Flew out of work, the fleet flight of Friday before a holiday weekend. Everyone cracks a smile upon stepping out of the concrete and glass coffin of the corporate work week. The motorcycle is quickly gassed and loaded, I leave Washington DC at three-thirty, vowing not to check the time for the rest of the adventure. Adventure, the American adventure of the open road is what I seek. The road, my cameras, and escape.
Right turn off of 15th St. NW and I’m motoring past the Washington Monument and the White House. Harleys and clones are already lining the Mall for the annual Memorial remembrance that is Rolling Thunder. I’m soon over the bridge and on I-66 west. I plan on avoiding major highways when at all possible. Preferring scenic byways to drab highways. 66 is a necessary evil to flee the DC metro area as quickly as possible. At the start, 66 is a good quick run, for awhile anyway. Loads of Rolling Thunder riders are heading in 66 eastbound.
I keep the ubiquitous two fingers down to the side salute to fellow bikers out for extended stretches of time. In my experience, HD guys return the acknowledgement about 30-40% of the time. No big deal, some animosity exist though between different bike cultures. Motor-ism two-wheel stereotypes. However with the Rolling Thunder guys there is a noticeable increase in response, perhaps due to no longer just one biker acknowledging another, but a patriotic sharing of support and remembrance for those left behind, POW-MIA.
Traffic worsens further out 66 and I come up on a full HD dresser. Screaming Eagle back patch worked in with POW-MIA covers his vest and is topped by a “Run for the Wall” patch. I keep back a pace and we adopt the natural offset positioning of multiple riders.
After some 66 backup, stop-and-go, we strike up a staccato conversation in the pauses of the traffic flow. Where you been, where you going, see the rain coming? I tell him I’m headed out to the mountains, Skyline Drive and West Virginia. He says he’s just in from there recently, was in DC for Rolling Thunder for the day and will be coming back in on Sunday again. His license plate is obscured by luggage, so I’m unsure of his port of origin.
Later on we part ways and my thoughts turn. Of my parents friends only my step-dad was drafted for Vietnam. Luckily, for us, he only went as far as Ft. Hood, TX, and came back with some good stories about army life and venturing into Mexico (at least the ones he’s shared with me). I think about all the life he’s lived since then, all his experiences and joys. Thinking about what all those who didn’t return gave up, lost, when they didn’t come home. The loss felt by those who loved them, families that have a name on the Wall.
Rain is sprinkling before Manassas. Enough to cool you off but not enough to get you worried yet, at least for a bit. Whooooo. Then come the big drops. I head off the ramp to gear up with the rain paraphernalia under the gas station pavilion. Finally get it all on and get strapped back up and out pops the sun and the rain stops. Too funny. Now I have wet clothes on under the raingear. Rain gear now keeping the wind out that would dry me. I motor on as more rain is promised on the horizon.
This brings up a point about rain. People always ask, “What do you do when it rains and your on the motorcycle”. I reply simply, “I get wet”. Duh. Rain riding has never bothered me. On the straight highways it’s no big deal. Just give more cushion to the cars in front of you. Drive like grandma on the exit ramps.
My turning point is finally reached. Off of 66 west and onto 647, Crest Hill Rd. at The Plains, VA. Crest Hill Road is my first slice of motorcycle heaven to be had this weekend. I’m delighted to find that the squiggly line I traced out on the map when planning this trip has translated so well in reality. The road is still wet from the passing rain clouds, and I give a small rabbit and then a chipmunk a near death experience. My first of many animal crossings this weekend. The road is fantastic. A mixture of hilltop road and tree lined canopies that create forest tunnels. Speed limit is 45mph, 55-60 feels comfortable on most parts. Keeping an eye out for a hilltop barn to photograph that I’ve seen in my minds eye, lit by the sun breaking through the clouds and backed by the mountain vista. No luck on any of the barns actual placement to fit the mental picture I have framed.
Crest Hill Road and Fodderstack Rd is a long stretch. I take shots of a church and other buildings along Zachary Taylor Highway. Fodderstack gives more of the same as Crest Hill, just a narrower road. The asphalt is of my favorite variety, freshly laid. Washington, VA is a tiny town of historic bed and breakfasts. Local wineries appear to be an attraction here too. Right after Washington the rain returns while I’m in route to Sperryville. Then it really starts to come down, a full on summer thunderstorm. Visibility is down. Road and parking lots soon resemble rivers. Rain drops of the monster variety explode on the pavement, and you know it hurts when they hit you.
I quick soaking circuit of Sperryville confirms there are no local hotels. I duck into a barn shaped restaurant to wait it out. My drenched gear takes on bar stool and I occupy another. There’s a few flying pigs about. The bartender get me a hefeweizen, and recommends the angus burger. Locally raised and grass fed, we exchange jokes about my passing the burgers relatives on the way in.
Don’t freak about the beer. I have a one only rule when riding. It was followed by a meal (best burger of the weekend!), several coffees, and this bar top journal entry.
