Thursday, September 29, 2011

Basal Cell & Geocaching around Gettysburg

A little while back I went to the dermatologist and he took a sample of a sore on my nose that wouldn't heal.  It turned out to be basal cell carcinoma and needed to be removed.  Thursday was the big day for the surgery and it went well.  The surgeon said he got it all, but I would need some minor reconstructive surgery since it was so deep.  He will perform that procedure next Thursday and then a couple follow up visits and I will be good to go.  We are looking at a tentative departure date o/a October 24 for Concord, NC and visiting with our children Barbara & Larry Jr & their families.

I want to welcome a new follower, Linda McPhail to my list.  She and Sherwin are friends from the Cactus Country RV Resort in Tucson and have rented a home near there for the winter.  We hope we can get together with them and hit some more interesting places out there. 

Cabin fever once again set in and we went geocaching for a while today.  I am the one who gets the cabin fever and the desire to begin the search and poor Gerry has to follow along with me.  She is a real trooper and I owe her big time for putting up with me.

We managed to find 9 caches this afternoon after a late start and they all were in the vicinity of the cabin.  One of the more interesting cache containers was one called Shark Bite and the picture explains it all.  We haven't seen a container like that in all our finds so it was neat to find it close to home.

There are a number of caches placed around the South Mountain area to showcase local historical or interesting places.  We found a number of them including ones from the Fairfield Inn, Adams County Winery, Cashtown Inn, Little Horse Farm & the Round Barn.  The winery has been in operation since 1976 and produces some very good wines which have won awards at wine shows all over the US.  Gerry is working on a cache as she sits in front of the winery which is housed in a 19th century barn.

Just a few miles from there is the Little Horses farm where they raise miniature horses.  They were closed for the day when we got there, but the cache was outside of the farm and we managed to pick it up.  There was a miniature horse in the field along with a normal size horse and we were able to get a picture of them.  The miniature horses were raised for royalty in Europe and later as draft animals in mines.  Now they are mainly used as pets and there are a number of farms raising them throughout the US.

We called it quits and picked up a bucket of KFC for dinner.  Have you all noticed how expensive KFC chicken has gotten lately?  It seems with all those buffalo wings being sold we would be overrun with the rest of the chicken and it should be cheaper.  What's up?

Happy Birthday Gerry

                                         Happy Birthday Gerry

September is a busy birthday month for us and today is the special day for Gerry.  I hope it is a great day for her and she gets a lot of birthday wishes from everyone.  She will be the Queen for the day.  She sure has come a long way and still cute as a bug.  

We stopped by Cassie & Jack's house for dinner on the way back from the doctor's visit.  Cassie fixed tacos & nachos for dinner and we managed to stuff ourselves on them.  We watched tv for a while and then attacked Gerry's birthday cheesecake.  It was very rich and also very good.  Not your everyday birthday cake, but this wasn't an every day birthday.  We intend to celebrate it more traditionally on Sunday after everything settles down.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Today was the day to have my new bridge inserted and glued in place.  It went much easier than I expected and I was out of there in a hurry.  I arrived early for the appointment and the door was locked and if it had been for the previous appointment I may have walked away.  Not this time though.

It rained up here last night about 2 inches and really drenched everything.  During the night it rained a little and there was some lightning, but nothing like earlier in the evening.  This morning it was still raining a little when we drove down to the dentist appointment.  Have I said that I am sick of all this rain?  I don't think it was this bad in Costa Rica the whole 6 years we lived there.  It's about 11pm now and it has started raining again.  

We took Lexa down to Frederick, MD for an appointment and Cassie picked her up and brought her home.  We took advantage of being in Frederick and went to Famous Dave's for BBQ dinners.  Gerry really likes their ribs and I like the brisket so we were both happy.  Gerry did say the meal wasn't up to their usual standards and she was a little disappointed.

We managed to pick up 5 more geocaches before and after the dinner.  A couple were very easy and the remaining three were more difficult.  The last cache was in a small park nearby and wasn't even close to where the coordinates were, but there was something out of place nearby and gave the cache away.  As you may have noticed I have put my cache counter at the top of the blog.  

We have to get up early on Thursday and head down for another procedure for me.  Hopefully it will go well and won't be a problem and we can get in some more geocaching.  No Way says Gerry!!  I don't expect any problem and should be good to go after the Dr visit. 

Thursday is Gerry's birthday and I am going to give her the card and gift early so if I'm not up to par for her birthday she can at least enjoy it tonight.  Sneaky!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Early posting to wish Ron & Dee C. a very happy Wedding Anniversary.  Ron, where are you going to take her tonight for dinner?  Was this the year that she gets another diamond ring?  

Monday, September 26, 2011


We went down to our daughter's house to help her with some household chores and to have lunch with her.  There is a nice sub shop up here on the mountain that makes great subs, so we picked up some for the three of us.  As usual, they were delicious. 

I worked on an old computer of theirs to try and clean up some nasty viruses on it and halfway succeeded.  It is better, but more work will have to be done to have it safe to use.  

