A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: jl98584

Status of Blog - DOA?

Seems the family has moved to Facebook, as no one is really using this anymore

I still have a lot of interesting trips (mostly much more local!!!) - so may add more travel blogs time permitting. Obviously I'm a couple of years behind right now - not doing things, just writing about them...

I'm also having problems editing video's - once I stopped using my regular digital camera and moved up to an MPEG4 video camera, my laptop just doesn't have the horsepower to do the rendering necessary. So will try to upgrade computers eventually and can then start uploading video's again...

So anyway, the family blog idea seems to be dead. So far, I'm not crazy about FB, but will do my best. The kids seem to like it...

Posted by jl98584 18:27 Comments (0)

Mom's Stroke Recovery (5/4/09)

Everyone's grandma, Phylis, suffered a mild stroke on Nov 12th and is now learning what it's like to recover from a serious medical setback.

rain 47 °F

Update - Mom has moved to Long Beach, CA

I just realized what a terrible job I've been doing keeping up on the blog since finishing the RV Trip! So sorry. Anyway, Mom was feeling so down after her stroke there just didn't seem to be any way to cheer her up. It was cold and rainy one day and she refused to get out of bed, so I asked her if she'd rather move to LA where my brother Charlie had recently moved (Long beach actually). She was practically up and packing befoe we had a chance to discuss it! So a few days later I drove her down in the RV. She seems to be quite settled in, when I called her today she had just gotten out of the pool! So hope the sunshine helps cheer her up some, the beach probably doesn't hurt much either...


As strokes go, this one wasn't too bad. She has some blurred vision, speach, and is weak, but none of the serious difficulties one often hears about with strokes. Still, it's a blow to one's confidence and independence (can't drive with the vision thing).

She had an occupational therapy and physical therapy assessement last Tuesday and did rather well overall. The occupational therapist says only one or two more appointments, mostly working on her vision and sense of touch. The physical therapist suggests 5 to 8 weeks, mostly to improve her leg strength and balance, after which she should be better off then before the stroke.

Art, Melody, Que, Vivian, Nick and Amenda, Michael Brown and Tiara all came by last weekend and helped build a walkway to the neighbors driveway and remodel her bathroom, making it easier to get in and out of the tub. She wanted very much to stay in her own apartment downstairs, but some of the doctors and nurses were concerned about the stairs. Since the neighbors garage is on the lower level, their driveway goes right down about level with her apartment, so there was only about 9 feet of lawn to traverse for her to be able to walk to the car (neighbor gave us permission to use the driveway), now replaced with a nice walkway. Since then, the physical therapist has OK'd her use of the stairs (even suggested it might help with her leg strength), but it will be nice to have the walkway for when she doesn't feel like using the stairs.

I suspect it's going to be very hard for her to not be able to drive. We'll just take it one day at a time and see where it takes us. Life takes it's turns and bumps and we just have to adjust.

You might find the following web booklet of interest. I have printed it out and will be using it as a resource here at home, along with some other research.


One of the symptoms Mom complains about is that she occasionally has difficulty saying what she wants. This turns out to be a very common side affect of strokes and is a condition called "Aphasia", although her case is relatively mild. This also turns out to be one area where treatment can be quite successful! Mom's occupational therapist (OT) is considering recommending a speach therapist, but in the meantime the MayoClinic web site has information specifically to help family assist with Aphasia recovery.

When you are with Mom or communicating with her, please consider the following suggestions from Mayo Clinic:

- Simplify your sentences and slow down your pace.
- Allow the person time to talk.
- Don't finish sentences or correct errors.
- Keep conversations focused on one topic at a time.
- Reduce distracting noise in the environment.
- Keep paper and pencils or pens readily available.
- Write a key word or short sentence to help explain something.
- Help the person with aphasia create a book of words, pictures or photos to assist with conversation.
- Use drawings or gestures when you aren't understood.
- Involve the person with aphasia in conversations as much as possible.
- Check for comprehension or summarize what you've discussed

Mom may not need the paper, pencils and booklets as much as her case is so mild, but most of these suggestions wouldn't hurt us whether or not one's communications skills are impaired!

Posted by jl98584 10:44 Tagged events Comments (0)

Hurricane Ike will hit Texas!

