Tag Archives: Road trip

Road Trip~Colorado Springs to Denver, Colorado

14 Dec

On the Porch 

Onisha Ellis

 

 

September 13, 2017 Day 7

Our seventh day on the road. We are moving at a turtle pace, but we are savoring the journey. Tomorrow we pick up our daughter and family friend at the Denver airport and they will spend the week with us. We checked in with Rebekah before hitting the road. She is still without electricity but good news, a friend from church who does odd jobs will be over to repair her roof. I know she will be relieved to have it fixed before joining us in Denver.

I am particularly excited about this leg of our trip as we have tickets to ride the Royal Gorge Train near Cañon City, Colorado, I first learned of this train while reading Go West by DiVoran Lites but never dreamed I would have the opportunity to ride it. To add to the fun, my husband would enjoy the up close view of scenery straight out of a cowboy movie!

 

 

Our seating was in a club car and we began the journey sharing a table with a lovely newly wed couple. Once the train pulled out of the station, we moved to an empty table so we could stretch out.

 

 

Food and drinks were available but we brought a picnic lunch and ate before boarding the train.

 

 

As we pulled out of the station, we passed the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility. The prisoners here ran the first water flues through the gorge to bring fresh water to the town. I wondered if this was the prison where DiVoran’s father once worked.

 

 

As we entered the gorge, we decided to check out the view from the open bed car. We were fortunate that one adjoined our club car.

 

My hair was a mess

The front of the train heading into the narrow opening.

The opening through the mountains is so narrow, the first tracks laid were a “slim gauge,” 36″ between rails;

A bridge was constructed 1,000 feet above the gorge but as cars became larger, it was downgraded to  walk across only. As our train passed under the bridge we saw a brave soul riding a zip line across the gorge, over 1,000 high. For the less brave, there is a gondola. We decided we were content to leave the adrenaline pumping to the more adventurous. We didn’t get a picture but we also saw several groups of people in rafts taking on the whitewater of the Arkansas river.

 

Zip line was almost too fast to capture the shot

The bridge is 1,000 high and they are higher!

 

The railroad provided a guide on the open car to point out interesting sights as well as share tidbits of history. When we came alongside these miniature power poles, he explained them to us. They were not power poles at all. The short lines extending down from the cross tie were in fact, used as a rock slide alert. If a rock touched the line and broke the connection, the train station was instantly notified there were rocks on the track and pinpointed the location.  Clever, yes?

 

 

My husband was fascinated by this tree as we waited to board the train. At the end of the trip, he asked what type it was. Being from Florida, he had never seen a cottonwood tree  and was pleased to finally be able to touch the bark. He enjoys carving and had read that cottonwood was excellent for carving. I wonder where we would find the bark for sale in Florida.

 

 

After all the fresh air and sunshine, we were both craving some ice cream before heading to Interstate 25 to complete our trip to Denver. We went to McDonald’s for a hot fudge sundae, but their ice cream machine was broken. Has anyone else noticed that McDonald’s has a high rate of ice cream machine failure? Not to be deterred from our ice cream craving, we pulled into a Sonic Drive In . Their ice cream machine worked fine and our cones were decadently delicious.

Our hotel for the night provided a free welcome buffet so we ate our supper there, then made it an early night. We were both looking forward to picking up Rebekah and Pam the next day and beginning a new adventure.

 

Road Trip~ Albuquerque, New Mexico to Pueblo, Colorado

30 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

September 12, 2017 Day 6

Our daughter asked on Face Book if any of her friends knew someone who could come over and take a look at her roof. One of her high school friends volunteered her dad and they set up a time to check it out. Electricity still out in most of the neighbors and long lines at restaurants that were open.  I sent up prayers for her day to go smoothly before we began our sixth day on the road.

Judy Wills has mentioned Sandia Peak several times in her blogs and I was anxious to see it. Plus, I had listened to Stealthy Steps by Vikki Kestell and it was set underneath Sandia Crest and that increased my interest.   I was disappointed that we would not be able to take a tram to the peak as it was not running on that day but we were able to drive to the crest, so I was happy.

