Erie PA Road Trip
We decided another "road trip" would be in order and that it should be to the north somewhere. Several ideas came to mind but we settled on Erie PA. Several have asked "Why Erie?" to which we answered, no particular reason other than it's far enough away to be an "adventure" and we've never been there. A few clicks later we settled on some dates and booked a room at a B&B.
If you look at a map you'll see that Erie is way up there in PA's northwest corner, just about as far away as you can get from our southeast PA location. We headed out on a Monday morning, made a couple quick stops along the way, and 6 hours later we arrived in Erie.
Spencer House B&B, Erie PA....
Of course the first thing we did upon our arrival in Erie was check into the Spencer House B&B. The B&B is situated right in the middle of what is referred to as "Millionaires Row" where the wealth of old used to live. Spencer House is one of the few impeccably maintained homes along the row. We were greeted at the door by innkeepers, Joy and Fletcher, who showed us to our room followed by a tour of the home and it's history. In short order, their "cat family" came out to greet us. We're cat people so we really enjoyed meeting the furry members of the household. We were booked into "Mary's Room" which was more than adequate. The B&B was centrally located and provided the home base we needed for our visit to Erie. As usual, we like to capture a few images to share here on our website.....
Presque Isle State Park....
A trip to Erie would not be
complete without visiting Presque Isle State Park. In fact, we
spent one of our two days entirely in the park. I should mention
that we encountered cold windy weather and found ourselves wearing
slacks and jackets.... in JULY!! The lake is 20-25 miles across
to Canada so for all intents and purposes it was like being at an ocean
beach complete with surf and sand. While in the park, we pretty
much drove to every corner of it. We went for a tour boat ride,
saw a couple lighthouses, some floating homes in Horseshoe Pond, walked
some beaches, and just plain settled in to read. We made an
effort two evenings in a row to capture a sunset and, both times, one
failed to materialize. We were not, however, without a bunch of
photo ops so we found plenty to photograph.
Erie Maritime Museum....
of Erie's premiere sights to visit is the Erie Maritime Museum.
The museum is housed in an old Penn Electric facility and, in fact, has
one of their generators there on display. Admission to the museum
includes touring the US Brig Niagara when she's in port which,
unfortunately, she was not during our visit. The museum has a
large number of displays covering the areas naval history at various times. We
were particularly drawn to the USS Lawrence midship section on
display. This section of the ship was fired upon by various types of munitions used back in the day. This VIDEO was available showing the damage ships and crews were subjected to during battle.
Rains forecast for the day seemed to be holding off so we headed over to the Erie Zoo.
The place was mobbed with hardly a parking space to be found. It
turns out we arrived on "Senior Day" where admission was free, talk
about timing! The zoo wasn't the best we've ever been to but it
was worth the visit.
Tom Ridge Environmental Center....
We heard about the Tom Ridge Environmental Center and decided to check it out. Displays highlighted effects on the environment from the ice ages to present day. Included was a tower for a birds eye view of the area.
Vicksburg Inn B&B, Vicksburg PA....
We planned on making another overnight stop on the way home so we booked a one night stay at the Vicksburg Inn B&B. We arrived early afternoon and were greeted by the innkeepers, Peggy and Tony, who took us to our room and gave us the inn's history. Turns out we were the only guests booked for the evening. The inn was a treasure trove of photo ops and, with permission, we went to work capturing details. We found out that Peggy is from Connecticut, as are we, so we did some reminiscing about growing up there. In addition, Tony is a retired machinist and was well aware of Carpenter Technology, the steel mill I retired from. Tony even brought out one of the books Carpenter used to publish about their products circa 1967. Later in the evening, Tony introduced us to his ukulele collection and even entertained us with a few songs. This one night B&B stay turned out to be one of the most enjoyable ever.
Vicksburg Buggy Shop....
While talking with Tony at
the Vicksburg Inn B&B, we heard about a nearby buggy repair shop he
helps out in. Without hesitation we accepted an invite to walk
over there for a tour. Getting there involved going for a short
hike along the Rail to Trail that runs in back of the inn. The
buggy shop tour was, in a word, awesome. While we've seen buggy's
on the road, we've never been close enough to notice the intricate pin
striping that is free hand painted on them. The wood working,
finishes, and "tires" that go into the wheels was interesting as
well. The Vicksburg Buggy Shop does not have a website so the
owner, Isaac M. Reiff can be reached at (570) 966-3658 if you have any
buggy "Building * Repairing * Restoration" needs.
T&D's Cats Of The World....
Our main purpose for staying in Vicksburg was to catch the 10am guided tour at T&D's Cats Of The World on our way home. Their mission: "T&D’S IS DEDICATED TO PROVIDING A PERMANENT SAFE HAVEN FOR UNWANTED, ABUSED, AND MISTREATED EXOTIC AND WILD ANIMALS."
As the name implies, there were "cats" being provided for
but we were surprised at the variety of other animals being cared
for. Our guide was very informative and answered all of our
questions. The tour lasted about 1-1/2 hours.
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