Friday, September 25, 2015

From Solar to the Revolution

Greg showed up this morning to teach me all I need to know about my own personal solar system and run through everything to make sure it all works. Ha. Generator didn't work. Turned out that some of the wiring done yesterday (not by Greg) needed to be rerouted. So...Generator works. Batteries are charged. All systems are go. And I know a lot about solar. Well, I know that if it snows, I need to get on the roof and brush the snow off. I learned where the on-off switch and the circuit breaker switch is. The most important thing I learned is that beyond cleaning off the panels every now and then, there is zero maintenance. I actually did learn more about wiring and other things, but I don't know how long that stuff will be retained.

Greg and Craig also did some maintenance and had suggestions on some of the things that I've asked Hilltop Trailers to take care of and haven't gotten much satisfaction from them. One of the things I'm excited about is that I know how to change my generator oil and filter. Evidently I'm easily amused. It will be something fun to try to do when I get back to Minnesota.

I finally got to be a tourist today. Valley Forge is about a half hour away and I decided I would go revisit it. Last time I was there, I was in second grade and I really don't remember much about it. I won't go into the history of Valley Forge – we all learned about it in school, how it was the turning point of the Revolutionary War. Ok, one fact that I found interesting, which I never thought about was why Valley Forge was called Valley Forge. It was because there was an Iron Forge in this particular valley. Don't know why it never occurred to me. Duh...

Of course guess what today is? It is World Family Day. This means that there are busloads and busloads of families descending on Valley Forge. Once you get past the horror of all of the crowds, there were some very interesting events happening. There was musket firing, there were demos on how to build the enlisted men's' quarters. Lots of people wandering around in period costume. I watched the movie in the theater and then took the ten mile drive around the Encampment Trail.

Enlisted Men Quarters
Inside the Enlisted Men Quarters - damp and dank - lots of disease wandering around back in 1777-1778
Dedicated in 1917 - the National Memorial Arch honors the soldiers perseverance
General Wade statute - commanded Pennsylvania troops
General Washington's Headquarters - they said that about 25 people lived here - it is a really small house for 25 people

It was an entertaining way to spend the afternoon. I did buy one thing that was rather special. C-Span used to have a show on that was called First Ladies. Each week they talked about one specific first lady. I've always had a soft spot for the First Ladies – you never hear about them, but I think an awful lot of them were very important to our country. I really liked watching this show. I found the companion book for the show. I'm excited that I can spend time with my First Ladies.

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