2013-May-June-Trip Research Archives

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June 21: Trip is at an end after 10043 Miles

• CATEGORIES: News • TAGS: .

We made it home after driving 10,043 miles through 27 states. Time to rest. I’ll summarize the trip tomorrow night. Thanks to everyone who helped make it so special!

 
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Thurs. June 20th: Meeting Karson’s Team

• CATEGORIES: Event • TAGS: .

<– Day 47 – Wed. June 19th: House on the Rock & Steve | Trip Overview –>

Thursday and Friday were the last two days of the trip and consisted mostly of driving home to Pasco.

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On Thursday June 20th we drove from Kearney to Salt Lake City. On Friday June 21st we drove from Salt Lake City to Pasco.

On Thursday morning we woke in Kearney and got driving early. Our plan was to stop and meet Karson and his team an hour west of Kearney.  Karson and his FEMACorp team was heading east from Oklahoma at the same time we were heading west on I-80. So, we found a good place to stop and take a picture together. I know it looks like he is taller than me, but I’m pretty sure that’s an optical illusion.

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After our quick meet, we drove to Salt Lake City, arriving in the evening and in time to have some fish tacos at the Lone Star Taqueria with my other kids, Kasia and Colter. We spent Thursday night in Salt Lake City.

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On Friday morning we left for Pasco, arriving in the evening. The trip was amazing, a one-in-a-lifetime adventure where numerous things–Jeeps, wurlitzer, Karson, and friends–all lined up to make  it unforgettable. Thanks to everyone who hosted us, met us, dined us, and gave us suggestions.

After 10,000+ miles over 49 days it’s time to rest.

The End

<– Day 47 – Wed. June 19th: House on the Rock & Steve | Trip Overview –>

 
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Wed. June 19th: House on the Rock & Steve

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 46 – Tues. June 18th: Shabu Shabu and Pipes | Trip Overview | Day 48 – Thurs. June 20th: Meeting Karson’s Team –>

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Steve and I in front of this CJ-2A on a beautiful midwest afternoon.

On Wednesday we drove from Dodgeville, Wisconsin, to Kearney, Nebraska.

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On Wednesday June 19th we drove from Dodgeville, Wisconsin, to Kearney, Nebraska.

In 1993, I visited the House on the Rock near Dodgeville, Wisconsin, for the first time. Mom, my sister, and my then ex-wife and I. We’d heard it was a popular place to visit, but no one could really describe why. After our visit, I could see why people couldn’t explain it. All I knew is that some day I hoped to experience it again.

On Wednesday (20 years after the first visit) I returned. I told Ann that you have to see the place to believe it. It starts with an unusual house built on a rock (actually part of it is cantilevered over the rock) and then becomes a series of collections and spaces ands spectacles. I told here there would be music, a giant whale, and the world’s largest carousel.

I felt beating the large crowds would make the experience even more enjoyable, so we arrived at their 9am opening time. The cost is $28 per person and the fact that I didn’t balk at that must have surprised Ann. Arriving early worked well. We spent most of our time wandering through the maze of paved streets and hallways by ourselves, armed with tokens to play all the different music machines (I’d advise getting at least $5 dollars worth of tokens.)

I won’t go into the history of how Alex Jordan created this amazing spectacle, but it seems a meeting with Frank Lloyd Wright and some subsequent spite played a huge role on why Jordan landed atop a rock. Just enjoy the pictures.

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Here’s the entrance.

The house is made up of two parts. A long walkway connects the two. All of it has a Japanese theme. There’s lots of limestone, small spaces and neat angles. The infinity room is the most spectacular spot.

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Tues. June 18th: Shabu Shabu and Pipes

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 45 – Mon. June 17th: Three Museums & Steve | Trip Overview | Day 47 – Wed. June 19th: House on the Rock & Steve –>

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Jeff and I in his shop’s showroom. The large brown book in my hand is the ‘bible’ on Wurlitzer Organs written and given to me by Jeff.

On Tuesday we started out in Chicago, then drove to Dodgeville, Wisconsin.

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On Tuesday afternoon we drove from Chicago, Illinois, to Dodgeville, Wisconsin.

After a long night’s sleep, Tuesday we drove into Chicago to visit with Jeff Weiler, owner of JL Weiler, Inc. Jeff’s company specializes in the restoration and conservation of high pressure pipe organs. He wanted to show us his shop and the work he was doing on a Wurlitzer Organ from Sydney Australia and a second one that is being installed in downtown Chicago at St. John Cantius Church.

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This series of binary relays represents the Wurlitzer Pipe Organ’s ‘computer’. It is complex and requires a great deal of wiring.

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Of course, on this trip we’ve learned a thing or two about wiring! Here is the third harness weaver we’ve seen during our journey!

