Thursday, May 31, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend 2007

The blog this week is dedicated to our fallen brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, and to ones we love and miss. At the same time, it is also dedicated to the renewal of old friendships, and the beginning of new times and the unknown things to come in our future. All of these pictures were shot during the three day Memorial Day Weekend in Cambria County, Pennsylvania.

Baby blue jays - just three days old

Dog face.

Trail head Path of the Flood Rails to Trails.

Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority Board of Directors at the opening of the new bike trail from Ehrenfeld to Mineral Point.

The first four riders on the officially opened Path of the Flood Rails to Trails that runs from Ehrenfeld to Meneral Point and the Staple Bend Tunnel.

And on the guitar we have ...


"Damned, I'm Cute"

Bear N Boots

Yum Yum

Jamie and Joe, a duo

A Poppy for a donation?

Graveside Visit.

Veterans from around the area, march into St. Bernard's Cemetery, Hastings, PA.

Members of VFW Post 1586

92 area veterans participated in this year's Memorial Day Celebrations. This is the most that the little town of Hastings has had in recent years.

The VFW Post 1586 Post Vice Commander, lays a wreath during the celebration at St. Bernard's Cemetery.

Hastings Post 1586 Post Commander.

Joe Rogal, was again this year's State Poppy Chairman.

It's been almost 25 years since my daughter Justine passed away at the age of 12. We miss her sorely.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Two Wheels Up and Beyond

This week the blog starts out close to home with the dedication of the Rock Run ATV Park and finishes up at the end of a 265 mile ride on 2 wheels.

State Rep. Gary Haluska welcomes dignitaries and the public at the dedication of the 6,000 acre Rock Run Recreation Area in the northern part of Cambria County near the towns of Hastings and Patton.

During the dedication ceremonies the ATV and dirt bike enthusiasts got a good look at the new Welcome Center.

The ribbon cutting ceremony.

Once the ribbon cutting was completed, bikes and ATVs headed out for a short tour of some of the more than 50 miles of trails at the park.

Dirt Biker

Dirt Biker

Trout fishing on the Chest Creek at Thomas Mills.

Armed Forces Day was celebrated at the James Van Zant VA Hospital in Altoona on Saturday the 19th. In the center of this picture are the names of two of my brother Marines who were with me when a Marine F-4 Phantom dropped napalm on the 2nd platoon of Fox Co., 2nd Battalion of the 5th Marine Regiment at 12:30 p.m. on August 6, 1968 in Quang Tri Province. To learn more about Fox 2/5 in Vietnam ask your librarian to get a copy of Battlelines. This coming weekend we will also mourn the passing of Darrell L. Trumble and Allen L. Ward.

Part of the military display at the VA was a UH1 Iroquois, also known to all Vietnam combat vets as The Huey.

Just some of the camp equipment on display on Saturday.

The Tyrone Korean War vets drove this nice looking camo transport into town.

Sitting on the ground floor of the Galleria Mall in Richland Township is a bronze statue dedicated to law enforcement officers in Pennsylvania. These are 2 of the several pictures I shot of it.

Hand in hand

Mandee Jenkins of the Central Cambria Red Devils winds up and lets loose of the ball for a strike during the game against visiting Penns Valley at their home field in Ebensburg.

Erin Van Vactor of Penns Valley just manages to slide safely into 3rd base under the tag of Central's Jamie Petrosky.

It wasn't until I was riding back from a trip into Maryland last year that I knew there was such a thing as the Eastern Continental Divide. When I left the house on Tuesday, I had no idea where I was headed. For some reason, I remembered the ECD, and said "Why the hell not". To learn more about the ECD visit

Located along Route 30 in downtown Bedford is this art deco, single bay Gulf gas station built in 1933 by Dick Dunkle. I love it when a well thought out plan finally works for once. This was my last gas stop before heading home from a ride that took me down into WV, Maryland and back home. The 265 mile ride took about 5 hours with gas and picture stops.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Volunteers in Action

This week we go from emergencies to visual relaxation. There is nothing like the rush of answering the fire whistle to the calming effect of boats floating on a lake. Just another good week in paradise.

This is a portrait of an oven bird. Seiuras anrocapillas a member of the wood warblers, this one knocked itself silly after flying into our kitchen window. I shot this close up from about 6 inches away before the bird recovered and flew away.

Related to the squirrels, the chipmunks are the the only ones of the family to build it's nest underground.

Because the blue jays look so much alike, I don't know if this one is male or female. This nest is built deep inside of a rhododendrun.

A job fair was held during the week at the Contres-Greer Social Hall in Spangler. More than 50 local companies were in attendance.

It was around 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon when a woman rounding a curve on Municipal Road in Susquehanna Township lost control of her pickup and rolled it into the tree line. Two men witnesessing the accident pulled the driver from the truck as it burst into flame.

Once on scene foam from the Hastings Volunteer Fire Department truck, 55-2, was applied and the fire was quickly extinguished.

Foaming the truck once again to make sure everything was under control.

About three hours after being called out for the truck fire, the Hastings Fire Department was on the road again. This time it was for a brush fire about 3/4 of a mile up the road from our house.

Hosing down the brush.

Using a backpack brush tank this fireman takes care of smoldering embers.

Using a brush rake a fireman looks for smoking embers and hot spots on the forest floor.

While one tractor tills the earth another gets busy planting potatoes. Most of the potatoes grown around this part of Cambria County are turned into potato chips.

Male Baltimore Oriole

Female Baltimore Oriole

Prince Gallitzin State Park goes green with the installation of this new wind generator.

The new wind generator which sits high atop it's 120 foot tower cost over $68,000 to install and is at present one of only 6 generators of it's type throughout Pennsylvania's 117 state park system. The generator, with it's 23 foot diameter blades, can generate up to 10 kw of power. According to Barry Wolfe, Park Manager of Prince Gallitzin State Park, approximate savings will be up to $200 per month. [Added Sunday, 20May2007]

Probably the most out of place boat at the Glendale Lake Marina is this 22' Nimble Vagabond called the Helena Jean. The 1992 troller sleeps 2, has the helm inside the pilot house and only draws a foot of water. Originally built in Florida it was bought several years ago by the present owners in Wisconsin and moved to its berth at the lake in Cambria County.

Sailboats on Glendale Lake, Mother's Day 2007.

This shot was actually taken at 3 a.m. Station 55's assistant chief emerges from the woods after setting up lights that will allow fire and emergency personnnel to extract a victim from his wrecked car early Sunday morning.

It is very seldom that I use this kind of shot on the blog. However, I think that it's important from time to time to show the EMS crews in action as well as the local fire companies. Whenever the fire departments are sent out on a call, EMS is also there.

With the patient safely loaded on board, the STAT MedEvac helicopter out of the Altoona Regional Hospital, prepares to take off from the temporary landing site along Carpinella Road in Susquehanna Township.

Although the water features are still silent and the grass is a little long the former Charles Schawb Estate in Loretto, PA still looks impressive in the late morning sun. The estate is now the home of the Franciscan T.O.R. friars who operate Saint Francis University.

Dionysus, greek god of party animals, is one of two secular granite statues still on display in the fomal gardens of the Schwab estate. The statues are the work of Paul Manship, 1886-1966.

Cataloged as the greek god Hermes, messenger to the gods, this statue, also by Paul Manship, is definitely of the female persuasion. Hopefully, in a few days I will have more information on this particular statue. I've have been in contact with the art reference folks at the Smithsonian Institute and have forwarded this picture to them in an effort to properly identify this statue. Hermes is also known as Mercury, the winged messenger.