September 2004               


            The capitol of New Hampshire is Concord.  We drove over and found the State House.  Only self-guided tours are offered of the building, so we picked up the brochure and followed the arrows. 

            The cornerstone of the building was laid in 1816 and the building was opened in 1819.  The budget for the construction was $82,000.  The building was doubled in size in 1864 and again in 1909.  As the legislature has kept their original chambers, it boasts that it is the oldest state house in the nation with its legislature still meeting in the original chambers.

            The most renovation to the building was in 1974.  The Senate Chamber is furnished with a direct copy of the original furniture from the architectís drawings.  The large murals in the chamber were painted by Barry Faulkner of Keene.  We were only permitted to view the chamber from the upstairs visitorís gallery, so we apologize that the photo isnít any better.

            The Representatives Hall was closed for renovation, so we were unable to view it.  The New Hampshire House of Representatives is the largest in our country and the third largest in the English speaking world.  Only the U. S. Congress and Britainís Parliament are larger.  It contains 400 members.  At its onset, the size of the House was determined by population, with each member representing 100 people.  It size was frozen at 400 in 1943.

            We also viewed the Executive Council Chambers and the Governorís Reception area. 

            If you remember, in June we took a whale watching trip that resulted in no whales being sighted.  We were given a free trip certificate which we decided to redeem.  We drove to Gloucester, MA arriving at lunch time.  After having a delicious lunch at the restaurant overlooking the water front, we boarded our boat for the afternoon cruise. 

            On our way out of the harbor, we saw a large sailing vessel coming into the harbor.  As we came closer, we discovered it was the ďFreedomĒ, based in Salem, MA.  This was the same ship we had seen returning to her home port in Salem earlier in the summer.

            The whale watching trip was rewarding this time with several whales being sighted.  It was very exciting when a couple of them came very near the boat.  We were quite happy that we had made the trip to see them. 

            The Hopkinton State Fair was held on Labor Day week-end.  We drove over on Saturday and found a place to park.  There werenít any parking lots at the fairgrounds and people had set up parking lots in their yards.

            The fair was larger than it first appeared and we enjoyed walking around viewing all the vendors and exhibits.  We watched a competition of Cattle Pulling.  A team of young cattle pull a weighted sled.  The drivers of these teams were kids under the age of about 16.  It was very interesting to watch.  A couple of the drivers were not even as tall as their team!

            Labor Day weekend was very busy at the campground with many families getting in the last campout of the summer.  The park had a lot of permanent sites along with the regular sites. 

            We had an interesting thing happen.  We had a large Tupperware container that we kept our birdseed for our feeder in.  We had it sitting outside on the picnic table.  One morning Millie looked out and saw a chipmunk climb onto the table and then on to the container.  Then she noticed some seed on the table.  

            Well, the little rascals had chewed a hole in the lid of the Tupperware and were climbing in and helping themselves!  Soon a squirrel came over and tried to remove the lid.  When he couldnít, he stuck his front leg in and pulled out seed. 

            We went out and when we came back, someone had managed to get the lid off the container and a chipmunk was inside the container.  As you can see, he was not afraid and let us take his picture.  We had a great time the next few days watching the squirrels and chipmunks coming for seed.  They cleaned out the entire container. 

            The Vermont State Fair took place in Rutland.  It was overcast on the day we chose to drive over but it was still warm.  We didnít know until we got there, but it was Patron Appreciation Day and admission was free.  We were surprised.

            We viewed the exhibits and vendor areas.  Millie especially wanted to see the displays of needlework and quilts.  Sadly there were very few.  We have been somewhat surprised at the lack of these items in the fairs we have attended in New England.

            We watched a milking demonstration and a stage show by Eddy Rivers.  The fair was larger than the one in New Hampshire, with more midway.

            On September 11 we attended the Glory Days of the Railroad festival in White River Junction, VT.  We took a 45 minute ride on the Green Mountain Railroad.  A tiny working steam train was set up for rides also.  Rides were also being offered on an antique 1930 Reo Rail Bus.  The Rail Bus is an actual Reo Bus that was modified to provide rail transportation.

            We walked through the booths of train related items on sale but didnít see anything we couldnít do without. 

            Leaving White River Junction, we drove to Taftsville, VT to visit the Historic Country Store there.  It was interesting to see, but not exactly as advertised.  We then drove over the historic covered bridge and out a country lane to Sugarbush Farm.  This is a working farm where maple syrup is produced.  We tried some samples of the cheese they also produce and purchased some maple syrup.

            Our last destination of the day was the Vermont Country Store.  Millie used to get their catalogues and wanted to make an in person visit.  Many products that you can no longer find in the modern grocery and drug stores can be found here.  Millie had a great time shopping. 

            The Anheuser-Busch brewery in Merrimack was our last outing in New Hampshire.  It was raining heavily when we arrived, but quit soon after our tour began.  We were shown the various steps in the brewing process and then shown to the hospitality room where each person was given 2 samples of the beers or cola drinks. 

            Afterwards we drove to the stables area to view the beautiful Clydesdale horses.  The stable area is modeled after the one at Grantís Farm in St. Louis, home of the Busch family.   This stable is the home of the East Coast traveling team.  An antique wagon and a training wagon were on display in the stable area along with horseshoes and harnesses. Along with the team on display in the stable, other horses were in the pasture areas

            We left New Hampshire on the 14th, traveling west.  We spent the night of the 14th in the same park in Gardiner, NY that was our home in late May. 

            Lancaster, PA is known as the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country.  We found the campground where we had planned to stay, but were  told they could only give us two nights with water and electric only and we wanted to stay for 5 nights.  We drove back towards Lancaster and found a really nice park where they had room for us with full hook-ups. 

