High Point State Park

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View of the High Point monument from Lake Marcia 4/17/2015

Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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On the beach in June 2005

High Point State Park is in the Northwest corner of New Jersey in Sussex County. In the midst of the Kittatinny Mountains, the highest point in the state of New Jersey is there.

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12/27/2014

The most distinctive feature of the park is the monument marking the high point at over 1800 feet in elevation. It is an obelisk, like the Washington Monument, and was built to honor war veterans in 1930.

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4/29/2017

The land and monument were donated to the state by the Kusers. Anthony Kuser (1862-1929) was a New Jersey businessman with a rarely used summer home in Sussex County. He donated the property and funded the construction of the monument in 1923.

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Mansion ruins 12/27/2014

For years, I lived minutes from the main entrance and we spent many summer days playing on the sand beach of spring-fed Lake Marcia. Afterwards, we would often drive up to the monument for views of the Delaware River and the Tri-state (NY, PA, & NJ) area.

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At the monument 6/5/2005

I have been back in the off-season several times since moving away. It is a peaceful place to visit once the summer crowds have gone.

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Steenykill 4/29/2017

The Steenykill Lake and boat launch are right off Route 23 on a dirt road. The view of the monument over the lake is great in the fall when the leaves turn color.

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Steenykill 10/21/2004

Sawmill Lake is in the quieter section of the park, with a campground on one side. There is a dam at one end, resulting in a waterfall.

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Sawmill 12/27/2014

Location: 1480 NJ-23, Sussex, NJ 07461

Designation: State Park

Date designation declared: 1923

Date of my visit: 12/27/2014

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Sawmill 4/29/2017
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View of the Delaware from the monument in December 2014

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie in Ohio is the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the US side of the Great Lakes. Built in 1822 as a navigational aid on the Marblehead Peninsula, it is still in use today.  It had 15 lighthouse keepers from the 1820s until the signal was automated in 1958.

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Map from Google

We were visiting friends who had a home in Marblehead. They took us out on the lake in their boat so we could see this famous landmark from the water. We could also see the amusement park across the bay in Cedar Point. Visitors can take tours of the lighthouse in the summer.

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Location: 110 Lighthouse Dr, Marblehead, OH 43440

Designation: State Park, NRHP

Date established/designated: NRHP 1969

Date of my visit: 7/26/2008

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Zion National Park: Kolob Canyon 5-Mile Drive

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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We began our exploration of Zion National Park in the quieter Kolob Canyon section. Kolob Canyon is accessed by a separate entrance in the Northwestern corner of the park.

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We first stopped at the visitors center for our park pass and perused the gift shop. Then we started our climb up the five-mile scenic drive. This is the only paved road on this side of the park and it does not connect with the main section in the south.

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There were few cars on the drive so we were able to drive slowly and enjoy the scenery. We pulled over at several stops along the way to get out and take pictures of the 2000-foot cliff walls lining the canyon.

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After about a half mile, the drive culminates at the Kolob Canyon Viewpoint which is also the trail head for the Timber Creek Overlook Trail.

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Zion Park Posts:

  • Kolob Canyon Section
  • Zion National Park
  • Kolob Canyon 5-mile Drive
  • Timber Creek Overlook Trail (Coming Soon)
  • Emerald Pools (Coming Soon)
  • Canyoneering (Coming Soon)
  • Hidden Canyon (Coming Soon)
  • Scout Lookout (Coming Soon)
  • Angel’s Landing (Coming Soon)
  • Pa’Rus Trail (Coming Soon)

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Location: 3752 E Kolob Canyon Rd, New Harmony, UT

Designation: National Park

Date designated/established: 11/19/1919

Date of my visit: April 9, 2017

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Chicago Botanic Garden

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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The Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385-acre public garden and living plant museum in a suburb of Chicago. It is laid out across nine islands in the Cook County Forest Preserve.

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It is one of only 17 public gardens in the USA to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums due to its extensive horticultural library and its research laboratories. It has the largest membership of any US Public Garden with over 50,000 members.

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The Chicago Horticultural Society manages the garden, though it is on land owned by the forest preserve. The Society, which was founded in 1890, adopted the mission to create a public garden in 1962. It took ten years to realize this goal.

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My daughter and I flew into Chicago for Memorial Day weekend a few years ago. Upon landing, we picked up her friend and went right to the garden where we waited in a pretty long line to pay the entry fee. Once inside the gates, we had a surprisingly good lunch in the visitors center cafe and mapped out our plan.

