Michigan: Fort Michilimackinac

Photography by Gary Wonning

Enjoy more photos from my collection by clicking on the photographs below!


Fort Michilimackinac was an 18th-century French, and later British trading post and fort located at the Straits of Mackinac in northern MIchigan. 

Michilimackinac State Park

Built around 1715, and abandoned in 1783, it was located along the Straits, which connect Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Later, Mackinaw City grew up around the fort. 

Time for lunch

 

The fort provided much needed protection for the French and later British fur traders, and also protected the waterways from invasions from the natives living in the area at the time. 

 

Because of their isolation from the outside world, the soldiers ahd to be self sufficient by raising as much of their food as possible.

 

It was a self sustaining community, providing all the necessities of life, a blacksmith shop, chapel, infirmary, and all that was needed by the inhabitants. 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

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Key West Florida: A World of it’s Own

photo of Siesta Key beach

A photo story of the sunshine state, Florida

Photography by Gary Wonning

For more beautiful photos of Florida, please click on the photos below.

Aside from the beauty of the Florida Keys, they have a unique history. Many have forgotten they actually tried to seceded form the union in the 80s. 

Back in the early ’80s, the U.S. Border Patrol set up shop at the top of Highway 1, roadblocking all traffic leaving the Keys and checking cars for illegal drugs and immigrants. This negatively impacted tourism to the area and locals felt it cast an ugly shadow on the free-spirited islands. They demanded this roadblock be removed, and when it wasn’t, they took matters into their own hands. Then-mayor Dennis Wardlow declared war on the U.S. by throwing up a Conch Republic flag in Key West’s Mallory Square and hitting a local Navy officer over the head with a loaf of stale Cuban bread. But within one minute of the tongue-in-cheek bread beating, he surrendered and demanded one billion dollars in foreign aid. While they never received the aid, the roadblocks were soon removed. Each year, Key West still celebrates the anniversary of the Conch Republic independence. What’s more, the Conch Republic adopted the motto, “We seceded where others failed.” 

 

Secession plaque

As you can imagine, the Keys are an important port city. However, you may not know that they used their southernmost positioning differently during the Civil War. Unlike other southern U.S. states, including Florida, Key West rebelled against the Confederacy and remained part of the Union. In fact, it was the only southern city to remain in Union hands during the Civil War. The heavy number of Union supporters at the military base of Fort Zachary Taylor were enough to extinguish any naysayers, and eventually, they held celebrations for the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Fort East Malatto

Robert Eugene Otto – or Gene, as his family called him – was just a young boy in the early 1900s when his family’s maid gave him a strange, straw-filled doll to play with. Gene loved his life-sized doll and brought it along everywhere, even naming it “Robert” after himself. It wasn’t long, however, before people began noticing signs of Robert the Doll’s evil and mischievous nature

As rumor has it, the Ottos and their servants would often hear Gene in his bedroom, having conversations with himself in two entirely different voices. Furthermore, the Ottos would wake up in the middle of the night to Gene’s screaming, only to find the frightened boy in bed, surrounded by overturned furniture. Gene would blame Robert the Doll for messing up the bedroom, while Robert would glare at Gene from the foot of the bed.

Soon after, mutilated toys and mysterious happenings would appear in the home, only to have Gene proclaim each time: “Robert did it!”. Though the Ottos didn’t quite believe Gene, it was reported that they could hear the eerie sound of Robert giggling around the house, and passersby even claimed to see a small doll moving from window to window. Robert was eventually moved to the attic, where he remained for a number of years.

Robert the Doll

Robert the Doll now lives at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida, where some believe his hair color – and soul – are both slowly fading. Visitor beware, though, as Robert’s current favorite mischievous act involves casting curses on those who take his photo without first asking permission. To date, the walls near his glass case are covered in numerous letters from previous visitors and naysayers, begging for Robert’s forgiveness and asking him to remove any hex he has cast.

