What I See When I Run: Canadian National

One of the great joys of running Lansing’s River Trail is getting to catch a train as it passes over you via one of the rail bridges.  One of my recent runs did not disappoint.

Road Trip: Two Stephen Kellogg Concerts in Two Days

One of my wife’s all-time favorite artists is Stephen Kellogg. Over nearly eight years of being attached, I’ve had the privilege of attending a number of Stephen Kellogg shows, including both of his most recent shows in Michigan. My wife and I pulled a couple of very late nights / early mornings, but we enjoyed some great music along the way.

The first concert was in Ann Arbor. Before the show, we had the opportunity to pay a visit to Kelloggtown and hang with Stephen for a few minutes before the show. Hanging out in the dressing room with the headliner was a new experience for me. Stephen treated us to a couple of songs, a bit of Q-and-A, and photo opportunities.

Stephen Kellogg has an awesome voice, and he was kind enough to share it with us before the show.

Before this selfie, Stephen decided he needed to be wearing his track jacket. Twinning is winning! Also, seriously, I live in that track jacket. You should get one, too.

I didn’t carry my rarely used superzoom Canon Powershot with me to the show in Ann Arbor, and the lighting didn’t really make for good photography with my phone. That’s not intended as disrespect to The Ark; it’s a great venue, and it’s not like we were sitting in the front row. We’re too old for that sort of thing, right?

All the guitars. All of them.

Yup. We were front row center for our second Stephen Kellogg show of the weekend, at Acorn Theater in Three Oaks.

My ears remain grateful to Stephen for not rendering me completely deaf. Thank you, sir. Thank you.

Hailey Steele opened both nights, and she did a very good job both nights. Her music grew on us by the second night, and we picked up a signed copy of one of her CDs. I’m not entirely sure how I’ll upload that to my iPod, as my current computer doesn’t have a CD drive. I guess it’s finally time to invest in that external CD drive — but I digress.

Hailey Steele, preparing to country-rock out.

Stephen Kellogg puts on a great show. He engages well with the audience, he’s witty, he’s an excellent storyteller, and he has an outstanding voice which he uses to belt out amazing songs. If you’re lucky, he’ll even FaceTime his daughters during the concert to get them to teach the audience the dance to the song “Big Easy” that he originally recorded with The Sixers. Here are a few shots from the concert.

All in all, between two concerts and a total of 25 miles run (10 on Saturday, plus 15 on Sunday), it was an exhausting weekend, but it was also a heck of a lot of fun. I’m confident that my 42-year-old self will someday recover from my attempt at being a 24-year-old.

Road Trip: Marquette, 2014

In August 2014, I was part of a quick trip to Marquette, Michigan. It was a quick trip, but it nonetheless took me to several interesting places. Because of the distance involved, the trip north involved a few stops; my favorite was in Clare.

Cops and Doughnuts

Cops and Doughnuts has never disappointed. The baked goods are always excellent, and the staff are always friendly. The shop’s existence is also a great story, with the city’s police officers having bought the bakery when it was at risk of closure. If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth a stop.

Things got historic in the Upper Peninsula. There are so many amazing sites to visit, and I always feel like I missed so much even when I visit a lot of different places. The ore dock in the lower harbor is one of the great landmarks in the entire UP, in my humble opinion.

Lower Harbor Ore Dock, Marquette, Michigan

Engine House #3 at the Cleveland Mine, Ishpeming, Michigan

Michigan Iron Industry Museum, Negaunee Township, Michigan

The Iron Ore Heritage Trail offers some great views. This one is in Negaunee Township, Michigan.

All trips end one way or another. This one ended with Wembley doing Wembley things in my suitcase after I had (mostly) unpacked it.

He’s so very special.

Non-Road Trip: Alabama, 2016

In June, 2016, I traveled down to Alabama to help take care of my mom while she recovered from a knee replacement. Normally, I would have driven to Alabama, but my doctor discouraged that, given that I had surgery scheduled a little more than a month from when the trip started. So, I flew to and from Alabama, making this a non-road trip, even if I did some driving while in Alabama. I still took photos of things during my travels, because that’s just what I do.

When this trip took place, we didn’t have Chick-fil-A restaurants popping up all over Michigan, so this sign was a welcome sight, because I knew waffle fries were in my immediate future.

This is the post office I visited when I was growing up.

This is Phoebe. She allows my sister and brother-in-law to live with her.

She also felt the need to carefully inspect my camera.

The folks who named this place were doing it right.

It was nice to explore a bit of history while awaiting my flight home.

This is Fisherman by Frank Fleming.

My mom sent me home with toys for the cats. Here, Wembley shows his approval.

Photographs: Trains, an Observatory, and Two Cats

As I go through the photos that I want to post and share, I’m randomly selecting photos from the virtual pile, organizing them, posting some to my Flickr account, and then sharing a few here. I’m not going in any particular order; actually, I’m avoiding it by letting a random number generator pick the photos that I work with on a given day. Here are the things that I thought were share-worthy from this batch.

Grand Elk Railroad engine 4002 in White Pigeon, Michigan

Grand Elk Railroad engine 4017, also in White Pigeon

Albion College Astronomical Observatory

Wembley’s feet are huge.

His nose is stinkin’ cute, though. (Also, see what I did there?)

Gobo has so many toys that he ignores. Bottle caps and cardboard, though, get his undivided attention.

That said, Gobo did like this pillow for a little while.

He’s not dead. He’s just sleeping *really* hard … on top of his head.