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All the pipes and instruments have to be tuned. Here’s the contraption jeff uses to insure the completed organ sounds the way it should.

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To properly rebuild the organs, Jeff has saved many documents. Here is just some of the Wurlitzer documents he has to reference. Here Tom and Jeff show me some of the blueprints they own.

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Mon. June 17th: Three Museums & Steve

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 44 – Sun. June 16th: Escaping the Rain to Packard-ville | Trip Overview | Day 46 – Tues. June 18th: Shabu Shabu and Pipes –>

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Steve and I outside Schoops for lunch in Warsaw, Indiana

On Monday June 17th, we decided to attempt three car museums in Indian within a single day. I’m happy to report that my wife was receptive to the idea and our adventure did not end in divorce!

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On Monday June 17th we drove from Auburn, Indiana, to Chicago, Illinois.

The first two museums, the National Automobile and Truck Museum of the United States, also known as NATMUS, and the Auburn, Cord, Deusenberg Museum, were started by the same person in Auburn, Indiana.

Given they are essentially on the same campus, at least it seemed that way to me, you might think the two would offer a joint ticket package or jointly advertise. Instead, each barely mentioned the other on their respective websites. In fact, we only discovered the NATMUS after arriving to see the Auburn Cord museum on Sunday evening (but we arrived too late to get in).

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The NATMUS building is in the distance, while the ACD museum is to the right.

Having mapped out our strategy, on Monday morning we began with the NATMUS, because it opens at 9am (the Auburn, Cord doesn’t open until 10am). Active Military get in free, which saved us some dollars.

The collection can be roughly divided into three sections. The first area is filled with toys of different sizes. While they were neat, we’d certainly seen more at the Antique toy and Fire Truck Museum.

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Sun. June 16th: Escaping the Rain to Packard-ville

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 43 – Sat. June 15th: The Crowds Arrive; As Does a Storm | Trip Overview | Day 45 – Mon. June 17th: Three Museums & Steve –>

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Me and Mr. Packard @ the Packard Museum.

On Saturday night, June 16th, we drove to Niles Ohio to spend the night. On Sunday we’d eventually reach Auburn, Indiana.

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On Saturday night we drove from Cooper’s Lake, Pennsylvania, to Niles, Ohio. Sunday we drove from Niles to Auburn, Indiana.

We began with a leisurely morning, as the National Packard Museum in Warren, Ohio, didn’t open until 1pm on Sundays. Once ready to go, it was a short drive to the museum. It’s located in Warren because that’s where the first Packards were produced. In 1903, the company moved to Detroit.

Upon our arrival, one of the docents at the museum explained its history. The museum was started by a man (who’s name slipped into and right out of my memory) in Warren who couldn’t fit his Packard into a place he owned in Warren. He was a friend of the mayor, who managed to find a run-down building for the man in 1990 and arranged to have it leased to the man for $1 for 40 years. That’s not a bad price!

The man was able to fix up the place on the cheap, but it was more of a storage space than a museum space. Then, in 1999, the Packard Automobile Club descended upon the space to celebrate the 100th year of the Packard. A great party took place for a week. By the time the revelers left, 5 more Packards filled the building. Afterwards, steps were taken to turn the space into a formal museum.

Here are some pictures from the museum:

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The outside of the Packard Museum.

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Sat. June 15th: The Crowds Arrive; As Does a Storm

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 42 – Fri. June 14th: At the Bantam Festival | Trip Overview | Day 44 – Sun. June 16th: Escaping the Rain to Packard-ville –>

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Sebastian forwarded this photo of Gerald, Augusto, Sebastian, and myself. That’s Sebastian’s CJ-3B to the right.

On the morning of Saturday June 15th, I fixed some breakfast and enjoyed a leisurely start to the day.2013-06-15-bantam-festival-breakfast

At 10:30am, we left camp to stock up on some drinks at the local store. As we exited the one road into the campground and festival we were surprised to see a lineup of folks entering the festival that was at least 2 miles long!

Here are the lines of cars we passed on Saturday morning:

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Fri. June 14th: At the Bantam Festival

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 41- Thurs. June 13th: Heinz History Museum | Trip Overview | Day 43 – Sat. June 15th: The Crowds Arrive; As Does a Storm –>

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Not everyone was happy to see me. Henry claimed I made a comment that it was too bad someone painted his surrey brown. I couldn’t find any evidence that I said that though. His modified surrey is beautiful!! The windshield is one of the nicest I’ve ever seen. The backside was filled in and the front has been scalloped perfectly.

On Friday morning we had a quick one-hour drive to the Bantam Festival at Coopers Lake, Pennsylvania.

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Friday’s drive from Canton, Ohio, to Coopers Lake, Pennsylvania.

