Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Maritime Museum; A Good Luck Figurehead; Museum Artifacts; Blessing of the Combines; Hershey, PA; Omega Institute; Herkimer, NY; Bike ‘n Beer! Wine Country; Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; Polygamy????

  When last I posted we were in St. Michaels, Maryland, to take possession of our new-to-us boat. We went on a bike ride there to the Maritime Museum, a Very Cool Place! Not only are there beautiful historic homes (this one was a ship’s captain’s)…

but also a busty figurehead from a sailing ship in the early 20th Century, when political correctness wasn’t an issue. (Ah, for the Good Old Days!) This is Miss Freedom…. she was displayed at the bow of the 88 foot John Alden designed schooner Freedom when she was part of the US Naval Academy’s fleet in the 1930s. Legend has it that the figurehead was removed to save weight during races, and displayed in the Naval Academy Museum for years, and Midshipmen would rub her ample breasts for good luck. Unfortunately, one dumb lad wrote his mother about this tradition, and she wrote to the Naval Academy Superintendent complaining… the Admiral then offered Miss Freedom to the Maritime Museum on indefinite loan so as not to corrupt the young midshipmen (then, all males… Sigh….. “Thanks, Mom!”)

Also, I would be remiss not to show My Lovely Bride and our Loyal Dachshunds Nellie and Rusty on the foredeck of our 2003 trawler, Gratitude

After getting back on the road, we spent one night in a campground in Westover, Maryland, where MLB had a curious encounter with two pieces of ancient history… you can see that she is confused, and wondering what one is to do with these museum artifacts…

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the Blessing of the Fleet in various ports in Europe and the US. I was chagrined to find that we would not be in town for the local land-based version of this event. I suggested to MLB that we change our summer plans and drive back, but alas, was turned down…

So, from Maryland, we motored the bus to Hershey, PA, and while I groused at the unnecessarily insane price of diesel fuel ($6.10/gallon), it was a delightful week long stop. (At least when we were in Hershey, I didn’t have to throw money away at Flying J or Pilot…) Hershey is special because Suzanne’s dad, Bill Smeltzer, was a student at the Milton S. Hershey School for Boys in the 1930s, as was his brother. When their father died, their mom couldn’t afford to raise them, so they went to the Hershey School as orphans. Bill graduated from Hershey High School and worked for Milton Hershey for a few years before getting a job as a railroad engineer, shoveling coal on steam engines. (As a side note, when I knew him, in his 80s and 90s, he still had a grip of steel!) Milton Hershey was an amazing man who gave away his entire fortune to fund the Milton S. Hershey School, which is running strong today, helping kids from around the world. What an example he set for us all!

From Hershey, it was a relatively short drive to Rhinebeck, NY, just off the Hudson River, where Suzanne presented a workshop at the Omega Institute. As always, it was sold out, and what a great group of folks!

We had a delightful dinner with Annie Bond at her lovely home in the woods. Annie is an amazing energy healer who has helped Suzanne on several occasions and been a guest on Suzanne’s podcast. Annie also took us on a fabulous hike on Poet’s Walk near the shore of the Hudson River.

Omega Institute is a Very Cool Place, well organized and in a beautiful setting. Her students loved the workshop, and came from as far away as Pakistan and England!

From Omega, we drove upstate to Herkimer, where we stayed in a campground adjacent to two “diamond” mines. Actually, the stones are clear quartz, but it was fun mining for them for a couple of hours. Here is MLB sluicing…. 

One of the mines had this famous quote attributed to George Orwell, of Animal Farm fame. His words are timeless, as is his book which foresaw where we are headed today…. the other signs read “I support our troops” and “God Bless America”. (Would that every American felt that way…)

I did some mining myself, and presented Suzanne with a decent sized “diamond”….

Our campsite at Herkimer was right on the river, and we enjoyed the scenery with our puppies; they sit in a playpen while we read, and fortunately, the bugs haven’t been too bad.

This photo gives you some idea why we love nature so much… who could not be happy here?

We stayed at a KOA Kampground in Herkimer – it was unusual in that there were a couple of very unusual “Kabins”… this was the neatest, with a huge moose antler rack!

Here is a good shot of our bus; I like it because it was taken from above, and you can see all the equipment on the roof (air conditioners, horns, etc.). “Barb” towers 13′ 4″. The max height allowed on US highways without special permits is 13′ 6″. There have been a few occasions where there was a “pucker factor” with height, but we are getting used to it now…

From Herkimer, we moved on to Hammondsport/Bath, NY. (Our campground claimed both in their name.) The New York Finger Lakes district is known for its wineries. A visit to the nearby Doctor Konstantin Frank Winery was obligatory. The wines were good, but Rusty kept asking for a taste; I told him that at less than two years old, he was too young.

Bath, NY, had some interesting old Victorian houses. This one could use some attention, but we agreed that we didn’t have the energy, time or money to invest in this fixer upper.

Keuka Lake is a big boating area, and a local classic boat show made for a fun stop. Lots of old ’50s and ’60s wood boats brought back some nostalgic memories… for both of us, since Suzanne was stowed under the foredeck on her parents’ wood runabout at the tender age of 2 weeks! No wonder she likes boats!

This woman’s bike with a can of beer in the water bottle holder was a surprise. There are some running events in California where you run from pub to pub and have a beer at each one, but riding a bike while enjoying a beer could be hazardous… of course, in hot weather, one should always stay hydrated, and beer is mostly water, right??? Note to self: next time you research “girls, bikes and beer” on Google, don’t be watching a video of Daytona and Sturgis motorcycle chicks in skimpy outfits when YLB walks by…” Smack!

Our next stop was Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio… to visit our dear friends Mitch and Karen Crawford, and for Suzanne to present her Personal Mediumship course. The Crawfords hosted us at a fabulous Wagyu brisket dinner with their daughter, (the Amazing) Grace, who is just about to start her freshman year at the University of Miami (Ohio). Also, Karen is an amazing cook – her Whoopie Pies and chocolate chip cookies transported me to dessert Nirvana!

Karen and Mitch took us sightseeing around the area. We had never been to central Ohio, and it was a fun visit! Here we are in beautiful surroundings with beautiful friends!

Karen took us biking on a local Bike and Hike Trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park; what a fun ride, lots of shade kept us reasonably cool in the mid-July heat.

A stop at a farmer’s market was great, but Karen’s photo of Our Pack was one of the best we’ve seen. Rusty and Nellie were so happy to have been taken along on an outing with Karen and Mitch!!!

Suzanne’s workshop was well received, and as you can see, she was having as much fun as her students! Thanks also to Karen and Mitch for their hard work at the workshop all weekend!!!

Finally, here is one of the most attention-getting signs I’ve ever seen. We were driving past this in Savona, NY, a quiet little village, when I slammed on the brakes and said, “Holy Cow! I wonder if this is a guy or woman’s sign? Savona must be a swinging place!” MLB replied, “Don’t even go there or get any bright ideas, Ty!” Smack!

Leave a Comment