The White Sox Scoreboard lights up and launches fireworks following Paul Konerko's home run. Konerko's homer tied the score in the fifth inning. Later, a single by Alex Rios drove in the winning run for the White Sox.

Behind 5-1 since the second inning, the Sox pull a 6-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Friday's Storm

Lightning streaks across the sky following a strong storm that passed through northern Indiana.

Just after the storm passed, things calmed down, and we were able to enjoy an evening on the beach. Just to our left, there was a beautiful sunset, ahead was the back end of the storm.

Beautiful evening.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Fountain and Garden

Last year, I walked through Chicago's Grant park and noticed that the old rose garden was looking a bit shabby. I brought up the fact that it was a shame a city garden looked so bad. I wondered what the Park District was doing; how could they let it get to this poor condition?

This week, we visited Buckingham Fountain, and on the walk back to the parking garage, we walked through Grant Park and into a brand new garden. It was partially funded by Tiffany and Company (according to the sign inlaid on the pavement).

No wonder the rose garden wasn't manicured last year - they must have not cared since this was in the works for this year.

I hope they maintain it well, so it appears like this for years to come.

Red Sky at Night

Sunday at the beach concluded with a spectacular sunset. A small line of clouds sat just above the horizon, creating some excellent highlights in the clouds and interesting sun rays.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Marblehead Lighthouse

A beautiful summer day at the Marblehead Lighthouse State Park. Built in 1821 on a rocky point of Lake Erie, this is the oldest continually operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes. It's home to a small maritime museum that houses the original Fresnel lens from the tower.

Views of Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay can be seen from the park and tower - and it's only $2 to climb up.

Chicago From the Treetops

An evening drive to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore yielded a great view from the top of a tall sand dune. The sky was threatening rain, yet the hour before sunset was spectacular, creating sunbeams of every shape, size and color imaginable.

Viewing the Chicago skyline from above the treetops was well worth the climb up the loose, sandy slope. The skyline can't be seen as clearly from the water's edge, as the curvature of the earth hides the bottom of the buildings. Climbing up about 70 feet, allows you to see a few more miles in distance, thus, a bit more of the skyline base.

Happy Independance Day!

The Indiana Dunes State Park celebrated the 4th of July a bit early with a fireworks display on the beach.

Holiday traffic was miserable - taking more than twice as long to drive out to the dunes from home. Once there, the beach had a big crowd, but due to the limited parking, it wasn't packed or uncomfortable - a few thousand people.

The drive out of the parking lot took well over an hour ... actually, to back out of the parking space took over an hour because the cars were not able to move more than three feet every 10 minutes or so. Finally, once the local police took care of traffic problems outside the park, 20 to 30 cars were able to move every five minutes or so, and the drive out was pretty quick.

Seeing the fireworks over the water made the display even better.

Brandywine Falls

On our trip through Ohio, we passed through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Brandywine Falls lies within the park, at the end of a wooden boardwalk and observation deck just a short walk from a parking area. The fall cascades 60 feet to the sandstone canyon below. It's path is rugged and spreads the falling water across a 40 to 50 foot span of rock, creating a bridal veil effect to the water.

Fairport Harbor Evening

Darkness falls upon the Fairport Harbor, Ohio lighthouse and keeper's quarters. Built of stone in 1871, the structure now houses a maritime museum that's well worth the $3 admission.

Historic Fairport Harbor Light

Following a bit of afternoon rain on our visit to the museum, the weather cleared up for the evening, and we returned to the Fairport Harbor, Ohio lighthouse for a bit. It's now a museum of maritime history including artifacts from the Edmond Fitzgerald and numerous local boats and maritime businesses. I believe it's the first such museum on the Great Lakes.

The keeper's house is considered to be haunted by a ghost cat (the mummified remains of which are on display in the museum). The museum was also featured on the Travel Channel's Haunted Lighthouses. Haunted or not, it's a great place to visit, and for a panoramic view of Fairport Harbor and Lake Erie, the climb to the top of the tower isn't difficult at all - and it's well worth the $3 admission which includes the museum.

