Thursday, September 12, 2019

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 416

Girl in the Moon, 1907 reprint

Today’s postcard is one that Q sent in 1997.  On his way to grad school in Madison, Wisconsin he stopped in Milwaukee and visited the Miller Valley Cultural Center that included tours and information about the Miller Brewing Company and had a gift shop where he found this postcard.  The card has the number J17071CC at the lower right corner on the reverse.  It was printed and distributed by the Miller Brewing Company. 

The card shows the famous 1907 “Girl in the Moon” advertisement for Miller High Life Beer.   She was featured in Miller ads and on bottles and cans from 1907 to the present with a hiatus during the late 1980s and 1990s.  She returned in 2005 with a minor makeover she looks as she did in 1943.  There are several different poses, some with the profile such as the one above, some with a full face, some standing, and some sitting.  Promotional items with the 1907 version are coveted as collector’s pieces. 

It is not known for sure who inspired the moon maiden but it is thought that she was a daughter, granddaughter or possibly a goddaughter of the Miller family.  One account names her as Loretta Miller Kopmeier the daughter of Carl Miller and granddaughter of Frederick Miller, the founder of the Miller Brewing Company.  She visited the brewery with her father when she was about 12 or 13 years old.  Her father sat her down and she dramatically held up her hand.  That incident became the inspiration for her father and she became the model for the Girl in the Moon.  Besides the girl the design shows her amid the clouds and stars in a spacious sky.  Loretta was born in 1892 and would have been closer to 15 in 1907; however, the brewery was founded in 1903 so the design could have been from a year or two earlier than the original ad campaign.  Q’s comment on the back of the card “Here’s a souvenir from my tour of Milwaukee’s cultural center, also known as ‘Miller Valley.’  Entertaining but sentimental story.”  Loretta Miller Kopmeier died in 1990 and is buried in Milwaukee.

Trays, plates, glasses and cups with logos such as this may have been fairly popular in the early 1900s as we also have a couple items from local breweries, Rainier and Olympia, with “Gibson Girls” on them that were collected by members of the Landaas and Lee families. The artwork is in the Art Nouveau style that was popular between about 1880 to the beginning of World War I (1914).  There are charming illustrations in children’s books dating from that era that also feature the same style of artwork.

For additional information, see:

Friday, September 6, 2019

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 415

Rachel Carson Bridge, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2019

Joel B. Levinson is credited with photograph on this week’s postcard showing the Rachel Carson or 9th Street Bridge in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and city skyline at night.  The card is a Gold Star Products, Inc., issue and has an identifying number, GSP-394 at the lower left on the reverse. 

The bridge spans the Allegheny River and was constructed in 1927.  It is one of three bridges often called the Three Sisters.  The other two are the Roberto Clemente Bridge and the Andy Warhol Bridge.  They are the only trio of nearly identical self-anchored suspension bridges built in the United States.  The total length of the 9th Street bridge is 840 ft or 260 m including the 410 ft or 120 m main span and two side spans.  The total width of the bridge deck is 62 ft or 19 m which includes two 10 ft or 3 m sidewalks and a 38 ft or 12 m roadway.  Formerly the roadway had two streetcar tracks and two vehicle lanes, now it has four wide vehicle lanes.  The bridge is named after the naturalist Rachel Carson, who was a Pittsburgh native.  This bridge was closed in February 2019 for a rehabilitation project and is expected to remain closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic until June 2020.  Traffic is being detoured to the other two sister bridges.

For additional information, see:

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Double Bluff, 2019

 Sign at Double Bluff park 

Hot in the city?  We’re off to a saltwater beach.  Double Bluff on Whidbey Island sounded like a terrific place to get out of the heat and enjoy a walk on the beach. Getting there meant taking a ferry from Mukilteo on the mainland to Clinton on the island, always a fun thing to do especially on a warm day.   We timed it to arrive when the tide was out and there would be interesting things to see along the shoreline.  A group of people were digging clams.  When I was a kid there were always plenty of shells and sand dollars, crabs, anemones and other sea creatures on the local beaches but in recent years it has been hard to find much evidence of sea life.  However, Double Bluff was loaded with shells of all sorts and sizes, crab shells, and even a sand dollar.  

