TURN: Washington’s Spies Sweepstakes Offers Chance to Win a Revolutionary Adventure

Don’t miss your chance to enter the TURN: Washington’s Spies – A Revolutionary Adventure Sweepstakes. One Grand Prize winner will choose an adventure package to visit one of the following revolutionary locations: George Washington’s Mount Vernon located in Northern Virginia, the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., or Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. The prize package includes round-trip airfare for the winner and three guests, two-night hotel accommodations, tickets to the chosen attraction, and more.

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sunday was nice

  • we went to lowell national historical park and went to some museums and walked around downtown lowell which is kind of bombed out/deserted. it’s pretty cool though. so much brick and so many mills!

• went to our usual cambodian restaurant and got usual things— beef stew, Chinese doughnut, fermented beef sticks, summer rolls. plus durian shake bc you know that’s our kryptonite.

• i fell asleep in the car bc that’s what I do. I eat then fall asleep or want to fall asleep.

• then we went to a potluck with a bunch of the Boston music scene kids. you know, like tumblr or Adidas/Nike goth hipsterish. it was nice to be able to actually talk to characters you see at the club. I brought poppy seed roulade and red wine chocolate cake.

• my body aches everywhere from lifting and probably some derby— back, pecs, triceps, quads, glutes, hams. I keep foam rolling and LAXing and it’s just not sticking. I’m so excited to get a massage on Thursday. it’ll be a great way to ring in a 3-day weekend!!

• 9 weeks out today. I’m sending in my meet application today! my macros weren’t perfect this weekend but I’m not worried about the cut.


Meet 93 year-old Betty Reid Soskin — the oldest active national park ranger. Once a file clerk in a Jim Crow union hall during World War II, Soskin is now helping preserve WWII history at Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park in California. Read Soskin’s amazing story: #WomensHistoryMonth


Amazing Ancient Ruins of the Pueblo People

Ancient Pueblo people were an ancient Native American culture centered on the present-day Four Corners area of the United States, comprising southern Utah, northeastern Arizona, northern New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado. Archaeologists still debate when this distinct culture emerged but the current consensus is around 12th century BC.

They lived in a range of structures, including pit houses, pueblos, and cliff dwellings designed so that they could lift entry ladders during enemy attacks, which provided security. The pictures above feature some of the amazing pueblos and cliff dwellings of these people. The most photographed ruin is the “House on Fire” (picture 1). This ruin, when captured at certain times of the day, resembles a dwelling on fire and is a favorite among photographers.

  • "House on Fire" ruin in Mule Canyon, South Fork, Utah
  • Petroglyph with the prehistoric symbol, flute player Kokopelli
  • Multistory dwellings at Bandelier. Rock wall foundations and beam holes and “cavates” carved into volcanic tuff remain from upper floors
  • Laguna Pueblo dwellers posing for a picture
  • Doorways, Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico
  • Casa Rinconada, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico
  • Ancestral Pueblo ruins in Dark Canyon Wilderness, Utah
  • Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park

sources 1, 2, 3

Fracking Boom Expands Near Chaco Canyon, Threatens Navajo Ancestral Lands and People

From Desmog Blog:

Beneath a giant methane gas cloud recently identified by NASA, the oil and gas fracking industry is rapidly expanding in northwestern New Mexico. Flares that light up the night sky at drilling sites along the stretch of Route 550 that passes through the San Juan Basin, which sits on top of the oil rich Mancos Shale, are tell-tale indicators of the fracking boom.

Much of the land being fracked belongs to the federal government. The rest is a mixture of state, private and Navajo Nation land.

The region is known to the Diné (Navajo) as Dinétah, the land of their ancestors. It is home of the Bisti Badlands and Chaco Culture National Historical Park, a World Heritage Site.

Few Diné see any profit from any of the industrial developments, according to White. Instead, “We pay the price in bad health – respiratory diseases, heart and kidney diseases, and diabetes.”