It was a nice day out so I decided to pick up a few geocaches nearby that had been placed lately.  They were listed as easy ones to find so off I went.  This was another of those days when driving to the cache area consisted of the roads getting progressively worse, but also much more beautiful.  The caches weren't that easy to find and it took me a lot longer than it should for the degree of difficulty.  In any case the first two were found and logged in.  

The third cache proved to be more difficult.  Maryland has a lot of backroads that seem to go nowhere and all of sudden a small hamlet will appear.  That was the case today.  I drove all over the place following the GPS directions and it seemed to be a roundabout way to get there.  Once I arrived at the location I saw about 5-6 campers sitting right on the spot of the cache.  They were early arrivals for an old gasoline engine display for the upcoming weekend.  One of the guys came over and chatted with me for a while and explained everything about the engines and their club.  His 7.5 HP engine was on a trailer and weighed 1800lbs, while others had small ones you could pick up and carry very easily.

They were all in their 60's and older and seemed to be having a great time.  They were at a Ruritan Club picnic area and using the electricity from the outdoor pavilion there.  Limited electric to say the least.  One of the guys was the camp cook and had been cooking pork and sauerkraut all afternoon and it smelled delicious.  I was waiting for an invitation, but didn't get one.  Darn it!

We hung around Cassie's after dinner and watched the Skins-Cowboys game on Monday night football.  It wasn't a very good game from my point of view and the Skins blew it in the end.  Such is life.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lazy Sunday

It sure was a lazy day up here on the mountain with not a lot going on.  We sat out on the porch and had a nice breakfast and watched the squirrels and chipmunks scurrying about gathering food for the upcoming winter.  Gerry has been collecting walnuts to feed the squirrels and she threw a few of them out to draw them closer so she could watch them.  The haven't found them yet, but I imagine in the morning they will be gone.

Her Christmas cactus flowers have been thriving and have a lot of flower buds on them.  I think they will be Halloween flowers this year rather than Christmas.  The flowers usually bloom early like this and then again in February or near that time.  We have been carrying them in the motorhome for the past 4 years and they are getting quite large to carry, but we like them so much we will make room for them.  

Gerry made some of her delicious spaghetti today along with garlic bread and also baked a cake for my birthday.  We couldn't celebrate it with Cassie, Jack and Lexa on Friday so we did it today.  We got there in time to watch most of the Green Bay - Chicago Bears football game and had a great time.  The Bears got robbed on a punt return for a touchdown and lost.  Cassie is a Green Bay fan so she was happy.  I enjoyed watching the game with her just to hear her comments.

The cake was Lemon Supreme  with lemon icing on top.  It doesn't get much better than that.  They couldn't find any number as high as I am old so a big number 40 was on the cake.  I managed to blow out the two candles and now am waiting for my wishes to come true.  Lexa brought the cake in and they all sang happy birthday to me and I sang along with them.

Today is also the birthday of a friend of ours, Herb Randol.  I won't say how old he is, but he is getting closer to me every day.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday

Today I will celebrate my birthday once again.  I won't tell you how old I am, but for those diehard Redskins fans it is the same number of former Redskins defensive tackle Joe Rutgens.  If you know much about football numbers and how they are assigned to different position players, that will give you a hint.  Or, you could find out his real number; that is if you really care to know how old I am.

We made plans to visit with our friend Hanne who is visiting with family down in Front Royal, VA.  We drove down there in heavy rain all the way and people were even slowing down on I-81 due to the rain.  You know it was raining hard when drivers actually drive at or below the speed limit.

Hanne, Gerry and I went out for a light lunch at Panda Express in Front Royal and had a nice meal.  We have tried Panda Express in a number of places and have found they are a good value for the money and the food is always good. 

The girls wanted to find a Kohl's store and Gerry plugged it into the TomTom GPS and away we went.  It took us down a small road and through an industrial area and said "you have reached your destination".  Huh!  It was the Kohl's warehouse for that area and not a store.  So much for the accuracy of the GPS.  We did manage to find a Kohl's and they got their fix.

Later we stopped back where Hanne was staying and visited Allan & Lisa for a couple hours.  While we were there neighbors of theirs came up the hill in trucks and jumped out with drinks for all.  They had managed to rig up a blender jar to a weed whacker and proceeded to mix up a batch of  Singapore Slings with the device.  It was the funniest thing I have seen in a long time.  I was waiting for it to slip and have the Sling hit the fan as they say.  Nope, it worked fine and I got a video of it.  Great bunch of friendly and outgoing people and we enjoyed the visit.

Then it was time for the 90 mile trip back to the cabin in the fog.  We did stop and visit with Cassie for a while on the way back and surprised them by stopping by so late.

Happy birthday Marilyn, wherever you are!

That was my day.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Geocaching and Oil Change

We have been on the road so much lately that an oil change for the car was long past due.  I took the car to the local Jiffy Lube and had them change the oil.  For the price they charge it isn't worth me crawling under the car and doing what they can complete in 10 minutes or less.  

