Friday, June 30, 2017

(38) Sleeping (We Hope) within sight of our goal.

June 30, 2017
A Pleasant Ride in the Country

John, our driver and tour guide shows us a little of  the Pennsylvania countryside
Today we left our campground by 7:30 and headed into town for breakfast.  As we packed and folded up the tent trailer I chuckled to myself that here we had the worst of both worlds. We had the smell of the horses from the Amish farm adjacent to the campground and we had the traffic sound from US Highway 30. I don't mean that to sound as bad as it does, it really was a nice campsite.

Campsite which looked onto a cornfield in Amish Country
But it's amazing how the sound of the traffic travels spoils and otherwise splendid scene. As for the smell of the farm, that's to be expected.

Oh Boy! Shoo Fly Pie.

Bird in Hand, Pa.
We had breakfast and then headed for the town of "Bird in Hand" where we took a wagon ride to an Amish farm and received a tour. John, our guide and teamster gave a nice tour and was very capable and an expert with the horses.
Hardware store, perhaps the oldest in America.
Amish Rules prohibit riding a Bicycle,
but these scooters are fine.

Oh no! Here come more tourists.

When we noticed the alfalfa was harvested wet and in rolls I asked John how that was accomplished without modern machinery. John explained that the Amish have relaxed some of their rules with respect to machinery in order to help keep Amish working on the farm.

Just woke up.

High Tech Amish Solar Powered Clothes Dryer

Contented Cow
The farm was very neat and orderly. The cows looked contented.  All in all, it was a very interesting visit.
1865 Barn showing peg and beam construction.

"The Corn was  as High as an elephant's eye...


Trenton Postcard
Trenton's Lincoln Motel

We then got on the highway and headed for New Jersey. We travelled through Trenton, then stopped at the Edison Museum in Edison Township, New Jersey.

Edison Memorial Tower

Last Night before hitting New York City!
We are within 30 miles of New York City. I guess you could say that we are sleeping within sight of the city, if only I knew which way to look. Actually, our view was obstructed by the thick forest here at the park. Tonight we will sleep with most of our belongings packed so that we can break camp in a hurry. It is our plan to leave the campsite by 6:30 AM. We will then drive into New York City and see Times Square. Then, I want to get the heck out of there!

When we checked in to the campground we were told that if the New Jersey legislature does not pass a budget for the next fiscal year by midnight, that the state will run out of money and that we will be asked to leave the campground regardless of the hour. We were told that we could apply for a refund should this potentiality become a reality. Maybe we will get an even earlier start for the city.

Sleep well!

(37) Highway of History, Part 2

June 29 2017
Highway of History, Part 2

Gettysburg National Battlefield
This morning, we left the Lincoln Court Motel in in Manns Choice Pennsylvania and proceeded east. We quickly found ourselves in some very mountainous country with twisting roads. Though the driving was tough, the scenery was spectacular. As we went through Bedford and Everett I remembered that I had some postcards of this country produced during the early days of motoring.

In some ways the scenery had changed very much, but in other essential ways not so much. The terrain was recognizable even if the roadway and businesses were not.

Along the Juniata River today

We kept driving east through Chambersburg and made a stop in Gettysburg. The country we are passing through is rich in history. I am mindful of the fact that we are not doing it justice. We passed many towns rich in colonial history, Revolutionary War history, Whiskey Rebellion history and, in the case of Gettysburg, Civil War history. At least I know that I will be back here again in the next couple of years and will visit many of the sites in more detail.

Pictures with Abe

I wonder if Lincoln ever tires of this?

In Gettysburg we drove through the battlefield. Last fall my brothers and I did a more extensive tour the battlefield with an audio tour CD to guide us. I would highly recommend buying that audio tour CD to anyone planning to drive through Gettysburg.

A young soldier
From Gettysburg we drove the Lincoln Highway to York and then on to Hallam to see the Haines Shoe House.

Haines Shoe House
The Haines shoe house was the creation of Mahalon Haines  who had a chain of shoe stores on the East Coast and was the self-proclaimed shoe wizard. Haines himself never lived in the house, he reserved it for his guests. Many times he would allow young honeymooning couples to stay in the house and would provide them with a driver and a maid, all at no cost.

Darrel and Carissa who toured the Haines House with us.
Haines, it seems, was a very generous and good man and in his estate provided for the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts and his church. When he left this world he had done much good.

Mahalon Haines, "The
Shoe Wizard."

We are spending the night in a campground in Gordonville Pennsylvania. Tomorrow, we plan to tour the surrounding area and then make our way to New Jersey. We have reservations at a County campground approximately forty-five minutes from New York City. We have the reservation for two nights and if we don't make it by tomorrow night, we will surely make it by Saturday night. We are considering going into the city early Saturday morning or early Sunday morning when there will not be much traffic. If we can't get into the city when the traffic is light, we will abandon that part of our journey.

Amish wife working with her husband.
Amish Farm in Pennsylvania

Thursday, June 29, 2017

(36) A Highway of History

Tuesday June 27
A Highway of History

"World's Largest Teapot",  Chester West Virginia

I was relieved that it did not take us long to find the highway from Beaver Creek State Park as I worried it might. It turned out we had taken the long, long and winding way around from the city of Lisbon. In the morning, I could hear traffic from highway and it appeared that the road passing by the campground travelled in the direction of the sound.

