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Author Topic: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England  (Read 13642 times)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« on: September 03, 2015, 11:07:29 PM »
Day 1          September 1, 2015      Custer, SD

Dean, Sherlock the Cat, and I have been off the road for two years, and this first week we have spent re-learning the RV routine.  We had only 2 weeks to prepare, as we expected Dean to have shoulder replacement surgery (brought on by him trying to be a weightlifter and hoisting a huge roll of carpet over his head to put it on a shelf in the garage).  It turned out that his tendons and bicep muscles are too shredded for surgery--years of over-doing.  Physical therapy was recommended, but he is too strong, even with the torn tendons and bicep.  He surpasses the exit criteria for PT.  So, he said, "Let's get going!"  Shock! 

We just got our Internet up today so I can start my log, and we are now enjoying our first scenic attractions. 

Our park is an easy 40-minute drive to Mt. Rushmore.  Last time we were here, it was snowing and Dean was on crutches.  This time, it was a beautiful low 80's day with a slight breeze.  Parking was  $12.  The NPS formed a partnership with a private company to get a loan to build the shady 3-story garage, which will soon be paid off, and the fees repaid (with huge interest, I'm sure) the loan.  Admission was free.

At the entrance, you can rent an audio tour, but we passed and don't feel it could have added much.  We saw the same information in 2 or 3 different places.  We entered through the Avenue of Flags which represent all 50 states and their date of admission. (Pic 1/5352)

We were awed by the presidents' carvings at the end of the Avenue of Flags.  I thought Borglum did an especially spectacular job on the eyes and expressions.  Eyes are so difficult that on many sculptures they leave them blank. (Pic 2/5363)  Words can't describe the sculpting adequately--you have to go see it.

Our first stop was the Visitor Center.  We enjoyed the 15-minute excellent movie describing each presidents' virtues and the carving of Mt. Rushmore.  They had attractive, informative exhibits.

There is a nightly summer ranger-led Evening Lighting Ceremony, but we chose to go elsewhere.  I had planned to go to the Heritage Village, and I forgot.  They recommend 10-30 minutes.  I'm going to make checklists in the future to make sure we don't miss anything.

I learned so much today, and I thought I knew a lot about these presidents.  I learned that Jefferson was a redhead.  Washington had a long nose--his is 21' long, and all the others are 20'.  Lincoln only had a beard during his presidency, and then, it was usually short, as depicted on the mountain.  A South Dakota historian was the first to suggest carving the mountain to lure tourists to South Dakota.

Of course, erosion is a concern.    Each year the NPS works on preventing water from accumulating in the cracks, expanding during the winter,  and crumbling the portraits.  They put a special oil in the cracks, and the NPS has put in a monitoring system on the 21 most critical ones. 

The NPS studied methods of treating cracks.  They fit the crack with foam backing rods and then use caulking guns to inject silicon sealant into the crack.  Then they sprinkle a little granite dust on the sealant so it blends with the rest of the mountain.

Timing our trip to Crazy Horse Monument was a challenge, and we did it close to perfect (for us).  Admission was $11 each and included everything except dinner.  We arrived at the monument just in time for the 5:30 talk and hoop dancing.  The 21-year-old woman gave us a little history, vocabulary, and an audience-participation demonstration on how to use hoops to make symbolic figures.  Her finale was a dance, starting with one hoop and building to 21 hoops, using her feet to fetch the additional hoops.  She used oval hoops to fashion a tail (?) or a snake (?)  She says we need to use our imagination to interpret the dance, but I'd like to see the true story of what we were seeing. (Pics 3 & 4/5397 & 5396.)

We ate at their Dancing Waters Restaurant adjacent to the demo.  I had a very good Native American taco (translation "Indian taco.")  Dean had a good burger.  I heard that their buffalo stew (tanaka) was excellent, also.  They offered extra sour cream, salsa, and free drink refills.  Prices were reasonable (taco was $10.29).  Service was outstanding!

The museum had excellent exhibits.  What fascinated me most were the smaller sculptures that the Polish artist, Korczak Ziolkowski, did as prototypes.  I didn't get a chance to go through their lovely gift shop, and if I were to do it again, I definitely would allow more time for that.

At 8:30, you can view the laser light show either from the parking lot or the patio where we saw the dancers.  The parking lot is the preferred spot.  We tried to get photos, but it's kind of like photographing fireworks in motion.

I heard disturbing stories of how they used their profits last time we were here.  They are funding an Indian University & Medical School (eventually), which now offers classes but not a 4-year bachelors and scholarships to outside universities.  Of course, they have maintenance of the beautiful cultural center and restaurant and parking lots, and they fund the carving.  I learned that they work on the Crazy Horse Monument Monday through Friday, weather permitting, 52 weeks a year.  However, the CHM wasn't noticeably more complete than when were here a few years ago. 

I didn't realize the magnitude of the project.  The head of Crazy Horse is bigger than all of Mount Rushmore. (Picture 5/5371) When Korczak's son, Adam, was a teenager, he was driving the bulldozer.  His brakes failed, and it sent over the side.  His dad saw he was okay, then told him, "You got it down there.  Now you get it back up here."  He had 10 children, and 7 are still involved with the monument.  It's their passion.   It will take another 2-3 generations to complete the monument.  They haven't even started the horse yet, but they have drawn it. (Pic 7/5373)   The original artist's  children and grandchildren are working on the monument now.  His wife, who is in her 90's still works on the board and speaks to raise money.

Staying at Broken Arrow Campground--$40, has everything, including stables for your traveling horse.  Very nice hosts.  Level, pride-of-ownership campground.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Ken & Sheila

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2015, 10:32:20 PM »
Great to see you on the road again. Have fun.
ken
Ken & Sheila
2009 Monaco Camelot 42 PDQ
2008 Jeep Liberty, 2006 Saturn Vue
Fur-ball kids: Ariel and Mia

Betty Brewer

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2015, 11:04:24 PM »
Watching  for your  next  entry!
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2015, 12:00:46 AM »
Days 2 & 3      September 2 & 3, 2015      Interior, SD

We traveled on Sept. 2, ending with Indian tacos at the KOA for $7.50 each.

On Sept. 3, we set off for the Badlands NP early.  I had such pleasant memories, and again it didn't disappoint.  We stopped at the Cedar Pass Lodge and Restaurant thinking it was the VC, which was a short distance further.  I'm glad we did because we discovered their restaurant had Sioux (Indian) tacos that we decided to try for dinner.

