Monday, October 31, 2011

Notes from the gun shop...

Quite busy today.  While we only did 5 transfers/background checks we really moved the muzzleloading stuff and accessories.  Answered lots of questions as well.   For those of you collecting Lee Loaders we got a bunch of old ones, new in box old stock.  .375 H&H, .244/6mm Remington, .264 Magnum and others.  We were so busy with customers (I love it as it makes the day fly by instead of dragging) that there was no time for small talk.  There weren't any unusual or interesting guns either.   That's how it goes sometimes.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Good morning white world...

I tried to take a panoramic view of the park across the street from the house.  I did it without a tripod and you can see that it isn't going to stitch together so well.  BUT, you should be able to see the "big" snow we got before Halloween this year.  Some people are really excited.

Last night we had our friends Steve and Barbara H_____ over with Barbara's daughter Beverly and her 11-year old son, Dante.  They live in Salisbury, North Carolina and don't see a lot of snow.  Dante was pretty excited by the early snow.  It is great to be able to play while the roads are still relatively warm and so clear of accumulation.

Nana is from Florida between Pensacola and Mobile, Alabama and like most people from that area she seldom saw any snow at all while growing up.  Consequently the "magic" of a snow fall is particularly strong for her.  It was for her dad as well.  Shorty and Mazie came up to visit one November and we had snow.  He had to get in his truck, drive across the street to the football field parking lot and spend some quality time "doing donuts" there.  He was 63 or so at the time.  I remember thinking, "is this why they say youth is wasted on the young?"  He had a great time.

As with most early snows, this one is pretty wet and the maples and some other broadleaf trees have yet to drop their leaves.  I just heard of one power outage, but such things are common in this circumstance. The northeast U.S.A. is supposed to get quite a bit more snow that we'll get here.

Yes, I would hunt in this weather but more so yesterday as the weather was coming in and the animals were out feeding in preparation for it.  Unfortunately, I'm working today.  Bother...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Squirrel hunting...

Took the Marlin Model 39A Mountie squirrel hunting today.  Had a run in with a good rain shower and it was quite windy.  Spotted one of the gray tree rats and tried to put the sneak on him.  Despite all my tricks he managed to stay out of harms way all the way to his nest and then he peeked out to watch me.  I was close enough but leaving him 20 feet up in the tree wasn't the goal.  I moved on.  Didn't spot any more of them. Time ran out and I went home.  Nana and I had a late lunch. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jamison International Kaput...

Old news by now but I had a thought that I better record it here, for posterity don't you know, that Jamison International, makers and purveyors of cartridge brass, common and rare, are closing the doors.  The last orders have presumably shipped, the fights for the assets have presumably begun and a new iteration will likely appear when markets permit.  They did well when the government took all they could produce but they ignored their private sector customers for the big government contracts and have little brand loyalty to fall back on.  I believe I do have some of their .45-75 brass.  It is supposed to be good, although mine has never been loaded.  Anyway, the company is now one for the history books and a future reloader's trivia question.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Squirrel hunting interruptus...

I had a couple of "chores" to do before heading off for fun and frolic with gun in pursuit of the "wiley" squirrel.  Without a care in the world, I walked out to my Ford F150 (late 2004), got in and started her up.  As I backed out I heard a fairly loud "click" and then a "whoooooosh" and then a "thunk".  At first, I thought I'd hit something in the parking area but couldn't remember seeing anything there as I walked up to the truck.  Then I noticed that the driver's side window was open.  Hoping against hope, I thought that perhaps I'd left the window open (but never do) and tried to roll it up.  No go.  Clearly the window regulator had failed.  Last February it was the passenger door regulator that failed.  So, I went and did my "chores" and then to the Ford dealer to drop off the truck and wait for a ride home.  No squirrel hunting today and likely not for tomorrow either!  At least it isn't raining.

Notes from the gun shop...

