Friday, October 26, 2007

East Greenwich, Rhode Island

We are home from our delivery of a 30 ft white Sightseer Winnebago motor home to Rhode Island. It was a gas model. The interior was decorated with cherry wood cabinets, furnishings in moss green/linen and the driver and passenger seat were upholstered in a brown soft suede leather (very comfy)!
The directions to the dealership were clear and was easy to find so delivery went fast and smoothly. Then we took off for some state highways and spent some time turning around to find unmarked corners to take us where we wanted to go!!!

An exclamation point for the ending of a colorful trip was the complete rainbow over the highway as it was raining for a few miles in southern Iowa!

Across Illinois & Indiana

A cloudy start early morning, but then the sun comes out. Sunglasses needed! We have had so many cloudy rainy days our eyes are not used to the sun! Many corn and a few bean fields waiting for harvest. Combines in fields. As we crossed rivers they were all running bank full from the recent rains. Flocks of birds collected in the fields. Leaves on the trees are shades of yellow and orange with some red and many still green.
Dark clouds make a contrasting background to the sunlight shining on the landscape. This was an optical reminder of how our lives in relationship with Father God through belief in Jesus is the "sun" shining on people and circumstances in a dark world culture.
As we drove by resorts along the lake shore the boats were on trailers and covered. Ready for winter? Areas with deer and wild turkeys grazing in the harvested fields.
We parked at a Travel Plaza on the turnpike for the night and learned that all are not the same! This one did not have a fast food restaurant like others, but did find a hot supper--pizza to go! It had rained before we arrived and was foggy.
We paid $3.20 a gal for gas in Indiana on way home, which was the highest price we saw on the trip.

Through Ohio

On the Ohio Turnpike in the fog and haze coming from Lake Erie. Coming back it was sunny and we enjoyed the opportunity to see the colored leaves. This area has barns that look like 2 of them were built together at right angles to each other. Each barn has 3 ends with gable roofs. They are very large! Am wondering about the reason for the shape?

Pennsylvania Wilds

Light fog and misty rain again in the morning, but later the sun came through a partly cloudy sky on the way out. On the way back home it was sunny, again giving us the opportunity to see what we missed.
We are driving over and around tree covered low mountains leading into the Appalachian Mountains. Over the Allegheny river which reflected the colors of the trees lining its shore. The leaves are neon bright yellow to orange with shades of red and purple. The green leaves of the oaks are a contrast to the color. The highway curves through this colored forest for many miles.
There is a bat factory at Exit 86 on Interstate 80 that we are going to stop and tour someday!
We drive past open pit coal mines. All along the valleys are dairy farms. We drove over the highest point east of the Mississippi River about 11 miles west of Clearfield.

Project: Evade NYC

Our printed route from the company took us through New York City, over the Hudson River on the George Washington bridge, through the Bronx and onto Interstate 95 and up the coast to Rhode Island. Didn't sound like too much fun for us so we did an "evade NYC" route. Definitely more scenic plus we ended up with only 60 additional miles on the unit, which was within our limits.
We drove north through Wilkes-Barre & Scranton, a 20 mile long city laid in the valley. The skyline is interesting with modern high-rise office buildings and tall old church steeples. Turning east we crossed into New York State at Port Jarvis, which is on the Delaware River.
The color continues----corridors of color plus colorful vistas when overlooking valleys and a wall of color on the sides of the mountains.

Delaware Gap National Recreation Area

On our way back west we took a scenic drive along the Delaware River south of Port Jarvis and through the town of Milford, PA on highway 209. It was bumper to bumper traffic in and around the small towns because of all the activities with the fall festivals, but a beautiful drive.
40 miles of the middle Delaware River passes between the forested Pocono Mountains where barely a house is in sight. Then the river cuts through the mountain ridge to form a "water gap" in the valley. As the river exits the park, it runs 200 miles more to Delaware Bay in the Atlantic Ocean. There are 27 miles of the Appalachian Trail in the park.
Near Milford is Grey Towers, the ancestral home of Gifford Pinchot, who was the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service and twice governor of PA. The L-shaped mansion is anchored on three corners by towers that give the mansion its name. The house originally contained 43 rooms and was built as a summer home. It is open for tours as a historical landmark.
The most unique feature of the home is the Finger Bowl. The Finger Bowl connects to the mansion's dining room through the Mosaic Terrace and is a unique outdoor dining table in the form of a raised pool surrounded by a flat ledge of sufficient width to accommodate a place setting. Chairs were pulled up to the pool and food was passed in wooden bowls floated on the water. Over the Finger Bowl, a wisteria covered oval, domed, wooden arbor rests on an open structure of twelve stone piers. Numerous meals were served under the wisteria canopy.
We passed many small corn fields among the trees beside the river that were not harvested, but had pick-ups with hunters and dogs. One of the hunters told us that they were hunting pheasant that had been released the week before in the area. He also told us that their deer were very small compared to the ones we have in Iowa!!