The Badlands were amazing from beginning to end.  We started at the Visitors' Center learning about how the Badlands were formed, the flora and fauna.  The NPS had a good 15-minute film and great displays with explanations.  The rangers were very busy with hikers, and so I still have questions.  The exhibits described the various layers (Pictures 1,2,3,4/5458/5466/5492/5476) as they arose from the inland sea.  There were such bright colors, especially the yellow.  (Pic. 5/5480)  There is a 30 foot layer of volcanic dust from the west.  When I asked the ranger if these were the volcanoes as far west as Washington and Oregon, she said that it was the volcanoes that formed the Rockies.  Rangers always know far more than me, but I thought the Rockies were thrust mountains.

We were amazed at how much short very green grass we saw (Pic 6/5487).  In the distance, we saw several single buffaloes or pairs, rather than a big herd, up on steep green mesas, which made us wonder, "How did they get up there?" They had sheer drop-offs on the sides we could see.  The back side must have a less arduous trail.

Dean and I watched the raptors riding the thermals.  He claimed they were hawks, and I thought they were turkey vultures, when out of my window, what do I see?  A real turkey!  He was pretty, and Dean zipped out with his camera and got a great shot of him as he turned to look at Dean. (Picture 7/5472)

A little further on, there was a signed prairie dog town.  People continuously got closer and closer to one mound, not using good judgment.  Dean chose a different mound,  kept his distance, and had a conversation with this prairie dog who barked at him (Pic 8/5455).

We have seen beautiful sunflowers everywhere, but isn't Kansas the sunflower state?  It turns out that farmers in South Dakota are growing sunflowers for their oil, and the seeds are dispersed by the wind, supplanting the native wildflowers.  They are bright yellow, and pretty nonetheless (Pic 9/5428).

We returned to the Cedar Pass Restaurant, and I had the best "Indian" taco ever ($9.50).  Real Sioux make the dough from their grandmother's recipe.  Service was great, too!

Staying at Badlands KOA--$93.60/2 days  Very nice, spacious gravel pads, shaded, nice hosts

Sorry it's taking us so long to post.  We've forgotten how to do the pictures, and it's coming back gradually, but only with lots of time spent when we mistakenly delete things.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2015, 12:06:34 AM »
Pictures continued
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2015, 12:59:11 AM »
Day 5      September 5, 2015         Council Bluffs, Iowa

We made the 4-hour drive to Council Bluffs.  Finding the RV registration and parking was an hour-long process.  Only Caesar's could make it such an ordeal.  The registration should be at the parking area.  It isn't.  Getting to the park from the registration area is a convoluted process.  Dean was shown a map on the wall, but they don't have any maps to give out.  We ate at their crab leg buffet ($27 each).  The crab legs were delicious, but the overall buffet was very average.

Staying at Horseshoe Casino--$30/ FHU except sewer (dump station).

Day 6      September 6, 2015         Council Bluffs, Iowa

Today was a dud.  I should have known that the 90+ weather would put all the animals into the shade and we wouldn't see them, but the Desoto National Wildlife Refuge would be a diamond in the migration seasons.  It has everything, including beautiful photography of all the animals we didn't see. 

Desoto is located right on the "Big Muddy," the Missouri River.  The visitor center was amazing.  There were hall after hall of beautiful displays with great explanations and history of a steamboat that ran aground.  There was a great 15-minute about the history of Desoto, which was very interesting and educational.  We looked out the observation window and saw a beautiful red-headed woodpecker and lots of cliff swallows, and I think, nuthatches.  The trails were handicapped-friendly, and the auto tour was well-designed.  But, the only live wildlife we saw away from the VC was a group of turkeys crossing the road.   Sorry, but they were quicker than my cameraman/chauffeur (Dean).

Staying at Horseshoe Casino--$30/ FHU except sewer (dump station).
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Betty Brewer

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2015, 11:00:14 AM »
Linda,
I am thrilled that you are back on the road.  Your narrative and photos make me feel like I  am there!  I  got a chuckle about  your cameraman/chauffeur and not being fast enough with camera.  I am not the driver and  I still miss shots .  The other day we stopped on he highway to let 3 small deer pass in front of us (a good and  quick decision on part of driver) and  I did not get one shot of the  " parade"  Guess I  was still watching for more deer to appear from the bushes on side of  road.

Loving the time you spend on photos and journal.
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Tom and Margi

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2015, 12:11:02 PM »
Linda - I, too, am so happy you are back on the road and sharing your adventures with us.  I look forward to reading each and every one of your posts.  Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

Margi

ArdraF

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2015, 02:50:57 PM »
Me Three!  It's great that you're back to traveling and I always enjoy your travel adventures, Linda.  I'm with Betty - always wondering why I didn't get "that" photo.  Have a great trip!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2015, 11:16:53 PM »
We've been having a great time in the trees, but no satellite reception.  Why is it that when we can't use our satellite, the park has either poor or no WIFI, and when our satellite is working great, the park has great WIFI?  Anyway, here is the first of our catch-up posts.

Day 4      September 4, 2015         Pierre, SD

We had an easy 3-hour drive to Pierre.  We unhooked the Jeep and scurried about 5 minutes to the capitol,  (Pic 1/5521) which is open until 7:00 until Labor Day.  However, since we had lost another hour by crossing a time zone, it was late (about 4:00) by the time we got there.  We could see the copper dome from afar, but it is oxidized.  We didn't have to go through any metal detectors or security, which is unusual. 

At the gift store,  the volunteer gave us lots of information.  We were impressed by the horsehair pottery (Pic. 2/5522)    They used horsehair in place of the straw that we mix with the adobe in the Southwest, but they fired the clay first at a high temperature to give the vessel strength.  Then it is fired a second time to just below red hot and the horse hair is gently laid on in strands.  The heat from the piece causes the hair to curl around it as it leaves a black carbon trail.  Although it is shiny, it is not glazed and is very porous, so you need to put a liner in it if you want to use it as a vase.  It is fabled to have come from ancient Indian tribes that wanted to preserve the spirit of their horses.  Unique!

South Dakota is very poor and ranks 50th in U. S. teacher pay, $32,000.  They pay everyone very little, so they have instituted a program for lawyers.  If a newly-admitted to the Bar lawyer will come work for the state for 5 years in a place they assign (usually an Indian reservation), they will pay all of their law school costs.  Currently, on the reservations, you don't have to have a law school degree or have passed the bar to be an attorney or judge.  They are trying to get similar incentive programs for doctors and teachers to get more qualified people.

