The fog is creeping in around the Fog Bar.
After a weekend of sweltering heat (air conditioners and fans are SOLD OUT in Rockland!), we’re back to a rather brisk 60. We haven’t tried this funky (trendy-casual?) bar yet, but it’s on our list!
Over-the-Rhine in Downtown Cincinnati, OH, has a long, rich, and often muddy history, a past of immigration, of social change and social distortion, of rises and falls and culture clashes and cultural reconciliation.
It’s here amid the brick and mortar that Cincinnati’s personality, a pasticcio of young and vintage, of Old World and New, of music and art and passion and violence and destitution and wealth, and of black and white and everything in between, really begins to shine.
This dinky little story tucked away on Race Street in Downtown Cincinnati has been there for as far back as I can remember. It survived economic downturns and through two decades of mass urban exodus in Ohio. Few businesses have been able to maintain a constant presence in Cincinnati, but those that have are now enjoying new customers and new ideas as part of the Great Cincy Revitalization.
Today, this small, family-run storefront offers shoppers a variety of custom leather goods (most notably, personalized motorcycle seats), as well as casual hip-hop and evening wear.
Today’s photo: this one is from Jonmikel, who managed to capture this beauty from the comfort of our backyard in Lander, Wyoming, right after a fall squall.
Big skies mean big fields, big spaces, big storms, and big rainbows.
There’s not much to Hudson, Wyoming, anymore. A stonemason shop, a steakhouse (rumored to also be the first pizza joint in the state) that has been there since the mid-1900s and is run by a Yugoslavian family, and even a dodgy-looking “fine family dancing” establishment. A crumbling building from the Wild West days with fading advertisements for rooms and sheriffs.
For most people, Hudson is that annoying half-mile stretch of road where the speed limit goes from a loose 65 mph to a well-enforced 30. Or where we go to get our local, sustainably-raised beef from Wyoming Custom Meats. And you can’t see much from the road. Trailers. Dusty gas hills. Desert plains covered with little more than sage.
But the lonely highway and the fading Old West facade have their secrets, the little things they hide away from prying eyes. Hudson hides a century of mining, open hunting grounds, and, if you dig deep enough, a badlands playground.
Badlands are relatively rare geological features that appear when soft rock is worn away by wind and water, creating spectacular ravines and hoodoos of colors ranging from uranium green to sunset orange. To the Lakota, the features were Makhóšiča, bad land. To the French, they were les mauvaises terres à traverser, the bad lands to cross. Some are famous: Badlands National Park is a popular road trip destination on the way to or from the Black Hills of South Dakota. Hell’s Half Acre outside of Casper, WY, played host to Klendathu, the insectoid planet in Starship Troopers.
But often, badlands are abandoned, lost, places people pass by without stopping. Deserts devoid of water and life. In Hudson, the badlands are quiet, hidden-away nooks and crannies for skeet shooting, ATV racing and other adventures. They aren’t a closely-guarded secret as much as a forgotten pastime, but that doesn’t make them any less fascinating, burnt scars in a desolate high desert.
These quietly stunning features are a few miles off Highway 789 in Hudson, WY. Take Ohio Avenue (not always marked) south out of town. Note: once the pavement stops, roads may be impassable when wet.
When the weather is pristine, there is nothing more elegant, more scenic in San Francisco than the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge. It rises from the chilly bay waters to connect two impossibly green urban parks, a symbol of modern triumph gently introducing the remnants of the Bay Area’s last natural refuges.
But even when the morning fog seeps into every creak and moan of the Bridge, the Bay is a beautiful stage.
In the crispy Pacific morning air, before the other vacationers begin to stir, rent one of the many bikes hawked from store fronts along the wharf and ride along the shore and up the hill to the head of the Bridge.
As the fog rolls in from the ocean, wrap your scarf around your neck and peddle across the Golden Gate, taking the path to the left to avoid the pedestrians, and enjoy the view out into the gray expanse of misty morning.
Boats, ships, cars, statues, all will sail silently from nowhere beyond here, creeping cautiously from the opaque fog.
Stop at the other side to warm up and watch the city from the eyes of The Lone Sailor. If you brought your hiking gear, lock up your bicycle and hike some of the miles of trails, many of which start right at the other end of the Bridge, in the Marin Headlands, part of the expansive Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Then just as the temperature warms and the sun breaks away from the low clouds, bike back across the bridge, smiling and waving at the sailors below, and take your own postcard-worthy photograph.
The die hard strap their gear to office-weary backs and hike up crevices in the foot-high slop to slip slide down, just to say they were the season’s first.
But it melted quickly, creeping back up the mountains, and remains in hiding for weeks.
Hunters, blindly blaming their poor harvest on the wolves that don’t exist here, come back empty handed, heads shaking. Without the snows, the elk are content to find safety and sustenance in their summer pastures high up in the Winds; they haven’t been frequenting their normal fall rutting grounds. The dry, warm air is taking its toll on all kinds of winter enthusiasts who had high hopes for La Nina again this year…
There’s no away to hide the dramatic backdrop that struts jaggedly behind the row of modest homesteads on Mormon Row. The Tetons are hulking and intimidating in their firm embrace of this open country, and the old barns and homes seem to hug to the shadows in an attempt to ward off the notorious Wyoming winters.
It’s quiet now, except for the bustle of photographers that come just as the sun rises or as the storms sets in. The images of these historic sites are so ubiquitous that we all fight tooth and nail for the one photograph no one has ever managed to capture, the piece that will pull us out of the pack.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were 27 homesteads here, complete with barns, drainage systems, barns and corrals, a tight-knit community called Grovont.
The Moulton barns are the most popular, built by John and TA Moulton on today’s Antelope Flats Road, just north of Jackson.
They lived and farmed here as late as the 1950s, and water still flows in some of their irrigation ditches.
The entire district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Jonmikel and I have lived in the area for years and go to Jackson many times a year, and this summer was the first time we wandered down into Antelope Flats. Not sure why it took us so long to see one of the most recognizable cultural sites in North America.
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