I went geocaching afterward and picked up a few caches.  It was so hot and muggy that it sapped the energy right out of you, but the caches weren't  that difficult to find.  I did search for three others and was unable to find them and put them on the backburner for another time when Gerry is with me.  She has better eyes than me and finds ones that I overlook.

One of the caches was hidden at a 226 year old church.  Double click on url below for a writeup of the church by a local newspaper.
Salem-Church-in-Zullinger  The cache was in the cemetery and near a field that had just been fertilized with liquid waste from a dairy farm.  It was odorific to say the least.  There was a fence right on the line where the cache was hidden and I walked down the wrong side of the fence at first and then had to backtrack a couple hundred feet.  Oh well, I mostly geocache to force myself to do some walking and exercise so it worked out for the best.

It was a slow day up here on the mountain and we had rain again last night.  This must be a near record month for rain up here.  Texas is going through a drought and we are sick of all the rain here.  Go figure!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dish TV, Cameras and birthdays

We finally had a technician come out today to the cabin to see if we can install Dish TV Service.  Keep in mind that we had 6 trees cut down recently and have opened up the space around the cabin a little.  The tech had a device that he looked through and said he could not get the three satellite signals that we need for Dish Network.  In order to get an acceptable signal we will need to cut down at least two more trees and possibly six more trees.  Ugh!

It costs around $150/tree for the tree cutter to take them down and haul away.  That is a lot of money spent in order to get a signal up here and I don't think it is worth it.  Maybe next year we can leave the MH somewhere and cut the trees ourselves or get a neighbor to help cut them.  Of course they will grow even higher by next year and the trees behind them will have to be topped or cut.  Never ending battle with the trees up here.

We went to the doctor yesterday for my sinus problem and he gave me prescriptions for three medicines.  Hopefully this will help alleviate the congestion and get me back to breathing properly.  The humidity up here at the cabin has been out of sight this year and is causing me all the problems.  I hope when we hit the road in about 3-4 weeks that the sinuses are open and if not, then heading to a drying area will help.  wimper whine!

We went out to dinner at the Texas Roadhouse last night for Cassie's birthday dinner.  It is one of their favorite places and won out over the Outback Steakhouse.  I was still stuffy and joined them for a while but the loud noise and stuffiness of the place caused me to leave the dinner early.  I went outside and moved the car away from the restaurant about 80 ft to escape the loud music they were playing outside.  After dinner we went to Cassie & Jack's house for a decadent chocolate birthday cake for Cassie.  It is one of the richest cakes I have ever eaten but super good.

Gerry picked up her new Panasonic digital camera to replace the one that broke on her.  The CCD part of the camera has a black spot on it that transfers to the picture and ruins it.   Since we bought the camera at Costco using our American Express credit card, it had a two year warranty on the camera and she got the full amount back for the camera.  They had a newer camera there with more features and by luck it was on sale.  Now she has a new camera that cost less than the other and does a better job.  Priceless!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Birthday

                   Happy Birthday Cassie

Today is our daughter's birthday and we are still trying to figure out how to celebrate it with her.  Even if we don't do anything, we plan on being with her this evening and sharing a special cake and ice cream with her.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Football & Drunks

Gerry and I went to our daughter's house to watch the Skins-Cardinals football game today.  We can't get any tv reception up here at all and it was a nice day to get off the mountain.  The Skins won, but is was an ugly football game with lots of mistakes and dumb plays.  I guess a win is a win.

After the game we went geocaching for a little while and picked up some in the area around her house.  I knew they were there but never got a chance to look for them.  We picked up a "Travel bug" and will move it down the line.  One of the geocaches was a minature rubber chicken with the geocache as it's beak.

We thought that was a crazy geocache but things even got crazier later in the evening.  We needed a few things from Walmart and took a late night run to Gettysburg to pick up these items.   It was an uneventful trip there and a pleasant drive.  On the way back to the cabin we were driving down the main road of the town near us when a car came up behind us very fast and began to tailgate us dangerously close.  I pulled over to let them get past me and they just sat there so I pulled into a driveway at a nearby house.  The car then pulled into the driveway next to that house and waited until we pulled out and followed us once again when we left.  Down to the local bar/hotel and the car pulled into the parking lot and I turned to pull up next to the car.

Imagine my surprise when a very drunk/high on drugs/ crazy woman was driving the car.  I asked her why she was following me and she said why did I have Maryland license plates in PA?   Huh!  I didn't know we had crossed a border where the MD tags weren't valid.  The conversation then went downhill with loud, vulgar cursing from the woman.  She was completely irrational and gave me 2 1/2 hours to leave the state.  

I drove behind her car and got her license plate number and she then drove off in a hurry.  We called 911 to have the police come out and get this nut case off the road and we got nowhere.  The dispatcher took down all the information and when we gave her the license number she said she knew who the woman was and would give her a call.  She said she was harmless and wouldn't cause any problem for us.  She also said if she followed us again to go to the nearest public place.  The bar/hotel is the only public place in town open that late.

