where we are going, in the order in which we will go
As we progress through out journey, the images we have created at each location will to fill each of these pages. Click on the image below to learn about the site, its location, and how you can visit it for yourself!
A Watery Wonderland
Within sight of downtown Miami, yet worlds away, Biscayne protects a rare combination of aquamarine waters, emerald islands, and fish-bejeweled coral reefs. Here too is evidence of 10,000 years of human history, from pirates and shipwrecks to pineapple farmers and presidents. Outdoors enthusiasts can boat, snorkel, camp, watch wildlife…or simply relax in a rocking chair gazing out over the bay.
We met up at the Sea Isle Marina to take a boat to the middle of the ocean, in the waters of beautiful Biscayne Bay. After climbing aboard Captain Gil’s boat, we set sail towards any spot shallow enough for us.
When we finally found waters at about three feet deep, just outside of the National Park Boundary. Even though it was technically not within the park, we decided to stay. We all jumped in, and said hello to the sea urchins poking at our feet. Finding a location that was shallow enough was difficult, so we had to sacrifice it actually being in the park, but we were close!
As Jonathan was crouched down with only his head and his arms above the waves to take the photos. Melissa, Ginger, Taylor, Jasmine, and Sydney were all taking turns swimming back and forth between the boat and the camera, doing quick costume changes to try to save daylight.
The moms aboard the ship were playing music, taking photos and videos of our adventures in the open water, and helping the girls go back and forth. We had music, a sunset blazing over the city of Miami, and dancers leaping out of the open ocean.
As a team we got together for a group shot at the end of the night, just as the sun was setting. By the time we made our way back, the sun had set and night time covered Miami.
Take a look at the photos in this gallery as a small sample of the work we created, and look for the best images to be published in our book – Dance Across the USA.
A National Park that's Underwater?!?
Biscayne National Park is located in southern Florida, south of Miami. The park preserves Biscayne Bay and its offshore barrier reefs. Ninety-five percent of the park is water, and the shore of the bay is the location of an extensive mangrove forest. The park covers 172,971 acres (69,999 ha) and includes Elliott Key, the park's largest island and first of the true Florida Keys, formed from fossilized coral reef. The islands farther north in the park are transitional islands of coral and sand. The offshore portion of the park includes the northernmost region of the Florida Reef, one of the largest coral reefs in the world.
DATUSA Start Day 1
A quick video of us taking off from the Sea Isle Marina, headed toward the open ocean, and toward our first shoot for Dance Across the USA!
DATUSA End Day 1
A wonderful end, to a fantastic first day. Many, many more to come.
The Dry Tortugas are a small group of islands, located in the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the Florida Keys, United States, about 67 miles (108 km) west of Key West, and 37 miles (60 km) west of the Marquesas Keys, the closest islands. Still further west is the Tortugas Bank, which is completely submerged. The first Europeans to discover the islands were the Spanish in 1513, led by explorer Juan Ponce de León. They are an unincorporated area of Monroe County, Florida, and belong to the Lower Keys Census County Division. With their surrounding waters, they constitute the Dry Tortugas National Park.
Our Dancers inside the fort
The pier at Loggerhead
Can you believe how clear this water is?!?
It's hard work being a dancer...
Fort Jeff as we sail away
Explore a 19th Century Fort and snorkel crystal clear water with incredible marine life
Almost 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. The 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is known the world over as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life that frequent the area.
For more information on visiting Dry Tortugas, follow this link-
The Little River Canyon is a National Park Preserve located in northeast Alabama. Set atop Lookout Moutnain. it is said to be the nations largest mountaintop river. The canyon itself is one of the deepest canyons in the United States. But don't be fooled by its name. "Little River". Little river runs almost the entire length of Lookout mountain. It has carved the canyon into what it is today, A 12 mile long, and 600 foot depth beauty.
The Alabama Dancers
At the top of the waterfall
Jonathan just above the water
Little River Canyon National Preserve
Known as the "Grand Canyon of the East", Little River provides rich cultural heritage and an abundance of Natural Recourses. It is even possible to see all of its beauty along the outer rim, by driving along Highway 35. The river is Great for Kayakers, the mountain is beautiful for scenic viewers, and the entire site is perfect for a little picnic or bbq in the hot summer days.
For more information on visiting the Little River Canyon. follow this link- https://www.nps.gov/liri/index.htm
The French Quarter, also known as the Vieux Carré, is the oldest neighborhood in the city of New Orleans. After New Orleans (La Nouvelle-Orléans in French) was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city developed around the Vieux Carré ("Old Square" in English), a central square. The district is more commonly called the French Quarter today, or simply "The Quarter," related to changes in the city with American immigration after the Louisiana Purchase. Most of the extant historic buildings were constructed either in the late 18th century, during the city's period of Spanish rule, or were built during the first half of the 19th century, after U.S. annexation and statehood.
Our dancers on the middle of New Orleans
Jonathan laying in the middle of the street
THE BIG EASY
Shortly after the French founded New Orleans in 1718, engineers drew up a formal city plan for Nouvelle Orleans---the area that we now call the French Quarter. The city quickly expanded beyond those original boundaries to become an important American port. People arrived from all over the world, joining the early inhabitants of the area to create a distinct culture rich in food, music, and tradition.
For more information on visiting the French Quarter, follow this link-
Cypress Swamp, at milepost 122.0, is a self guiding trail through a water tupelo/bald cypress swamp. The terrain along Natchez Trace Parkway changes from 70 to 1,100 feet in elevation and passes through 5 degrees of latitude.
It is swamp like this that was the home of Kermit the Frog (born in Leland MS), has had reported sightings of the Legendary Mississippi Swamp Ape, and was used as a place to hide by the confederacy during the civil war. Teeming with animal and plant life, these swamps are an important part of the ecosystem by filtering waste and purifying water.
While we push the envelope, we always have a spotter for safety!
Come on, kids... let's go play in the street!
Water tupelo and bald cypress trees can live in deep water for long periods. After taking root in summer when the swamp is nearly dry, the seedlings can stay alive in water deep enough to kill other plants. This trail leads to an abandoned river channel. As the channel fills with silt and vegetation, black willow, sycamore, red maple and other trees will gradually replace the bald cypress and tupelo. Don't hurry, the change will take several hundred years.
For more information about visiting Cypress Swamp, Natchez Trace follow the link-
Hot Springs National Park is a United States National Park in central Garland County, Arkansas, adjacent to the city of Hot Springs, the county seat. Hot Springs Reservation was initially created by an act of the United States Congress on April 20, 1832 to be preserved for future recreation. Established before the concept of a national park existed, it was the first time that a piece of land had been set aside by the federal government to preserve its use as an area for recreation.
Tappin' it out together!
Playing it safe - We all need a hand
Hot springs in the middle of town?
Water. That's what first attracted people, and they have been coming here ever since to use these soothing thermal waters to heal and relax. Rich and poor alike came for the baths, and a thriving city built up around the hot springs. Together nicknamed "The American Spa," Hot Springs National Park today surrounds the north end of the city of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Come discover it for yourself.
