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Travel Log - Carlisle, Pennsylvania
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Carlisle, PA:  May 17

The "Smells Like A Boat On A Hot Day" Nationals at Carlisle, Pennsylvania where they host many, many car events--their fairgrounds are known for it.

I could probably do a coffee table color photography book on the rooftops of Carlisle.  Spires, turrets, slate, even round porches way aloft with wicker chair under weathervanes.  With an open car you see so much more and I could have gotten a crick in my neck looking upward in Carlisle.  Historic markers are on nearly every corner.  This town is the origin of Molly Pitcher which was probably a real person and evolved into a concept--sort of like Rosie the Riveter.  Molly hauled pitchers of water to soldiers during the Civil War, legend goes, and then took over firing cannons when soldiers fell.  There were probably many Mollies but the original came from Carlisle.

David from the Carlisle Sentinental interviewed me downtown and his hyper busy photo took pictures.  (More about a coincidence later...)

The best way to tell you about the car event here is to do that in photographs and they are on their way to this web site.  Saw a couple of very amazing things that words won't adequately describe--one is Steve and his Bradley and the other is what to do with any leftover 1959 Caddie fins you might have stored out back.

Spent the night at the Ironmaster's Mansion again in Pine Grove Furnace, PA.  You may recall from my visit trek thru Pennsylvania that I stayed here and that it served the Underground Railroad over 100 years ago.  Built in 1826 it is at least 12,000 square feet of old brick building and probably one of my favorite hostels.  This time I met Karl, a lawyer from Philly who was hiking the Appalachian Trail. 

The Trail is over 2,000 miles and runs from Maine to Georgia.  Many people hike it a section at a time.  And it runs right long side the hostel.  So Karl had arrived after days on the trail and his food drop had gone to a place that was closed.  We rounded up groceries, missed a turn--easy to do in the forest out there--and had a good ole spaghetti feed with Shawn, hostel manager and another traveler.  Met Diane at the Mt. Holly grocery store who wanted more info on Seno--I gave her a card and flashed her picture.  You'll see her soon here too.

Anyway, the most unusual thing--Karl and I said YES! we wanted to see the space under the house where slaves were hidden during Railroad times.  Shawn said the first time he went down there his fully charged flashlight went out and he left in a hurry.  Karl had a spelunkers' head lamp and we crawled down the ladder from the secret hiding place near the side hallway.  You can't stand up fully down there and of course, there is no light.  Saw what we could, the passage to another chamber and where, if the tunnel was still operational, it would be.  Remember traveling at night was essential so the tunnel goes out into the woods.  Karl's headlamp immediately started fading so we scurried out.  The whole adventure gave me a sampling of what it must have been like--the family would have lost their home if they had been discovered.  This is not unlike the house in Amsterdan where Anne Frank's family hid for nearly two years.

 

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Pine Grove furnace built in mid 1750's near the hostel. Relaxing at the Ironmaster's Mansion (hostel), Pine Grove Furnace, PA.
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Large "L" shaped brick "mansion". Graceful stairway -- & to the hidden space under the stairs ...
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Karl examining adjoining chamber. Underground RAilroad passage not for hefty people.
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