 

The cafe at Sandia Crest

 

One of the aspects of the Albuquerque area that fascinated me is the diversity of rocks in the different layers.  At the crest, this section of rock looked to me like the earth had thrown up mud piles.

 

 

The elevation where we were standing was around 10.000 feet and we were looking down on these mountains.

 

 

 

To our left we spotted this couple. It really was as dangerous as it appears. Some people are crazy.

 

 

I was surprised and pleased to find these colorful wild flowers after driving through miles of arid landscape.

It is usually chilly on the crest but it was a beautiful day. My husband snuck this picture of me while I was taking a picture. As you can see, Albuquerque sprawls across the landscape below. The city is way too big for this small town girl.

 

 

On the drive up to the crest, I spotted a picnic area and we decided to stop there for lunch before we continued on our drive to our stop for the night in Pueblo, Colorado. We were the only people in the picnic area and we enjoyed the quiet beauty. There is nothing better than the scent of the woods undisturbed by city fumes. I was glad to see that the picnic area included “facilities” as it was a longish drive back to civilization.

 

 

As we left the Sandia area the mountain vegetation changed. From a distance the mountains appeared to be carefully landscaped with squat round bushes.

 

 

To our surprise we came upon the town of Madrid, New Mexico. According to their website:  Madrid is nestled in a narrow canyon in the Ortiz Mountains. Once a historic coal mining town and ghost town, Madrid is now a creative community with over 40 shops and galleries, several restaurants, a spa and museum. 

The town is definitely colorful. One of the things I love about road trips are the unexpected jewels, like this town.

 

While we were enjoying our day, our daughter had met with her friend’s father who inspected her roof.  It seems that Hurricane Irma’s wind had blown up under the roof flashing and it would be a simple and inexpensive fix. She was still without electricity so it would be another restless night for her.

 

 

Road Trip~Amarillo, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico

16 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

September 11, 2017 Day 5

I awoke early, tired from a restless night and anxious to hear from our daughter who had decided to ride out Hurricane Irma alone.  She sent a video text of her back yard around 7:30 am and I was relieved that she was safe and her property as well.  It was with a thankful heart that we began the next leg of our trip.

You can read her story of Hurricane Irma on her blog, Rebekah Lyn’s Kitchen

Leaving Amarillo we passed fields with beautiful yellow flowers. Unfortunately, the flowers were not the scent we were smelling.  Amarillo is  home to of a number of Cattle and Livestock companies. If you would like to know more about livestock auctions, I found an auction house online.

I hadn’t noticed when I was in the planning stages of this trip, how close Amarillo is to New Mexico. In no time we were crossing the border!

 

 

 

Judy Wills, a blogger here on Old Things R New wrote an extensive series about her life in New Mexico and I was anxious to visit some of the places she wrote of. You may enjoy reading her posts, Memories of New Mexico .

Once we entered New Mexico, the cattle ranches fell away replaced by arid landscapes. One of the most fascinating features of New Mexico was the variety or rocks in their mountains. More about that next week.

 

 

We arrived at our hotel in Albuquerque around  3pm and after carting up our ridiculous amount of luggage, we set off to explore. I had asked Judy which restaurants in the Old Town she would recommend. I wanted to experience real  Mexican flavor. We decided on El Pinto. What a beautiful restaurant. It has extensive garden seating with more fountains than I could count and the landscaping was lush. Our server was a delightful young man. He asked where we were from and he was surprised to learn with both grew  up in Orlando!  Even more coincidental, he lived in a subdivision our where our daughter once lived and his grandparents were still there. Small world!  We asked how they fared during Hurricane Irma and were happy to know they were safe. I asked him why he decided to move to New Mexico and he said school and the weather. He hated Florida’s humidity. We could certainly agree with his feelings!