For more information about visiting Hot Springs National Park, follow the link-
Chickasaw National Recreation Area is a National Recreation Area situated in the foothills of the Arbuckle Mountains in south-central Oklahoma near Sulphur in Murray County. It includes the former Platt National Park and Arbuckle Recreation District.
The Chickasaw National Recreation Area preserves partially forested hills of south-central Oklahoma near Sulphur. Named to honor the Chickasaw Indian Nation, who were relocated to the area from the Southeastern United States during the 1830s (and who later sold the original 640 acres (260 ha) of land for the park to the Federal government), the park's springs, streams, and lakes provide swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking, camping, and hiking. As part of the Chickasaw tribe's arrangement with the U.S. government, the park does not charge an admission fee.
Tim Jefferson - Member of the Chickasaw Tribe
Lori Whitebuffalo - Member of the Chickasaw Tribe
Oklahoma in the house!!!
As usual, Jonathan is all wet.
An Oklahoma Oasis
Springs, streams, lakes-whatever it's form, water is the attraction at Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Little Niagra, and Rock Creek beckons waders and swimmers. Relax in the coolness of shaded stream or take a dip in a swimming hole. Veterans Lake calls anglers to test their skills. Lake of the Arbuckles provides excellent motorboating, skiing, fishing and swimming.
For more information about visiting Chickasaw National Recreational Area, follow the link-
The Alamo Mission in San Antonio, commonly called the Alamo and originally known as Misión San Antonio de Valero, is part of the San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site in San Antonio, Texas, United States. Founded in the 18th century as a Roman Catholic mission and fortress compound, it was the site of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. The Alamo is now a museum in the Alamo Plaza Historic District.
Texas dancers REPRESENT!
REMEMBER THE ALAMO
Known today as The Alamo, this Spanish mission complex was the first of six San Antonio missions founded by Catholic missionaries along the San Antonio River in the early 1700s. The mission was a town and learning center to acculturate the local indigenous people to Christianity and Spanish life. After the mission secularized at the end of the 18th century, Spanish soldiers used the mission church as a fort during Mexico’s fight for independence from Spain. During the Texas Revolution, a small garrison of Texan soldiers died defending The Alamo against the Mexican army. Today, The Alamo, a National Historic Landmark, is located in the heart of downtown San Antonio.
For more information about visiting The Alamo, follow the link-
The White Sands National Monument is a U.S. National Monument located about 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Alamogordo in western Otero County and northeastern Doña Ana County in the state of New Mexico, at an elevation of 4,235 feet (1,291 m). The area is in the mountain-ringed Tularosa Basin and comprises the southern part of a 275 square miles (710 km2) field of white sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals. It is the largest gypsum dune field in the world.
The White Sands Crew
Like No Place Else on Earth
Rising from the heart of the Tularosa Basin is one of the world's great natural wonders - the glistening white sands of New Mexico. Great wave-like dunes of gypsum sand have engulfed 275 square miles of desert, creating the world's largest gypsum dunefield. White Sands National Monument preserves a major portion of this unique dunefield, along with the plants and animals that live here.
For more information about visiting White Sands, follow this link-
Garden of the Gods is a public park located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, US. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971. The area was first called Red Rock Corral. Then, in August 1859, two surveyors who helped to set up Colorado City explored the site. One of the surveyors, M. S. Beach, suggested that it would be a "capital place for a beer garden". His companion, the young Rufus Cable, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, "Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods."
The Mighty Buford with the Colorado Crew
Virginia Buller wating for her turn...
Jonathan Givens...show 'em how its done...
Anything for the perfect shot!
Even the Moms are dancing!
Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is an outstanding illustration of the lithologic character of sedimentary rocks, and of the vertical forces that produced the front range of the Rocky Mountains. Located within Garden of the Gods Park, the site contains the uncommon honey ant, and is one of the best sites in Colorado for observing white-throated swifts, swallows, and canyon wrens.
For more information about visiting the Garden of the Gods, follow this link-
Grand Teton National Park is a United States National Park in northwestern Wyoming. Grand Teton National Park is named for Grand Teton, the tallest mountain in Teton Range. At approximately 310,000 acres, the park includes the major peaks of the 40-mile-long Teton Range as well as most of the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole. At 13,775 feet, Grand Teton abruptly rises more than 7,000 feet above Jackson Hole, almost 850 feet higher than Mount Owen, the second-highest summit in the range. The park has numerous lakes, including 15-mile-long Jackson Lake as well as streams of varying length and the upper main stem of the Snake River. Though in a state of recession, a dozen small glaciers persist at the higher elevations near the highest peaks in the range. Some of the rocks in the park are the oldest found in any U.S. National Park and have been dated at nearly 2.7 billion years.
The Grand Teton Crew
Jonathan is so excited to be in the Grand Tetons!!
Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a U.S. National Monument and National Preserve in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho. It is along US 20 (Concurrent with US 93 & US 26), between the small towns of Arco and Carey, at an average elevation of 5,900 feet (1,800 m) above sea level. The protected area's features are volcanic and represent one of the best-preserved flood basalt areas in the continental United States.
Craters of the Moon Crew
Jonathan Givens and Aryiss Torres
The Mighty Buford, Aryiss Torres & Avery Rooney
Avery Rooney & Jonathan Givens
Jonathan Givens, The Mighty Buford & Avery Rooney
The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds in North America. It is noted for both its arid climate and the basin and range topography that varies from the North American low point at Badwater Basin to the highest point of the contiguous United States, less than 100 miles (160 km) away at the summit of Mount Whitney. The region spans several physiographic divisions, biomes/ecoregions, and deserts.
Ellie Grace Kay
Our great Great Basin dancers!
2 mile hike, ending at over 12,000 feet up. And that pack? That's 80 lbs. Camera gear, water, and a granola bar.
Getting out to this spot over the rocks was quite the adventure, believe you me! These are all pushed here from the glacier that stopped right in front of where we were shooting.
The Majestic Basin and Range...
In the shadow of 13,063-foot Wheeler Peak, 5,000 year old bristlecone pine trees grow on rocky glacial moraines. Come to Great Basin National Park to experience the solitude of the desert, the smell of sagebrush after a thunderstorm, the darkest of night skies, and the beauty of Lehman Caves. Far from a wasteland, the Great Basin is a diverse region that awaits your discovery.
For more information about visiting the Great Basin National Park, follow this link-
Bryce Canyon National Park is a National Park located in southwestern Utah in the United States. The area was settled by Mormon pioneers in the 1850s and was named after Ebenezer Bryce, who homesteaded in the area in 1874. The area around Bryce Canyon became a National Monument in 1923 and was designated as a National Park in 1928. The park covers 35,835 acres and despite its name, is not a canyon, but a collection of giant natural amphitheaters along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau.