South Dakota had a "Wild West" beginning as the Dakota Territory, in partnership with North Dakota.  When they were admitted as a state in 1889, they needed a capitol.  Pierre was the geographical center, but Huron was a population center and said that Pierre, being so far out west, would never be populated.  Being capitol would be a big economic boom.  When the vote was taken, Pierre won.  A year later, it was up for the vote again.  This time both sides bought drinks for voters, paid off their gambling debts, gave bribes, and gave away city lots. Pierre won.  In 1904, they decided to vote AGAIN.  This time the Chicago and Northwestern Railway wanted Pierre, and the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway wanted Mitchell.  Both companies offered free rail passes to their cities.  Over a thousand people a day rode to Pierre.  And, again Pierre won.  And, at that point they began building!

The capitol is very utilitarian.  It is made of marble and cost about $1,000,000.  A Grand Staircase has hand-laid terrazzo floor tiles that were individually laid by Italian artisans. They have all of their symbolic murals in the rotunda, and the halls are generally quite plain, though some have oil paintings.  I liked their original water fountains with solid brass spigots and handles.  Originally, flowing water was not available, but a brass cup and bowl of fresh water was provided each day.  As running water became available, brass fixtures were added.  All the lamps all original or facsimiles of the originals and have been changed from gas to electric.  They did an extensive 10-year restoration in 1980, and they have restored it to the original as best they know it.  Just last year, they had all of the stained glass that's on the inside of the capitol dome removed, cleaned, and re-inserted.  This process took one entire year.

The assistant city clerk heard us talking about how and if we could enter the chambers of the State Supreme Court, and she showed up with keys.  She was fascinating, loves her job, is proud of her capitol, and really gave us a feel for the state and its problems.  We read in the guidebook that since 9-11 tourists can't go in the Supreme Court chambers.  (Picture 3/5523)  Sometimes we get lucky.   The S. C. justices hear every appeal that is made to them.  The most recent profiled a huge problem in SD, the  perceived discrimination and disrespect of Native Americans by the rest of the population.   A man was drinking beer at a stadium.  When he cheered excitedly at a play, some of his beer sloshed on two Native American children in the row in front of him.  Their chaperone claimed that the man had poured beer on the children and made racial statements.  The children testified that it was an accident and the man said no such thing, so he was acquitted.  They are very proud of the painting, "Mercy of the Law," hanging behind their chairs.  There are 5 justices, but only 4 chairs, because one of the justices was paralyzed in a diving accident and uses a wheelchair.

The third floor is the Legislative Floor.  They meet for two months, starting in the second week of January.  The House has 70 representatives.  They list the names of the counties they represent on their nameplates.  (Pic 4/5525) There are 53 Republicans and 17 Democrats. There are 18 women representatives.  The carpeting has been restored to an exact duplicate of what was installed in 1910, and all of the oak wainscoting and the oak desks have been stripped and refinished to new condition.  They still use the original offices and chambers today. 

The Senate has 35 representatives. (Pic 5/5529), 27 Republicans and 8 Democrats.  There are 6 women senators.  They have never had a woman governor.

The state seal is woven into the carpet at the entrance to the legislative chambers (Pic 6/5528).  It is self-explanatory.  In 1889 they entered the Union.  The state motto is "Under God the People Rule."  The pictures shows the importance of the hills, a river with a boat, a farmer, a mine, and cattle.

We didn't get a tour because the volunteer guides all took the holiday weekend off, so we were really fortunate to get some additional information from the clerk.  We learned more after we left from the Internet and guidebook.

The  nearby Cultural Heritage Center was chock full of interesting displays and information.  It was modern and clean.  Obviously, it had been designed and signed by a very talented historian.  Admission was $6, and we only had one hour to spend there.  Our receipt would have been good for admission tomorrow, but we didn't want to overstay at Walmart.

Staying at Pierre's Wal-Mart because all the campgrounds were full (Labor Day weekend).  They were very welcoming!  We shopped and bought nice, fresh produce.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2015, 11:18:23 PM »
2 more photos 
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

  • ---
  • Posts: 1195
Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2015, 11:22:39 PM »
Day 6      September 6, 2015         Council Bluffs, Iowa

Today was a dud.  I should have known that the 90+ weather would put all the animals into the shade and we wouldn't see them, but the Desoto National Wildlife Refuge would be a diamond in the migration seasons.  It has everything, including beautiful photography of what we didn't see. 

Desoto is located right on the "Big Muddy," the Missouri River.  The visitor center was amazing.  There were hall after hall of beautiful displays with great explanations.  There was a great 15-minute about the history of Desoto, which was very interesting and educational.  We looked out the observation window and saw a beautiful red-headed woodpecker and lots of cliff swallows, and I think, nuthatches.  The trails were handicapped-friendly, and the auto tour was well-designed.  But, the only live wildlife we saw away from the VC was a group of turkeys crossing the road.   Sorry, but they were quicker than my cameraman/chauffeur (Dean).

Staying at Horseshoe Casino--$30/ FHU except sewer (dump station).

Day 7      September 7, 2015         West Des Moines, IA

We went into the casino for dinner last night and heard stories of golf-ball sized hail, lightning and thunder just a few miles away.  Fortunately, we saw a nice lightning show, and there was some rain, but not the downpour we'd heard about.  And, our coach didn't get dimpled!

The temperature decreased to 87 today, a nice change in the right direction.  Unfortunately, as the temp went down, the humidity went up even higher.  This whole trip has been hot and humid, and of course, our AC went out on the 4th day on the road.  Dean says we will have to replace the unit, and we hope to do that in Des Moines.

The trip from Council Bluffs was easy.  When we asked the Iowans about traffic on Labor Day, they said, "No problem, especially on the interstate."  If only our interstate (405) and (5) and (605) highways were half as clear,  we'd be ecstatic.  W

We went to a movie since all the other attractions we wanted to see were closed.  Their Cinemark 20 has Senior Mondays, and we only paid $6.15,  We saw "No Escape," a good movie.  As we entered our campground, a cute fawn bounced across the grass in front of us.  I've seen many deer, but never one who bounded with joy.

Staying at Walnut Woods State Park--$17, FHU, wooded, so we have no satellite reception, therefore, no internet or TV.  Dean had to dodge trees and took several realignments to get just perfect, which you have to be, but it's so worth it.  We LOVE our campground!  It is the first place to get Sherlock's seal of approval.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2015, 01:26:22 AM »
Day 8      September 8, 2015      West Des Moines, IA

How can this RV park be so full of nature, and yet so close to everything? 

Today we made a 15-minute drive to the Capitol. (Picture 1/5638).  The Capitol front is being remodeled and is covered with scaffolding.  My picture is from a postcard.

