Deja Vu

In June of 2016 while traveling on the Heartland Rewind RoadTour, on my way from Moab to the Tetons and Yellowstone I let the GPS choose a route up through Idaho on a two lane road.  We had been on the road for a few hours when we came upon this old building.

Idaho Line Shack

It caught my eye so I found a spot to pull over and shot a few frames.

My normal MO is to let the GPS choose my routes (after I review and eliminate major highways).  Sometimes I regret it. But most of the time it takes me through small towns and interesting scenery, usually with very little traffic.

Fast forward 25 months.
This year when I left Grand Teton, I headed west through Idaho, once again allowing the GPS (a different one than last time) to plot my course.  Mid-morning I came around a bend in hilly country and saw an interesting shack on my left.  I pulled over to investigate.  Something looked strangely familiar.

Idaho Line Shack redux

As soon as I could, I checked images and notes from my time here two years before.  Sure enough, it was the same building.  Oh, the leaves on the vines were green this time and the fields were gold instead of green but we were in the same exact spot only heading in the opposite direction.

Go figure! thousands of miles to wander through and my GPS chose this road in the middle of Idaho farmland . . . again.

Chapel of the Transfiguration

When I first visited the Tetons I happened upon this chapel. From the moment I first set foot inside I’ve had this image in my head. Monday morning when I left Grand Teton National Park I stopped and shot several images. Funny, it was raining both times I visited this chapel.

Yes, that’s a window facing Grand Teton.  I suppose that if the sermon gets too boring, one can always daydream of hiking the mountain.


This small log chapel, built in 1925, offers spectacular views of the Teton Mountain Range and a majestic place to pray. The Chapel will seat 65 people with additional seating outside, weather permitting.


Broadway and Main out in the desert

Somewhere out West in the desert is a small town. The intersection of Broadway and Main was the center of town as well as the center of finance and commerce.  On one corner was the bank, a magnificent building.  It was where everyone saved and borrowed money.  In the back corner of the building facing Main Street was the State run Liquor Store which has long since closed.  Someone opened a Tee Shirt store and a souvenir ship which folded long ago. Windows are boarded or broken and the lots around it scraped clean.  It stands as a monument to better days.


Maryland Inn – Is it haunted?

When I first saw it I instantly thought of the Flat Iron building in New York.  The very acute angle of the intersection struck me as quite similar.

Sightings of ghosts from every era in Maryland’s history have been reported at the Maryland Inn, particularly in the basement, where the foundation predates the inn. Figures in ancient uniforms have been seen coming from the direction of the iron-gated old basement wine cellar, moving toward where the cozy taproom used to beckon with its promise of companionship and beer. Employees of the inn tell stories of hearing voices in the empty dining room, catching a sudden and very strong whiff of pipe tobacco, finding objects moved inexplicably out of place, or hearing footsteps in vacant guest rooms (especially those on the fourth floor).  excerpt from

Why I believe I see the Robinsons standing there in front of the Inn.  Well, coo coo ca-choo to you Mrs Robinson.

Bethlehem Steel

My usual MO is to figure out where I’ll land next the night before or even the day I depart my current location.  I was leaving Clinton MA, heading to West Grove PE which is down in the corner next to Delaware and Maryland.  Since I don’t care to travel major highways, I looked for a place to stop for the night that would allow me to check out some out of the way places. 

I identified the Sands Casino in Bethlehem PA. I had no clue what Bethlehem was like.  Perfect! Off I went.

Whoa!! the Casino was built on the grounds of the old steel mill in the heart of town.  As usual, I found parking in the most remote parking lot and settled in.  It was very late in the day, I was tired and we settled in for the night right next to a huge abandoned industrial structure.  I suspected it was part of the steel mill.

During the night, I could hear faint bits of music and voices drifting through the abandoned buildings.  It was eerie to say the least.  As on most days, the dog and I were up before the sun rose.  We walked around a bit while I enjoyed coffee.  As daylight approached, I grabbed a camera and shot some photos of the old building.  Shortly, casino security came by and I flagged them down. I asked if this was the old Bethlehem Steel plant.  They said it was and then pointed toward some stairs on the edge of the parking lot and said I could climb them and walk on an elevated catwalk that wandered through the steel mill buildings right up close to the blast furnace.  WOW!  What a treat.  It was awesome.

