Where do the Time Travel Adventures Take Place?
This section is about the locations for the events in the Marc McKnight Time Travel Adventures Series. For the most part, I've been to all the major locations in the Marc McKnight Time Travel Adventures. I'll point out the ones I've been to and why I was there.
There may be some reveals or spoilers in this section, so don’t go any further if you want to preserve any surprise twists and turns in the books.
Aerial View of the Historical Event Research Organization (HERO) HeadQuarters on Telegraph Road
This is an aerial view of the facility in all my books that served as a model for the HERO Team's HeadQuarters on Telegraph Road in Alexandria, Virginia.
Somewhere between 2007 and 2012, I was assigned to this building to work an IT contract.
It was originally a middle school, I think, because almost the entire building was laid out in rooms approximately the same size.
For my description, try to picture the building as a lower case "t", followed by a lower case "j".
In my vision of the HERO HQ building, the HERO Lab is at the bottom of the "t", the reception area is at the top of the "t", and the offices and conference rooms are in the right side of the "j" as you look down on it.
Marc McKnight's office is indicated by the arrow in the picture.
AT&T Center in Atlanta Georgia
This building is the model for Newt Telecommunications Center, the large office building that is the setting for most of the book TIME LIMITS.
The attic of the building (where McKnight hides) is in the top three floors where there are no windows.
The top floor (with windows) is the executive floor where James Lodge had a office. You are viewing the building from the Southwest, and his office was on the east side.
Just the right of the building's base is the famous Fox Theatre.
To the left of the tower, you can see the Support Building. The seventh floor of the Support Building (with the larger windows) connects to the Tower's fourth floor where the conference rooms and the meditation room reside.
The food court and the security offices are in the first floor of the Support Building.
I worked in this building on various floors from about 1982 until 2006 while the building named BellSouth Center.
At the time of the photo at left, the building was called AT&T Center. I'm not sure who owns the building now, but there's a different logo at the top.
This is Marc McKnight's home town. He grew up on a farm just east of town in an area called Gopher Flats. The Umatilla Indian Reservation is just east of town and includes the town of Mission and the Wildhorse Resort and Casino(you can see it at the extreme right of the photograph).
The population of Pendleton is about 16,000 today. As you can probably tell, it's a very rural community.
Pendleton's claim to fame is they hold the largest outdoor rodeo in the world every year - the Pendleton Roundup.
I visited Pendleton as part of an IT contract for three weeks sometime between 2006 and 2012 (All those short-term gigs kinda run together).
When I was there, I stayed at the Wildhorse Resort and Casino
Believe it or not, it was the place our client recommended we stay because of its proximity to the client's facility... It was literally right across the street. And it was one of the better hotels in the area.
Apartment Tower in Chicago Illinois
This building is the model for the apartment house in Chicago where Amy Chang was murdered and subsequently rescued in the book THE TIME TWISTERS. She was (in the story) thrown off the balcony from a 30th floor apartment. In my vision of the story, the apartment was on the opposite side of the building. LaSalle Drive runs north and south. This aerial photo shows a (slanted) view of the south side of the building.
I was working an IT contract in downtown Chicago at the time I was writing THE TIME TWISTERS. I rented a room in a Hyatt Place hotel a few blocks away and I walked by this building every day it wasn't raining.
I've never been in the building. I have no idea what the apartments look like or what the floor layouts show.
Old Town, Alexandria VA
This is the wonderful pub named Murphy's Grand Irish Pub in the Old Town of Alexandria, Virginia. It was the site of the exciting bar fight in THE TIME TWISTERS when Lt Karen Hatcher soundly bested an inebriated Mike Smith, the mercenary who appeared first in TIME LIMITS and then in THE TIME TWISTERS. The HERO Team was sitting and talking in the back of the room, while General Drake and MSgt Tom Clary stopped at the bar to chat with the owner. The fight happened in the aisle between the bar and the tables.
While I was in Alexandria for an IT contract, a group of us went out to dinner in Old Town. I love Irish pubs (being part Irish myself) and, when we walked by this place, I had to peak inside. Later, while trying to come up with a venue for the fight, I remembered it and found this picture.
Kingstowne Town Center Mall
This mall is about two miles from the Telegraph Road HERO HeadQuarters.
The Pasara Thai restaurant, where Kathy Wu met her mother and Karen Chang for lunch in THE TIME TWISTERS, was formerly at the location pointed to by the white arrow. It has since moved and been replaced by a Japanese restaurant.
