By the 15th, which was also the 15th day of our travels, we were getting pretty tired of traveling. Knowing we only had a couple days left, it was difficult for us to feel adventurous.
On our way out of the Adirondacks, we had to stop at the Adirondack Museum, which presents the history and culture of the area in a massive complex. It’s expensive ($14), but it’s also hard to spend less than three hours there.
Among other things taking place, there was a yard-spinning demonstration, at which Stacy learned how to make a felt ball.
You start with a mass of yarn…
And after some dunking in water and rolling, you end up with a ball of felt…
Stacy asked the leader of the demonstration, “So then what do you do with this?” And she replied, “That’s it. You’ve made a felt ball. You’re done.” Which seemed like a lot of work for little pay off.
Elsewhere at the museum we saw this remarkably patriotic fire engine…
The symbolism makes the mind reel!
And the cafe looks out over Blue Mountain Lake…
After the museum, we high-tailed it through the rest of the park, and then through the rest of New York State, and into Pennsylvania. We ended up in Reading, PA, eating dinner at the Ugly Oyster while calling nearby motels for lodging. Finding a motel room was remarkably difficult — they were all full up, or only had smoking rooms available. We located one about 10 miles on, for $70. (When are lodging spaces going to learn to increase the number of non-smoking rooms? I’ve never heard of one filling up their smoking availability. And what is it with depressed towns like Sycamore, NY and Reading, PA having no lodging? Who is staying in these places? Anyway.)
The following day we headed to the Ephrata Cloister, an historic site remembering a community of German Anabaptists who lead a quasi-monastic pastoral life (to whit: the members of the community slept on slabs of wood 15 inches wide. And their pillows? Blocks of wood. And they woke up every night at midnight for two hours of service. And in an effort to more closely emulate God, who didn’t sleep and didn’t eat, they slept and ate as little as possible. It’s not surprising that the community didn’t last very long.) It’s a classic intentional community (the subject of Stacy’s research), and we spent a fair amount of time poking around, until the rain washed us away.
Our tour guide at the cloister was dressed in the garb of the original inhabitants.
Ephrata was our last bit of real traveling. We headed into Baltimore for lunch, and then onto D.C.to just relax for a day before Stacy had to go back and I had to start work. The afternoon and evening were a relaxing mix of of wandering, shopping, and eating with friends.
Outside the AVAM, one of North America’s best museums.
The following morning, we had a low-key breakfast at Firehook, ate sample fruits and cheeses at the Dupont Circle farmer’s market, and then Stacy dropped me off at The Watergate (yep, that Watergate), and the traveling was pretty much over.
As is this chronicle of the trip. At least, for now.