New Hampshire, 8/8 and 8/9Our first stop was White Birches Campground in Shelbourne, NH. It was right on Highway 2 and very convenient to Mt. Washington. We only booked two nights here; that was a mistake because it's a beautiful area with lots of things to do and see.
The reason we stayed here was to visit Mt. Washington. We wanted to experience the crazy weather that's it famous for. The temperatures at the top are, on average, 20-30 degrees cooler than at the base. Pretty nice place to visit on a hot summer afternoon. We took the Cog Railway to the top which is quite an experience, we highly recommend it!
Here's some information from Wikipedia on the Railway:
The Mount Washington Cog Railway, also known as the Cog, is the world's first mountain-climbing cog railway (rack-and-pinion railway). The railway is still in operation, climbing Mount Washington in New Hampshire, USA. It uses a Marsh rack system and one or two steam locomotives and six biodiesel powered locomotives to carry tourists to the top of the mountain. Its track is built to 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm) gauge, which is technically a narrow gauge, as it is a 1⁄2-inch (12.7 mm) less than 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge.
It is the second steepest rack railway in the world after the Pilatus Railway in Switzerland, with an average grade of over 25% and a maximum grade of 37.41%. The railway is approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) long and ascends Mount Washington's western slope, beginning at an elevation of approximately 2,700 feet (820 m) above sea level and ending just short of the mountain's summit peak of 6,288 feet (1,917 m). The train ascends the mountain at 2.8 miles per hour (4.5 km/h) and descends at 4.6 mph (7.4 km/h). It takes approximately 65 minutes to ascend and 40 minutes to descend, although the diesel engine can go up in as little as 37 minutes.
And some edited information from Wikipedia about Mt. Washington (I'm getting lazy):
Mount Washington, is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288.2 ft and the most topographically prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River.
The mountain is notorious for its erratic weather. On the afternoon of April 12, 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory recorded a windspeed of 231 miles per hour at the summit, the world record for most of the 20th century, and still a record for measured wind speeds not involved with a tropical cyclone.[
The mountain is located in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains. While nearly the whole mountain is in the White Mountain National Forest, an area of 60.3 acres surrounding and including the summit is occupied by Mount Washington State Park.
The Mount Washington Cog Railway ascends the western slope of the mountain, and the Mount Washington Auto Road climbs to the summit from the east. The mountain is visited by hikers, and the Appalachian Trail crosses the summit.
|Cold, rainy and very windy summit|
We left New Hampshire on Friday, August 10th and headed to Stowe, Vermont. This trip is a little unusual for us because we made reservations up to Labor Day. Don't really like doing that but it's hard to find campgrounds in the East without them.
Vermont, 8/10 thru 8/12We arrived at Goldbrook Campground in Stowe around 2:00 and were in line for the tour at the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream tour by 3:30! Ben & Jerry's is in Waterbury, VT and was only about a half-hour down the road from our campground - how convenient.
When we parked our truck and headed towards the factory we noticed a cemetery. We stopped to take a look and realized it was where flavors go to die.
|Tombstone of discontinued flavor|
The tour was interesting and the free sample of cinnamon buns ice cream was pretty tasty but our hearts still belong to Cherry Garcia.
When we left New Hampshire we had a problem with our truck battery. We had it jumped and went on our way but knew we needed to take care of it. On Saturday, we spent the morning trying to find a place that could replace it but everybody was busy or closed. We bought a jump starter battery and that worked until we got to New York where we had a new battery installed. The jump starter gives us peace of mind for future issues.
After a morning of driving to repair shops and finally to Napa Auto Parts Store for the starter we started our tour of Stowe. Stowe, VT is the home of the Von Trapp Family Lodge and that is the main reason (ok, only reason) we visited Stowe. Vermont turned out to be one of our favorite states. Breathtaking views and very friendly people. I understand why the Von Trapp Family ended up here. We toured the lodge and grounds and had lunch at the Trapp Family Bier Hall. We drove back to Stowe and checked out some of the shops and bought some cheese and maple syrup.
|Trapp Lodge Gardens|
|Lunch at the Bier Hall|
|Trapp Family Lodge|
|Lunch in Quebec, Canada - trés bien!|
Chester Arthur was the first president with birther issues. As a child, his family moved often. One of his political foes speculated that Arthur had been born in Ireland. When that rumor failed he then claimed that he was born in Canada. This claim also failed (because it wasn't true!) I guess some things never change.