Somewhere along Crest Hill road I decided to keep the cell off for the weekend. In addition no tv, newspapers, internet, or e-mail sound like a good idea. Of course I now am studiously avoid eye contact with the two beautiful plasma’s above the bar.
Hazel River Inn, Culpepper, VA, has the coolest street side seating in town.
The downpour let up at the Shady Farms bar in Sperryville and due to the deficiency in local lodging I quiz the bartender for options. Over the other side of the mountain, the opposite side of Skyline Dr via 211 is Luray with lots of motels, but I want to save the mountain for the morning. The waitress suggest Culpepper, there being a Holiday Inn etc.
Stepping outside the sun has broke through the clouds again. Enough for some shots of Shady Farms Restaurant and a bridge. Heading down 522, the Sperryville Pike, I keep an eye out for photo ops to catch the next morning as I’ll be rerouting back through. Following the mantra of Dale Borgeson about tour riding in the US, I aim to avoid large chain establishments, whether they are restaurants or hotels, and explore the mom-and-pop local variety businesses. I have a dive-ish roadside motel in mind, Culpepper comes through with the Sleepy Hollow Hotel.
Before check in I ride through downtown historic Culpepper. It’s a cool place. The Shady Farm bartender had recommended the Culpepper Thai restaurant. I see it but don’t visit, still full from the meal earlier. Cameron Street Coffee looks like a great place, located in an old warehouse. Unfortunately their closed for the night.
Shower and changed, room 102 at the Sleepy Hollow Hotel. I hop back on the bike, refreshed and dry and ride through the warm night air back downtown. The coffee at the Hazel River Inn comes with a sweet fudge confection on the side. The peach and blackberry cobbler with vanilla sauce is divine.
The reconfigured plan for this getaway is to shed. Shed worries about the job, career, housing, and relationships. My motorcycle is therapeutic. It’s 600cc’s of Zoloft on two wheels. The road lifts my spirits. This wasn’t supposed to be a solo run, and there are stretches of road where I feel the emptiness behind me.
The cobbler is finished and I can hear the sound of a band doing their sound check. The banging of the drum requires investigation.
I found Brown Bag Special in the cellar pub of the same restaurant I was in. On my way to the door the noise of the sound check floated up the stairs and directed my feet downward. Brown Bag Special opened the set, appropriately enough, with “I drink alone”. The ol’ man, Big Money, would have loved it. Drink alone started off a Big Money Blues trifecta to include “The Breeze” and “Mustang Sally”. Then they made the mistake a lot of bands make that have a great lead guitar player. They let him sing. The lead guitarist karaoke sucked his way through a Tom Petty hit. He was so off key in his singing it made you appreciate the guitar solo’s all the more for the relief they provided. Thankfully the regular singer soon resumed his duties and the night went on. More good stuff from the band.
Folsom Prison Blues
Cheap Sun Glasses
“can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman, what she’s done to me”
Off to bed now at the Sleepy Hollow Hotel with the ghost and shades of dead hookers and overdoses past.
150 miles today.
Morning breaks on the Sleepy Hollow Hotel, a hot shower and I’m back on the bike. A quick stop downtown to shoot the Hazel Inn, then it’s back on the Sperryville Pike. More stops to capture some sights seen yesterday. Mr. & Mrs. Pump. The open mouth caricatures are an accurate representation of the current gas cost and the pumps eating your wallet.
I keep telling my daughter that her first car, college car, will be a hybrid. She thinks they are ugly. The bike isn’t so bad, averaging around 40mpg. At about 180 miles on the tripometer I start to look for a refill, although I’ve pushed it to 211 miles before.
A quick left in Sperryville on 211 and up into the mountain, Blue Ridge Mountains and Skyline Drive. Heading up the mountain I get the first bite of the twisties I’ve been craving. The fee at the gate to Skyline Drive is well worth the price. Great scenery and fantastic views. The only drawback is the 35mph speed limit that is well enforced by the park rangers.
I shoot some self-portraits at Pollock Knob overlook. They’re funny in that with all the scrambling and hurrying to be the camera timer, then trying to effect a relaxed pose. I’ve also broke out my old friend this trip, the Lubitel 166, a medium format, 120mm film, twin lens camera. I’m like Jay-Z with this camera, I have to get it in one take. There is no digital review after the click for instant gratification. As a fellow photographer it’s “Point, Push, and Pray”. I’ll be interested to see the results. Not that I’ve left digital behind. Carrying both cameras, I’m an analog/digital double threat.
After the self-portraits and some dead tree shots I’m about to pack back on the bike and leave when I meet the preacher and his wife. He offers to shoot me with my camera and I return the favor with theirs. Conversation flows and in a ‘small world’ moment it turns out that he works for same Hazel family that owns the restaurant I was at last night for his Monday thru Friday job. I get a friendly “God bless” and I’m heading south on Skyline Drive. I make several more stops and break out the cameras again at Big Meadow.
