Friday, August 31, 2018

A Bit Of A Rant But Not Too Long

I was a follower of several blogs until recently when I noticed the habit of many bloggers was to post something every day. This is a bit aggravating to people like me with limited time to spend on web type issues. Probably just as vexing is the blogger who does not post regularly for you never know when to check in.

I fall into that last category but I would rather use my limited time to post events and knowledge as it comes to me, not just to keep people reading.

I have been quite busy this year. This year, our campground hosting was restricted to just the month of May at Assateague Island National Seashore.  Many of you know we lost our son in law, Steve, in June. He was way to young to go and we miss him dearly every day. Our time has been spent giving as much support to our daughter as we can, when and where she needs it.

So, in keeping with the subject matter, We are on our way to a two day show in North Conway, NH over Labor Day. Can you believe it's already Labor Day Weekend?

Other shows coming up are as follows: 2 days at St Peter's Church in Londonderry, NH, 1 day on the common in Bethel, ME, 1 day on the sidewalks of Littleton,NH, and the Deerfield Fair exhibiting in the NH Made Building at the end of the month.


Friday, February 16, 2018

The Great Storm Of 1900 And The Aftermath

In 1900, Galveston was destroyed by what has become know as “The Great Storm”. Meteorology was in it’s infancy with storm tracking a calculated guess at best. The warnings came but were ignored by almost everyone and when the  wind driven ocean raised up to flood the streets, some residents became concerned and looked to what little higher ground there was. Sadly, it was already too late. Twenty four hours later death and destruction lay everywhere. 

More than 8,000 people were killed. The railroad tracks, beds and trestles were ripped from the ground. Locomotives were tossed about like Tonka Trucks. What the water didn’t wash away, the debris destroyed. Only 6 buildings remained and in the aftermath, it was decided to safeguard the island by erecting a barrier to protect the city from future storms. The hurricane surge measured 16 feet at it’s worst so the interim managing body drew up plans for the building of a 17 foot high seawall. This wasn’t the only step taken by the shell shocked citizens. The council also agreed the entire business and residential end of the island should be raised by 20 feet. Imagine jacking up a city block, building by building, filling underneath with storm debris and sand dredged from Galveston Bay and the Gulf. Residents traveled over scaffolding for more than two years until roads and sidewalks were also lifted to the new level we travel today.

The images here are two of the six remaining buildings

Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Tale Of Two Islands

Blog Entry for February 10 - 15, 2018

Travel blogs always seem to start with leaving home, followed by the airport and plane experience and continuing chronologically until the story teller has returned home. I’m not convinced that format works for every trip.

I could tell you about the smooth plane ride with impeccable service and early arrival, but I won’t. I have too many other bits to relate. When told of our impending travel plans, friends said how fortunate we were to be leaving the cold behind. Imagine our surprise when we arrived in Houston to find it was only 43 degrees. I didn’t expect to need my winter coat for the first three days on Galveston Island although was glad for it. In fact, the bitter damp cold and the biting winds have been the story, keeping us from enjoying the out of doors and ensuring our long looks through the window at the angry seas just across the street.

Wednesday’s arrival was heralded by somewhat warmer air which brought fog so thick we couldn’t see the gulf just a couple hundred feet away. And, when the fog thinned ever so slightly, threatening to lift, we were teased with quick glimpses of chocolate colored foam crashing onto the sand just beyond the seawall. The local weatherman, among all those who are wrong 70% of the time and still employed, assured us the skies would be clear by noon. He wasn’t entirely accurate but the wind disappeared and the climate was somewhat more like we expected.

Impressions of Galveston are mixed, confused and maybe even a little bit jumbled like the surf. On the one hand you have a well laid out bustling metropolis full of cultured amenities. You can, and are almost expected to, visit a different restaurant for each and every meal. It’s hard to choose a favorite. Shopping malls abound along with the touristy sorts of things, ice cream stands, candy stores, miniature golf, the Pleasure Pier and so much more. Wherever you go, someone is working to get your wallet open and gain your dollars whether its food, amusements, kayak and bike rentals or sand accessories. This end of the island would be Dr. Jeckyl.

Mr Hyde is another matter altogether. I can’t think of two more different halves to a whole. Today we left the “civilized” end of the island and drove 35 miles to Surfside Beach, TX.  All of the houses, summer camps, duplex, townhouses and condos, along the way, are raised by 10 or more feet on posts with the hopes the next storm will not bring a surge of 11 feet. In point of fact, since Galveston’s natural inclination is to be at or below sea level, I would imagine it’s almost impossible to purchase home insurance of any kind without these stopgap measures. There are miles of marsh and poor grazing between the road and the bay. Very few cattle and even fewer horses have been seen. Astonishment is the only word that comes to mind when I see the size of some of these homes. They are huge, sprawling and multileveled with sometimes two and three decks attached. Every single building has parking for a vehicle as well as a utility room for water heaters, purifiers, laundry duos and landscaping tools tucked neatly beneath. It appears people are willing to loose those items should the next storm threaten to overrun the island.