Paige's little sister checking out the view
Our amazing ranger
and look, she jumps!!! =)
Hoodoos and forest mixed together
There is no place like Bryce Canyon. Hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion) can be found on every continent, but here is the largest collection of hoodoos in the world! Descriptions fail. Cave without a roof? Forest of stone? An imagination an wonder will serve you when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park.
For more information about visiting Bryce Canyon, follow this link-
Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon in the American Southwest. It is located on Navajo land east of Page, Arizona. Antelope Canyon includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and Antelope Canyon or the Corkscrew.
The Antelope Canyon Crew
Chevelle Heller & Gabby Pulido
Death Valley National Park is a national park that is located east of the Sierra Nevada, occupying an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts in the United States. The park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons, and mountains. It is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve. Approximately 95% of the park is a designated wilderness area. It is the hottest and driest of the national parks in the U.S. It contains the point of the lowest elevation in North America, at 282 feet below sea level, and the the highest point in the contiguous U.S. with an elevation of 14,505 feet. Death Valley's Furnace Creek also holds the record for the highest reliably recorded air temperature in the world at 134 °F (56.7 °C).
Evan Michael Lee
The very sandy Death Valley Crew!
Kings Canyon National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of Fresno, California. The park was established in 1940 and covers 461,901 acres. It incorporated General Grant National Park, established in 1890 to protect the General Grant Grove of giant sequoias.
The park is north of and contiguous with Sequoia National Park; the two are administered by the National Park Service jointly as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, established in 1916, is a United States National Park located in the U.S. State of Hawaii on the island of Hawaii. It encompasses two active volcanoes; Kīlauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world's most massive subaerial volcano. The park includes 323,431 acres of land. Climates range from lush tropical rain forests, to the arid and barren Ka'ū Desert. In recognition of its outstanding natural values, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park was designated as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980 and a World Heritage Site in 1987.
Heidi Lee Hart
The Volcanoes National Park Crew
Crater Lake National Park is a United States National Park located in southern Oregon. Established in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is the fifth oldest national park in the U.S. and the only national park in Oregon. The park encompasses the caldera of Crater Lake, a remnant of a destroyed volcano, Mount Mazama, and the surrounding hills and forests. The lake is 1,943 feet (592 m) deep at its deepest point, which makes it the deepest lake in the United States, the second deepest in North America and the ninth deepest in the world. It has no streams flowing into or out of it. All water that enters the lake is eventually lost from evaporation or subsurface seepage. The lake's water commonly has a striking blue hue, and the lake is re-filled entirely from direct precipitation in the form of snow and rain.
The Crater Lake Crew: Mika Dorman, Caitley Criswell, Clover Meyer, Jayley Ward, Olivia Bean, Mikayla Rice
Olympic National Park is a United States National Park located in the state of Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula. The park has four basic regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperature rainforest and the forests of the drier east side.
U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt originally created Mount Olympus National Monument on March 2, 1909. It was designated a national park by President Franklin Roosevelt on June 29, 1938. In 1976, Olympic National Park became an International Biosphere Reserve, and in 1981 it was designated a World Heritage Site. In 1988, Congress designated 95 percent of the park as the Olympic Wilderness.
The Ruby Beach Crew: Debbie Knowlen Campbell, AvaRose Campbell, Phoebe Campbell, Chloe Campbell, Madison Young, Sarah Wilensky
Hatcher Passis a mountain pass through the southwest part of the Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska. It is named after Robert Hatcher, a prospector and miner. The nearest incorporated communities are Palmer and Wasilla approximately 12 miles to the south, and Willow approximately 26 mi to the west. The communities are at an elevation of approximately 250 ft (76 m) in the Mat-Su valley.
Glacier National Park is a national park located in the U.S. state of Montana, on the Canada-United States border with the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The park encompasses over 1 million acres (4,000 km2) and includes parts of two mountain ranges, over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants, and hundreds of species of animals. This vast pristine ecosystem is the centerpiece of what has been referred to as the "Crown of the Continent Ecosystem", a region of protected land encompassing 16,000 square miles.
Quite a Foggy Day At Glacier National Park...if you look closely you can see The Mighty Buford and Eliza Krogh in there...
The Glacier National Park Crew...
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a United States National Park comprising three geographically separated areas of badlands in western North Dakota. The park covers 70,446 acres in three sections: the North Unit, South Unit, and Elkhart Ranch unit. The Little Missouri River flows all throughout these units, and the Maah Daah Hey Trail connects the three units together. The park was named for U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and his adventures in North Dakota. Which became influential in his pursuit of conservation policies as President of the United States.
This is how they roll in North Dakota.....or stop you from rolling...
Badlands National Park is a national park in southwestern South Dakota that protects 242,756 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires blended with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States. The park is managed by the National Park Service.
Our Bad*** Badlands Crew...
The Missouri National Recreational River is located on the border between Nebraska and South Dakota. The designation was first applied in 1978 to a 59-mile section of the Missouri River between Gavins Point Dam and Ponca State Park. In 1991, an additional 39-mile section between Fort Randall Dam and Niobrara Nebraska, was added to the designation. These two stretches of the Missouri River are the only parts of the river between Montana and the mouth of the Missouri that remain undammed or unchannelized. The last 20 miles of the Niobrara River and 6 miles of Verdigre Creek were also added in 1991.
Madison Chizek & Macy O'Connell
The Nebraska Gang!!
Voyageurs National Park is a United States National Park in northern Minnesota near the town of International Falls. It was established in 1975. The park's name commemorates the voyagers, French-Canadian fur traders who were the first European settlers to frequently travel through the area. The park is notable for its outstanding water resources and is popular with canoeists, kayakers, other boaters and fisherman. The Kabetogama Peninsula, which lies entirely within the park and makes up most of its land area, is accessible only by boat. To the east of the National Park lies the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
The Voyageur Dancers
The Heart of the Continent
Voyageurs National Park lies within the heart of the North American Continent. Here you can see and touch rocks half as old as the world, experience the life of a voyageur, immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of a boreal forest, view the dark skies, or ply the interconnected water routes.
Leave your car behind and set out on the water highways of the North Woods.
For more information about visiting Voyageurs National Park, follow this link-
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a U.S. nation national lakeshore consisting of 21 islands (Apostle Islands)and shoreline encompassing 69,372 acres (28,074 ha) on the northern tip of Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Superior. It is known for its collection of historic lighthouses, sandstone sea caves, a few old-growth remnant forests, and natural animal habitats.
The trail to the sea caves
Looking down... ::GULP::
Jewels of Lake Superior
Along windswept beaches and cliffs, visitors experience where water meets land and sky, culture meets culture, and past meets present. The 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland host a unique blend of cultural and natural resources. Lighthouses shine over Lake Superior and the new wilderness areas. Visitors can hike, paddle, sail, or cruise to experience these Jewels of Lake Superior.