There is a gnarly dead tree in the middle of the meadow. It has burn damage at the base, either the result of some wild fire or perhaps a controlled burn done to maintain the field. I spot and shoot a few deer, they probably won’t turn out as they’re to far away for my lens on the D100. I shoot a bunch of shots of the tree with the D100 and then totally switch processes with the Lubitel. The picture setup with the Lubitel takes about a minute-and-a-half. Manual zoom, i.e., walking back and forth to get the framing I want. Light meter reading. Then dealing with the reversed optics of the look-down box camera. It is fun though, to switch it up, change the pace and the dynamics. Just one click though, hope I caught it.
It’s a long but enjoyable ride to the south end of Skyline Drive. Unless you really like slow cruising I would suggest picking which third of Skyline Drive you’d like include in your trip and leave the rest. I drop off the mountain and into Waynesboro. Finding Mad Anthony’s coffee shop for a late breakfast. I overhear that it’s around noon. The Italian Roast coffee is good, in fact, it would prove to be the best coffee of the trip.
One of the pleasures of traveling by motorcycle is that it’s an easy conversation starter. People ask you where your coming from, where you’re heading, ask about your bike, tell you’re about their bike or the one they wish they had. One of the peculiarities of these conversations is that if the person even remotely knows of anyone that has died on a motorcycle, they will be sure to share this fact along with details. These stories usually involve a deer, a car pulling out, or someone taking a corner to fast. The conversation goes something like this:
Stranger“my cousin Bob had a friend that hit a deer and died on his bike”
You“yeah, deer are dangerous, got to be careful”
I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve held variations on this conversation many times. Luckily this isn’t the conversation I have with the owner of Mad Anthony’s. He’s a former sailboat instructor who now finds the same release and head clearing on his motorcycle that he used to get from his sailboat.
This brings to mind the same wave – don’t way dynamic that occurs between sail boaters and power boaters, very similar to the sportbike & HD crowd.
The proprietor is a coffee guru, we discuss roasting (my Italian roast was just roasted Wednesday this week). We talk about the good and the evil of Starbucks. We’re both in agreement that they over roast their regular coffee, but I think their foo foo drinks are tasty. He has in his shop both the Bodum press and the Bodum vacuum coffee pot that I got my mom for x-mas. A shameless plug here, the Bodum vacuum coffee pot makes the best home coffee ever. It’s also an entertaining crowd pleaser, no joke.
Leaving Waynesboro the plan was 340 northward to 33, then into Harrisonburg, VA (home of the Valley Mall and JMU). 340 proved to be boring so I jumped on 256, Port Republic Road, for a better ride to Harrisonburg. I don’t know if the coffee wore off or if I was just worn out. I pull over at Westover Park, pick out a spot of grass, and take a good nap in the sun.
I had my motorcycle bug handed down to me by my step-dad. My kindergarten year of school we moved right at the end of the school year. Rather than switch schools at this inopportune time my Dad stuck me on the back of his Honda and rode me to school and back again for the last month or two. Even earlier than that I have a great photo of me in 1973-4 sitting on his chopper with him. Me in a diaper and him with his long hippy hair. The wild side of the Reverend indeed.
Refreshed from my nap it’s back on 33 westbound. Heading out of the Shenandoah Valley and Rockingham County is more glorious twisty roads and the George Washington National Forest. GW is a beautiful tree canopy lined road with a river off to one side. Franklin, WV is the destination, a return to the Star Hotel.
I stayed at the Star a few years prior when they first re-opened the historic Star Hotel. The owner, Steve Miller, is a great guy, friendly and conversational. I told him I’d be back again, but it’s been a few more years than I thought. Late lunch at the Star is pesto grilled chicken on ciabatta bread with roasted red peppers. Not the type of fare one might associate with West Virginia, but people have misperceptions about everywhere. Steve promises a prime rib later at dinner tonight to die for.
So that there is no misunderstanding, in as much as the Sleepy Hollow Hotel was a dive, the Star Hotel is a dream.
Dump the gear in the room back on the bike for some roaming around. I head back to explore a river road I passed on the way in, Rock Gap. It’s a gravel affair and I follow it back a little ways. Photo some river shots. Down further there is a large cliff face with some college aged kids de-gearing after a day of climbing. I’ll try to stop back in tomorrow and shoot some climbing action, as well as some fly fishing.
I pick up a bottle of Barefoot Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, and drop it off with Steve at the Star to keep for later. I’ll enjoy that bottle later tonight from the 3rd floor front porch. South out of town I head, into some very secondary roads. I shoot an old decrepit cabin that would be right up Bobby Sargent’s alley. I put it in the metal folder for a possible future model shoot location, along with the river spots I’ve seen.