We had an amazing guide, Lisa.  In visiting lots of capitols, we have noticed that every state wants to be the ----est (superlative).  Des Moines has the largest gold dome in the United States, and it sparkles from a distance as you approach.  They used 23.5 K gold-leaf on it.  They have re-applied this gold leaf 5 times.  It takes 2 years and is very thin.  All the gold they used in reapplying gold leaf was the size of a baseball and cost $500,000. 

The bundles of wheat below the inner dome are also gold-leaf, as are all of the gold-colored things we saw in the Capitol, except the chandeliers, which are brass.  Many capitols, including Pierre and Des Moines, have worked very hard to restore their capitols back to the original, using hiatorical pictures and drawings.  Des Moines has 2 full-time architectural painters working year-round.  Part of the lottery profits is dedicated to continuing restoration.

The inner dome (Pictures 2, 3 & 4/5534/5535/5561) has a painting of a medal bestowed on Civil War veterans.  The man who was governor at the time liked the medal and ordered it painted on the inner dome.  Privilege of power?

In 1846 the capitol was at Iowa City.  It was moved to Des Moines because it was more centrally located at the convergence of the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers.  There were no stories of bribes, etc., as in South Dakota.  Should they build it on the east or west side of the river?  People on the east side said they would donate the land, build the capitol for free, and rent it for $1/year.  But, they built a bare bones 3-story office building type structure with a dome.  So, the legislature built the new capitol at a cost of $2.8 million between 1871-1886.  Most of the work was done by day laborers.  They still use the same building today, except for the Supreme Court, which moved out in 2003.

The capitol is an all-brick building, but you never see any bricks.  They added limestone in some places, plaster, sandstone, marble, carved wood, and lots of scaliolla  (a special man-made marble that they could put ventilation tubes in).  All of the art is hand-stenciled in 14-15 layers.

In 1904, a worker was working inside a wall of the capitol, which was very dark.  So, he used a candle, and he accidentally set the House of Representatives on fire. The wall acted much like a chimney. Because the capitol was made of brick, they believed it was fireproof, so there were no fire hydrants.   A building engineer suggested that they should shut off the area and deprive the fire of oxygen.  And it worked!  However, after the fire was out, he slipped off a beam when he was checking the area above the governor's office.  He was the only fatality of the fire.

We next saw a large model of a battleship with teak decks. (Pic 5/5540) They are very proud of the USS IOWA and the Iowa-class battleships.  It is now a tourist attraction in San Pedro, CA.  It was used in WWII through the Gulf War,  FDR used it like Air Force 1.  It can shoot shells 26 miles away.  If they fire all the guns at once, it would require 52 tons of ammunition.  No one can be on the top deck when they fire the big guns because the whole ship suffers kickback of 25-30 feet!

This big round object is a radiator with a piece of the fake marble on its top. (Picture 6/5540 ) This heating system is still in use today.  When the legislature is in session, usually from January to May, the guides have to wear suits.  As winter turns to spring, they may have a hot spell.  But the radiators still go full speed ahead.  They can't turn the radiators off until they are sure they've had the last freeze of the year, so sometimes they sweat a lot!

Originally, there were 5 Supreme Court justices.  Their courtroom (Pic 7/5541) is really awe-inspiring.  It has a majestic chandelier.  We sat in chairs that date back to 1886.  In the early days, the justices came in for one week per month.  Their offices were in back and had Murphy beds.  They heard no witnesses,  They just used precedent and referred to their law books.  The wooden "bench" front is from one tree from the Dominican Republic.  It is truly beautiful.   All the wood throughout the capitol is native to Iowa, except the Supreme Court bench face.

The superintendent of construction, Mr. Finkbein, hired one master carver to carve the benchfront.  When he saw the carver, he said, "I wanted a man, and I got a boy."  He was 20, but his work was so fine that Finkbein kept him.  When the court was expanded to 9 justices,  he was hired to expand the bench by putting 2 more panels on each end, and he was 60 years old then.  The superintendent was very persnickety.  The pillars that were to hold up the inner dome were 1/16" too small, so he send them back.

In 2003, they moved into their own new building.  We saw pictures of it, and I thought it looked very plain and sterile.  Justices are appointed and then confirmed by the electorate at the next election cycle.  Now this room is used by the majority party of the House of Representatives for caucuses.  Committees also use it.

As we came to the main staircase, we saw 2 statues (Pic 8/5542).  The architect of the capitol, Alfred Pinknard, also designed the capitol of Illinois.  He had included these two statues at the base of the staircase, but Illinois rejected these because they said they were too risque'.  He offered them to Iowa, and they liked them.  They like to think of themselves as being more open-minded.

The walls of the rotunda have very expensive glass mosaics that were made in Italy.  (Pic 9-14/ 5545-5550).  They look like paintings from afar, but they are made of tiny glass tiles.  They symbolize the 3 branches of government, defense, charities, and education.  The feet of one seem to turn as you walk by it, and another one's eyes follow you as you walk by.  They also have a magnificent westward movement painting (Pic 15/5544) with pioneers' faces hidden in the cornstalks.

The law library was magnificent.  It is 5 stories tall!  (Pic 16/5552) They used a dumbwaiter to transport the books. (Pic 17/5553)  The chandelier is an original (Pic 18/5554).  I felt that it was a very special place.

There are two houses in the legislative branch.  The House has 100 members.  They have no offices at the Capitol, except the leadership.  Each member has his own desk, and his aide uses the top of the file cabinet next to him/her as a desk.  (Pic. 19 & 20/5556-7).  There is no kneehole, so it has to be uncomfortable.  Aides only get paid when the legislature is in session.  University students carried the desks out in the fire, and they are still in use today.  Bills originate in the House, and the Senate must ratify them in the same form.  The governor then signs or vetoes.  A 2/3 vote in both houses is necessary to overturn the veto.

Women are not well-represented.  There has never been a woman governor.  27/100 representatives are women, and 7/50 senators are women.  This year, Iowa has their first female at the national level; she was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives.

The Senate is very similar to the House.   It does have its original chandelier, and is a little fancier.

When we came back to our RV, Dean stopped at the hosts' trailer, and I got to watch a marmot enjoying a walnut snack just about 5 feet from the Jeep.  Squirrels with bushy red tails abound and love the walnuts. 