Adjacent to the park is private property with homes along the shoreline.  This day every home had flags flying presumably for Labor Day Weekend.

 The outgoing tide had left these boats anchored to their floats but on dry land

 Low tide with plenty of beach exposed

 Rose bushes lined part of the shore, some roses had already gone to the hip stage

 others were still in bloom like this one

Lots of shells on the beach

 Bob crossing a kelp and rock bed, people digging clams in the background

Clam digging 

The Double Bluff for which the park is named

 We walked all the way down to the point and back, about 3 1/2 miles

 We saw clumps of these yellow beach flowers

 Look back toward the way we came

 There were several of these driftwood structures along the beach

There were Great Blue Herons wading and fishing in the shallows, cormorants in the sea that occasionally stood up and spread their wings before dipping back down in the water, plenty of gulls walking along the shallows, ospreys flying overhead and in the trees and even a bald eagle sitting a top a tree.  The beach is long, sandy with small stones, lots of driftwood, and plenty of wet slippery kelp to wade through to get to the hard sand when we got tired of walking on the soft dry sand.  

 Great Blue Heron and gulls



Count for the day:  50 people, 20 dogs with most of the people and dogs arriving in the afternoon

Thursday, August 29, 2019

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 414

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2019

This aerial cityscape postcard of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has a photo by Dan Amerson.  The card was produced by Gold Star Products and printed in the U.S.A. with an identifying number, GSP-600, at the lower left on the reverse.  The two sports stadiums, Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers professional football team can be found in the foreground, and PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates professional baseball team, is found at the middle left.

Usually when we fly to Marietta, Ohio we travel via Chicago, Illinois and Columbus, Ohio, rent a car and drive about 2 ½ hours to Marietta.  This time because we were going for Q’s funeral we wanted to travel and share the rental car with B and that meant getting 3 seats on the same plane. 

B made the travel arrangements and managed to get us on a non-stop flight to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, also about a 2 ½ hour drive from Marietta.  All the flights were full and we were extremely lucky to get on the same plane even though we could not sit together.  I am a nervous flyer but Bob was behind me and I could reach over the back of the seat and grab his hand when necessary.  He, in turn, handed me pieces of chocolate every now and then.  B had to bump himself up to first class in order to be on the same flight.

I had never been to Pittsburgh and set about trying to pick up a few postcards and possibly a magnet for the fridge.  No magnets could be found but I did find this postcard and one other that will shared next week. 

Pittsburgh is located at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers and was named in honor of the 1st Earl of Chatham, William Pitt, in 1758 by General John Forbes.  In 1794 the town was incorporated into a borough.   The oldest structure still standing is the Fort Pitt Blockhouse built by the British in 1764.  Boat building and glass manufacturing were early industries; however, the main industry began in about 1830 with arrival of the Welsh immigrants who had been steel and ironworkers in Wales before coming to the United States.  By 1857 Pittsburgh had 1,000 factories and was using 22 million bushels of coal in steel and iron production.  Coal mining and iron manufacturing drew large numbers of European immigrants to the area.  Today in addition to steel production Pittsburgh has high tech businesses as major contributors to the economy.  Before and during the Civil War era Pennsylvania was a free state with active Underground Railroad stations.  There are numerous accounts of people fleeing slavery in southern states that received help from station agents and African-American hotel workers who gave advice about safe routes and safe places to stay.

Heinz Field opened in 2001 and is home to the Steelers and the NCCAA Pittsburgh Panthers.  Prior to Heinz Field the imploded Three Rivers Stadium was used for football and baseball as well as other sports and entertainment.  The new Heinz Field is located on the North Shore and is named for the H.J. Heinz Company famous makers of ketchup.  It also is used for other sports, such as soccer and hockey, and as an entertainment venue for concerts.