Checking into family who may be affected, looks OK so far...

9/11/08 Robert & Kathy live very close to the project path of the eye, maybe will be on the 'dirty north side'. Per Madeline, the evacuated this morning to beat the rush. They will be staying with family in Arkansas, then maybe also visit James in Tennessee. They have a brick home, so wind damage may be somewhat limited (lots of tree's however). Flooding could be serious however, they live in a very low lying area close to the coast.

Becky & Family live in San Antonio, which is farther inland and is forecasted to get maybe 60 mph winds. Bad, but more tropical storm then hurricane. Becky says her hospital has taken in some of the patients evacuated from Galvaston and she's been instructed to keep an overnight bag at the hospital. Danny & Connie are now living in Austin, so are out of the direct path of the storm, but may still have kids in Corpus Christi. Becky thinks they have all evacuated to Austin.

This is all I know so far, hopefully others can post updates or more accurate info as it develops.

Posted by jl98584 17:40 Archived in USA Tagged events Comments (0)

Fire in CA! (Updated 7/12/08, 12:20 PM)

My Brother and his family as well as my cousins living in the Yankee Hill/Concow area - have all been evacuated as of 7/8/2008 due to the Camp Fire (Butte County Complex) jumping the lines

7/12/08, 12:20 PM - Just heard from Art, he and Melody were able to slip past the Fire Crews and get home today and found everything is fine. Steven's home is fine, there was some brush burned on his property, but it didn't harm the structures. Jim has heard from a neighbor that his home & shop also are fine, again some burning around the edges. Looks like the fire that went through Art & Steven's neighborhood was mostly a slow moving brush & grass fire and most of the homes/structures have been saved! Art says there are some badly burned tree's he can see on his neighbor's property. They are still waiting to learn about other friends and relatives, but this is great news - the best possible for us to expect based on what we've been seeing. He expects the hospital to remain closed for several more days, so he and Melody are going around feeding/watering neighbor's chickens etc and looking for ways to help get back to normal...


7/11/08, 1:30 PM - Winds weren't as bad as expected and there isn't much news out of Chico, however the newest map of the fire boundary shows it now covers most of the Granite Ridge Rd area, including Art & Steven's homes. I just got off the phone with Art and they haven't heard anything for sure, it's possible homes survived, but both of their properties are now within the burn area. If he learns anything more, he said he'll call.

In the map, the city of Paradise is the green area on the left. It is separated from Granite Ridge (where Art's place is) by a deep canyon where the west branch of the Feather River flows. The Red area is where the fire is now or has burned. I have drawn in the location of Art's and Steven's properties.



7/10/08, 11:30 AM - The Chico Enterprise Record just updated the fire map, it now shows that the fire has crossed the intersection of Granite Ridge Rd and Jordan Hill Road and appears to be on the west side of Art's property line, the downhill side (Ugh!). I called Art, he hasn't heard anything yet either about whether they are still trying to hold the line there or have had to abandon. The Feather River Hospital is still closed today, so he and Melody are off (on call I suppose). He has registered with the Red Cross. Not as rosy as I'd hoped.


7/10/08, 8:30 AM - Cautious good news - the winds did not pick up last night and the firefighters were able to hold the lines, so at least things didn't seem to get any worse. The news conference this morning specifically mentioned that they were able to hold the line established at Granite Ridge Rd, so Arts & Stevens places are probably still OK. We are not as optimistic about Jim's place however. They have been bringing in additional fire crews from all over - as of this morning, there are 2,886 firefighters working this fire (that's a serious fire! Penny heard some were brought in from as far away as from Delaware!). Maybe they can finally get this fire contained. Hopefully this is the worst of the crises.


7/9/08, 7 PM - Just got off the phone with Art. The most important thing he wants everyone to know is that everyone is fine. Jim's house could very well be lost but no one knows for sure. Art has text messaged the fire crew hunkered down at his house and was told they had a very difficult night, but have kept the fire at bay so far. Winds are forecasted to pick up tonight, so it will be another difficult night. He says the fire has crossed the west branch of the Feather River in spots, but they are holding the line for the most part. The hospital is completely closed, even staff are off, however he and Melody are on call in case somebody bring someone in. Jim's hospital was also evacuated, but he was called in to work in Chico where the patients were transported. Art, Melody, Jim, Jeremy & Amanda have been staying at Jessica's apartment in Chico, but Jeremy and Amanda will be moving in with her relatives shortly. Alice & David are staying with Melody's folks. I think Steven & his family are staying at his apartment south of Sacramento near where he works. It looks really, really bad for property but the people are all fine, which is what's really important anyway.


