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Another Business Trip - Charlotte and Lynchburg

March 18-24

Written March 28

Dear Friends and Family,


This is another one of those keeping-track diaries, this time of yet another  business trip to America.  In  many ways, his would be different than last month's: longer, mostly in Charlotte versus Lynchburg, and  including two-and-a-half weekends. Here's the first part of the story.

The trip started with a two-hour drive to Frankfurt airport early on Sunday.  Marianne came with me and we enjoyed as easy a drive as we have ever had on the infamous A3 Autobahn.  No accidents.  Little traffic. No rain.  No problem.  I actually made it to check-in before they opened the lines!

After check-in, I managed to kill enough time by going through security twice, once to the frequent flier lounge and once to the US Airlines gate for Flight 705.  All together, I think I went through five lines, two security searches, and a couple more security questioning sessions.  In the end, I almost needed the three hours I had.

The flight was uneventful.  It was plumb full, but I had an aisle seat and a smallish seat neighbor.  That's about as good as it gets.  After eleven hours, we all got out and went through the American immigration line.  Last time I had been in Charlotte, this step had taken 90 minutes, but this time it was more like nine.  Bags took another twenty minutes.  The Hertz car another twenty minutes.  All in all, I was driving to the hotel an hour after landing, a good trip.

The rest of the week was work.  Just work.  Not remarkable.  Three days in Charlotte and two days in Lynchburg.  Actually, part of it was fun, since I did get to chat with old friends.  Honestly, I think that was part of the reason for the trip, since I may not be back again before I retire in another three months.

All week, I tired before I could take my camera out of the backpack, so there are no illustrations up through the end of the week.  However, I had a plan for a photo shoot on the weekend: an evening shoot in Lynchburg, a sunrise shoot up in the mountains, daytime pictures from Roanoke and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  That was the plan.  Here's the reality.

Friday evening weather was decent.  I left work a bit early, grabbed the camera bag, and headed across the river to Madison Heights.  I had hoped to find a place to get a clear shot of downtown.  However, driving through the residential part of Madison Heights, I found it to be a village where I was not willing to take expensive equipment out of my locked car.  Nice views, but ...

Eventually I found a great parking lot at McBride Signs and asked if I could trespass to take pictures.  They agreed, warning me that the bank was steep and a fall would not be good.  I agreed.  In the end, I took a couple shots from the top and two more from down below.  Nothing spectacular, just new practice after my dry spell.  (It's interesting how necessary it really is to keep clicking.  Otherwise, the technology gets in the way of making fun pictures.)

downtown 2
rock wall
Lynchburg's from McBride Signs

Rock wall below McBride
Fountain, toward Lynchburg

After the Madison Heights side, I drove over to the other bank of the river.  On this side, the river park is isolated by an active railroad track.  Another risk for taking pictures.


From the river bank, I climbed to the very top of Court House Hill.  Another nice view, including of the monument to the fallen Confederate soldiers.  This really is THE SOUTH.

hill view

Finally, I drove over to The Point of Honor monument.  Actually, it's an old house where the locals defended their town against the Union invaders.  The story is interesting, since the invaders seemed to have left without serious damage.  Nowadays, the Point also offers an interesting view of the local pipe foundry. This may have been my favorite picture -- including the post-processing.  Again, not everyone's taste.

Point of Honor

So, an OK start of my photo weekend.  OK, not great, but it was nice to give it a try.

Tomorrow, bigger plans!




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