Tag Archives: new york

Travel Update

Trudeau International Airport-Montreal

The Curator and I dropped off Brazil Lucas at the Montreal airport in the afternoon, then drove south across the Saint Lawrence River and back into the United States. There we met with two good friends from Ogdensburg, NY for dinner.

The following morning we picked up another wonderful friend from Iowa at the Syracuse airport, then had lunch with The Catamount Fan. It was a great lunch, and nice to finally meet Mr Catamount.

Syracuse Train Depot

After visiting the William H. Seward House, I was dropped off at the Syracuse Amtrak Depot for the trip to Saint Paul. I checked my bag for the first time while traveling Amtrak, because I didn’t want to lug it around Chicago’s Union Depot. That worked out great, and the bag was immediately available for pick up once I reached baggage claim.

The route to Chicago saw a 2-1/2 hour delay, which cut into my 4 hour layover in Chicago. Still, I had more than enough time to eat lunch and explore the Depot a bit before boarding my train to Saint Paul.

Wisconsin zipping past

Eventually I will have to board a plane again to get back to Fairbanks, but I wasn’t quite willing to do so just yet. I enjoyed the leisurely pace to the Twin Cities, and met a couple of people on board both trains to keep me entertained for at least part of the journey.


William H. Seward House

The Seward House

Built in 1816 by the future father in law of William Seward, the Seward House is now a museum.

William H. Seward

William Seward was the governor of New York State, a U.S. senator for New York, and probably best known as the U.S. Secretary of State as a member of Abraham Lincoln’s “team of rivals”.

The Seward library

Seward led a fascinating life. He was not a big man in stature, but he was certainly a bold man who dominated the politics of his era.

Leave your sword with the bear at the door.

Seward lost to Lincoln in the presidential election of 1860, but then became Lincoln’s Secretary of State.

Painting depicting the signing of the purchase of the Alaska Territory

We took the tour of the house, led by a volunteer guide. It’s well worth the hour it takes to conclude the tour. The price was $10 with the AAA card.

The House holds a lot of Seward family heirlooms. William Seward took the home over from his father in law, and Seward’s son followed him, and his grandson took over the home from there. William H. Seward III donated the house to the foundation.

The purchase of Alaska is prominently displayed throughout the tour. One member of our party tried to get the woman at the desk to let me look through the photo album in the glass case. She politely declined.

There is a Native Alaskan kayak displayed from the ceiling in the carriage house. The kayak was given to Seward during his visit to Alaska in 1869.

A parlor in the house. Seward passed away while lying on the couch in the picture, although the couch was in another room at the time of his death.

Seward’s office, which is the room the former Secretary of State died in.


The Americas Unite

What happens when the cool winds of Alaska meets up with the tropical breezes of Brazil, and a Yankee Clipper from New York State? I don’t know either, but we are about to find out. See you all in Eastern Canada!

”Now the Four Way Lodge is opened, now the Hunting Winds are loose,

Now the Smokes of Spring go up to clear the brain;

Now the Young Men’s hearts are troubled for the whisper of the Trues;

Now the Red Gods make their medicine again…

We must go, go, go away from here.

On the other side the world we’re overdue…”

—- Rudyard Kipling

Cheers, and by all means, Stay Beautiful!


Rails West

It was time to leave New York, and head west. I had enough of flying for the time being, and decided that a more relaxed ride on Amtrak was in order. It’s possible that the idea backfired a bit. I had received some unwanted news just prior to boarding the train, and nothing allows you to sit & stew quite like a long train ride. Still, the Lake Shore Limited was a nice ride, although much of it overnight and in the dark.

I had to switch trains in Chicago, and spent a decent sized layover in Union Station. It’s a beautiful station, but I spent much of my time below grade. The people watching kept me entertained. A pigeon flew into the food court, which caused one of two reactions: 1) A child would be fascinated by the sudden appearance of the bird, and follow its path from table to table as it searched for dropped food. 2) An adult would spot the pigeon, which caused an immediate expression of horror, which was followed by trying to put as much distance between themselves and the rogue pigeon.

I spotted a teenage boy reading Steinbeck. He never saw nor reacted to the pigeon. He was probably reading “Of Mice and Men” for school, but he was so engrossed in the story, that he kept waving away questions from his siblings, like someone absentmindedly brushing off an annoying fly. It was a good sight to see, and it made my morning.


Milwaukee

I was aboard the Empire Builder leaving Chicago. It’s an easier train to explore, with its two decks and afternoon departure from Union Station. The click-clack of the steel wheels on the rails, and the gentle swing of the train cars had started to do its work. The edge from the night before had dissipated. I played jazz through my headphones all across Wisconsin, which didn’t hurt matters any either. I had joined the dining car as we crossed the Mississippi River, and eventually succumbed to the “Origin Question”. Looking back, I probably should have said, “Minnesota”, when asked where I was from. Instead, I answered “Fairbanks”, and the questions flew from there. It’s quite hard to put that Genie back in the bottle once it is released, although I did make an attempt. Eventually, I warmed up to the questions, as they were genuinely interested in our state, and told a few stories that I had never shared before.


Roscoe, New York


Taughannock Falls


Going on down to Yasgur’s Farm…

Near Bethel, New York:

The Curator and I took a trip over to Woodstock between chasing hockey pucks. The museum at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts was closed on the day we arrived, but that did not keep us from searching out historical markers, and the like.

We found the Yasgur family home. Max Yasgur, a local dairy farmer, leased out one of his fields for the concert. He received plenty of threats for doing so, including calls to “burn him out” and cries to boycott his milk. Yasgur held to his principles, scolding neighbors for charging concert goers for water.

32 musical acts performed in front of over 400,000 people from August 15-18, 1969. Organizers of the festival told Bethel authorities that they expected 50,000 to show up.

The stage was down in the lower left of the above photo, and the entire hillside was filled with spectators.

The museum and art center seem to be first rate, although it was a cursory glance. Even though that was closed, the trip was still a fun drive through the Catskills and music history.


The Jimi Hendrix set list from Woodstock’s final day