The Chipotle restaurant, where 638 sat out front and hacked the internet in TIME PLAGUE, is at the location pointed to by the red arrow.
My colleagues and I frequently visited the Kingstowne Center for, well, just about everything we needed, but mostly for lunch at one of its many fine restaurants.
The Corner of Telegraph Road and Beulah Street
This is where the convoy attack takes place in THE TIME TWISTERS. The convoy came from HERO HQ (northeast) on Telegraph Road and would have turned left onto Beulah Street, which leads to Fort Belvoir and the DLA HQ building there.
The attackers hid in the woods due east of the intersection and Mike Smith had his command post atop a building due west of the intersection.
The line of minimores that blocked the retreat of General Drake and Doctor Astalos were in the ditch along the edge of Telegraph Road on the north side of the road.
I used a bit of writer's license here. There is no building at the corner for Smith to use as his command post and no corn field behind it. The cornfield was actually another mile or so down the road.
The Mission BBQ restaurant at the corner was formerly called the "Red, White, and Brew Pub". They had great barbecue and plenty of beer, so it was naturally a favorite location of ours when I was in Alexandria.
The photo on the left is the aerial view of a small part of Tampere, Finland, where Robby Astalos traveled on sabbatical in THE TIME TWISTERS. His hotel, the Hotel Tammer, can be seen at the top of the map at left and a photo of the hotel is on the right here. On the right side of the Tammerkoski Rapids are the park benches where Robby was attacked.
I was in Tampere on an IT contract for three weeks during the winter solstice in 2009. The sun came up at around 10:30 AM, tracked just above the southeastern horizon, and set at around 3:30 PM. It was dark most of my time there. The locals assured me that, normally it wasn't so dark because all the city lights reflected off the snow. That may have been true, but it didn't snow a single flake while I was there.
In the aerial map, look at the upper left corner and you'll see a bridge. Just over the bridge was an old shoe factory converted to office space, and my work location in Finland was there in that building.
Cameron Run Park
Cameron Run Park is located right on Eisenhower Avenue on the west side of Alexandria. The actual Cameron Run watercourse can be seen across the bottom of the photo.
The grassy area indicated by the arrow is where Karen Hatcher landed in TIME REVOLUTION when she escaped from captivity in 2086. It is also the place where 638 landed in TIME PLAGUE when she traveled back to 2036 to rescue Rachel Patterson.
During my IT gig in Alexandria, I stayed in a hotel on Eisenhower Avenue about a mile to the east. I ran for exercise every morning down this road (and yes, I ran while it was snowing on occasion).
Rachel Nevada is the closest town to Area 51. The "Iceberg" detention center where Rachel Patterson and other belligerents were confined in TIME PLAGUE was just a few miles north of Rachel Nevada.
Area 51 was just a few miles southwest of Rachel Nevada.
When I was trying to come up with a undisclosed place (other than Gauntanamo Bay) for the government to keep non-citizen prisoners of war or dangerous individuals, I
remembered the biological warfare site from the movie "The Satan Bug" and the extraterrestrial material site from "The Andromeda Strain." I wanted it to be an underground facility out west under a desert. My first thought was Area 51 because it's already shrouded in secrecy. It was going to be the long-term home of Rachel Patterson so she couldn't do any more harm to the timelines.
When I saw that the closest town to Area 51 was also named "Rachel", I laughed out loud. How fitting!
By the way, you can look up Rachel and find a drone flyover photo tour, so let me tell you in advance. There are no hills or mountains right next to Rachel. The facility would be in the foothills of the mountains to the north of Rachel.
The A'LE'INN motel figures prominently in TIME PLAGUE. In case you were wondering if I made up the name of the motel in Rachel, I assure you I'm not that creative.
To the left is the check-in building for the motel and most of the rooms are individual cabins in the back.
To the right is (of course) the city limit sign for Rachel.
I have to admit, I have not been here, but I plan to swing by next time I'm out that way (if for no other reason than to give them a copy of TIME PLAGUE.
Note from Kim:
I hope you've enjoyed this tour of the locations from the Marc McKnight Time Travel Adventures Series.
A large part of the fun of writing has been thinking about locations and finding real locations that match.
Wherever I go, I see things that give me story ideas. For example, I have several ideas cooking in the back of my mind from a Viking River Cruise ("Paris to the Alps") Martha and I took a few years ago. I'm thinking of having one of the HERO Team take the same cruise and come up with a story plot for it.
What do you think? Any questions? Feel free to go to the contact page and send me a comment or questions. I'd love to hear from you.