Raymondskill Falls

We turned off the scenic route to follow a road with a sign to the Raymondskill Falls. Up and around and arrived at a trail head for several trails. We could hear the falls as soon as we stepped out of the car. We took our camera and started down the trail of stepping stones bordered by a wooden pole fence. We were at the top of a large falls with a view of at least 3 more small ones above it. Another couple offered to take our picture!
Another path led down to near the bottom of the large falls with another smaller one falling beside it. These falls are 180 feet total. The are formed by a stream that literally tumbles off the Pocono Mountain plateau and rushes through dark hemlock forests to the Delaware River.

New York State

More color! Across the Hudson River on the toll bridge near Newburgh. Traffic is increasing. Not many miles across the state.


Highway 9 is a scenic four-lane road connecting Hartford to Interstate 95. It follows the Connecticut River. Many historical buildings and events happened in this area. In the town of Haddam is a schoolhouse where Nathan Hale taught. The Goodspeed Opera House is known for the musicals that are performed in that area.
Interstate 95 follows the Long Island Sound coast line until the Rhode Island border. We had to choose what we would spend time seeing. The Mystic Aquarium would be a great place to visit, too.

Nautilus/Submarine Force Library & Museum in Groton, CT

We spent several hours going through the museum and touring the Nautilus Submarine. It is easy to find by following the signs and admission is free.
The museum shows the history of submarines from the Bushnell Turtle through the Polaris Missile. We used the working periscope to see the surrounding area, but no submarines arriving at base that day. The authentic submarine control room made us aware of the knowledge needed to man this ship!

Bushnell Turtle
In 1775 an Irishman named David Bushnell, who had much hatred toward the British, began designing and building a submarine in Saybrook, Connecticut.
Bushnell's submarine was peach shaped and 7 ft. long by 4 ft. wide. There was just enough room for one person to sit inside it. The inside of the boat was made of wood that glowed in the dark. He called his submarine the American Turtle.
On the night of July 7, 1776 Bushnell put his submarine to work in New York harbor against British Admiral Howe's flagship, HMS Eagle. It was armed with one gunpowder torpedo, which could be attached to the hull of a ship using a drill.
Even though there was a change in the tide the turtle maneuvered up to the Eagle successfully and undetected. The gunpowder torpedo did not attach correctly and only disturbed the Eagle. However, most of the British ships left New York harbor and decided not to investigate what occurred.
Bushnell took the Turtle up to Fort Lee, where Washington's army was quartered. There, Bushnell's Turtle made another unsuccessful attempt to sink a British frigate. Another boat spotted the Turtle. The torpedo was released but did not cause any damage.

Nautilus Submarine

Did you know that the Nautilus is the common name of any marine creatures of the cephalopod family, Nautilidae. It is also the name of the first nuclear powered submarine. This submarine reached the geographic North pole in 1958. She made a record 300,000 miles underway during the time she was in service. She was involved in a variety of developmental testing programs while continuing to serve alongside many of the more modern nuclear powered submarines built later. Now she is designated a National Historic Landmark and is the only nuclear powered submarine on display in the world.
You are given a recorded tour to carry as you walk through the ship. It is amazing how much they can pack into the space, how many controls needed, sleeping bunks appear small, but are 6 ft in length, there is a kitchen complete with a dishwasher, and it felt a little like crawling through a cave when you went from one section to the next.

