Friday, August 7, 2015

Can it Be?

Although it really seems unlikely, my last blog post was 20th June and here it is August. I hang my head in mock shame about keeping you all waiting for this long.

Well, we have been a little busy so here's the 411 on our whereabouts, or whatabouts since then. This is going to be a bit of a marathon post, so I hope you are buckled in. It seems that the Trippin' Sista is!!!

We are in the lineup for the border here. We didn't have long wait...

The land of the freeeeee, and the home of cheap gas.

Excuse me while we skip a state. This  is where we leave WA and enter ID. It had been quite warm, 102F. This was the warmest temperature we have seen so far.

Well, so much for Idaho. It is a great state with lots to recommend it, but here we are in Bozeman MT. we stayed here three days over the 4th. of July. We had enough time to do laundry catch up with emails, let off some firecrackers and rest for a couple days. This is Bear Canyon RV park.

As always the Fourth is a big deal in the US of A. A much bigger deal than the quiet little "woohoo" with which we celebrate Canada Day.

Jim Bridger who explored much of this territory is shown here at the city park. More can be seen on the exploits of said Jim HERE.

The local boneyard is subject to some interesting rules. We have a video commentary here regarding SUNSET HILLS

There appears to be a bronze elk in full bugle here. If you have never heard a elk bugling, you are in for a TREAT

After leaving Bozeman, we had our eye on a quiet overnight retreat and after turning off the highway and passing numerous Pronghorn Antelope we arrived at Lake DeSmet.

We had the place completely to ourselves, with the exception of one pickup that rolled in to do a little sunset fishing. A driving rain gave me a chance to wash Grace, all I had to do was soap her up and let the rain rinse her off!

The following a.m. we rolled eastward and into South Dakota. Now we are in entirely new territory for us, and looking forward to it.

Sunrise comes early at Club WalMart in Spearfish SD. We were on the road by about 7a.m. We had a definite destination in mind.

Ever since I was about 5 years I have been seeing bumper stickers all over the Western States for Wall Drug. This is a truly (if I may be allowed to say it) American enterprise.

Here are your intrepid correspondents having bravely arrived, preparing to sample the wonder that is Wall Drug.

For those of you unfamiliar with this institution, some HISTORY is available here.
The best way to describe it is a: Restaurant/Museum/Gallery/Arcade/Emporium.
This description really only scratches the surface. Seriously!

There is an animatronic yodeling cowboy band. Less Disney and more Rube Goldberg really. This quartet manage to bumble their way through a couple of cowboy standards every hour or so.

There are two miners who seem intent on mining some of that Black Hills Gold.

One display has a group of cardplayers in the midst of a debate that may end with one of them being "ventilated"! The fellow in the checked vest is shedding cards out of his sleeve onto the floor.

Our next stop was the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Although this isn't quite finished, it was nonetheless very interesting to know how much destruction lay below the prairie at one time.

We stopped in Ohio to fill up with gas, and while I was using the pump, a fellow walked up and asked the Sista if she had ever heard of a movie called The Shawshank Redemption. She admitted that she had not just heard of it but had watched it more that once. He said that the prison where it was filmed was nearby, and led us there. Very kind of him.

During the self-led tour, we saw many interesting things. We also walked the tiers, some of which were floored with open grate floors. Great for checking your level of vertigo and tolerance thereof.

I must admit, when I took these pictures looking over the edge I felt a little iffy myself. It was the only 6 tier prison in the country at the time.

Having finally made it to the ground level, the vertigo disappeared. It was a truly sobering tour, lots of stair climbing and walking notwithstanding.

On the way out we ran into the infamous Capt. Hadley, (or at least a cardboard representation of him).  He allowed the Trippin" Sista to get a picture with him.

We skip forward to Pennsylvania now. We got off the freeway to do a little back-road touring. It is always interesting to see rural America.

Some of the grander old homes have been turned into B&B's or restaurants. The cost of upkeep on these lovely old relics must be stupendous. Between materials and labor, it must be staggering for just regular maintenance.

We rolled passed Conneaut Lake. Is it "Con-oot, Con-yoot or Con-aught". I just don't know. It does seem to be a popular destination for the local recreation crowd though.

Again we skip forward a couple of days. We had the opportunity to stay with a lovely couple, Handsome Jack and Ramblin' Rose for a couple of days. We enjoyed our time with them and they were gracious to show us around the area.

We stopped at a Field and Stream store. This was licensed from the magazine by Dick's Sporting Goods. They are trying to compete with Bass Pro. It's nice but I can tell you one thing. It's no Bass Pro!!

The mounts they had were a little more carnivorous though. Here a Grizzly is seen guarding a Fresh Elk kill.

There is one display that featured a number of animals in lifelike poses. The only thing that gave them away was their frozen demeanor and the fact that they are in such close proximity to each other.

A close up reveals a young cougar with a White Tail deer. Some people might think this unrealistic, but they have never seen the massive power of these majestic kitties. They are one of the very few animals that realize they are being hunted, the implications thereof and turn the tables to stalk the hunter!

Bainbridge NY was a quick stop. We took a few pictures while the laundry was being washed, and we were on our way in a very few hours.

It was typical small town America. One main street and 3 or 4 more on either side, then we were ready to hit the road again.

Looking across the parking lot, we can see Grace patiently waiting and even discern the Trippin' Sista with a close look.

