Today is the anniversary of the Covid-19 shut down in the United States. We had no idea what was going on, and it seemed no one else did either. Travel bans, restrictions, quarantines, hospitalizations, and deaths all came together for the perfect storm. It has been a very different year for all of us.
We celebrated our 50th in the summer of 2019 with a European River Cruise. We are so thankful that we were able to do this before all the Covid restrictions came down. We are waiting for our second shot, and the ability to feel safe going to restaurants, church, and travel to visit family once again. Hopefully you are doing well also.
Horses and buggies can be found clopping up and down the roads of Kishacoquillas Valley in Central Pennsylvania. Big Valley lies between the towns of Lewistown and Huntingdon. It is the home of a great number of Amish and Mennonite Farmers, who, along with many others farm, this beautiful valley. People there refer to their home as Big Valley. It is the home of many of my ancestors on both sides of my family. It is one of the most beautiful places in the country. These are a few of the sights you might see on a visit there.
When our boys were young, my wife’s parents took us to the mountains on our visits to Edmonton. We camped in the Canadian Rockies and watched the long freight trains wind their way through Hell’s Gate Canyon. I was always impressed with the way railroads were built along the winding rivers providing connections with Vancouver and Calgary. One that we watched coming through the mountains was the Canadian National or the CN train. A few years ago, I decided to paint a CN train coming though the mountains. I did it in color, but I really liked the effects of the black and white! Which one do you like best?
I took this photo in 1976, when one of my students, Sharon Ulrich, won the My America contest for the state of Virginia. It included a week long trip across the state of Pennsylvania, stopping to visit all the historic sites. It included her parents and her teacher (me) and winner representatives for each state. By the time we got to Lancaster County, to ride the Strasburg Railroad, many of the folks were worn out and needed a rest… as you can see in the photo!
The Canadian Rockies are home to some of the most beautiful places on the earth. Tall snow-capped peaks saw their way through the Alberta blue sky. These photos are pictures my in-laws had on their wall. They held many memories of travel to these destinations with family and friends. Since we lived 2500 miles away, when we went to visit them they loved taking us on camping trips to the mountains. We will always be grateful for these family times.
Our river cruise made a stop at Heidelberg, Germany last summer. A short bus ride took us to the old town and up to the grand Heidelberg Castle. The panoramic view of the city from there was wonderful. Many of the house roofs we saw looked much the same. Every now and then we saw special roofs with designs created on them . It was so interesting to see all the unique styles, some the went back to Medieval times.