I guess that is how they handle problem people up here and the case was closed.  We proceeded on home without any further incident.  I guess we won't be taking any late drives up here on a weekend when the bars are closing up.

Just another day in paradise.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Shippensburg, PA

The sun finally decided to come out today and we took advantage of it to go geocaching.  It had been 43 days since we last geocached and it was great to get back to it.  We hadn't been to Shippensburg, PA which is just up the road from us and thought we could combine a trip there with geocaching and it turned out to be a great decision.

Along the way we had some onlookers watching us geocache and they seemed to be very interested in us.  They even stopped eating and came nearer to us to see what we were doing.  From the puzzled looks on their faces I don't think they knew what it was all about.

We stopped for some coffee and looked across the street and saw this neat house up on some large rocks.  The house was made of stone also and had a window that looked like a big eye.  We didn't see anything written about the house and thought it might just be a private home.  It would have been interesting to tour the house and see how it was made.

Shippensburg is the home of Shippensburg University and looks like a very nice small college town with a thriving downtown area and a very beautiful campus.  There was a football game going on between Shippensburg vs Clarion and the "Ship" won the game 54-24.  They have a nice stadium and an endzone scoreboard with a huge tv screen showing the game in progress.  Very impressive for a small college to have such nice facilities.

A nearby department for Fine Arts had a statue called Creative Tools and hidden near it was a geocache.  Gerry got out and found the cache while I took this picture of the statueThe statue had a paintbrush, scissors and pencil on a rock base and was about 12 ft high.  

Shippensburg University was established in 1871 as the Cumberland Valley State Normal School. The school received official approval by the state on February 21, 1873, and admitted its first class of 217 students on April 15, 1873. In 1917 the school was purchased by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. On June 4, 1926, the school was authorized to grant the bachelor of science in education degree in elementary and junior high education. The school received a charter on October 12, 1926, making it the first normal school in Pennsylvania to become a state teachers college. On June 3, 1927, the State Council of Education authorized the school to change its name to the State Teachers College at Shippensburg.
The business education curriculum was approved on December 3, 1937. On December 8, 1939, Shippensburg State Teachers College became the first teachers college in Pennsylvania and the fourth in the United States to be accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and (Secondary) Schools. 

The State Council of Education approved graduate work leading to the master of education degree on January 7, 1959. On January 8, 1960, the name change to Shippensburg State College was authorized.

The arts and sciences curriculum was authorized by the State Council of Education on April 18, 1962, and the bachelor of science in business administration degree program was initiated on September 1, 1967.

On November 12, 1982, the governor of the Commonwealth signed Senate Bill 506 establishing the State System of Higher Education. Shippensburg State College was designated Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania effective July 1, 1983.  There are about 8400 students enrolled in the University 7200 undergraduates and 1200 graduate students in calendar year 2011

All in all we had a great day geocaching and learning more about Shippensburg.  It is a neat little burg.  Sorry, I had to say that.  

We found 11 caches today and now have 922 finds to our credit.  We tried to pick up one cache but it was in an alley and a van with three people was parked right near the cache so we tried to come back twice and the people were still there.  They looked at us much like the first group mentioned earlier so we decided to try for the cache another day.

400 miles and didn't go anywhere

Another typical day in the life of us retirees.  We (Gerry,Hanne&I) got up early this morning and hit the road.  First stop was Smithsburg, MD to pick up Cassie and take her to a doctor's appointment in Baltimore, MD (100 miles).  Hanne and I drove around the Inner Harbor looking for parking spaces (25 miles) and waited for over 2 hours to pick up Cassie & Gerry.  All we managed to accomplish in this time was to miss a turn and wound up on I-95 South toward Washington, DC; quick exit and then back to Baltimore.  We did manage to find a Starbucks after getting directions from a man from Malawi, Africa.  Interesting accent.  His final comment was:  "have a good one".  Guess he has been here awhile.  Hanne lived in Malawi for a number of years and thought she recognized his accent

We left Baltimore and began the drive back to Smithsburg stopping in Frederick, MD at an Olive Garden restaurant for lunch.  We all had a nice meal and I managed to take a Benadryl for my nasal problems.  Bad move.  By the time we got to Smithsburg (another 85 miles) I could hardly keep my eyes open.  Since we were taking Hanne back to Front Royal, VA,  I was strongly urged to take a short nap.  One hour later we were on the road to Front Royal (80miles) to drop her off.  We visited with her and her daughter-in-law for about 45 minutes and then began the trek back to the cabin (100 miles).  

We stopped and watched the Smithsburg High football game for a while and left late in the 3rd period with them winning 14-6 and looking really good.  After we left they must have fallen apart since they lost 20-25.   What happened?

