X San Francisco
X Las Vegas
X New York
X Disney Land
X Disney World
X Florida Keys
+ 47 states, incl Hawaii (not Alaska), Rome, Zurich, Madrid, Berlin, Stockholm, Oslo, Vienna, Istanbul, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Cuba, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Canaries, Azores, London, Edinburgh, and the one I've been to and NONE of you have!: Thule, Greenland!!
Favorite City - San Francisco
Favorite Beach - Pensacola
Most Beautiful - Vermont in the Fall
Never Been To but would like to - New Zealand
Place I'd most like to go visit again - Scotland (family origins, etc.)
gh wrote:But on a serious note, how sick is it that I've lived within a couple of hours drive of Yosemite for the last 30+ years and have never been?
Yosemite is one of the few places I have been to where even the hype of the place did not do it justice. You really need to do the run, it's an easy drive the roads are pretty good until the park itself.
And even these pictures do not really do it justice. It is truly a beautiful place. The trick is to get there and do things without major crowds. There are slow(er) times of year where you won't feel so crowded.
bad hammy wrote:And even these pictures do not really do it justice. It is truly a beautiful place. The trick is to get there and do things without major crowds. There are slow(er) times of year where you won't feel so crowded.
Agree. No picture of Yosemite can do it justice. I also agree get there out of tourist season. Thats why this time of year is perfect. Especially with the snow. Make sure you see a sunset. The cliffs become alive with the shadows and red/orange colours.
My first trip to Yosemite was spring of my freshman year in college. When I first saw Half Dome and the Falls I was AWEstruck. It doesn't even look REAL. It looks like some Robert Kincaid type painted the most surreally beautiful landscape he could possibly imagine. gh you MUST go NOW!!!!
I've hit the whole list except for the Florida Keys. We procrastinated going to New Orleans and lost our chance!!!
Yosemite in the winter time is over the top extraodinary. You can ice skate in the open air at Camp Curry as the sun goes down on Half Dome.
What other places have you folks been where the hype does not even begin to do justice to the reality? As dramatic as the photos seem, they didn't even begin to prepare me for how breath-taking Machu Picchu is.
Another nominee for most beautiful place on earth is the lake country around Bariloche, Argentina around this time of year. Besides the stunning geography and the freshest air on earth heavy with the fragrance of wildflowers, you can buy a huge steak dinner with a great local wine, dessert and coffee for less than ten bucks (at least that was the price range a year ago!)
I did not initially set out to visit every county in the US.. it just kinda happened.
Actually, I have personally photographed every county and parish courthouse in the 50 states. (caveat follows)
Living in Fort Worth, 1971, Thanksgiving trip to parents in Lubbock, got all the way to Weatherford, 30 miles west of Ft Worth, before kids required first rest stop.. highway goes around Parker county court house, a magnificent 1880s pile of turreted and gabled limestone.. I have always had an interest in architecture, especially turn of the century courthouses.. I took a picture... another 30 miles west, the Palo Pinto courthouse sits adjacent to the highway.. took a picture.. by the time we reached Lubbock, I had eight courthouse pictures.. on return trip to Ft Worth took parallel highway . . eight more courthouse pics.. drove to Houston on business the following week, wandered around a little-- 53 pictures.. this is fun.. started taking a different route every chance I got on business or athletic events.. soon had over 200 Texas courthouse. ( there are 254 Texas counties).. had family in Oklahoma, started doing Oklahoma, spent 10 years in Kansas did Kansas...NE, MO, IA.. son in Army at Fort Polk.. worked on LA, MS and AR.. daughter in Seattle.. drove to Canada (several times) turned left ..did Dakotas MT, ID, WA, OR, UTmeanders home through all western states.. brother in CA.. did NV , AZ NM, CO .. worked meets in NC, AR, KS, GA, FL, MN IN, SC, MS, MO, TN ,LA, WI, OH , WA OR, CA, ..accumulated..courthouses coming and going. .. Gator Bowl 1985 ( I think) did FL, GA, AL, SC... did a hitch in Calgary.. got over to Prudhoe Bay, Barrow, Achorage, Fairbanks, Alaska... took inland cruise to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan.
