The Cloud Way
To get into the main floor of the Air Zoo you take this walkway through the clouds. Pretty cool effect, and a great place for a photo op.
Cindy Helps OutCindy tried to give the guys a hand as they launch a hot air ballon, part of the massive mural at the Air Zoo.
Does anyone know what this is? It's a transport of some kind, you can see the interior of the plane in the next picture. Is it a Lockheed transport model? I forgot to check the sign. :(
Old School Butt Kickin'
I think this is a P-51 Mustang, but I can't be sure. There are some dissimilarities between this particular model and some photos I've looked at of actual P-51s, mainly the tail area. Although one P-51 picture I've seen matches this one exactly. Did the body style change on this aircraft during it's manufacturing run? Anyone have any ideas?
Bell P-39Q taken with a cool mural of what looks like an army medical unit in the background.
This was pretty much a life sized aircraft carier control tower. Pretty neat display. Behind the control tower, to the right, are the cockpits of the full motion flight simulators. Those were cool.
This is an amazing plane. Quite something to behold in person. It's neat to ponder that this aircraft was based on a design developed in the early 1960s, yet it so closely resembles the stealth aircraft of the late 90's and early 2000s. That's forward thinking. The SR-71 has a top speed of Mach 3.5... about 2,309 MPH at an altitude of say, 60,000 feet.
Saturn V F1 Rocket Engine
This is MASSIVE! Cindy and I stood beneath it, dead center and started talking. Your voice is reflected from the interior of the cone right back to your ears. It's an interesting effect. But the size of this engine (one of 5 used on the Saturn V rocket) is stammering. It is over 12 feet in diameter, and 18.5 feet high. Cool.
Mercury Space Capsule
This is one of the space center displays. This is part of the Air Zoo but an expanded collection in a different building. Just down the road.
Sasha passed away on October 19, 2008
Silas Condict Park 01
Just one of many wonderful views to be found while hiking at Silas Condict Park in Kinnelon, NJ.
Mom at Silas Condict Park
Mom takes a break and enjoys the view after hiking around Silas Condict Park in Kinnelon, NJ
Silas Condict Park
Mom got up.
Dusty is the resident nutcase. Cute cat, but not too bright, unless you consider his ability to learn how to roll over and sit, two behaviors his sisters could not really comprehend.
Dusty enjoying the view.
Make sure you're in Park, and that your brakes work when you park at the top of Grandfather Mountain. And for Pete's sake DO NOT accidentally put it in DRIVE when you want to back up!
About 4000 feet up. This was taken during my first hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The view reminded me of a trip I made up Giant Mountain in Upstate New York one year with some friends. But the Blue Ridge hike was much easier. Still, the views are quite breathtaking.
I couldn't resist this shot. We were heading back to the cabin after a day of hiking and I made my sister turn around and go back so I could take this picture.
Sims Pond Loop
I snapped this shot just before entering a huge field where I snapped the next shot. The hike is described in the next photo.
Sims Pond Loop
The hike from Sims Pond first takes you through a forest of tall hemlocks girded below by rhododenron. My mom, dad, sister, niece and nephew, and I, trekked through some mud, over creeks, up hills, through meadows and down through vast fields.
I snapped this shot just before heading back under the hemlock canopy on our way back around to Sims Pond.
This photo was taken at the Grandfather Mountain Wildlife Preserve. The eagle in this pic had been injured by a gunshot and could not fly. He resides at the GFM preserve where he was nursed back to health after sustaining his injury. Beautiful old bird. I feel bad that he can't fly anymore, he must have really been something soaring aloft.
This guy was just sitting there waiting for his picture to be taken. Actually, I was sitting there waiting to take it and got lucky with this shot. What a pose. Cute little fella. He and his pals were wrestling around and swimming too. In this shot he decides to take a short break on a rock.
Hanging in There
My brother-in-law, Mark, and I were having fun pretending to scale a rock cliff. In reality my ass was no more than 5 feet off the ground.
Mark Hanging In
Marks ass was only about 5 feet off the ground too.
Ian and Megan
Yes, those are cows. Ian had no issues with the cows, he was game to go strolling right up to them. He wanted to pull a tail. Megan kept her distance.
My father, my niece, my sister, my mom, and my nephew. For the first picture I had them all say "mooo." This one looked better. Maybe I'll post the other one for the fun of it. Stop back.
Brother and Sister
Ian and Megan standing by a lake we stopped at one day for a picnic lunch. Afterwards Ian was tossing bread bits into the water and watching the fish eat them.
This is called a "fat man squeeze." At least that's what it said in the trail guide for the Sims Pond Loop we did. What this does is prevent cattle from getting out of the pasture but it allows people to pass. It's not a gate. It doesn't move. Mind your shins.
Sims Pond Loop View
This is yet another shot of an amazing vista we encountered while hiking the Sims Pond Loop. Amazing.
Blue Ridge Parkway
We didn't stop, just snapped this with a fast shutter while we were driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, near Blowing Rock. The views are amazing.
The Road to Nowhere
This stretch of the Blue Ridge parkway is amazing. You wouldn't believe the views. I highly recommend this trip to anyone who enjoys hiking, mountains, and seeing great scenery. Nearby is the Blue Ridge Viaduct. Quite an engineering feat.
Look Ma, I'm on top of the world!
Mark and Pop
My brother-in-law and father just after arriving at the cabin. They were just getting ready to fire up the grill to make some burgers.
A Hungry black bear at the Grandfather Mountain wildlife preserve.
Standing at the top
My nephew, Ian, indicating which way NOT to go. Don't get too close to the edge!
First Order of Business
After arriving at the cabin, unpacking and getting settled in, I cracked a cold beer and decided to take a picture of it. Not sure why, but here it is. Mmmmmm, beer.
This shot was taken atop Grandfather Mountain. That tree is only 5 feet tall. Hey, you need to conserve when you've got such little air to work with.