Boy, did business pick up yesterday!  Hardly a minute for even a bathroom break, we were kept hopping.  I like it.  Unfortunately, I think, we only did 8 background checks.  The sales were in all the other things mostly muzzle-loading and reloading stuff.  No neat or special guns although we did do a transfer on a Kel-Tec PMR30.  Boy, are the owners of these ecstatic about having them.  Also sold ammo to squirrel hunters (I'm going out today for some squirrel hunting fun).  Did help solve some "problems" and mount a couple of scopes. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Rowing boats

My Grandmother Flint in Winona on Lake George ca. 1965
I like boats. I like the sound of the water slapping the hull. I like the sensation of floating. I like handling boats. I like old boats, too. I like lots of old things. One of the old boats I like is Winona. Winona now resides in the Mystic Seaport Museum but whether she's on display or simply whiling away her days in storage I don't know. Built by Jared Bartlett of Sabbath Day Point on Lake George in New York about 1900 or so, she's been rowed, sailed, and motored all around Lake George and on Barnegat Bay. I started my relationship with the boat in 1960 but she'd been with the family since she was built. Originally she was one of a pair, but where the other went I've not a clue.

On Barnegat Bay, summer 1960
My Grandmother, her sisters, their children and grandchildren (including yours truly) spent many hours learning about boats, themselves and life in general aboard this small wooden boat.  For years and years she was kept not one-half mile from where she was built.

It is now many years ago that my Grandmother and I shared rowing duties on Barnegat Bay but I still have some memories of the event.  I remember being placed in Winona and told where to sit, I remember Grandpa pushing us out into the bay for the photo (Mom took this picture) and I remember Grandmother Flint telling me that this was important.  I was the fifth generation to ride in Winona.  It was clear to me then that I was responsible for something, for preserving this whether it was the traditions or the boat itself but I knew that this was a big deal.  That I took my first rowing lesson was a rite of passage and it was so important that the whole thing was planned and recorded.  It was so important that I remember.

Winona was very adaptable.  One could take the stern seat back out and mount a rudder.  With my sister and I providing the motive force Grandmother could take a comfortable cruise just exactly where she wanted to.  Add the lee-boards and sail rig and one could sail Winona but I never got to do that.  Larry and Mike (cousins) did.  I heard they had some adventures!  (and I have a photo of Winona under sail somewhere...) There were still marks on Winona's transom from the early 3-horse Evinrude she'd had back in the 1930s-1940s.  I had her out in some rough water and once was able to keep up with a rather large sailboat cruising down the lake towards Ticonderoga.  I was disappointed when I was told that Winona was going to Mystic, but, it was the sensible thing to do.



This is Mom standing on the haul-out with Winona about 1935 or 1936.

There are more photos of Winona which follow...


Is Winona in this mass of boats at the 1927 Lake George Marathon?

Not a great photo, this is Winona out of the water at Lake George.  The water level may have been down a bit that year.  I think the year is 1948 and that is Mom's friend Joyce...










Friday, October 21, 2011

Projects...

Because the weather hasn't been conducive to hunting (really windy or really raining) I've been working on reloading projects. I started by doing .45 Auto Rim, loading Mount Baldy 250 gr. Keith bullets over 7 gr. of Unique. Now that I've filled that brass, I've got another project, M1 Rifle ammunition for the Garand. I've got a lot of brass, 500 bullets, and enough powder to get them all loaded. Not certain if I've got space for the ammo though.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Frequencies for your scanner in the Staunton, VA area...

Staunton Fire and Rescue
453.36250
453.71250
458.36250
458.71250

Staunton/Augusta Rescue
453.18750
453.67500
458.18750
458.67500

Staunton Police
39.54000
39.88000
460.17500
460.37500
465.17500
465.37500

Augusta County Sheriff
39.7200
458.50000
471.25000
475.00000

Augusta County Fire and Rescue
460.55000 WPKQ976 B CSQ 1 Fire/Rescue Paging/Dispatch Only FM Fire Dispatch
453.75000 WNMW815 RM 156.7 PL 2/3 Fire/Rescue Administration (County-1) FM Fire-Tac
453.92500 WNMW815 RM 156.7 PL 4/5 Fire/Rescue Operations (County-2) FM Fire-Tac
451.07500 KDA670 RM 156.7 PL 6/7 Fire/Rescue Operations (County-3) FM Fire-Tac
451.02500 KDA670 RM 156.7 PL 8/9 Fire/Rescue Operations (County-4) FM Fire-Tac
463.00000 WZM674 M 156.7 PL 12 Fire/Rescue Operations (County-5) FM Fire-Tac
33.74000 KDA670 BM Fire/Rescue (for Rockingham County units on mutual aid) FM Interop
453.67500 WPLZ524 RM EMS and MVA operations in Staunton (SARS-1) FM EMS-Talk
462.95000 WZM674 RM Med 9, Channel Requests FM Hospital
463.02500 WZM674 RM Med 2, EMS to Hospital FM Hospital
463.07500 WZM674 RM Med 4, EMS to Hospital FM Hospital
463.10000 WZM674 RM Med 5, EMS to Hospital FM Hospital
463.12500 WZM674 RM Med 6, EMS to Hospital FM Hospital
460.40000 KNFY393 RM 065 DPL 1 Sheriff Primary FM Law Dispatch
460.30000 WPHE291 RM 065 DPL 3 Sheriff Secondary FM Law Talk
39.72000 KV1513

