Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Holly Miller, Jacque Kelly
Date: 2013, 2014, 2015
This 100-foot-tall white sandstone obelisk completed in 1960 was America’s first National Historic Landmark. The monument honors Sgt. Charles Floyd, a member & quartermaster of the Lewis & Clark Expedition who died at age 22 on the upstream voyage in 1804. He was buried here. The expedition explored the Louisiana Purchase. The monument overlooks the Missouri River valley on a bluff. Just north along the river and interstate is the Sgt. Floyd River Museum. The drydocked 138-foot-long riverboat was built in 1932 and also serves as a welcome center. Son Matt was a pre-season football NAIA All-American Team selection who played defensive end at nearby Briar Cliff University. In-between cancer treatments, we attended his home college football games at the Dakota Dome in Vermillion, South Dakota. We often stopped by the Sioux City obelisk and museum.
Fenway Park is home to the Boston Red Socks professional baseball team. Opening in April 1912, it is the oldest stadium and the most famous in Major League Baseball. I attended a game there with a half dozen Moraine co-workers between Boston and the Tampa Bay Rays which the Red Sox won 7 to 3. I was really excited to see the infamous Green Monster, the nickname of the high left field wall. The high wall prevents home runs on many line drives that would clear the walls of other ballparks. Down in the bowels of the stadium beneath the seating, I went to get a sandwich and drink. The interior looked so nostalgic, historic and old, reminding me of what a ballpark would have looked like in 1938 and 1939 when my father played pro baseball. Outside the ballpark for a block or two, auto traffic was totally restricted so that fans could walk out and safely hog the streets to visit the many neighborhood bars and restaurants for aftergame dining and partying.
At over one million acres, this is the largest national grassland in the USA. Located in western North Dakota, it is a mixed grass prairie with both long and short grass along with beautiful badlands, rugged terrain eroded by water and wind. The Little Missouri River meanders through a part of the grassland.
Completed in 1922 to honor our 16th President Abe Lincoln, I viewed the monument in the evening on the night that President Richard Nixon resigned. The national news media and crowds were focused over at the White House, so a friend and I had the Monument all to us. We sat on this quiet summer night to observe the carving of Abe sitting in his majestic chair all lit up by spotlights. My photo disappeared over time, so I thank my son-in-law Justin for recently taking this photo for me.
Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Jacque Kelly
Date: February 18, 2023
This cemetery is the 2nd largest cemetery in the United States and the most beautiful cemetery and arboretum. Established in 1845, the cemetery has 44 miles of winding roads and 733 acres with over 220,000 people interred there. The landscaping, architecture, history and 15 lakes are beautiful. Spring Grove is considered one of the magnificent examples of landscape design in the country. It is one of only five cemeteries in the USA that is designated a National Historical Landmark. It has many State & National Champion Trees. Famous Cincinnati families such as Taft, Proctor, Gamble, Kroger and Civil War officers are just a few of the famous people buried here. We spent several hours driving through the huge cemetery took photos of unique tombstones, Jacque by a Johnny Appleseed statue, a tombstone for Mr. Coffin, controversial tombstones of SpongeBob Square Pants and a tomb that looked like the Egyptian Sphinx.
In the Charleston Navy Yard, a suburb of Boston, I visited the world’s oldest commissioned warship still afloat. It was constructed in Boston in 1797. The three masted wooden-hulled heavy frigate ship is called “Old Ironsides”. It is nicknamed “Old Ironsides” because the USS Constitutions crew defeated four British ships in three battles during the War of 1812 and it appeared as if no enemy cannonballs could penetrate the ships strong oak hull. Navy crew members gave me a tour of the ship on deck and below deck. I enjoyed the interactive exhibits in the park museum and also toured the haunted Navy Fletcher Class Destroyer, the D793 USS Cassin Young which was built in 1943.
This memorial and museum in lower Manhattan commemorate the September 11, 2001, attacks which destroyed both Twin Towers killing 2,977 people and also commemorates the 1993 World Trade Center bombing which killed six people. Construction started in March 2006 at ground zero of the World Trade Center site. I visited in 2009 (Photo #1) as work was still going on. Workers were building the world trade center south and north tower pools (set within the original footprints of the twin towers), each would have a 30-foot waterfall. A pear tree that survived the destruction is named “the survivor tree”. The museum has over 60,000 artifacts and historical records. Photo #2 shows the twin towers taken from the Statue of Liberty in 1990 as I was filmed a Moraine TV show segment there. Photo#3 sadly shows what was left of the towers after the terrorist attack. The Memorial & Museum site was completed and opened to the public in May 2014.
Date: November 1, 1986, November 1990, May 6, 2009
The first visit to the Statue was the day before Rosie and I ran the 1986 New York Marathon. We went sightseeing in lower Manhattan. At Battery Park on the southern tip of Manhattan, we saw this circular sandstone fort built from 1808 to 1811. It was America’s first immigration station, and eventually turned into an aquarian, exhibition hall, theater and now houses the ticket office for the Statue of Liberty. The Castle is just west of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Next to the Castle, after purchasing tickets, we hopped on a Statue of Liberty Ferry. The last visit to the Castle was when I was with a group of seven City of Moraine co-workers and friends to catch a baseball game at Yankee Stadium and also at the New York Mets stadium. Our group randomly toured lower Manhattan. The Moraine gang did not go into the castle but sat outside on a bench resting (photo #2) and snacking as we enjoyed the view looking south at Ellis Island and Liberty Island.
Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Scott Golden, Tim Clark
Date: November 1, 1986, November 1990
Rosie and I first visited this National Historic Landmark two days before we ran the 1986 New York Marathon. The Empire State Building is also listed as one of “The Seven Wonders of the Modern World”. The 1,452 foot tall, 102 story building was completed in 1931 and is featured in over 250 films and TV series since the movie King Kong in 1933. The ESB was the world’s tallest building until the first tower of the World Trade Center was completed in 1970. The ESB is so big it has its own zip code.
We entered the lobby and immediately were impressed with the Art Deco architecture. Since I was in 7th grade, I have read 210 Doc Savage pulp adventures novels and this 1930s and 1940’s fictitious globetrotting crime fighter allegedly had his headquarters and laboratory in the top floor of this building. So, it was cool imagining a gunfight against gangsters here in the lobby, outside on the street and a dirigible attached to the top of the building. We rode one of the 73 elevators up to the 80th floor. Then got on another elevator to go up to the 86th floor outside observation deck. We had incredible views of Manhattan, the East River & Hudson River, all the boroughs of New York City and west into New Jersey.
The second photo is my ticket receipt to the observation deck. Photo’s 3 & 4 came from my VHS movie camera and are a little blue in color. The third photo shows the curved bars to keep skydivers from parachuting off the deck. In 1990, Tim, Scott and I visited the ESB since we were in town for an Old-Time Radio Convention.
Opened in May 1883, the bridge crosses the East River and once was the World’s Largest Suspension Bridge in the World and the first to use steel for its cable wire. Rosie and I ran across the 1,600-foot main span of the bridge during the 1986 New York Marathon. The view crossing it from Brooklyn to Manhattan is incredible. You can even see the Statue of Liberty to the south. The bridge is named one of the 7 Wonders of the Industrial World.