The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mount Vernon

One of our top places to visit during our Washington D.C. visit was George Washington's home of Mount Vernon.  With all the focus on other aspects of his life, it is easy to forget that he was fundamentally a wealthy aristocratic farmer.

The west side of the mansion






The east side of the mansion faces the Potomac River.



This water pump was a good reminder that running water is a modern luxury.



This coach is like the one Washington used for travel for official business.  Washington is often pictured riding a horse, but travel was usually done by coach.



For getting around on country lanes, two-wheeled "riding chairs" were preferred to the larger and heavier four wheel coaches.  Two wheeled carts were also taxed less than the four wheeled coaches.



Spinning and weaving equipment



Washington had a fancy greenhouse for exotic plants.




As was customary at that time, running a large plantation relied on slave labor.  This is a picture of the male slave dormitory.



Washington's burial crypt



Monday, May 26, 2014

National Museum of American History

We had booked the entire month of May at Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Maryland, to serve as a base for exploring around the Washington D.C. area.


We had heard of the Smithsonian Institution as being "America's Attic".  Here are a few random images taken in the National Museum of American History.


A watershed event in the evolution of the Internet




Julia Child's kitchen from her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts



In 1950 only 24 states produced wine.  By 2000 all 50 states had become wine producers!



It looks like Lazy Daze Motorhomes may have a new competitor!  I wonder if kayaks are available instead of a canoe?



Steam locomotive Jupiter built in 1876



Electric cars had a very early start.




Early toasters



"High Tech" from a bygone era



An early RV



The Revolutionary War gunboat Philadelphia was built in 1776, sunk by the British later the same year, and recovered from Lake Champlain in 1935.




Miscellaneous Wanderings


Here are just a few miscellaneous images from our time in North Carolina and Virginia.

Here's Barbara picking a few favorites in Boone, North Carolina, with music legend Doc Watson.



Before and after attending MerleFest, we drove portions of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
This is Mabry Mill near milepost 176 of the parkway.



Here Barbara is going over some important documents with General Washington.



When we finally reached Cherry Hill RV Park in Maryland for our stay in the Washington D.C. area, we were greeted with a lovely sunset.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

MerleFest 2014

From April 23rd to April 28th we were in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, to attend the 2014 MerleFest music festival.



MerleFest is one of the oldest and largest festivals for Americana music in the USA.
This was not a photography oriented event, but I did take some video. Here is a montage of some of the performances that we attended.



MerleFest was by far the largest bluegrass festival we have attended.
Here is a 360 degree pan of the crowd one afternoon.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Great Smoky Mountains - Part 5

After spending a few days camped near Gatlinburg, we moved to a much more remote national park campground in the Little Cataloochee Valley, in the south-eastern part of the park.


Views of the Great Smoky Mountains.




Campsite in Cataloochee Campground



Painted Trilliums near campground



The Catalochee and Little Cataloochee Valleys are known for their elk herds.




Many families had settled in the Cataloochee valleys before the national park was formed.


The Palmer Chapel built in 1898



The Hiram Caldwell House built 1898-1903
The Palmer House built 1869




Ruffed Grouse


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Great Smoky Mountains - Part 4

The most popular area in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a valley in the western part of the park called Cades Cove.  We spent one of our days visiting this area.


Cataract Falls near Sugarlands Visitor Center
A vending machine at the Elkmont Campground stocked with camping essentials.

Columbine



Purple Phacelia





Bleeding Hearts




Virginia Bluebells



Cades Cove



Leaving Cades Cove via Rich Mountain Road



Redbud blossoms