Staying at Walnut Woods State Park.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2015, 01:29:23 AM »
More pictures
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
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2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2015, 01:34:35 AM »
More pictures (I liked this capitol a lot--so much I'm going to do a short write-up on Tripadvisor!)
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
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2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2015, 10:15:56 PM »
Day 9      September 9, 2015      Amana, Iowa

We set out early because the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge was on the way to Amana, and they had big rig parking.  Their visitors' center has a world-class set of wildlife exhibits.  The center itself is architecturally beautiful and overlooks a tall grass prairie.  There are many observation areas, but it was unseasonably hot so animals weren't out and about.  The creator of their exhibits created an inventive, multi-sensory series of models of about 15 prairie animals. (Pic. 1, 2, 3/5564, 65, 66). We read facts about each animal, and we could feel their fur.  Then we walked through a gopher tunnel  (yes, gopher, not prairie dog) and learn about how they live in their multi-roomed tunnels.  The focus was on restoring the prairie to its original condition with native flora and fauna.  There was a quiz on a computer-like machine.   

There was a 5+ mile-long paved trail through the refuge.  Some areas were butterfly gardens, planted with milkweed and other plants that monarchs like, and attracted other flying beings.  I think these are called bee flies. (Pic 4/5573) We saw monarchs, but Dean's camera battery died, so we only got half a picture.

We took the auto tour, which took us back to the freeway.  We didn't see the elk herd, but bison blocked the road and created quite a dust storm when they wallowed at the side of the road. (Pic. 5, 6, 7/5576, 85, 80).  After performing for us, they took their calves and left, camouflaged by the tall grass.

This was, by far, the most spectacular NWR we've ever seen.  We've been to others with more variety of species, but they gave anyone who took the time to read and explore a great understanding of the tall-grass prairie and its inhabitants.

Stayed at Amana Colonies RV Park--$15/nt. with Passport America, 50 amps, FHU, big-rig and satellite friendly.  Quiet, except for honking Canadian geese who flew over starting at 5:00 A.M. and happy, loud-chirping birds. 
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2015, 11:57:12 PM »
Day 10      September 10, 2015      Amana, Iowa

Today we went to visit the Amana Colonies, a religious community where everything was shared.  It started in 1714  in German when these "Inspirationalists" broke from the Lutheran way of life.  They felt that certain members had been "inspired" as a vessel through whom Jesus spoke.  Members of the group took notes on everything they said.

As the differences in beliefs became more pronounced, they refused to send their children to church schools, swear oaths, and attend the Lutheran Church.  So they formed communes where they could live together.   Society became more and more hostile toward them. They were imprisoned, beaten, and ostracized. 

By 1843, the situation was not tolerable, so they moved to Ebenezer, New York, where they thrived.  They needed more land as they grew, but New York land was too expensive, so they bought land in Amana (meaning "remain true"), Iowa.

In many ways they were like the Amish, though their beliefs are entirely different.  They both immigrated from Germany at the same time, they both start with "AM", and they both were very religious and persecuted in Germany.  They both believed that being "plain" was good,  Their church had no steeple or stained glass windows, just a simple building with wooden benches.

They sent their children to school 6 days a week until they graduated from 8th grade.  They were then assigned to a job by the church elders.  A few boys were sent to college to become doctors, dentists, and teachers.

Women could not marry until they were 21, and men couldn't wed until they were 24.  They would go out on dates, usually on Saturday, but sometimes on weekdays.  When they decided to marry, they went through a one year separation when they couldn't see each other.  On the wedding day, which was always a weekday, the bride wore black or brown, and only a few close family members came.   There was no processional, ring, attendants, music, just a lot of praying and a simple, "I do."  Then they went to a lunch with closest friends and family, and then there was a big long party at the bride's parents' home, where the wine and beer flowed.  When the party was over, the bride went into her house, and the groom went to his house.  They couldn't see each other again until they moved into their home one week later.

A communal  kitchen served all members 3 meals a day and a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack.  The men sat at one set of tables, and women and children sat at another.  There was no music or talking.  They had 15 minutes to eat their meal, which I found contradictory to their supposedly "relaxed" lifestyle.

As they prospered and gained new members, they grew from one colony to 7 colonies.

They went to church 11 times a week--once each evening, with extra services on Wednesday and Sunday.  They still have services in German, and some of the colonies have them in English.

These people were craftsmen, and they specialized in woodworking (especially furniture), delicious smoked meat, beer, wine, and food products, and making quilts and woolens.  They purchased land in Homestead when they  found out that the railroad would be making a station there.  This facilitated their transporting of their goods.  Their quality products were prized.  They were competing with products being mass produced at the time of the Industrial Revolution, so their products had to be superior because they cost more to produce.

They found themselves struggling when the Depression hit.  Children were moving away.  People weren't buying their prized products.  So, in 1932, they decided to give up the communal living and form a corporation.  Each person received shares in the corporation, based on how long and active they had been.  They could use these shares to buy homes, etc., and the corporation kept ownership of some things and paid members dividends.  Most people, including the youth, stayed in Amana.  But, they have married others, and now few of the young speak German.

We visited their shops.  My favorite was the woodworkers' furniture and clock shop.  They make the clocks in Amana, except the cuckoos, which they import from Germany.  They only sell U.S. made products, and most they make on site.  I enjoyed their bedroom suite, rocking chairs,  jewelry boxes and the sayings on their plaques. (Pic. 1, 2, 3/5601, 5599, 5600).

We visited the museum and saw a short film of their history.  I actually learned more by just talking with the people working there.  They had displays of the phones and switchboard they used.(Pic.4/5602) and pictures and relics showing their life style.  They had a separate house that they had saved to show what life was like, but I don't think it was much different in furnishings than other Iowa homes of the same time period.

Meanwhile, back at the RV, Sherlock bounced from chair top to dashboard, to the open door, as he was entertained by his friendly birds (Pic 5/5613), honking Canadian geese, and passersby.  Can anyone identify these?  They remind me of sandpipers, but they're in the wrong habitat.

We ate at the German restaurant Ronneburg, and I had the jagerschnitzel.  Dean had a hamburger.  It was good, but lukewarm, just an OK meal.  Another group of three who were leaving thought their meals were outstanding.

Stayed at Amana Colonies RV Park--$15/nt. with Passport America, 50 amps, FHU, big-rig and satellite friendly.  Quiet, except for honking Canadian geese who flew over starting at 5:00 A.M. and happy, loud-chirping birds. 
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2015, 12:13:11 AM »
Day 11      September 11, 2015      Angola, Indiana

We drove 393 miles of easy freeway.  We love paying $2.33/gallon for diesel!  Regular gas is very close to that, also.  We don't love the tolls.  It isn't the cost--it's having to hang out the window to reach the credit card slot or pick up the ticket.  Also, one was marked Right Lane for oversize vehicles, so Dean headed to it and ended up exiting the interstate--poor signing.