For more information about visiting the Apostle Islands National lakeshore, follow this link-
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a U.S. National Lakeshore on the shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It extends for 42 miles along the shore and covers 73,236 acres. The park offers spectacular scenery of the hilly shoreline between Munising Michigan and Grand Marais, Michigan, with various rock formations like natural archways, waterfalls and sand dunes.
Pictured Rocks derives its name from the 15 miles of colorful sandstone cliffs northeast of Munising. The cliffs are up to 200 feet above lake level. They have been naturally sculptured into shallow caves, arches, formations that resemble castle turrets, and human profiles, among others. Near Munising visitors also can view Grand Island, most of which is included in the Grand Island National Recreational Area and is preserved separately.
That Dab!!! The Pictured Rocks Representatives!
Wild Beauty on the Lake Superior Shore
Sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, lakes, forest, and shoreline beckon you to visit Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Hiking, camping, sightseeing, and four season outdoor opportunities abound. The lakeshore hugs the Lake Superior shoreline for more than 40 miles. Lake Superior is the largest, deepest, coldest, and most pristine of all the Great Lakes.
For more information about visiting Pictured Rocks National lakeshore, follow this link-
Effigy Mounds National Monument preserves more than 200 prehistoric mounds built by Native Americans. Including numerous effigy mounds shaped like animals and its natural features consist of forests tall grass prairies, and rivers. It is located in Allanakee County and Clayton County, Iowa in the midwestern United States. It is known for being the "Driftless Area", an area of North America that escaped glaciation during the last ice age.
And she's about 10' off the ground here, looking cool as can be.
The mounds preserved here are considered sacred by many Americans, especially the Monument's 20 culturally associated American Indian tribes. A visit offers opportunities to contemplate the meanings of the mounds and the people who built them. The 200 plus American Indian mounds are located in one of the most picturesque sections of the Upper Mississippi River Valley.
For more information about visiting Effigy mounds National Monument. follow this link-
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, located in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, north of Strong City, is a U.S. National Preserve. Of the 400,000 square miles (1,000,000 km2) of tallgrass prairie that once covered the North American continent, less than 4% remains, primarily in the Flint Hills. Since 2009, the preserve has been home to the growing Tallgrass Prairie Bison Herd. It is the nation's second newest national preserve, and is still under development. It contains five hiking trails, and was named as one of the eight Wonders of Kansas
Last Stand of the Tallgrass Prairie
Where's the tall grass?
Tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America. Within a generation the vast majority was developed and plowed under. Today less than 4% remains, mostly here in the Kansas Flint Hills. The preserve protects a nationally significant remnant of the once vast tallgrass prairie and its cultural resources. Here the tallgrass prairie takes its last stand.
For more information about visiting Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, follow this link-
The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot (192 m) monument in St. Louis in the U.S. state of Missouri. Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of an inverted, weighted catenary arch, it is the world's tallest arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missouri's tallest accessible building. Built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, it is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and has become an internationally famous symbol of St. Louis. The arch sits at the site of St. Louis' founding on the west bank of the Mississippi River.
The Gateway Arch was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen in 1947; construction began on February 12, 1963, and was completed on October 28, 1965, for $13 million (equivalent to $180 million in 2013. The monument opened to the public on June 10, 1967.
The Gateway Arch Crew
Gateway to the West
The Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis' role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century. The park is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson's role in opening the West, to the pioneers who helped shape its history, and to Dred Scott who sued for his freedom in the Old Courthouse.
For more information about visiting the Gateway Arch, follow this link-
Check out the moves in the crowd!
The Garden of the Gods Wilderness in Illinois is a 3,318 acre parcel of land listed as Wilderness Area of the United States. It is located within the Shawnee National Forest in Hardin County, Pope County, Saline County, and Gallatin County in the U.S. sate of Illinois. Garden of the Gods is made of thick sandstone, that over time, has been eroded, weathered, and uplifted. The erosion patterns have created hoodoos, and other unusual formations. Such as Buzzards Point, Anvil Rock, Camel Rock, and Table Rock. Of all the wilderness areas within Shawnee, Garden of the Gods is made of second-growth forested areas that were used until the land condemnations of the 1930's as agriculture land.
Illinois Garden of the Gods Crew
The Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest, located within Hoosier National forest, is a 88 acre oak-hickory forest. It is a National Natural Landmark due to its survived fragment of virgin Central Hardwood forest. The old growth woodlot is characterized by its preservation of some of the most valued relic trees. Such as the white ash, white oak, and black walnut.
The Pioneer Mothers Memorial Forest Crew
Pioneer Mother's Memorial Forest
Pioneer Mother's Memorial Forest, located within Hoosier National Forest, is one of the best examples of an original, undisturbed pre-settlement forest in Indiana. The site contains the finest examples of forest-grown walnut trees in the United States.
For more information about visiting Pioneer Mother's State forest, follow this link-
Cumberland Falls, sometimes called the Little Niagara, the Niagara of the South, or the Great Falls, is a large waterfall on the Cumberland River in southeastern Kentucky. Spanning the river at the border of McCreary and counties.
On average the falls, which flow over a resistant sandstone bed, are 68 feet (21 m) high and 125 feet (38 m) wide, with an average water flow of 3,600 cubic feet per second (100 m³/s).
Our two Kentucky Representatives!
A PHENOMENON NOT FOUND ANYWHERE ELSE!
Known as Niagara of the South, Cumberland Falls is named after the largest waterfall in the south. With a full moon and a clear night sky, you just might see the most famous lunar rainbow! The "moonbow" that will appear from the mist, at the base of the falls.
Don't lose a chance to see this most enchanted, magical phenomenon!
For more information about visiting the Cumberland Falls, follow this link-
Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area contains one of the highest natural bridges in the eastern United States and is located in parts of Scott, Fentress, Pickett and Morgan counties in Tennessee. Its most prominent feature is the river gorge cutting through the Middiddippisn sir took beneath the hard Pennsylvanian capstone of the Cumberland Plateau. It has such an influential affect on the geological aspect of Big South Fork due to its change in rock formations, hollowing out the layers beneath, forming waterfalls and gorges.
The Big South Fork River Crew
Come Explore the Cumberland Plateau
Encompassing 125,000 acres of the Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area protects the free-flowing Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its tributaries. The area boasts miles of scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs, is rich with natural and historic features and has been developed to provide visitors with a wide range of outdoor recreational activities.
For more information about visiting Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, follow this link-
The Natchez Trace Parkway (also known as the Natchez Trace or simply the Trace) is a National Parkway in the southeastern United States that commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail. Its central feature is a two-lane parkway road that extends 444 miles (715 km) from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, TN. Access to the parkway is limited, with more than fifty access points in the states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. The southern end of the route is in Natchez at an intersection with Liberty Road, and the northern end is northeast of Fairview, Tennessee, in the suburban community of Pasquo, Tennessee, at an intersection with Tennessee 100. In addition to Natchez and Nashville, the larger cities along the route include Jackson and Tupelo, Mississippi, and Florence.
The All-American Road is maintained by the National Park Sevice, to commemorate the original route of the Natchez Trace.