PNC Park also opened in 2001 and is home to the Pittsburgh Pirates professional baseball team.  It is also located on the North Shore near the 3 Sisters bridges.  PNC Park is sponsored by PNC Financial Services who purchased the naming rights in 1998.  Heinz Field, PNC Park and the David L. Lawrence Convention Center were all funded in conjunction for $216 million and took only 24 months to complete.  Both Heinz Field and PNC Park use Kentucky bluegrass as their surface.   PNC Park is also used as an entertainment venue.

For more interesting information, please see:

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Around Sheep Lake we go, 2019

Approaching Sheep Lake

We have been to Sheep Lake more than once, sometimes as a brief stop on the way to Sourdough Gap; however, until this time we had not walked all around the lake and were not sure it could be done.  The trail around the lake almost disappears in places but there are campsites all along the lakeside so it seemed reasonable that there must be a trail going around.  Yes, there is a way around the lake.  We found an especially nice, private spot at the end of the lake.  It had peek-a-boo views, trees, solitude, and a nice log to sit on for lunchtime.  Our round trip ended up being about 5 miles with a 500 ft elevation gain.  That is pretty good this year for me since my Achilles is still not completely healed. 

Looking out from the trail toward the valley

Narrow, sandy, and a gentle grade most of the way to the lake

The trail is a section of the Pacific Crest Trail and each time we have gone to Sheep Lake we have run into some through hikers.  This time was no exception.  We met a young couple that had started from Mexico in March and were heading to Canada.  They planned on doing 18 more miles that day and were hoping to stay in a cabin since their tent was wet from heavy rainfall the night before.  Lucky for them we still had oranges leftover from lunch that we shared with them—it is called “trail magic” for through hikers and fun for us to do.  We estimated that they probably had already hiked about 5 or 6 miles and at that rate they would make it to the Canadian border in about 2 or 3 weeks.  Total distance on the trail from Mexico to Canada is 2,645 miles. We have a Happy Hikers friend who is currently walking the Way of St. James, medieval Pilgrim trail, from France to Spain.  That route is hut to hut and is about 1,000 miles.  I have great admiration for folks who take on such monumental long distance hikes. 

We didn't expect to find many flowers still in bloom so late in the season and were pleasantly surprised at what we did find.


Blue bells of Scotland also called Hare bells

Orange Paintbrush


A meadow filled with mountain Aster

Pink Monkey flower, we found a yellow one too

Mountain Ash turning red

The parking area at Chinook Pass serves both Naches Loop and Sheep Lake trails.  There are outhouses, but this time no toilet paper!  

Views of Sheep Lake from the loop around trail

This was not the only dog that jumped into the lake

Western toad in a small stream


Bird box for Mountain Bluebird

The two horses passed us before we could get more than just the tail . . .

Count for the day:  33 people and 5 dogs, and riders on 2 horses.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 413

Haida Village, Haida Gwaii, Alaska, 1890

Today’s featured postcard is another one I found in a shop in Ketchikan.  Richard Maynard is identified as the photographer on the card dated 1890*.  The picture shows a Haida Village, Haida Gwaii also called Queen Charlotte Islands, off the northern Pacific Coast of Canada.  The blurb on the reverse states:  “Each house in this village was identified with crests which were displayed on mortuary poles and house front.”  The card was printed in Canada and is a Native Elements product,, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

There are between 40 and 60 islands in the archipelago that includes the two main islands, Graham Island (Kiis Gwaay) on the north and Moresby Island (Taawxii Xaaydaga Gwaay.yaay linagwaay**—south people island or Gwaay Haanas—islands of Beauty). There are also approximately 150 smaller islands. 

Archaeologists have established that the Haida people have lived on the islands for 13,000 years.  Today form about half of the population.  They have their own acting government called the Council of the Haida Nation.  The islands were formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands or “the Charlottes.”  In 2010 the Haida Gwaii Reconciliation Act, in an agreement between British Columbia and the Haida people, renamed them.

