Fort William Henry, New York

Day 382

Day 382 Fort Henry, NY 3017_Fotor

     The French and Indian War (they were on the same side) was THE First World War, as fighting between Britain, France, and Spain took place in the Caribbean, Philippines, India, Africa, Europe, and North America.

     A minor battle of that war (I guess it was not minor for the 1500 men who died) took place here at Fort William Henry in Upstate New York on Lake George. The Battle is most noted for the resolute but ultimately unsuccessful defense of the Fort on August 9, 1757 by British Lieutenant-Colonel George Munro. He was forced to surrender to the French after a 6 day siege. Upon his retreat from the fort he was attacked by the Mohawk Indian allies of the French who had not been paid by the French as promised. They massacred 185 of Munro’s unarmed troops. 

     If this sounds familiar, it is because you read it in James Fenimore Cooper’s novel The Last of the Mohicans.

     The fort we visited was a replica of the original 1755 fort which was burned to the ground as the French moved on to their next battle in 1757. This is all that remains:

Day 382 Fort Henry, NY 3037_Fotor

Lake George, New York

Day 379

     We visited the Village of Lake George in upstate New York. The village and surrounding area were on the route between the British and French colonies, and were often traversed by military forces during the Colonial wars. The Village of Lake George was incorporated in 1903. Today they were having their annual wine and food festival.

Day 377 Lake George, NY 2986_Fotor

     For a modest admission, you got unlimited tastings from the 40 or so vineyards represented. Barbara took full advantage.

 Day 377 Lake George, NY 2990_Fotor

     Barbara, can you hear me?    BARBARA, CAN YOU HEAR ME?       Oh well!


Technical Stuff: Scranton, Pa. to Queensbury, N.Y. 229.4 miles

5 hours 48 minutes

11.5 MPG

Diesel: $2.05


Scranton, Pennsylvania

Day 376

     Scranton, Pennsylvania is the geographic and cultural center of the largest of the former anthracite coal mining communities in Pennsylvania. Scranton was incorporated on February 14, 1856, as a borough and as a city on April 23, 1866. The borough and city were named for the family of George Whitfield Scranton, born May 11, 1811, one of the leaders of coal mining in this area.

     We visited the Anthracite Coal Museum, located over a coal mine in Scranton. What is the difference between anthracite coal and bituminous coal you ask? Anthracite is a harder coal and therefore burns hotter, longer, and cleaner. This fuel powered the railroad locomotives, steam engines and iron furnaces that started the America’s industrial revolution.  98% of anthracite coal found in the United States is located here in Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

     In the gift shop was a piece of coal, about the size of your fist, that was selling for $35.00. I think my father paid that amount for a ton of coal delivered to our house, which was heated by coal, in east Baltimore during the 50’s. 

Motoring America

Day 375

     We are continuing our travels. I am glad so many of you were able to come visit with us and tour The Sphinx.

     If you are only getting this blog through Facebook, you can make life easier for yourself, assuming you want to read this blog, by e-mailing me at Just say “Hi Steven”. I will then send you a link to wordpress, where I host my blog, so that you can receive an e-mail each time I post, then you can view my post, or not. DO NOT SIGN UP FOR AN ACCOUNT, OR SET UP A PASSWORD. Go to the bottom of the link I send you and click on “subscribe by e-mail only”. That way you will receive no junk advertisement.

     I know I am confusing people with my day numbering at the beginning of each day’s blog. Day 1 was February 23, 2016, the first night we spent in The Sphinx on the road (although we began living in the Sphinx on January 21, 2016). Each day on the road thereafter is consecutive. When we return to our home in Maryland we do not count the days there, even though we still live in the Sphinx. 

     Therefore, Day 374 was when we left Virginia, today is 375, even though we spent 3 weeks in Maryland. Got it?

     We do not intend to return to Maryland for 6 months, probably middle or end of December. Then, only as long as my wife forces me to (she is sentimental about family and the holiday. Me, that is why we have Skype, FaceTime, and Find a Friend). 

     Thank you for your time following my blog. Please feel free to leave comments in the section below. Remember to check the box to notify you when I respond to your comment. 

     These are the State we have been during the previous 375 days:

Day 374 Home, Md 2979_Fotor

Technical Stuff: Fallston, Maryland to Scranton, Pa: 204.2 miles

4 hours 30 minutes

10.4 MPG

Diesel: $2.02


Home, again

Day 374

     Back home for routine maintenance on Truck and The Sphinx. While we are having that done, going to a wedding (another good man bites the dust), and a week at Ocean City, Maryland. Hope to be back on the road in 2 weeks. 

Technical Stuff: Ashland, Va to Fallston, Md. 175.4 miles

4 hours and 55 minutes (numerous backups, I am surprised I got such good milage)

10.9 MPG

Diesel: $2.22


Maymont, Richmond, Virginia

Day 373

Day 373 Maymont, VA 2915_Fotor

     James Henry Dooley, the son of wealthy Irish immigrants, was born January 17, 1841. On May 5, 1862, during the Civil War, he was wounded at the Battle of Williamsburg, captured and confined in prison for a short time. Upon his release he worked in the Confederate Ordnance Department in Richmond.

     After the War, Dooley further increased his fortune by speculating in real estate and becoming involved in railroads, steel and banking.

     To show off his wealth, in 1893 he and his wife Sallie built their elaborate Gilded Age estate on a site high above the James River in Richmond, Virginia, and called it Maymont. This 100-acre Victorian estate contains not only the mansion, but gardens, water falls, animals, and furniture from all over the world. 

Day 373 Maymont, VA 2897_Fotor

From gilded wall paper Day 373 Maymont, VA 2903_FotorTo opulent furniture

Day 373 Maymont, VA 2902_Fotor

Even their archways had stained glass Day 373 Maymont, VA 2908_Fotor

And of course, a comfortable bed Day 373 Maymont, VA 2911_Fotor

     Throughout my travels, I have seen hundreds of lily pads, but no frogs on them. I am wondering if this is a myth. 

Day 373 Maymont, VA 2891_Fotor

Petersburg, Virginia

Day 372

     So, where was Robert E. Lee’s last major battle before he surrendered at Appomattox Court House? I thought it was Richmond, Virginia (based on the phrase “like Grant took Richmond”), but I was mistaken. 

     Grant began his march from Washington, DC with the intention to take the Capital of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia. He fought many battles on the way, in which Lee continued to outflank him (as stated in previous posts). Because of no decisive victories, and suffering some defeats, Grant decides to attack Petersburg, Virginia, as that is the hub of the Confederacy’s supply and transportation lines. The thought was cut off Lee’s supplies, and Richmond falls.  It was not as easy as he thought. The siege of Petersburg took him 9 months.

     Finally on April 2, 1865, Grant breaks through the confederate line at what is now called the Breakthrough Battlefield. We hiked this battlefield today, about 2 miles. Once Grant broke through, he was able to cut off all the supplies to Lee. Lee telegraphed Jefferson Davis in Richmond and told him to evacuate. Lee himself retreated, hoping to make it to North Carolina to meet up with General Joseph E. Johnson (see Day 249). 

     After the breakthrough, Grant pushed on after Lee, finally trapping him at Appomattox seven days later, where Lee surrendered. 

     When a portion of Grant’s army entered Richmond, there was no troops or government there. 

     l learn something new every day.