(Here is the caveat. Alaska has 23 boroughs but only has a "real" courthouse in ten of them.. most boroughs use schools or any available igloo... I am still missing Nome and Kotzebue which, at last check, do not have courthouses)
By about 1988, I realized I had collected over half the counties and stepped up my pace.. spent a long wonderful week in New England one October .. did ME, NH, VT, CT, RI..MA., NY.. other great rambles through northern MN and MI Upper peninsula.. MI was last state I visited.. you do not go thru MI on the way to anywhere.. you have to go there on purpose...
In 1990s ..started making deliberate trips, flying to bypassed areas, rent car, spend a week. clean up straggers... In 1998, I was resident geological host on cruise to Hawaii which called at all four counties..got em all while ship in port.. which left me with two counties to go.. (Nantucket and Dukes counties MA.. when I did New England, I ran out of time and did not have the day needed to ferry out to Marthas Vinyard and Edgartown) ... when I got home from Hawaii, I got on a plane to Bostonm and closed em out.
Actually, it was kind of a let down after 27 years, several cars and cameras and an estimated 800,000 mies, when I stood on the steps of the Edgartown courthouse and asked a passing stranger to take my picture.. I could not resist telling him what it was all about .. he seemed unimpressed and walked away .. he got about 30 feet, stopped and came back and had me repeat my story..
There are about 2971 counties, 64 parishes 23 boroughsand 45 independent cities total 3103.. it gets complicated because ten counties in MS and AR and one county in VT and IA have two county seats and six counties in SD are paired with a neighboring county and share a county seat.. then there are old county seats, old court houses, etc .
I also was collecting state capitol buildings and governors mansions ( in those 42 states which have governors mansions)...which all adds up to aboutt 4500 pictures.
Wherever I went, when people found out what I was doing they were almost invaribly helpful, although I was surprised how many folks don't know where their courthouse is.. I was directed to schools, city halls, police stations, jails, tag offices and not a few dead ends... Many old courthouses are disappeaing. I always tried to find a picture of earlier courthouse(s)..more difficult than you would imagine.. but, again, many times the locals would not let me leave until they found a pic of the "old courthouse".. one kind soul in ND put me in his pickup and drove me out to a house he had played cards in the night before and had seen on a coffee table a centennial publication that had the old courthouse on the cover.. The lady was not home but we went in anyway and there lay the book.. took it outside, photographed the cover and got on down the road..
That is the short version.. It was a wonderful adventure..
Lonewolf - I read about guys like you a few months ago in some wire-service story. There's a group of people who have visited every county/parish in the USA. Cannot remember what it was called. Enlighten us? How many people are in the group?
A Wall Street Journal writer a few years ago did a story on this. I think there were seven people who reportedly had visited every county/parish. I think the requirement was simply to have penetrated the county. I don't know of anyone else who photographed every courthouse.
The pictures, at the moment, are in two stages. The original prints are arranged alphabeticaly by state and county under actetate pages in about two dozen very thick photo albums.
My computer graphically blessed grandson spent a very profitable summer scanning and editing them to CDs, composing, cropping, exposing, title blocks, common footprint, etc prep for page design..
I want to produce a verrry large coffee table book or maybe several regional books. I look for a publisher sporadically.. I may publish it myself when I find time after my current publishing project runs it course.
I have travelled a lot, starting when I was 3 and moved to Hong Kong. My favorite 3 places are: 1) New Zealand - a brilliant country, especially the South Island. Drove the whole perimeter a few years ago plus hired a cesna to fly to one of the fjords (name escapes me). Drove god knows how far to Dunedin specifically to see an albatros, one of my life ambitions. 2) West Coast and isles of Scotland - Hawaii except a little cooler! 3) Florence - will go and spend a week there whenever possible.