Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Friday, August 30, 2013

To Pittsburgh, Pa -Part 4

This is the last is a series on our trip to Pittsburgh, Pa to visit my brother.  We took our bikes along and spent last Saturday morning biking along a wonderful trail that runs along the Allegheny River.

It was a lovely day for a bike ride.


Trail we were on viewed from a bridge above during a water break.


We biked to the fountain too after crossing the river.



Statue of Mr. Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood fame which originated from Pittsburgh.


Dan at a water break.


My brother Phil checking for messages.




Incline railroad.


One bridge was covered with crocheted afghans.





Phil, his wife, Marcie, and Dan.


My brother's house.

It was a wonderful trip to Pittsburgh!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

To Pittsburgh, Pa - Part 3

We spent last weekend at my brother's home in Pittsburgh.  We saw some interesting things so this is Part 3: Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village.

We first learned of Meadowcroft in an article my mother shared with us from her Pennsylvania AAA magazine.  Always being fascinated with things ancient we both put it on our list to visit someday.  We figured it would go well with a visit to my oldest brother's home in Pittsburgh.  Years passed and the visit didn't happen until now.  When I told my brother about Meadowcroft he couldn't wait to see it so a month or so ago took his wife and three of his grandchildren there.  He was just as fascinated by it and willing to drive us there (over an hour one way) to see it again.  This we did on Friday on what started out as a gloomy rainy day but cleared off to be beautiful weather.

Though Meadowcroft also has re-creations of an Indian Village of 1000 AD, a trading post of the 1770s, and a village of the 1800s the real draw for me was the rock shelter. Here have been found artifacts of prehistoric hunters and gathers from 16,000 years ago.  This makes it the oldest site of human habitation in North America. There is a wonderful story about how these artifacts cam to be found and came to be preserved.  Well worth the visit to Avella, Washington County, PA.


We started at the Indian Village circa 1000 AD.


Wigwams for sleeping and storing food.


Fire pits.


Brush shelters for quick temporary shelter.



Gardens of corn, beans and squash were just starting to be planted in 1000 AD.  Those vegetables originated in MesoAmerica and over many centuries of trade made there way to the Ohio River valleys.





Tobacco is in the forefront.


Before bow and arrows became prevalent ancient man used the atlatl to add distance to spear throwing.  My brother tried it.


Dan tried it and I did too.



Before heading to the Rock Shelter we watched a video on how it was discovered.



An elaborate wooden shelter has been built over the site.


This creek made this spot perfect for hunters/gatherers to stopover for days or weeks but none lived  long term here. 


Over time massive boulders from above have landed in the shelter which is why the artifacts from 16,000 years ago survived.  They were buried by rock.



A very knowledgeable staff person filled us in on the story of discovery and answered our questions.


That dark line on the back stone marks the soil line of present day.



Dr. Adovasio made excavating Meadowcroft his life work.


Layers carefully marked.  Some so thin that razor blades had to be used to excavate.  When the archaeologists got to the level that had been thought to be the oldest age of human habitation (13,000 years ago) they didn't expect to find artifacts under that.  They kept excavating and were surprised to find more artifacts even older than what was previously found for humans in North America.



Not all of the shelter has been excavated.  Over 1/3 is left for the future when there may be new technologies to be applied.






Wednesday, August 28, 2013

To Pittsburgh, Pa - Part 2

We spent last weekend at my brother's home in Pittsburgh.  We saw some interesting things so this is Part 2: Flight 93 Memorial.

Continuing on Route 30 - Lincoln Highway - west we saw our first sign for the Flight 93 Memorial.  We hadn't even contemplated that we would be near Shanksville on this trip so when we saw the sign and it was on our way we made the stop.



Quoting from the National Memorial brochure:

"Flight 93 National Memorial is the nation's permanent memorial to the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93.  It is their final resting place and their remains are still present.  The crash site, open only to family members, is bordered by the Memorial Plaza and Hemlock Grove beyond."

40 names are inscribed on that wall, one per panel, on the Memorial Plaza.



"What happened on board Flight 93 - why it crashed here and why it did not strike its target - revealed itself as a story of heroic action.  When the terrorist-hijackers took over the plane, passengers and crew began phoning family, friends, and authorities to report the hijacking.  Their calls - 13 people placed 37 calls - told them of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.  Their plane, they now realized, was part of a planned attack.  Passengers and crew then made a collective decision, by vote, to rush the terrorists and try to retake the plane."


"Recovered from the crash site, the cockpit voice recorder captured shouts, thumps, crashes, and breaking glass and plates.  The 9/11 Commission reported that the hijackers, although remaining in control of the plane, must have judged that the passengers and crew were mere seconds from overcoming them.  To continued sounds of the counter attack, Flight 93 crashed into this field."


Walkway open to family members only to access crash site.

"The crash site is 18 minutes flying time from Washington, DC. The action of unarmed passengers and crew thwarted and defeated the terrorists' plan."


Close up of final resting place of the aircraft and hemlocks beyond.





 This young woman was from my home state: Maryland.
May she rest in peace for her heroism and sacrifice.







Tuesday, August 27, 2013

To Pittsburgh, PA - Part 1

We spent last weekend at my brother's home in Pittsburgh.  We saw some interesting things so this is Part 1:  1806 Old Log Church.
As it's name implies this church was built early in the 19th century. The church was improved slowly, wooden floor, heat, pews, pulpit, etc, and was used continuously for worship only until 1852.  It's surrounded by a cemetery which is still in use.




Some huge logs were used to build this church.



Notice the pulpit.  It's shaped like a wine glass.




There are at least 155 grave stones carved from sandstone quarried locally.  They are works of art.






If you want to visit this spot it's located 11 miles west of Bedford, PA on Route 30, Lincoln Highway, just west of Schellsburg, PA.  Route 30 runs parallel to the PA Turnpike.

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