The catwalk stretches on along several buildings and has signs explaining what they were and discusses the history of Bethlehem Steel.  I noticed that there was an amphitheater across the street from the steel mill.  So, that’s where the music came from.  Not long after I was there, Arlo Guthrie played there.  He described the steel mill in a most eloquent way.

For me, it was and unexpected and very moving experience.

Lost along the Erie Canal

As usual, I was driving along a long forgotten 2 lane road.  On this particular morning it was highway 5S in New York not far from Vermont.  We were following the Erie Canal on the south bank, soon to cross north and head into Vermont.
Highway 5S was pretty empty which made it a pleasure to watch the landscape unfold.  We came to the top of a rise and right in front of me and pretty much in the middle of nowhere were the remains of a once elegant estate. As I passed it, I decided to turn back and see if I could find a place to park.  As is normal with two lane roads, it took a while but I turned back and parked in a empty NY State Road Dept. lot.  Wearing shorts, tee shirt and flop flops I grabbed some camera gear and walked a quarter mile or so up the road looking for some good spots to shoot from.
As I walked back to the RV I spied a man walking to one of the buildings so of course I stopped and spoke with him.  Glen Mosier spent some time telling me about the estate and the area.  Somewhere down in the valley is a castle complete with dungeon that was build by some military man back in the 1700s.  Across the Erie Canal is a Quarry where Glen once worked.  I gathered that Glen’s grandfather still lives in the old mansion.

Our Lady of Lourdes

Just a block from the word famous Anchor Bar stands a once magnificent structure, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.

The church has roots back to 1850 after an ethnic split-up of the Lamb Church of God built in 1832.  That congregation consisted of German, Irish and French immigrants. In 1837 the Irish members left to establish Saint Patrick’s Church where they could worship in in the English language. In 1843, A group of German members left  and formed Saint Mary’s church.  Finally, the French members separated and established Saint Peter’s French Catholic Church.

When toward the end of the 19th century,  the parishioners outgrew the church they procured land and began construction of a new church located on the corner of Best and Main Streets.  The new church was named Notre Dame de Lourdes and had four cornerstones commemorating both Saint Peters and Notre Dame de Lourdes in both native language and in English.


Just a couple blocks from the Ohio River sit the remaining buildings of Greiner’s Brewery.
In 1854 Mathew Greiner moved his brewery from Cincinnati to Madison Indiana. Two years later he built this three story building (four stories if you count the hipped-roof tower). Prohibition sent the brewery into bankruptcy and was dissolved in 1918. For the next 6 decades the building housed a grocery, a farm and dairy supply store, and Madison Machine Products and finally Mayflower Transfer and Storage.  It has been converted into an artist’s studio and gallery.
The historic “Greiner’s Brewery, Cash For Barley” sign that graced the front of the building during the 1870s has been repainted on the side facing Park Avenue.
The Greiner Brewery building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Landmark.

Cairo Illinois – a modern ghost town

Cairo is the southernmost city in Illinois. It is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.  Not really having a destination in mind, I crossed into Cairo over the Ohio River from Kentucky.  My goal was to explore some of the towns along the Ohio.

Judging from the architecture, Cairo had once been a thriving town.  Unfortunately most of it is in disrepair, falling down or already demolished and the ground scraped clean.

7th Street and Commercial Avenue

While walking around I spoke with a river pilot.  He was buying buildings in anticipation of a new, modern seaport being built in Cairo. I wished him luck.

Ayers Pills for the liver


One of the few buildings still standing on the Ohio River in Cairo Illinois.
While the building was mostly boarded up, it appeared someone was living in a small corner.  Interestingly, the bank of the river here along with a thin sliver of land is in Kentucky.  A short distance up the road, Illinois owns the river bank.