musical notes

“On the road again -
Goin' places that I've never been.
Seein' things that I may never see again
On the road again -
And our way is on the road again.


Atlantic City

When one thinks of New Jersey, the first thing that pops to mind is Atlantic City and the Board Walk.

Alatnic City Boardwalk

It was funny watching the Beach People walk the Hot Sands to the waters edge. They would start at a normal pace, then you'd notice them jumping a little; then big time prancing as the Hot Sands of the Desert took a toll on their feet, and even those feet encased in flip flops did not escape the dancing prevolked Hot White Sands! It was then that we understood why Atlantic City has the "Board Walk"!

This is the Public Beach

BeachDownload Beach

Now you are looking down the Private Beach

Private BeachesDownload

"Lucy" the Wooden Elephant has been a fixture on the Atlantic Beach since the 1880's

Lucy Download

You might ask, why go to New Jersey? While visiting Philadelphia we found a very nice RV park right across the Delaware River with easy access to Valley Forge, Washington's Crossing, and the Lehigh Valley; and we had a visit to Atlantic City as a bonus.

But, we discovered something interesting in our drive to the Atlantic Coast. The old village of Batsto where in the early 1700's they were casting Bog Iron. The early settlers discovered in the delta bogs, that Iron ore settled to the bottom of the bogs. They were able to extract this bog mud, clean the ore and then smelter and cast it.

This is a descriptive drawing of a water driven Bog Smelter. They had all the natural resources, wood, water, bog mud, and Yankee ingenuity. What an impact this had to be for a raw necessity that could be produced in America vs importing the same product from Europe.

Bog Smelter

The Batsto Structures operated by the New Jersey Park service. Dottie at the Batsto Mansion

Dl Bastro(download),

Here she is at the Barn Dl Barn(download)

The Bastro Stagecoach......................Bastro Horse need the horses to pull the Coach

Stage Horse Barn

As time passed the Bog Iron dissipated and was replaced by Iron supplied by a higher grade of iron from Pennsylvania. The community tried several different manufacturing processes, and then discovered the low PH silty soil was perfect for cranberries and blue berries. We kept seeing the expansive fields with this bush, which I couldn't identify. Might you have?

Blueberry BushesDownload

Nationally New Jersey ranks the second in the production of both Blueberries and Cranberries.

Blueberry FieldDownload

Valley Forge

General Washington wanted his army close to Philadelphia but strategically located for defense, so he chose the hills of Valley Forge. The Revolutionary Army spent two winters here.

The Home that Washington used as his headquarters at Valley Forge.

Washington ValleyDownload

And enactment of the Revolutionary Soldier musket shooting.

Firing VFDownload

The typical Soldier's winter cabin

Cabin VF

The same Soldier's Cabin but the inside view.

Inside Cabin VF(download)

The Valley Forge Military Academy was on site the morning we were there, and I caught them forming ranks. These are the beautiful rolling hills at Valley Forge.Cadets

Cadets VF

The Valley at the Forge

Calley at VF(download)

The time that Washington spent at Valley Forge was critical to the future of the Revolution; for it was here that Washington was able to make an Army from the Patriots, who were young men from the farm, and taverns of the Colonies. This proved to be crucial during the 10 days that turned the tide of the Revolution which began on Christmas night, December 25th, 1776 at the Crossing for there Washington had a Trained Fighting Army

Washington Crossing State Park. NJ

It was exactly here that General Washington took his troops into New Jersey on that Christmas night 239 years ago.

Washington Crossing 12.25Download

Washington's Crossing(download)

But the events of Christmas night didn't just happen; as the General had for several months been hiding barges, boats and mariners to make this event happen. He had personally picked this location on the Delaware River at Johnson Ferry to move his 2,400 troops across the Delaware.

The Ferry Keepers home.

Ferry Keepers HouseHow about this for a Fire Place in the Kitchen,(download)

The Outhouse looked inviting, but the darned door was locked.



The General's objective on this wintry day was to attack the British Hessian Troops in Trenton, and it was some 9 miles away. They were able to surprise and capture 1,000 Hessian troops, who were then paraded in Philadelphia to excite Americas morale.

The Washington Monument in Trenton, NJ


Plaque Plaque 2

This victory and the fighting over the next 10 days, including the battle of Princeton, was the turning point in the Revolutionary War. BUT REMEMBER this was not a quick war, as our Revolution raged for over 10 years; and it was at the Battle of Yorktown, when General Cornwall finally declared defeat and surrendered. The Treaty of Paris giving the Revolutionary Forces the title of The United State of America was signed in 1783.

The Man

Washington, g

Lehigh, PA

In Dottie's research on her genealogy she discovered a (3) Great Grandfather buried at Egypt, PA in Lehigh County.

Please greet Dottie's Great, Great, Great Grandfather Private Michael Ringer, Revolutionary War Veteran. This was a holistic moment for the both of us.

M Ringer

Rest on Oh! Honored One!


Being we were passing through the Lehigh Valley on our way home, why not visit Bethlehem, the home of Lehigh University. We were so happy that we did, as this is truly a beautiful campus nestled in the hills of Northern Pennsylvania.

Lehigh University has 4900 undergraduates students and some 2,200 Graduate Students with a faculty of 680 for a student ratio of 10 to 1. It is not a wonder, that it is considered such a prestigious University. You might recall the name of Bethlehem Steel Company as the the second largest steel company in the world; and it is here where it was started and headquartered. It is little wonder that Lehigh University has such a strong Engineering School. The link will give you the history on Bethlehem Steel.

I'm impressed that we've a grand niece, Mary Nunley, who graduated from Lehigh with an Architectural and Engineering Degree; and I recall that Bill Armstrong of Armstrong and Armstrong Contracting of Roswell was also a Civil Engineering Graduate from Lehigh. It is not a wonder, that he was such a good Contractor.


Lehigh 1

This was a Sunday afternoon, and the Students were enjoying their relaxed time in the Sun. What an atmosphere they were inhaling.

Grounds Lehigh(download)

The Engineering Building

Engineering HallDownload

Folks, this has been a marvelous trip; but it is time, that we begin our journey toward the house. We'll first stop in West Virginia and visit Dottie's niece Becky and Richard and then Harpers Ferry. Man have I something to share with you on Harpers Ferry, Antietam. and Gettysburg. So stay hitched to the wagon, as we wander on down the Road.

Come on Willie sing us another verse, and we’ll move on down the road. 

Dl & NR

Norm & Dottie