Our first task was to set up camp. Much of that duty fell on Ann, as I needed to find out where I’d be giving Friday’s presentation. It was her idea to add the sign marking out encampment. Thankfully, the rains that had fallen all week stopped in time for the festive and we were able to find a dry patch of grass to call home.

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Soon, it was time for me to give my presentation. The crowd was light everywhere on Friday and only seven people attended my presentation.

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After the presentation, I met folks and handed out some free posters.

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Thurs. June 13th: Heinz History Museum

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 40 – Wed. June 12th: A Collection Worthy of a Kaiser | Trip Overview | Day 42 – Fri. June 14th: At the Bantam Festival –>

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Ann thought this was a good idea. Gotta humor her sometimes.

On Thursday June 13th we drove to Pittsburgh, then on to Canton, Ohio, for the night.

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On June 13th we drove from Monroeville, Pennsylvania, to Canton, Ohio.

On Thursday, our main goal was to visit the Senator John Heinz History Center in downtown Pittsburgh. But, of course, our drive wouldn’t have been complete without a run-in with my iPhone’s SIRI. At a critical juncture, SIRI highlighted two competing exits. Unsure which one to take, we guessed wrong and had to drive an extra fifteen minutes. That SIRI is one tricky ‘helper’!

When we finally arrived we couldn’t find any parking. Fortunately, my wife is broken, so we have a handicap pass. Otherwise, we’d have driven away.

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The museum specializes in Western Pennsylvania history. Gerald had recommended we visit and mentioned there was a jeep. So, I wasn’t surprised when we walked into the lobby and spotted a jeep right away on a first floor display. It turned out to be #1007 BRC-60. That means it was likely the 8th jeep ever built. It was donated to the museum in 1944 and looks in great shape.

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Wed. June 12th: A Collection Worthy of a Kaiser

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 39 – Tues. June 11th: Checking Out Butler | Trip Overview | Day 41- Thurs. June 13th: Heinz History Museum –>

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A beautiful Kaiser Darrin. Arrived knowing little about Kaiser Frazer cars, but left far more knowledgable thanks to Dave.

On Wednesday June 12th we drove from Monroeville to Somerset and back.

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On Wednesday the 12th we drove from Monroeville to Somerset, Pennsylvania.

We awoke Wednesday morning in Monroeville’s Extended Stay Motel. With access to our first kitchen since we’d hit the road, I made my lovely bride some breakfast in bed. It is always good to keep one’s wife happy while jeep hunting.

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After breakfast, our big stop of the day was a visit with Dave Antram. He invited Ann and I over to check out some of the barns on his family’s 150 acre farm in Pennsylvania.

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Dave said to look for this sign. That way we’d know we were at the right place.

His family’s been in the area a couple generations. Over time they’ve enjoyed building several different types of collections, including jeeps. As Dave welcomed us and we began our walk he noted there was a lot to show us. He even thought about contacting American Pickers to come visit. But, then he admitted it would be hard for him to sell anything at ‘picker’ prices.

One of the early vehicles they started collection were tractors. One unusual tractor in their collection employs an aftermarket kit from Sears and Roebuck to transform a 1920’s model A into a tractor. The parts painted red are the aftermarket pieces. The ones painted black are the Ford Model T parts.

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Model T with a tractor kit from Sears and Roebuck attached.

Above the tractor collection is a model T that was purchased by the family brand new. It was in bad shape for decades until Dave’s father fulfilled a goal to restore it during the 1990s. These days they use it in parades.

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Dave’s father next to the Model T he restored.

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I don’t know the finer points of a stock Model T, but the quality of the restoration looked good.

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Tues. June 11th: Checking Out Butler

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 38 – Mon. June 10th: Trains and Planes | Trip Overview | Day 40 – Wed. June 12th: A Collection Worthy of a Kaiser –>

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My partner-in-crime had a migraine in the morning, so I had to photograph myself. I came, I saw, I photographed!

On Tuesday we did a short tour of Butler then drove to Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

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Tuesday June 11th’s drive from Butler to Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

On Tuesday morning, we woke up at the crack of 9am and were out the door by 10. Our breakfast stop was the CHOP SHOP. If you are in Butler, I can highly recommend the place (check out the menu). My prime rib wrap was great. Ann’s Lamb wrap (very thinly sliced lamb with feta and more) was especially good, but couldn’t eat it all, so she shared half her wrap with me … yum!

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2013-06-11-chop-shop-bulter-pa1After breakfast, Ann came down with a migraine, so I took her back to the motel room to rest. Meanwhile, I took care of a personal task:  locate and photograph the Bantam Factory Marker, one of those holy jeep grail items I can now tick off my list. The marker is at 662 Hansen Ave, Butler, PA and you can see the sign using Google’s street view.