7/9/08, 10 AM - Haven't heard from Art yet but wanted to let you know the latest per the news media. It looks like the fire is still about 1/2 mile from Art & Stevens places, Jim's is still in the thick of things and about 50 homes have been lost in that area (don't know about his). The fire has not jumped the Feather River into Paradise yet, but they have closed the ER room at the Feather River Hospital, again as a precaution - Staff is still on duty however, so Art and or Melody may be working there today. For the most part, the winds stayed subdued last night which enabled the fire crews to hold the lines. Forecast is for 115 F temperatures today (very bad), it mostly depends on the winds, if they stay down - everybody stands a chance, otherwise more homes will probably be lost.


7/8 11 PM - Fire is now quite close to Art's house. At least 5 homes have been burned in the vacinity of Jim & Alice's home, others spared - not sure the status of theirs. Fire seems to be moving towards Art & Melody's.

Map of Fire

Art and Melody's place is just below the hand shape approaching the green area on the left (Paradise).
Everyone in the family is fine and has other places to stay.

Art & Melody are staying in Chico with Jessica. They were not home last night when the police ordered everyone to get out - but my nephew Jeremy and his girlfriend Amanda were at the house. They were able to get some of the important papers and the pets out with them.

This fire has been a threat for the last couple of weeks, so I imagine most folks had some sort of evacuation plan. Art said he and Melody have been clearing underbrush from their property for the past week or so to try to help.

There is a fire crew stationed on their property that has been using a bulldozer to clear a fire line around it, so they're doing all they can to save Art's place. Art thinks the fire is about 2 miles away, but in that area a fire can cover 2 miles very easily (they live on the top of a ridge, with lots of tree's and brush).

Of course, most folks who live out there have no fire insurance, including Art & Melody - it's kind of a rural, offbeat community and is 'off the grid', so nobody can get mortgages (and probably not insurance either).

All we can do now is wait and hope for the best.

Posted by jl98584 16:28 Archived in USA Tagged events Comments (2)

Trip 2 Log (Done - Back Home!)

Going to try a simple trip log as a single Entry in this Blog, rather than as a separate Blog. Check the date in the Title to see if this has been updated. Will put newest info on top.

6/11 - I am back, rushed through the pass just before the snow started (yes, in June!) So a bit tired, but glad to be home. Piles of mail to sort, unloaded the RV, lots to do...

6/10 - Probably the final entry, bad internet last night and I'll probably be home tonight or tomorrow, so shouldn't be much need for this journal going forward. Also found out a single blog entry is limited to 32k characters - which I've reached, so had to delete a few lines near the beginning to be able to finish this up. So going forward, this is not the right way to do a travel blog - will just create a new blog rather then trying to fit it all into a single blog entry. Sitting at Les Schwab Tire center to get my front end checked, in Spokane at the moment - about 6 hours from home.

6/7 - I'm in Laurel, MT Walmart - got in 619 miles today, much better then yesterday. Had a headwind a lot, easy enough to drive through (unlike gusty side winds), but ruined my mileage. Stopped briefly at an overlook over the ND Badlands - didn't know they had them up here also! Should be home Monday evening.

6/6 - Very, very nasty winds all day (and yesterday, which is probably why I got so tired last night). Part of yesterday, I was headed due North - so had a tail wind which didn't cause any trouble. Then late in the afternoon, the road turned more NW and the driving became more difficult. Today was strong and very gusty - I couldn't drive more than 45 -50 most of the day, and even then bounced around like a ping pong ball. It was so rough, I had to pull over often and rest or otherwise unwind (walk around, etc.). Probably the hardest driving I've ever done - and boy do I hope the worst is over! I finally was able to get up to 60 briefly late this afternoon and felt like it was really flying. Only made it as far as Fargo due to the rough, slow driving, but expect things to go better tomorrow. Got about 1,400 miles to go - or in RV speak, about 28 hours driving (3 days). I'll probably stop in Cheney if I can get there before Will leaves and try to figure out where the car is....

