Sunday, September 24, 2017

Hill & Valley Antique Auto Show

By Joann M. Ringelstetter

Photos in this blog post can be purchased as wall art, paper prints, downloads, phone cases, and keepsakes. Just click on the desired photo and look for the blue “BUY” button.

On September 17, 2016, I finally found the time to attend the Annual Hill and Valley Antique Auto & Americana Show in Cross Plains, Wisconsin, which was in its 33rd year. The day was quite warm and sunny, so the lighting was harsh as soon as the sun came up.


The antique cars and trucks were parked across the grass of the ball field at Baer Park, so photo backgrounds were cluttered. But there were a few vehicles parked outside the ball field, like this beautiful blue 1945 Chevy BT Pickup Truck.


Around 9:30, car owners began to line up their vintage cars in preparation for the Hill & Valley Auto Tour, a 22-mile, one hour drive through the hills and valleys outside Cross Plains. I was still down on the ball field looking at a 1931 Ford Model A Coupe, owned by a man named Rives. He told me that he needed to move his car into the line-up and then he offered to let me ride along in the rumble seat of his car.

That sounded like it would be fun, but I had driven the route earlier that morning and had selected a great spot to photograph all the old cars as they passed by. So I thanked him for the offer and told him to watch for me out on the road.


In the line-up was a 1929 Ford Model A Tudor Sheriff's Car. I had a nice chat with the owners of this car.


Also in the line-up was a 1930 Ford Model A used in the filming of the 2009 Movie "Public Enemies,” starring Johnny Depp as Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger.


I quickly snapped a few photos of the line-up of old cars and then hurried to my car so I could drive out into the countryside and position myself to capture photos of all the cars as they enjoyed their Hill & Valley Tour.


The drivers and riders all seemed to be having a great time, with smiles on their faces as they motored along.


Some of the cars, like this 1919 Ford Model T, were roadsters with the top down, and the people smiled and waved as they drove past me.


Last weekend, I attended the Hill & Valley Antique Auto Show for the second time. Once again, it was a warm and very sunny day.


This year, I wasn’t able to get out in the countryside to photograph the cars on the Hill & Valley Auto Tour, but I did capture some nice shots as they lined up and took off on their drive.


The Hill & Valley Antique Auto & Americana Show takes place every year in mid-September in Cross Plains, Wisconsin. If you get a chance, it’s a fun way to spend the day. And, who knows, maybe someone will offer you a ride in their rumble seat!


Photos in this blog post can be purchased as wall art, paper prints, downloads, phone cases, and keepsakes by clicking on the photo. You will be taken to the gallery website where you will see a big blue "BUY" button. Or to see all photos available, click on the "Browse Galleries" button on the menu at the top of this page. Thank you for your interest!

Happy Shunpiking!
Joann

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunny Slopes of the Backroads

By Ruth A. Ringelstetter

Photos in this blog post can be purchased as wall art, paper prints, downloads, phone cases, and keepsakes. Just click on the desired photo and look for the blue “BUY” button.

There is so much to see when we are out on the backroads. I can research cities and towns pretty easily, and sometimes I can find locations of backroad sites, but one of our favorite things is stumbling on the creativity of people living on the backroads we travel.


In the fall of 2006, we were driving around in Richland County, Wisconsin. In those days, we had an old style Wisconsin gazetteer. It was a great map, but it didn’t have any overlap on the pages. Oftentimes, when we crossed to another page, I was lost for several minutes or more because roads seemed to be missing or didn’t line up. But on this day, I took a chance and navigated us to a section of the county right on the edge of a page.


And what a stroke of luck that was! We came upon this mural on the side of a garage. The mural was made up of a series of pine trees on hillsides. The background was a beautiful sunrise/sunset scene.


But now look at how creative this mural really is! This series of pine trees on hillsides makes up the words “sunny slopes.”


We were amazed! From farther away, it was plain to see the words and harder to see what the letters were made up of, but the closer we got, the more the lines of pine trees became apparent, and the less easy it was to make out the words. We had to turn around and drive back so we could show just how creative this artist was!