 

 

 

After supper we decided to visit Old Town to walk off some of the delicious meal. There was a lot of road construction in the area, so it took a couple of tries before we made it into the entrance. It is a beautiful and quaint area and we enjoyed exploring it.

 

San Felipe de Neri Church, the oldest building in the city, which was built in 1793.

 

We managed to get turned around leaving Old Town. We went down a couple of alleys that seemed a bit dodgy but eventually found an on ramp to the interstate.

Only one more day of driving was left until we would reach Denver where our daughter and a friend were flying into the international airport to meet us. Rebekah had spent the day assessing  a leak in her kitchen due to the storm and trying to find someone to go up on the roof to find the source.

Road Trip~ Fort Smith, Arkansas to Amarillo, Texas

2 Nov

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

September 10, 2017 Day 4

September 10 marked our second day of loading and unloading the truck. Since we were carrying sandwich makings for our daily picnic and other items needing to be kept cold, we had to carry in our coolers too.  What is all that stuff?

 

 

Our route today on Interstate 40 would take us through the rather monotonous plains of Oklahoma. Fortunately, On a previous trip out west my husband had his heart set on seeing the landscapes that were settings in the cowboy western movies of his youth. Unfortunately, our RV broke down and we had to forego stops to get back on schedule for our camping reservations.  I had a surprise planned for my husband on this leg of the trip.  A picnic in a cowboy canyon!

The tiny town of Hinton, Oklahoma, population 3,220, and is the home of Red Rock Canyon State Park. According to their website:

Red Rock Canyon was once a stop on the famous California Trail. Now visitors can enjoy this beautiful western Oklahoma oasis without bringing the Conestoga wagon. Red Rock Canyon State Park is a great place to hike, climb, or explore. Bring the family or bring the whole wagon train!

The timing of our arrival was perfect. We were ready to get off the interstate for gas as well as lunch. Driving into the park we began a sharp descent into the canyon. I was amazed at the abrupt change in the landscape and my sweet husband was thrilled to finally experience cowboy rocks!

 

 

Our daughter noticed that I seem to snap pictures of my husband  while he is chewing. It wasn’t intentional….honest.

 

 

After our picnic, we returned to Interstate 40, excited for our first glimpse of Texas. I am not a fan of hot weather, so all of our previous trips west took a northern route. Not the greatest picture, taken by my phone through the windshield.

 

 

I was surprised at the number of wind mills in Texas! There were acres and acres of them. We ended our day in Amarillo, Texas and I was ready to try some authentic Texas barbecue. I asked at the front desk and they recommended Dyer’s. It was hard to find as it is located in one of those shopping areas where the businesses blend into to setting.

 

Photo credit Yelp Review

 

We enjoyed the atmosphere and ordered a three meat plate. It was all delicious and I particularly liked their brisket and onion rings.The servers were friendly and their sweet tea was as good as my mama’s, strong and sweet.

 

Not chewing this time!

 

After supper, I spoke with our daughter on the phone. She had decided to ride out the storm in her home….alone. Hurricane Irma would be passing over her home in the evening hours. I knew I would not be getting much sleep.

 

America’s North Country Trip~Part 7

1 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

 

 

Day 7 (Thursday)

 

As I continued west on I-90 next I visited the Crazy Mountain Museum located in Big Timber, MT. This was a small museum in a lovely wooded location, and included a main building which displayed a 1/16th scale model of the town of Big Timber as it looked in 1907. Outside there was a restored one-room schoolhouse, a replica of a Norwegian Stabbur (storage building), and a restored sheep herder’s wagon (these could have been the first RV’s back in the day).

 

 

Continuing west on I-90 next I visited the Livingston Railroad Depot located in Livingston, MT. This museum is in the restored 1902 Northern Pacific Railroad train station and contains a large assortment of local railroad memorabilia. The waiting platform has been converted into a very nice patio café for visitors and locals alike.

 

 

On the way to my next museum there in Livingston, I drove past a Custom Car Restoration garage and decided to pop in to see what was in the works. As it turned out the owner was very friendly and showed me around his shop and some of his projects. He had several classic cars and trucks that were in various stages of restoration.

