Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘Museums’ category

Biking Lititz in Lancaster County

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

59℉ at 6:00 am with high of 82

Sunday, October 30, 2016

We have enjoyed our neighbors so much. A young couple from Alabama, Page and Jeremy. They were packing up to leave, so we visited some more and said our goodbyes. Then we loaded Martha’s bike to go for a bike ride in Lititz. While waiting for Martha to get ready, I talked with gentleman hooking up a Nissan Titan to his giant trailer. He was in the horse business and used to haul horses all over, driving diesel dually trucks. I said I was worried about my transmission since I downshift so much on big hills, but he said it is a lot harder on the truck if you don’t downshift. Like me, he was worried about it being enough truck to pull the trailer that weighs 7,600 pounds, but he said it does great. He hardly knows the trailer is there, and he loves the engine. He said he measured his gas mileage at 19.5! I don’t measure mine very often, but it’s more like 15. 

We drove through the cute little town of Lititz, where a lot of shops were open on Sunday, and it was pretty busy when we drove in. I thought we were biking in a park, but Martha handed me a piece of paper with 28 turns on it and the mileage between turns – Sheez! We rode right up main street with cars parked on both sides and traffic coming through. A few turns later the route carried us along a pretty stream and past beautiful farms and some very expensive houses. Then it came out on a busy highway with a narrow bike lane. I wasn’t happy. Then through neighborhoods and back down main street. I felt like the Amish driving their buggies – fortunate to have survived. 

Then we drove across the county to the Toy Train Museum, which is very cool. It is built and maintained by toy train enthusiasts. Built like a train station, it seems to be in the middle of farm country. We chatted with the nice lady behind the desk before paying the senior rate with a AAA discount, of $5 each. There were maybe 21 different exhibits or setups, some with small trains and some with large. Pushing buttons, you could activate a train or equipment. A little boy was telling his mom all the details of what was going on in an exhibit. He was so excited. A bent old gentleman was doing the same with his patient wife. The lady at the front said once a year there is a toy train convention. People come from all over the world, bringing the same enthusiasm, trading and buying cars and accessories. 

Next to the museum is a caboose hotel where you can stay in one of a whole bunch of cabooses. What a cool idea. As we drove through to the far end, we heard a train whistle. There is a little train station there, but this train didn’t stop today. It was a sightseeing train with many cars and a lot of people touring Amish country. This would be a great way to see it. 

It was supposed to rain today, but it hadn’t come when we got back. I wanted to go out to the ridge road at sunset and take some pictures, but by the time we showered, the rains came in hard with a lot of wind. We settled in with a glass of wine and listened to one of the Neil Young CD’s I bought from Ken.

Centre D’Interpretation Archéo Topo

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Topo means story. This museum is situated at the ferry that crosses the St. Lawrence to Trois Pistoles, which by the way was named for a silver goblet that was lost in the river. It was worth three pistoles (Spanish gold coins). Walking in we met Martin, a man of French and Innu heritage, who has a great sense of humor. Surprised to have walked into a coffee shop/gift shop, I began looking at a couple of taxidermy displays. I read about the world-class taxidermy collection. Surely there was more than this. After Martin finished joking with me, we paid $5 each and followed him into a movie room. He sat on the table and for a while explained his heritage and the native heritage of the region. Although his English was pretty good, I had a hard time getting everything. Native Americans have been here since the Ice Age began its retreat, but there was no scientific evidence until Louis Gagnon devoted 20 years to researching the area. The museum tells his incredible story and houses many of his findings. It also tells the story of how difficult it was to travel and survive in the area, showing many of the ways plants and animals were used for medicines and foods. It is not a big museum, but we found we just could not absorb it all in one visit.

The next room is filled with incredible taxidermy displays of so many of the animals and fish of Cote-Nord. Brilliantly done!

You can click on any picture to see a larger view and/or to comment. I have never seen a mink, but these little rascals look soooo cute!

Frederick Remington Art Museum

We drove 35 miles to Ogdensburg so Martha could get online and pay bills and we wanted to go to the Remington Art Museum. My bike brakes needed help also. All drives along the St. Lawrence River seem to be scenic byways, and this was certainly a pretty drive, although this area is very dry, and I AM SO TIRED OF HOT!!! Although very pleasant early, it got up to 93 degrees. I can’t imagine what it is back home. Still don’t have WIFI and I have used up most of my phone data for the next seven days, so I can’t really do emails or surf the net. 

We found the public library so I left Martha there and went to Crow Bike Rental and Repair where I met Betsy. Her repair guy was at the warehouse, but she suggested leaving the bike while we go to the museum. then she suggested “The Busy Corner” for lunch and to take the River Walk. What a nice lady! By the time I got back to the library, Martha was ready for lunch. “The Busy Corner” is a great little place where you can’t pay with credit card because that 3% charge is probably a big part of their profit margin. 

The Remington Museum is great. A small museum in a beautiful house, which was donated. Our guide, Frank, gave us a good history about the house as well as Remington and his wife. I love western art and horses, so this is right up my alley. I also love dental laboratory work, so I was fascinated by the technique for casting bronze. The paintings were very cool, and interesting to see that he struggled with colors and mixing colors. His paint kit looked like something you could buy at the Dollar Store. I couldn’t believe they let me take pictures, as most museums don’t allow it. I almost felt guilty about it, so I was just snapping pictures knowing I didn’t have a lot of time. I would love to go back.

Tomorrow being a travel day, we gassed the truck up on the way back to camp and I loaded up while Martha fixed dinner. You can’t carry fruits, fresh vegetables or firewood across the border, so Martha built a fire – despite being about 90 degrees – and cooked potatoes, onions, carrots and pork chops on the fire. 

We ran the air conditioner all night – Sheez!