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Mon. June 10th: Trains and Planes

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 37 – Sun. June 9th: Defecting to Canada | Trip Overview | Day 39 – Tues. June 11th: Checking Out Butler –>

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So many cool things in this one-of-a-kind toy store!

After our failure to defect in Canada on Sunday, we decided to head south on Monday toward the jeep-mecca-that-is-Bantam: Butler, Pennsylvania.

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On Monday June 10th we drove from Niagara Falls, New York, to Butler, Pennsylvania.

Though we’d spurned Canada, the country seemed to haunt us. I guess we were there long enough to look Canadian. For example, when we stopped by a Niagara Starbucks Monday morning, we were told by a cashier that we could go online and get Starbucks Cash (or points or something) for completing a survey. He then announced the cash (or points) were good in Canada, too. Ann and I looked at each other wondering why he thought we were Canadian. Then I realized I was wearing a “Canada” shirt.

From Buffalo, New York, we drove south through rain until we got bored of the Interstate. I spotted a town called North East, PA. Thinking that was an odd name, especially since it was in northwestern Pennsylvania, we decided to explore it. It was a strange town. For example, they grow plants over their parking meters.

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After lunch at Lacasa De Pizza in downtown North East, we tried to visit their nearby railroad museum, but no one was home. There weren’t any hours posted on the door either. They did have lots of trains and a train station as well.

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I never did learn why the town was called ‘North East’

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Tentative Road Home

• CATEGORIES: Event, Features • TAGS: .

All good things must come to and end . . .This is our tentative road map for heading West following the Butler Festival:

Sunday 16th: Leave around noon, drive to the Packard Museum in Ohio, then stay somewhere.
Monday 17th: Head west, visit the Studebaker Museum in Fort Wayne, stay near Chicago
Tuesday 18th: Visit Jeff Weilers Theatre Organ restoration shop in downtown Chicago: visit volo museum in afternoon: drive to Madison, WI and spend the night.
Wednesday 19th: Visit the House on the Rock near Dodgeville, WI, Drive to Iowa (final destination undecided.
Thursday 20th: Visit Ann’s friends in Omaha.
Friday 21: Drive to Dinosaur National Monument.
Saturday 22: Drop into Salt Lake to get two of my kids
Sunday 23: Drive to Pasco (or stop at City of the Gods for overnight . . .TBD)

Here’s the rough map:

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Sun. June 9th: Defecting to Canada

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 36 – Sat. June 8th: Escape to the Movies | Trip Overview | Day 38 – Mon. June 10th: Trains and Planes –>

On Sunday we drove from Buffalo to Niagara Falls.

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We are standing on the Rainbow Bridge. The trek to our new country wore on us, but we continued marching!

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On Tuesday June 09 we drove from Buffalo to Niagara Falls,

For our entire stay in Buffalo, the weather has been wet in varying degrees. So, on Sunday June 9th we decided to defect to Canada.

As if Ulysses-like Sirens were wooing us, the closer we got to Canada, the better the weather became. We took it as a sure sign we were doing the right thing. Once Ann and I located a parking spot (free even!) on the American side of the border, we abandoned our car and our American lives to embark on a future as Canadians.

It turns out it’s easy to leave the US on foot. We just passed through a simple turnstile and we were home free! Like a couple of refugees, we packed light, carrying only the bare essentials (cameras and cash) on our forced march across Rainbow Bridge (we couldn’t bring the jeep across — it was too new and the bank that holds the loan wouldn’t give us permission).

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Look at that great view!

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Behind us is a Canadian playground awaiting our arrival. We left behind the sunny the rainy skies of Buffalo for the beautiful blue of Canada.

By the time we were halfway across the bridge, the sun was shining bright. The mist from the falls saluted our decision, welcoming us in a very friendly manner into the Canadian fold.

OH CANADA” we bellowed as we approached the passport office. Behind the desk at the office was a pretty blond who greeted us (Canada was looking pretty good by that point!) — No wonder Canadian Dave loves his country so much!

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The Canadian’s appear to be very neat and tidy. I wonder if all their lawns look like this?

After sizing up Canada’s two newest citizens, the immigration official let us in. We couldn’t wait to breathe the Canadian air, eat the best of Canadian food, and see the world through their eyes.

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Sat. June 8th: Escape to the Movies

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 35 – Fri. June 7th: An Old Building and New Cars  | Trip Overview | Day 37 – Sun. June 9th: Defecting to Canada –>

No pics for today …

On Saturday Ann and I were asked to be special hosts at the Farny Wurlitzer house as part of a local house-tour event (multiple houses in multiple locations) to raise money for a local organization. Joining us at the Wurlitzer house was our new friend Jeff, who we’d gotten to know over the past couple of days (he was visiting North Tonawanda from Chicago).