Mystic Seaport

This is a "must see" for this area. In Iowa we have the Living History Farms, Mystic Seaport is a living history of the early shipbuilding coastal area. It is well marked with Interstate exit and also in town signs. We spent a half day here with rain off and on. (If you get your ticket validated you can come back for free the next day.) The food is reasonably priced and ample servings. There are 52 buildings and exhibits located at the entrance to the Mystic River along the Long Island Sound Coast. There are "tall ships" or ships with tall masts. The Charles W. Morgan is moored there and open for touring. It was the last wooden whaleship in the world.
Whale Fishing
Whale fishing was interesting and dangerous. The whale was brought in by several fisher men in small boats. Then with pulleys they attached it to the side of the ship. With a cutter they cut the midsection of the whale rotating it to get a long piece of skin and blubber. The ship had a furnace on board where they cooked the blubber to get the oil. The oil was put in wooden kegs to transport back to shore and sell.
Ship Building
One of the exhibits showed the process of rebuilding wooden ships. They are always working on one. There are piles of lumber sitting under roofs drying for use in the building. Oak is preferred because the branches have a natural curve. There is a oak that was brought in from Louisiana that shows how massive the trunks of the trees are. One exhibit shows how a ship is put together.
Did you know that Ship Worms are in the water and eat through the wood on the ships. They are actually mollusks. Also a crustacean called a Gribble eats wood in ships. Christopher Columbus lost 2 of his 4 ships on his 4th voyage in 1502 because of Ship Worms! Eventually they used copper plates and anti-fouling paint to keep them from eating the ships. But even today, every 3 years they pull the wooden ships out of the water onto a dry dock and check for the worms!
Mystic Clipper Ships
The Mystic area was near major ports, the river was deep and protected from storms, there was a supply of quality lumber in the forests making it an ideal place for 5 ship building companies in 1853. The ships built here were called "clipper ships" and advertised as Mystic Clipper. They were known for their shape which gave a practical carrying capacity and impressive speed and were purchased for moving immigrants across the ocean, for use in the Gold Rush and for moving cotton.
LA Dunton, tall mast fishing ship
We went on board the LA Dunton. The captain and officer quarters under deck in the front were spacious and included their bunks , a woodburning stove, and their own dining area. The hold in the center was large bins separated with wood where the fish were stored until they went back to shore. They could use ice because that part was under water level. It would hold about 100 ton of fish and they were usually out for 2 weeks. The fisherman quarters under deck in the back of the boat were crowded. Probably 20 hands in bunks that looked like boxes piled on each other. Suppose to be 6 ft in length. Their kitchen and dining area was also located beside the bunks. The ship would have 10 dories, or small boats, which would be sent out with 2 fishermen in each to catch fish and bring them back to the ship. This was in the early 1900's.
Newspaper office
We stopped in the newspaper office and was shown how the printer had all the type set in boxes or cases. Since he had to be efficient he put the cases with the small letter type of the alphabet on the lower shelf where they were easy to reach. The cases with the capital letter type were put on the upper shelf. This is why we have the expression upper case and lower case letters!
When a printer set type each line had a screw beside the form that was turned to hold the letters in while he worked on the next line. The expression "turn a phrase" came from this action!
This is only a small portion of what they show. We were fascinated!

Rhode Island

We drove local highway # 1 that went along the coastline. It was a pretty drive. Leaves were colorful. We drove past little bays that were called ponds with blue water reflecting the colors on the shore. We noticed many rock fences marking boundaries of fields and lawns.
Goodard Memorial State Park
This is a park in the city with many walking trails, horses to ride, and a beach. We drove to the boat ramp and did a tail-gate lunch looking out into the Narragansett Bay. Sail boats and fishing boats were moored all along the inlet.
Narragansett Towers
The town of Narragansett has a large beach on the Atlantic Ocean. We walked for awhile and watched the waves roll in. The beach was pretty clean. The tide was coming in and there were fishermen on the wall that was built along the edge of town on what is called the Ocean Road. We drove through the Narragansett Tower that is built over the street beside the beach. It is a large brick building with towers and a reminder of the "guilded age"! The turn of the century was an opulent period when this area rivaled Newport in terms of sumptuousness and prestige. Today you can rent it for weddings, parties, etc.
You could rent beach cabanas during the summer season. Large, tall homes and apartment buildings all along the road.

Once again we've had the opportunity to see how the Lord gives men strength, courage, knowledge and wisdom to deal with the circumstances of their lives in a different time and place.

Thank-you for taking the time to travel with us on this colorful trip to the East Coast!
Lord willing our next trip will be to Louisville, KY in November where we will deliver a motor home to a RV show!
Prairie Schooners

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