Warren Dunes famous for Hang Gliding
The Warren Dunes State Park along the shores of Lake Michigan provide 1952 acres of recreational opportunities. The Tower Hill dunes rise up 260 above the shore and is notable for hang gliding. We happened by there on a cold day in November and were surprised to find even on a day of marginal weather that there was someone trying to get some flying time in.
Stone Arch Bridge
The Stone Arch Bridge is the only bridge of it’s kind along the Mississippi River. Having 23 arches, it is 2100 feet long and contains 100,000 tons of limestone and granite. It was built by railroad baron James J. Hill and completed in 1883. It was originally used as a railroad bridge and carried as many as 48 passenger trains into Minneapolis everyday. Now it is part of the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail and used as a walking and bike path. It is significant historical landmark that forms an integral part of the redeveloped Minneapolis Riverfront. The bridge is just below St. Anthony Falls which is the birthplace of Minneapolis and was the only true waterfall on the Mississippi River.
I was recently inspired to produce a “tower pano” from the top of the Carew Tower in Cincinnati. The Carew Tower is the only skyscraper in Cincinnati that has an observation deck that is open to the public. The deck is actually on the top of the building with unobstructed views in all directions. Most 360around panos are taken from one viewpoint, this one was from 8 different viewpoints on the observation deck. The most effective “tower panos” are taken on buildings with straight sides so that there is a view straight down to the ground. The end result appears that you are floating high above the building when viewing the pano. The Carew Tower has numerous set backs so that there is no view straight to the ground with the resulting view appearing not quite so high above the building. Another issue is the close proximity of other tall buildings close to the Carew Tower. The creates serious parallax problems when stitching together the images from the different viewpoints, in fact this was one of the more laborious panos I have created necessitating various retouching techniques to get it all to come together. It was a nice creative and technical challenge and I feel that the end result was worth the effort.
The view of Cincinnati from the Carew Tower
Click to see the Little Planets
Carew Tower Observation Deck
Some panos that I took back in 2007 but never made it to the blog until now!
Mt. Airy Forest Treehouse
Located in central California, Sequoia N.P. is home to some of the largest trees in the world. Sequoia N.P. is the second oldest national park in the United States. It is also home to the tallest mountain in the United States outside of Alaska, Mt. Whitney. Click on the image below to see the gallery of panos including the “General Sherman” tree and others in the vicinity.
The General Sherman Tree
Here are a few panos from the top of Moro Rock (complete with passing thunderstorm) and then 4000 feet down to the banks of the Kaweah River.
On the summit of Moro Rock
Along the high trail to the PunchBowls along Santa Paula Creek in California. Even though you can’t see the creek from here, trust me it’s down there. Very rugged and beautiful in this area with car and truck sized boulders to scramble over, or take this trail, if you can find it! The trail starts at the campus of Thomas Aquinas College and heads up to some scenic waterfalls known as The Punchbowls and extremely rugged terrain.
The high trail along Santa Paula Creek
The Punchbowls are a series of waterfalls and swimming holes located in the Santa Paula Canyon. The trailhead for these is at Thomas Aquinas College. It is about a 3 mile hike up to the first falls over a fairly rough and rugged, unmaintained trail. It is a popular day hike for the locals and all who want to test their nerve by cliff diving off 10′, 40′ or even 80′ precipices.
This water playground is best known for it’s towering waterfalls and it’s many swimming holes. With it’s high cliffs and smooth mossy streams, the Santa Paula Canyon Falls provide pure swimming and cliff diving enjoyment. Whether you are an experienced cliff diver or you just want to get your feet wet at the Punch Bowls. This day hike is one of the most beautiful hiking destinations that Ventura County has to offer.
The small building in the foreground, the Painter’s Shack, is about a 1 mile hike up a gravel road from the campus of Thomas Aquinas College. A favorite haunt of the students, it also is a great spot to get a really nice view of the surrounding countryside, especially at sunrise or sunset.
Painter's Shack at Sunset
In the Painter's Shack at Sunrise
If you ever get to Ventura, California be sure to visit the Serra Cross at Grant Park. This cross has been there since 1941 but it replaced a series of crosses that date back to the beginning of the San Buenaventura Mission in 1782. This highly visible cross served as a road sign for travelers in search of the Mission. The view is incredible from the cross and there is an effort underway to beautify the park.
Serra Cross at Grant Park
This is a view from the landing at Anacapa Island, part of the Channel Islands National Park. Click on the image below to get to the full page featuring a few panos from the island and a few still photos also.
Anacapa Island Landing
The Sky Bridge is in the Red River Gorge Geological Area of Eastern Kentucky. This area contains the highest concentration of natural arches in the Eastern United States. It is also a haven for rock climbers and hikers. Located in Powell County, Ky. There are lots of great places to visit there.
On Top of the Sky Bridge with Graffiti
Under the Sky Bridge Arch
Under the Sky Bridge
Sky Bridge with Graffiti Rock
Chimney Top is a formation in the Red River Gorge, KY. Here it looks like a large rock ship plowing it’s way through the green ocean of the forest. You can see Half Moon Rock off in the distance. If you like interesting rock formations, hiking, rock climbing, etc. this is the place to visit.
The view from Chimney Top
The Natural Bridge is the most visited arch in the area. It is the centerpiece for the Natural Bridge State Park in Kentucky. It is accessible by trail or by a sky-lift. Lots of other great activities in the area for visitors.
Natural Bridge after a passing storm
Natural Bridge during rain storm
Sometimes called the “Niagra” of the South, Cumberland Falls also claims to be the only place in the western hemisphere to be able to see a “moonbow” during every month’s full moon in the mist from the falls. I wasn’t there at the right time to see the moonbow, but a trip to Cumberland Falls is worth it for all the scenic beauty in the area.
Cumberland Falls from the trail to Eagle Falls
Eagle Falls, another beautiful waterfall close to Cumberland Falls
This is a very dramatic arch accompanied by 2 very large rock shelters on 2 levels with the arch in between. Yahoo Falls is the highest waterfall in Kentucky.
Large rock shelter near Yahoo Arch
I just had to get out and try to get a pano or two of the ice covering the tree branches before it all melted off. Mt. Airy Forest, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Crystal Woods of Mt Airy Forest
CC Ski tracks in the snow
Here are some panos from the quaint south eastern Indiana town of Metamora. Also featured are some views of the Duck Creek Aquaduct, perhaps the only functioning aquaduct in the USA. The aquaduct carries the restored canal boat “Ben Franklin” with passengers over the Duck Creek. There are a lot of small shops and galleries here and with several festivals and special events during the year it is a good place to spend a relaxing day or two.
Metamora Main Street
Duck Creek Aquaduct
Inside The Aquaduct
I remember riding in our car across this bridge when I was a child. Time and neglect has taken it’s toll. Now it stands in silent decay as canoeists drift through it’s shadows on the lazy Whitewater River. I have another more recent pano of this bridge here.