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Homer, Alaska 2017

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A change of place, but still being Tourists!

After the hustle and bustle of our New York City adventure, followed by a very interesting day visiting Hyde Park, we have slowed down and are spending a few weeks in quiet but beautiful New York State Parks. Four days here, five at the next, just long enough to get a taste of the local areas and visit some of the many interesting and special museums. 

We have a destination toward which we are slowly traveling: Ottawa CA to visit one of our blogger friends for a few days.



We spent Memorial Day weekend at Lackawanna Lake State Park in Pennsylvania. On one of our days there we took a peaceful paddle around the lake in a rented canoe.

On another we went on a coal mine tour at the Lackawanna Coal Mine and Anthracite Heritage Museum in Scranton, PA.



A big piece of anthracite coal 

Anthracite coal was all mined by hand in underground mines. It is harder and cleaner than the coal that is mined by surface strip mining, but it is too expensive and too dangerous to return to. These mine jobs are long gone, and will never return.

The average lifetime for an anthracite coal miner was fifty. Many died younger, some made it a few years longer. Accidents and black lung disease were their enemies. Most also suffered from arthritis which the cold wet conditions made worse. The shafts they worked in were only as tall as the veins of coal they were removing. In some cases that was less than three or four feet. A miner would have to work in a crouched or recumbent position for hours.



Boys as young as eight went into the mines to open airlock-type doors, and when they were a few years older, they guided mule drawn coal hoppers.

It was a very hard, dangerous life. If a miner was killed there was no insurance or social support for his family.

After the mine tour, we went through the associated mining museum. It had many items from the everyday life of the miners. Almost all of them were immigrants from Europe. There was a good exhibit about the passage experience. 

While the miners worked long shifts underground, their women worked in the silk mills. Girls went to work at twelve or younger. 



As they grew in skill, they went from material handlers to keeping the spools on the bobbin winding machine.



The women and girls who worked in the lace and silk weaving mills, probably never got to have or wear any of the delicate fabric they produced. As miners' wives and daughters they were too poor for such luxuries. Their meager salaries were needed to help support the family.

We, on the other hand, have been sleeping late, shopping at Wegmans groceries, and watching the NBA playoffs.


RV Life is good.


Out-of-focus fox running through the campground as we prepared to leave

7 comments:

  1. Your trip to NY left me envious. I am a NYer and get back when I can; I have extended family and friends. Our only RV trip was a few years ago and we too stayed on Long Island. I don't know if you checked this park out but we stayed at: Nassau County Park, Battle Row Campground, 1 Claremont Rd, Old Bethpage 11804. I think we paid $20 a night plus some taxes. Its a beautiful place, amazingly priced and a much shorter trip on the LIR into the city--about an hour. Im getting the itch to return! See Ya down the road!

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  2. The state parks will rejuvinate you so you'll be well rested for that visit you were talking about ;-)

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  3. Replies
    1. I thought of you when I saw that big loom machine!

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  4. Relaxing in the state parks is wonderful. And the coal mine tour was very interesting.
    We hang out most of the summer, 3 to 6 hours sw of Ottawa various places, look us up if you coming this way.

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    1. I looked up Arkona on Mapquest and it is not on our route this time. Maybe we will meet up in the future!

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  5. On June 23rd we will be just North of Peterborough Ontario for a few weeks, but you will probably be past the area by then. Glad we met you in Quartzsite this past January.

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