            We went to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.  This large museum has an extensive display of rolling stock.  They are presently working on recreating a street scene from the 1930ís.  We enjoyed seeing the various engines and rail cars.  In case you havenít guessed by now, Millie is a real train fan.

            We drove through the countryside, seeing the pretty towns of Intercourse, Bird-In-Hand, Paradise and Strasburg.  The Amish farms were pretty, and we saw some harvesting taking place using wagons and teams of draft horses.  The road was narrow and had no shoulder, so we were unable to get any pictures. 

            In Intercourse, we visited The Old Country Store.  One large room contains high quality quilts, locally made, that were just breathtaking.  We spent quite a bit of time looking at them.  They were all for sale, along with wall hangings and table runners. 

            Millie spent some time in the fabric section of the store.  The selection of fabrics is extensive and she enjoyed browsing.  She did purchase a packet of fat quarters that caught her eye.

            Upstairs in the store is The Peopleís Place Quilt Museum.  Millie was awed by the beautiful quilts on display in the museum. 

            The store also sells locally made crafts, quilting books and cookbooks. 

            On Friday, we went back to Bird-In-Hand where Millie shopped at the large farmers market.  Located in a large building are stalls offering produce, meats, cheeses, crafts and canned goods.   She purchased some wonderful homemade cream puffs and some sweet corn.

            Across the highway were tents set up for Amish Market Days which were taking place over the weekend.  We walked over and browsed the booths offering furniture, canned goods, etc.  but didnít make any purchases. 

            Dick wanted to drive over to Hershey and shop at the Chocolate World store, so we headed that way.  It began raining on the way over, the remains of the hurricane that had hit Florida. 

            When we returned to the park, the rain had not yet begun there.  Our space was very near a creek and as there were flood warnings, we were concerned.  The rain began around 9 and continued through the night.  By morning, the creek was out of its banks, but the bank on our side was somewhat higher than the opposite one and the water flowed out on that side.  It crested around noon and was soon going back down.  We were prepared to hitch up and move up the hill if flooding had occurred.

            As we had lived in the Akron, Ohio area for about 15 years, we decided to stop and see how things had changed.  Dick had been back to the area on business, but Millie had not been back since a year after we moved away. 

            What a difference.  We drove around to see our old homes and had a hard time finding them.  Everything has really changed. 

            The weather was wonderful, warm and sunny all week.  We did our laundry one day and the rec room had a couple of large tables, so while the laundry was going Millie got a quilt laid out.  She had purchased the fabric in Maine and had her blocks all made, but needed a large area to lay them out.

            The Cuyahoga Valley National Park was created after we moved to Texas so this was our first visit.  We first went to the Happy Days Visitors Center.  There we picked up our park map.  As part of the road was not open to trucks, we drove north on Highway 21 to the Canal Visitors Center.   There we viewed the exhibits on the building of the canal and the boats that were used on the canal.  

            A set of the locks has been restored and are interesting to see.  When we lived in Canal Fulton years ago, a group built a canal boat using original plans and methods.  Rides were given on a section of restored canal.  That boat is still in town and probably still offers rides in the summer. 

            We drove through the valley enjoying the sites.  In Peninsula at the Depot Visitors Center we stopped and got out our bikes.  The tow path of the Ohio & Erie Canal has been restored and turned into a bike and hike path.  We rode to the Boston Store, looked at the displays in the museum and then rode back to the truck, a distance of about 5 miles.  It was a wonderful day for a ride and we really enjoyed it. 

            Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park was a place we enjoyed going to when we lived in the area and we made the trip over one day to hike among the glacial rocks.  It was sunny and very quiet, only a couple of other people there.  We walked the trails and enjoyed the beautiful waterfall.

            On Saturday we drove to the Canton area.  Our first destination was to Harry London Candies, where, according to our guide book, tours were offered on Saturday mornings.  Well, not so.  A sign on the window stated that Saturday tours had been suspended until further notice.  We did go in for a look around the retail store and a small box of candy.

            Our next destination was the Hoover Museum.  Canton is the home of the Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Company.  The museum is located in the former home of the founder of the company.  It is not a museum of the family but of the history of the vacuum cleaner.  It was very interesting, with vacuum cleaners of all types.  It was amazing to see how the cleaner has and has not changed over the years.  

            We left Ohio on Sunday and drove to Wakarusa, IN to the Travel Supreme customer service facility for our appointment to have our slide worked on again.  The leaking is still occurring in the large slide.  

            Monday morning we were up at 5 and ready for the service writers who start checking you in at 6:30.  After going over our list of repairs we drove into Elkhart to have breakfast and look around.  

            Most of our repairs were done on Monday.  On Tuesday the unit was water tested.  This had not been done the other two times and Dick wanted to be sure the leak was taken care of before we left.   A sprinkler was put on top and run for 4 hours.  No leaks!  Maybe it is finally fixed.  

            We left Wakarusa in the afternoon and drove to Shipshewana to spend a couple of days.  The weather was beautiful and the fall color is coming along. 

            Dick drove back to Wakarusa on Wednesday to have our decals applied to the truck.  We have been carrying them around since spring.  On his way, he dropped Millie off at the famous Shipshewana Flea Market.  She browsed some of the stalls, but on Wednesday most of the vendors pack up and leave by about 2:30.

After Dick returned, Millie went to Yoderís and picked fabrics for the borders and backing of the quilt.  After washing it, she cut the borders and got them added to the quilt top.  Then she put the backing together and got it all packed up to send to Nashville for quilting.

(Be sure to visit the Photo Gallery for more photos.)