We ate at Ruby Tuesday, right next to the WalMart, and loved it.  I think they have the best salad bar ever!

Staying at Walmart--only one other RV here, on the other side of the lot, not where they wanted RVs to park.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2015, 05:33:05 PM »
Very interesting about the Amana Colonies and how it all evolved.  Courtship and marriage was certainly unusual.  It seems they were a little more willing to adapt modern items, such as telephones.  To this day, when you drive around Amish and Mennonite areas of Pennsylvania, their homes do not have telephone or electric lines going to them.  One of my cousins lives in eastern PA and they had a house fire.  Their Amish friends were all willing to come help them rebuild with the one condition that someone would have to come pick them up and take them home because they don't drive cars.  Also she told me the young people go into town and use cell phones.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Ken & Sheila

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2015, 08:44:14 AM »
I believe the bird in your picture is a killdeer.


Sheila
Ken & Sheila
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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2015, 10:21:24 PM »
I believe the bird in your picture is a killdeer.


Sheila

Thanks.  Now I can look it up.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2015, 10:31:20 PM »
Very interesting about the Amana Colonies and how it all evolved.  Courtship and marriage was certainly unusual.  It seems they were a little more willing to adapt modern items, such as telephones.  To this day, when you drive around Amish and Mennonite areas of Pennsylvania, their homes do not have telephone or electric lines going to them.  One of my cousins lives in eastern PA and they had a house fire.  Their Amish friends were all willing to come help them rebuild with the one condition that someone would have to come pick them up and take them home because they don't drive cars.  Also she told me the young people go into town and use cell phones.

ArdraF

Funny thing--I thought of you when I wrote up the capitol in Des Moines and the Amana Colonies.  The Amish were much less isolationist.  The Amish rules vary greatly and are established by each congregation.  Some allow a telephone booth, as long as it is 100 feet from the house.  When we were in Indiana, we had a quilt made for us by an Amish woman, brokered by a Mennonite.  He told a story of how he paid her by how much thread she used.  After she finished a quilt, he paid her.  Later, she found some thread that she hadn't used, so she walked over 2 miles to his home to return the thread and the extra money instead of just waiting for next time an order was placed, as I might have done.  Imagine his shock when visiting in her home, and a phone in the closet rang.  She was very embarrassed!  So, it isn't just the teenagers who use the phones now.  So many of them have had to go out and work that they now get special dispensations to use electric tools, etc. in their jobs, but they are totally off the grid at home.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2015, 10:33:44 PM »
Day 12      September 12, 2015      Erie, PA

Sometimes we ask, "What else can go wrong?" , but we really know it could be a lot worse. 

What went right--We didn't get lost, and it was freeway all the way. 

What went wrong--Dean tried to install our CD for East Coast navigating, and he can't get the West Coast disc to eject.  He spent 30 minutes looking through paperwork, studying the manual, and calling Airstream.  He found the number, and was irate when no one answered because they are open until 7:00 PM our time.  It was with a heavy heart that I reminded him that it was Saturday, and they only work 5 days a week.  It rained heavily all day, and our windshield wiper mechanism (not the blade) needs to be replaced, and everybody is "booking fall appointments now" and their calendars are full until mid-October.  This one was Dean's fault, though, because he should have delayed the trip and had it repaired before we left.  As he said, "But, it was in the 90's and not raining then."  When we arrived in Erie, it was a cold, windy, rainy 57, and our heater didn't work.  Dean had to go out into the rain to diagnose it.  We did get lucky because all it needed was fluid.  Because of the storm, we have no TV or Internet.  When we stowed the RV 2 years ago, we had no leaks.  Today, we discovered we have 2 leaks, one by each of the skylights.  Dean will have to go up on the roof to repair them, so we're using towels for now, but....he has come down with the flu this evening and can't keep food down, so he definitely shouldn't be up on the roof caulking or whatever else you do.  We had a romantic dinner planned for the #1 restaurant in Erie, but rather than getting soaked taking the toad off and re-hooking it up, he opted for chili, which didn't work out well at all.  I love my Walmart Reviews app (Allstays), and it said we could stay on Ridge Rd., in Erie, PA.  I called, and they said no way--it's heavily patrolled by the township and they give expensive tickets.  At least, I did find another one nearby.

Tomorrow is projected to be sunny.  We're hoping our list of what went right will be very long.  RVing sharpens one's problem solving skills!

Bundled up and staying at the Downs Drive Walmart in Erie, PA.

Day 13      September 13, 2015      E. Syracuse, NY

Much, much better day, but it was overcast, not sunny.  We had some light rain and lots of wind.  Easy drive, and only 200 miles to Albany tomorrow.

Still bundled up in 50's weather at a different Walmart.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2015, 08:26:02 AM »

Day 13      September 13, 2015      E. Syracuse, NY

Much, much better day, but it was overcast, not sunny.  We had some light rain and lots of wind.  Easy drive, and only 200 miles to Albany tomorrow.

Still bundled up in 50's weather at Walmart.

Day 14      September 14, 2015       (Albany), Schenectady, NY

We traveled on good roads.  Dean isn't feeling well, so we stayed in.

Arrowhead Marina & RV Park--$30.60/night, W & E only, forested, no satellite, free Wifi by office

Day 15      September 15, 2015      Schenectady, (Albany), NY

Dean was sick, so we decided not to go into Albany.  I ran errands to get the 1 available bottle of boiler anti-freeze  to get our heater going.  Albany RV was the only place within 300 miles that had it, and I had to get Imodium for Dean.  I had to go about 30 minutes to Albany RV, and I swear that Dunkin Donuts clone themselves.  I thought I'd pick up a salad or sandwich at a drive-thru and didn't see any (Later when Dean was driving, I did, but my focus was the crazy New York drivers).  When I got near the RV park, I went through the Dunkin Donuts Drive-Thru, and I asked, "What is your healthiest, or least unhealthy, item on the menu?"  He replied, "Oh, the egg whites on flatbread!"  Yuck!  Sounded awful, but I'd asked, so I felt obligated to order one and I added (for 10 cents more) bell peppers and onions.  Worst, most tasteless sandwich I've ever eaten, and I should have asked for 10 servings of bell peppers on it so I could at least taste some flavor.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2015, 09:15:43 AM »
Day 16      September 16, 2015      Arrowhead Marina & RV Park (Albany)

We started early for the first tour of the Albany Capitol at 10:00.  Then we drove in circles--between 2 GPSs that went crazy, one-way streets, pedestrians that darted from between cars, and misinformation when I called the Capitol, we found it eventually, but no parking (which the guide had said would be available, no problem) because it was the 50th Anniversary of the Concourse designed by Rockefeller. However, they had reduced the parking by 50% by making one whole side of the streets around the capitol "NO PARKING."   In our wanderings, we came across the New York State Museum, which was also on our list, so we parked in their lot for $5 and decided to do the Capitol on another day.