Molly Ann Puckett
The Tennessee Natchez Trace Parkway Crew
Natchez Trace Parkway - History
The gentle sloping and curving alignment of the current route closely follows the original foot passage. Its design harkens back to the way the original interweaving trails aligned as an ancient salt-lick-to-grazing-pasture migratory route of the American Bison and other game that moved between grazing the pastures of central and western Mississippi and the salt and other mineral surface deposits of the Cumberland and Plateau. The route generally traverses the tops of the low hills and ridges of the watershed divides from northeast to southwest.
Native Americans, following the "traces" of bison and other game, further improved this "walking trail" for foot-borne commerce between major villages located in middle Mississippi and central Tennessee. The route is locally circuitous; however, by traversing this route the bison, and later humans, avoided the endless, energy-taxing climbing and descending of the many hills along the way. Also avoided was the danger to a herd (or groups of human travelers) of being caught en-masse at the bottom of a hollow or valley if attacked by predators. The nature of the route, to this day, affords good all-around visibility for those who travel it. At all times the route is on the high ground of the ridge dividing the watersheds; and affords a view to either see or catch the scent of danger; from a distance great enough to afford time to flee to safety; if necessary.
By the time of European exploration and settlement, the route had become well known and established as the fastest means of communication between the Cumberland Plateau, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico settlements of Pensacola, Mobile, and New Orleans. In the early post-American Revolutionary War period of America's (south) westward expansion, the Trace was the return route for American flat-boat commerce between the territories of the upper and lower Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland River valleys. The Americans would construct flat-boats, load their commerce therein, and drift upon those rivers, one-way south-southwestward all the way to New Orleans, Louisiana. They would then sell their goods (including the salvageable logs of the flat-boats), and return home via the Trace (for the middle section of their return trip), to as far away as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Improved communications (steam boats, stagecoach lines, and railroads) and the development of ports along the rivers named above, (e.g., Natchez, Memphis, Paducah, Kentucky, Nashville, and Louisville, Kentucky) made the route obsolete as a means of passenger and freight commerce. As a result, no major population centers were born or developed along the Trace, because of its alignment, between its termini Nashville and Natchez. The two cities of note, near or on the Trace's alignment (Jackson, Mississippi, and Tupelo, Mississippi), developed only as a result of their alignment along axis of communication different from the Trace. Thus the Trace and its alignment come down to us today almost completely undeveloped and unspoiled along its whole route. Many sections of the original footpath are visible today for observing and hiking the Parkway's right-of-way.
For more information on visiting the Tennessee Natchez Trace Parkway, please click on the below link:
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a United States National Park that preserves and reclaims the rural landscape along the Cuyahoga River between Akron and Cleveland in Ohio. The park is approximately 20,339.22-acres (8,231 ha) and is rich in historical aspect. The Native Americans once called the winding river, the Kahyonhá:ke, which means "on the river" or "at the river" in Mohawk. It was established in 1974 as the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area and was designated as a national park since 2000.
Our Cuyahoga Morning Crew!
The Cuyahoga Afternoon Crew...
Along the "Crooked River"
Though a short distance from the urban areas of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The park is a refuge for native plants and wildlife, and provides routes of discovery for visitors. The winding Cuyahoga River gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. Walk or ride the Towpath Trail to follow the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.
For more information about visiting the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, follow this link-
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park in Woodstock Vermont. Named after its previous owners, George Perkins Marsh, Mary Montagu Billings French, and Laurance Rockefeller. The park preserves a once established and managed forest and dairy farm, owned by Frederick Billings. The Rockefellers transferred the property over to the federal government in 1992. It is now the only unit of the United States National Park System in Vermont.
The beautiful scenery of Marsh-Billings-Rockerfeller National Historic Park
Winter Cloaked Hillsides
Experience wintry conditions and bracing temperatures along both groomed cross-country skitrails and natural snowshoe trails in the folded hilly landscape of the park. Reflect on the story of stewardship, of people taking care of places – sharing an enduring connection to the land - as you observe the tall trees, wildlife and experience the peacefulness of the woods.
For more information about visiting the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic park, follow this link-
The White Mountains are a prominent mountain range in the state of New Hampshire, covering approximately a quarter of the land, and a part of western Maine. They are easily considered part of the Appalachian Mountains, and are visited during many months, in many seasons, due to it being so close to Boston and New York City.
The White Mountains include the Franconia Range, Sandwich Range, Carter-Moriah Range and Kinsman Range in New Hampshire, and the Mahoosuc Range straddling the border between it and Maine. In all, there are 48 peaks over 4,000 feet (1,200 m), known as the Four- thousand footers.
The hardcore Franconia Ridge Crew...
THE LAND OF MANY USES
The White Mountains, a 800,000 acre forest, is a part of every village and every town in the area. It is widely visited, and commonly popular amongst the wildlife, and harvesters. Most of its major peaks are over 4,000 feet high and offer a miraculous view at the top. There are over 1,200 miles in hiking trails over 20 various camping sites and ski areas. The white mountains have much to offer, and much more to explore!
For more information about visiting the White Mountains, follow this link;
Acadia National Park, located in Maine, reserves much of Mount Desert Island, and other islands off the Atlantic Coast. It consists of are than 47,000 acres, of mountains, woodlands, lakes, and ocean shorelines. It is of the third oldest national park east of the Mississippi River, and was first discovered by Samuel de Champlain. The park was finally financed and designed with trails by John D. Rockefeller.
The Acadia National Park Crew...
The official Dance Across The USA Acadia Kitten...
The First Eastern National Park
People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park. The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast. Today visitors come to Acadia to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.
For more information about visiting the Acadia National Park, follow this link; http://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm
Some behind the scenes photos of our Acadia shoot - courtesy of Ranger Stuart West
Some behind the scenes photos of our Acadia shoot - courtesy of Ranger Stuart West
Some behind the scenes photos of our Acadia shoot - courtesy of Ranger Stuart West
Some behind the scenes photos of our Acadia shoot - courtesy of Ranger Stuart West
Some behind the scenes photos of our Acadia shoot - courtesy of Ranger Stuart West
The Boston Harbor Islands is a national recreational are situated among the islands of Boston harbor of Boston, Massachusetts. The area is made up of a collection of islands, together with a former island and a peninsula, many of which are open for public recreation and some of which are very small and best suited for wildlife. The area is run by the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership. It includes the Boston Harbor Islands State Park, managed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Twenty-one of the 34 islands in the area are also included in the Boston Harbor Islands Archeological district.
Such and incredible time had by all with the Boston Harbor Islands Dance Crew
Here is a place . . .
. . . where you can walk a Civil War-era fort, visit historic lighthouses, explore tide pools, hike lush trails, camp under the stars, or relax while fishing, picnicking or swimming-all within reach of downtown Boston. Youth programs, visitor services, research, wildlife management, and more are coordinated on the park's 34 islands and peninsulas by the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership.