 

 

While I was in Livingston I also visited the Federation of Fly Fishers Museum just to see what it was all about. This turned out to be a small two-story building where both floors were filled (floor to ceiling) with every conceivable type of fishing fly. The museum owner’s wife was very nice and showed me a lot more than I would ever have wanted to know about fly fishing, tackle and the making of flies. She also introduced me to their National Fly Fishing Hall of Fame gallery which included famous Fly Fishing inventers and celebrities from all over the country.

 

 

Next on the list was the Yellowstone Gateway Museum, also there in Livingston. This museum consisted of a large 3-story building (plus a basement) filled with local memorabilia from the early western Montana area. The museum’s collection included restored wagons, buggies, fire wagons, a shepherd’s wagon, and of course, as with most museums in these Plaines States, a stuffed buffalo. Outside there was a one-room schoolhouse and lots of restored early farm equipment

 

 

Now I continued west on I-90 to visit the Museum of the Rockies, located in Bozeman, MT. This is a very large museum, and as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is known for its paleontological collections. It also claims to have the largest collection of dinosaur remains in the U.S. I was impressed with the number and size of their complete dinosaur displays.

 

 

It was getting late in the day, so I headed west to try to get to the Headwaters Heritage Museum located at the corner of Main & Cedar Streets in Three Forks, MT before they closed. This was a small museum, in a two-story downtown building (I think it was originally a bank), consisting mostly in local early American memorabilia. I was impressed with their display of over 750 different types of “bobbed wire” that has been used over the years. I didn’t spend much time in this museum as I was eager to get down the road to my ultimate destination for the day.

 

 

Now it was on west to visit the Jefferson Valley Museum located in Whitehall, MT. This was another frontier village type museum that depicts the early history and heritage of the local area, including Native American tribes, fur trappers, miners and homesteaders who raised horses, cattle and produce for the area’s mining camps and railroad workers. I opted not to walk through this museum village, and instead headed for my motel there in Whitehall.

 

 

On the way to the motel I spotted a KFC restaurant, and decided to have dinner with the Colonel again tonight. I really do like his chicken. I had their 3-piece chicken dinner again. This time I got cold slaw, mashed potatoes & gravy and I always get one of their homemade biscuits with butter and honey for dessert. What a great way to end a long day on the road.

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

Road Trip~ Florence, Alabama

12 Oct

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

 

September 7, 2017 as Hurricane Irma churned her way across the Caribbean and the Atlantic ocean, we left our home in Western North Carolina for a three-week road trip. Irma was having a hard time deciding on a track and I was having a hard time hitting the road not knowing how my family in Florida would fare.  From North Carolina, I could get to them in ten or twelve hours but each day we traveled west extended that time. We lifted them up in prayer and began our journey.

We decided to minimize our time spent on interstates for the first two legs of our trip. Day one began with a scenic drive on US Hwy 76 through Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge and Ellijay, Georgia. Beautiful area!

Have you ever been driving, or in my case, riding down the road and see a place flash by and wish you had stopped to investigate?  That is what happened to me after we entered Tennessee on US Hwy 72. I saw a sign that I thought read Lodge Factory. I began mumbling about the sign, wondering if it could be the real Lodge Cast Iron factory, and not one of the factory stores one sees in outlet malls. I must have been mumbling louder than I thought as my husband asked if I had wanted to stop there. I admitted that I did and he found a turn around and back we went.

 

 

The ladies working in the store were friendly and helpful and the best part is they seemed to genuinely enjoy working there. I told them I was hoping to buy some of their factory “seconds” and I was directed to a fairly large section. Of course, I found some pieces I needed. Just between you and me, a couple of them will end up under the Christmas tree.