Here are a couple of shots I took June 1st at Appomattox Courthouse in VA:


And here are a couple of shots from my visit with Uncle Bob and Aunt Madeline:


6/5 - Hm, I was sure I updated this after arriving at Bob & Madelines? Well, my brain is way past overloaded, so who knows. Had a lovely visit at their place and got through the genealogy notes more quickly than I expected, so it was also a productive visit. Hit the road this morning and got into WI, about 2 hours east of the MN border (decided to take I-94 just for a change of pace.) I was going to rest a bit then try to drive a couple more hours, but after resting have decided I'm just a little too tired so will just stay here for the night. Am at a Flying J - the RV's here seem to be parking on the opposite side from the semi's, so it should be a little quieter. May also take advantage of the nice little coffee shop/bakery for breakfast. Going to push it a little hard and try to get home reasonably soon (no more diamond mines I'm afraid...)

6/1 - Stopped in Charleston, West Virginia for the night. I'm heading home, but did stop in Appomattox Courthouse today, so that slowed me a bit. Otherwise fairly uneventful, had to drive through a thunderstorm for a bit, nasty gusty winds, but didn't last too long and as long as the lightening keeps missing me, I'll be fine. (Seem to be through it now, so maybe will be smooth sailing now?)

5/31 - Research is done for this trip, going to start for home first thing in the morning, with a visit in MI along the way of course. I don't know if I made much progress since leaving Maine, but have learned a lot more about our family history and about genealogy and libraries and such along the way. Kinda fun, but I'm ready to go back to work and the real world now! See ya'll shortly (hope I have developed too bad of an accent - it will go away, trust me.)

5/30 - Still striking out as to any major breakthroughs. Who would have thought the Stinsons would be easier to track down then the Johnston's? Our line anyway, there are plenty of Johnston family trees out there, but they don't seem to include our ancesters. I didn't do that careful of a job researching down in Richmond, so decided to head back there to give it one more shot before leaving the east coast. Will try the VA State Library tomorrow, then after that, start west... In a Walmart in Mechanicsville tonight, too far from town (I read the map wrong, ugh)... Hot and muggy out here (& buggy).

5/28 - I'm back in Pohick Regional Park, Richmond, VA was interesting but I didn't get any new info for our family tree. Going to visit Alexandria again tomorrow, now that I know who Reuben's parents were - maybe I can find something on them there. BTW - Got the rig serviced yesterday (LOF) so it should be as ready for the drive home as can be...

5/27 - Went to Stafford, VA to try to track down Reuben Johnston (b. 1767) parents, but couldn't locate them. However, the county clerk recommended the local library, which recommended the regional library in Fredricksburg, VA - and they found Reuben's birth record listing his parents. Unfortunately, they didn't have any other info on the, but also recommended the historical society in Richmond. Since Richmond was 50 miles further south (and 90 miles from the campground I've been staying at), I decided to locate a Walmart near Richmond and drive on down tonight, rather then go back to the campground and then have to drive to Richmond in the morning. So, although I've paid for the lovely campground up in Pohick, tonight I'm in Ashland, VA Walmart, ready to hit the Virginia Historical Society in the morning... At least I found one of the two people Uncle Bob asked me to help with.

5/26 - In the unlikely event anyone was hanging off the edge of their seat waiting to see what'd I do today - copped out, e.g. decided not to go anywhere and get chores done, cleaned up the rig, did dishes, laundry etc. Not much fun, but maybe necessary once and awhile. I went ahead and paid for the campground through Thursday night, so I have four days of research available in this area. Then I'll start west. Will that be enough? Will I get answers to all the burning questions? Of course not! Of late, I have learned just how tedious and difficult it can be to squeeze out little bits of information. Part of my objective for this trip was to learn about genealogy, the process, types of resources available, etc. Part of my objectives were to flush out the family tree on Mom's side of the family more. Both objectives well met. The last major objectives, to solve a couple of dead ends we have on dad's side? Not so successful. I still have this week, then must head home... One objective I didn't have (or didn't think I had) was that I've also learned a whole lot more about my family, it was one thing for Uncle Bob to hand me a CD with lots of data on it about family history, but a whole different perspective to actually get into it and learn it (some of it anyway). I have developed a huge new respect for the work that he's done for us all!

