Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Archive for April, 2015

Last Nights in Nashville

posted: April 30th, 2015 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: We’ve been camped at Two Rivers in Nashville and surrounding us has been a number of other Airstreamers. Bert Wagemans, camped near us, is an example, though he came for reasons different from most, but still related to music. Wagemans was here to participate in a Country Music marathon because he says that the proceeds go to a good cause. “They go to benefit children at St. Jude Hospitals.”

Still, Wagemans said it was impossible not to think about music. “Every couple of blocks for almost the entire 26-mile run,” said Wagemans, “there was a band. That makes it easy for a runner interested in music to crystalize his thoughts.”


StreetScenes-14 StreetScenes-16 StreetScenes-12


L to R: Megan Ellis with her very popular band; performers are of all ages, and play for tips and recognition; one of the 20-plus bars located along a several block stretch of Broadway.  Nashville attracts only the very talented, and some make it, some don’t. Hard to say who will survive to become another start.


Wagemans said that all the bands were great, but he believes that’s unique to Nashville. “It’s finding treasures of unrecognized musicians so good that they can transition from blues to rock or to country — and not miss a beat. I’ve never seen that anywhere except in Nashville.”

Three nights ago night Janie and I returned to the streets of Nashville and found a number of bands that projected Wagermans’s thoughts. Here are some images showing that Nashville attracts such a diversity of visitors that bands must perform in multiple genres.  It also reveals difficult lighting situations.

TWO NIGHTS AGO:

Two nights ago, and somewhat on a spur of the moment impulse I returned by shuttle to downtown Nashville. I then hiked over the people bridge, scoped out a number of areas where city lights reflected in the Cumberland River, then waited for darkness to fall.


GenJackson-1 GenJackson-3


L to R:  Nashville City lights, taken from banks of Cumberland; People Bridge.

 

I set up my tripod, took a number of images of city lights with which I was very happy. I then decided to depart, but just as I crested the top of the people bridge I heard music, and it was filling the darkness. Slowly, upriver but off in the distance, an apparition began to take shape soon assuming the form of the huge General Jackson cruise boat. It passed under the bridge then paused for a few minutes near the city lights, which I’d been photographing. It was a wonderful stroke of luck.


GenJackson-5

The General Jackson cruise boat, appeared from upstream darkness like an apparition, growing lighter as it came.  From the boat came the music of Elvis Presley’s “All Shook Up.”  From where I stood, it didn’t appear hokey at all.  The boat paused where you see it, then reversed engines and headed back upstream, soon to appear as only a glimmer of lights.  Then night swallowed it.


Naturally, I began clicking my tripod mounted camera and was overjoyed with the resulting images. For a photographer it was the perfect conclusion to the delightful eight-day stay Janie and I have enjoyed here in Nashville, Tennessee.  And now, we’re en-route to Shenandoah, where you will soon be seeing a different type of photography.  We’ll be staying in one of the park campgrounds, updating what has proven to be a very popular guide. It is  listed below with several of our other travel books.


——————–

 

THIS TIME LAST YEAR:


Miles City Bucking Horse Sale


4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy




Read Comments | Post a Comment »

Country Music — Barometer of a Person’s Soul

posted: April 24th, 2015 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: Here in Nashville, Tennessee, along Broadway and Second – or Third – everyone, regardless of age, is young.  But there’s more.  Here, as boots, jeans, miniskirts, low-cut blouses attest — everyone is sexy, cool and self assured.

Mostly it’s because of Country Music, and for the day, we’re part of the in-crowd though our dress remains conservative.  Music tastes, however, are eclectic and we adhere to Phil Vassar’s philosophy, a performer who believes that [music is the] “true Barometer of a Person’s Soul.


Ryman3

Ryman, the Mother Church of Country Music, almost full half hour before opening.

 

But there’s yet more:  this is all about Country Music, which has been further defined by Harlan Howard as “Three chords of music – and the truth.”

In all probability there are millions who have made the pilgrimage to Nashville at some time in their life to “learn the truth.”  After all “Stars” have truly influenced the lives of many.  They’ve added meaning, and the group of devotees is diverse and includes representatives from all walks. But what most in the group share in common is that few are strangers to Hee-Haw (longest running TV Show), or to musicians such as Slim Whitman, Merle Haggard, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Lefty Frizzell, Cowboy Copas, Webb Pierce or Kitty Wells.  These performers have helped to fashion barometers of the faithful.

 

GoldCadillac Tooties

 

L to R: Elvis Presley’s gold cadillac; 11 a.m. at Tootsie’s, who’s owner once provided upstairs rental rooms to both Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard.

 

Music is also a mood setters for us, but this morning it’s augmented by a self-walking tour with short a.m. stops at several bars along Broadway.  (10:30 at Trixie’s, 10:45 at the Legend, and 11 at Dick’s Last Resort.)  All are full and the comradery of the crowd is an inducement to stay, but we’re on a mission, so we limit our intake.  But others don’t.  They imbibe sinful amounts, something city fathers must have anticipated long ago for Nashville boasts 700-plus churches.  (Little wonder gospel music is so popular.)

For us, the day-time mood setters was basically confined to the Country Music Hall of Fame, which we entered about 11:30.  We take almost four hours to walk the immense layout of this legendary shrine.  TV screens are everywhere and on one Cousin Many Pearl is proclaiming that [she is] “…just so proud to be here.”

On another Carl Perkins is singing and dancing to his Blue Suede Shoes, while on yet another Hank Williams Sr. is crooning “We’ll Go Honky Talkin’.