A long story short, after about a half hour of greeting a few people, the three of us realized that nobody cared who we were or why we were there. Visitors just wanted to look at the house. Unfortunately for Jeff, he had no access to transportation, so was stuck there. It didn’t take use long to decide that we were totally wasting our time, so we all agreed it was time to bail this event (none of us had made specific promises as to how long we would be there — frankly, the event was poorly organized).

After a quick discussion, we decided to get some lunch and go watch a movie, as Jeff’s return flight didn’t take off until late Saturday night.

Our lunch stop was a highly rated Polish plate called K Sisters: Authenic Pierogi. It was delicious!

After lunch, we found a nearby theatre showing Star Trek Into Darkness. Jeff, a very busy guy, seemed to greatly appreciate the break. He said it had been quite a while since he’d seen a movie in a theatre. We equally enjoyed the time to decompress.

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After the movie, we dropped Jeff off at his hotel. We hit it off so well that he offered to show us around his Wurlitzer restoration facility in Chicago on our way back home. We readily accepted the offer.

Tomorrow, we hit the road once again, bound to cross the border and interact with our Canadian brethren.

 <– Day 35 – Fri. June 7th: An Old Building and New Cars  | Trip Overview | Day 37 – Sun. June 9th: Defecting to Canada –>

 
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Fri. June 7th: An Old Building and New Cars

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 34 – Thurs. June 6th: Carousels and Awards | Trip Overview | Day 36 – Sat. June 8th: Escape to the Movies –>

wurlitzer-plaque-donation-loresForrest Gump was right: Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get. When I began this trip I never expected to be on the front page of a town’s newspaper. As I mentioned yesterday, I feel fortunate it was a slow news day! I did note there were a few quotes attributed to me worded in a way that I’d never do, but that’s the good/bad of being interviewed.

On Friday morning Ann and I were scheduled to visit the Wurlitzer Building in North Tonawanda and enjoy a brief tour by the president of the company that owns and operates it. The building is huge (I can’t remember the exact size), but at one point it employed over 3000 people. You can read a fuller history of the Wurlitzer Company in North Tonawanda from 1892 to 1942 here.

While many square feet have been turned into office space that’s leased to companies, thousands of square feet remain empty, awaiting a reason to transform back into something leasable.

Below are a few photos:

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This is only part 1/5 (?) of the Wurlitzer building in North Tonawanda, NY. It’s the entrance.

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Here is organ restoration specialist Jeff Weiler and I in front of the entrance. Ann and I plan to meet up with Jeff and see his restoration shop in Chicago during our trip back home.

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This is President of The Wurlitzer Building Tom Austen, who showed us around a portion of the building.

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This is one wing of the 3rd floor that is empty (except for some file storage).

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Thurs. June 6th: Carousels and Awards

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 32 & 33 – Tues. June 4th & Wed. June 5th: Rudeness at the Parkside Diner!  | Trip Overview | Day 35 – Fri. June 7th: An Old Building and New Cars –>

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My presentation of the Wurlitzer Plaque to the North Tonawanda History Museum Trustees.

I’d like to share with you all the wonderful things I did on my birthday — of parties, food, and lavish gifts — but the present I truly longed for was sleep. So, that’s pretty much all we did. We slept. A lot.

By Thursday June 6th we were ready for a busy day. Our first stop was at my great uncle Farny Wurlitzer’s former house in North Tonawanda, New York. It was a beautiful place that was recently purchased by new owners. I won’t bore you with the pictures, but it was fun for us.

After the house visit, as official representatives of the Rudolph Wurlitzer family (I’m his great great grandson), Ann and I were invited on guided tour of the Herschel Carousel Museum in North Tonawanda.

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The front of the Herschel Museum (on a very wet day).

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Doug, Jeff and I are examining a Wurlitzer Carousel Organ that plays while the carousel rotates.

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Who doesn’t feel like a kid riding a carousel??

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Of course, we even found a jeep-like ride at the museum!

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Tues. June 4th & Wed. June 5th: Rudeness at the Parkside Diner

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 31 – Mon. June 3rd: Through Russia With Love | Trip Overview | Day 34 – Thurs. June 6th: Carousels and Awards –>

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No, the sign isn’t referencing the Beatles; it’s explaining an earlier invasion by Brits playing musical muskets.

On Tuesday June 4th: we drove from Pulaski, New York, to Buffalo, New York.

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On Tuesday June 4th we drove from Pulaski, New York, to Buffalo, New York.

Last night I got a “really good deal” on a motel room in Pulaski, New York. Strangely, no one else showed up at the motel. We had the entire place to ourselves. To make it odder, the supposed two-star place was only of one-star quality. The whole place had an odd vibe. We had no desire to stay any longer than need-be, so we departed early in the morning.