On January 5th, a group of Diné set off on a 200-mile journey commemorating a forced walk their ancestors took away from the area 150 years ago.

Along the way, they are meeting with members of the Diné community who have little access to the media and are listening to their concerns about the industrial development, and giving them educational materials about fracking. They intend to raise awareness about the fracking industry’s negative impacts on their community including the health risks, damage to the roads and an increase in violent crime that typically comes with an influx of temporary oil field workers.

“Our ancestors sacrificed their lives for this land. What are we showing for it?” Nicholas Ashley, another Diné youth, asked. “We are looking at resource colonization,” he says.

“Despite being at the forefront of energy extraction, our people do not see its benefits; approximately 1/4 of our people today live without electricity and running water on the Navajo Nation, while our economy functions at an unemployment rate of 60%, and our young people are leaving due to lack of opportunity,” their group’s mission statement says.

Keep reading

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Battle was a turning point in the Civil War, the Union victory that ended General Robert E. Lee’s second and most ambitious invasion of the North. Often referred to as the “High Water Mark of the Rebellion”, Gettysburg was the war’s bloodiest battle with 51,000 casualties. It was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln’s immortal “Gettysburg Address.”

Photo of General Gouverneur K. Warren on Little Round Top courtesy of the National Park Service.


The Chaco Culture National Historical Park, New Mexico, USA.

The Pueblo peoples occupied a large region of the south-western United States for over 2,000 years. Between 850 and 1250 Chaco Canyon was the major centre of ancestral Pueblo culture, which was used for ceremonials, political activity, and trade.

Chaco is an example of a prehistoric or protohistoric culture that is remarkable for its monumental public and ceremonial buildings and its distinctive architecture. 

The zenith was from around 1020 to 1110. The highly organized reconstruction of old living places, such as Pueblo Bonito and Penasco Blanco, demonstrates their skill in the use of building techniques in a difficult environment. The Chaco people combined pre-planned architectural designs, astronomical alignments, geometry, landscaping and engineering to create an ancient urban centre of spectacular public architecture. Chaco was connected to over 150 communities throughout the region by engineered roads and a shared vision of the world.

At the same time it illustrates the increasing complexity of the Chaco social structure: circular kivas having an essentially religious role appeared on a regular basis in the middle of an increasingly differentiated unitary dwelling. More and more roads were built and the signs of extensive trading became more manifest (imports of ceramics and lithic materials, including turquoise). This phase was followed by a period of rapid decadence about 1110. From 1140 to 1200, the Chaco population died out and the pueblos were abandoned. (unesco)

Photos courtesy & taken by Timothy Brown.


Look Over By That Red Rock: With 415 million red rocks (by my actual count!) in Red Rock Canyon it could take awhile to find something if that were your only clue. The colorful rock formations are a mile up the Blue Creek Trail from the Homer Wilson Ranch in Big Bend NP. At top is a view toward the canyon through a window of the covered back porch to the ranch house (gear is not mine); beneath that is a cedar corral with the canyon in the background and at bottom is looking back toward the canyon and the Chisos Mts.



Covered in lichens, garlanded by Spanish moss comes this delta dispatch from photographer Elena Ricci:

Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve is located in Marrero, Louisiana, just south of New Orleans.

Sweeping landscapes of marsh reeds, palmetto thickets and soaring cypress trees make this park a prime example of the uniqueness of Louisiana’s Mississippi delta region. Hidden amongst the vegetation are critters, large and small, playing the predator and prey game on a picturesque backdrop. Great horned owls, vultures, alligators, boars, raccoons, rabbits, spiders and snakes are just a few of the animals that call this beautiful swampland home.

Visitors welcome, their door is always open.

[Some 35mm film, some 120mm film, some digital and some cell phone; All swamp.]

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Elena Ricci is a photographer living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana. Most of her photography focuses on the South, but she travels far and often. As an ongoing collaborative, she makes up one fourth of the lady photo ensemble Southerly Gold. Find Elena’s website at and follow her on Tumblr at