New York, 8/13 thru 8/16
We had an interesting ride to our campground in Mt. Vision, NY. We spent most of the drive on the highway but when we reached our exit, it was all county roads, very narrow and windy county roads. Once we got to the campground we discovered that the very wooded site assigned to us was impossible to get into with our rig so it was back to the office to get a new site. Luckily our new site was in a nice large open field; we even had one bar on our cell phones.
We came to this campground because it is only about 1/2 hour drive to Cooperstown (YAY!). The Baseball Hall of Fame has always been on my bucket list and it was definitely worth the visit.
There is limited parking in the town of Cooperstown but there are parking lots on the outskirts and they have free trolleys to take you to town.
Inside the museum we watched a short movie which showed baseball highlights throughout it's history. Yes, I did get teary eyed when they showed the Cubs winning the World Series. After the movie we wandered for about three hours looking at all the exhibits. There sure is a lot of Yankee history here. I guess it's because they've won a few World Series.
|Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks|
|Night baseball in Cooperstown|
Pennsylvania, 8/16 through 8/20
We left New York and headed to Woodland, PA for three nights. I thought the campground we were booked at was close to Johnstown, PA. I was wrong, our reservation was at a campground in Woodland, PA about 2 1/2 hours away. Oh well, it was a rainy weekend and we ending up staying in the rig most of the time anyway. We left Woodland on Sunday morning and drove a couple hours to Mirror Lake CG in New Florence, PA.
|Behind Buttermilk Falls|
We stopped for dinner at Our Sons Family Restaurant in Johnstown, diner dining at its best! Driving through Johnstown reminded me so much of the movie, "The Deer Hunter". It's an older town with old buildings and beautiful older churches.
We finally made it to the Johnstown Museum on Monday but, being Monday, the museum was closed. We decided to walk over to the Johnstown Inclined Plane which is the steepest Vehicular Incline in the World. "The Inclined Plane opened on June 1, 1891and on it's first day of service it made a trip every five minutes transporting 600 passengers and 30 horse-drawn wagons". It was built after the 1889 Johnstown Flood which killed more than 2000 people. In 1936 there was another flood in Johnstown and the Inclined Plane carried nearly 4000 people to safety.
We took a ride to the top, walked around a bit, visited the gift shop and headed back down.
|Vehicular Funicular - say that 3 times fast!|
For 127 years, Johnstown's— the steepest vehicular inclined plane in the WORLD — had been operated by men. But early in June of 2018 one Johnstown resident, Heather Felice, made history as its first woman operator. It was nice talking to her, she's very proud (as she should be) that she's the first.
|Heather Felice, 1st woman operator|
|Yikes - I'm dizzy just looking at this picture|
Since we were already depressed we continued our day by visiting the Flight 93 Memorial in Somerset County. From the parking lot to get to the Visitor's Center you walk the path that the flight took. Once in the Visitor's Center there are exhibits about all the events of 9/11. It's very powerful, some of it was still too much for me to watch. There are phones on the wall that you can pick up and listen to the messages that some of the passengers left for their loved ones. Outside there is a wall with the 40 names and some biographical material. It's amazing to think how brave these people were and how many lives they saved by their actions.
|Flight 93 Pathway|
Ohio, 8/21 thru 8/25
We left Pennsylvania around 9:30 on Tuesday, 8/21 and arrived at Berlin Lake COE Campground around 1:00. This is our first COE park since Marty got his Senior Lifetime Pass and we camped here for five nights for only $60.00 total. Love that pass!
All COE parks are on water and our back window looked over the lake. We had our own trail down to the beach, pretty great spot.
We've been kinda lazy lately (plus it's been rainy and really humid) so we decided to walk around the park. It was about 7000 steps (approximately 3 miles) so we decided to reward ourselves by heading to the nearby Hollywood Casino. We've discovered that we are pretty lucky in casinos in states that begin with "O". We came home happy and can't wait till we are heading to Arizona and can stop in Oklahoma.
On Thursday, 8/24, we drove an hour over to Cuyahoga National Park. We did a little bit of hiking and saw two waterfalls. When we stopped at the Visitor's Center we found out that there is a bike trail along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath through the park. We also found out that you can drive to different points along the trail and catch a train with your bike and ride back for only $5.00. We decided to do that on Friday.
On Saturday I convinced Marty that we should take a one hour drive over to Newell, West Virginia to visit the Homer McLaughlin - FiestaWare Factory. You can never have too much fiestaware!
|New coffee mug|
|Love all the colors|
I'm having computer issues downloading photos so that's it for this post. It was a long one anyway.