Monday, February 23, 2015

Where Our Travels Have Taken Us (through 2014)

By Joann M. Ringelstetter

In 2014, due to the bitterly cold temperatures the first three months of the year, Ruth and I had a slow start to the year as far as our photography is concerned. We also had limited time to photograph during the spring and summer due to some illnesses in our immediate family. So we were surprised when Ruth updated her map of U.S. counties to show the counties we traveled through in 2014 (represented by the color turquoise in the map below).

We’ve also updated our counts of the photographs in our collection and the miles traveled. As of the end of 2014, our collection consists of approximately 30,000 photographs on slides and prints, and 80,000 digital images. And from 1992 through 2014, we have traveled approximately 85,000 miles to capture the heart of rural America. The color purple in the map below represents all of the U.S. counties where we have taken at least one photo.

We hope this inspires you to venture out and enjoy this great land we live in. Oh, and don’t forget to track your travels.

Happy Shunpiking!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Here One Minute, Gone the Next!

By Ruth A. Ringelstetter

In my post about Mary Worthington Macomb, I mentioned that we were still in Chillicothe, Ohio, near lunchtime.

We had a lot of photo opportunities in town, and our last stop was the historic Grandview Cemetery. The cemetery was established around 1841, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

The setting chosen for the cemetery was a hill outside of town. It is a peaceful setting that overlooks the valleys of the Sciota River, Paint Creek, and the city of Chillicothe. It is no longer outside of town, as the town has grown up around it.

As you can imagine, there were a lot of very historic sections of the cemetery, and we were there for hours.

As we neared the highest point in the cemetery, we talked about how late it was getting. Joann said that she would hurry so we could leave Chillicothe and head into the countryside for some more rural stops.

From the highest point, you could indeed look down upon the city of Chillicothe, and Joann said she was going to go take a couple of shots of the city. I said that I would look for the best direction to head and maybe a spot for lunch. She walked towards the edge of the hill, and I started looking at the map and my marked locations.

After quite a few minutes of planning a route and then changing my mind and planning a new one, I looked up and Joann was gone. I thought maybe she was just down the hill a short distance since there was a gravel path near the edge.

If you’re a long-time reader, you might remember our April Fool's Day post about Joann falling into the river and me trying to find her, but this is no joke. She was there at the edge of the hill one minute, and gone the next.

I waited a few more minutes, and when she did not return, I walked to the edge of the hill and looked around. I didn’t see her. I looked down the hill and didn’t see her or her equipment anywhere.

The other thing is, we’re never smart enough to make sure she has her cell phone with her so I can call if she gets lost. Either I call her number and it rings in the car, or I get ready to call and then notice it laying in the console.

I waited a while longer and then decided I’d better go look for her. As I rounded the bend, I saw her down the trail, in her own world, photographing. I stood there with my hands on my hips and a stern look on my face. When she finally looked up and saw me, she grabbed her equipment and headed towards me, apologizing….or rather making excuses about why she had disappeared.

I told her that I thought she had rolled down the hill, and she laughed. She’s easily distracted by details on architecture, and she had noticed some old mausoleums around the corner from where we had parked. She had walked down the trail to check them out...for a long time!

The mausoleums were not being cared for, so the doors were rusty and the wire netting over some of the windows was torn. I would assume either there was no family left in the area, or no family left at all to care for them.

She ended up going back to the mausoleums for more photos, but this time I knew where she had gone. I again spent my time looking at where our route should take us.

Our time in Chillicothe was very well spent. I’m sure there is more in town that we could investigate, and we will probably return some day since Ohio has become a favorite state for photography trips.

If you enjoy visiting old cemeteries and you find yourself near Chillicothe, Ohio, check out this peaceful, historic cemetery.

Happy Shunpiking!