Our first stop today was the beach at Oswego, NY, near Fort Ontario. There, we looked out onto the fourth Great Lake of our trip: Lake Ontario. The warm temperatures of the past few days turned to a bone chilling 67 degrees …  Brrr. We almost had to put on jackets!

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Henry taking a well deserved rest at Lake Ontario.

From there we drove to the State University of New York at Oswego. We met with a reference librarian in the hope she could find more information on Dorothy Rogers, the author of Jeopardy and a Jeep and Highways Across the Horizons. The librarian provided some reference material that led to additional biographical information, but it didn’t prove useful.

After our library trip, our next stop was in Seabreeze, NY, where we found a diner near a park called, not surprisingly, the Parkside Diner. Our food was very good.

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Somehow we didn’t get a picture of this place. So, here’s one from Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kewing/7778492628/in/set-72157624608428385

The strange part about our experience was that as we waited for the check, Ann and I started to hear some strange sounds from the booth in back of us. It sounded like a little kids TV show that seemed, intellectually, one step above Teletubbies. The sounds were loud enough that the grating voice would have disturbed us if we were still eating.

Fortunately, moments later our bill arrived. We dropped the money on the table. I stood and turned to see what was making the racket. I discovered a couple behind us had placed a phone on a table so they could watch a television show. They seemed completely unaware (or uncaring) that the obnoxious show might disturb anyone else. Ann exited the restaurant asking, “Really? Who does that? Who plays a TV loud enough to disturb other people in a restaurant??”

Just before we left, I took a picture of the offending couple. If you see these two ‘kids’, beware that they have no awareness for others around them. The red colored phone is propped up against the white container of sugar.

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We arrived in Northeast Buffalo soon after our lunch. We napped, then I worked. Wednesday June 5th is my birthday, so there won’t be any updates and we have no plans, other than to rest and find some good food. We’ll be here through Saturday.

Wednesday June 5th: Day off 🙂

On Thursday, we have a variety of plans in North Tonawanda, New York.

<– Day 31 – Mon. June 3rd: Through Russia With Love | Trip Overview | Day 34 – Thurs. June 6th: Carousels and Awards –>

 
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Mon. June 3rd: Through Russia With Love

• CATEGORIES: Features, Museums • TAGS: .

<– Day 30 – Sun. June 2nd: State #49 Was Exciting!  | Trip Overview | Day 32 & 33 – Tues. June 4th & Wed. June 5th: Rudeness at the Parkside Diner –>

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The Shelburne Museum was a fun place to visit!

On Monday we traveled from Burlington, Vermont, to Pulaski, New York, via Rome, Poland and Russia!

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On Monday we traveled from Burlington, Vermont, to Pulaski, New York.

Ann and I started the day in Burlington, Vermont. As we left our hotel, we decided to wander the streets of Burlington and find some iced black tea. So, we walked over to the nearby walking-mall in downtown Burlington that we’d spotted when we arrived on Sunday evening.

As soon as we stepped onto the plaza, we loved the place. Even on a monday morning with temperatures in the mid-60s, people were milling about. Many restaurants had sitting areas arranged in such a way that it reminded me of the small towns in Eastern Europe I’d visited back in 2003.

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This shows the southern half of the outdoor mall.

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I spotted this jeep in this long, cool mural on a wall in Burlington, VT.

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The mural from one side.

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A detail shot.

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The mural from the other side.

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I guess Burlington fancies itself a ski town?

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Outdoor seating for a restaurant.

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And what trip to Vermont would be complete without checking out Ben & Jerry’s?

After exploring the city, we eventually found some black tea at a dark, cool coffee shop called Muddy Waters. The tea was good and the atmosphere unique. We followed up the tea with some bagels.

After our walk through Burlington, we were intent on getting into the jeep and driving, because we had about five hours to go. We made it all of fifteen minutes when we spotted a beautiful covered wooden bridge.. Ann immediately wanted to take a picture of it, but we had to figure out how to reach it. As we drove, we discovered several more buildings separated by beautiful landscaping. All were behind a big fence. Eventually it dawned on us we were looking at a museum of some kind.

So, our drive plans immediately changed!

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This is the covered bridge we’d spotted from the road.

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Sun. June 2nd: State #49 Was Exciting!

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 29 – Fri. June 1: Acadia National Park | Trip Overview | Day 31 – Mon. June 3rd: Through Russia With Love –>

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Upon stepping foot onto the last of the lower 49 states I hadn’t visited, I gave the welcome sign a hug. Truth be told, the grass was too wet for me to venture into it.

On Monday we drove from Bangor, Maine, to Burlington, Vermont.