Shenandoah Valley Airport Security
453.4000

Augusta County STARS Repeaters
159.12000
159.41250
161.85000c
161.93750a
159.44250
161.83750
161.86250a
161.92500c

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"Jokes"

All humor is based on truth.  Some humor is hard to take.  It is harder if you really get the point.

Curtis & Leroy saw an ad in the Starkville Daily in Starkville, MS. and bought a mule for $100.

The farmer agreed to deliver the mule the next day.

The next morning the farmer drove up and said,"Sorry, fellows, I have some bad news, the mule died last night."

Curtis &Leroy replied,"Well, then just give us our money back."

The farmer said,"Can't do that. I went and spent it already."

They said, "OK then, just bring us the dead mule."

The farmer asked, "What in the world ya'll gonna do with a dead mule?"

Curtis said, "We gonna raffle him off."

The farmer said, "You can't raffle off a dead mule!"

Leroy said, "We shore can! Heck, we don't hafta tell nobody he's dead!"

A couple of weeks later, the farmer ran into Curtis & Leroy at the Piggly Wiggly grocery store and asked.

"What'd you fellers ever do with that dead mule?"

They said,"We raffled him off like we said we wuz gonna do.."

Leroy said,"Shucks, we sold 500 tickets fer two dollars apiece and made a profit of $898."

The farmer said,"My Lord, didn't anyone complain?"

Curtis said, "Well, the feller who won got upset, so, we gave him his two dollars back."




Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Occupying... wherever

My dear grandchildren,

I don't want to discuss politics in this journal but let's face it, politics affects everything including our hobbies and our family life. It will be affecting yours and what is happening now, today (and for the past 3 weeks) is something I want to tell you about.

There's a "group" (which implies organization) that calls itself or is referred to by the propagandists as "Occupy Wall Street". They've been camped out in a private park in New York City effectively drawing attention to themselves through their general and diverse opposition to all things in our society and by their slovenly personal arrangements there. The "movement" is reported to have spread elsewhere in the USA and the rest of the world and in some cases the "demonstrators" have acted violently. Yesterday this "movement" came to Harrisonburg and they've already "demonstrated" in Staunton.

Many of these people strike me as being the useful idiots of others (often seen masked in the videos). Ignoramuses who demonstrate their ignorance of life through the words they use in the "interviews" conducted by the "news" reporters. Some are clearly youthful idealists blindly rebelling against their parents (whose income comes from investments in American businesses). Some, if not many, in some, if not many, of these "demonstrations" are self-admittedly paid agitators. Paid by whom? By socialist organizations such as MoveOn.Org and the Tides Foundation funded, quite ironically for the "protesters", by such as multi-billionaire George Soros. Even more ironically, and you simply can't make this up, George Soros has made his billions from the misery of others everywhere in the world. Whether or not he has orchestrated these circumstances, he has repeatedly taken advantage of and thus exacerbated economic problems in one country after another. It appears that he has also been taking advantage of the current economic problems and again seeking to lengthen or maximize his opportunity(s) by funding those others who would contribute to disorder and disfunction.

Sadly, in 2008 the American people elected as President a man seemingly dedicated to the destruction of this country. A man whose entire upbringing was by socialists, bigots, and false religionists and for whom this country is the epitome of evil which must be "fundamentally changed". Further, his campaign was funded, at least in part, by the same people who are funding these demonstrations. Not so surprisingly, this man has actually made official statements supporting this attack on our economic and governmental systems.

We can only pray that enough others will be as open to the truth as we are so as to throw him and his party of quislings out of power. It may be that you will never get to read this but I think that if you are reading it we might have succeeded. I pray that we do and that you know that we, your parents and grand-parents back many generations, worked hard to give you the very best opportunities possible.