Back in the car, we headed toward Scottsboro, Alabama, home of Unclaimed Baggage. My daughter had told me about it and it became a must do on my adventure list. The company purchases unclaimed baggage from airlines as well as freight that is unclaimed. They assess it, then decide whether to donate or sell it. If they decide to sell, the items are cleaned and sanitized before being placed on the shopping floor. It was a fascinating place, and of course my mind wondered about the stories behind the items.  I found the numerous racks of clothing to be overwhelming but enjoyed shopping in the smaller last call area and purchased an amazing stainless vacuum water bottle for $2.00. It was my daily companion on our trip.

 

We ended our first day in Florence, Alabama.  My husband loves pizza and I love Krispy Kreme doughnuts. We took it as a good omen for our trip that Cici’s Pizza and Krispy Kreme were in the same shopping area near our hotel. Pizza for supper and KK  the next morning.

 

 

 

America’s North Country Trip~Part 2

13 Sep

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

 

 

Day 2 (Saturday)

After a nice hot complimentary breakfast of orange juice, scrambled eggs, sausage links, biscuit & gravy at the motel, I headed north on I-29 to visit the Sergeant Floyd River Museum which is surrounded by Larson Park and located in Sioux City, IA. This dry-docked towboat was built in 1932 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage the nation’s inland waterways, and is now a museum exhibiting historical artifacts about its use over the years on the Missouri River.

 

Sergeant Floyd Museum Boat

 

Next there in Sioux City was a quick visit to the Mid-America Museum of Aviation and Transportation. This was a small museum with a few nicely restored aircraft, buggies, automobiles, trucks and a 1981 Moni-Motor glider built by Monett Experimental Aircraft Co. hanging from the ceiling.

 

 

Another place I wanted to visit there in Sioux City was the Sioux City Railroad Museum near the Riverside area. As it happened, a film crew was there making a documentary about the Museum, and they had several young women dressed in period costumes being used as models. It was interesting to watch them bustling around trying to get the gals to pose just the way they wanted, and in just the right light, for their photos. What a bunch of prima donnas!

 

 

As I was leaving Sioux City I, stopped by the Chief War Eagle Monument to take a photo and learn a little more about this Yankton Sioux Chief. History records him as “Friend of the White Man” and a scout for the U.S. Government, as well as a mediator with the native tribes during the war of 1812. He was one of the tribal leaders selected to go to Washington D.C. to negotiate peace treaties, and was awarded the Silver Peace Metal by President Martin Van Buren in 1837.

 

 

Now I headed north on I-29 stopping by the South Dakota ANG, located adjacent to the Sioux Falls Reginal Airport, to see if they had a museum. They didn’t, so I had to be satisfied with photos of their static display aircraft from outside the fence.

 

 

Next on my list was a visit to the Battleship USS South Dakota (BB-57) Memorial located there in Sioux Falls, SD. This was an unusual memorial in that it had displayed many individual pieces of the ship (a 16” gun barrel, a 40mm gun mount, ship’s anchor, etc.) around the grounds. Inside there were many artifacts and memorabilia displays of this historical ship and its crews.

 

 

On my way through town, I stopped to take a photo of the Sioux Falls Old Minnehaha Courthouse Museum. It was a majestic structure, but I didn’t take the time to go in as I expected it would display mostly city historical items, and I was sure my knees wouldn’t appreciate all those stairs.

 

 

After checking into the motel for the night there in Sioux Falls, I went looking for someplace to eat. As luck would have it, I saw a Panera Bread restaurant and stopped in for a delicious Pick-2 Meal of a Chipotle Chicken sandwich and a cup of their great Broccoli-Cheese soup. One of their oversized chocolate chip cookies topped off my meal for dessert. What a wonderful way to end a day on the road!

 

 

—–To Be Continued—–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ouch!

2 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

 Recently, Fred and I took a driving trip – something we hadn’t done in many years. When Fred mentioned it, I asked him if he was sure – I tend to fall asleep in the car! However, he was sure. Most of the places we go to visit are far enough away that we like to fly to them, rather than drive. But this trip was prompted by a situation we hadn’t heard of before.

