Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Southfork Ranch

Last year I rode across 5 new states in the south to add to my list and one of the cities I had put on my route was the city of Dallas.  The city is well known for its oil industry and is home to the third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the nation.  The city has beautiful architecture and as you approach it from the south you see the sun reflecting its tall shining buildings in its center.
I will make another post about my visit to the city but this post is about another very well known place in Dallas, the Southfork Ranch or the "Ewing Mansion", which was the setting for the Dallas television series which aired from 1978 to 1991.  I remember watching the series in South Africa and being glued to the television during the "Who shot J.R." episode in 1980.  I could not pass through Dallas and not visit the home made famous by the show.  I will not bore you with details, you can read all about it on the Wiki link below, I will just say the show was not filmed inside this house and the road below leading to the famous entrance has always been paved even though in the show it appeared dusty and made of gravel, all Hollywood magic.

How many times did we see Bobby (Patrick Duffy) or Pamela (Victoria Principal) coming out of this pool?  looked gigantic in the show, as explained by our guide, all done with mirrors to make it appear much larger.  It's about the same size as my own pool.

The famous kitchen where Miss Ellie Ewing would prepare her meals and barbecues.

The main living room where the oil and cattle rich Ewings would have a drink and talk business with their dad.

A beautifully decorated bedroom where Lucy, Charlene Tilton, would spend time crying.

J.R. and Sue Ellen's really large bed in another beautifully decorated room.  The fights between J.R. and Sue Ellen were always interesting and her drinking scenes provided drama to the series.

From the famous balcony where the Ewing's would view their ranch and the Olympic size pool.  The pool is also where would-be murderess Kristin Shepard’s body is discovered floating after supposedly J.R. pushing her.  The funny thing is there's no way anyone falling from the balcony could fall in the pool, most likely you would fall on the bushes below and not even get hurt.   The pool is pretty small compared to the average pool in Texas.

The Ducane Gas Grill company, one of the industry's gas grill pioneers was asked to develop a luxury version of their product for the Ewing family.  The grill was named the Ducane Southfork and was truly Texas-sized.  The Ewing's were always having barbecues and parties with the grill helping to launch the possibilities of gas grilling to television viewers.

Jock Ewing's (Jim Davis) Lincoln Mark V in the Southfork gift shop.  When Jock was looking to buy a new car and the salesman explained the new Mark VI weighed just under 3900 pounds and wouldn't need so much engine to pull it and would burn much less fuel, Jock replied:
“Sir, I am an oilman.  I want to burn fuel.  And a lot of it.  Wouldn’t it be counterproductive for me to worry about fuel economy?”

The front of the "Mansion" at Southfork Ranch is actually a 5,900 sq ft house with a 957 sq ft enclosed garage that was turned into a den/card room.  The house was only used for outside shots with the inside filming done in a studio in Hollywood. 

In 1979, I and probably thousands of other teenagers fell in love with Pamela, Bobby's wife.  Her orange swimsuit and the scene of her floating in the pool on her back made an everlasting impression on me.  The pool scenes are permanently archived in the back of my brain.

I had to ask another visitor to take a photo of me in front of the Ewing's palace.  It was a hot summer Texas day and I had just ridden up from downtown Dallas through tremendous traffic, it felt good to be inside the air conditioned house.

Toasting a drink with the beloved J.R. Ewing.  Larry Martin Hagman was best known for playing the ruthless oil baron, sadly he passed away in 2012. I loved his scheming and machiavellian character.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Day 26.2 - Stewart - British Columbia

These photos are from my Alaska trip and cover the return from Dease Lake to Stewart, British Columbia.   My plan was to head to Stewart, cross into Hyder, Alaska, no border crossing, and then head up to Salmon Glacier.

Black bear on the side of the road

One of the glaciers on the way to Stewart

A smaller glacier approaching Stewart

Another glacier closer to Stewart.  Beautiful scenery everywhere.

The Stewart brothers arrived in 1902. In 1905, Robert M. Stewart, the first postmaster, named the town Stewart.  Gold and silver mining dominated the early economy.

More to follow

Friday, April 24, 2015

Day 26.1 - Dease Lake - Stewart

These photos are from my Alaska trip and cover the return from Dease Lake to Stewart, British Columbia.   My plan was to head to Stewart, cross into Hyder, Alaska and then head up to Salmon Glacier.

This first post will show the beautiful scenery on the way to Stewart along the Stewart-Cassiar Highway.  I encountered lots of wild life on this stretch of road.

A Fox

There are quite a few metal bridges along the way

The scenery is spectacular 

Meziadin Lake

At every turn you come upon amazing views 

Black Bear on the side of the road.  He didn't run away when I stopped nearby

More to follow

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Day 25.2 - Whitehorse - Dease Lake

These photos are from my Alaska trip and cover the return from Whitehorse, Yukon through Jade City, British Columbia and ending up at Dease Lake.

Jade City is a very small town, with only a population of twenty people. There are two local seasonally-operated businesses that offer highway services and sell jade products made from nearby formations of the stone. Currently, only one of the two stores is active. During the summer a church opens up to the public offering Sunday services

RV park on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway

Beautiful lakes along the Stewart-Cassiar Highway

All alone with miles of road behind and ahead of me.  I did the trip back from Alaska alone

My little Darth Vader, a little dirty but happy to be along for the ride

This is one way to transport a trailer

I arrived late at the lake and was lucky to find a campsite.  All spots were taken but the owner let me share a campsite with another motorcyclist after asking him if it was okay.  We ended up chatting for hours into the night about motorcycle adventures and our various trips.  I only had a can of soup and a few crackers but my camping partner had a few extra beers which he shared with me.  Ended the day watching a spectacular sunset, it was a great night.

I still had my motorcycle boots on when I walked to the edge of the lake to see the sunset.  The flash really accentuates my white legs.

There's nothing better when you camping then witnessing a sunset over a lake.  I was really enjoying my trip along the Stewart-Cassiar Highway