PS - Today we discover, not altogether unexpectedly, that some of the "protesters" are thieving from their fellow "protesters" just as they desire to thieve from us.  We also discovered by means of a poll of the "protesters" that this is their hobby and that they are overwhelmingly socialists with 31% of them supporting violence in pursuit of their goals (and some have exhibited that proclivity).   

Monday, October 17, 2011

Notes from the gun shop...

Not much happening apart from sales of ammo, muzzle-loading stuff and guns (7 in the last two hours today!). The Marlin 1889 Deluxe .38 WCF is still in the shop. It is asking $1800+ but negotiation will bring the price down a bit. Very nice gun overall.

I have to ask, why is it that some folks will ask you a question but make it clear they don't really want/like your answer? They will either argue with you, with absolutely no background to know different/better, or ask the "other" guy working the exact same question. I love it when the "other" guy gives them the exact same answer and they say, "Well, that's what HE said!" It seems they expected a different answer. Some are so dumb that if they get the same answer worded differently they THINK it IS a different answer. Yes, you see (hear) these people everywhere not just in the gun shop. I wish I understood why they do this, then MAYBE I could help them along a little quicker.

By the by I came home to a good dinner. Nana is cooking more of these now that she's retired.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Local photos from some time ago...

Given the genealogical research I've been doing lately I thought these were interesting...

A mountaineer family poses in front of a cabin, Dark Hollow, Shenandoah National Park

Families were forced from the Blue Ridge so that the National Park could be established.  "Forced" is not too strong a word as some families or certain members of some families had to be physically removed.  Although farm life on the rocky slopes of the Blue Ridge could be hardscrabble and daunting to the extreme, many, perhaps most, residents were very reluctant to surrender title to land for the much tenuous life in the lowlands on either side of the park.  Many families today continue to harbor resentment over the removal.

Much of the building of the infrastructure was done by the Civilian Conservation Corps, sometimes with former residents of the park lands.  They had no choice, it was work or starve now that they had been removed from their land.


When President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated Shenandoah National Park in 1936, a novel experiment in public land use was begun. At the time, most national parks were being set aside to protect already-existing natural beauty, wildlife, and wilderness. Shenandoah National Park was an attempt to determine if 196,466 acres of damaged mountain land would revert to a pristine state if set aside and protected from further human alteration.

The land-use experiment would run counter to the traditional precept that land was to be used in ways most beneficial to man and that nature and wilderness were little more than impediments to be conquered. Long, narrow Shenandoah National Park—100 miles in length and ranging from 13.2 miles to less than 1 mile in width—was formed from mountain land that had been the subject of hard human use since the first settlers began trickling into the area in the early to mid-1700s.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, farmers had established agriculture, orchards, and grazing land. Loggers increased the cutting of the mighty oaks and chestnuts and dragged them off the mountains. Sheep and cattle grazed where bear, elk, and wolves once roamed. The thin soil was wearing out along the crest of the Blue Ridge range where Shenandoah National Park was to be located.

Weary of the hard scrabble life in the mountains, people were beginning to move out. More than half the residents had left by the mid-1920s. The rest sold their land for establishment of the park, or they were relocated with federal assistance.

Not everyone was ready to leave the mountains. The people whose farms and homesteads were condemned fought the legal seizure by the Commonwealth of Virginia for a dozen years. Though the federal government permitted a few residents to live in their homes for the remainder of their lives, among the descendants of the mountain families, resentment still simmers in little towns such as Elkton, Luray, Sperryville, and Stanardsville in the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont Virginia.

Land acquisition for the park would take years. But a 100-foot right-of-way for the Skyline Drive was acquired quicker through gifts and special purchases. The highway along the ridge was planned as the park's outstanding feature. President Herbert Hoover, who had a vacation cabin on the nearby Rapidan River, urged the approval of funding for road construction. Local crews began work in 1931, and on August 29, 1939, Skyline Drive was opened.


By Deane and Garvey Winegar


Links:
- The Taking of Via Mountain
- Shenandoah secrets: Pork, propaganda, and the creation of a COOL national park

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dueling with wax bullets in 1909 New York


Why?  I don't know.  Looks to be a pair of Lepage pistols...


DUELLING WITH WAX BULLETS, NEW YORK, 1909


Friday, October 14, 2011

180



and you might want to read Hitler, God, and the Bible

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Notes from the gun shop...

Mondays have got to be the slowest days of the week now. Too many periods of 15-30 minutes of down time, too few guns sold, too few people in the shop. I didn't do any background checks or lawaways on guns.