5/25 - I decided to go back to Alexandria today to do some sightseeing. Beautiful day, sunny and warm - lots of folks out and about. It's about 10 miles from the Pohick Bay campground to the metro, then a short (10 min?) ride by train to downtown Alexandria. There is a free trolley that runs from the Metro station to the waterfront, yesterday, I walked back and forth to the library. Today I took the trolley, walked around, took a few pictures and was generally a tourist. Then I toured a couple of the old buildings, the Carlyle House (Blt 1853, one of the mansions in town) and the Gadsby Tavern (blt 1785). Then, before heading back to the Metro, I decided to check out the locations of two homes built by Reuben Johnston (the first one, born 1767, d 1840) and see if they were still there. The one at 210 Fairfax S was gone, but the triple houses on 212-218 Royal St S was still there and in very nice shape (of course, I took pictures). Then I hoofed it another mile to the National Cemetery, also location of the First Presbyterian Cemetery and after getting lost a little, found the gravestones for Reuben Johnston (1767-1840) and his wife. The walking wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't splurged on some heavy books at Gadsby's... So all in all, a very nice day, but I'm tired and will hit the sack a little early. I'm really torn about tomorrow - I've got LOTS of stuff to stay in the rig and do tomorrow, but who knows when I'll be back out this way - way too much sightseeing to pass up (especially now that I've got the mass transit stuff figured out).


5/24 - Spent the day in the library in downtown Alexandria. Didn't get much of anything that Uncle Bob didn't already have - so not worth going back there. Research facilities are closed Sun & Mon (holiday), so may just sightsee or stay in and relax, not sure. Tues will try somewhere else perhaps.

5/23 - I visited the Morris Inn in Oxford, on the east side of Chesapeake Bay. It turns out that this is where Robert Morris Senior lived from about 1738 to 1750 (only the left 1/3 of the building is the original house, the rest was added later). Although I still haven't found out who Mary (Morris) Croxall's mother was, I've learned a whole lot more about Robert Morris's father (RM Sr). Anyway, splended day weather wise (finally). After pulling what info I could out of the Oxford/Easton area, I finally drove over to the Wash. D.C./Alexandria area. I am in Pohick Bay Regional Park in Lorton, VA - a few miles south of Alexandria. The main library is open Saturday from 9 - 5, so I'll be spending the day there tomorrow. Will stay in this CG probably through Thursday. Research wise, everything is closed Sunday and Monday and I'd like to visit Baltimore (Croxall's), Alexandria (Johnstons) and Stafford (Johnston) before leaving. Then will start for home, via Berrien Center, MI of course. During the week, I can take the train into downtown Alexandria, but on the weekend will have to drive to a subway station. Using Mass Transit on an RV trip works out OK, but takes a lot more research time... I'm running out of space in the RV to store all the paper I've collected...


5/22 - I got to Oxford (not Oxbow, sorry) a bit late to check the town records and found out there aren't any private campgrounds in the area, the local Wal-mart doesn't allow overnight parking (city ordinance I think), and all the state parks in Maryland seem to be full (I forgot about the holiday weekend). So I drove all the way to Dover, Delaware to stay at the Wal-mart there (OK, it was only about 25-30 miles). Having been burned by lack of planning tonight, I called around and found a city park campground a little south of Alexandria for about $30/night and it's only a couple of miles from the train station. At this point, looks like I'll be leaving the NE sometime next week - can't do any research Sunday or Monday, so we'll see.

5/21 - Seems like inserting the daily entry after the photo's makes the new entries harder to find, so I'll try it this way instead. Yes folks, I am again going around in circles. I did go back up to Belvidere, NJ and located the house Robert Morris gave to his daughter, Mary and Charles Croxall. It gets confusing really fast, so I'll skip the messy details for now (it eventually became a Supreme Court case!) Anyway, the current owner was kind enough to show me through the house and share what he know - so that pretty much made it worth the trip. Am at the Wal-mart in Phillipsburg, heading south. Tomorrow I hope to make it to Wash DC area, which should be do-able. Plan to pass through Oxbow, just in case I get lucky (Mary Morris wise).

