Monday, April 23, 2012

Home Suite Home

This has been a lovely suite here at the Hampton Inn but it's not home.  I don't know if it's because I know my adventure is almost over or if I'm tired of being on the road but I'm looking forward to be heading west for the next 2,000 miles.

I missed my kitty sleeping on top of me at night.
I missed our memory foam mattress.
I missed talking to the Cottage Master.
I missed his blue eyes and how good he smells.
I didn't miss how he teases me and thinks it's funny.

I've had terrific weather nearly every day.  I see from the newspaper that Olympia hit 76* the other day.  Sorry I missed that.

I'll be going to the Chicago Union Station tomorrow about noonish and the Amtrak train should be leaving at 2:00.  I've reserved a sleeper room (roomette) and meals are included in the price.  Want to see where I'll be for 48 hours?  Click here and Go to the bottom of this page.

No private toilet  ---  Worse, no television
I have books, magazines and puzzles to keep me occupied if the scenery gets boring.

I don't know if the Internet will work on the train.  This may be my last communication to you before I get home.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday in Chicago

I had a rather uneventful trip traveling west from Connecticut.  The major sights were, 1) gas stations 2) rest areas and 3) toll booths.  After you've seen one, you've seen them all.

At one service station there was this.  I wish I could have taken a picture of the horse. It was a beauty.

I'm in the windy city now.  See, I can prove it.  This is a tree outside my window.
The leaves are all pointing the way the wind is blowing -- in case I can't tell.

We've all seen signs and labels on products that caution us not to do stupid things.  At first it always seems unneeded but they tell us that they are placed there because some dumb person really did something dangerous with the product. 

Here's another one for the collection.
Why would anyone need to hang clothes so close to the ceiling?  The ceiling is so high that I could only touch the bottom of the sign when I reached up the wall.

Tomorrow I'll get the car washed and vacuumed out.  Do a little site seeing and repack my bags to get ready for the last leg of my journey on Amtrak.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday in Windsor CT

I arrived at my final destination (well, for this trip that is) this morning.
I met two helpful women who made me feel right at home.  I was shown books and files that had data of my ancestor who crossed the Atlantic in 1630 and was in the group who established the first Connecticut town in 1633.

Just look at all the goodies I got.

Behind the the Historical Society building was this house. Of course, just like everywhere I've gone on this trip, it doesn't open for another two weeks so I couldn't see inside.

Across the street stands the monument to the people who first came to this place.
And here is his name, Deac. William Gaylord
Across the street on the other side is the old cemetery.

I was given a map of where 9 times grandfather and grandmother are laid. Their stones are no longer readable.  But I stood nearby and expressed my gratefulness to them for braving the sea and dangers in the new country so I could be born here and enjoy all of the freedoms we experience today.

Then I drove into the newer section of town and had lunch here at the Whistle Stop Cafe where I was given the best chicken wrap sandwich I've ever had.

I've seen lots of old train museums and memorabilia ever since I crossed into Pennsylvania.  Mostly tracks that lead to nowhere with empty cars now being used for teaching the coming generations.  Imagine my surprise at having a real train rush past as I was eating my sandwich. 

The server was wearing a T-shirt that had a sketch of a train engine and below that it said "wrecked".  I inquired the meaning and was told "It's to lower the expectations of the clientele".  I gave him a hardy tip for giving me a hardy laugh.

On my way out of town I spotted this interesting fence.

Will get a good night's sleep tonight in the same Ramada room as last night and head west on I-80 tomorrow for the 16 hour drive back to Chicago.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I've lost track - What day is this?

I had so much fun yesterday.  Spent quality time with dead relatives.  Went to a historical museum where the curator knew my name.  Well, she knew my gggg grandfather's name.  Took some photos. The curator will email some more information to me after she has scanned it. And then looked for a place to stay.

That's where things started to go downhill.

Natural gas drilling is happening in Bradford County PA and all the rooms were taken by workmen driving really big trucks filled with all sorts of equipment.  Not one man offered to share his room with me so I had to drive to Scranton to find a bed.