For more information about visiting The Boston Harbor Islands, follow this link;
Little Rhodie, or Rhode Island, is the smallest state in the union, but also has the largest name of any - The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. There is much history and a great amount of beautiful locations, in this wonderful little gem. Some of the details of this, the first colony to renounce British Rule, and the last of the original 13 statesto ratify the Constitution.
Our location in Rhode Island will be the National Historic Landmark known as Ocean Drive.
Ocean Drive begins at an intersection with Ocean Avenue, a short distance from the southern terminus of Bellevue. It follows the shoreline closely in a roughly east-west direction, meandering as it does, to Brenton Point State Park on Aquidneck Island's southwestern corner, the only place it turns away from the shoreline. It then continues along the shore again, with views toward Conanicut Island, before it ends just south of Fort Adams.
The topography along the road consists mainly of dunes and low hills, on which houses were built in a variety of late 19th and 20th century styles. The hills are mostly open, with occasional patches of scrubby bush and copses of trees. Land use is almost exclusively residential. Of the 53 buildings within the district, the few commercial structures are the clubhouses of private beaches and associated outbuildings (one, Gooseberry Beach, is open to the public). Unlike Newport's other historic districts, none of them are separately listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Gillette Castle State Park
Atop the most southerly hill in a chain known as the Seven Sisters, William Hooker Gillette, noted actor, director, and playwright, built this 184 acre estate, the Seventh Sister. The focal point of his effort was a twenty four room mansion reminiscent of a medieval castle.
Purchased by the State of Connecticut in 1943 from the executors of Mr. Gillette's will, Gillette Castle and the adjoining property with its fine woodlands, trails, and vistas are now administered for the enjoyment of present and future generations. This would have pleased Gillette, since his will gave specific directions to see that the property did not fall into the hands "of some blithering saphead who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded." This statement also points out the value Gillette placed upon his estate and the apprehension he felt about its disposition.
Our Connecticut dancers...what a beautiful bunch!
Gillette designed the castle and most of its contents personally, periodically checking every phase of their construction. Built of local fieldstone supported by a steel framework, it took twenty men five years (1914-1919), to complete the main structure. Gillette began his semi-retirement in his new home; and in the following years, he supervised the many thousands of refinements created by local craftsmen.
The woodwork within the castle is hand-hewn southern white oak. Of the forty-seven doors within the structure, there are no two exactly the same. And each door has a handsome external latch intricately carved of wood. Even the Castle's furnishings are indications of Gillette's inspirations. The built-in couches, a movable table on tracks, and light switches of carved wood all point to his creative genius.
Outside on the grounds, Gillette's influence is no less in evidence. The trails often follow, over trestle and through tunnel, the actor's three mile long narrow gauge railroad. Gillette's own walking paths were constructed with near-vertical steps, stone-arch bridges, and wooded trestles spanning up to forty feet. Other outdoor attractions include a vegetable cellar, the railroad station (Grand Central), and Gillette's goldfish pond.
Gillette was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1853, the son of former U.S. Senator Francis Gillette and his wife Elizabeth Daggett Hooker Gillette, a descendent of Thomas Hooker, the founder of Hartford. As a child, Gillette was captivated with the stage and acting pursuits, an interest that his parents did not encourage. At age thirteen, he reputedly had built a small stage and amused himself by frequently giving puppet shows for his friends. At age twenty, he left home to follow his chosen career; but success was slow in developing. He attended classes at numerous colleges including Trinity, Yale, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and College of the City of New York, but never received a degree. His first recognition as an actor was attained when the lead became ill in "Broken Hearts" at the Globe Theater in Boston, and Gillette's stand-in performance was well received. This led to other and better roles for Gillette. He is most famous for his portrayal of "Sherlock Holmes". Besides his activities as an actor and playwright, Gillette is known to have written two novels, invented many trick stage props and lighting techniques, and often produced and directed the plays in which he appeared. After his semi-retirement in 1910, Gillette was welcomed by theatergoers countless times during his four revival tours. His last performance was at the Bushnell in Hartford in 1936, the year before his death.
For more information on Gillette Castle, please click on the link below:
Although the terminal has been officially called "Grand Central Terminal" since the present structure opened, it has "always been more colloquially and affectionately known as Grand Central Station", a name of one of the earlier railroad stations on the same site. "Grand Central Station" is the name of the nearby U.S Post Office station at 450 Lexington Avenue, but may also refer to the Grand Central - 42nd Street Subway Station that is located next to the terminal.
Grand Central Station
Grand Central Terminal is also referred to as Grand Central Station or simply as Grand Central. It is a commuter, rapid transit (and former intercity) railroad terminal at 42nd Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States. Built by and named for the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad in the heyday of American long-distance passenger rail travel, it covers 48 acres (19 ha) and has 44 platforms, more than any other railroad station in the world. Its platforms, all below ground, serve 41 tracks on the upper level and 26 on the lower, though the total number of tracks along platforms and in rail yards exceeds 100.
The terminal serves commuters traveling on the Metro-North Railroad toWestchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties in New York, as well as to Fairfleld and New Havencounties in Connecticut. Until 1991, the terminal served Amtrak, which moved to nearby Pennsylvania Station upon completion of the Empire Connection. The East Side Access project is underway to bring Long Island Rail Road service to the terminal.
Grand Central Terminal has intricate designs both on its inside and outside. In addition, it contains a vast interior main concourse. The terminal is one of the world's most visited tourist attractions, with 21.9 million visitors in 2013.
Unlike other Metro-North stations, Grand Central Terminal is not owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but by a private company known as Midtown TDR Ventures.
For more information about visiting Grand Central Station, follow this link:
The Grand Central Station Crew
New York 2
The Statue of Liberty National Monument is a United States National Monument located in the U.S. states ofNew Jersey and New York comprising Liberty Island and Ellis Island. It includes Liberty Enlightening the World, commonly known as the Statue of Liberty, situated on Liberty Island, and the former immigration station at Ellis Island which opened in 1892 and closed in 1954. The monument is managed by the National Park Service as part of the National Parks of New York Harbor office.
Our Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island Crew - love the background in this shot!
Statue of Liberty
President Calvin Coolidge used his authority under the Antiquities Act to declare the statue a national monument in 1924. In 1937, by proclamation 2250, President Franklin D. Roosevelt expanded the monument to include all of Bedloe's Island, and in 1956, an act of Congress officially renamed it Liberty Island. Ellis Island was made part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument by proclamation of President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. The United States historic district; a single listing on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, was designated in 1966.
The islands were closed during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 and suffered severe damage. Liberty Island reopened July 4, 2013. Extensive repairs on Ellis Island are still being made.
The Statue of Liberty is a world-famous symbol of freedom, given in the 1880s by France to the United States in celebration of friendship. Nearby Ellis Island was the first stop for millions of immigrants to the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The national monument recalls this period of massive immigration to the United States.
