storm.

Tisen looking worried after the first clap of thunder

Tisen looking worried after the first clap of thunder

When a loud clap of thunder sounded, he became momentarily airborne and immediately started looking for shelter.  I had trouble keeping him out from under Twiggy’s daddy’s feet as underneath our friend seemed to be the best shelter Tisen could find.

We made our way back, but not in time to avoid a good soaking.  I was prepared with my rain jacket, but it rained so hard, my pants were dripping and my sandals were soaked by the time we made it back to the building.  Tisen was soaked through.

But I was smiling–it was our first summer storm.

The image that caused me to play with the positioning of my lens

The image that caused me to play with the positioning of my lens

When Pat came home, we sat on the balcony for a bit, watching the clouds and the rain, listening to the sound of gallons of water falling from the sky in a giant curtain of water hitting the pavement below.  I had the sudden urge to take a fisheye photo of the sky and the rain and the distant ridge.

The fisheye lens for the iPhone attaches purely by magnetism.  I made the mistake of fumbling while trying to get the lens centered around the phone lens.  The lens popped loose and we watched in slow motion, our mouths opening, sound forming, and a long, “Ohhhhhh . . .” coming out of mine as the tiny lens tumbled to the floor of the balcony, landing at my feet, and rolled.  It rolled for what seemed like 10 minutes while I stood frozen in place, still forming the word “Ohhh” and watched it roll right off the edge of the balcony and fall, and fall some more.

The bent rim of the lens after its fall

The bent rim of the lens after its fall

Still in slow motion, I leaned over the balcony and watched for another 10 minutes as the lens fell 7 stories to the patio below, and suddenly, the one piece became at least 2.  I sighed and reminded myself it was a $20 lens, not a $2000 lens, but really, I haven’t gotten $20 worth of fun out of it yet.

I was able to retrieve the pieces and it may even be repairable–we’ll see.

The pieces of my broken lens

The pieces of my broken lens

Summer Morning

Hipstatmatic version of the Chickamauga Dam shortly after sunrise

Hipstatmatic version of the Chickamauga Dam shortly after sunrise

Someone flipped the weather switch from winter to summer.  After a quick afternoon walk in the park with Tisen yesterday when I discovered it was suddenly August, I decided it was high time I get my bike out of storage and take it for a spin.

Camera! version of the Chickamauga Dam

Camera! version of the Chickamauga Dam

It seemed like a fantastic idea last night.  I got it all ready to go, putting air in the tires, checking the brakes, digging up my biking shoes and helmet.  I even found appropriate attire and laid it out so I wouldn’t have to hunt around for what to wear.

When the alarm jerked me awake mid-dream at 5:15AM, it seemed like less of a good idea.

But, once jerked awake, it’s hard to go back to sleep.  I stumbled into the kitchen and made some coffee.

Train trestle over the Tennessee River

Train trestle over the Tennessee River

I eventually made it out the door, still ahead of sunrise.  When I told Tisen goodbye, he momentarily raised his head a fraction of an inch and blinked.  Then he fell back into a state of involving loud snoring.  I was jealous.

Hipstamatic makes high tension wires look charming

Hipstamatic makes high tension wires look charming

Once on my bike, I realized I had never headed to the Riverwalk from our new location before.  I wasn’t exactly sure how to make it to the Walnut Street Bridge without having to navigate any stairs.  I didn’t quite make it there stepless–I had to carry my bike up one flight of steps–but I did make it without riding on any streets, which was a nice way to start out the morning.

Structures I normally try to keep out of the frame

Structures I normally try to keep out of the frame

I took my time riding in the dark, breathing in the smells of spring, and watching the light gradually increase in the sky ahead of me.  I saw Osprey and Great Blue Herons.  Ring-billed Gulls and Tree Swallows.  Dozens of Warblers teased me by flying ahead of me and remaining just visible enough to be recognized as Warblers, but not long enough for their particular species to be identified (even when I got off my bike and pulled my binoculars out of my saddle bags).

The iPhone might not be good for getting photos of birds, but it does pretty well capturing high-tension wires

The iPhone might not be good for getting photos of birds, but it does pretty well capturing high-tension wires

When I made it to the last mile before the dam, as I entered the sculpture garden, I saw the strange exhibit I call “Abduction” glowing in the dim morning light as a cloud of mist rose off the grass and the sky turned pink in the distance.  I thought it was an excellent time to make use of my iPhone camera.

Abduction Sculpture at sunrise with last bit of mist in the background

Abduction Sculpture at sunrise with last bit of mist in the background

When I made it to the end of the Riverwalk at the Chickamauga Dam, I coasted down to the fishing pier.  I decided it was another photo op, although maybe not the kind I usually think of.  The large manmade structures used to generate the electricity that powers Chattanooga (and probably a lot of other places) may not be my normal idea of a subject I want to immortalize, but this morning I just felt grateful for the electricity instead of annoyed by the environmental impacts of the dam.  And for once, I found myself smiling with appreciation.

Much later in the day, Tisen enjoyed sitting in the evening sun with Cow

Much later in the day, Tisen enjoyed sitting in the evening sun with Cow