I had been gone over a week and so I missed a couple of things in that interim. Interesting things this week were a .38 WCF chambered Marlin 1889 Deluxe rifle with hooded front sight and vernier tang rear sight. It isn't all original but the price seems almost reasonable at $1869.00.

The shop had also gotten in a .38-55 Marlin Cowboy but it has already sold on Gunbroker. For those interested, it went for $882.00.

Most of my "down" time was spent re-organizing the revolver cabinet and going through the boxes of magazines. We do have an old model Bearcat in excellent condition but without the box. I disremember the price but believe it is over $400.00. We also have a Smith and Wesson New Departure Safety Hammerless, .38 S&W, with factory mother-of-pearl grips for a cash price of $250.00. The gun's finish is just about all gone but the grips/stocks are darn near perfect (at least I can't see any faults). We also have a Trijicon ACOG TA33R asking $800.00 (but I think Chris will negotiate a bit on this).

As I mentioned I went through the magazine boxes and did find 3 Weatherby magazines (2 5-shot and 1 10-shot) for the Weatherby .22 Autoloader. There was also a Colt Woodsman magazine (I think the later guns).

Had a good conversation with a local shooter who's getting into the 1000 yard competitions. John has shot over in Beckley and may have met Lynn H_______ there but he's not certain.

A good day with nice weather.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Leaves and Locomotives in New England

We just got home from a trip to New England. There was one planned trip but it changed after the tremendous damage done by flooding from Hurricane Irene. It rained 5 out of 6 days, but everyone coped with the weather.   Our itinerary was:

Day 1 * Friday * September 30
We’re left home at 7:30 AM for a great fall vacation with Shenandoah Tours.  First we rode north on the coach to Waterbury, Connecticut, for our overnight stay at the Courtyard by Marriott.  Dinner here wasn't as good as hoped for and on our own.  The trouble is that there isn't much we're aware of within walking distance of the hotel.  All we've seen is a Subway sandwich shop.  Also, the meals are usually better than what we had that first evening.  I should say that some in the group enjoyed their meal.

Day 2 * Saturday * October 1
Ticonderoga at Shelburne Museum
We moved on north through the small New England towns of Deerfield and South Deerfield for Yankee Candle Company. We were supposed to go to Bellows Falls and board the Green Mountain Flyer, Southern Vermont’s "authentic passenger train of yesteryear". Unfortunately, damage to the railbed made that impossible.  It rained, and it rained every day of the trip except on the 6th, and we didn't get much time to walk through Deerfield.  Having relatives who survived the massacre I sated my desire for some connection by visiting the meeting house grounds and getting a "Deerfield descendent" T-shirt.  What we did do is go north through Montpelier to visit Morse Farm Sugarworks.

The Morse Farm was fun in that you took a tour of their actual, one-"room", sugar house and had a talk from the owner's brother.  He was a hoot.  Reminded me of all the fun folks I knew as a kid.  Very funny fellow and he had everyone laughing.  They also were set up to let you taste the various grades of syrup so that you'd pick what you like and, presumably, like it enough to buy more later.  ½ gallon is now about $33-35.  That's pretty intimidating but I'd pay that.  We only bought a pint...  
We spent the night at the Basin Harbor Club.  That was a retro experience with pretty good food.
About the Basin Harbor dining...  It was ok.  Not bad, but not great either.  There seems to be a tendency in Vermont to cook the bacon too long and the sausage too little and Basin Harbor Club adheres to that standard. 

A couple of words about the Basin Harbor Club:  We were told that the nightly rates went to $521 per night but we got in at night, and a rainy night at that.  All we could see was that we were hanging out over Lake Champlain with the water splashing up on the shore right under us.  It would have been great to see a little ways down the lake.  Our first night was very rainy, cold, and foggy.  Also, the food can be very good, but I think they aspire to the elegance of another time and try to produce not just good food but "fancy", i.e. more gourmet type food.  In as much as most of the accommodations are vintage (that's "old") camp style cabins spread across their 300 +/- acres, this seems a bit odd to me.  They will shuttle you about the widely (in some cases) separated facilities by van and the staff is very pleasant and accommodating.  We didn't have a problem with any of the staff at all any time we had to deal with them.   At the cabins, there was a main living room and bedrooms were on each end.  We thought we were sharing with a woman that was alone, and then in come a man and his girlfriend.  Oh, well!