 

For a period in the 19th century, Key West was the country’s most prosperous city, per capita. During this time, the island collected their riches from the numerous shipwrecks off their coast.

During the time when fires were built on the coast to guide the ships away from the reefs, there were some unscrupulous entrepreneurs who would build the fires in the wrong places so the ships would crash on the reefs, thus creating a cash flow for the scoundrels. 

And while all the treasure may be gone, you can still snorkel and dive several of the shipwreck sights. There’s even a Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail, maintained by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Here, you’ll find nine historic underwater shipwrecks and artificial reefs extending from Key Largo to Key West.

Ship wreck Museum

The Florida Keys collectively make up a chain of more than 800 islands, though a road trip is fairly convenient thanks to a 113-mile, 42-bridge Overseas Highway that connects all the major Keys. There used to be an Overseas Railroad that connected all above-ground Keys, but it was destroyed by a powerful hurricane in 1935. 

Ship Wreck Museum

The Keys hold the title for the highest year-round average temperature. At a balmy 77.8-degree average, you can almost always count on packing a suitcase full of shorts and dresses. 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

 

San Juan Puerto Rico Harbor

photo of El Morro

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico

Photography by Journeysthrulife photography. 

The Port of San Juan’s passenger facilities are located along San Antonio Canal. Of the 15 piers in the channel, four accommodate cruise ships while others serve cargo vessels and the Cataño Ferry.

One of the most modern and beautiful harbors in the Caribbean, Port of San Juan plays host to hundreds of cruise ships yearly. As many as ten thousand cruise passengers or more  can visit Puerto in a single day.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, and San Juan is its urban hub. The city, by and large, is divided into new and old. The new includes a business district and outlying neighborhoods, concentrated with hotel chains like Isla Verde. The old is, of course, the historic city within ancient walls.

The fortress of El Morro guards the harbor today much the same as it did against long-gone Sir Francis Drake and his British privateers. 

A cruise ship docked at Port of San Juan

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.
Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.
Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.
http://www.travelnsnap.com
Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.
What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.
To contact Gary:
journeysthrulife@gmail.com.
http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Mom in the Grocery store

photo of Siesta Key beach

A photo story of the sunshine state, Florida

A man observed a woman in the grocery store with a three year old girl in her basket. As they passed the cookie section, the little girl asked for cookies and her mother told her, “No.” The little girl immediately began to whine and fuss, and the mother said quietly, “Now Monica, we just have half of the aisles left to go through – don’t be upset. It won’t be long now.”

Soon, they came to the candy aisle and the little girl began to shout for candy. When told she couldn’t have any, she began to cry. The mother said, “There, there, Monica, don’t cry – only two more aisles to go and then we’ll be checking out.”

When they got to the checkout stand, the little girl immediately began to clamor for gum and burst into a terrible tantrum upon discovering there’d be no gum purchased. The mother said serenely, “Monica, we’ll be through this check out stand in 5 minutes and then you can go home and have a nice nap.”

The man followed them out to the parking lot and stopped the woman to compliment her. “I couldn’t help noticing how patient you were with little Monica,” he began.

The mother replied, “I’m Monica – my little girl’s name is Tammy.”

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

 

Art Prints

UPS Arizona style

capiture of a ups driver making a delivery

A UPS driver making a delivery to a beautiful blonde

Written by Gary Wonning

I was about to see another side of UPS. My aunt and uncle lived in Phoenix Arizona so I decided to go visit them in February of nineteen eighty-eight. My uncle had been confined to assisted living, so it was just my aunt and myself gallivanting around the desert.

One afternoon, a few miles northwest of Phoenix, we entered the little town of Wickenburg, at the edge of town was a small gas station. I happened to look over in the parking lot and there were four P-400 UPS package cars parked at a small roller conveyor with a roof built over it.