There are a couple more stops on this little ride. Once for what appears to be a feral chicken, and then for middle of the road stare down with a young doe. She’s camera shy though and is off before I can get a shot. Sportbike probably isn’t the best conveyance for nature photography. The pavement stops and gravel begins, I motor on. Rick & I once spent a full day just about on gravel roads, crisscrossing the back country around Cumberland, MD. So I’m comfortable with the less than ideal riding surface. A few miles on the road dead ends at a pair of chicken houses (source of the feral chicken’s ancestors perhaps?) and I turn around and survey the valley I’ve just ridden through. I have to stop the bike and soak in the scene. A picturesque farm is nestled in the corner of the valley, up against the hills. I meet some inquisitive cows, along with the farmer and his wife.
It seems that when you are in WV and you pass a sign that says “snow removal ends here” that the already suspect road conditions are going to quickly deteriorate and will soon resemble somewhat more of a logging road. I motor on through some back country, no houses, no farms, just mountains, steep roadside cliffs, and wicked gravel switchback curves. The part that gives you the willies are the downhill corners where the road grade is slanted to the outside of the curve and to the drop below. Yikes!
I creep along where a four wheeler would be much more functional. Although I still hit it a bit in the straights. Pavement arrives again and I’m unsure of my exact location. I follow the chicken farmers directions and soon discover myself back in Brandywine, intersecting the same stretch of 33 I rode on my way into Franklin.
Back at the Star Hotel it’s a shower and fresh clothes before heading down for dinner. Downstairs I find the prime rib to be as good as promised.
How beautifully staged is this. Barefoot on the 3rd floor patio, wine to ease the back and the ache in the knee.
205 miles today, the last 30 after check in, just to explore.
Out early in the morning. I find no climbers at Rock Gap, unsure of the hours they keep. Out of Franklin on 33 west, looking for another squiggly line I had seen on a map. Bland Hill Road name is a misnomer. A single lane country road winding through German Valley. I got a few shots of German Valley from the 33 overlook before turning on Bland Hill. Now I find myself in the same location I had shot from above.
The road cuts through some open pasture land and I meet some cows standing in the road after rounding one bend. They’re pleasant enough, if in no particular hurry to cross, and don’t mind posing for a shot or two before meandering on. People talk about the danger of hitting a deer, a cow would really ruin your day! Off of Bland Hill and on down into the valley. I come up on the rock formation I had seen from the overlook previously. It’s not Seneca Rocks, but a formation of the same ilk. I get some more photos, then onto German Valley Road. I’m still staying at the Star, there is no real destination today. It’s relaxing to stop as much as I like.
German Valley Road puts me back on 33 west and not long after I’m ordering breakfast at the Valley View Restaurant. Dale Borgeson warns of places that advertise home cooking, but that’s about all you see in these parts. There are a fair number of cars here and that’s usually a good since the food will be alright. Hell, even the Army could make a good breakfast. It all works out and it’s a hell of a deal, for toast, two eggs, hash browns, bacon, and coffee.
From 33 I hit 28 and turn off on Smoke Hole Road, just because it’s there and looks interesting. Boy, what a find it is. Combining the curvy one lane country road with nice wide smooth pavement (gravel free in the corners). It’s great. Smoke Hole Road turns out to run from 28 across the Seneca Rocks National Forest to 220 on the other side. Going west-to-east it starts out all curves and hills, then ends by winding along the south branch of the Potomac. There are lots of fly fishermen here enjoying the catch-and-release section of the river.
Up 220 to Petersburg, I run into some Ducati guys at the gas station. We swap riding info and I’m soon on 42 north towards Mayville. Hanging a left when I see a sign for Dolly Sods. I’m back on secondary roads and I soon pass another prophetic ‘no snow removal’ signs. It’s gravel the rest of the way up the mountain til it breaks out on top at Dolly Sod.
I’m real happy with today’s roads, as both Smoke Hole Road and Dolly Sods were unplanned ‘discovered adventures’. I do some rock scrabbling at Dolly Sod and enjoy the cliff top views. A fellow tourist snaps a shot for me an I hike out well past the distance that the casual tourist and families go. Shot some more shots of the rock formations with both the digital and film camera. Do some more self-portraits. I then sit down to relax in the sun with the cliff side breeze steadily blowing and update this journal.
Well, fellow traveler, if you’ve made it this far I am duly impressed. I thank you for your perseverance. The rest of the day was spent riding without incident. Just more fantastic roads. You don’t have to be an explore on par with Lewis & Clark to find great rides in West Virginia. Just be curious in nature and unafraid to leave the beaten path. Drop off the numbered roads and take the route less traveled. Soon you’ll be in your own undiscovered country. Blah blah blah.
