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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Skyline Drive

Friday we went down Skyline Drive.  What an amazingly gorgeous drive. 109 miles at 35 miles an hour.  We could drive with the windows down and enjoy the air, and hear the birds. It was in the mid 60s. It felt wonderful!
Skyline Drive History Bit from Wikipedia:
Begun as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project during the Great Depression, construction of the Skyline Drive was both difficult and dangerous. Large cuts were made into the sides of knolls and peaks to allow for a road wide enough to handle traffic. The work began in 1931, and the final section (from Swift Run Gap to Rockfish Gap) was completed and opened in 1939. The Civilian Conservation Corps also had a hand in the construction of Skyline Drive. The CCC graded the slopes on both sides of the roadway, built guardrails, constructed overlooks, and planted thousands of trees and shrubs along the parkway.It has 75 overlooks.

Already a National Scenic Byway and on the National Register of Historic Places, the Skyline Drive was designated a National Historic Landmark in October 2008.

It was a foggy morning.

at the Dickey Visitor's Center.  It did not open till 9 am, we got there at 8:35. We kept moving!

Enjoying the view

Gorgeous views

Lon trying to catch the fog and see what it tastes like
He was getting soaked!

The dead tree looks really creepy with the fog behind it

Marys Rock Tunnel

This tunnel was completed in 1932.

Lon got the Jr. Ranger Booklet done, we watched the movie about the CCC.  We both learned a few things about the CCC in the Shenandoah.  One was there was 10 camps! The camps were run by the Army, but the work was run by the Park Service.

There were some poeple just starting on the Jr. Ranger Badges, they were impressed with Lon. As they should be!

Always have to get these!

Jr. Ranger Badge # 86
Back to the view

The last photo from Skyline Drive, it was amazingly gorgeous. Lon wants to go again, soon!

Welcome to Tennessee! Johnson City would be where we spend the night.

Our dinner was at a place called Cootie Browns.  Very interesting place. The food was good.

It was a great day. We all had a great time.

Travel Day

All good things must come to an end, and sadly our very short time in Connectict had to end on Thursday monring.   We loaded up most of what we were bringing back and hit the road. The rest is saved for another trip north
We went home via the Tappen Zee Bridge.

The big cranes building a new Tappen Zee


Hex sign on the barn

Ghost sign in Front Royal, our destination for the night.

we went to a fun Mexican restaurant called Los Portillos.

Lon got fried ice cream. It was very good, and he was very serious about it.

It was a fun day in the car!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

At The Beach

Wednesday was our day at the beach! We were lucky enough to spend it with Godfather and Kenis!  Kenis came down from upstate New York just to see us, how cool is that?

Getting some water before hitting the beach.

coming back up to the deck to check on his mom.

The boys in the water.

 There were some great beach toys in the lost and found locker!

Including this great oversized boogie board!

Off to the raft!

They made it!

Tired boy

Only last ride on the boogie board

We had a wonderful day at the beach with the boys! It was wonderful to spend time with Godfather Damian and Kenis!

Mystic Seaport

After the Book Barn, the other thing on Lon's list of things to do was Mystic Seaport. Messing about in boats.  
Life is good

 Such a pretty place

Reading about the Charles W. Morgan

The last surviving wooden whaling ship

Information Bit: (well long bit)