All in all it was 400 miles, two gas station stops and we wound up back where we started.  Just a typical day in the life of a retiree.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hager House

The Hager House is a two-story stone house in Hagerstown, Maryland, United States that dates to circa 1740. The house was built by Jonathan Hager, a German immigrant from Wesphalia, who founded Hagerstown. The basement contains two spring-fed pools of water, providing a secure water source. It had 22inch thick walls to provide protection from attack and the elements.  Hager established  a trading post and was very successful and obtained more land.  Hager sold the property, then known as Hager's Fancy to Jacob Rohrer in 1745. The house remained in the Rohrer family until 1944, when it was acquired by the Washington County Historical Society. The restored house was given to the City of Hagerstown in 1954 and opened to the public in 1962 as a historic house museum.

On our way out of Hagerstown we were stopped at a traffic light and saw these two dogs checking us out.  The little one was yapping up a storm and provided some comic relief.   I thought the bars framed them very well. 

Earlier we visited the Hagerstown Museum of Fine Arts in the city park.  They exhibited some local artists and many old paintings from the 1500-1900s.  They had a very impressive list of paintings and we enjoyed the tour.  The building was dedicated in 1930 and has grown over the years.

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts was founded by Mr. and Mrs. William Henry Singer, Jr. and incorporated in 1929. The Museum has a long and impressive tradition of cultural leadership in the Cumberland Valley region, providing residents and visitors with access to an outstanding Permanent Collection and an active schedule of exhibitions, musical concerts, lectures, films, art classes and special events for children and adults throughout the year. A collection of early photographs and history can be found at This collection was a joint venture of the Museum and the Western Maryland Regional Library (Whilbr). 

Hanne has a birthday coming up soon so we wanted to take her to a restaurant she would enjoy.  She enjoys Chinese food so we took her to a nice one in Frederick, MD.  They have a very nice menu and provide you more food than you can possibly eat.  We ordered three separate meals and shared some of each order.  Even at that, we had two large doggie bags to take home with us.

The temperature has dropped like a rock this evening.  It may even get down into the high 30s tonight at the cabin.  Out came the electric heaters and all the windows closed.  What a change from just a week or so ago.  I hate cold weather and this humidity.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Covered Bridge & Country Stores

This was the day we have been waiting for the past couple weeks.  Sunny, clear and warm.  What a relief it was to see the sun streaming through the trees and free of the fog, rain and mist the last week or so.  

We had decided to take a drive in this great weather to Gettysburg, PA and show Hanne the battlefield and sights in the town.  However, before we went there I took a detour to Biglerville, PA which is a few mile from us.  They have an old ( 102 yr old ) General store there that is full of fun and interesting "stuff".  The store has a rich history and there have been two generations running the store these past 102 years.  Wow!

Below is an article printed a couple years ago on the 100th anniversary celebration of the store. 


100-year-old general store put the 'big' in Biglerville

Biglerville, PA -  

When it was built 100 years ago, Thomas Bros. Country Store was considered a skyscraper at all of three stories high, and was well ahead of its time for Biglerville with indoor plumbing, central heating and electricity.
1909: The first race was run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Wright Brothers sold their first plane to the U.S. Army Signal Corps. William Howard Taft succeeded Theodore Roosevelt as president. The NAACP was founded on the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

And, in Biglerville, York County, Ner and Nettie Thomas left their teaching positions and opened a general store on Main Street in Biglerville, Adams County.

Life in America was different then. The ambitious couple built what amounted to a skyscraper - all three floors of it - in the center of the tiny town about seven miles north of Gettysburg. They dared to incorporate what was then a state-of-the-art infrastructure that dazzled the citizenry.

Folks flocked to see the construction of the big building that had indoor plumbing, central heating and electricity - all "newfangled" utilities in that part of the county.

It was, first and foremost, the Thomas Bros. Country Store. But, it was so large - again by Biglerville standards - that it eventually served many functions including but not limited to: an insurance office, dentist's office, library, Knights of the Golden Eagle lodge hall, polling place, restaurant, saddle and harness shop and headquarters of the town band.

As Biglerville is in the heart of Adams County's "Apple Country," the building also housed the U.S. Fruit Inspection Service. And, oh yes, it also hosted Vaudeville acts, school graduations, shows and even donkey basketball games in its third floor auditorium. It is said the donkeys were walked up the fire escape to the auditorium.

Of course, its primary function was as a general store. And, quite a store it was - and still is.

In October 2009, the Thomas Bros. Country Store observed its centennial, and in a big way. State and federal officials gathered at its front door to affix a plaque designating the store as a National Historic Place, as confirmed by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Proprietor Marion Thomas Harbaugh, daughter of the founders, proudly accepted the honor.

The store is now both a mercantile and a museum.

Marion, a vibrant 85, can usually be found there and proudly spins yarns of the store's long history to anyone who drops by.

She'll explain how the store's inventory once included everything anyone in the area could possibly need. If it wasn't in stock, it would be ordered. Medicines, carpeting, custom-made clothing and linens, a large hardware section and even a "citified" millinery department were packed within its walls.

Groceries were shipped in by rail and sold fresh to a steady stream of customers who often lingered to gossip and play checkers atop an old cracker barrel.

