Monday, September 21, 2015

Hopewell Furnace

Boy, did I luck out when I picked this campground. I have 58 over the air TV channels (I don't watch much TV), a couple of bars of Verizon so I can access internet, full hookups, it's costing me less cause they gave me the senior rate cause I'm old is within walking distance of Hopewell Furnace which is a National Historic Site so that I can check this off of my list.

To get to the site, we have to walk on the Boone Trail. Evidently Daniel Boone was born about five miles away from here back in the day. This trail is listed as moderate and it is a pleasant trail except for all the rocks and roots that go across the trail. It makes it hard to see what the scenery is like because you always have to be watching where you put your feet. Besides that, while it is a trail that winds it's way downhill, all I can think of is that I have to walk back up it to get back to the campground.
Yes, this is the trail
This gave me pause - lucky I'm wearing my bright red windbreaker
As we are walking along, through the woods, there is nobody around. All of a sudden, a dog comes crashing out of the woods. Then another dog and then another one. There are three of them. I'm looking at them and I'm thinking these are some sort of English Setters. My family had one when I was a child and I've always had a fond spot in my heart for them. These guys were a little shorter and stockier than what you normally see as English Setters. Soon their person shows up and we chatted. He tells me that he used to breed English Springer Spaniels and one of his breedings resulted in a Westminster Best in Show Springer in 2007. He decided that after that, he was at the top, there was nothing more to accomplish so he switched to the English Setters. He breeds and raises Field Setters which explains why they were a little stockier and shorter.
Dennis, Buddy, Rascal and ?

Miko and I get to Hopewell Furnace.

Hopewell Furnace is an early American industrial community that operated from 1771 to 1883. The cold-blast iron furnace and accompanying community has been restored to the way it looked during the 1830s and 1840s, when the furnace was at its height of activity From the NPS site

It had some really interesting things to see. Miko especially liked the water fountain which was built with a dog in mind.
I had to help Miko push the button, she couldn't quite figure it out
They had a huge water wheel that was actually turning. It was amazing how a very small creek could turn something this big.
I also learned how they made charcoal. I guess charcoal doesn't just come in those bags that you buy at Menards. It was a very time and labor exhaustive process.
In the visitor center, there were exhibits about everything that was produced by this furnace. It seems that while they helped arm the troops from the Revolutionary War through the Civil War, where they made the most money was in making stoves. Evidently, stoves were rather revolutionary in themselves. They talked about how the creation of the stove freed women from having to tend the hearth fires all day long like they used to. The stoves saved many women's lives because they said that a big cause of death for women back then was because their clothes would catch on fire from the open hearth in the home. Not to mention it was much easier to boil water so it cut down on “childbed fever” which happened often during the birthing process.
Note to Self: Make sure dog leash is stashed before taking picture.  It actually looks like a steel cable though - yup, my dog is one strong dog - need a cable to hang on to her
After the visit, we wandered back home up the Boone Trail and I mean up. Oh well, we keep telling our horses when we make them walk up hills that they are building their butt muscles. I need say no more. 
Tomorrow I move down to the Philadelphia area. Pope Francis is coming to town this upcoming weekend. This is huge – most of the way, as I drove across Pennsylvania, there were huge signs on the freeways telling people to expect major delays. I have heard that most roads are closed throughout the whole city. They are expecting several million people to show up. I looked up some of the sights I was planning to see and most of them are going to be closed during the visit. I guess I will have to adjust. I will find out more when I get down in that area. 

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