Fairport Harbor, Ohio West Breakwater Lighthouse

The bolder breakwater leading to the lighthouse on Lake Erie is not a smooth walkway, but it's not too difficult to get close to the 1925 lighthouse without twisting an ankle. This lighthouse marks the western edge of Fairport Harbor and the mouth of the Grand River. The lighthouse is not open to the public, but is still in operation as an aid to navigation.

Fairport Harbor West Breakwater Lighthouse

Crossing the Green River

To cross the Green River inside Mammoth Cave National Park, they provide a free ferry. It's an interesting thing to watch - seems to be powered by propane, and rides along two cables stretched across the river.

I remember visiting this area in the late 1970s, it was interesting to see cars carried across this river. I never heard a place so quiet before, almost no sound at all - it hurt my head.

This trip, there were plenty of birds to make noise, and the ferry was working overtime carrying the line of cars back and forth.

See Seven States

Driving down US 31 in Kentucky, I glanced back at this barn as we drove past. The blank, opposite side was what we saw as we approached, and as I checked the mirror, I saw this old advertisement.

These Rock City barns were once common along the highways of Kentucky and Tennessee before the Interstate system was rolled out. After the 1960s, Rock City, and Ruby Falls began a barrage of billboards along I 65 and I 24 - and even painted some barns along the way. Most of the ads on the backroads faded or were lost when the barns collapsed, so seeing one in person is a real treat.

The New Sherwood Hotel

Traveling along some of the smaller, county roads between cities and towns in Kentucky, I've come across some interesting things. This old Hotel in New Haven, Kentucky sits in the old downtown area, and right along the railroad tracks. I can imagine how this hotel was once used by people traveling by rail, and how that track was loaded with trains going all across the region.

This has to be one of the most conveniently located hotels one could imagine - step off the train and right into the lobby! Probably not so great when you're trying to sleep....

What happened to this kind of life? I never lived it, but I sure miss it (as long as the hotel had WiFi).

The Sinking Spring

Continuing to explore some new places as well as some familiar ones in small town America.

This natural spring was the source of fresh water for the Lincoln family when their son Abraham was born. The family farm was located in Hodgenville, Kentucky and is now a national historic site. The spring continues to flow, and since it's several feet below the surrounding grade, the air temperature is much cooler - probably around 30 degrees cooler today as the air temperatures were around 99 degrees. I wonder if the Lincoln's spent hot summer days sitting around the spring, taking advantage of the natural air conditioning.......

Old Coca Cola Sign

Driving the back roads of America yields some of the coolest things. Rather than use the interstates, when I have time, I prefer to get from town to town on the state and county roads.

This old Coca Cola advertisement is on the side of the Chapline Building in downtown Munfordville, Kentucky. Built in 1893, the building is now home to the Hart County Historical Museum.

Tiny Worm on a Blossom

Working in the garden last evening, I noticed a tiny worm on one of the Coreopsis blossoms. The blossoms are about as big as a dime, so this worm was really tiny!

It's interesting to see some of the structures of the flower- they seem like flowers within the flower.

Here's a photo of the flower to give you an idea of the size of the blossom. If you look closely, you can see the tiny worm near the center of the bloom.

Coreopsis Blossom with Worm

Backlit Beach

Following a cool, windy early afternoon, the wind subsided and allowed the temperatures to climb into the mid 70s - perfect for a walk along the beach.

The early evening sun illuminated Danny from the back as he ran away from the waves of Lake Michigan and the approaching storm, to explore the sand along Kintzele Ditch.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Waves and Rays

An early June day started out in the low 60s with a cool wind off of cold Lake Michigan. In the mid afternoon, the wind suddenly stopped and temperatures climbed into the mid 70s. The waves continued to pound the beach, uncovering numerous fossil crinoids and other treasures which the kids promptly collected.

An approaching rain storm filters the sun before it hits the surface of the lake. In a matter of minutes, the entire horizon was dark with the threat of rain.


A tiny hoverfly rests on a newly opened wildflower at the top of a dune at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. This particular day was so foggy along the dunes, yet the fog disappeared about 200 yards from Lake Michigan - due to the warm air and the cold water.