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Monday’s drive took us from Bangor, Maine, to Burlington, Vermont.

We started out the day with Ann sneezing. It ended with her sneezing. In the middle, there was lots of sneezing. Either she has a cold or she’s got some terrible allergies (the grass pollen is particularly high she says). Poor thing!

In between the sneezes we navigated down I-95 from Bangor, Maine, to Hollis Center, Maine, where Brendan, the operator of This-Old-Jeep, lives. He and I have exchanged many emails over the past few years. Because we both run websites using WordPress about old jeeps, we have plenty to talk about. So, it was great to finally meet him in person. We also met his wife Melissa and their two boys, Walter and Bryon. Water even drew me a picture of a jeep, which is downstairs in our jeep, so posting that will have to wait.

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Brendan and Melissa fixed us a nice lunch, which included Brendan’s freshly made bread. We both throughly enjoyed the home cooked meal and greatly appreciated it!

After lunch we headed out to check out Brendan’s CJ-3B project. As we were discussing his recently disassembled transmission, Byron decided to distract my camera person: He’s a bit of a ham 🙂  Many thanks to the entire family for making our visit enjoyable!

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Not too long after we left Brendan’s place, we crossed into New Hampshire. Soon, we stumbled upon the cute town of Conway. As we entered town, a Bavarian Chocolate Shop cast a spell over us,  forcing us to pull over and enter into the shop. We had no choice. Twenty dollars and two pairs of chocolatey hands later, the spell finally lifted.

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The dark chocolate hazelnuts were awesome!

As we drove away from Conway, all hell broke loose.

An enormous gust of wind blew past the jeep. Branches began falling, rain was pouring, and cats and dogs were dropping from the sky. There was thunder. There was lightening. We began to wonder if we’d committed some sin for giving into our chocolate lust . . .

But, no, we later learned the storm was a left over ripple from a storm that hit Oklahoma. Given the enormity of the ripple, I’d hated to have been in the middle of the central splash! Speaking of Oklahoma, Karson’s on his way there with FEMA to help coordinate the relief effort.

After the storm hit in Conway, we drove under and ran over multiple downed power lines. The power was out through the remainder of our drive through New Hampshire and into Vermont. Trees were down, branches covered the road, and rain continued to fall.

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This was along the road. The tree fell onto a building, narrowly missing the house. In other locations, people were cleaning up the mess as we drove by. Unfortunately, most of our pictures of the storm came out blurry.

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This tree landed on this shack.

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More debris.

Speaking of Vermont, passing into it meant I’ve visited all of the ‘lower’ US states. All that’s left is Alaska (ed. note: which I later checked off in 2017).

Once the storm passed, the lack of electricity from New Hampshire through a good chunk of Vermont meant that there wasn’t much to photograph, as there were few places to stop. Fortunately, by the time we reached the capital of Vermont, Montpelier, the clouds had mostly vanished, the sun reappeared, and the electricity returned.

We were pleasantly surprised by Vermont’s quaint Capital. The town’s capital building was welcoming.

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Montpelier hummed with activity as families and individuals toured its streets. We eventually made our way to the local Hungry Mountain Coop, which was a first class treat. Lots of great breads and interesting foods!

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PHOTO CREDIT: Hungry Mountain Coop

After Montpelier, we made our way to Burlington, which was another beautiful city. We plan to explore some before we leave on Monday for Oswego. Here’s a view from our hotel (another great Priceline find at $51).

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That’s the view looking west over Lake Champlain.

On Monday we head to New York State.

<– Day 29 – Fri. June 1: Acadia National Park | Trip Overview | Day 31 – Mon. June 3rd: Through Russia With Love –>

 
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Next Stops

• CATEGORIES: News • TAGS: .

Sunday evening we’ll be traveling to Burlington, VT. From there we’ll be going through the NY Mountains to reach Oswego, NY, monday night. Why Oswego? I am hoping to find out more about the two women who did the around-the-world tour in an FC. They were teachers at the University there.

Tuesday night we’ll land in the Buffalo/North Tonawanda area. If I can get a good price, we’ll stay there a week. We’ll be preparing for the Bantam Festival and our trip home.

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Leaving (A) Hollis Center, ME, in the afternoon. Arrive at (B) Burlington, VT, Sunday evening. Arrive at (C) Oswego, NY, Monday Evening. Arrive at (D) Buffalo, NY, Tuesday evening.

 
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Fri. May 31st: The Breakfast Club and Vintage Wiring

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 27 – Thur. May 30th: A Submarine, A Lighthouse, and Lobsters | Trip Overview | Day 29 – Sat. June 1st: Acadia National Park –>

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Glenn driving his DJ-3A with Ann riding shotgun.