Day 3 * Sunday * October 2
Rifle from Terry Tyler collection
Again, big changes as we were supposed to visit Vermont Marble, the world’s largest marble quarry, and then to Woodstock with its village green and on to Quechee Gorge, Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon. What we did do is go to the Danik Farm shop, (it sells hog products, and maple sugar, etc.), the Vermont Teddy Bear factory, the Shelburne Museum (where I saw the Terry Tyler collection of Vermont firearms), and then to Shelburne Farms (a large school that teaches about farming) and cheese tasting.  The barn looked like a mansion, and they spend 9 million dollars a year, and make 6 million on cheese products.   Then it was back to the Basin Harbor Club for dinner and a good night's sleep.  

We had a pretty good time at the Vermont Teddy Bear factory where we got to see how they make their bears, endure bearly, bearable puns, and buy a special bear for Linda to commemorate her retirement this year.  While we waited the embroidered her year of retirement (2011) on the teacher bear's smock.  Very nice.  We also got a special bag and box.  We both thought that all the details that go into each bear were very interesting. 

I really enjoyed the firearms collection.  There were a number of underhammer rifles as well as Jennings and Sharps rifles made in Vermont. For me, the underhammer guns were the most fascinating.  Most had aperture sights much like the rifle shown in my photo.  Elevation could be adjusted either by turning a screw or by moving a leaf under the sight to different notches filed into the top tang.  Some of the underhammers used a mainspring which served the secondary purpose of trigger guard but others had separate mainsprings.  There were various degrees of adornment as well.  Yes, there were more "conventional" side-hammer guns and breechloaders.   There were also a number of target rifles, both side-lock and underhammer.  

I also enjoyed the ship "Ticonderoga" on which my grandmother Janet Crawford Brodie Flint (as well as her sisters) had sailed.  Grandma Flint often talked about this boat and was happy that it had been saved and moved to the museum many years ago but we had never before had the chance to see the vessel.  Linda went to see the Circus u-Barn and enjoyed it.  She also took the van tour of the whole facility.  We just did not have enough time there.

We continued on to Burlington and our dinner cruise on the "Spirit of Ethan Allen".  The meal was ok but the view was on a dark rainy day and we saw next to nothing not even Champ, the lake  monster.   

Day 4 * Monday * October 3
Betty and Barney Hill Marker
We got up fairly early and departed for Stowe, VT.  Had a chance to wander about the town for a bit and I went behind City Hall to the cemetery and found an Asa Kimball.  On the off-chance he's related to my Grandma Parslow I took a photo of his and his wife's headstones.  Then we took our cameras, re-boarded the coach and headed up to Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont, for the Gondola Skyride at Stowe Mountain Resort. The scenery from this vantage point was spectacular but I'm scared of heights.  Linda and I still took the ride and was rewarded with some good views and a "free" Vermont apple. Lunch was to be included at Trapp Family Lodge, the Austrian-style mountain resort of the von Trapp family from the classic musical, "The Sound of Music" but apparently Irene caused damage to the facilities which prevented that. So, it was on to Lincoln, New Hampshire, for a two night stay at the Indian Head Resort.  Although it was still raining, we did take a moment to photograph a memorial marker for the alleged UFO abduction of Betty and Barney Hill in September 1961.  Linda kept ducking from those “UFO’s.”

 Then we left to board the Granite Eagle-Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train and "relived the romance of dining on the rails".  We were supposed to "dress" for dinner but that had gone by the boards due to our rapid transition from travel to dinner mode.  Most of us "ate" rather than "dined", wearing blue-jeans and some with sweat shirts!  Never-the-less the owner and staff were gracious, the meal the best of the whole trip (I had the beef) and our companions for the evening, Conrad "Connie" and Lorraine Dehaven, were entertaining conversationalists.  

Day 5 * Tuesday * October 4
We hoped that Mother Nature had touched the White Mountains with indescribable colors but the weather continued dark with showers and the fall colors, although the best sight of the trip, were muted. We traveled along the Kancamagus Highway and Franconia Notch with a stop at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort for lunch, and it was one of the prettiest drives imaginable and lunch was very good.  Unfortunately, or not, we found that roast pork is a staple of these dinners/lunches. 
 We then returned to Lincoln and the Indian Head Resort for drinks, an excellent dinner (I had baked scallops), and live entertainment.  I should mention that there is a 55-inch flat-screen TV in every room and a large lake at the back.  