 

 

Our son-in-law, Brian, found a really good “deal” here in Orlando – or Central Florida, to be exact. Seems that there are just too many rental cars in the Orlando/Central Florida area between Christmas and Spring Break. So the car companies were making a really good offer – rent one of our cars for $4.95 per day (you read that right – $4.95 per day) and you can drive it for a minimum of one day and up to 30 days – as long as you drop the car somewhere outside Florida! And most of the companies let the renters have the car with unlimited driving miles! And since I call my husband “my tight-fisted Scot” (said with a Scottish accent!) – it was an offer he couldn’t refuse!

So we signed up for a 16-day trip. Fred also said he would like for me to be able to see some of the girlfriends I had made along the way of our life, but hadn’t seen in many years. So we began planning our trip.

 

 

But before I begin our trip – I must tell you that, even though we hadn’t seen these people in many, many years – we had kept up with them, either via Christmas cards, or letters. We had not lost touch with them.

And so, when the time to start driving arrived, we picked up the car and started out. We drove from Orlando to Pensacola the first day – and that’s a long trip!

The next day we drove over to Pascagoula/Moss Point, MS, to visit a friend we hadn’t seen in over 50 years. She and her husband married the November before Fred and I married in June – 56 years ago! And we hadn’t seen them since. Her birthday is one day after mine, so we called ourselves “twins.” We had a nice lunch with them, then visited in their home for a few hours, then started on our trip north. We stopped in Meridian, MS that night, before heading up to Tuscumbia, AL the next day. There we visited for several days with my best and dearest friend in all this world. And just a side note – did you know that Helen Keller is from Tuscumbia? I didn’t know that until we visited there.

 

Credit Google Search and Bio.com Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan

 

