The days of the Martin Mars flying boats are probably done. Coulson had been flying them on firefighting duties but they have been superseded by more modern and cost efficient types. One of the airframes had been painted up in US Navy colors as what was supposed to be a move to a museum but that plan fell through. The two airframes are now sitting on the ramp at Sproat Lake and are showing no sign of moving.
The drive to Tofino takes you right past the Coulson facility so I stopped off on the way over. They don’t take visitors anymore so I just took a look through the fence. On the way over, I was really looking in to the sun so getting a shot was tricky. On our way back a few days later, we had made progress compared to schedule and the light was on the better side so I stopped off briefly to get a couple of more shots. I wonder what the future holds for these planes?
The Cars and Coffee meet in a previous post came with a whole bunch of Aston Martins. Obviously, there are a few people in our neck of the woods who like their Astons and I was happy to see what they had brought along. There were lots of late model cars looking particularly lovely on a sunny morning. The two lines of cars were great to see. It was hard to get a wide shot of them though. Plenty of people were all around them at any one time.
There were a couple of interesting old Astons too. One was a DB5 that appeared to be in spectacular condition. The owner was close by and chatting with anyone who stopped by. The one I was most taken by was an old Vantage. It turned out to be the car driven by George Lazenby in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. A far later model of the Vantage showed up in a Timothy Dalton Bond movie which shows how long the basic design lasted. Seeing this earlier version with an interesting pedigree was great.
The next few posts will all be related. My nephew, Chris, was staying with us recently and, while he was here, I needed to travel to Washington DC for a meeting. Since Chris had never seen Washington and my meeting would not take up the whole day, I took him along so he could see a bit more of what the country has to offer a visitor. It was only one day but Washington is nice and compact when you are looking at some of the more obvious tourist attractions provided you are ready to walk.
It was an early start and a long day out but we covered a lot of things. Today I shall start with one that was new to me as well. The Dr Martin Luther King Jr memorial is a relatively new addition to the collection of monuments around the Mall area in Washington. I had heard about it and was interested to see how it looked. I was not alone as there were plenty of people walking across to find it.
A number of features were of interest to me. There is a quote from Dr King on one of the stones which says “Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” I am not familiar with the full quote and its context but the entrance to the memorial is a large rock from which a central section has been extracted. This section is placed further into the memorial and it is on this section that his likeness is sculpted. As I saw the relationship between the two parts, I was quite taken with it.
I know the memorial has not be universally well received but I liked this entrance feature combining with the sculpture, the wall of quotations and the general feel down by the tidal basin. I imagine that it will be a popular place in years to come. The Vietnam Memorial was controversial when it was created and it is now considered iconic so we shall see how time judges this memorial too.
I have been running through a bunch of older pictures while trying to clear out a bit of space on the hard drives. I came across some shots of the USAF Thunderbirds from a few years ago when they were performing here in Chicago for the Air and Water Show. Friday before the show is a day when they carry out a nearly full practice for the show. This is a day that I am often going to be down there as there are less people and, for some reason, the weather often seems better.
What I had completely forgotten was that, during the Friday practice that year, the Thunderbirds were undertaking some photography work of their own. Aside from the six display aircraft, a seventh F-16 was taking part. it was flying along and around the formations photographing them at various points in the display. I have a bunch of shots of the formations being shadowed by this aircraft.
There is nothing much else to say about this but I found it interesting so thought I would put up a small gallery of some of these formations. Enjoy hopefully…