Windows and Reflections of Bannack

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While visiting Montana’s Bannack State Park I started noticing the characteristics of windows in the deserted 19th-century buildings. They varied from artistic to simplistic. Some of the panes were the original wavy glass while others were 21st-century replacements.

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Whether peeking into a cabin at a potpourri of tools and paraphernalia deserted decades ago or gazing out while seated at an aged treadle sewing machine the windows seemed to frame Bannack’s past and present.

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Then I became intrigued with how the windows reflected the scenes before them – swaying tree branches, the crowd gathered in front of Hotel Meade or the upstanding Masonic Lodge / Schoolhouse.

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Observing and photographing the windows of Bannack added depth and perspective to out visit to Montana’s past.

When You Go:  Bannack State Park is located 26 miles southwest of Dillon, Montana. From I-15 exit #59 head west on Highway 278 for 20 miles. Turn south on the paved Bannack Road, follow for four miles. Turn left onto the graveled park entrance road. Well placed signs point the way.

Palm Beach Sunset

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On our first full day in Florida we were treated to a great sunset. We stopped at the Lake Worth Beach ice cream shop and set on a bench to gaze at an amazing placid Atlantic. I’ve seen bigger white caps on lakes in the last month. Families were packing up from their beach visit, even the kids looked tired as they crossed the sand towards the parking lot. Driving back to the condo the sky was a different color is every direction from lemony yellow to Viking purple. 

Travel Destination – Campus Bound

I’ve long been an advocate of university and college campuses as rich resources for travelers. Some of the best art, historic and earth science collections are held by higher education institutes. The University of Arizona in Tucson perfectly illustrates my hypothesis.

University of Arizona Campus Highlights

  • arizona-t-shirt-logoUA Visitor Center- Campus information center, weekly guided tours, ticket sales for UApresents, parking. Open Monday – Friday 9am-5pm.
  • Arizona State Museum - Oldest and largest anthropology museum in the Southwest, Smithsonian Institution affiliate, world’s largest collection of Southwest Indian pottery, permanent and temporary exhibits, gift shop. The Paths of Life permanent exhibition showcases the origins, history and culture of American Indians of the Southwest with artifacts, historic items, artwork, videos and dioramas. Open Monday – Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday noon-5pm. Closed state and national holidays. Suggested donation $3.
  • Center for Creative Photography – Museum, research center and photo archives, rotating exhibits. Established by Ansel Adams and UA, holds more archives and individual works by 20-th century North American photographers than in any other museum in the US. Gallery Store offers a large selection of photography related titles. Open Monday – Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 1-4pm, closed major holidays. Free admission, suggested donation.
  • Flandrau: The UA Science Center- Hands-on exhibits, planetarium and observatory for public viewing of night skies. Check website for hours and programs, admission fee, night telescope viewing free.
  • The Jim Click Hall of Champions - The heritage and traditions of athletics at the university showcasing student athletes and coaches. Hours vary, free admission.
  • The University of Arizona Museum of Art - Wide-ranging collections of European and American fine art from the Renaissance to contemporary. Changing exhibits and highlights from the permanent collections. Open Tuesday – Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 1-4pm, closed university holidays. Adult admission $5.

 UA Unique

  • SOML – Stewart Observatory Mirror Lab – Tours give a behind the scenes look at cutting-edge optical technology and spin-casting processes used in making giant telescope mirrors. Tours on Tuesday and Friday, reservations required, cost $15/person.

More on UA Campus

  • Campus Arboretum - Pick up a map and enjoy a campus walk among the unique collection of trees, shrubs and plants from arid and semi-arid climates. Free.
  • Performing Arts - Theatre, dance and music performances and film screenings staged throughout the year. Admission fees required.
  • Sonett Visitor Center- Self-guided tour at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory – HiRISE Mars camera, the Phoenix Mars Lander and the Cassini mission to Saturn. Free, 520-626-7432.
  • UA Bookstore- I once heard someone espouse if you want your child to go to a particular university, as a pre-teen take them to the campus and buy them a sweatshirt. All sorts of insignia apparel and gifts are available at the official bookstore in the Student Union Memorial Center. 
  • UA Library Special Collections – Collections of rare books and archival materials in many subject areas including Arizona and the Southwest, changing exhibits.
  • UA Mineral Museum- Fabulous collection of minerals, gemstones and meteorites from around the world – over 2,000 on display. Located on the lower level of Flandrau: The UA Science Center. Check website for fees and hours.
  • UApresents - Professional performing arts – classical, jazz, blues and world music events plus dance performances. Admission fees.