The first section was a series of impressive,  enormous dioramas of the animals that had been in New York for hundreds  of years, but which man made extinct within a few decades. (Picture 1/5639)  They were truly magnificent, but the lighting cast a weird yellow hue on our pictures.   One hunter/trapper  wrote in his diary that he was here for 9 years and sold 800 beaver pelts each year he was here.   Extinct animals include the Canada lynx, wolverine, mountain lion, timber wolf, and elk.  These were followed  by dioramas of animals still present today. 

I intentionally avoided the 9/11 display area because I get too emotionally involved, but the next display we came to was the second WTC Family Trailer that was provided to the families of 9/11 victims to give them a private space to view the recovery and reconstruction operations.  The original large trailer is at the Smithsonian and made several moves as the recovery progressed, and was eventually replaced by this one.  Family members moved items from the original trailer, and it was covered by posters, flags, pictures, and mementos--totally mesmerizing as I felt their grief.

I skipped sections that were of no interest to me, and was amazed by the Earthquake section.  They had an earthquake in 1944 of 5.8 magnitude which was felt throughout New England, Michigan, Ohio, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It caused $2 million damage and wells went permanently dry.  They had several other good shakers before and after, and they don't know why they occur.  They are not at an intersection of tectonic plates.  One hypothesis is that there were previously existing, very old weak zones in the earth's crust.

The fabulous Native American exhibit areas had two large-enough-to-live-in homes, one a longhouse, and another a reed, domed structure.  New York has the 3rd largest population of native Americans east of the Missouri River, and 75% of those are descendants of the Algonquin, who were here 500 years ago.

I overheard others talking about going to the nearby Capitol via the Concourse, and I knew the tour times, so we took off.  We rode the elevator down to the basement, where it opened onto the Concourse, a long, wide hallway filled with stores, places to eat, and paintings.  At the end is a visitor center, where you sign up for tours of the Capitol with Marvin, a great, knowledgeable guide.

We passed through a rigorous security check, which is no wonder considering continuing security plots being discovered.  This is our most security-conscious capitol of the 40 we've visited.  Usually we get to see inside the governor's office, but it is marked in no way, and they won't even tell you where it is..  However, they have a state policeman on duty, looking like a guard, with a large desk area in the hall on the second floor, so you kind of have to assume that the governor's office is nearby.

This is the second capitol.  The first one was used from 1809-1883, and was the City Hall for Albany, also.  It was just too small.  They built the new capitol up to the old capitol's back door.

The capitol doesn't look like a capitol.  It has no dome, although one was originally planned, and is extremely large---they say the largest in the US and even larger than the US Capitol.  They went through 5 architects before they got it built. It took 32 years to build and cost $25 million.  It is estimated that it would cost 1.5 billion dollars to replace it.  It was voted 7 times by the Smithsonian as the best Senate chamber in the United States.   It was extensively refurbished in 1977, and most of it is reproductions of what was originally there.  They have been constantly renovating since 2000.

The architect who made the first plan promised to complete it in 4 years for $4 million, the same as in Ottawa, where he just completed a capitol.  After 10 years and $10 million, only the 1st floor was complete.  The soil was hard to build on because it shifted.  New York had lots of money because all commerce at that time came through New York City and the taxes they paid were used to build the capitol.

We went up to the 4th floor to view the 3rd floor Senate from the gallery.  They don't allow visitors on the Senate floor, even when it's not in session.  There is a large hand-carved ceiling in the Senate. (Pic 2/5640)  There were several unique features.  Look for the  school desks at the front, between the President of the Senate (lieutenant governor)  and the Senators in Picture 3/5645.  These are occupied by photographers and press, who sit facing the Senators. Seats for the pages are along the wall have red Spanish leather, which was used a lot throughout.

 None of the fireplaces in the Capitol are functional.  They have no chimneys.  There are 2 in the Senate (Picture 4/5646).  They are 6' x 6' x 6' and are totally soundproof.  Senators go inside the fireplace to have secret conversations because  the acoustics in the Senate so great that they don't need microphones to be heard. There are chairs inside the fireplaces for senators taller than 6 feet.  They vote orally aye or nay.  There are 63 senators, 32 republican, and 31 Democratic, and only 11 women.  Five of the Democrats broke away to give Republicans extra votes they need in return for getting more Democratic bills onto the floor.  They are called the Independent Democrats, and they sit apart from everyone at the back of the Senate. 

All 213 members meet on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, from January through June.  Special Committees meet on Thursday.  Every Friday everyone MUST go home to be available to the voters, so the voters don't have to travel to Albany.  They all make weekend appointments.  Voters can watch every session of both houses on the Internet and Cable TV.  Their travel is paid for by the state.  Their base salary is $79,000, as well as a great health plan, free meals when they are in chamber, and the state pays part of their lodging when they are in Albany.

The Senate lobby floor has tile that has the color baked through the stone instead of being glazed and  is made in England still today (Picture 5/5647).  There is a huge wall of a 24K gold-leaf  frieze above the Senate, which I think looks gaudy, yet plain, a little ostentatious.  Originally it was embossed Italian leather, which I think was probably much prettier.

They are proud that there have been 4 presidents from New York--Van Buren, Cleveland, and both Roosevelts.

There is a Million Dollar (Great Western) Staircase made of sandstone between the 3rd and 4th floor. (Picture 6/5650),  I didn't care for its dull, stained stairs.  There are carved faces of 77 famous people into the staircase.  Grant (Picture 7/5654) and Lincoln (Picture 8/5655) are at the top of pillars.  They brought 600 carvers from Italy and paid them $5/day.  Most families couldn't earn $1/day, and these carvers worked 6 day weeks.  They were considered rich.  They also solicited visitors to the staircase, who paid them to add their portraits to the carving.  There are 1000 unknowns, and of course, the carvers carved their own faces into it, too.

The Senate Lobby seating is inviting (Picture 9/5656, and was once used by senators to converse with lobbyists.  Now they meet behind an open-barred gate at the entrance to the Senate. It weighs 3000 pounds and is perfectly balanced.  The guide made it open with a push of one finger.  It is open-barred so the public can observe the senators making deals, but is too far away to hear.

