Traveling the Natchez Trace

Natchez Trace Parkway

It has been a while since I last posted any trip information here.  It has been more than 14 months since I started posting information about my 5 days traveling the Natchez Trace.  Well, with this pandemic goin on I decided it was time to finish that journey.   There are some amazing sights along the way, interlaced with a lot of history.

“The Natchez Trace Parkway is a national parkway in the southeastern United States that commemorates the historic Natchez Trace and preserves sections of that original trail. Its central feature is a two-lane road that extends 444 miles (715 km) from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee. Access to the parkway is limited, with more than fifty access points in the states of MississippiAlabama, and Tennessee. The southern end of the route is in Natchez at its intersection with Liberty Road, and the northern end is northeast of Fairview, Tennessee, in the suburban community of Pasquo, at an intersection with Tennessee State Route 100. In addition to Natchez and Nashville, larger cities along the route include Jackson and Tupelo, Mississippi, and Florence, Alabama.[5][6]”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natchez_Trace_Parkway

To get you started on this trip click this link

Street Art of Eureka, California

 

Alley Cats, By Duane Flatmo and Rural Burl students G St between 4th & 5th (South wall of Living Light Center.)

” Humbolt County is home to hundreds of artist, and this fact is apparent when one notices the numerous murals that adorn many of the Eureka buildings. ”  The humbolt County Convention & Visitor’s Center has produced a self-guided tour to spotlight some of these beautiful and gorgeous murals.  Many of them show off the history of the area whereas others are quite humorous.  Click this link to take to the Eureka mural page.

San Marcos, TX Murals & Statues

San Marcos has a very vibrant mural painting program. I have seen painted Pelicans in Pensacola, painted cows in San Antonio and Chicago, painted cowboy boots in Wimberly Texas, but unique are the painted mermaids of San Marcos.

Like the mural art programs in New Braunfels, San Antonio, Eureka, or other cities, the program provides funding for artist to help beautify the city with works of art. In concert with San Marcos’ program are businesses that also beautify their property with murals.  Those murals sponsored by the Mural Art’s program can be identified by the “Mural Arts” logo painted near the bottom of each mural the program has sponsored.

As previously mentioned, One can find painted mermaid statues scattered around the downtown area.  Why mermaids might you ask.  Well, click the Mermaid link to learn the fascinating history of why these mermaids are found nearly 200 miles from the Gulf of Mexico; then click statue link to see these Mermaids.

Mermaids

Statues

To see multiple views of five of these statues click on my Mermaid photos (23 images).

To be transferred to my San Marcos Mural page click this link.

 

New Pensacola Murals

Traveling north on I-110 in Pensacola a few weeks ago I happened to spy a few murals just west of the RR tracks.  I had never noticed them prior to that drive. So when I had a day that was not blazingly hot, on an early Sunday morning I took what “we” use to call back in the day a “Sunday drive.”

I usually like to drive to view area murals on Sundays during the fall and spring months, because normally, not many people are moving about, which allows photographs to be unimpeded with clutter (people and parked cars.)   The mural on the Court of DeLuna Building is still under construction.    These new murals can be found  with a link near the bottom of the Pensacola Mural page.

Street Art of Santa Fe

Road Runner Rail System . Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe has got to be one of the most interesting cities in New Mexico.  The building murals on this site were found mainly in the Railroad District, although a few I photographed were in the surrounding areas.  The Road Runner train is a regional train that basically runs between Santa Fe and Albuquerque with a few stops to the south of Albuquerque.  Looking at the fare schedule, a one day pass which takes the rider through 8 zones is only $8.00 and the yearly pass is $595.00 if purchased online.  Although I didn’t have the time to ride the train, the scheduling and fare requirements reminded me much of the way the European regional trains are set up.

Meyer Gallery: Established 1967

You may have heard that Santa Fe is a very artsy town, well you heard correctly.  There are well over 150 art galleries in the area.  In fact everywhere you look there are sculptures.

Without getting into a lot of detail about Santa Fe I will just write a little bit  about the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.  The cathedral was built by Archbishop  Jean  Baptiste Lamy between 1869 and 1866 on the site of the older Adobe Church La

Pueblo Revolt 1680

Parroquia(built between 1714 and 1717.  An older church on the same site which had been built in 1626, was destroyed during the 1680 Pueblo revolt. The new cathedral was built around La Parroquia, which was dismantled once the new construction was completed.  However, a  small chapel on the north side of the cathedral was kept from the old church.

Street and Mural Art of Santa Fe

A Dash of Color – with a Message

Not My Usual Street Art/Mural Post

The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge shown below, approximately 10 miles from Taos, New Mexico, crosses the Rio Grande Gorge at a height of  600 ft above the Rio Grande River..

In the distance, from the bridge, there was a dash of color on the horizon.  Overcome with curiosity, I began to trek  towards  the the color.  As I approached closer and closer, the dash of color turned into a bus.   The bus (“The Dragonfly Bus”) reminded me so much of the hippie era I grew up in.  The time of free love, Woodstock, and the Haight-Asbury district of San Fransisco.

The art on the bus evoked within me a sense of freedom, to not care what others may think about how one expresses themself.  Art can do that, and more.  Art can be transformative, for it can  shape the way we view ourselves and the world around us.