UA off Campus

  • Biosphere 2- Management of the living laboratory of global scientific issues is now under management of the University of Arizona. Tours at the complex 20 minutes north of Tucson. Fee.

  • Boyce Thompson Arboretum - Plants from the earth’s varied deserts alongside unspoiled examples of Sonoran Desert vegetation. The Southwest’s oldest arboretum and botanical garden is located near Superior, 90 minutes from Tucson. Fee.

  • UA SkyCenter- Observatories atop Mt. Lemmon, SkyNights, DiscoveryDays and SkyCamps open to the public by reservation. Located 90 minutes north of Tucson. Fee.

Adjacent to Campus

  •  Arizona History Museum- Focus on southern Arizona history – Spanish colonial through territorial eras. Mining and transportation featured exhibits. Not part of the University but worth visiting while in the campus neighborhood. Check website for current hours and fees.

This list doesn’t begin to include all the possibilities, pick up a University of Arizona Visitor Guide and follow your interest from cutting-edge science to sport competitions. Be campus bound in Tucson.

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Bottoms Up!

Vail Ski Resort has trademarked the slogan, “Like Nothing on Earth.”  After last week’s chairlift misadventure perhaps they should add, “… or in the Air.” Today’s much viewed web photos include the unfortunate skier who slipped through a Vail chairlift and hung suspended by his pants for 7 minutes until lift operators  came to the “rescue.” Apparently the seat wasn’t properly in place when he boarded. Besides going through the ordeal, now the victim finds his bare buns spread across computer and television screens and a hot topic for comedians.

An overlooked part of the story is the child that boarded the same chair. In some of the photos you can see the youngster still on the chairlift. I think this kid should get some kind of reward for not panicking. Wonder how he/she feels about chairlifts today.

The photographer that took the picture is in trouble with his employer. What about a couple of lift operators?

If you have not seen the photos and feel the need, http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0106091vail5.html.

candy-canesSweet Treat

Hammonds Candies promises a sweet addition to your holiday shopping or stockings. A Denver tradition since 1920 Hammonds is best known for their handmade candy canes. There’s a flavor for every taste – holiday favorites like cinnamon, cherry, peppermint, cranberry and sugar plum. Fruit flavors range from apple to very berry and for the unusual try bubble gum, cotton candy or key lime. And, for a real treat select one of the filled candy canes – chocolate filled cherry, raspberry or peppermint and vanilla filled cinnamon. YUM!

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Hammond’s retail store brims with buckets of candy canes,  baskets of old-fashioned ribbon candy, bags of peppermint pillows and rows and rows of lollipops.   Swirls of the hand-twisted confections come in 1-ounce, 4-ounce and giant 1-pound sizes.

Note: Come Valentine’s Day some of the lollipops take on a heart  shaped twist.

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The friendly staff  leads tours of the candy kitchen. Visitors watch through large windows as sugary syrups cook in huge copper pots, poured onto large cooling tables, coloring and flavoring added before being kneaded, stretched and formed. The mixture must be  just the right temperature to cut into individual lengths. When each batch is ready candymakers deftly and quickly crook each candy cane or swirl lollipops.

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Not surprisingly tours end in the candy store.

Tours are available every half hour year round, Monday-Friday 9am-3 pm, Saturday 10am-3pm. The store and factory are closed on Sunday. Tours are FREE.

Families and individuals are welcome to tour without reservations. Groups should call ahead to schedule a time. Behind the scenes tours can be scheduled.peppermint-pillows1

 

 

 Hammond’s is located at 5735 N. Washington Street, Denver, Colorado. Candy store open Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm and Saturday 10am4pm. Directions and online shopping available on their website.   

  

Candy Cane Festival ‘09

Each December Hammond’s hosts the Candy Cane Festival – Dec. 12, 2009, 9am-5pm. Take a tour, finish off your Christmas shopping, whisper your list to Santa, feed his reindeer or enjoy the variety of activities. Caroling, storytelling, gingerbread cookie decorating, carnival games, face painting and trolley rides keep everyone entertained.   nancy-shopping1

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The delight of a child- toddler to teen – Santa’s lap is sure to boost your holiday spirits.                      

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After your visit to Hammond’s I bet you won’t be able to wait till Christmas for your first sweet treat.

Yum!

Hammond’s is located at 5735 N. Washington Street, Denver, Colorado. Candy store open Monday-Friday 9am-4:30pm and Saturday 10am4pm. Directions and online shopping available on their website.   

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