It was the "big box" store of its day, and it was very much a center of community activity and pride - in 1909, and still in 2009. Much has changed there, but much remains quite the same.

Except, of course, no donkey has been led up the fire escape in a long, long time.

After the visit to the store we plugged into the GPS our next stop on the journey, Gettysburg.  The Tom Tom directed us down two alleys and back onto Rt 34 for the short ride to Gettysburg,  We did a short tour of the battlefield and showed Hanne the highlights.  Since she is from Denmark, the tour didn't have the same meaning for her as it did us but she was a great listener.  We stopped for a late lunch at a Pub on the Town Square of Gettysburg and watched the constant stream of traffic thru the town.  Later we went to a well known and old covered bridge on the outskirts of Gettysburg.  

Sachs Covered Bridge


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sachs Covered Bridge
Sauck's, Sauches, Waterworks
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Adams
Township Cumberland, Freedom

Road Waterworks Road (TR 509 / TR 405)
Crosses Marsh Creek

Coordinates 39°47′50.5″N 77°16′34″W

Length 100 ft (30 m)
Width 15.3 ft (5 m)

Builder David S. Stone
Design Town truss bridge
Material Wood

Built c. 1854
 - Closed May 9, 1968
 - Added to NRHP August 25, 1980
 - Rededicated July 21, 1997
Governing body Adams County Historical Society [1]

WGCB # 38-01-01
NRHP # 80003395 [2]

MPS Covered Bridges of Adams, Cumberland, and Perry Counties TR

Location of the Sachs Covered Bridge in Pennsylvania
Wikimedia Commons: Sachs Covered Bridge

The Sachs Covered Bridge (pronounced /ˈsɒks/), also known as Sauck's Covered Bridge and Waterworks Covered Bridge[3], is a 100-foot (30 m), Town truss covered bridge over Marsh Creek between Cumberland and Freedom Townships, Adams County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The bridge was also known as the Sauches Covered Bridge at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg. It is located in the Gettysburg National Military Park and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
During the American Civil War, both the Union and Confederate Armies used the bridge in the Battle of Gettysburg and its aftermath.


The Sachs Covered Bridge was built around 1854 at a cost of $1,544. On July 1, 1863, the bridge was crossed by the two brigades of the I Corps of the Union Army heading towards Gettysburg.[1] The III Corps also crossed the bridge heading to the Black Horse Tavern.[1] Four days later, the majority of General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia retreated over the bridge after the Union victory in the Battle of Gettysburg.[1]
The bridge was designated Pennsylvania's "most historic bridge" in 1938 by the predecessor of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Department of Highways.[3] After a plan in 1960 to replace the bridge [4], the Cumberland Township officials voted to close the bridge to vehicular traffic, while leaving it open to pedestrians, on May 9, 1968.[5][6] It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 25, 1980.[2]
On June 19, 1996, a flash flood knocked the bridge from one of its abutments and it incurred substantial damage; an iron bridge on the Marsh Creek was also heavily damaged and another destroyed.[7] A $500,000 restoration on the bridge was already in progress before the flood; an additional $100,000 was raised to repair the damage incurred.[8] The bridge was rededicated on July 21, 1997.[9]


The Gettysburg Waterworks is the Marsh Creek site of freshwater for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Originally constructed in 1894, the works were rebuilt by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for the 1913 Gettysburg reunion, when the site had a pumping station, a filter plant, and 4 drilled wells (1 nearly dry). The reservoir is supplied by a 57.5 sq mi (149 km2) drainage area that is upstream of the Sachs Covered Bridge.[10]


The Sachs Covered Bridge is a Town truss covered bridge. The truss design was developed by Ithiel Town of Connecticut and consists of wooden beams "cris-crossed" to form a lattice.[3] The bridge was one of few remaining Town truss bridges in Pennsylvania.[1] The bridge is 100 feet (30 m) long and 15 feet 4 inches (4.67 m) wide.

After the bridge viewing we drove over to Emmitsburg, MD for our 2nd meal in three hours.  We stopped at the famous Ott House Bar & Restaurant for dinner.  Cassie, Jack and Lexa joined us there so they could visit with Hanne a little while she is in the area.  We all left there stuffed with food and bulging at the seams. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Turkeys & Redskins

Today was the first weekend games of the 2011 NFL football season and the Washington Redskins opened up with their hated rivals, the New York Giants.  The last few years the Giants have handled the Skins with relative ease  winning nine of the last 10 games between the two teams, including the last six in a row.  Today was a little different for a change with the Skins taking the Giants 28-24 in a good game.  The announcers spent a lot of effort talking about the injured Giant players who didn't play in the game and ignored the number of injured Skins who missed the game.  Typical when you play a New York team since they get all the press, however, today we got the game.

On the way down to Cassie's house eagle eye Gerry spotted some wild turkeys in the field near the cabin.  We have seen flocks of 5-8 birds, but this flock was more like 20 mature hens feeding in the open field.  Gerry got out and had to walk across a ditch and through some woods to get pictures of the turkeys and managed to get 12 of them in the photo.  I am surprised she got that many since turkeys are so alert to anyone around them and dash off at the first sign of humans.  This flock must have been confident since they took their time heading for the woods.

