Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Summer 2017 Part 4

July 25, 2017      History, Family, Groundhogs!

Soon we will be roaming the countryside again so an update is in order.  Our Pennsylvania visit was punctuated with a brief sojourn into eastern Ohio before the gathering of family members for the Luther reunion.  Great visits with long-time friends and cousins will be fondly remembered.  Needed maintenance on the truck was performed and a new foam mattress for Brian was purchased. 

After a few quiet days with Brian's mother, we journeyed to visit two national historic sites in southwestern Pennsylvania - Fort Necessity (where the French and Indian War began with a young George Washington in command) and Friendship Hill (home of Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury for Presidents Jefferson and Madison and instrumental in the Louisiana Purchase and funding of the Lewis and Clark expedition).   We enjoyed camping at two Ohio state parks, a visit to a huge coal mining machine, and historic sites in Canton.

Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Mount Washington Tavern near Fort Necessity

Friendship Hill, home of Albert Gallatin

Brian is dwarfed by the bucket from the world's largest walking dragline used to mine coal
known as "Big Muskie"

This photo shows how big the dragline was compared to the bucket.

seen while geocaching

President McKinley Memorial in Canton, Ohio - 108 steps to the top - good exercise!

tomb of President and Mrs. McKinley

the memorial from another angle

seen while geocaching in Ohio

The Pennsylvania All Counties Challenge Cache - we have found caches in all of the Pennsylvania counties.
Back to Johnstown, PA:
Kim and Jared drove up from Houston for the family reunion.  We never visit Johnstown without taking a ride on the Incline Plane (steepest in the world). We had never ridden it at night and we made sure Jared experienced the biggest attraction in town.  We were the only people around on a Saturday night.

riding the Incline Plane - you can see downtown Johnstown behind us
downtown Johnstown from the Incline

the rails are outlined with lights
We made a daytrip to Punxsutawney to see Gobblers Knob and the home of Punxsutawney Phil.

We found some of the fiberglass statues around town:

Wizard Phil

Scottish Phil

Fireman Phil


the town's namesake

seen while geocaching - "Groundhog on Steroids"

Kim and Brian with his mother, Shirley
 Texas delegation - the Kissells and Jared Shaw
Ted Luther descendants - the largest group of the 75 relatives who attended.
We will attend again in July 2019 with Brian serving as reunion president.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer 2017 - part 3

Summer 2017 - Part 3
July 12

In the past two weeks, we haven't seen much flat land as we roamed through Virginia, West Virginia,  and into Pennsylvania.  We made more stops at national historic sites, a few sites of geological interest, and a huge radio telescope.  We escaped heat and humidity for cooler mountain air and trod where Washington and Jefferson are known to have gone before us.  We are now in Johnstown, Pennsylvania at Brian's mother's house and look forward to a family reunion next week.  

 Moravian Falls, North Carolina

Natural Tunnel State Park in western Virginia -
a river carved a tunnel and a railroad was built next to it.

from the Blue Ridge Parkway

Statue of Nathanael Greene - Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, NC

Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park, Virginia

Celebrating our 40th anniversary on a hiking trail

Visiting cousin Janice in Charlottesville, VA

Humpback Bridge in Covington, VA - the oldest bridge of its kind in the U.S.

Humpback Bridge park

We enjoyed spotting some of the sites of the Quilt Trail in Pocahontas County, West Virginia:

Our campsite in Kumbrabow State Forest, WV with flowering rhododendron flanking it and a stream just below:

Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia - world's largest steerable telescope that can move 360 degrees at the base and be pointed in any direction.  It is a radio telescope, not optical, so no digital cameras or cell phones can be used on the tour once you get inside the security fence.

Gotta love a Little Free Library in a national forest campground!

Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland - site of the deadliest day of battle in U.S. History. 23,000 soldiers were dead, injured or missing at the end of one day in 1862.

We hiked part of the AT - the part that crosses the Potomac River on a bridge from Harpers Ferry!

Looking back on the lower town of Harpers Ferry, MD from the bridge over the Potomac:

This is The Point at the confluence of the. Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers

St. Peter's Catholic Church in Harpers Ferry

Overlooking the Shenandoah from Jefferson Rock on the bluff above Harpers Ferry
 whereThomas Jefferson described the scene in admiration.

Brian at the "Top of Pennsylvania" - the highpoint of the state on Mt. Davis