Four days following, we drove to Shreveport, LA for an overnight, before heading to Gladewater, TX the next day. There we visited a good friend I had worked with while Fred was in Seminary, in Fort Worth, TX, over 50 years ago. We hadn’t seen her and her family since 1974 when we moved to Panama City, FL from San Antonio, TX. After visiting with them for a few hours, we drove on to Fort Worth, TX. We spent a couple of days there, just re-visiting some of the places we had lived, worked and visited during the four years we lived there. In that time, we visited with the couple we had met on our Viking River Cruise in Europe (please see my post of February 21, 2016 – The Cruise of a Lifetime – Part 4). It was so good to see them again. We found we had a lot in common with this couple, and thoroughly enjoy their company.

~~~~~~~~~~Ouch! will be revealed next week~~~~~~~~~~

My Colonial States Trip~Part 13

11 Feb

A Slice of Life

 Bill Lites

Bill Small Red Plane

 

The U. S. Naval Academy Museum didn’t take long, and I was on my way east to check out the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, DE which had a great collection of both hangered and outdoor static aircraft. They had two C-141s on static display and I recorded the tail numbers so I could ask my friend Dick, when I got back home, if he had flown either one of them during his time in the U.S. Air Force. As it turned out, he had flown one of them.

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Next I headed north again to visit the Massey Air Museum in Massey, MD which turned out to be a very small museum with a C-47 sitting in front of one of the hangers and a F4U Corsair mounted on a pedestal next to the rotating beacon tower. The hanger doors were not open and the museum was closed up for the day, (closed at 4:00 pm) so, after a couple photos, I kept moving north.

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I had planned to visit the Henry Francis DuPont Winterthur Museum & Library in Wilmington, DE but “Greta” had a hard time recognizing the address, since it was on a rural road, with nothing but a guard station blocking the entrance to the driveway. By the time I finally found the proper address, it was after 5:00 pm and the guard said they were closed. I believe DiVoran would have liked to visit this museum as the estate is used as the location for lectures by famous decorating, clothing and jewelry designers who have contributed to the making of movie and TV series projects such as Mrs. Henderson Presents, The Young Victoria and Downton Abbey. What do you think DiVoran?   After a long day of driving, I stopped and had dinner at the “Metro Diner” in Brooklawn, NJ before heading to the motel in Gloucester City, NJ for the evening.

           

The next morning I left early, driving thru Camden, NJ and across the Delaware River, in time to arrive at the Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia, PA for a day of touring that historic city. My first problem was finding the underground parking garage. I had to circle several blocks a couple of times before I spotted the garage entrance, and found my way up the elevator to the information center. I picked up a map of the area and got directions to where I could obtain my free ticket for a tour of Independence Hall. As I was heading across the park for the Hall, I realized I had left my camera lying on the counter at the visitor’s center. I rushed back to the counter and asked if anyone had seen my camera, but they said, “No.” I was really upset, but what could I do? Evidently, someone had picked it up and walked off with it, and there went my camera and some 400-500 photos of my trip so far, never to be seen again. It was hard, but I thanked God for the camera loss and asked Him to help me give the whole thing up to Him.

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The Independence Hall Tour was very interesting and educational from beginning to end. We were reminded that Independence Hall (originally the Philadelphia State House) was completed in 1753 and is primarily known as the building where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and finally adopted by the colonial representatives. As a side note, the Liberty Bell had its first home in the steeple of the Philadelphia State House.

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My Colonial States Trip~Part 11

28 Jan

A Slice of Life
Bill Lites

Bill Red Spot Plane

Somehow I missed the turn (or maybe I wasn’t paying attention) outside of Harrisburg and ended up on I-81 (south) instead of following US #15 (south). This caused me to miss getting to visit the Gettysburg Train Museum and the Gettysburg Battlefield Museum, both of which I’m sure I would have enjoyed. It wasn’t until I came upon the Maryland Welcome Station that I realized what had happened, and by then it was too late in the day to go back, so I just kept on trucking. Just down the road I stopped to check out the Hagerstown Air Museum in Hagerstown, MD where I learned that several of the WW II USAAF training and transport aircraft were built by Fairchild Aircraft in 1some of the hangers where the museum’s aircraft are now housed. Among notable aircraft built by Fairchild during and shortly after WWII included the PT-19/PT-23/PT-26 Cornell trainers, the AT-21 Gunner twin-engine trainer, the C-61 Argus (For the RAF), and the C-82 Packet, C-119 Flying Boxcar and the C-123 Provider cargo planes. The museum wasn’t officially open, but one of the guys working at the airport hangar (where “Greta” delivered me) agreed to show me the museum’s aircraft collection and tell me a little about Fairchild’s roll in wartime Hagerstown.

Next I headed southeast to visit the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederic, MD which was a disturbing and visually graphic education of primitive methods of 2medical treatment used on the fighting men during the Civil War. It is surprising to me that as many men as did, survived their treatments, surgeries and amputations during that war. I guess the main reason for their survival rate was that they were young and healthy when they went into the war. It makes one appreciate modern medical practices such as the advances in cleanliness, antiseptics, surgical applications and especially prosthetics technology.

When I first arrived at the museum, I couldn’t see any place to park, as there were businesses on both sides of the street and signs were posted as “Commercial Loading Zones.” There were cars parked in those loading zones, on both sides of the street, so I stopped in 3front of the museum just long enough to go in and ask where to park. I couldn’t have been in the museum more than 3 or 4 minutes, but when I came out to move my car I had a parking ticket and the writer of that ticket was nowhere to be seen. He/she must have been lurking in some doorway, close by, just waiting for me to walk away from my car, because the ticket was a computer print-out with a “lot” of automobile information that had to have been observed and entered into their hand-held device. Man, was that fast! Needless to say, that was a costly museum visit.

Next on my list, as I continued east, was The Firehouse Museum in Ellicott, MD which was closed that day. As you can see from the photo below, the museum is very small and is only open on Saturdays and Sundays. The museum is located in the very first Ellicott volunteer firehouse, which was built in 1889, and served as the town meeting hall, among other things, over the years. Then it was on east to Laurel, MD for dinner and the motel for the night.

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—–To Be Continued—–

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