The McKenzie's Official world tour site
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Wildlife around Stevensville.....
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 14:20:10 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00) USA
STEVENSVILLE IN PICTURES
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 14:06:35 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00) USA
Stevensville and beyond.......
We are sorry for the lack of blog updates recently-we hope to be able to catch up shortly........
We had a fantastic time in Stevensville, Michigan, catching up with family and friends there. Phil’s brother Steve, even managed to squeeze in a wedding while we were there-and so we would like to send our congratulations and welcome Penny to the McKenzie Clan! Friends in Stevensville came together and did them proud - A Halloween wedding – so no excuse with forgetting the ‘ole wedding anniversary!
Unfortunately we all spent a while of our time in Stevensville being ill – coughs, colds, fevers – we all seemed to get the works......this is the ONLY time on Macswayround that the bugs have managed to catch us up – usually we have been able to out-run them, as we usually do not spend long in any one place!!
During our time around Stevensville, we also spent time at the Love Creek Country Park and the Sarett Nature Centre, where we enjoyed a wide range of autumnal scenery and wildlife. We would also like to thank these brave souls who let Jemma and Ben spend some time with them during our time in Stevensville - Steve, Penny, Alex, Anita, Jack, Judy and hubbie and Vic!
After the wedding we said our fond farewells to everybody and Nessie was back on the road again! At least it was not as chilly for her, as last year’s visit to Michigan!!
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 13:56:10 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00) USA
Stevensville and beyond.......
• Michigan is first in the United States production of peat and
Magnesium compounds and second in gypsum and iron ore.
• Although Michigan is often called the Wolverine State,
there are no longer any wolverines in Michigan.
(However, one was spotted in 2007, so there are some.)
• The Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit manufactured the first Air-conditioned car in 1939
• Michigan State University has the largest single campus student body of any Michigan university. It is the largest institution of higher learning in the state and one of the largest universities in the country.
• The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. Connecting the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. It spans 5 miles over the Straits of Mackinac, which is where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet. The Mighty Mac took 3 years to complete and was opened to traffic in 1957.
• Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world.
• Michigan has more shoreline than any other state except Alaska.
• Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams.
• Standing anywhere in the state a person is within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes.
• Michigan includes 56,954 square miles of land area; 1,194 square miles of Inland waters; and 38,575 square miles of Great Lakes water area.
• Four flags have flown over Michigan -- French, English, Spanish and United States.
• In 1929, the Michigan State Police established the first state police radio system in the world.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 13:55:05 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00) USA
Stevensville and beyond.......
• American Robins
• Blue Jays
• White Brest Nuthatches
• Male and female Northern Cardinals
• Tufted Tit-Mice
• American Goldfinches
• Male and female Downy Woodpeckers
• Carolina Chickadees
• Females Purple Finches
• Black Capped Chickadees
• Mourning Doves
• Black Squirrels
• Red Bellied Woodpeckers
• Red Squirrels
• Northern Yellow Shafted Flicker
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 13:53:46 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00) USA
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Thursday, 22 October 2009
CALLING..... CALLING..........we are trying to get into contact with Sandy and Margaret from Vermont, who we met in Alaska, earlier this year..........we could be in your area soon and wondered if we could meet up again? Please send a message if you get this in time!!
Thursday, 22 October 2009 16:05:34 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00) USA
Montana and beyond in pics!
Thursday, 22 October 2009 16:04:04 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00) USA
All the way to Michigan........
SO- we made it out of MONTANA!! Nothing personal but we would not want to out-stay our welcome!
We first travelled through to Billings and camped at Trailer Village and then went off to see the “Little Bighorn Battlefield”. After studying this event for my GCSE’s, the battle and events of that time all make a little more sense to me now that we have visited the site. Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer was only 34 years old when he commanded a regiment of 1,200 men on the 1876 expedition to the Black Hills of South Dakota. The expedition lasted 60 days, 48 of those spent marching an average of 18 miles per day. Twelve days were spent resting and a total of 880 miles was covered in the 60 days. Custer decided to split his regiment into groups and was unprepared for the great number and fighting power of the Lakota and Cheyenne Indians that his group of approximately 220, were to meet their deaths at the hands of......when the guns fell silent and the smoke and dust of the battle had lifted, no U.S Cavalry soldier had survived......this event is very significant in history, as although the Indians won this battle, they subsequently lost the war against the military’s efforts to end their independent and nomadic way of life.
The Devil’s Tower in Wyoming was a very unusual National Monument. Today, the massive columns are popular with climbers. Approximately 5,000 climbers visit in a year and there are over 220 routes that have been used in climbing the tower! The Junior Ranger programme was carried out to the best of abilities – in the snow!