On Friday May 31st Ann and I would drive to Smithfield, Maine, then on to Acadia National Park.

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On Friday we drove from Portland, Maine, to Acadia National Park via Smithfield.

We arrived at Glenn Byron’s house to find Smithfield’s ‘Breakfast Club’ waiting for us. They are a group of vintage car lovers from Maine who join each other for breakfast once a week.

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Sat. June 1st: Acadia National Park

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 28 – Fri. May 31st: The Breakfast Club and Vintage Wiring  | Trip Overview | Day 30 – Sun. June 2nd: State #49 Was Exciting! –>

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Who knew lobsters were such ice cream fans!

Yesterday, Friday May 31st, Ann and I planned to stop by the Acadia National Park Visitors Center before setting up camp for our two night stay in the Park.

Acadia National Park covers about half of Mount Desert Island. As we drove over the bridge and onto the island, I told Ann that I was having difficulty locating the Visitor Center online. But, it wasn’t something I was too worried about, since there are always signs in National Parks to help guide visitors.

However, not this time. In fact, we quickly found ourselves lost. We didn’t know where we were, we lost all cell reception, and our Atlas didn’t help.

We nearly had to resort to asking for directions when a sliver of bandwidth sneaked onto our phone, which allowed us locate the Blackwoods Campground. So, at least we found home. But, where was the visitor center or at least an entrance station? That remained a mystery …

Upon our arrival, we found a sparsely populated campground. We were thankful for that, because the area has more than 300 camping spots! On the downside, there was no cell reception, so my hotspot wouldn’t work to manage eWillys.

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Camp setup complete.

As we relaxed at our camp, we met a couple who was camping near us. Jake and his wife (whose name I cannot recall) were from Maine. When I explained what I did and why we were so far from home, Jake told me his Uncle had a couple of old Willys jeeps in Montana that they’d refurbished. Seems there are Willys everywhere I go!

By the time we finished talking, it was dusk. So, we climbed into our tent and quickly fells asleep.

Saturday June 1st:

When I awoke in the morning, I put on my gray hoodie. In the pocket I discovered a present left by my wife. It was wrapped in tissue and was the shape of two AA batteries side-by-side. I thought, “Oh, what could it be?”

It was pretty light, so I figured it was fragile. I carefully unrolled it from the tissue, but still couldn’t determine what it was. So, I attempted to separate the battery-sized objects. That’s when it dawned on me. It was a pair of tampons. So, it wasn’t a gift for me after all . . .

Minutes later, Ann discovered the cooler had been leaking and the back seat area was damp.  So, we threw most of our stuff into our tent and unzipped all the windows. Thank goodness the weather would be warm and sunny (We’ll be buying a new cooler very soon).

Soon after breakfast, we hit the road for an early morning visit to Bar Harbor.

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Here we are at a downtown park.

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This was taken near the harbor. We enjoyed the seaside town and it’s relaxed flavor.

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Thur. May 30th: A Submarine, A Lighthouse, and Lobsters

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 26 – Wed. May 29th: Exploring Mystic  | Trip Overview | Day 28 – Fri. May 31st: The Breakfast Club and Vintage Wiring –>

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Bob, Ann and I at the Nubble Lighthouse near York, Maine.

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Thursday’s drive from Warwick, Rhode Island, to Portland, Maine.

On Thursday spent some time in Rhode Island, then headed to Maine.

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Downtown Providence, RI

We started in Providence, Rhode Island, walking the Green Mile. Actually, it was more like two and a half miles. The Green Mile is a downtown loop marked by a green line called the Independence Trail that weaves visitors through the cities history as they stroll through the buildings.

Every so often a painted marker on the ground appears with a phone number and an extension. You are told to dial the phone number, enter the extension, and (theoretically) a voice describes the significance of the location. However, due to some winter storm damage (not sure how the winter weather caused problems with the phone system . . .) the system needed updating. So, it didn’t work well for us.

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Wed. May 29th: Exploring Mystic

• CATEGORIES: Features • TAGS: .

<– Day 25 – Tues. May 28th: Some Family History | Trip Overview | Day 27 – Thur. May 30th: A Submarine, A Lighthouse, and Lobsters –>

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Another “if built for a movie, then built for real, people will come” story … Mystic Pizza.

On Wednesday we drove from Darien, Connecticut, to Warwick, Rhode Island.

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Wednesday’s drive from Darien to Warwick.

Wednesday morning we left my cousin-by-marriage George’s place. It was a beautiful day for a drive along the coast.

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We traveled east along the Connecticut shoreline until we stumbled on the town of Mystic. Being young adults of the 1980s, we immediately recognized that it was the town used during the filming of Mystic Pizza, a movie which greatly helped Julia Roberts’ career.

Our first stop was at the Mystic Seaport.

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