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There are 27 distinct gardens in four natural habitats and with only half a day we couldn’t really see everything. It was early in the season and blooms were just beginning to emerge.

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There was tram tour, but we decided to just walk around the loop and enjoy the scenery.

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Location: 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe, IL 60022

Designation: Public Garden

Date designated or established: 1972

Date of my visit: 5/23/2015

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The Carillon Bell Tower is a stand-out feature in the park. Constructed in 1986 with bells made in Holland, its summer concerts are a major attraction for the garden.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park: Phonograph Ranger Demo

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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Every year, usually the first Saturday in June, the town of West Orange holds a street fair in conjunction with Edison National Historic Park to celebrate Edison Day. This is usually a fee-free day, with lots of demonstrations and talks given by volunteers and rangers.

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I went up to the 3rd floor of the laboratory complex for a scheduled ranger talk. In the recording studio at the end of the hall the ranger talked about Edison’s invention of the phonograph.

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Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in his Menlo Park laboratory in 1877. The prototype used a tinfoil covered cylinder with needles etching the vibrations into the foil.
Edison recited ‘Mary had a little lamb’ into his prototype. When he played back his words all present were astounded. The invention worked!

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Under pressure from investors to get back to inventing the light bulb, Edison had to put his work on the phonograph aside. When it seemed that someone else was close to developing a marketable phonograph, Edison started working on it again.

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He improved the cylinder from tinfoil to wax and then to an animal based material that was the precursor to plastic. Once on the market, Edison had to produce recorded cylinders for people to purchase. Artists came to the recording studio to produce cylinders.

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However, Edison’s competitors moved from the cylinder to the record. Records could be more easily mass-produced and were less expensive. Eventually, Edison was forced out of the phonograph business.

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After passing around some photos the ranger played a cylinder on Edison’s phonograph as a demonstration. Scroll down to the bottom to see the video.

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Another of Edison’s many inventions

Edison NHP Posts:

Location: 211 Main St, West Orange, NJ 07052

Designation: National Historical Park

Date designation declared: 3/30/2009

Date of my visit: 8/18/2018

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Telegraph Machine

Green World Coffee Farm

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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Hawaii is the only state in the USA where coffee is grown because the plants thrive in Hawaii’s rich volcanic soil and tropical climate. Many tours of the islands will include a stop at a coffee plantation.

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On our North Shore tour of Oahu with Hoku Tours, we made a brief stop at Green World Coffee Farm. We are not really coffee drinkers, but we enjoyed walking through the garden to see the coffee plants and all the wild chickens that followed us around looking for a snack.

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We had a quick explanation of the harvesting and roasting process…Green World is a small farm with a coffee bar. They roast the beans on the premises daily and offer free samples of various coffees.

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Oahu Posts:

  • Kahanamoku Beach
  • Fort DeRussy Beach Park
  • Green World Coffee Farm
  • The Dole Plantation (coming soon)
  • Anahulu River (coming soon)
  • Waimea Falls (coming soon)
  • Hau’ula Beach Park (coming soon)
  • Tropical Macadamia Farm (coming soon)
  • Byodo-In Temple (coming soon)
  • Polynesian Cultural Center (coming soon)
  • Aloha Tower (coming soon)
  • Diamond Head (coming soon)
  • Iolani Palace (coming soon)
  • King Kamehameha Statue (coming soon)
  • Aliʻiōlani Hale (coming soon)
  • Pearl Harbor (coming soon)

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Location: 71-101 Kamehameha Hwy, Wahiawa, HI 96786

Designation: Farm

Date established/designated: circa 1904

Date of my visit: April 11, 2019

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Grand Canyon National Park: Desert View

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Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.

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Desert View is 25 miles east of Grand Canyon village. The park’s shuttle system does not extend this far, so you will need a car to visit this section. We were on the lackluster van tour I mentioned in my Yavapai post, so having a ride to Desert View was one of the few highlights of that tour.

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The main attraction, aside from the Grand Canyon views, is the stone Desert View Watchtower designed by Mary Colter in 1932. This building, like the other Colter buildings in Grand Canyon National Park, is a National Historic Landmark and was designed to blend into its surroundings.

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It is a replica of an ancient Puebloan Watchtower, with 85 steps leading to an observation platform at the top. The walls are adorned with murals painted by a Hopi artist.

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To see my other posts on the Grand Canyon, please click the following links:

Location: Arizona

Designation: National Park

Date designation declared: 1/11/1908

Date of my visit: 8/20/2014

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View of Cedar Mountain Mesa from the Watchtower