Archive for the 'Rhode Island 2005' Category

Oct 22 2005

USS Salem & JFK

Published by under Rhode Island 2005,Texas 2005

I’m spending the weekend in Rhode Island again and have a free Saturday so I decided to visit the USS Salem in Quincy, MA. Quincy is just south of Boston, about 40 miles from where I am. I checked out their website and thought it looked like an interesting ship to see. It was a tough place to find due to the lack of signs, winding roads and the fact that I forgot to bring my GPS receiver. As I pulled up I saw signs about a haunted ship thing going on for Halloween and when I walked up to the entry I was told the ship was closed for tours. I was really bummed, but probably not as much as another man who arrived just as I did. He came from California just to visit the ship which he had served on many years ago. Pretty poor way to run a visitor attraction if you ask me.

So, since that was out of the question I decided to visit the JFK Library and Museum located at the University of Mass. just a few miles away. I have visited several other Presidential Libraries including Reagan’s, Nixon’s, Truman’s and Eisenhower’s. This one is OK as these things go but I probably enjoyed it the least of any I have visited. Perhaps that is because we have been so bombarded with information on his life already that there was really nothing much new to learn. It’s a dark, wet, dreary day in New England and not much fun to be outside so it was a good way to kill a couple hours. Unless you are a big Kennedy fan I would not waste my time.

Dianna is in California visiting her family so we are on opposite sides of the continent. Last night we played cribbage against each other on Pogo. Amazing how computers and the internet let us stay in such close touch regardless of where we are.

I’ll let her tell you about her goings on.

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Oct 01 2005

Nautilus

Published by under Rhode Island 2005

I’m in Rhode Island again for a few days and had some free time this afternoon. I decided to drive down to Groton, CT to visit the Submarine Force Library and Museum. Electric Boat Company is based here and built many of the subs used by the US Navy over the years. This includes the Nautilus, the first nuclear sub in the world which is on display there.

The Nautilus was decommissioned in 1980, having been made obsolete many years before. She was built using the form of the WW II subs that spent most of their time on the surface, only diving when necessary. Subs now are built to operate under water and have a round front instead of a bow like a ship. The Nautilus was the first sub to visit the North Pole and to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic through the Artic Ocean.

I have toured many WWII subs and they were all small and cramped. The Nautilus had much more space and felt less claustrophobic than earlier subs. The newest Ohio class subs are much, much larger so they would be something to see.

Only the forward areas of the Nautilus are open for visiting. Even though they have removed the reactor, there is still some residual radioactivity and they will not let you near that area of the sub. They say it is perfectly safe, but they are either being overly cautious or there are still aspects of nuclear propulsion systems they don’t want the public to see.

It was a fun afternoon. Here are some pictures if you’re interested: Photos

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Jul 23 2005

Battleship Cove

Published by under Rhode Island 2005,Texas 2005

I know it’s been a while since this was updated, but I can’t seem to get Dianna interested in maintaining it. And me — well, I have to work. Most of the time anyway. Today is
Saturday and I am in Rhode Island again. I came up on Wed and worked in the office Thursday and Friday. I have to go in tonight at 6:30 for a few hours, but I had the day to explore. The weather is warm and beautiful for a change so I drove down to Battleship Cove in Falls River, MA for the day.

Battleship Cove has several ships to explore. You can visit their web site at Battleship Cove to see what they are all about. I have toured many ships but this museum has to be one of the the best. Most ships I have toured in other places are only partially restored and you are guided along a fairly limited path through just some parts of the ships. These were almost completely open.

The destroyer Joseph Kennedy was quite interesting since I don’t remember being on a destroyer before. Somewhat cramped quarters, but an interesting ship none the less. You sure have to learn to climb small steep stairways, and it is very easy to hit your head.

They had two PT boats restored that you could look into through openings in their hulls. You could not actually get on these boats. Pretty impressive wooden boats that could hit 50 MPH.

The Lionfish submarine is similar to others I have toured, but this one is in good condition.

The Hiddensee is a Russian missle frigate and it was interesting to see all the Russian writing on the equipment. It looked very much like the American ships except it seemed to me to be much more roomy for the sailors. Their rooms were larger and the whole ship felt uncrowded. That surprised me.

Then I toured the Battleship Massachusetts. That is one big ship! They give you a guide for a suggested way to tour the ship, and even with that I got lost several times. I toured the Texas several years ago and it was not nearly as good as this ship. I was able to go almost anywere I wanted. They were really small floating cities.

They offer a camp aboard program and during the summer they have hundreds of kids who spend the night. Most are boy scout or some other kind of group, but even families can make the arrangements if they wish. It’s a pretty neat program, but it did result in hundreds of the little buggers running all over the place. Fortunately, it is a big ship and they all spent more time sitting on the guns than crawling through the engine rooms. It was really fine.

If I had one complaint it would be that there is so much to see and they do not really do a good job of posting directions. It would have been much easier to tour all the ships if they had painted some lines on the deck, or even had directional markers to guide you on prescribed routes so you could be sure to see everything and not spend so much time just trying to figure out where you were!

Anyway, it was a fun day for me. I’m sure Dianna would not have enjoyed it nearly as much so it worked out well. I return to Dallas tomorrow and we spend the week getting ready for vacation starting next Sat. Actually I will take Thursday and Friday off to go get the truck and make preparations to leave. Our plan is to tour Colorado this year. More on that later.

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Apr 23 2005

Back to Denton

Published by under Rhode Island 2005,Texas 2005

It was only about 250 miles to Denton. We decided to have the truck and trailer washed before we parked it so we went to the truck wash just north of Denton. We arrived about 3:15 and waited until 5:00 before we gave up. By then they had only finished washing 2 trucks and there was one more ahead of us. We would not have gotten out of there before 7 PM so we drove to our permanent space at Destiny RV Resort.

Backing this rig into the space we have is a good trick. It is the largest space in the park, but we have to back in around a large tree and do not have a lot of room to maneuver. Everyone in the area has to come out to watch the show. I have disappointed a lot of people who are expecting to see yelling, screaming, crashing and cussing. Maybe I missed my calling as a truck driver!

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Apr 22 2005

Ruston, LA

Published by under Rhode Island 2005

Today was a driving day. We left early and gained an hour as we entered the Central time zone. We drove over 500 miles and found the nicest campground of the entire trip. It is the Lincoln Parish Park, just a couple miles off I30 in Ruston, LA. Being a parish (county) park, it was also about the least expensive. It is located on a man made lake with a paved walking trail all the way around as well as bike and horse trails. They had picnic areas and a sandy beach for swimming. We were able to back into a spot overlooking the lake and did not even have to unhook. They had full hookups, beautiful scenery and it was only $16 plus tax. We would not mind spending more time there.

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Apr 21 2005

Visiting Darin & Diane

Published by under Rhode Island 2005

We drove to Chattanooga today and checked into Raccoon Mountain Campground. Darin, Diane and Katie came over from Cleveland in the afternoon. We went to dinner at Cracker Barrel and had a good visit. Christine had to work so we did not get to see her.

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Apr 21 2005

Difficult Day

Published by under Rhode Island 2005

We received the sad news that Tina’s sister Kim passed away recently. Tina is the Executrix and there are legal problems to sort out so it has been a double whammy for her. You are in our thoughts and prayers, Tina.

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