Out of Dolly Sod and I find myself on 32. Rough calculations put the dirt road travel around 25 miles for the day. While we are on stats, here’s today’s animal road count:
1 dead fox
3 dead possums
1 dead blob (undistinguishable)
No fearsome deer
I guided myself today by a rather non-descript map put out by mountainhighlands.com
Leaving Dolly Sod on 32 puts me in Dry Fork and back on familiar 33 west to Elkins. I cruise around Elkins on the off chance I’ll run into a guy I know named Dallas. Now all you need to know about Dallas is the following:
I don’t know his last name
I once gave him a hair cut with dog grooming clippers
I know he works at a bike shop making choppers
You figure the odds of me finding him, near zero.
If your curious it wasn’t the first time I cut hair, albeit the first time using dog shears. In Korea I cut in the latrine for a cut or for a 6 pack. Everything was barter in the Army. We had a cook that would make you a great custom birthday cake for a case of beer or feed you food out of the back of the chow hall at 3am when you staggered in drunk from the ville for the promise of a future round to be bought. Korea stories could fill another journal.
Anyway, out of Elkins and south to Beverly. Scott, if your reading this you were on my mind as I went through town, never forgive, never forget.
So far I’ve only tried to write about the positive food experiences of the trip without throwing anyplace under the bus. C&J in Beverly however, served only barely functional burgers and the vanilla shake was of the worst chemical prefab variety. There are some things that I am stuck on, good vanilla ice cream is one. The others that I’m picky about are beer, whiskey, steak, cheese-steak, and coffee. It’s just so disappointing when something you usually enjoy turns out to be sub par.
After C&J it’s 250 east to 28, which heads back towards Seneca Rocks and Franklin. It’s a good haul through the Monongahela National Forest. A road of the scenic variety, with good twisties up the mountain and through the scenery. These type road have become quite a common occurrence here in WV. Back in Seneca Rocks and 33 east into Franklin. I never shoot Seneca Rocks, the light is never right, number one can tell you how I get about my light.
The Star’s restaurant is closed on Sunday, dagger, so I shower and head into Franklin by foot. About Franklin, WV. It’s a nice little town, quiet and sleepy. No bars other than the VFW that I could see. Everybody I’ve met and spoken too has be pleasant, friendly and conversational, both here in Franklin and elsewhere in WV. I’m sure there are a variety of characters much as anywhere, this is just my observation from the tourist level.
Following last night precedent I grab another vino from the Shell station. The Star being closed is a dilemma; I’m in need of a cork screw (having borrowed the restaurants the night before). I wander back down to the hotel, wine in hand, and past the hotel just a bit til I meet an old man sitting out front. I explain my situation, wine without access, and he says he’ll sell me a corkscrew. He goes in the house, shortly to return with the necessary implement in hand. I figure I have it for -4 or maybe rent it for a one time use for . That proves unnecessary however, he says just to take it, and keep it for any future need.
The sole booking for the hotel tonight, I’m like a wraith as I glide through the halls. On the front porch with my bottle of vino in hand. I have some cheap cigars I also picked up and there’s nothing to do but kick back and watch the sunset.
It’s been a great trip. Somewhat lonesome at times. The lack of someone to talk to surely let to the length of this journal. It was a trip to getaway, to reflect. There was no great revelation or anything, just time to get to know yourself. The road gives you time to think. I know who I am and I like being me. I know what’s missing.
I’m resolved to take more bike trips in the future. It’s definitely my preferred way to travel and vacation. Motorcycling is the way to go.
Tomorrow I have my route generally planned out, more scenic byways for a winding route home.
Miles today, 240.
Just a short postscript. 20 miles east of Washington DC, on 66, the chain popped off the bike. It’s never easy.
Then and now
Image by Mike Tewkesbury
The wonders of a computer. I have been in contact with a wonderful lady in Sacramento, California who saw a photo of what was once her mother’s home in Friendly, West Virginia that I shot a while ago. In turn, she sent me a photo of the same house taken in 1901. The house was originally built in 1895 for Alfred T. Smith, her grandfather. Her mother is the youngest, shown in the first photo, holding a doll (that she still has). Even looking at the house in ruin, you can tell that it was a magnificent place. I had no ‘real’ idea until I saw the photo that she sent.
I had posted several photos of the old home since my first visit in 2009. I am extremely grateful to Becky Cole who provided me with the 1901 photo and the background of her family and owned this before the Dr. Eddy family took possession. The photo on the right was taken this past March.
Julia Roberts, the first actress to appear on the cover of Vogue, looks lovely on the covers of Elle magazine’s September 2010 issue. Wearing luxurious designer clothes like Dolce & Gabbana and Roberto Cavalli, Julia looks happy, mysterious, sad, and disappointed on each cover.
In the interview for US Elle September 2010, the Pretty Woman reveals facts about her career and family life. She shares that she wants to age gracefully but without plastic surgery especially on her face as “Your face tells a story and it shouldn’t be a story about your drive to the doctor’s office”, Julia Roberts tells Elle Magazine in its September issue. The 42-year old actress also shares about her kids, her family with husband Danny Moder, and the scenes with the cast of Ocean’s movies. Julia, who had become one of the highest-paid actresses in the world, topping the Hollywood’s Reporter’s annual list of top-earning female stars from 2002 to 2006, talks about her three kids 3-year-old Henry and 5-year-old twins Phinnaeus and Hazel and wishes them around for a thousand years. “And you want to be there for them for a thousand years”, she says.
