Monday, October 27, 2008

On the Road Again

Obviously the sticker is not true!!
The moving crew in front of the "old" house.
The new stix and brix.
This quilt pattern was one of many we saw on the sides of barns along the way.
It is still fall here.
Along the Ohio.

The Boone Tavern Hotel is part of Berea College and employs many of the students.
Mary Colmer, a weaver, at her loom in Berea's Artisan Village.

We have left Wash, PA after a month of taking care of several things. On Wednesday before we pulled out, we joined several other retirees to help our friends, John & Patrice Yanni, move into their new stix and brix. It is a beautiful new home but we are glad to be in the process of getting rid of ours so we can have more freedom. Before we left Nanc stopped at Crown to see her friends and former co-workers. We were glad to hear so many of our friends in Wash, PA are reading the blog and keeping up with our travels. We are now staying at the Escapees Raccoon Valley Park in Heiskell, TN after stopping at the Gallia County Fairgrounds in Gallipolis, OH and Walnut Meadow Campground in Berea, KY. We had a nice trip down the Ohio side of the Ohio River via the Ohio River Scenic Byway from Wheeling, WV to Ashland, KY. The countryside was beautiful with the leaves just now turning and the road passed through many small interesting towns and by farms and factories. We were in Berea for two days touring the town and college. Berea is a small (1500 students) college that offers a totally free education. The principals of the college are Learning, Labor and Service. It was started in 1855 for students from Appalachia but now has students from around the world. It was the first school in the South to be interracial and coeducational. It remained so until 1904 when the state of Kentucky forced them to segregate in a case that went all the way to the US Supreme Court. After losing the case, the college started a new school for black students, the Lincoln Institute outside of Louisville. Berea College remained segregated until 1950. All students attending today work 15 - 20 hours a week to defer costs. The school is well known for its Appalachian crafts and many of the students have continued these skills to keep these traditions alive. The items they make are for sale in the Log House Craft Gallery. Our friend, Jack Underwood, is an alumni and returns often to visit. In addition to the student produced work, the town of Berea has become a center for many artisans who have their workshops and stores in the Old Town Artisan Village. We highly recommend a stop if you are in the area. The workmanship of the artisans is outstanding and if you are looking for something special you will definitely find it there.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Western PA

Sid the Kid sets up a score.
Beer Here!!!
Pregame light show.
This is what teachers call "bowling" on Friday afternoon.
Lisa and BJ Mihelcic with baby Emily who has grown a lot in the year since we last saw her.

#1711 was the last trolley to travel to Washington, PA
Valerie and strap hanger Richard enjoy a ride on the trolley.
Lights on the Omni William Penn designed by French Artist Corentine Buron were inspired by the PA state flower, the Mountain Laurel.
The lights on the Stephen Foster Memorial on the University of Pittsburgh campus were, designed by Friedrich Forster and Sabine Weissinger, and celebrate the contribution of the Guttenberg Press with the type in reverse as if on the press.
The orange moon rising over the Pittsburgh skyline. This was really much more spectacular in person.

We are still in Wash, PA trying to get a few things wrapped up with the sale of the house. Our friend, Tom, will attend the closing for us so we will not have to extend our stay. We continue to meet and eat with both old and new friends. We got to go to a Penguins game and had a great time even though they gave up a three goal lead and lost:( The first person we saw when we entered Mellon Arena was Dusty West who has been lucky enough to see all three of Pittsburgh's pro teams by being a beer vendor for many years at all the Pittsburgh sports venues. Over forty years ago I worked with his mother, Kay, at Sewickley Valley Hospital. It was great talking to him about his mom and seeing pictures of his granddaughter. Another thing we did was go "bowling" with some of the teachers, an old time tradition on Friday afternoon to relax after a busy week. We also got together with Valerie and Richard Frayer, full time RVers who also went on the road in 2007. Valerie, who designs and sells jewelry, was attending a show at nearby Seven Springs. She has a web site, Frayer Designs, for on line shopping. Her work is not only beautiful but also very unique. We took the opportunity to show them a little bit of our old home turf. We went to the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum where we rode a couple of old trolleys and took a tour of the car barn which houses several restored cars, including The Streetcar Named Desire, of New Orleans and movie fame. As a kid I remember riding the old trolleys many times in Pittsburgh. We also took Val and Richard to Pittsburgh for the Festival of Lights, part of the 250th anniversary celebration where several building were lit by works of art that were projected on to them. Many of the churches also had their interior lights lit to show their stained glass windows. We took the mandatory trip to Mt. Washington for the greatest up close city view in America. We were greeted with a spectacularly large orange moon rising over the city skyline.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Being Western PA Tourists