It didn’t seem to be related to any business, just a country person expressing their creativity. And we sure appreciate it! We hope when you travel the backroads, you have your eyes open for these kinds of creative displays.

Photos in this blog post can be purchased as wall art, paper prints, downloads, phone cases, and keepsakes by clicking on the photo. You will be taken to the gallery website where you will see a big blue "BUY" button. Or to see all photos available, click on the "Browse Galleries" button on the menu at the top of this page. Thank you for your interest!

Happy Shunpiking!

Ruth

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Natural Dam, Arkansas

By Ruth A. Ringelstetter

Photos in this blog post can be purchased as wall art, paper prints, downloads, phone cases, and keepsakes. Just click on the desired photo and look for the blue “BUY” button.

It’s hard to believe next year will be 10 years since our first trip to the Ozarks. We went in the spring of 2008, and we’re just beginning plans to return.

On that first trip, we were going to visit Natural Dam Falls. It is just past the town of Natural Dam, but as is often the case, I missed the turn. The original Delorme Gazetteer for Arkansas wasn’t very detailed. A lot of roads were shown without names and the maps were very compact. Since I had missed the road that would have taken us to the falls, we had to find a place to turn around.


Before we left on this trip, as we often do when going to a new state, we picked a few goal birds and animals. I had picked elk ( “A Kodak Moment” ), armadillo ( “I Think We're Being Followed” ), and Greater Roadrunner, and since I told Joann that Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were more common in Arkansas than Wisconsin, Joann picked that as her goal bird. Joann had already seen armadillos and roadrunners in Texas but on my only visit to Texas, since I was only on the coast, I hadn’t seen either of those.

The first place we found to turn around was a small dead-end road, and as Joann turned onto it, there was a flash of bird wings as a bird flew up from and back down onto the pasture fence a little ways down the road. We could see it had a long tail, and I grabbed my binoculars which always sit in the corner of the dash. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher from Joann’s goal list! She grabbed her binoculars, and we both sat in awe watching it for a while.


Then Joann quietly got out of the car to get her camera. The bird scared up, but returned to the fence, allowing Joann to get a couple of pictures of it.


And then we noticed a bonus from the universe. Out in the pasture with the cattle was a flock of Cattle Egrets. This bird can occasionally be seen in Wisconsin, but was less common in 2008 than it is today. This year, for instance, there are two flocks hanging around in Brown County, Wisconsin.


When you see one of these birds, you usually see more, and they are often seen around cattle, thus their name. Sometimes you even find them on the backs of the cattle eating insects off of them. Unlike other herons that you find around water, these are normally found in fields and dry areas stalking insects.


Once we had our fill of the birds, we got back in the car and drove back up the highway to the turn for Natural Dam. It was plainly marked with a sign on the highway, at least when driving north.


Natural Dam is exactly as its name implies; a natural dam that spans the entire width of Mountain Fork Creek. It isn’t very tall, but it is still impressive. Plus, it is extremely accessible, and can even be viewed from your car. It sits next to a National Forest picnic area.


It was late afternoon when we visited, so we just enjoyed the sight and the sound of the falls while Joann took her photographs.


Later in the trip, we even managed to see a Roadrunner. It was on our way into the mountains, so we figured the Greater Roadrunner would have to wait until another trip. But then, as we cruised down the road, one ran across the road. Joann quickly pulled over and jumped out. She managed to get one photo before it flew down into a pasture and ran off. (They can run 20 miles per hour, so one shot was good!)


If you ever happen to be in the Van Buren area of Arkansas, look up Natural Dam. It’s extremely easy to find and visit, and if you like nature, waterfalls are some of the most relaxing places to visit.


Be warned though, once the weather is warm, most easily accessible waterfalls will be filled with people swimming, wading, and sunbathing on the rocks.

Photos in this blog post can be purchased as wall art, paper prints, downloads, phone cases, and keepsakes by clicking on the photo. You will be taken to the gallery website where you will see a big blue "BUY" button. Or to see all photos available, click on the "Browse Galleries" button on the menu at the top of this page. Thank you for your interest!

Happy Shunpiking!

Ruth