Inside the statue, a plaque is engraved with words from"The New Colossus", the poem by Emma Lazarus:
Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
For more information about visiting The Statue of Liberty, visit the following link:
On the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, lies the Delaware Water Gap, where the Delaware River cuts through the ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. It is primarily used for outdoor activities, such as rafting, canoeing, swimming, fishing, hiking, rock climbing, and much more. The area covers 70,000 acres, and has significant Native American archaeological sites. Plans to have a dam built once seemed like a controversial idea, but as the dam was under construction too many variables and for the project would interfere. The National Park Service agreed to keep it at peace the way it is, sustained in its own natural beauty.
Our Buttermilk Falls/Delaware Water Gap dancers
The River, the Valley, and You
Paddlers slip down the river between low forested mountains; anglers wade the trout streams; hikers scan the valley from the ridge or peer into the 1000-foot-deep Water Gap. The valley has known human hand and voice for 10,000 years. Floodplains nourished the Native farmer; waterfalls drew the Victorian vacationer. Today, a 70,000-acre park welcomes those who seek the outdoors close to home.
For more information about visiting the Delaware Water Gap, follow this link;
The Independence Hall, where the United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were established and adopted., is now the centerpiece of the Independence National Historic Park. Petitioned in 1729, and built by 1753, it became a colonial legislature and a principal meeting place for the Second Continental Congress. With much history, the shell of the structure still remains original. The inner workings, with some reconstructions, replicate that of the original design.
"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal..."
Independence Hall echoes these words. Nearby the old cracked Bell proclaims liberty. The spirit of Franklin is alive in his adopted city. Become part of America's journey in discovering its past.
For more information about visiting the historic Independence Hall, follow this link;
First State National Historical Park is a National Park Service unit which lies primarily in the state of Delaware but which extends partly into Pennsylvania in Chadds Ford, United States. Initially created as First State National Monument by President Barack Obama under the Antiquities Act on March 25, 2013, the park was later re-designated as First State National Historical Park by Congress.
First State National Historical Park
Beaver Valley consists of land originally purchased in the early 1900s by Quaker industrialist and conservationist William Poole Bancroft , whose goal it was to preserve as much land as possible along the Brandwine River to ensure its scenic rural beauty remained for future generations as the cities of Wilmington and Philadelphia continued to expand. Much of the land has remained unchanged since it was set aside for preservation, and it includes forests and rolling farmsteads that were once primarily settled by the Quakers who followed Penn to America. The tract is adjacent to Delaware's Brandywine Creek State Park, and the Brandywine Valley National Scenic Bywayruns through it.
Beaver Valley is owned by the National Park Service. It is approximately 12 miles north of the park headquarters in New Castle. Beaver Valley is the largest component of First State National Historical Park, comprising 1,100 acres (220 of which extend into southeastern Pennsylvania). It is open for recreational activities such as hiking, horseback riding, biking, and kayaking.
For more information on visiting First State National Historic Park, please click on the below link:
Photo credit: National Park Service
Assateague Island National Seashore is about 42,000 acres of land occupying approximately half of Assateague island, off of Maryland's eastern shore on the Atlantic Ocean. Shaped by stormy seas, and wicked winds, this barrier island is 37 miles long, but only one mile wide. It is, in fact, not possible to even drive from one district of the island to another. All traffic enters from the mainland first before traveling to the other end of the island. The park contains campgrounds, a visitors center, three nature trails, and a beach. It was originally created to be a private resort in 1965, however, the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 destroyed all plans of development. Afterwards it was set to be a public national seashore.
Life on the Edge
Want to live on the edge? Visit a place recreated each day by ocean wind and waves. Life on Assateague Island has adapted to an existence on the move. Explore sandy beaches, salt marshes, maritime forests and coastal bays. Rest, relax, recreate and enjoy some time on the edge of the continent.
For more information about visiting Assateague Island National Seashore, follow this link;
The Lincoln Memorial is an American national monument built to honor the 16thPresident of the United States , Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the western end of the National Mall in Washington, across from the Washington Monument. The architect was Henry Bacon; the designer of the primary statue – Abraham Lincoln, 1920 – was Daniel Chester French; the Lincoln statue was carved by the Piccirilli Brothers ; and the painter of the interior murals was Jules Guerin. Dedicated in 1922, it is one of several monuments built to honor an America president . It has always been a major tourist attraction and since the 1930s has been a symbolic center focused on race relations.
The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln, "The Gettysburg Address" and his Second Inagural. The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech, delivered on August 28, 1963, during the rally at the end of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Like other monuments on the National Mall – including the nearby Vietnam Vererans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and National World War II Memorial – the memorial is administered by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial Parks group. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since October 15, 1966. It is open to the public 24 hours a day. In 2007, it was ranked seventh on the List of America's Favorite Architectureby the American Instituet of Architecture. Since 2010, approximately 6 million people visit the memorial annually.
The Washington Monument is an obelisk on the National Mall in Washington D.C, built to commemorate George WAshington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the first American president. Located almost due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial, the monument, made of marble, granite, and bluestone, is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 554 feet 7 11⁄32 inches (169.046 m) tall according to the National Geodetic Survey (measured 2013–14) or 555 feet 5 1⁄8 inches (169.294 m) tall according to the National Park Service (measured 1884). In 1975, construction raised the ground or pavement around the base of the monument the most since 1884, reducing the remaining height to its apex. It is the tallest monumental column in the world if all are measured above their pedestrian entrances, but two are taller when measured above ground, though they are neither all stone nor true obelisks.
Anna L. Russell
Our dancers, with Officer Giebel on his horse, Guinness (Left) and Officer Brown and his horse, Chrissy (Right).
Apparently, Guinness likes Anna's tutu! NOMNOMNOM
Everywhere we go, people want to know, who we are, so we tell them... Dance Across the USA!!! These folks were here for a leadership conference, and we asked them to not just watch, but to get in on this DATUSA thing! Here with the lovely Masha Balovlenkov.
Lying between the north and south chambers is the central hall containing the solitary figure of Lincoln sitting in contemplation. The statue was carved by the Piccirilli Brothers under the supervision of the sculptor, Daniel Chester French, and took four years to complete. The statue, originally intended to be only 10 feet (3.0 m) tall, was, on further consideration, enlarged so that it finally stood 19 feet (5.8 m) tall from head to foot, the scale being such that if Lincoln were standing, he would be 28 feet (8.5 m) tall. The extreme width of the statue is the same as its height. The Georgia white marble sculpture weighs 175 short tons (159 t) and had to be shipped in 28 separate pieces.
