Tag: American West

Making Plans

Hey Everyone!

I know I recently made a blog post about places I wanted to go hiking, and I have gotten thinking about the places, that don’t necessarily include hikes, or are not hiking specific that I want to go visit, and see.

I have been interested in, and loved exploring the old ghost towns, and restored ghost towns of the American and Canadian West. This began the first time I had visited Barkerville, British Columba, in Canada. I would love to go back to Barkerville again, now that I am an adult.

I am fascinated by old places, as of yet, I am a die hard urban explorer, but I do love seeing these old places, that have a history, and at one time were living, breathing towns that were bustling with life. Then for whatever reason these places became abandoned, and go from bustling to nothing. I don’t believe in ghosts or paranormal, yet I do believe that the places still hold memories of the people who lived there, which is eerie in and of itself. I know buildings aren’t alive like humans are, ┬ábut there is just something about old, abandoned places, where human life has left an imprint.

Some old Ghost Towns I would love to visit include:
Bannock, Montana
Bodie, California
Tombstone, AZ
Virginia City, Nevada
Goldfield, Nevada
Barkerville, British Columbia

Idaho Silver Mining Towns such as:
Chesterfield Historic Town Site
Wallace Area
Bayhorse Ghost Town and Trails
Silver Valley Historical Area
Custer Historic Mining Town
Silver City Historical Area
Idaho City Historical Area
Sierra Silver Mine Tour

On a less creepy, old, scary note other places I want to go visit include:

Going back to New York City, two more times, once when the weather is decent and warm enough to go see all the sights, and the second time, being sometime between Thanksgiving and mid December. I want to see the skating rink and the tree in Rockefeller center, as well as everything decorated up for Christmas.

I want to visit Vermont, New Hampshire, or Maine in the fall and see what all the fuss about Autumn in New England is all about, especially since fall is my favorite season.

I also want to go to Disneyland in October to see it decorated all up for Halloween, as well as in December, to see it all decorated for Christmas. One of these trips (Probably the October Trip), I would love to go back to San Diego. I didn’t get to see as much as I wanted to the first time.

I would also love to be able to spend a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in London. I would love to attend the Midnight Mass at Westminster Abbey, that begins Christmas Eve night and goes into Christmas Morning, as well as attend a Christmas Service on Christmas Morning. Then head up to Scotland, and stay through New Years (which would include my birthday), before coming back to the States.

I would also love to visit Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier National Park, Denali National Park, see the Great Smoky Mountains, as well as Nashville.

There is a lot I want I want to see, but nothing that can’t be done in my life time, yet still be able to put down roots somewhere, and have a home of my own. At worst be able to do some urban homesteading, at best have a bit of property and do a bit more intensive homesteading.


Favorite College Courses

Hey Everyone!

Now that graduation season is upon us, and that I have been out of college (university) for four years now, I posed the question on The Daily Happenings about what your favorite college classes were and why.

While I was in college I majored in Social Science with a History focus, and my favorite classes were the two History of the American West classes, and the two Gender Issues (women’s history) classes I took. All four classes were at the 400 level, which means that they were upper division (Junior/Senior level classes). Where I went to school classes were divided up by hundred level classes, (essentially) 100 level classes were freshmen level classes, 200 were sophomore level, 300 were junior level, 400 senior level, 500 were for grad students that were split classes with 400 level, so the material covered in class was the same as the 400 level, but the grad students had more work expected of them. 600 level classes were strictly grad level classes. With the 100 – 400 level classes, for under grad students, you could go up a 100 level (say you were a freshmen, you could go up to 200 level classes) if you had completed the prereq’s if there were any, or have the class be part of your course of study. For example, U.S. History was a three term 200 level class that did not have any prerequisites, so I was able to take the first class as a freshmen. As a sophomore, once I had changed my major, and added a minor, I had taken Shakespeare (an English class for my minor) beings that the only prereq classes I had already completed, and I was a sophomore (and Shakespeare was a 300 level class, so I could go up that one level) have that one level up latitude came in useful as a Junior since all the upper division classes were 400 level classes. I should mention that while you could only go up one level (from say a 100 to a 200 level class freshmen year), you could go down levels, and skip levels if you were going down. Say you were me, and as a junior or senior social science major, you had put off taking your last 100 level earth science class you needed to graduate, as a junior or senior you could take that 100 level class even though you were taking primarily 300 and 400 level classes. So you pretty much worked your way up, and could pick up lower level general ed requirements (or even PE classes, whatever if you needed/wanted to take one or needed a filler class to make sure you had enough credits to stay at the full time student credit load).

Enough about how my college worked in terms of class designations. I explained all of that, so I could just write for the rest of the post.

Like I said above my favorite classes of my entire college career were the History of the American West and Gender Issues classes, all four of these classes were 400 level history classes. I took the first gender issues class as a Junior. I finished up my general education /lower division classes my junior year. By my senior year, I was taking upper division social science and English classes. In general I found upper division (300 and 400 level) classes to be easier than the lower division classes, and I was more interested and involved in what I was learning in these classes.

Why the four classes I mentioned before were my all time favorites, because they are my history, of how I got to where I am today through the steps and measures those before me took. I am here, living where I am, having had taken the opportunity to go to college for granted, as well as the right to vote, drive a car, have my own bank account, get a job, not get married if I don’t want to, rent my own place, and the list goes on. I am not tied to some man (either my father, brother, husband) for my entire life, I can move to any part of the country I find a job in. There is a lot I take for granted, that I needed to know the struggle that was gone through so I could even know the rights and privileges I have today. I also had really good professors for these courses (three of the four were with the same professor). While you can’t always pick your professor for certain classes, though when certain classes look interesting and they can be applied to your general ed/major/minor requirements, and they are with a professor you like and have gotten to know, then why not take several classes with that professor. Prior to taking the History of the American West classes, I was already super interested/liked learning about/going and seeing the physical history and old towns of the American West, and learning about westward migration. The fact that I was interested in the subjects really helped in the fact that I liked these classes. That is part of what I liked about going to a small college, while some of my 100 level science classes were on the big side (over 100 students) they were all smaller than some of the smaller lectures on bigger campuses. All of my upper division classes had a maximum of 30 or 40 students, usually were not full. They were smaller classes, and you got to know the other people in the given major. While I was social science major, my focus was in History, so I got to know a lot of the history majors, and beings that my minor was literature, I got to know a lot of the English Majors, as I had several upper division classes with these people.

Funny Story, as I mentioned that three of the four of my favorite classes I had with the same professor, I had also had for my History 201 class (early U.S. History) and there was a reading that she had passed out in one of the upper division classes, and as I was reading it, it sounds familiar so while we were having group discussion on the readings we had just done there in class, I had asked her when she had come over if she had used that reading for history 201, three years earlier. It turns out that it was the same handout, and apparently my memory of things I have read is not shabby as I had recognized it 2 or 3 years later, and probably had only read it over once the first time.

To sum it all up, I liked The Gender Issues and History of the American West classes the most because I was interested in the subject matter, I took the classes with good professors, and I knew people going into my classes, which made is more fun, and easier for studying.