Since she did such a good job on this photo shoot, I am thinking of booking her on a Grizzly bear shoot out in Wyoming this fall.  I wonder how close she could get to a grizzly?  Many years ago we were in Yellowstone Nat'l Park and she crept up on a large elk and got entirely too close and when she realized where she was, a hasty retreat was in order. 

It has continued to rain and this is the 8th straight day in a row that we've had rain up here on the mountain.  It was sunny and clear at Cassie's house 18 miles away and about 1,000 ft lower than us.  I don't see how those people in Oregon and Washington State can take all the moisture they get.  I would go stark raving mad if I had that to look forward to every year.

It looks like the expected terrorist threat was just a rumor or someone did a great job preventing anything from happening.  In either case,  I am glad that nothing happened.

Tomorrow morning we will drive down to Front Royal, VA to pick up our friend Hanne and bring her back up to the cabin for 5 days.  I hope she isn't reading this and seeing all the rainy weather or she might change her mind and stay down there.  We are looking forward to seeing her again after 2 years. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Miles, Deer & Remembrance

Our good friend Hanne is visiting with her stepson and family for two weeks and will be spending almost a week with us at the cabin.  We have warned her that the cabin is "rustic" and she is prepared for it.  We met her and husband Niels while we were living in Abidjan during the early 80s and have been friends since then.  Niels passed away last year and is sorely missed.

We've had cabin fever with all the rain the last week and decided to go out for dinner in Gettysburg, PA this evening.  We went to the Appalachian Brewing Co and had a very enjoyable meal.  On the way down there we had a milestone and stopped to film it.  The Saturn odometer turned over to 94,000 miles and we always try and watch when this happens.  We pulled over to the side of the road and took the picture and the passerbys must have thought we were crazy.

There were 7 deer in the meadow across from the cabin and we managed to get a couple pictures of them on the way out.  The young fawns are still in the playful and curious stage and were real neat prancing all over the place.  Our neighbor sighted the mother bear and three cubs last night next to her car.  She was so excited that she locked her keys in the car getting out of there. 

Another neighbor has been keeping track of the rainfall since last Saturday and yesterday said it was up to 11 inches of rain and still coming down.  It's been spread over a week and the ground up here is saturated, however I think a lot of it has soaked in.  That is great for the water table since so many people up here have wells, including us. 

As everyone knows the tenth anniversary of the cowardly attack on New York and Washington, DC on 9/11/2001 is tomorrow and we will remember that date and the innocent victims of the attack.  It was a defining moment for the US and it's citizens and united them more than can be imagined.  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rain & Football

Are you ready for some football?  The Packers face the Saints this evening and we are going down to our daughters house to watch the game.  She is a Packer and Steeler fan and sometimes roots for the Redskins.  It will be nice to see a game that they really play all out to win rather than run in as many players as they can to see how well they do.  Of course preseason games are all about conditioning and finding that hidden gem of a player out there.

I know you all must be getting tired of rainy day stories, however if I didn't write about them there wouldn't be anything to write about.  Today was another day of heavy rain interspersed with drizzle and showers.  Tropical storm Lee sure did linger and take it's time getting up the coast and dumped lots of rain on the East Coast.  Our son-in-law called us from a cruise to the Bahamas to make sure we were all safe since his parents in Binghamton, NY were experiencing flooding in the area and his sister was evacuated from her home.  Hershey, PA right up the road from us had the worst flooding they have ever experienced.  We don't have those kinds of problems but it sure is wet and I hope we don't get any high winds soon or there will be a lot of trees uprooted due to the ground being soaked.

I went out a little this afternoon to see if I could get some pictures of the swollen streams and such but it rained so hard I couldn't roll the window down to take a picture.  The cabin looked eerie today and I got a couple shots of it and the meadow across the street.  I don't know if the pictures will do justice to how it really looked.   Don't try to adjust the color of the pictures since that is fog and mist clouding up the view.  It was so thick you could cut it with a butter knife as the saying goes.

This meadow to the right is where we see all the deer and wild turkeys during the early morning or late evening.  The turkeys don't always show up, but it is rare that the deer aren't there.  One of these days we will see the mother bear and her three cubs, but we aren't anxious to get to close to them.

Now I wish I hadn't sold my jon boat a number of years ago.  It could come in handy if this rain doesn't stop soon.

Meanwhile, off to watch the game tonight.  Update:  Green Bay 42 - New Orleans 34  Final  It was a good game until the 2nd half when it slowed down quite a bit.  New Orleans goofed when they tried for a first down instead of kicking a field goal.  The Packers then took the ball down the field and scored a touchdown.  They are both good teams and should meet again in the playoffs.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rough roads, horses & Anniversary

   Happy 9th Wedding Anniversary Cassie & Jack!