The Jewel Cave National Monument in South Dakota was another hit for the budding Junior Rangers and we are sure that we saw a cougar footprint in the snowy trail around the grounds.
In Custer, South Dakota, we camped at the French Creek Camp and we would like to thank Rock and Diane for being able to help us out once again. Phil has been unable to purchase any new footware in our time away – as he needs to have a heel raise. Rock and his Shoe Repair shop(Cobblers) were able to help Phil to get some dry boots, in all this snow!
Mount Rushmore, was to us another place that we had heard of – but it meant so much more to see it ‘for real’. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum was given the task of designing and overseeing the creation of the President’s sculptures on Mount Rushmore. The memorial commemorates four significant presidents who worked towards the foundation, preservation, and continental expansion of the United States. First, was the very first U.S President, George Washington, who was commander of the Revolutionary Army. Second was Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, third President and the mastermind of the Louisiana Purchase. Thirdly, Theodore Roosevelt, who promoted construction of the Panama Canal and as 26th President also ignited progressive causes such as conservation and economic reform. Finally, we saw the face of America’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, whose leadership restored the Union and ended slavery on U.S soil. The sculptures were worked upon for 6 and a -half years. However, due to financial constraints and the seasonal nature of the work, the whole project was not completed for a total of 14 years – 1927-1941.It is now recognised as a National Memorial......
Onwards we travelled – staying a night along the Cheyenne River, through more of South Dakota. At Sioux Falls, we stayed at the Red Barn RV Park and we all enjoyed meeting Rascal the Raccoon!
As we trekked further through Minnesota and into Wisconsin (we are on a mission!) we stopped off at La Crosse, and the Pettibone Resort along the Mississippi River.
So we got into Michigan, through Wisconsin, Minnesota, some more of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and finally Michigan – we made it to meet back with Phil’s brother Steve and Penny – all set just right for a Saturday night!! And all the rest, as they say, is history! Five States in a day – no worries!!
We shall have to return to see more of those States that we whizzed through – as our time is running short this time and we are sure they also have lots to offer!
Thursday, 22 October 2009 15:59:15 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00) USA
All the way to Michigan........
• At the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, the scattered marble markers record the approximate locations where the Seventh Cavalry soldiers, scouts and civilians fell in battle against Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians on 25-26th June, 1876.
• Custer National Cemetery contains burials that are historic to Northern Plains events as well as burial of veterans and dependents from 1879-present.
• The Devil’s Tower was proclaimed by President Theodore Roosevelt as America’s first National Monument on September 24th, 1906. It may also be referred to as a ‘Natural Monument’.
• The Devil’s Tower began its creation about 50 million years ago, as molten magma was forced into sedimentary rocks above it and cooled underground. Today the tower rises 867 feet from its base and stands 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River.
• There are many different versions, from each local Indian tribe, that tells a legend of how the Devil’s Tower came into being. The Tower is considered sacred by many American Indians and plays an important role in many of their stories, and traditional cultural beliefs.
• The Black-Tailed Prairie Dog, a type of burrowing rodent, is a social animal that lives with many others in ‘towns’. The Prairie Dog town at Devil’s Tower National Monument is approximately 40 acres in size. Prairie-dog tunnels may extend downward from 3-10 feet and then horizontally for another 10-15 feet.
• In 1927, then President, Calvin Coolidge dedicated the worksite at Mount Rushmore with the words, “ The union of these four Presidents (Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt & Lincoln) carved on the face of the ever-lasting Black Hills of South Dakota.....will be distinctly American in its conception, in its magnitude, in its meaning.....”
• “A monument’s dimensions should be determined by the importance to civilisation of the events commemorated .....Let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the words of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what matter of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and the rain alone shall wear them away.” (Gutzon Borglum, Master Sculptor).
• During the fourteen years of construction, over 360 men worked on the Mount Rushmore, with an average of 35 men working at any one time.
• The faces of the 4 President’s are 60 feet from chin to forehead. The Sparkle in Lincoln’s eye is a block of granite 12 inches long!
• Mount Rushmore was named, in the 1880’s after a New York Lawyer who was being driven through the Black Hills. He happened to ask the name of the particular mountain, and as it had no name, it was decided have it named after him. Rushmore later donated $5,000 towards the carving of the monument that bore his name.
• The Jewel Caves in South Dakota are among the longest known caves in the world. It was given National Monument status by Theodore Roosevelt in 1908.
Thursday, 22 October 2009 15:58:06 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00) USA