Within a couple days we arrived in Concord NH. This was our original destination when we left BC. 3200+ miles later we arrived. This is Eagle Square, in downtown Concord. They were repaving the main street and it will be lovely when it's done.

There is a statue of General John Stark, who was instrumental in Washington's campaigns during the Revolutionary war, and is much beloved in both NH and VT.

This is the New Hampshire State House. It is the oldest state house in continuous use since it was build in 1819. Although diminutive in stature, the historical import of this edifice cannot be gainsaid.

You can probably tell that by now I'm looking less like the Striking Viking and more like the Bugwash Saquatch. The Trippin Sista thought it was time for a good fur-bucking!

I walked out of the barbershop looking much more like a well groomed gentleman. Although there was a bit of a wait, they did a great job and 2 or 3 sweaters worth of beard were left on the floor when I stood up.

There are four painted panels in the Senate Chamber. The first shows John Stark pulling on his coat when the call to arms came. He was needed, he went and did his duty.

The second panel shows Abbott Thayer; artist, naturalist and teacher explaining the methods of natural camouflage which animals use to adapt to their surroundings.

The third panel shows Daniel Webster at the age of 11 or 12 explaining in detail the newly signed Declaration of Independence to his storekeeper parents.

The final panel shows Eleazar Wheelock, a Congregational Minister meeting with John Wentworth. Wentworth was the Royal Governor of the province of New Hampshire and he made a grant of land to Wheelock to locate a school which he had founded in 1755.
Moor's Indian Charity School had been started to bring local natives both  classical and ecumenical education. This school went on to become Dartmouth College, which still provides free tuition to any NH resident.

As we left the State House a protest rally was in full swing. It was sponsored by Ben & Jerry, of ice cream fame and had a stand where you could use their stamps;
NOT TO BE USED FOR BRIBING POLITICIANS. Their main premise is that politicians who accept millions of dollars in bribes cannot possibly spend time serving their constituents.

You can see the Trippin Sista waving from our parking spot at the State House. Just try parking this close to your own Capitol and you will see how unusual it is to find a parking spot immediately adjacent to the building.

The other thing that impressed me was that there are 424 State Assemblymen, one for each 3500 residents. They are elected to 2 year terms and are paid $100/yr.

We drove north to Franklin NH. This is the dam o the Pemigawasset River. It is used for Hydroelectric generation, and creates a reservoir.

The Pemigawasset is very scenic here. Looks like a lovely river for a float.

This is the Winipesaukee River which flows through downtown Franklin. Horribly scenic no? Yes!!

This building is in downtown Concord It is a relatively recent addition to the neighborhood, having been built in 1876.

We stopped to get a bite to eat. Apparently the Sista has found something that does not agree with her taste buds.

This is the Contoocook River just before it enters the Merrimack. The dam impounds water that was used for operating industrial concerns in Boscawen NH.

This is just upstream from the dam.

They have no sense of humor do they. A beautiful stretch of water and they grinch out thusly....

The Trippin' Sista waits patiently while I run around like a mad shutterbug.

This is a little farther down the Contocook. It looks gorgeous now, but when frozen over and drifted with snow, I imagine.....not so much.

I feel we have gone far too deeply into this adventure without sustenance, so how about some bacon wrapped scallops?

Chowder anyone? I've tried it and it's chock full of clams. Really good.

Crispy fried Onion Rings. They are too individual to be pre-frozen. These are fresh made and yummy.

This is Spanakopita. Also house made. We agreed that we have had better but it was perfectly acceptable.

Lobster Mac and Cheese. Cheesy, well done but not enough Lobster....sad.

There were Teriyaki Steak Tips that were well cooked but of a inferior cut. Not quite shoe leather but tough.

After lunch we went to the Currier Museum. The house across the street is a classical style of New Hampshire Architecture. The original owners started out with a small house, then added a barn or carriage house. The next logical step was the addition of several rooms as the family grew and then it was only logical to connect the barn to the main house, thus ending up with an imposing edifice.

 We left NH and moved south to MA. This was a picture in a restaurant in Plymouth where we had lunch.

There were some lovely plantings outside the Lobster Hut. We spent a little time looking around here at the Town Wharf.

At this location they rent everything from paddle boards to fishing boats. it appears that one of the renters came in "a little hot" when returning the jet ski he had taken out. Hope he bought the extra insurance.

This is a view of the Plymouth Harbor, with the roof of a local dragger decorated by the seabirds of the area.

The Mayflower landed here in 1620, by the following year, the remaining Pilgrims had erected a permanent fort and the colony was firmly established despite the loss of 1/3 of their company to disease and starvation.

As the sun sank into the Western Sky I grabbed a picture of the sunset here at Club WalMart. Delicately touched in hues of pink and orange, the sky is resplendent.

I am constantly in awe of the way God has to remind us of His love and care. His paintbrush is far more delicate and more ephemeral than any human can capture.

You can see the Trippin Sista waving "good night" from the door of Grace.

I too will bid you good night and thanks for sticking with me for the marathon. I hope to see you, with fewer words and less pictures sooner rather than later.
Ciao bambini!!


Sydney Barthold said...

Awesome pics and narrative. Safe travels.

April Baucom said...

Thanks for the look into the great Nor'east. Much really cool stuff. Blessings.

Trobairitz said...

A great catch up post. I am glad you two took the time to see some sights on your way across the country. It looks as though you are really enjoying your new rig and the freedom to travel.