Julia Roberts is on the coveted September issue of US Elle Magazine
In this picture, Julia wears a printed blue kimono and an exquisite necklace.
Julia reveals some facts on her family with husband Danny Moder. She says that they are very lucky that they love each other so much.
The Eat Pray Love Star actress wears gypsy style garments, a wide-brimmed hat and golden jewelry.
She reveals facts about her career and her working with directors, saying that she always asks them to tell her what they want.
Julia says that she has no secrets of acting. Sitting around talking about acting is really boring.
Julia is not in favor of plastic surgery. She wants to give herself a chance to see what she will look like when growing older. She wants to let her kids know when she is happy, pissed or confounded.
Valentina Zelyaeva covers Elle Russia July 2010
Kate Moss: Vogue UK September 2010
Screen beauties of all times
I am an internet marketer and freelance photographer. I maintain various sites and blogs with a large audience. My hobby is collecting photographs of celebrities and writing comments on outstanding events in the field of entertainment.
Julia talks about her friendship with Bono and discusses the Omaze experience they’re offering up to help raise money for (RED)’s fight against AIDS. Go to Omaze.com/RED to enter to win this experience.
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Jimmy Kimmel serves as host and executive producer of Emmy-winning “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” ABC’s late-night talk show.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” is well known for its huge viral video successes with 2.5 billion views on YouTube alone. Some of Kimmel’s most popular comedy bits include – Mean Tweets, Lie Witness News, Jimmy’s Twerk Fail Prank, Unnecessary Censorship, YouTube Challenge, The Baby Bachelor, Movie: The Movie, Handsome Men’s Club, Jimmy Kimmel Lie Detective and music videos like “I (Wanna) Channing All Over Your Tatum” and a Blurred Lines parody with Robin Thicke, Pharrell, Jimmy and his security guard Guillermo.
Now in its thirteenth season, Kimmel’s guests have included: Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Halle Berry, Harrison Ford, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Katy Perry, Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, George Clooney, Larry David, Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg, Kobe Bryant, Steve Carell, Hugh Jackman, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Garner, Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston, Jamie Foxx, Amy Poehler, Ben Affleck, Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Oprah, and unfortunately Matt Damon.
The Arboretum was founded in 1872 when the President and Fellows of Harvard College became trustees of a portion of the estate of James Arnold (1781–1868).
In 1842, Benjamin Bussey (1757–1842), a prosperous Boston merchant and scientific farmer, donated his country estate Woodland Hill and a part of his fortune to Harvard University "for instruction in agriculture, horticulture, and related subjects". Bussey had inherited land from fellow patriot Eleazer Weld in 1800 and further enlarged his large estate between 1806 and 1837 by acquiring and consolidating various farms that had been established as early as the seventeenth century. Harvard used this land for the creation of the Bussey Institute, which was dedicated to agricultural experimentation. The first Bussey Institute building was completed in 1871 and served as headquarters for an undergraduate school of agriculture.
Sixteen years after Bussey’s death, James Arnold, a New Bedford, Massachusetts whaling merchant, specified that a portion of his estate was to be used for "…the promotion of Agricultural, or Horticultural improvements". In 1872, when the trustees of the will of James Arnold transferred his estate to Harvard University, Arnold’s gift was combined with 120 acres (0.49 km2) of the former Bussey estate to create the Arnold Arboretum. In the deed of trust between the Arnold trustees and the College, income from Arnold’s legacy was to be used for establishing, developing and maintaining an arboretum to be known as the Arnold Arboretum which "shall contain, as far as practicable, all the trees [and] shrubs … either indigenous or exotic, which can be raised in the open air of West Roxbury". The historical mission of the Arnold Arboretum is to increase knowledge of woody plants through research and to disseminate this knowledge through education.
Charles Sprague Sargent was appointed director and Arnold Professor of Botany shortly after the establishment of the institution in 1872. Together with landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted he developed the road and pathway system and delineated the collection areas by family and genus, following the then current and widely accepted classification system of Bentham and Hooker. The Hunnewell building was designed by architect Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Jr. in 1892 and constructed with funds donated by H. H. Hunnewell in 1903. From 1946 to 1950 the landscape architect Beatrix Farrand was the landscape design consultant for the Arboretum. Her early training in the 1890s included time with Charles Sprague Sargent and chief propagator and superintendent Jackson Thornton Johnson. Today the Arboretum occupies 265 acres (107 hectares) of land divided between four parcels, viz. the main Arboretum and the Peters Hill, Weld-Walter and South Street tracts. The collections, however, are located primarily in the main Arboretum and on the Peters Hill tract. The Arboretum remains one of the finest examples of a landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and it is a Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site) and a National Historic Landmark.