Ryman2 JohnnyCash Ryman


L to R: April 23rd performance of Opry Country Classics included Larry Gatlin, TG Sheppard, The Whites and Craig Morgan.  It was an incredible venue.  Johnny Cash, one of 124 (2014 count) members of the Hall of Fame; exterior of Ryman Auditorium, built in 1892 and served as home to Grand Ole’ Opry from 1943 to 1974, when it was moved to Opry Land on outskirts of Nashville. 


But displays in the museum are often heroic – but almost always genuine.  They include music instruments, costume dress – and Elvis’s Gold Cadillac.  Look at the mirrors and handles but also at his gold piano.

That night we make the short walk from Main Street to attend the “Opry Country Classics.” at the Ryman.  The lineup is great and includes Larry Gatlin as MC. Later in the program he’s joined by his brothers to sing “All the Gold In California.”  It was great and fans could not contain themselves, joining the Brothers in the refrain:  “All the Gold in California is in a bank in Beverly Hills in Somebody  else’s name.”

Remember??

We will, and for a long time yet to come, for country music continues to influence us.


————————-

THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

The Magnificence of Bird Flight


4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy






Read Comments | Post a Comment »

Natchez Trace Terminus — Sadly It’s Road’s End

posted: April 22nd, 2015 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: We’re off the Natchez Trace now and are trying to take a few tentative steps to explore the country music aspects of Nashville.  We also feel privileged that Gary Johnson would drive from his home in Kentucky to visit us here in Nashville.  Gary is another old friend from my days at what is now the University of North Alabama.



NatchezTrace-6

Bridge representing one of the last major aspects of construction creating an uninterrupted highway stretching almost 450 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee.


But the Natchez Trace is still on our minds essentially because I took so many images during our week travel along the Trace and am just now processing them.  Included here, then, are a few shots from the northern end of the Parkway that dramatize the aftermath of a spring storm; a hike along the Old Trace; and an image of Janie studying an interpretive column noting that General Jackson traveled here to help preserve America’s Freedom in the War of 1812.


NatchezTrace NatchezTrace-2 NatchezTrace-5


Downed tree near Meriwether Lewis burial site; Old Trace trail; Janie studying an interpretive column noting that General Jackson traveled here to help preserve America’s Freedom in the War of 1812.


Finally, I’ve included the image of a bridge representing one of the last major aspects of construction creating an uninterrupted highway stretching almost 450 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee.  The Trace is one of the incredible components managed by the National Park Service, and one we’d recommend to anyone.


———————

THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

Miles City Bucking Horse Sale

 

 

 

4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy





Read Comments | Post a Comment »

Big Bend’s Hundred Year Bloom

posted: April 1st, 2015 | by:Bert

©Bert Gildart: It’s not too late, but you had better hurry.  Right now Big Bend National Park is experiencing what naturalists say is a once in a hundred year bloom.  Dominating the landscape are Texas Blue Bonnets, Desert Marigold, and Bicolor Mustard.  Interspersed among these fields are Prickly Poppy, Blind Prickly Pear and the very patriotic Texas Rainbow Cactus.   Yucca is also in bloom and these tall stately agave look like so many candelabra lighting up the desert.

FlowersAirstream (3 of 5)

Janie, blue bonnets and Airstream


One of the above is presenting itself in numbers we never thought possible.  On a single specimen of the Blind Prickly Pear we counted over 100 blossoms.


TexasRainbowCactus (1 of 5) FlowersAirstream (5 of 5) PricklyPear (1 of 3)

L to R:  Texas Rainbow Cactus, perhaps a verbena (anyone know for sure?), Blind Prickly Pear.


Here are a few images we’ve taken the past few days, and it feels as though this incredible spectacle is just starting to come alive and that there may be much more to come.  If you want to see what is quite possibly a once in a lifetime event, better pack your bags.


—————

 

THIS TIME LAST YEAR:

The Wave — Where Time Stood Still


4th ed. Autographed by the Authors

Hiking Shenandoah National Park

Hiking Shenandoah National Park is the 4th edition of a favorite guide book, created by Bert & Janie, a professional husband-wife journalism team. Lots of updates including more waterfall trails, updated descriptions of confusing trail junctions, and new color photographs. New text describes more of the park’s compelling natural history. Often the descriptions are personal as the Gildarts have hiked virtually every single park trail, sometimes repeatedly.

$18.95 + Autographed Copy


Big Sky Country is beautiful

Montana Icons: 50 Classic Symbols of the Treasure State

Montana Icons is a book for lovers of the western vista. Features photographs of fifty famous landmarks from what many call the “Last Best Place.” The book will make you feel homesick for Montana even if you already live here. Bert Gildart’s varied careers in Montana (Bus driver on an Indian reservation, a teacher, backcountry ranger, as well as a newspaper reporter, and photographer) have given him a special view of Montana, which he shares in this book. Share the view; click here.

$16.95 + Autographed Copy


What makes Glacier, Glacier?

Glacier Icons: 50 Classic Views of the Crown of the Continent

Glacier Icons: What makes Glacier Park so special? In this book you can discover the story behind fifty of this park’s most amazing features. With this entertaining collection of photos, anecdotes and little known facts, Bert Gildart will be your backcountry guide. A former Glacier backcountry ranger turned writer/photographer, his hundreds of stories and images have appeared in literally dozens of periodicals including Time/Life, Smithsonian, and Field & Stream. Take a look at Glacier Icons

$16.95 + Autographed Copy






Read Comments | Post a Comment »