We actually got onto the Assembly floor.  There have been 3 different ceilings, including the largest attempted vaulted ceiling.  They had carved the base ceiling out of oak, but there were recessed parts, which were supposed to be made of oak, too.  However, one day an assemblyman came in and found a ceiling piece the size of a bowling ball on his desk and discovered that it was made of papier mache'. They tried to repair it for 3 years, and they took the firm to court.  However, when a fire raged through the Capitol, the ceiling saved the building because the papier mache' soaked up water.  This is the largest room in the Capitol.

Members of the Assembly have placed flags on their desks, noting by rainbow flag if they voted for the same sex marriage act, and noting their patriotism with the American flag, and noting their family's or spouse's heritage.  (Picture 10/5657)  There are 36 women.  They have 150 members and electronic voting.

On the  2nd floor there is a beautiful State Seal (Pic. 11/5662).  It shows Lady Liberty, Lady Justice, 3 sets of mountains--Adironacks, Catskills, Allegheny,  an American eagle at the top representing New York as the #1 trading city in the world, and a ship from England and New York showing the importance of trade.   This is the Governor's floor.  Current Governor Cuomo made it a project to get all the governors' portraits out of storage and install them in the Hall of Governors with blue plaques telling their historical accomplishments.  Only one of the paintings was paid for, the first governor, George Clinton.  In 1804, he was the first elected vice-president of the US.  He served under Jefferson and Madison.  It was interesting that at that time it was possible to have a president and vice-president of different parties.

The original elevator used steam for propulsion, and it was in the same beautiful carved place that it is in today.  The elevator has gorgeous cast metal doors and carved woodwork between the elevator doors (Pic. 12/5666)

We usually take a picture of each capitol, but this one was impossible.  It is so large that you couldn't stand far enough away, and the traffic was horrible.  So, we took a picture of this painting of it .  (Pic. 13/5664)

New York State Museum doesn't charge an admission, but they would like a donation of $5 per person.  We spent the last hour of our day enjoying more of it.

It had been a busy day, but there was a movie we wanted to see, "A Walk in the Woods," starring Robert Redford.  At a large, modern theatre we paid only $6/ticket, which is a bargain for us.  And the movie was good!

By the time we got home at 10:00 PM, we were tuckered out.  Our RV park is heavily forested and very dark.  Dean went to the RV first to put on a light for me to be able to see where I was walking.  I heard an expletive!  He had broken the key when he inserted it in the deadbolt.  I had an extra key, but he had to get the key out.  Fortunately, our camp host was kind enough to bring his tools down and got it out.

Staying at Arrowhead Marina & RV Park

Problems with attaching--photos in next post when I figure it out.

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2015, 09:25:54 AM »
Photos
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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  • Posts: 1195
Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2015, 09:29:09 AM »
More Pictures
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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  • Posts: 1195
Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2015, 09:33:08 AM »
Day 17    September 17, 2015      White River Junction, VT (just a mile from NH)

We drove 133 miles from Schenectady to White River.  The first 75 miles were "white knuckle," quite literally.  I was holding onto the side tray and computer table all the way.  We started on the Mapquested route, and Dean remembered a few miles into it that this was the same way we came to the movies, and there was a 10' clearance bridge.  So we pulled into a parking lot, got out our maps, and re-routed us.  But, it was still curvy, 2-lane state highways most of the way.  And, when you come to cities/towns, they double-park both passenger cars and Fedex in the one lane you do have!  Jaywalkers were everywhere, and they're not at all intimidated by our size.  At one bridge, we had only 6" of clearance, and we prayed that their sign didn't need to be updated.

We had some activities planned, but it was after 4:00 when we finally got here.  It took us 4.5 hours to travel 133 miles with one 25-minute lunch break and one 5-minute bathroom break.  We needed a little while to relax and put on our traveling legs.

We went into Lebanon, NH to the Walmart to try and get a new key for our RV deadbolt.  They make keys, but not what we need.  Home Depot was the same story.  However, at Walmart I did find USA-made lids to put over food when you microwave, and for less than $2.  My wallet fell apart (from getting into it so often to pay tolls on the roads?), and I really like the one I found for $10.  I haven't paid that  little for a wallet in 50 years!  But, it is made in China.

By this time it was after 8:00, so we opted for the Applebees next to Home Depot.

Staying at the White River KOA, $48 for W & E in their one "overflow" area in front of their garages.  Very nice people, but you need to reserve ahead in the fall in Vermont.  Forested, our satellite caught the signal on the morning of the 18th but we had to go to the dump station and we couldn't recover it.

Day 18      September 18, 2015      White River Junction, VT

Today was a day of fix-its.  We went to a locksmith, who made us a replacement key for the deadbolt key and also one for the Jeep.  Dean lost his.  I've been encouraging him to get a murse, but it's a guy thing.  He has so much stuff in his pockets that it was bound to happen.  The new Jeep key works, but it sets off the alarm whenever you unlock the door with it.  We tried to get around it by locking the door with the key, but you can't.  It is a good back-up, but I hope Dean lost his somewhere in the coach and we find it.

In the afternoon, we went to the doctor to fix Dean.  It turns out he has an ordinary stomach bug, but after 5 days, I wanted to make sure.  He is to eat the BRAT diet--Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast.  No caffeine, and he's a Coke addict!  It's worth it if it works.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Ken & Sheila

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2015, 09:44:41 AM »
Linda,

If your still in White River I recommend Simon Pearce's  Bar & Restaurant, Retail Boutique & Glassblowing in Quechee.
It's a fun place, good restaurant. Be sure that Dean goes down to see their Hydro plant.
 
Ken & Sheila
2009 Monaco Camelot 42 PDQ
2008 Jeep Liberty, 2006 Saturn Vue
Fur-ball kids: Ariel and Mia

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Travel w/the Stocks to SD, ND, IA, NY and New England
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2015, 11:31:21 AM »
Linda,

If your still in White River I recommend Simon Pearce's  Bar & Restaurant, Retail Boutique & Glassblowing in Quechee.
It's a fun place, good restaurant. Be sure that Dean goes down to see their Hydro plant.

Thanks, Ken & Sheila.  Unfortunately, I haven't had Internet for 9 days.  RV parks keep promising clear shots, and usually we get none, sometimes TV only.  In White River, I was so excited because our satellite worked on all 5 lights.  I did my banking & business first.  Unfortunately, we were in "overflow" (and very glad to be in their one and only space), but we only had W & E, so Dean had to dump (we were washing lots).  When we came back, we got TV but no more internet.  Or we would definitely have gone to Simon Pearce's.  We left WR 2 days ago.

I learned (but forgot) that I need to post where we're heading.

Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

 

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