The Travels of Johnny Thunder

Hello, Johnny Thunder here. Welcome to my travel journal. You may have seen me and my friends in some of our other adventures. From Egypt to Asia; from the Lost World to the Amazon; we've been everywhere. Now, however, I would like to extend an invitation to join me on a tour through the real world. Check back here for pictures from my latest travels... -JT

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Joshua Tree 2008

One year ago, Johnny explored Joshua Tree National Park. This year, Johnny and Pippin returned to the desert to explore the areas he missed on his last journey. Rather than focusing on the natural wonders, this time I explored the manmade sites located in the park, including: Keys Ranch, a early 20th century homestead; and the Lost Horse Mine.

Also, while in the area, Pippin and I caught a glimpse of the Salton Sea, an artificially created inland sea (you can read more about it here) and visited Pioneertown, a live-in motion picture set.

On the way to Joshua Tree, Pippin and I stopped briefly at Manzanar National Historic Site, site on an internment camp, high in the Sierra Mountains, for the Japanese in World War 2. Almost nothing is left, but there is a replica of a guard tower.

After leaving the desert, we made a short detour, in an attempt to see some ancient bristlecone pine trees. Sadly, due to the new snowfall, we were unable to see the truly ancient trees and had to settle for viewing some of their younger siblings. More on the bristlecones can be found here.

Oh yes, and we caught a showing of the new Indiana Jones flick.

Until next time, Happy Travels!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Route 66 and the Southwest

Getting my kicks on Route 66...

As alluded to in my last post, Pippin and I picked up Route 66 in Texas and followed it for the remainder of our journey, through the land of antelope, squirrels, lizards and dinosaurs.

The classic highway led us through Albequerque, New Mexico, where we saw ancient native american petroglyphs, at Petroglyph National Monument.

From the petroglyphs we continued west to El Morro, where we saw carvings in the rock face of a mesa. This one is from 1709 and if you look closely, you can see the date. We also climbed to the top of the mesa, where natives used to dwell.

Leaving El Morro, we travelled west a bit and spent the night in a teepee at another Route 66 icon: the Wigwam Motel.

Leaving our Teepee, we trekked to the Painted Desert (the picture really doesn't do justice to the colors) and saw the petrified trees of Petrified Forest National Park.

From the Petrified Forest, we made a quick jaunt to Arizona's second most famous hole in the ground: Meteor Crater.

Back on our way west again, we visited Walnut Canyon and explored the pueblo cliff dwellings and the lower portions of the canyon.

Then it was on to Arizona's most famous hole in the ground: the Grand Canyon. As you can see, a storm was coming in.

Leaving the Grand Canyon, we made the last stop of our journey at Hoover Dam, including a tour into the dam's inner workings.

And that is the last of my lost travels,
Until next time, Happy Travels!



Deep in the heart of Texas... it was really the panhandle, but we did visit the famous (at least famous in Texas) Palo Dura Canyon. As we headed for New Mexico, we made a brief stop at the Route 66 icon: the Cadillac Ranch.

A small update for such a big state.

Happy Travels... or should that be trails?


Friday, May 23, 2008


Walking in Memphis
Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel

Between Mississippi and Arkansas, as described in my last post, Pippin and I stopped for the night in Memphis. That evening, we walked on Beale Street, as seen in the picture above, and listened to some delta blues. We also saw the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and the ducks in the fountain of the Peabody Hotel.

The next day, we visited Graceland. And though we didn't see the ghost of Elvis (though this was pretty close), we did see his grave.

That's all for now, thank you, thank you very much...


Thursday, May 22, 2008

The South

Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten,
Look away! Look away! Look away!

That's right, Johnny and Pippin are touring Dixie, the Southern United States. We stopped at the swamp at Congaree National Park, in South Carolina. Actually, since it was August it wasn't much of a swamp, though we did see this little green guy.

After leaving the swamp, we visited Atlanta, Georgia and saw the house where Martin Luther King Jr. was born.

From Atlanta we traveled west, stopping briefing at the Sloss Ironworks, in Birmingham, Alambama, to Tupelo, Mississippi and saw the birthplace of Elvis Prestley.

Leaving Mississippi, we entered Tennessee and stopped in Memphis (you can read more about that tomorrow). After leaving Memphis, we traveled into Arkansas and visited Hot Springs National Park (the least impressive national park, I've ever visited) to see the Hot Springs and the historic bath houses and health spas. We also dug for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds, the world's only public diamond mine, which is where we are in the picture above. Sadly we did not find any diamonds, but we did get muddy.

Oh and yes, we did see king cotton.

Until next time!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

East Coast

From Washington, Pippin and I continued east to the Atlantic Ocean. We toured Yorktown, Virginia, site of the British surrender in 1781. Historical reinacters were firing a cannon, a replica of those surrendered by the British (that's one of the actual surrendered cannons, in the picture above). We also visited Jamestown, Virginia, site of the first permanent settlement in North America.

After leaving Virginia, we turned south, onto North Carolina's barrier islands. While touring the islands, we visited Kitty Hawk, site of the Wright Brothers' first flight. Those white stones mark the landing spot of each of the first four flights. And we saw a lot of lighthouses, including the famous Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

Happy Travels!


Washington D.C.

Washington D.C., capitol of the United States, comprised the next stop on our travels. We had time to tour the houses of the three branches of American government: the White House (executive); the Capitol (legislative); and Supreme Court (judicial).

We payed a visit to Arlington National Cemetary, to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

We also managed to squeeze in time to see: the pandas at the National Zoo; Ford's Theater, where Abraham Lincoln was shot; the Washington Monument; the Lincoln Memorial (which was closed, due to protestors); and the Wright Brothers plane' (which, I also believe is a Lego set) at the Smithsonian.

That's all for now!



Still travelling east, we arrived in Virginia's Shenandoah valley, home of Shenandoah National Park. We toured the park's Skyline Drive, saw some wildlife and a waterfall.

Happy travels



The next leg of my lost travels takes us across the great plains of North America. That portion is part of the Tall Grass Prarie Preserve, in Kansas. Most of it, however, is today used for farming, like this field in Illinois, just across the state line from Misourri and the famous St. Louis Arch.

Moving into Ohio, we visited the home of William Howard Taft, which is preserved as a national historic site. Also in Ohio, we visited the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park, where native americans built numerous dirt mounds, for reasons unknown.

That's all for now,


Sand Dunes

The Great Sand Dunes constitute the second of my lost travels. These strange formations look like they would be more at home in the Sahara, but in reality are located in Colorado. The wind collects the sand and blows it up into the mountains, where it is washed down many little streams. Eventually the process builds these giant sand dunes at the base of the Rocky Mountains.

After leaving the sand dunes, we also made a quick stop at Bent's Old Fort, a reconstruction of an 1840s fur trading post.

See you next time!


The Black Canyon

The first of my lost travels begins at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, National Park in Colorado (actually, it began at Arches and Canyonlands, which you can read about in my earlier posts). Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, the steep canyon, with walls of granite shelters the Gunnison River, which is accessable at the end of the canyon.

Until next time,


The Lost Travels

G'day fellow travelers. Pippin reminded me that I hadn't posted any pictures of our travels for quite a while. So I decided I would post some of my lost travels. Look for them over the next few weeks.

Until then, enjoy some preview pictures: