Boeing 307 Stratoliner

I’m sorry. I couldn’t help myself. I posted a photo of this beautiful Boeing 307 Stratoliner or “Clipper Flying Cloud” almost a year ago. But it was one of my favorite airplanes at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, so I thought a closer inspection was needed so everyone could further enjoy this magnificent bird. 

This airplane really jumpe-started the commercial airline business, allowing more and longer flights, while the passengers enjoyed greater comfort.

Of course, the fact that its polished finish looks like chrome has absolutely no bearing on why I might like it so much. Honestly. 
 

I'm sorry. I couldn't help myself. I posted a photo of this beautiful Boeing 307 Stratoliner or Clipper Flying Cloud almost a year ago. But it was one of my favorite airplanes at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, so I thought a closer inspection was needed so everyone could further enjoy this magnificent bird. This airplane really jumpe-started the commercial airline business, allowing more and longer flights, while the passengers enjoyed greater comfort. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

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Another View From Above

I love mountains. I always have. But life circumstances planted me in the midst of flatland along the Gulf Coast. Even many of our vacations have steered us away from the high country, missing the higher altitudes and views that accompany it. I’m going to have to do something about that in the future.

My most recent trip to the mountains was to Virginia almost two years ago. This is another one of the great views along Skyline Drive during that same trip. 
 

My most recent trip to the mountains were those of Virginia almost two years ago now. This is another one of the great views along Skyline Drive during that same trip. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography 

 

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Go to the Light…

Cruising around the Houston area, there isn’t much of an opportunity to experience driving through tunnels. About the closest thing we get here is driving under an overpass or bridge. But move up north to the mountains and your odds go up considerably. There is something child-like and mysterious when you dive into the darkness of a tunnel, then see the light at the other end. Though I really do think they are cool, I do breathe a slight sigh of relief when I emerge into the light.

This tunnel was an unexpected surprise as we were driving down Skyline Drive in Virginia. I’ll admit it, I was driving and shooting at the same time. At least I wasn’t texting.
 

Cruising around the Houston area, there isn't much of an opportunity to experience driving through tunnels. About the closest thing we get here is driving under an overpass or bridge. But move up north to the mountains and your odds go up considerably. There is something child-like and mysterious when you dive into the darkness of a tunnel, then see the light at the other end. Though I really do think they are cool, I do breathe a slight sigh of relief when I emerge into the light. This tunnel was an unexpected surprise as we were driving down Skyline Drive in Virginia. I'll admit it, I was driving and shooting at the same time. At least I wasn't texting. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

 

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Mountain Flowers

None of my family or relatives, as far as I can remember, have been the type to spend a lot of time in the flowerbed. Oh sure, you’ll find a row of bushes or some  flowers here and there, but not a really sculptured garden like you’d see in a magazine. But that’s okay, because sometimes it just takes a little bit of color in just the right place to make everything else that much prettier.

Like the Blue Ridge Mountains need any help to look any prettier, this small flowerbed does make a nice foreground looking out from my aunt’s backyard. 
  

Like the Blue Ridge Mountains need any help to look any prettier, this small flowerbed does make a nice foreground looking out from my aunt's backyard.  PH=hoto by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

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Montpelier, Home of the Madisons

As a child, our family vacations consisted of returning to Virginia every summer to visit relatives. Most of my Dad’s side of the family was from Orange, Virginia. I remember very well the highway we would travel to and from my cousin’s house. Little did I know that we past right by the land owned by President James Madison, fourth President of the United States and his wife, Dolly Madison.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation acquired the property known as Montpelier in 1984 and carried out a major restoration from 2003-2008. Much of the work was to return the mansion to its original size of 22 rooms during the years when it was occupied by James and Dolley Madison. They have done a remarkable job and it is well worth a tour if you find yourself in the area. 
  

The National Trust for Historic Preservation acquired the property known as Montpelier in 1984 and carried out a major restoration from 2003-2008. Much of the work was to return the mansion to its original size of 22 rooms during the years when it was occupied by James and Dolley Madison. They have done a remarkable job and it is well worth a tour if you find yourself in the area. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

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Bede BD-5B

The BD-5 is a small, single-seat, homebuilt “kit” aircraft by the now-defunct Bede Aircraft Corporation in the early 1970s. It has a small, streamlined fuselage holding its semi-reclined pilot under a large canopy, with the mid-engine and propeller mounted immediately to the rear of the cockpit. The BD-5 sold over 5,000 kits or plans.

Only a few hundred BD-5 kits were completed and many of these are still being flown today. There was even a version with a jet engine, like the BD-5J from the James Bond movie Octopuss, now on display in the Pima Air and Space Museum in Arizona.

I remember seeing these in magazines as a kid, so it was a treat to view this one sitting under the wing of the Boeing 307 Stratoliner. Both aircraft can be found at the Boeing Aviation Hanger at the Udvar-Hazy Center, part of the National Air and Space Museum.
  

The BD-5 is a small, single-seat, homebuilt kit aircraft by the now-defunct Bede Aircraft Corporation in the early 1970s. It has a small, streamlined fuselage holding its semi-reclined pilot under a large canopy, with the mid-engine and propeller mounted immediately to the rear of the cockpit. The BD-5 sold over 5,000 kits or plans. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.

 

Arlington National Cemetery

Observed annually on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day is a day to remember the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it started after the Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. It now extends to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. 

Last year my family had the opportunity to visit Arlington National Cemetery, just outside of Washington D.C. It is a sobering experience to see such a graphic representation of how many men and women have sacrificed, so that we may enjoy the freedoms we have. 
  

Arlington National Cemetery is a graphic representation of how many men and women have sacrificed, so that we may enjoy the freedoms we have. Photo by Tim Stanley Photography.