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Posted in Fitness

Oil country

Just north of New Town, N.D. on State Highway 1804. At this stage of the ride, I am right around 1,420 miles from my starting point near Alton, Ill. (Google Street View image)

I am certain North Dakota has plenty of beautiful spots, but here I am almost to Montana and I hadn’t come across any of them. After spotting my first oil derrick of the trip, I came across this scene. The next few miles definitely made up for the last few boring weeks.

Click here for other posts of my Lewis and Clark virtual ride across America

Posted in Articles

Annual ECO BALL slated for Earth Day 2020

Global expedition leader says “big announcement” planned for the 5th annual event

By Alex Junes-Ward

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Global Eco Adventures, Inc. (GEA) will host its 5th annual ECO BALL at Columbia’s Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, Wed. evening, Apr. 22 – Earth Day 2020 – and will present awards for Environmental Champion of the Year, Environmental Legislator of the Year, and Environmental Educator of the Year.

Previous award recipients have included S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster; S.C. Sen. Thomas Alexander; famed Ecuadorian Olympian and naturalist Dr. Diego Quiroga; Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Kathleen Parker; and the late American naturalist Jim Fowler, host of the Emmy-winning television series WILD KINGDOM.

“This year’s GEA ECO BALL will prove to be one of the most – perhaps the most – memorable Earth Day event(s) here in South Carolina,” says Tom Mullikin [pictured above], president and founder of GEA. “We will be making a big announcement as regards one of our forthcoming exploratory expeditions.” Continue reading “Annual ECO BALL slated for Earth Day 2020”

Posted in Images Military

Sunset

U.S. Army photo, courtesy of 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division

I wonder if any military pilots (you’d have to travel around Mach 1, depending on your latitude) ever scored a flight plan that took them west where they could keep pace with the sunset.

Posted in World War II Chronicle

World War II Chronicle: 14 January 1942

Col. Robin Olds, son of Brig. Gen. Robert Olds

Looking at the promotion list on page A-2 we find several soon-to-become-important names moving up in ranks. Col. Robert Olds, a World War I veteran aviator, former aide to Gen. Billy Mitchell, and advocate for strategic bombing and an independent Air Force branch, will pin on his first star.

His son Robert Jr. — better known as “Robin” — is a cadet captain at the U.S. Military Academy in 1942. Just a week before Pearl Harbor, Robin was part of the squad that lost to Annapolis in the Army-Navy game, but this season he will be named the top lineman in the country, and renowned sportswriter Grantland Rice dubs him “Player of the Year.”

Disappointed by the pettiness at West Point, Robin scorned the practice of “ring knocking,” where service academy graduates enjoyed advancement and other preferential treatment over other soldiers and sailors. He became the only pilot to make ace in both a P-38 Lightning and a P-51 Mustang. Olds briefly served as an assistant coach for West Point’s football team before the Vietnam War and after his legendary time as commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, he was named Commandant of the Air Force Academy. After his time at Colorado Springs, the triple ace became an inspector and warned the USAF that their combat doctrine and training program left fighter pilots dreadfully unprepared for dogfights. Once North Vietnamese fighters began shooting down Air Force pilots on a 1:1 basis during Operation LINEBACKER, Olds volunteered to drop back to colonel so he could return to Southeast Asia as a commander where he could correct the issue. The Pentagon refused, so Olds retired in 1973. In 1985 he was named to the college football hall of fame. Continue reading “World War II Chronicle: 14 January 1942”

Posted in Images Society

Civil War map illustrates how much transportation has changed

Note: “Rosencranz” is Rosecrans. Click on image to expand. (Library of Congress)

This map gives an interesting perspective in that you can see how different of a world we live in compared to that of 1861. Railroads were a relatively new form of transportation, covering just over 30,000 miles of track in 1860. The Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad marked the western limit of railways prior to the Transcontinental Railroad, which wouldn’t be completed until after the Civil War. In those days, people moved products on waterways, and proximity to rivers or coastlines determined the size of a city. For example, at the time this map was drawn, St. Joseph, Mo. (along the Missouri River) and Hannibal, Mo. (on the Mississippi River) were the second- and third-largest cities in the state, respectively. While St. Joseph has slipped to ninth, Hannibal is now 41st in size as America expanded, new modes of transportation changed our economy, and our way of life adapted.

Continue reading “Civil War map illustrates how much transportation has changed”