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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Day 6 - Water Water Everywhere!

We hated to leave the luxury of our hotel room this morning.  We were so tired from such fast travel that we decided to spend a little extra and get a nice room.  We are on a budget and have been trying very hard to keep our expenses under $250 a day (which is not that easy with gas prices these days).  Since the night before we went super cheap (because we got to a motel so late we thought why pay big money when we would only be sleeping for a few hours then off again) a little extra was okay.

After a wonderful relaxing breakfast, we made the decision to go back to a township near Greenville called West Salem, and check out a cemetery that I was positive had our family.  I Googled the cemetery and got the coordinates, popped them into Jack (our GPS), then packed up and headed out for one more try at finding the family graves.

We drove to the exact coordinates - nothing.  It was exactly where I saw it on Google but nothing was cemetery at all.  We drove down the street and back but saw nothing.  The exact location had been plowed over and there was not one sign that there had ever been a cemetery there.  It looked like someone was going to build a home there instead.  Big disappointment.  We headed to New York.

We have loved looking at the countryside everywhere we have gone.  We have been dazzled by the beautiful homes and landscaping in PA and now the gorgeous farms in New York.  Wow!  We love the old barns and estates.  Most of all, we love the historic old buildings (most of them are churches).  We live in the west where our history is nowhere near as old as these buildings in the east.  We were like little kids in a candy store...look at that one...oh, there's another one!

We went to Erie PA (the town and the lake).  It was kind of sad to see all of these huge steel mills that are no longer in use.  They were everywhere - humongous buildings - all falling apart.  You can imagine how active Erie must have been in the day when these were all in business.  When I say they were huge...they would take at least one or two blocks.  Now they are empty and decaying.

After Erie we were driving towards Niagara Falls when we saw these buildings and then - WOW - Pen State - the University.  Another thing we got all excited about.  We turned around and went back to check it out.  We had no idea it was way up by Erie.  I guess we thought it would have been further into the state.....maybe even by Pittsburgh.  I guess we have been getting a great lesson in geography also on this trip.
We knew when we headed out on this trip that it was spring and we would be subject to all kinds of weather.  It was snowing just before we left Idaho so we knew we could end up with any kind of weather along the way.  We were very disappointed that it poured when we went to Mt. Rushmore and we were fast realizing that this would be a repeat performance.  It was pouring so hard.  I called my daughter and asked for a weather report....rain through Thursday...ugh!

But - miracles do happen.  As we arrived at Niagara Falls, the rain stopped.  We were able to spend some great time enjoying nature's beauty.  What an awesome force water is.  Power beyond power.  It was peaceful sitting and taking in all of that power and yet serenity.  We wanted to go on the boat ride but they said the boats were not running until Wednesday.  So we lingered for quite awhile watching the beauty of the falls.  As we left, sprinkles began to fall and as we drove out, it was raining so hard we could hardly see.  It rained most of the way to our new destination - Palmyra, NY.

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