2nd Trip Photo's:


5/20 - Well, I did better today at the PA history/genealogical library. Didn't locate either of the ancesters I was looking for but at least got some interesting stuff I can use. This trip has certainly been a learning process! I have really developed an appreciation for how much time Uncle Bob has put into this, and I'm just scratching a little around the corners. The genpa library is such a huge repository of documents & books I could probably spend a lot of time there, but I need to get moving so will leave the area in the morning. I'm planning to head south to the Wash DC area, there is a slight temptation to go back to Belvidere first (another extra tank of gas however, so am still debating)

5/19 - Still batting zero in Philly for genealogy after spending about 4 hours in city archives. I can tell you that there are very few "Pearl's" in Philly! The archives don't have city records prior to 1860, so I just focused on the Pearl/Beveson connection, without luck. At least I've been there and know a little more about what the don't have. My only other planned stop in Philly for family history stuff is the history/genealogy society, which is closed Monday, so I went ahead and did some sightseeing at Independence Park. All tickets for Independence Hall were already given out for today (lots and lots of school groups here at the moment), so I took in the new "National Constitution Center", which was interesting if a bit overpriced, saw Ben Franklin's grave, and independence hall and the liberty bell from the outside (Philly seems to close down at 5 PM?). The genealogy center opens at 12:30 tomorrow, so I may go back to Independence Hall first, they're both in the same part of town. I plan to leave this area Wednesday, don't know if I'll go back to Belvidere NJ first or just head to Washington DC/Alexandria. I'm still trying to reach the historical society in Belvidere first.

5/18 - Took the train to Philadelphia today, the Library is open for 4 hours on Sundays, so I figured it was worth the trip to get the lay of the land, etc. Found out the Library has very little resources for genealogy research, so will try other avenues tomorrow. Oh yes, forgot to mention... Even though the library was a bust, hit pay dirt in Belvidere Friday - I just didn't realize it! Uncle Bob had told me about an 'estate' Robert Morris was said to give his daughter, Mary, and Charles Croxall for a wedding gift. I got mixed up however and thought he was talking about it being in PA or MD. So in trying to clarify this with him by email, turns out it was in Belvidere. In fact, Robert Morris founded and named the town of Belvidere and the "Robert Morris" or "Croxhall" house was one of the first (if not the first) homes in the town. It's described a little on their web site (also look under "Key Attractions" for a bit about the house). Guess I'll be heading back up to Belvidere, at least for a brief visit:

Belvidere Home Page

5/17 - No genealogy today, had to take care of some housekeeping (power supply for laptop died, problem resolved so may head in to Philly tomorrow - found out the Library is open Sunday from 1 - 5, which would be enough time to learn what my resource options are). In the meantime, I have collected a few photo's along this second trip (surprise, surprise) - I'll just stick all the thumbnails along the top - click to enlarge if you want to see/learn more...

5/16 - I'm in Port Republic, NJ - just north of Atlantic City. There is a Thousand Trails campground there where I can stay while attempting to 'do' Philidelphia. I did find the grave of Mary Croxall (Dau. of Robert Morris) in Belvidere earlier today, kind of surprising since she died in 1821 and the county records only go back as far as 1826...

5/15 - Lots of driving today, decided to check out Belvidere, NJ as the starting point to see if I could find out any more about Mary Morris (d. 1826 in Belvidere). Then will spent a few days in Philly, probably staying in a Thousand Trails campground just outside of Atlantic City and commuting. Am in Stephens SP, just north of Hackettstown, NJ tonight.

5/14 - Today I spent all day and only went 30 miles or so. How do you manage that you say? Well, I left Salem, MA about a quarter after Nine this morning, got to Walpole, MA (Walmart), somewhat south of Boston about 8:30 PM. Last night and this morning I was trying to decide what to do - go do some sightseeing in Boston ($$$), start south to Philly, or ?? I decided on the or ?? this morning, rather impulsively perhaps. You see, I'm on some sort of learning curve on this genealogy stuff - as I was working on this stuff in Boston, I realized I should have gotten more stuff while in Bath, Maine. So, being as it's only 3 hours north of Boston, I drove back to Bath, spent 4 more hours in the library, then drove back to the Boston area on the way south to Philly. So I drove 6 hours and spent about the same as if I'd spent the day in Boston, but it was what I wanted to do.