Some of the Great Western Pennsylvania Fall Foliage

The new cover over the rockshelter. You can see the rock jetting out over the top.
Under the cover you can see the tags where the archaeologists have dug down to bed rock. Artifacts found at the bottom have been dated to be 16,000 years old. Part of the site has been left undisturbed for future excavation as new techniques are developed.
The Indian village under construction.
A young girl throws an atlatl.
The Westmoreland American Art Museum
The Pittsburgh skyline and the fountain at The Point which is flowing pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
A group of dignitaries, including the president of Slovakia, on a Pittsburgh street.

Our stay in Wash, PA hasn't been just all work and dining out with friends and family. We have also done some of the tourist things that we so enjoy while travelling. One of the great things about western PA is being here to see the trees turn all their beautiful colors. There are very few places where you can see the variety of fall foliage you see here. I went with my friend, Mike Sharp, to the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum of Rural History in Avella. Since 1969, the Miller brothers, Albert and Delvin, have operated the site that includes a one-room schoolhouse, covered bridge, blacksmith shop and many other buildings related to rural Pennsylvania life. In 1973, archaeologist, J.M. Adovasio, started a dig in the rockshelter that had been discovered by Albert in 1955 who kept the site a secret until 1973. In five years of digging, artifacts including flint chips, arrowheads, pottery pieces and fire pits were found that have been Carbon 14 dated to be 16,000 years old. This has totally changed the timeline for when humans arrived in North America by several thousand years. The site has been featured in National Geographic and is under consideration as a World Heritage site. A huge cover has recently been built over the site to protect it and enable them to open it to the public. Recent and ongoing development includes an Indian village where you can use an atlatl (spear thrower) used by prehistoric people. On Sunday we went with friends, Georgie and Tom, to the Westmoreland Museum of American Art to see an exhibit of 1940's American art that had originally been displayed at the Carnegie Museum. This was a great little place that also offers a excellent permanent collection. We have been to Pittsburgh a couple of times and were again reminded what a beautiful city it is with the hills and rivers surrounding it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Every Picture Tells a Story

The story here is about a local businessman, Ralph Andy, who we talked with about our RV lifestyle and after looking at our blog decided he wanted to buy a rig. Our reward was a case of his wonderful homemade wine. We hope we see Ralph on the road some day.
We drove to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia with Nanc's sister Judy (left) and her husband Bill to spend the day with another sister Michelle (right) and her husband Keith. We had a great time catching up on what they have been doing during the past year since we visited their home in Maryland last October. It was also great to again see Judy and Bill who we visited in Florida and Colorado while on the road.
We went out to dinner with our "old" card club. You can tell by the smiles that they are all enjoying their retirement.
We listened to this trio that includes two former students, guitarist Dan Baker and saxophonist Josh Dunlevy, playing some great jazz.
More dining out with former co-workers. Only Ed and Donna (left) are still working so we had to wrap up early so they could get rested up for the next day.
Retired and working friends meet for lunch on an in-service day. John (left) and I had a beer to celebrate both of us signing sales agreements on our houses.
Enjoying a wonderful home cooked meal at John and Marlene Antonetti's (above) home along with their family to celebrate my brother Rick's recent birthday. We enjoyed John's homemade wine with our dinner.

My brother Rick and his wife Denise and their new stix and brix home in Nevillewood, (aka Presto Heights) PA. We think the Dutch Star will look good in the driveway on future visits.

We spent a couple of days at Mike and Sherri's cabin on Pymatuning Lake and did some fishing from the pontoon boat. It really was not as cold as they all appear. Below is Captain Catfish with the big catch of the day.

We are having a great time here in Wash, PA. We have been very busy getting everything done since we don't plan on being back here for a couple of years. We have had a great time visiting family and friends. We have been eating way to much, but it has been great going to the restaurants we frequented when we lived here. Nanc has also gotten together with "the girls" for lunch, shopping and game playing. We are looking forward to seeing Rich and Valerie Frayer, fellow full timers, who are going to stop here the weekend before we depart. They are going to sell jewelry at the Seven Springs Octoberfest at the end of the month. If we get everything done this week we plan to hit the road on the 21st. We are beginning to get hitch itch to get travelling and the temps are starting to get below our comfort range.