When I caught up with this bus, LeRoy Herr and Heather Platen were driving this 1953 custom Chevy bus around the country to get people excited about art.  In fact they encouraged people to paint on their bus, much

Buried Cadillacs along I-40 (Part of the old Rt 66 Hwy) near Amarillo, TX

like those found on the Cadillacs at the Cadillac Ranch off of U.S 40 (use to be Rt 66) in Amarillo.  For me the writing the word “science” spoke to me because of my science background and teachings.

Viewing the portrait of Saddam Hussein reminded me of the Gulf War and the Iraqi War.  However, the painting of Van Morrison transported  me to the time of my high school and college years with such songs as “Riders on the Storm,” “The End,” and of course who could forget “Light My Fire” were all the rage.

 

 

Some of the phrases found were:

  1.  Love is Real Freedom
  2. Donations are Welcome
  3. Love Yourself
  4. God is Love
  5. Be Creative
  6. We  Love You
  7. Roll Tide
  8. You are here for a reason
  9. Fueled by Dreams
  10. On my honor I will never  betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust.  I will always have the courage to hold myself and others to be accountable for our actions.  I will always uphold the constitution, my community and agency I serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If inclined, more information about the Dragon Bus and its journey can be followed on FaceBook.

Street Art of Benson, Arizona

Cactus painting, Benson, AZ

“Founded in 1880 prior to Arizona’s mining boom, Benson developed as a stopping point for the Butterfield Overland Stage mail delivery route.  Soon thereafter, the Southern Pacific Railroad came into Benson and continued to serve the area until 1997, when the line was purchased by Union Pacific Railroad.” https://www.bensonvisitorcenter.com

Benson, Arizona was a stop on my 10,000 + mile trip a few years ago.  The artwork helps to illustrate much of the history in the area.  This link you take you to the page with the artwork

Street Art of East Houston

Playing in the schoolyard at the Energy Institute

Houston has an extensive array of street art.  Probably one of the best places to start is Graffiti Park.  Located at 2102 Leeland  Street, one can find many people walking around the buildings and photographing the artwork.  However there are other murals not far from this area.  Take a walk further down the street and city blocks, you will find a mural of Wonder Woman holding up a pick-up truck, or a yard of curious children painted on the side of the Energy Institute High School,  formerly the Dodson Elementary School in East Downtown.

To learn more about the Murals in the Graffiti Park, point your mouse here and click.

 

Kerrville, Texas

About 70 miles north of San Antonio, along I-10, lies the town of Kerrville, home of the fighting Tivy Antlers High School.

“Kerrville is named after James Kerr, a major in the Texas Revolution, and friend of settler-founder Joshua Brown [see wall mural,] who settled in the area to start a shingle-making camp.”

“Archeological evidence suggests that humans dwelled in the area known as Kerrville as early as 10,000 years ago. The early modern residents were successful shinglemakers whose mercantile business became a hub that served the middle and upper Hill Country area in the late 1840s. One of the earliest shinglemakers was Joshua D. Brown. With his family, Joshua Brown had led several other families on an exploration of the Guadalupe Valley. These early pioneers organized their settlements near a bluff just north of the Guadalupe River in the eastern half of today’s county. The settlement was referred to as “Brownsborough”, but after the area was formally platted in 1856 by James Kerr, a major in the Texas Revolution, the settlement was formally known as “Kerrville” and maintained a county seat with Texas.”

“Starting in 1857, a German master-miller named Christian Dietert and millwright Balthasar Lich started a large grist and saw mill on the bluff. This mill established a permanent source of power and protection from floods, and became the most extensive operation of its kind in the Hill Country area west of New Braunfels and San Antonio. ” https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerrville,_Texas

Using this link, learn more about the history of Kerrville through the city’s very extensive murals celebrating that history.

Street Art of the Wiregrass Region of Alabama

Street art from the Wiregrass Region of Alabama

The Wiregrass Region—or Wiregrass Country—is an area of the Southern United States encompassing parts of southern Georgia, southeastern Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle. The region is named for the native Aristida stricta, commonly known as wiregrass due to its texture.

The region stretches approximately from just below Macon, Georgia and follows the Fall Line west to Montgomery, Alabama. From there it turns south and runs to approximately Washington County, Florida in the northern panhandle. From there it runs east, roughly making its southern boundary along Interstate 10 to Lake City, Florida. From there it turns north, roughly following the Suwannee River back into Georgia and along the western fringes of the Okefenokee Swamp. From here it runs due north back to Macon.

The region includes Fort Rucker, a U.S. Army post located mostly in Dale County, Alabama. The post is the primary flight training base for Army Aviation and is home to the United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence (USAACE) and the United States Army Aviation Museum, as well as Moody Air Force Base located in Lowndes and Lanier County, Georgia. Moody AFB is the home of the 23d Wing. The wing executes worldwide close air support, force protection, and combat search and rescue operations (CSAR) in support of humanitarian interests, United States national security and the global war on terrorism (GWOT). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiregrass_Region

One of the murals photographed in the area was of the Boll Weevil, where there is a statue honoring the little critter. If it hadn’t been for the destructiveness of this insect on the cotton industry, the peanut industry may have started later than 1919.

Statue in Enterprise, AL honoring the boll weevil.