The Traveling Artist


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Vermont

We woke early to see the mountains furred in white fluffy clouds. No one else in the Trappe Family lodge was awake yet so we tip toes out and went moose hunting, in the car with no gun.

We ate a wonderful Austrian breakfast. Threw on cold wet bathing suits and got in one final soak in the hot hot tub, off to the indoor pool.
And then our one day of pretending we were part of the upper crusty was over. We packed our Roadtrip dusty car with sad faces.
But oh what adventures awaited us! First we went to some brewery that has this beer that everybody wants for some reason. If they just came to Hidden River they would know THATs where the best beer is located. Dori was suppose to wait in line for some friends to get a case of the special Vermont beer. Ha! The line snaked out the door and way, way down the sidewalk. And it hadn’t even opened yet! There was no way we we standing in line with 2 metal knees and a screaming almost 2 year old!
So we left and headed for a tiny gin distillery instead. Is there a theme here? Tom Cat Gin. We had a tasting and a tour, bought 2 beautiful bottles of gin made with honey. Then headed for a mushroom farm. This was very interesting. Just a little place -Peaceful Harvest Mushrooms. Really nice farmer ( ex pharmasudical guy) explained the whole procedure.
Then we headed off to find the best cheese on the whole world. Cellars Jasper Hill. We get there and this really hot guy with intense blue eyes told us it’s not open to the public- you know germs and all. But he directed us into town to buy cheese at Willys. If Willy hadn’t had a help wanted sign we would never have known it was Willys grocery store. Everyone else knew it.
We decided to switch the GPS to no highways and the shortest distance setting. Don’t do this in Vermont ever. Bad idea. It took us dirt roads, lonely horror show roads but when it took us into the dark Forrest on a road so little traveled the dirt was grown over with grass- brave ( or foolish adventurers that we are we pressed my little yellow Mini Cooper on past an ancient cemetery and straight to a huge mud pit. We didn’t think the car we make it through without horses to pull us so we turned around and circled back. We accidentally found the museum of everyday life. Strange and a little interesting. We finally arrived at the Bread and Puppet theater and museum. Soon as we arrived I needed to pee. I saw a sign pointing to the outhouse. Ok I can do outhouse. As I walked deeper and deeper into the Forrest, I started to wonder if this was a trap or a joke. My curiosity kept me going and the Forrest opened into a beautiful field over looking a stunning mountain view and an outhouse. Not just any outhouse but an artsy outhouse. I enjoyed it so much I forgot to take pictures. Oh and the puppets were super amazing! I’m so inspired by them!

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The Great Johnstown Flood

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Tragedy! Why are we drawn to it? Why the morbid curiosity about death and destruction? Perhaps to avoid it ourselves? Sympathy for the victims? Who knows. I usually don’t even try to explain what I do or think, I just do it. Let the thinkers and analysts figure that out. It’ll keep them out of trouble for a while.
The Johnstown flood has fascinated me ever since we stopped here, maybe over 20 years ago. Over 2000 people were drowned and burned here all within 10 minutes! How sad, especially when I found out it was due to the carelessness of the rich bastard’s club that caused it. All those poor people killed all for the idle pleasure of the rich outsiders.
We went to the museum that is housed in a beautiful old library donated by Carnegie after the flood.
It cost $7 with AAA discount, $9 without. The movie alone is worth the admission price. Although my daughter felt it was overpriced.

History of the Building
If the Association will allow me to pay the cost of this restoration, I shall be very grateful to it indeed.” Andrew Carnegie in a November 28, 1889, letter to the Cambria Library Association. The Johnstown Flood Museum is located in a building with an important flood connection – it is the former Cambria Library, built after the flood to replace the earlier library using funds donated by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie was a member of the South Fork Fishing & Hunting Club, which owned the dam that burst on May 31, 1889, causing the flood. He donated the money to build the museum after visiting Johnstown in late 1889 to survey flood damage, but it’s unlikely he felt any personal responsibility for the flood. Instead, the library became one of the very first of more than 2,500 Carnegie libraries in the world today.

The rebuilt library, pictured below, was located on the same site as the old one, at the corner of Washington and Walnut Streets. The Cambria Iron Company donated an adjacent tract of land, where the telegraph office had stood before the flood, to increase the library’s lot. Addison Hutton of Philadelphia, architect for the $55,000 project, built the French Gothic style structure. The foundation of the building consists of 20 massive stone piers of circular section, 5 to 7 feet in diameter. The woodwork throughout the building is select Pennsylvania pine, finished in its natural color. The stairway alcoves on the first floor are laid with white marble tiles, skirted in black marble. The third story features dormers and the building has eight massive chimneys, two on each side.

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