The Charles W. Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in 1841, the Morgan is now America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat – only the USS Constitution is older.
The Morgan was launched on July 21, 1841 from the yard of Jethro and Zachariah Hillman in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She typically sailed with a crew of about 35, representing sailors from around the world. The whaleship measures 106 feet, 11 inches length on deck with her beam measuring 27 feet, 9 inches. Her main truck is 110 feet above the deck; fully-rigged, and she carries 7,134 square feet of sail. The huge try-pots used for converting blubber into whale oil are forward; below are the cramped quarters in which her officers and men lived.Over an 80-year whaling career, the Morgan embarked on 37 voyages with most lasting three years or more. Built for durability, not speed, she roamed every corner of the globe in her pursuit of whales. She is known as a “lucky ship,” having successfully navigated crushing Arctic ice, hostile natives, countless storms, Cape Horn roundings and, after she finished her whaling career, even the Hurricane of 1938.
After her whaling days ended in 1921, the Morgan was preserved by Whaling Enshrined, Inc. and exhibited at Colonel Edward H.R. Green’s estate at Round Hill in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, until 1941. In November of that year, the Morgan came to Mystic Seaport where she has since dominated the waterfront at Chubb’s Wharf.
The whaleship was designated a National Historic Landmark by order of the Secretary of the Interior in 1966, and she is also a recipient of the coveted World Ship Trust Award. Since her arrival at Mystic Seaport more than 20 million visitors have walked her decks. Where once she hunted and processed whales for profit, her purpose now is to tell an important part of our nation’s maritime heritage and the lessons that history has for current generations.At Mystic Seaport the Charles W. Morgan has been given a new lease on life; however, her future vitality depends on continual preservation. A major program of restoration and preservation was begun in 1968 to repair her structurally, and during the course of this work, it was decided to restore her to the rig of a double-topsail bark, which she carried from 1867 through the end of her whaling career. She appears as she was during most of her active career.
In January 1974, after removal from her former sand and mud berth, she was hauled out on the lift dock in the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard for inspection and hull work as needed. Her hull proved to be in remarkably good condition, with only a new false keel, shoe and some planking being required.
In November 2008 the Morgan returned to the Museum’s shipyard for restoration. The project renewed areas of the vessel from the waterline down to her keel and also addressed the bow and stern. The whaleship was re-launched July 21, 2013 and left Mystic Seaport May 17, 2014 to embark on her 38th Voyage to historic ports of New England. The nearly three-month journey raised awareness of America’s maritime heritage and called attention to issues of ocean sustainability and conservation. The ship returned from her voyage August 6, 2014 and has resumed her role as an exhibit and the flagship of the Museum.

Rigging. They had a rigging demonstration early in the morning.

The upper deck. Lon explored below deck by himself and said it was pretty cool. The glass in the deck provided lots of light. There are prisms in the deck the flat part is topside and the pointy end is sticking slightly out of the other side.  Lon told me it provided lots of light.

This ship is where the sailing campers live.

You can tour the top sides, not below decks, that is where the kids bunk.

A cargo demonstration. How to lift a barrel and then they showed us how they lifted other cargo, like boxes and odd shaped things.

They sang sea shanties, the clean ones.   They also told us about the rats that would come aboard.  And pilferage.

Finding out where the cargo went! Into a dory, so it could be delivered!  Or onto a dock.

Checking out the whale boats, the kind that would row out and get the whale.  Lon learned the term Nantucket Sleigh Ride.  

The kids build your own boat section was open once we got finished at the Charles W. Morgan.

Lon did a great job!

My view while Lon built his boat

The other kids wanted to look at Lon's boat even as it was still in progress.

This boy was a new second year webelo. He was very proud of that, as he should be

The little light house, the movies inside had not yet been installed. There were signs for them but once inside it said coming soon.

In all the times we have gone to Mystic, we have never gone into the rope shed. This is where they make the ropes. This very very long building is only a little bit of how long the buildings really were.  They made VERY long ropes!

Spinner. They would load this machine with long strings of hemp to be wound into the various sizes of ropes that were needed.

Yes, I know there are no ropes on a sailboat, but these had not yet made it to the sailing ships.

We liked the old windows

The kids art shop was also open.  Even though it was a kid's art,  anyone could make candles, a clothes pin doll or a shell decorated box. Lon loved making the candles. So he did.

He wants to try these at home next

The view from the back of the carriage.  We did take the carriage tour, those are always fun.

It is a pretty ship

it was not really smelly. More like a mild cat food.

That ended our very fun day at Mystic Seaport. We still learned things even though we had been there before.

We met up with Daddy and Grammalyn for lunch at a place called the Dog Watch BBQ. It was an outdoor place that had some fun out door games. I see out door jenga in my boys future, they really do have fun with it.