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Category: travel (Page 1 of 6)

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Traveling In The Future Tense

Street Xylophone

I still don’t think much of January 1 as a starting point for a new calendar. But that doesn’t matter since, whenever the dividing line occurs, it provides a good excuse to pause, reflect on the recent past, and plan for the near future.

Although I don’t do the reflection thing very well, I’m pretty good at looking forward. Especially during the physical isolation of this pandemic, as we all dream of returning to some version of a “normal” existence.

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Photo Post – Fort Washington

Travel, of course, has been very limited over the past year, so I’ve been making short trips to interesting local sites never visited to photograph. In October, we discovered Fort Washington National Park in Maryland south of the District, a beautiful place for a fall photowalk.

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Photo Post – The Mill

Last month I broke quarantine for a day to go on a socially-distant, masked, small-group photoshoot in a 19th century woolen mill in southern Pennsylvania. While the building appears to be from the latter part of that century, the equipment in place looks to be more recent, maybe from the 1930’s and 40’s.

Here are a few images from my day and more are in this gallery.

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Going Nowhere

houseboat in Amsterdam

If today was anything resembling the normal we used to have, I would be heading to Dulles Airport right now to board a plane to The Netherlands. This was supposed to be the start of a ten-day photo trip that a friend and I planned six months ago.

Obviously that didn’t work out the way we wanted and, probably like you, the only travel I’ll be doing in the near term is regular walks around the neighborhood and occasional, very cautious, visits to the grocery store. Plus lots of virtual trips and thoughts of future adventures at a time when the world is more welcoming.

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Photo Post – Tangier Island

Tangier is an interesting little corner of Virginia. It was first visited by English explorers, including John Smith, in the early 1600s and has had a permanent settlement since the 1770’s.

Recently, the island has become a symbol both for the effects of climate change,1 as well as for those who stubbornly cling to climate change denialism.2 Tangier has lost nearly 67% of it’s land mass since 1850 and is expected to become uninhabitable within the next 50 years due to rising sea levels.

This past July, I spent a few hours3 in this unique environment, with the chance to make some interesting photos. Ironically, we were supposed to visit in May but had to cancel due to a storm that brought heavy rains, high winds, and flooding.

Crabber

Most of Tangier’s economy depends on fishing and especially soft-shell crabs. Although this summer was a pretty good season, their catch is being negatively impacted by climate change.

Abandoned House 2

Many beautiful homes on Tangier, some of which date to the colonial era, have been abandoned due both to the rise in the water level and as more younger people move away to find greater opportunities.

Canal

Large parts of the island are marsh land and that area is growing. I’ve read different estimates of when the island will become uninhabitable but none are very far off.

Sea Wall

This sea wall was built to protect the island’s airport from rising waters. It will be very expensive, and ultimately useless, to construct similar defenses for the rest of the island. But that’s exactly what many local residents expect to happen, based on promises from the current president.4

More photos from my visit to Tangier can be seen in this gallery.


1. An article and video in the Atlantic calls the residents “Among the First Climate Refugees in the U.S.”.

2. In a long excerpt from a book about Tangier and its residents, Politico calls it “The Doomed Island That Loves Trump”.

3. The ferry from Reedville, VA leaves at 10am and normally departs Tangier at 2pm sharp. Our return trip that day was delayed to 2:30. Still not a long time but enough to marvel at the environment.

4. Something like 87% of the residents voted for him.

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