Day 6 * Wednesday * October 5
We enjoyed a scenic drive by Squam Lake (where the movie, "On Golden Pond" was filmed) before visiting Meredith, NH.  We had a bit of a walkabout to take up some time and aside from a lake view and a fairly decent bookstore there wasn't much to see except...

They have this marvelous mill sluice built in 1818!  

Here's a video of the sluice... 




At the turn of the century a young man named John Bond Swasey purchased or inherited most of the land on which Meredith Village now sits.  Swasey had inherited a 95 acre lot from his father Benjamin who had bought the land in 1777. The farm was located in what is now the core of Meredith Village.  Across from his homestead on Main Street, (which is now the home of Paul and Kristen Eldridge and the offices of Compass Rose Buyer Brokers and Eldridge Appraisals) Swasey owned the general store which supplied the many new settlers moving into Meredith Village. According to remembrances of early 19th century residences, however, the mills ceased operation sometime between 1810 and 1816.  Swasey then undertook a project that was to have great significance for the town of Meredith, a project that marked the beginning of the development of the present Mill Falls Marketplace site.  Starting from the frontage on Lake Waukewan that is now called John Bond Swasey Park, Swasey built a rock-lined canal over 600 feet in length channeling the water under the Main Street horse path to where the land drops sharply to Lake Winnipesaukee.  Water power was now concentrated into one fall of about 40 feet. The Waukewan Canal and the falls were probably completed by 1818.  Now Swasey was able to build a number of profitable mills for sawing lumber, grinding flour, combing cotton flax and weaving cloth. All these mills helped stock the shelves of the Swasey store. Swasey's man made waterfall was considered among the best mill drivers in the state.

Mount Washington approaching Weir's Beach
Later, we moved down the lake to Weir's Beach and boarded the M/S Mount Washington for a lunch buffet and cruise across Lake Winnipesaukee to Wolfeborough, NH. The food on the Mount Washington was pretty good, there was plenty of it and the crew had a system of moving the passengers through the chow line efficiently that worked quite well.  I had no complaints about any of it.  I do wish it had been better weather (it was still cloudy, cool, windy and sprinkling) but that's hardly the fault of the Mount Washington crew.

Heading south our travels continue back to Waterbury, CT for our final overnight stay at the Courtyard by Marriott.  Fortunately, our dinners in the hotel were much better this time.  

Day 7 * Thursday * October 6
We left Waterbury at about 8:15 to return to the Shenandoah Valley.  We stopped for lunch at the Cracker Barrel in Frackville, PA and then moved on.  Then we dropped people in Winchester, stopped in Strasburg for "dinner", and dropped more people in Harrisonburg and Staunton (where we got off at about 6:15) before the bus moved on to Waynesboro and Charlottesville.   

Miscellaneous...  
One of the things I stumbled on was this 3-inch ordnance rifle at Stowe, Vermont.  One can clearly read the data at the muzzle.  I thought perhaps that there is some fanatic researcher out there that would want to know about this gun so I took a photo.  I did leave the gum wrapper in situ as a comment on the general state of tourist towns.  You might note that the tube is mounted on a poured concrete pillar.  I'm certain that the concrete has proved so much more resistant to Vermont winters than the original gun carriage.  If you might notice the rifling at the muzzle seems to be in very good condition.

Indian Head
The Indian Head Resort is named for this geological feature across the road and up the mountain from the hotel.  Even I can see the resemblance.  Fortunately, this rock formation is not nearly as unstable as was the Old Man of the Mountain...

Yes, we visited the viewing sites for the Old Man of the Mountain and the Franconia Notch visitor's center showed us a film in which people waxed ecstatic about the Old Man and cried about his "demise".  Our various guides and docents had to tell us where they'd been when he fell and one had been one of the two who discovered what had happened.  
Remainder of Old Man of the Mountain
















Winnipesaukee Scenic RR Engine

We went on the trip to ride the trains, expecting to ride the Green Mountain Flyer and Lafayette Dinner Train.  I wish they'd snuck this one in instead of the lunch cruise but due to the last minute finagling which resulted from Irene's downpour that may have been as good as we could get.  This looked very nice, with comfortable accommodations and views for everyone.  I had to include a photo of the engine...

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Have been busy, more later...

Have been too busy to post, I'll let you know about it later.