Gerry and I had to run some errands today and decided to take a mountain road that we hadn't been on before.  You know, where does that road lead to?  As usual up here the roads are decent for the first 1/4 mile and then get progressively worse.  That was the case today and this road really got down rough and dirty.  We had the Tom Tom GPS and it kept saying "turn around", "turn around as soon as you can" and wouldn't shut up.  That isn't a good sign.  We were down to about 3mph on sections of the road and even that was too fast.

We came to a fork in the road and it looked like the direction we wanted to be headed in and made the fateful turn.  Bad move!.  We started going down a steep grade with the road consisting of large rocks, ruts, drop offs and downed trees all over the place.  We came upon a cabin out in the middle of nowhere and it had seen better days and that must have been a long time ago.  It was about this time that we heard the "Dueling Banjos" song and started praying that the road wasn't a dead end or gated.  If it was, I wasn't sure we could drive back up that hill without 4-wheel drive.  

There were some nice scenic parts on the drive and we came across this little bridge back on the better part of the road, just nice enough to encourage us to continue on the drive.  The streams in the area are up high and running fast due to the last three days of rain which is heavy at times.  Did I tell you that I am sick of the rain and humidity?  Well, I am!

There is a small farm near us that had three horses in a barn near the road.  It was raining so much today that even the horses were staying under cover.  The white horse is almost always in the pasture eating his day away and the others less frequently.  We managed to get a picture of two of them today and I guess the third was even farther back in the barn keeping warm and dry.  Smart horses.

Oh, by the way, we didn't have to go back up the road.  About 2 miles from the crushed cabin there was a good asphalt road and civilization and some old houses. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day & Hospitals

We had a nice Labor Day weekend with Tom & Darlene joining us for a cookout on Sunday.  They live in Annapolis, MD and made the long 2 hour drive up to the cabin for my great hamburgers.  Some people are easy to please.  They stayed until almost 1130pm and made the long drive back in the rain and bad weather.  

Last night we drove to Cassie's in-laws in Mt. Airy, MD to spend the night with them since we were taking Cassie to the Univ of MD Medical Center for a procedure.  Mt. Airy is about 35 miles from the hospital and saved us an hour driving time in the morning.  We got up at 430am in order to make the drive to the hospital.  The doctor just came out and said she was finished with the procedure and all is well.  Now the fun starts for Cassie with the pain medicine and such.

The pictures below and to the left are of the Emerson Bromo Seltzer tower in downtown Baltimore.  The waiting room at the hospital overlooks the tower.  If you look closely you can see Bromo Seltzer written around the clock numbers. 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower

The Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower was erected in 1911 at the corner of Eutaw and Lombard Streets in Baltimore, Maryland. It was designed by Joseph Evans Sperry and was constructed by Bromo-Seltzer inventor "Captain" Isaac E. Emerson. It was the tallest building in Baltimore from 1911 until 1923. The design of the tower along with the original factory building at its base was inspired by the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy, which was seen by Emerson during a tour of Europe in 1900. Systems engineering for the building's original design was completed by Henry Adams. The factory was demolished in 1969 and replaced with a firehouse.
The building's most distinctive feature are the four clock faces adorning the tower's 15th floor on the North, South, East and West sides. Installed by the Seth Thomas Clock Company at an original cost of $3,965 US, they are made of translucent white glass and feature the letters B-R-O-M-O S-E-L-T-Z-E-R, with the Roman numerals being less prominent. The dials, which are illuminated at night with mercury-vapor lamps, are 24 feet (7.3 metres) in diameter, and the minute and hour hands approximately 12 and 10 feet (3.7 and 3.0 metres) in length respectively. Originally driven by weights, the moving parts are now electrically powered
From street-level to rooftop, the tower stands 288.7 feet (88.0 metres) high and was originally adorned with a 51 foot (15.5 metre) tall Bromo-Seltzer bottle,] glowing blue and rotating. Weighing 20 tons (18.1 tonnes), it was lined with 314 incandescent light bulbs and topped with a crown. The bottle was removed in 1936 because of structural concerns.
The tower was virtually abandoned in 2002, but in early 2007 the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts began renovations to transform the building into 33 artists' studios. The Baltimore Fire Department's John F. Steadman Fire Station, which opened in 1973 and is situated at the tower's base, houses BCFD Hazmat 1, Airflex 1, Medic1, Medic 23, MAC23, Engine 23, Rescue 1, and formerly Truck 2.

I hope we can stay awake for the 1 1/2 hour drive back to their home.  To say we are sleepy is an understatement.  At least we didn't have to contend with the Indy Car road race held this past weekend in Baltimore.  They say the traffic was terrible around the race area.  We got here in the dark this morning so we didn't see any evidence of the race.  I wonder who won?   

Note: Reader Al said that Will Power won the race in Baltimore.  Now the question is:  Who is Will Power???  
William Steven Power (born 1 March 1981 in Toowoomba, Queensland) is an Australian motorsport driver, who currently competes in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, driving for Team Penske.