Category Archives: travel

Argenta, NV

Places that you may have never heard of

Friends know that I’m a big fan of traveling and do so frequently by car. Whether I’m visiting relatives who live far away or I’m vacationing at distant places, it’s usually a cross country trek.

Anyone who has traveled on our extensive road system has driven past signs denoting names of places of which they’ve never heard. Those places that especially stick out to me are ones that have colorful names. One of my “hobbies” is to note these names and later (sometimes weeks, sometimes months later) find out more about these places.

One of these places is Argenta, Nevada and this is what I learned.

Argenta is a ghost down in central Nevada. In the mid 1860’s prospectors discovered silver in the area. The town was planning to develop as a shipping center for the nearby mines and in Austin to the south. However, the town of Battle Mountain had stronger ties to the silver industry and by 1871 the entire town moved to Battle Mountain making Argenta effectively a mining ghost town.

Argenta remained vacant until 1930 when barite was discovered nearby. This mine in Argenta Mountain was operated by the Baker Hughes Company until it closed in 2015.


One of the Baker Hughes operations alongside a railroad siding and Interstate 80

Well, that’s the short story about Argenta, NV.

Yet curiosity remains high and I hope to report on other interesting names of places that are part of my hobby.

Virtual Art Museum

from the digital archives


In one of my previous careers I was a frequent traveler.

Since the early 1980s, business has taken me to France dozens of time. During my free time I’d often visit the extraordinary art museums of Paris.

Musee d'Orsay
Musee d’Orsay in Paris

In the early years I was able to photograph most of the artwork. However, a few years later many of the museums began to put a moratorium on taking photographs.

With the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, none of us are able to visit these art museums so I’ve come up with an alternative.

Below is a small set of artwork that I have photographed and collected over the years. Most were taken at the famous Musee d’Orsay.

I hope you’ll enjoy this artwork as you take a walk through my virtual art museum

Also available is my Virtual Art Museum video for those of you who prefer to just sit back and watch the masterpieces scroll by.

[Click on any of the paintings to enlarge]

Vincent Van Gogh

Church at Auvers
Vincent Van Gogh

Thatched Cottages at Cordeville
Vincent Van Gogh

Dance Hall in Arles
Alfred Sisley

Footbridge at Argenteuil
Henri Matisse

Luxe, Calme et Volupte
Edgar Degas

Dancer with a Bouquet Bowing
Edouard Manet

Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets
Paul Gauguin

Yellow Haystacks
Vincent Van Gogh

The Siesta (after Millet)
Paul Gauguin

Vairumati
Paul Gauguin

The Red Dog
Vincent Van Gogh

Self portrait
Claude Monet

Woman with a Parasol
Gustave Caillebotte

Floor Planers
Claude Monet

Le Dejeuner
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Grande nu
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Portrait of Julie Manet
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Young Girl Seated
Vincent Van Gogh

The Church at Auvers
Claude Monet

Les Coquelicots
Pierre-August Renoir

Bal du Moulin de la Galette
Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Dance in the Country
James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Whistler’s Mother
Claude Monet

The Boat at Giverny
Thomas Couture

The Romans of the Decadence

For those of you who prefer to view these artworks more leisurely, here’s the same Virtual Art Museum video.

Virtual Art Museum
“Here Heather” Music by Lee Bartley
Photos by Arnie Lee

Written by: Arnie Lee


Aircraft Nose Art

Artists at Work

I’m lucky to have had several interesting careers. One of these was to develop flight simulation software.

Among the most enjoyable parts of our business was to attend the well-known summer Oshkosh air shows. At Oshkosh are acres upon acres of aircraft of all makes and models from vintage to classic to state-of-the-art to futuristic.

visitors viewing the warbirds at the Oshkosh air show

As a history buff, I love wandering among the hundreds of war planes covering the fairgrounds. Rather than show you the warplanes themselves, I’ve collected a series of artistic pictures that adorn the noses of these aircraft.

Enjoy the nose art that inspired our courageous airmen in years gone by.

[ Click on any image to enlarge ]


Written by Arnie Lee


My Portfolio

Fine Art Photography

In my travels, a camera has always been close to my side. Photographs such as these are my way of remembering some of the amazing places that I’ve visited over the years.


Oxbow Bend, Tetons

Merced River, Yosemite

Huntington Beach

Monument Valley

Cottonwood Creek, Tetons

Madison River, Yellowstone

Bryce Canyon Nat’l Park

Zion Nat’l Park

From the tens of thousands of photos that I’ve taken, I’ve created a portfolio of my favorites.

Visit my portfolio of fine art photographs at Gallery.


A Few Days Left

I thoroughly enjoy the outdoors, especially our fabulous National Park system of 400+ areas.

As a senior citizen, I’m entitled to a “special deal” for the Lifetime Senior Pass to visit these great places. I purchased my pass several years ago for an amazingly low price of $10. I’ve used my pass many, many times. In fact, these past three weeks we visited five national parks. So you can imagine how much we’ve enjoyed ourselves over the years.

On August 28, the price of the lifetime pass increases to $80 (which is still a bargain). However, if you hurry you can still take advantage of the low $10 price.

Visit our government’s site at USGS. Don’t delay.

SuperBloom

Death Valley Shows Its Colors

Yesterday I returned from a trade show in Las Vegas. While there, I heard about one of nature’s spectacles. In nearby Death Valley a rare happening was taking place. Armed with my camera, I made the 2-1/2 hour drive to experience the so called SuperBloom.

Death Valley is the driest, hottest place in North America. Although the climate isn’t very hospitable, wildflowers do appear each Spring. But I learned that this past October rainstorms set in motion a series of conditions that led to a literal explosion of colorful wildflowers that blanketed the normally harsh landscape of the park.

Here are a few recordings of my visit to the 2016 SuperBloom:



 

I’ve been fortunate to have visited Death Valley at least a dozen times previously but I’ve never seen as many visitors taking in the colorful wildflower as I saw two days ago.

Click here to see a Park Ranger describe a “once-in-a-lifetime” visit to Death Valley.

How lucky I was to be able to see this unexpected event.

On The Road Again

Many friends and acquaintances tell me that they dislike long drives. On the other hand, I totally enjoy long drives, especially the cross-country variety that cover hundreds or even thousands of miles and span several days.

For my latest road trip I ferried Mom’s car from Grand Rapids to her Winter home in the Phoenix area.

I asked my 6 year old grandson to be my traveling companion, promising to visit a couple of “fun places” along the way. Logan and I packed our bags, hopped into the car and headed West for our week-long journey.

Here’s a photo essay of the places that we visited.


Arches National Park



Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park



Grand Canyon National Park



Antelope Canyon Navajo Park



Horseshoe Bend




Phoenix and the Flight Home


Logan checking on the grapefruit

a snack on board the plane going home

What a nice getaway. We delivered Mom’s car to Arizona one day before she arrived from Grand Rapids. But just as importantly I was able to spend uninterrupted time with Logan and record it on film.

 
 


From the Driver’s Seat

I just returned from another cross-country trip. This journey started from home in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Phoenix. However, I took a roundabout way: directly to Reno, through Yosemite NP, a quick stopover in Long Beach, down to San Diego, detour to Joshua Tree NP and finally to Phoenix.

In all I drove 3600 miles and most of these were on our amazing interstate highways. Although I drove solo, I was not alone on the highway.

As you can see below, here are some of the companions that I met along the way.

That wraps up another enjoyable 3600 mile drive.