On day 11 we visited two different mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. This was our last leisurely day before hitting the road back to Michigan. The tour guides at the mansions mentioned a few times about the history of the mansions being a part of the gilded age. For sure, the lifestyle of the people that would have owned and lived in these “summer cottages” was in a different world than the one I live in, or most anyone else for that manner.
In Bay City, we have some beautiful homes along Center Avenue and once a year the owners open some of them up for the public to visit and see inside. These homes in Bay City would maybe be suitable servants quarters for the mansions in Newport.
The first mansion we visited was “The Breakers”:
The second home we visited was “Chateau-sur-Mer”:
They were nice to visit and see the extravagant lifestyle that some people in this world actually live in (or used to live in). But as for me, I like my little 1200 square foot single story ranch home with attached two car garage.
On day 10 we first visited Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There is a memorial at the cemetery that lists the name of Thomas Davenport who is my direct ancestor born in about 1615 in England and immigrated to the United States around 1635.
Next stop Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Followed by a short visit to another cemetery, Old Buriel Hill in Plymouth, where Adoniram Judson, a pioneering missionary, is buried.
Then a quick trip up the Cape Cod peninsula, just to say we’ve been there, and then on to Newton, Rhode Island and a visit to the gilded age.
Our second day in Boston found us at places where people with above normal income or above normal IQ’s can be found. Fortunately, no one stopped me to check my IQ and they did accept my credit card for our dinner.
Spent the whole day following the red bricks of the Freedom Trail in Boston. We took the green line subway from near our hotel and got off right at the beginning of the trail on Boston Common. I am just going to show a few of the pictures we took along the way from the Boston Common to Bunker Hill.
On the next leg of our journey we spent 3 nights in Bangor, Maine with two full days of visiting Acadia National Park. Well, almost two full days, minus the time it took to head back on day one to Bangor to have our rear brakes fixed.
On day one in Acadia we did the park loop trail with lots of short stops here and there. Especially nice was the ride up to the top of Mount Cadillac and the stop at Sand Beach.
Day 2 in Acadia was nicer than day 1 for a couple of reasons. The first being that the car felt much better with the new brakes. The second being that we went on the west side of Mount Desert Island (where Acadia National Park is located) which had much less traffic and people. First we hiked to the top of Acadia Mountain.
Then we did another two mile hike on the Ship’s Harbor Trail at the southern shore of Mount Desert Island.
After the hikes and a quick stop to see the Bass Harbor Light Station we ended our day in Bar Harbor checking out the shops and having some lobster rolls.
Sunday morning, upon leaving Bangor, Maine, we first stopped to see the big statue of Paul Bunyan in the downtown area of Bangor. Then we went and worshiped with the folks at Essex Street Free Baptist Church, founded in the 1850’s. This was a very small church currently looking for a Pastor, with very friendly people who made us feel right at home. The church was founded in the 1850’s so it has been around a long time.
Day 3 we spent driving through the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire.
We stopped at a lot of sites and even did about a mile or so stretch of the Appalachian Trail near Hanover. The pictures below are from the trail. Another couple thousand miles and we could have done the whole thing.
Spent the night in North Conway, New Hampshire. On day 4 we went to Mount Washington (the highest peak on the east coast) and rode the Cog Railway train to the top.
The view at the top was spectacular. The Appalachian Trail actually goes to the top of the mountain on it’s way to Maine.
After the trip to Mount Washington we made our way to Maine where we will spend day 5,6 and 7. But before Maine I present a sample of our selfie’s along the way.
Our first anniversary celebration trip is underway. We will be checking off six more states on our quest to stay in all 50 states. The first two days was a lot of driving to get to Vermont via New York. We did stop at Niagara Falls for a bit and stayed overnight in Rochester New York.
Day two was still mainly in New York traveling through the Adirondack Mountains, eventually staying overnight in White River Junction in Vermont. Finally took a good selfie by the Sacandaga River along highway 8 in New York.
A little before getting to Vermont we needed a quick stop to attend to the call of nature. Mary decided to take a picture of my meditation time.
Day 13 – Traveled from Chadron to Yankton, SD. This trip crossed off another state on our list and was also located near Springfield Township in South Dakota which is a location that Hudson Dexter Mead (my great-grandfather) appears on an 1880 census.
Day 14 and 15 – Traveled to Urbandale, Iowa and visited for two days with our niece Amy and her family. We had a great time visiting (except for the rain out of a baseball game), playing some games and going to church with them. Amy gave me a copy of a report she did on my father in which she interviews him about his life growing up. Learned a couple things and also need to verify a couple things, but that is for another day.
Day 16 – Traveled to Illinois for a day to see my brother David and his wife Julie, who is currently recovering from serious shoulder surgery. As always, we enjoyed our stay there and David and I always have some great conversations.
Day 17 – 19 – Traveled to Columbus and visited my daughter and her family. Lot of games, finished a jigsaw puzzle, soccer practices and good food and company.
Day 20 – After 4,728 miles, we make it back home. It is nice to sleep on your own mattress!
P.S. – Once home I received a package from my friend I made in North Dakota, which included copies of “The North Dakota Sheaf” (the “Official paper of the Bishop and District of North Dakota Protestant Episcopal Church”) from the years that my grandfather Frank was a minister in North Dakota (from 1922 to 1928). I will do more later on grandpa Frank as I put together a short biography of his life, as I know it anyhow.
One thing I did learn that I will share now, is that he went to St. John’s College (now a part of the University of Manitoba, go U of M!) for his theological studies. This college is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba which is where he married grandma Muriel. Since Muriel was from Halifax, Nova Scotia, I wonder now if she went to the same college and possible met grandpa Frank there.
Day 12 saw us off to Nebraska. Our first stop was in Kimball Nebraska, where my mother, Gloria Jane Mead, was born on March 12, 1931. Kimball is about 50 miles east of Cheyenne or a couple hours northeast of Denver.
Once in Kimball we were able to take a few pictures of the house where my Grandpa (Hudson Dexter Mead II) and Grandma (Mary Esther) lived when our mom was born. The address was from a 1930 census. They were married in 1927 in Chadron, Nebraska but later moved to Kimball. Sometime before 1936 they moved to Oklahoma where my mom’s brother Hudson Dexter Mead III was born.
We also stopped at the offices of the Western Nebraska Observer, a paper that has been around since 1885. They were kind enough to bring up all the archived editions of the paper for the year 1931 and allowed us to look through them. We found a birth announcement and an announcement of a trip they made to Chadron after the birth. The coolest thing I learned is that my mom was born at home!
Then off to Chadron, with a stop to see Chimney Rock on the way there. Chimney Rock was used as a sign post for the travelers heading across country in the 1800’s.
Once in Chadron, Nebraska, (where I was born) we went house hunting. I had the house number of 601 Ann Street which was listed on my birth certificate, and 259 Chapin Street from the 1920 census listing where Grandpa Mead lived (14 years old) and also just a street, Shelton, from the 1910 census when Grandpa was 4 years old.
I was born in Chadron during the time my dad went to college there, at least for the fall semester in 1951. He went to what was called Chadron State Teachers College, but is now called Chadron State College. They are a division II school (go Eagles!) and they compete in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Just a short post as we headed from Casper Wyoming to Thornton Colorado to start a 4 day visit with my grandson Noah (and his parents!). We took a less traveled route down 487 and 30 to I-80 so that we could take the Happy Jack Road between Laramie and Cheyenne. The road was nice, but the weather wasn’t as it actually snowed about half the drive. At the exit on I-80 (323 in Wyoming) was a nice memorial of Abraham Lincoln, appropriate since this is the Lincoln Highway.