The statue rests upon an oblong pedestal of Tennessee marble 10 feet (3.0 m) high, 16 feet (4.9 m) wide, and 17 feet (5.2 m) deep. Directly beneath this lies a platform of Tennessee marble about 34.5 feet (10.5 m) long, 28 feet (8.5 m) wide, and 6.5 inches (0.17 m) high. Lincoln's arms rest on representations of Roman fasces, a subtle touch that associates the statue with the Augustan (and imperial) theme (obelisk and funerary monuments) of the Washington Mall. The statue is discretely bordered by two pilasters, one on each side. Between these pilasters and above Lincoln's head stands the engraved epitaph, composed by Royal Cortissoz, shown in the box to the left
For more information about visiting the Lincoln Memorial, please click on the below link:
Construction of the monument began in 1848, and was halted from 1854 to 1877 due to a lack of funds, a struggle for control over the Washington National Monument Society, and the intervention of the American Civil War. Although the stone structure was completed in 1884, internal ironwork, the knoll, and other finishing touches were not completed until 1888. A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m) or 27% up, shows where construction was halted and later resumed with marble from a different source. The original design was by Robert Mills, but he did not include his proposed colonnade due to a lack of funds, proceeding only with a bare obelisk. Despite many proposals to embellish the obelisk, only its original flat top was altered to a pointed marble pyramidion, in 1884. The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848; the first stone was laid atop the unfinished stump on August 7, 1880; the capstone was set on December 6, 1884; and the completed monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885. It officially opened October 9, 1888. Upon completion, it became the world's tallest structure, a title previously held by the Cathedral. The monument held this designation until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France.
The monument was damaged during the 2011 Virginia Earthquake and Hurricane Irene in the same year and remained closed to the public while the structure was assessed and repaired. After 32 months of repairs, the National Park Service and the Trust for the National Mall reopened the Washington Monument to visitors on May 12, 2014.
For more information on visiting the Washington Monument, please click on the below link:
Shenandoah National Park is long and narrow with the Shenandoah River and Valley on the west side and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont on the east. Most of the park is protected by the National Wilderness Preservation System. Its known for its most scenic skyline drive, but offers much more. A big part of the park is Stony Man Mountain. Also known as "Stony Man", it is the most northernly 4,000 foot peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is suggested to hike the Stony Man mountain trail, for the most powerful view.
Just 75 miles from the bustle of Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park is your escape to recreation and re-creation. Cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas, quiet wooded hollows—take a hike, meander along Skyline Drive, or picnic with the family. 200,000 acres of protected lands are haven to deer, songbirds, the night sky…and you. Plan a Shenandoah escape today!
For more information about visiting Stony Man mountains, Shenandoah National Park, follow this link;
Babcock State Park, located along New River Gorge near Glade Creek Grist Mill, is 4,127 acres and elevates about 2,510 feet. There are campgrounds, picnic shelters, and many public buildings. However, the most prominent is the Glade Creek grist Mill, which is said to be still functioning.
"What a magical Place to be.."
Rugged beauty, fast flowing trout stream, in a boulder strewn canyon with mountainous vistas, this is the place to be. With a fully operable Grist Mill, created by a combination of three different mills that once dotted the state. Still in operation, this monument provides freshly grounded cornmeal and buckwheat flour, which you can purchase on your adventure.
For more information about visiting Babcock State Park, and Grist Mill, follow this link;
Cape Hatteras is a cape on the coast of North Carolina that is protected as a namesake feature of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. It is the point that protrudes the farthest to the southeast along the northeast-to-southwest line of the Atlantic coast. The cape is the bend in Hatteras Island, and is the site where the two great basins of the east coast meets. Interestingly, the capes shoals are known as diamond shoals, and the name of the cape, Hatteras, is the sixth oldest surviving English place name in the U.S. The original lighthouse on the land was built in 1803, and replaced in 1970 by the current lighthouse, which is now known as the tallest lighthouse in the United States and one of the tallest in the world. The lighthouse was actually moved inland in 1999, due to the shoreline becoming too close. Now the lighthouse is 1,500 feet from the seashore, as it was when it was when it was originally built.
A place to engage your senses
The sound of ocean waves, the starry night sky, or the calm of the salt marshes, you can experience it all. Shaped by the forces of water, wind, and storms these islands are ever changing. The plants, wildlife, and people who live here adapt continually. Whether you are walking on the beach, kayaking on the sound, or climbing the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse there is something for everyone to explore!
For more information about visiting Cape Hatteras, follow this link;
Astonishing biodiversity exists in Congaree National Park, the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States. Waters from the Congaree and Wateree Rivers sweep through the floodplain, carrying nutrients and sediments that nourish and rejuvenate this ecosystem and support the growth of national and state champion trees.
We were at Congaree NP on National Public Lands Day, Sept 24th! Volunteers from all over cam to help do a trail cleanup, and they wanted to get in on the action with Dance Across the USA. Thanks folks!
Congaree National Park preserves the largest tract of old growthbottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. Located in South Carolina, the 26,546-acre (41.48 sq mi; 10,742.79 ha; 107.43 km2) national park received that designation in 2003 as the culmination of a grassroots campaign which had started in 1969. The lush trees growing in this floodplain forest are some of the tallest in the Eastern U.S., forming one of the highest temperate deciduous forest canopies remaining in the world. The Congaree River flows through the park. About 57 percent (15,000 acres or 61 square kilometers) of the park is designated wilderness area. (Source - Wikipedia)
Cumberland Island National Seashore preserves most of Cumerland Island in Camden County, Georgia, the largest of Georgia's Golden Isles. The seashore features beaches and dunes, marshes, and freshwater lakes. The national seashore also preserves and interprets many historic sites and structures.
One of the people instrumental in the creation and preservation of the seashore was Carol Ruckdeschel.
The island is only accessible by boat. The Cumberland Island Visitor Center, Cumberland Island Museum, and Lang concession ferry to the island are located in the town of St Marys, Georgia. Public access via the ferry is limited, reservations are recommended. Camping is allowed in the seashore. The 9,886-acre (40.01 km2) Cumberland Island Wilderness is part of the seashore.
In our little campsite at Sea Camp, Number 15. What a lovely place to visit!
As we were leaving the island, a rainbow appeared, which we just had to capture as well. What a way to end our cross-country journey!
Cumberland Island National Seashore Aerial View
Biology and ecology
Cumberland Island National Seashore contains a dense diversity of coastal flora and fauna. The National Park Service employs a full-time wildlife manager and scientists, and hosts researchers periodically. The park contains at least 23 distinct ecological communities, making it the largest and most biodiverse of Georgia's barrier islands. Birds, particularly migratory waterfowl, have been studied.
The public areas of Cumberland Island are part of a national seashore managed by the National Park Service. NPS restricts access to 300 people on the island at a time, and campers are allowed to stay no more than seven nights. The island is only accessible by boat. The Cumberland Queen ferry runs three times a day from March 1 to September 30. From October 1 to November 31 it only runs twice a day. From December 1 to February 28 the boat runs twice a day only on Mondays - Thursdays to Cumberland Island from the mainland (St Marys, Georgia). Visitors cannot bring vehicles or bikes on the ferry, and there are no paved roads or trails. Bikes are available for rent at the Sea Camp Dock, on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors may bring their own bikes to the island via private or charter boat. There is one camping area with running water and bathrooms with cold showers; the other camping sites do not have facilities. All food, ice and supplies must be shipped from the mainland, as there are no stores on the island.
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