Sunday, March 04, 2007


We're in a campground in eastern Ohio. Was that just yesterday we were in New Jersey?!?

We got into Philadelphia, and stopped at a small shopping mall. I called a cab and went to the Franklin Institute early. That was dumb. I didn't think about the rest of the name: Science Museum. I was think museum, things to see! Not, Science Museum, things for kids to learn (can you tell that science is not my favorite subject). So I sat around for an hour and a half, waiting for my turn to go in.

It was a little crowded when I did get in, but I was able to get up close and see some things I've never in photos before. There was a gorgeous head of Nefertiti, and a statue of Tut that was just wonderful. And the detail of some of the artifacts were just incredible. The golden dagger of Tut's has gold granulation (gold balls smaller than a pin head) on it in diamond patterns. How did they do that???? This was a society that was just beginning to get iron objects in trade. They used copper and stone tools. There were some ushebtis (small models of the person who died that were supposed to do the work for that person in the afterlife) that were painted and carved with so much detail. Just incredible.

That was the good part. It went downhill from there. I was just about to the end of the tour and really anticipating seeing his gold mask again. Then alarms went off and lights started flashing and guards starting hurrying around. First they stopped each group in the room they were in, then after a few minutes they started hurring everyone out. They evacuated the whole museum (the Tut exhibit was on the 2nd floor and they made us all go down the stairs), and then a couple of minutes later, they let everyone back in. Back up the stairs (they let those of us who were at the end of the tour go up the back way to get back to where we were when we had to leave), and on to the last part of the tour. No gold mask. I asked the guard, where's the gold mask? It was damaged somewhere along the way, so they decided it was too precious to send on the rest of the tour. AAARRRRGGGGGG!!!! I WANTED TO SEE THE GOLD MASK!!!!!


So I left the museum, called a cab, they said 5-10 minutes, 15 minutes later I said heck with it & flagged the next one that came by and went back to the RV. That was about 5:30 p.m.

The houses in the older part of Philadelphia are the brownstone row houses. It's block after block of theses, with a sidewalk going up to the front door, with a window on each side. No front or back yard, it's all concrete. They're about 20? feet wide, and then along the street on both sides are the utility poles, with a couple of wires going to each house. The streets are very narrow and one way only, allowing parking on just one side of the street. On the main street that we went down, the parking was diagonal parking and the area on the middle of the street that was painted with yellow lines or had a concrete curb was used by people parking. They even parked behind the cars that were diagonally parked!

It took over 2 hours to get out of Philadelphia and into the suburbs. It was probably a good thing that it was dark, because we went over some high bridges along they way. We finally found a Walmart and boondocked.

We left there about 6:30 this morning and headed to Gettysburg. That was another disappointment. What they've kept of the battlefields are between houses and farms. That was the neat thing about Chickamauga, Georgia, you really could get a sense of the history there. At Gettysburg, there was no such feeling; nothing said to me 'take a picture' or 'that would make a really neat drawing.'

So we headed west... over mountains. David was driving, and I didn't think to tell him to downshift, so by the time I noticed he was starting to hunch over and get that doomed look in his face, the RV temp was on the red. So we pulled over and took a break. I did not realize that most of southern Pennsylvania is in mountain. We went up and down and up and down and up.... and then it started snowing and the wind started blowing. If you've never been in an RV, wind really affects it, especially when you come from a wooded area into the open, like over a (dreaded word) bridge.

And if I hear any politician talking about putting toll roads in Minnesota, I'm going to write him/her a really nasty letter. The toll road through Pennsylvania is a narrow 4 lane potholed highway with every other mile under construction, and there are no rest stops along it. We've had to spend over $20 in tolls so far. 169 up north is a whole lot better than this road.

Tomorrow we're headed up to Chicago. David figures we should get into Wisconsin by tomorrow night.