"Grab a chair, I'll pour you a cup."
After enjoying a cup of coffee at our campsite and taking in our spectacular surroundings we broke camp and drove towards the sound which quickly brought us to Ohio Route 7 which took us to the Lincoln Highway. Once on the Lincoln, it was a simple matter to drive to East Liverpool, Ohio.

East Liverpool was once the pottery capital of America. We were overwhelmed by its rich architectural history. It was obvious that East Liverpool had enjoyed an extended period of prosperity. Sadly that period had long passed and while the architecture was still beautiful it was clear that it was now experiencing a long period of neglect and decay. Still it didn't take much to imagine what this grand city must have looked like in its heyday.

Museum of Ceramics, East Liverpool
Church in East Liverpool

Sturgis House, where the body of  Pretty
Boy Floyd was taken after his shootout
with the FBI
Pretty Boy Floyd was not a Rotarian, he could never pass the 4
way test! Rotarysimply paid for the historical markers downtown.

Very near to where we parked our car we came upon the Sturgis house. The Sturgis house is a beautiful structure which in its past had served as a funeral parlor. In October, 1934 the owner of the funeral parlor, Mr. Dawson, was brought the body of the gangster Pretty Boy Floyd. In our travels through the Midwest and into the East on the Lincoln Highway we have come across many sites where gangland activity of the 1920s and 1930s is in evidence. In Iowa we learned the bootleggers. In Indiana and Illinois we heard about the gangsters of the 1920s and the 1930s. Today we came across it again in East Liverpool.

Newell Bridge over the Ohio River
After walking through downtown East Liverpool, we left town, crossing the Ohio River on the Newell Bridge to West Virginia. I had just been thinking were making good time. Actually, we were on schedule. We came across the Newell Bridge and turned right to go to the factory where they make Fiesta Ware. That is where we got off schedule. The Homer Laughlin Co. includes the old factory buildings, the factory outlet store and a backroom of "seconds" has outstanding deals. 

Homer Laughlin Co. Factory Store
Linda digging through for the
best plate!

What took me ten minutes to take in, took Linda a considerably longer period of time. I spent the rest of the morning in the car watching Fiesta Ware dispose of dishes that did not meet the high standards of the Homer Laughlin Company.

The end of the road for this batch of Fiesta Ware

I watched them use a forklift to pick up large pallets of Fiesta Ware and send the dishes crashing into the back of the dump truck where it all would be taken to the dump. 

Not the World's Largest according to Texans!
From the Fiesta Ware factory we drove to Chester, West Virginia to view the world's largest teapot. As I finished snapping the picture and was re-crossing the street a car from Texas stopped and the driver told me I was a sucker. He said that the teapot in Chester was not the world's largest. That the world's largest teapot was in, where else, Texas. The huge teapot honors the pottery industry of this area. It is the rich deposits of local clay and the Ohio River to transport their goods that created this pottery industry here.

Pittsburgh, Pa.

From Chester we made our way towards Pittsburgh. Navigating Pittsburgh traffic was not fun for me. I understand some easterners dread driving across the western deserts. I dread traffic and crowded cities. After the passage of a considerable amount of time we emerged from the Pittsburgh congestion and continued our trip across Pennsylvania.

A Sobering lesson from recent history
We drove south of the Lincoln Highway near Shanksville Pennsylvania to view the memorial Flight 93. On September 11, 2001 some brave passengers on Flight 93 stormed the cockpit where hijackers had taken over the controls of the plane. The airplane crashed in the Pennsylvania Hills saving many lives and probably the White House. The visit to the memorial was a sobering moment that hit me much harder than I thought it would.
Where Flight 93 crashed.
 I am thankful that our country possesses brave and exceptional people such as the passengers who stormed the cockpit of flight 93. But I always find myself wondering why we have to lose such good and exceptional people to eliminate such very bad people.

We drove from the memorial to Mann's Choice, Pa. On the way, we passed the ruins of the Ship Hotel

Ruins of the Ship Hotel

The Ship Hotel, as it once stood.

We would spend our night at the Lincoln motor Court in Mann's Choice. The Lincoln motor Court was built in the 1930s and is maintained in much the same condition as it was in in the 1930s and 1940s. As we traveled the Lincoln Highway we are looking not only to see things, to experience things from the past to the extent that is possible. 

Bob and Debbie, owners and conservators of the Lincoln Motor Court
Places like the Lincoln Motor Court and the Virginian hotel helped to make this possible. Certainly we have to give up some of the amenities of say a Best Western, but the experience and glimpse into the past is well worth it.

Bob and Debbie own and maintain the Lincoln Motor Court. We have met a lot of people on this trip whose love for the Highway has helped to bring it to life for us. Bob and Debbie are certainly at the top of that list.

Jean Bonnet Tavern and Inn

Gabrielle, our waitress with Linda

After checking into the motel we had dinner at the Jean Bonnet Inn, which dates back to the 1760s. Our meal was served on pewter plates and was delicious. Our waitress, Gabrielle took extra good care of us and answered questions about the tavern and Inn.

Tomorrow we will continue east to Gettysburg, York and Lancaster. The first half of the trip is nearing an end. But it has been the experience of a lifetime.