Robert E. Cook is the seventh and current Director of the Arnold Arboretum. He is also the Director of the Harvard University Herbaria located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The Arboretum is privately endowed as a department of Harvard University. The land, however, was deeded to the City of Boston in 1882 and incorporated into the so-called "Emerald Necklace". Under the agreement with the City, Harvard University was given a thousand-year lease on the property, and the University, as trustee, is directly responsible for the development, maintenance, and operation of the Arboretum; the City retains responsibility for water fountains, benches, roads, boundaries, and policing. The annual operating budget of ,350,644 (fiscal year 2003) is largely derived from endowment, which is also managed by the University, and all Arboretum staff are University employees. Other income is obtained through granting agencies and contributors.
The main Arborway gate is located on Route 203 a few hundred yards south of its junction with the Jamaicaway. Public transportation to the Arboretum is available on the MBTA Orange Line to its terminus at Forest Hills Station and by bus (#39) to the Monument in Jamaica Plain. The Arboretum is within easy walking distance from either of these points.
The grounds are open free of charge to the public from sunrise to sunset 365 days of the year. The Visitor’s Center in the Hunnewell Building, 125 Arborway, is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m.–4 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sundays 12 p.m.–4 PM. The Visitor’s Center is closed on holidays. The Library, located in the Hunnewell Building, is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.. The Library is closed on Sundays and holidays. Stacks are closed and the collection does not circulate.
Two hundred and sixty-five acres (107 hectares) in the Jamaica Plain and Roslindale sections of Boston, Massachusetts, located at 42°19′N 71°5′W / 42.317°N 71.083°W / 42.317; -71.083, with altitudes ranging from 46 feet (15 m) in the meadow across the drive from the Hunnewell Building to 240 feet (79 m) at the top of Peters Hill.
Average yearly rainfall is 43.63 inches (1,102 mm); average snowfall, 40.2 inches (102 centimeters). Monthly mean temperature is 51.5 °F (10.8 °C); July’s mean temperature is 73.5 °F (23 °C); January’s is 29.6 °F (-1.3 °C). The Arboretum is located in USDA hardiness zone 6 (0 to −10 °F, −18 to −23 °C).
The mission of the Arnold Arboretum is to increase our knowledge of the evolution and biology of woody plants. Historically, this research has investigated the global distribution and evolutionary history of trees, shrubs and vines, with particular emphasis on the disjunct species of East Asia and North America. Today this work continues through molecular studies of the evolution and biogeography of the floras of temperate Asia, North America and Europe.
Research activities include molecular studies of gene evolution, investigations of plant-water relations, and the monitoring of plant phenology, vegetation succession, nutrient cycling and other factors that inform studies of environmental change. Applied work in horticulture uses the collections for studies in plant propagation, plant introduction, and environmental management. This diversity of scientific investigation is founded in a continuing commitment to acquire, grow, and document the recognized species and infraspecific taxa of ligneous plants of the Northern Hemisphere that are able to withstand the climate of the Arboretum’s 265-acre (1.07 km2) Jamaica Plain/Roslindale site.
As a primary resource for research in plant biology, the Arboretum’s living collections are actively developed, curated, and managed to support scientific investigation and study. To this end, acquisition policies place priority on obtaining plants that are genetically representative of documented wild populations. For each taxon, the Arnold Arboretum aspires to grow multiple accessions of known wild provenance in order to represent significant variation that may occur across the geographic range of the species. Accessions of garden or cultivated provenance are also acquired as governed by the collections policies herein.
For all specimens, full documentation of both provenance and history within the collection is a critical priority. Curatorial procedures provide for complete and accurate records for each accession, and document original provenance, locations in the collections, and changes in botanical identity. Herbarium specimens, DNA materials, and digital images are gathered for the collection and maintained in Arboretum data systems and the herbarium at the Roslindale site.
Research on plant pathology and integrated pest management for maintenance of the living collections is constantly ongoing. Herbarium-based research focuses on the systematics and biodiversity of both temperate and tropical Asian forests, as well as the ecology and potential for sustainable use of their resources. The Arboretum’s education programs offer school groups and the general public a wide range of lectures, courses, and walks focusing on the ecology and cultivation of plants. Its quarterly magazine, Arnoldia, provides in-depth information on horticulture, botany, and garden history. Current Research Initiatives
Plant records are maintained on a computerized database, BG-BASE 6.8 (BG-Base Inc.), which was initiated in 1985 at the request of the Arnold Arboretum and the Threatened Plants Unit (TPU) of the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC). A computerized mapping program (based on AutoCAD (Autodesk)) is linked to BG-BASE, and each accession is recorded on a series of maps at a scale of 1-inch (25 mm) to 20 feet (1:240) or 1-inch (25 mm) to 10 feet (1:120). A computer-driven embosser generates records labels. All accessioned plants in the collections are labeled with accession number, botanical name, and cultivar name (when appropriate), source information, common name, and map location. Trunk and/or display labels are also hung on many accessions and include botanical and common names and nativity. Stake labels are used to identify plants located in the Leventritt Garden and Chinese Path.