5/13 - Wow! Quite an adventure today, I navigated the Boston Transit system and survived. I caught the cab to the commuter rail, then caught a subway to downtown. I was heading to the general vacinity of the BPL (Boston Public Library), but first wanted to check out this organization where I finally had dug out CKS's parents names, the NEHGS (New England Historical Genealogical Society), which is only two blocks from the library. Spent all day at NEHGS, so didn't make it to BPL, but probably got enough of what I was looking for anyway. Nothing earth shattering, but wanted to find out what kind of resources were available, etc. (a learning expedition). Unfortunately, they confirmed what I'd learned in Maine, only a small portion of genealogy type info has been digitized - most of the real work is time consuming and takes a lot of hands on research. But after picking up what I could, and running out of time..., I safely navigated back to the subway, then train, then back to Salem where the RV was parked at Winter Island city park again. When I got off the train in Salem, I decided to try walking back to the Rv so I could see a bit of Salem also. Since it was after 5, most of the shops would be closed, so I wouldn't be tempted to spend quite as much? I did stumble onto a bookstore which was open and was also going out of business so everything was 50% off - I left most of the books in the bookstore. The shops & museums about the Salem Witch Trials looked mostly like tourist traps, although I think a few do really focus on what really happened. They also have some really old homes & buildings and an area along the Wharf devoted to the maritime history of Salem, including a replica of a late 1700's square rigged sailing ship (the Friendship). Finally, I walked around the "House of the Seven Gables" (a real house, although Hawthorne's story was fictionalized). When I got back to the rig, I found I had new neighbors - a family from southern Germany was renting an RV for 3 weeks to tour New England and visit friends.

5/12 - Didn't go into Boston today as I had some bills, etc. to take care of. I did go into Salem to the Post Office, not a very parking friendly town (is that a Boston area theme?). Anyway, should be able to get a good start tomorrow. Depending on how things go, may leave area Wed or Thurs AM.

5/11 - I finally left Maine and am at Winter Island City Park (RV Camping) in Salem, MA. My plan is to spend 2 - 3 days in this area, take a cab to the Amtrak station and take the train to downtown Boston - see how that works. Took the slow way from Maine, Hwy 1 (rather then the turnpike), spent 3-4 hours in Ipswich, MA - where several of our ancesters lived, some while passing through to other destinations, a Cummings and Kingsbury for sure, I think also an Aldrich? (My memory is a little overloaded). Took LOTS of pic's in Ipswich, the Kingsbury house is still standing and on their 'walking tour'.

5/10 - Missed another day? Boy this blogging stuff takes self discipline (which I don't have much of...) Anyway, yes I did get to Augusta, ME and spent some time in the Library. I also spent some $$ on the photocopy machine! The library closed at 2 PM Saturday, so I took the opportunity to do a little more sightseeing. I'm in the Bath area again, thinking it's about a 4-6 hour drive to the Boston area, which I could do tomorrow. Part of me wants to stay a little longer up hear and dig out a bit more - but part of me wants to get moving. Will probably do the latter...

5/8 - Hmm, must have forgotten to update this last night! I spent yesterday in Bath, Maine, the birthplace of Charles K. Stinson. Got a lot of Stinson stuff in the Library, the town hall burned down in the late 1800's, which might be one factor it's been hard to track down info (it all burned up!). Went to a nice campground down the penninsula a bit and decided to do a little sightseeing this morning since I was so close. So I visited Fort Popham (saw several Osprey) and then the Maine Heritage Museum. I also did a little more follow up on the Stinson leads from yesterday. Plan is to spend all day tomorrow in the Maine State Library in Augusta, then head to Boston.

5/6 - Keene, NH didn't provide much info re Mariatta & Francisco, I did get a copy of the marriage notice from the paper and learned they were married by a Rev. Zedekiah Barstow, most likely in the First Congregational Church. I did also find out the Castillo's actually lived in the house I visited yesterday in Westmoreland and some of their kids were born there. I decided West Windsor was in the wrong direction and wasn't that high a priority anyway, so took off to Maine instead. I'm at the Brunswick WM, just outside of Bath. May or may not find out more about CKS there tomorrow, then head up to Augusta where I'm sure there will be a lot. Should be leaving Maine about Friday.