By the time I arrived I was so tired I would have been happy to stay at the Schrute Beet Farm (The Office watchers will know what that means).

Instead I stayed at a EconoLodge.  Will never stay in one again.  The sign said it had Internet service -- it lied.  The fitted sheet would not stay on the bed.  The trash can had not been emptied of the whiskey and wine bottles from the previous tenant (or two). But the worse part was the smell that reminded me of a pile of soiled adult diapers.

I opened the window wide and fell on the bed for some rest.  Was glad to wake up at dawn and leave.

I took my time getting down the road yesterday stopping whenever I saw something interesting, like this cool rock building . . .

It had pipes coming out of it and the chimney looked like it had massive power lines attached to it.  Anyone know what it is?

This is another house that caught my eye.  I'm not use to seeing houses built with rock.

These people tried to make this naked tree in their yard a little more attractive (double click for a closer look)
Rolling over in your grave would be easy when you're planted on such a steep hill
Then there were these people who are spending their time waiting for the coming of our Lord in a daylight basement
Here is the story
Here is the land they are talking about.  It took three shots to capture the whole valley

This story and land is of interest to me because my ggggg grandfather owned some of this land and sold it to a representative who negotiated the deal prior to the French crossing the Atlantic.

Here is where Joshua Gaylord made a name for the family when he settled here after the Revolutionary War.
I don't know if what this sign means that it is the oldest house still standing in the area or if it belonged to Mr. Oldest -- there was no date to let me know when it was built. It will be open to visitors in May.

Can you stand to see some more barn quilts?

Tonight I'm snug in a great Ramada room ten miles from the location where my English ancestors made their home after coming to the New World in 1630.

Tomorrow should be another fun day of exploration.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 6 -- Tuesday

I've discovered that Sadie, the nice GPS lady, does not know her left from her right.

She told me to turn left and when I did she went into a tailspin recalculating.  I had a few nasty things to say when I realized that I was traveling west instead of east like I wanted to.  I had to drive 26 miles before I could get turned around on I-80!

Two hours later she told me with great confidence to prepare to enter highway on the RIGHT when I could see that I-80 was definitely on my LEFT. 

I drove across Indiana and Ohio today.  This was my view pretty much the entire 300 miles.

I spent the time thinking how good Dixie Cups and Cremecicles taste.  (they're orange and white too)

After entering Pennsylvania I turned north and drove a lovely scenic two lane road along the Alleghney National Forest behind two logging trucks.

I called it a day when I arrived in Kane, PA.  I'm staying in a motel that was built in the 1950's, with walls paneled in the 1970's and redecorated again probably 10 years ago or so.  It's very clean and very reasonably priced.  Based on the motif my guess is that they do most of their business during hunting season.

Deer, highly influenced by Marie Barone.  The chairs have been covered with fabric and then encased in a heavy clear plastic.  There is a pan at the door for one to leave their muddy boots. Apparently this place could get pretty dirty with the right kind of guest.

And yes, that's pink and green tile in the bathroom behind that chair.  I know I sound like I'm making fun but I don't mean to.  This place is immaculate and in much better condition than the Days Inn I stayed at last night.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 5 Monday

I went exploring in the Historical Society drawers and the county courthouse this morning.  I had it confirmed that my g grandfather was indeed there.  He and his brother came together.  Each bought land from people and then traded it back and forth to each other during 1856 and 1858.  I wished that I could afford the time to track each transaction to see if there was a pattern or logic to their horse trading. 

By noon I had finished my searching so I traveled east on two lanes highways most of the way for 300 miles.  I stopped each time I saw another interesting barn quilt in Iowa to take a picture.  I didn't see any more after I crossed the Mississippi River.

The Bed and Breakfast that I stayed at is called "The Dairy Barn".  Their website photos are good but staying there is better.

 This is Alphie. He is a sweet boy who is tormented by a cat who picks on him and then runs up the stairs.

Probably will be driving all day tomorrow with not much chance to take pictures.