I had to check this out; I turned around and inquired at the station.  The attendant told me that yes it was a UPS center, there were only four drivers, each would deliver a quarter of the seven hundred population town and head out into the desert, going a different direction, serving mainly Indian reservations. There was a goose neck trailer in the back with a window air conditioner sticking out the side. This was the office, a manager would drive up from Phoenix in the morning, get things started and then drive back to Phoenix for the rest of the day.

After moving to Sedona a few years later, I was to discover this was common in the desert, with a climate that featured no extreme cold, very little rain, and a sparse population, only the essentials were needed.

Art Prints

In Camp Verde located in the Verde River Valley, they used what looked like a manufactured home with docks in the side as a center. The package cars were parked outside in the weather, of course the loading was done in the early morning hours before the heat of the day had set in.

Arizona also had state wide seniority whereby a driver could bid on an area statewide, I think the areas came up for bid every two years and if he/she had enough seniority could bid on any area in the state.  A lot of times drivers in Phoenix would do this to escape the heat of the low desert and to get away from the stressful city life.

Because of the distance Arizona was from Louisville and the three time zones involved, next day air parcels had to leave Sedona by two-thirty pm in order to arrive in Phoenix in time to make the plane to the main air hub in Louisville.

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

Saint Thomas: Saint Peter Great House and Botanical Gardens

photos of the US virgin islands

The beautiful Islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John

Photography by Gary Wonning

Please click on the photos for more photos of Saint Thomas

Set atop a volcanic peak on the island of St. Thomas is the 150-acre plantation, St. Peter Greathouse and Botanical Gardens. The property was built originally in the 19th century, and now serves as a popular spot to host weddings and events, as well as a botanical garden that is open to the public for touring.

The Great House is set on 20,000 square feet of property and is able to accommodate a whopping 500 guests.

The beauty of St. Thomas

From the outdoor observation deck you can view more than 15 other islands and cays. A stroll through the gardens will showcase glimpses of tropical birds, butterflies, and fish, a waterfall, and 150 different species of tropical plants, including over 20 different orchid varieties.

View from the top

This restored world-class estate is set on 11 acres 1,000 feet above Hull Bay and world-famous Magens Bay

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.

 

Saint Thomas: Coral World

photos of the US virgin islands

The beautiful Islands of Saint Thomas and Saint John

Photography by Gary Wonning

Coral World was inaugurated in the 1970s.  Since then It has been one of St. Thomas’ most important tourist attractions.

In 1998, workers at Coral World began breeding Seahorses.

Please click on the photos to see beautiful photos of Saint Thomas.

Rescued Sea turtles are some of the more popular residents of Coral World

The ocean park consists of an open-water system where water flows through each of the exhibits and back out to the ocean. 

Coral World Marine Park in St. Thomas incorporates all the world famous features: Marine Museum, Shark, Stingray and Turtle Pools, Touch Pools, and naturally – The Underwater Observatory.

 

Coral World St. Thomas was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and was fully renovated by Coral World International. In 1995 Coral World St. Thomas was hit again by Hurricanes Marilyn and Louis. In 2017 Coral World was again destroyed by Hurricane Irma. Each time, it has fully recovered and remains one of the top destinations when visiting Saint Thomas.

Exhibits include the Caribbean Reef Encounter an 80,000 gallon circular tank open at the top for the natural elements to filter in. Marine Gardens which has 21 smaller tanks displaying ocean life in the Caribbean. Shark Shallows a nursery for adolescent sharks. A stingray pool where guests can feed the stingray after the presentation. 

Growing up on a dairy farm in southeastern Indiana, Gary traveled very little until midlife, when the opportunity became available to him.

Grabbing his camera and a bag full of equipment, he began his vision quest traveling to most areas of the United States and several countries abroad.

Along the way he collected several thousand photographs that he wants to share with everyone.

http://www.travelnsnap.com

Gary decided the best way to accomplish his goal was to publish photo documentaries on the various areas of the world he has visited.

What will follow will be several photography books, who knows how many will wind up in his collection.

To contact Gary:

journeysthrulife@gmail.com.

http://www.journeysthrulife.com.