5/5 - Stayed in Westmoreland, NH last night. Lovely country btw. Found out Francisco Del Castillo & Mariatta Aldrich owned a house there for about 20 years. They were living in Cuba, so not sure if they bought the house to stay in when visiting the in-laws or ??? Got pic's, a little more info on the Aldrich's maybe. Tuesday drove to nearby Keene hoping to learn a little more, but expect to leave here shortly and head up to West Windsor finally.

5/4 - Since finding a link between Charles K. Stinson and the Stinson ancesters was one of my prime goals for the trip, and since I was able to do that already using the internet, I feel I can relax a little and rearrange my priorities. When I saw a flier for the "Herkimer Diamond Mine KOA", and this ties into a daydream Mom had from the first trip, yesterday I spent about 5 hours digging for "diamonds" - (e.g. quartz crystals, but nice ones). Got about a tablespoons worth, probably worth about what the excursion cost me (KOA & entry fee's). Today I plan to visit Westmoreland, NH where the Aldrich's were from and then West Windsor, VT (just up the road a few miles) where Rev. James Irving Cummings died.

5/3 - OK, now I am officially behind schedule, somewhat intentionally? I am in Herkimer, NY. Pulled over early to spend some time getting organized and rearrange my NE visit, now that I know who CKS's parents are. Also, saw a brochure for a KOA campground here in Herkimer that had to be visited (for Mom's sake). Mom - check this out: KOA Herkimer Diamond Mine! Sorry I didn't know about this on our last trip. Of course, it will cost me $40 to get $0.50 worth of Quartz, but I just had to stop here.

5/2 - Made it to Batavia, NY, about 30 miles past Buffalo. Very bad weather all day, heavy rain, some gusty wind and lightening all around, so drove pretty slow and kept it safe. Saw one wild turkey.

5/1 - Sorry, forgot to log in last night. I visited with Uncle Bob and Aunt Madeline yesterday afternoon. Laura came by late last night, then she and Aunt Madeline left early this morning for Tennessee to attend Jame's graduation. Uncle Bob and I spent a little time on the genealogy stuff, then I hit the road this morning. I plan to stop by again after spending time in New England, hopefully to sync up files a bit. This stop was more just to say "Hi" and also to pick up some pointers from him so my trip east will hopefully be a little more fruitful. Today I didn't make much progress however, I was a little more tired than I realized (maybe the time zone thing finally hit me), so I stopped at a nice KOA in Toledo, Ohio early enough to get some chores done and make sure I'd get a good night sleep. Saw a fox yesterday morning when I first got to IL, just running along the bushes on the side of I-90. He wasn't as red as the ones in my neighborhood, don't know if it was the time of the year or if he was s different species.

4/29 - Made it to Illinois, I've driven slightly over 2,000 miles so far. I probably could have made it to Bob & Madiline's tonight, but was somewhat tired and decided I didn't want to mess with Chicago Traffic until I'd had a good night's sleep.

4/28 - Stayed near Wall Drug last night. I pulled over on my way into Sioux Falls, SD about 3:30 PM to check mail, etc. Drove as far as Worthington, MN (about 45 miles into the state) then decided to quit for tonight. Saw a couple of sand hill cranes, several western meadow larks and lots and lots of pheasants.

4/27 - It's about 6:30 PM in Rapid City, SD. I'll probably get another hundred miles or so farther east tonight, but am not sure there will be an internet signal (SD is pretty rural, even along I-90). Reasonably nice today, but windy. Not as many tree's as west of the continental divide until I started getting into the Black Hills. Still lots of antelope & cattle.

4/26 - Made it as far as Billings, MT today. Very beautiful driving, cool but clear and sunny. Night time temps about 40, daytime close to 60. There is still snow in the high Rocky Mountains, but not too much and the roads are clear and dry. I have seen a lot of raptors, some of which are red tailed hawks. Today I also saw lots and lots of prong horned antelope, some black tail deer and - get this, big horned sheep! They were climbing on the rocks where they'd cut away for the freeway, seems to make a nice rock face for them!

4/25 - Left Shelton a little later and more tired than I'd have liked, but made it to Sprague Lake, WA.

Posted by jl98584 13:11 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel Comments (11)

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