The Haida population was around 30,000 inhabitants until the Europeans arrived bringing with them diseases such as smallpox, measles, typhoid, and syphilis.  About 90% of the people died from these illnesses during the 1800s.  By 1900 there were only 350 people remaining and many of the towns and villages had been abandoned.  Today the population living on the islands is about 4,500.  Many of the native peoples moved to cannery towns on the mainland or to Vancouver Island.  The two remaining active island communities are Skidgate, shown on the postcard, and Old Massett, each having a population of about 700 individuals. 

It is not known for certain how the original Haida people came to settle the islands but anthropologists have found striking parallels between the inhabitants of the Kamchatka Peninsula and those of the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. 

The photographer, Richard Maynard (1832-1907) was Canadian and known mainly for his pictures featuring landscape views of British Columbia, coastal Alaska, and the Pribiloff Islands of the Bering Sea.  Maynard’s wife, Hannah, was also a photographer.  Many of his prints and personal papers were collected by Charles Newcombe.  The negatives of pictures taken by both Maynard and his wife were donated to sold by the son, Albert, to the British Columbia Archives.

For additional information about Haida Gwaii and other examples of Maynard’s photography, see:


*  There is another similar photograph on Wikipedia that is labeled “Houses and totem poles, Skidegate, 26 July 1878 (George Mercer Dawson, Geological Survey of Canada, NAC-PA-37756).”   I’m not sure if both are the same photograph or two different pictures of the same village taken at different times.

**The native names use diacritical marks and letters that I do not have on my computer so these may not be spelled exactly as they should be.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Carbon River, 2019

New Carbon River Ranger Station

The Carbon River trail is another walking trail similar to the Coal Mines Trail.  Originally it was a frequently flood damaged road that led up to the campground by the Carbon River.  The road has been closed to cars for a few years now and the campground is only accessible on foot to backpackers or bicyclers.  It is about 5 miles from the trailhead to the campground and another 3.5 miles to the glacier.  

The road is wide, graveled in most places and tree lined, nice shade on a warm day

This area is an old growth rain forest with huge trees, the majority of which were cedar, fir, hemlock and alder.  It was mined for coal and copper but the forest was not commercially logged.  Bob was our measuring rod and posed by several trees to show how big they are.  While not as big as the trees we saw in the Redwoods, these are still impressive.  We only saw a few tree stumps with notches indicating the trees had been cut down to make way for the road; however, the trail winds around and appears to try to avoid the removal of as many big trees as possible. 

Some of the trees have fallen, or not quite fallen.  Most of the trees have long dangling clumps of witch’s hair lichen hanging from the branches and moss growing on the sides of the trunks.   

 Carbon River with milky glacier water

It is a lovely walk in an old forest and has access in a couple of places to the river.  The water comes from the glacier and is a milky color, extremely cold and is only minutes away from being ice.  

 Bob illustrates how big the trees are . . .

some of the trees had "caves". . .

Wow, 8 feet at the base diameter or about 25 or 26 feet around!

There is also a .3 mile loop hike in the forest that begins right at the trailhead before reaching the main trail.  Part way along the main trail is another .3 mile or about ½ mile round trip offshoot trail to the Washington Mining & Milling Company copper mine ruins.  The trail to the mine starts out level but quickly becomes steep and climbs for most of the way to the mine.

Not many flowers on this woodsy trail the day we were there.  The find of the day was Indian Pipe, the first we have seen this year.  Wildlife was limited to a moth, a Douglas Squirrel, and a few bird calls. 

 Indian Pipe

 butterfly or moth?  we couldn't find this one in any of our books

 He's tiny and blends in but the squirrel is sitting on the log eating a cone nut

The bunch berry or Canadian dogwood had already gone to berry stage

The new ranger station where campers can get a backpacking camping permit is now about 1.5 miles from the trailhead.  The outhouses are still located next to the old ranger station right at the trailhead.  We did approximately 4.5 miles round trip with a brief stop for lunch at the turn around spot. 

Count for the day, 22 people, including a family of 6 on bikes, and two men on bikes with their camping gear in a bike trailer, no dogs.  Note, the bulletin board states that only well trained service dogs are allowed on this trail.  The board also has instructions about what to do if a hiker encounters a bear or a cougar. 

No bears or cougars on our hike