The grounds staff consists of the superintendent and assistant superintendent, three arborists, and ten horticultural technologists. A service garage is adjacent to the Hunnewell Building, where offices and locker rooms are located. During the summer months ten horticultural interns supplement the grounds staff. A wide array of vehicles and modern equipment, including an aerial lift truck and a John Deere backhoe and front loader, are used in grounds maintenance. Permanent grounds staff, excluding the superintendents, are members of AFL/CIO Local 615, Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Nursery and Greenhouse Facilities
The Dana Greenhouses, located at 1050 Centre Street (with a mailing address of 125 Arborway), were completed in 1962. They comprise four service greenhouses totaling 3,744 square feet (348 m²), the headhouse with offices, cold rooms, storage areas, and a classroom. Staffing at the greenhouse includes the manager of greenhouses and nurseries, the plant propagator, two assistants, and, during the summer months, two horticultural interns. Adjacent to the greenhouse is a shade house of 3,150 square feet (293 m²), a 12,600 cubic foot (357 m³) cold storage facility, and three irrigated, inground nurseries totaling approximately one and one-half acres (6,000 m²). Also located in the greenhouse complex is the bonsai pavilion, where the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection is displayed from the middle of April to the end of October. During the winter months the bonsai are held in the cold storage unit at temperatures slightly above freezing.
Isabella Welles Hunnewell Internship Program
The living collections department of the Arnold Arboretum offers a paid summer internship program  that combines hands-on training in horticulture with educational courses. Intern trainees will be accepted for 12- to 24-week appointments. Ten interns will work with the grounds maintenance department and two in the Dana Greenhouses.
As part of the training program, interns participate in mandatory instructional sessions and field trips in order to develop a broader sense of the Arboretum’s horticultural practices as well as those of other institutions. Sessions and field trips are led by Arnold staff members and embrace an open question and answer format encouraging all to participate. Interns often bring experience and knowledge that everyone, including staff, benefits from. It is a competitive-free learning environment.
The Arboretum created the horticultural apprenticeship program in 1997 to provide hands-on experience in all aspects of the development, curation, and maintenance of the Arboretum’s living collections to individuals interested in pursuing a career in an arboretum or botanical garden.
The Living Collections department of the Arnold Arboretum offers a summer internship program that combines practical hands-on training in horticulture with educational courses. Fourteen Interns/Horticultural Trainees are accepted for twelve to twenty-four week appointments. Interns receive the majority of their training in one of three departments: Grounds Maintenance, Nursery and Greenhouse, or Plant Records.
The second Sunday in May every year is "Lilac Sunday". This is the only day of the year that picnicing is allowed. In 2008, on the 100th anniversary of Lilac Sunday, the Arboretum website touted:
Of the thousands of flowering plants in the Arboretum, only one, the lilac, is singled out each year for a daylong celebration. On Lilac Sunday, garden enthusiasts from all over New England gather at the Arboretum to picnic, watch Morris dancing, and tour the lilac collection. On the day of the event, which takes place rain or shine, the Arboretum is open as usual from dawn to dusk.
The Arboretum’s herbarium in Jamaica Plain holds specimens of cultivated plants that relate to the living collections (ca. 160,000). The Jamaica Plain herbarium, horticultural library, archives, and photographs are maintained in the Hunnewell building at 125 Arborway; however, the main portions of the herbarium and library collections are housed in Cambridge on the campus of Harvard University, at 22 Divinity Avenue.
The inventory of living collections is updated periodically and made available to sister botanical gardens and arboreta on request; it is also available on the Arboretum’s website (searchable inventory). Arnoldia, the quarterly magazine of the Arnold Arboretum, frequently publishes articles relating to the living collections. A Reunion of Trees by Stephen A. Spongberg (curator emeritus) recounts the history of the introduction of many of the exotic species included in the Arobretum’s collections. New England Natives written by horticultural research archivist Sheila Connor describes many of the trees and shrubs of the New England flora and the ways New Englanders have used them since prehistoric times. Science in the Pleasure Ground by Ida Hay (former curatorial associate) constitutes an institutional biography of the Arboretum.
The Arboretum maintains an institutional membership in the American Public Garden Association (APGA) and the International Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta. Additionally, members of the staff are associated with many national and international botanical and horticultural organizations. The Arboretum is also a cooperating institution with the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC), and as an active member of the North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC), it is committed to broadening and maintaining its holdings of: Acer, Carya, Fagus, Stewartia, Syringa, and Tsuga for the purposes of plant conservation, evaluation, and research. The Arboretum is also a member of the North American China Plant Exploration Consortium (NACPEC).