Tag Archives: View

Fort Mercer and Valley Ford

Timberline Campground, Clarksboro New Jersey 11.10.15

We arrived very late.  There was a welcome packet taped to the door; Ellen called ahead.  The office here closes at 9 pm.   Our site was right at the entrance and we drove right in.  This is a small campground.  We were lucky to get a site.   We were late getting up and leaving and did not take much time to walk the campground.  We’ve been spoiled by Normandy Farms, few campgrounds will compare.

We spent too much time catching up on our blog and left the campground quite late for our drive to Fort Mercer and Valley Forge.  Further the weather was not cooperating.  It had rained overnight and was windy, overcast, and raining off and on.  At least it was warm.


Fort Mercer, New Jersey


There are very few campgrounds open at this time of year, fewer still anywhere near the site of Fort Mercer.  I first learned of the role Fort Mercer played in the War of Independence through Tara Ross’s daily history lesson on facebook: taraRoss.  Forts Miffin and Mercer effectively blockaded the Delaware River preventing the British from reinforcing Philadelphia and attacking Valley Forge where the Revolutionary Army wintered December 1777 to June 1778.  The two forts prevented what could have been the annihilation of George Washington’s army.

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The Monument to Colonel Christopher Green

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One Very Old Monument, I have not yet deciphered this.




James Whitall House

It was fascinating visiting the site of the Fort Mercer.   Unfortunately the James and Ann Whitall house was closed.  We did find a door open.  Being inquisitive we considered going inside, but thought it best not to.  Moments later, Rachael popped out to say “Hi” and wonder what we were up to.  She was working there.  “There are no tours today and the house is closed to the public, but there are candlelight tours on the weekend if you’ll be around then.”  She was very lucky to have this house and location to work.

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A Tribute to the Revolutionaries Who Fought Here

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Fort Miffin, across the Delaware River, is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Some links about Fort Mercer:    Fort Mercer     The Battle of Red Bank




Valley Forge, U.S. National Park, Pennsylvania

The drive to Valley Forge took us right through Philadelphia.  Driving freeways we did not go through downtown city traffic, but the traffic on the freeway was very bad heading out of the city and worse going in.  It was a significant delay leaving us a little over and hour to tour Valley Forge before the park closed.  Valley Forge is huge.  The is a natural hill flanked by a valley on either side and the Valley Creek River winding alongside..  The stone house, the Issac Potts’ house, that George Washington rented while overwintering is intact and mostly original.  The hall floor has seen so many visitors it has been replaced and the bedrooms are gated off. Pott’s had two houses, the one he rented and his house further down the valley near the site of a mill and forge that were destroyed by a British expeditionary force long before the Continental Army arrived.  The British never threatened the army during the winter, largely due to Forts Mercer and Miffin.

George Washington’s house was open when we arrived, but Pott’s house was closed.  The houses are set in a beautiful valley that must be stunning in early fall.

At the visitor center I asked how many troops wintered here.  A docent said, “between six and ten thousand, but most of them were ill and not fit to fight.  By the end of the winter that number grew to twenty thousand.  George Washington wanted his men housed and established a contest for the fastest and best build cabin for the men. What surprised me, there was an inoculation for small pox that was administered to his men in 1777



The Today Show, 11.11.2015

The “Today Show” features Al Roker on a road trip touring 48 states in a Winnebago View!  I’m watching Al driving his View as I’m writing this.  He’s loving his “Views” as he calls it. There are four people on the tour.  His is not a J model, like ours, and it’s a 2016.  Our View is old now?



Burlington & Stowe Vermont

Mountain View Campground, Vermont

We slept well last night with the heater off. It was quiet and cold outside.  We were snug inside. Yesterday evening, we drove through the town of Stowe and through Morrisville to Mountain View Campground where Allison and a blazing fire welcomed us.   Ellen had called ahead and reserved one of the two remaining sites.  We are in space “B”.   Water pressure this morning was low.  I went outside to check on our connection and met our neighbor, Jean Pierre, who asked, “Is your water pressure low?”  His was too and we concluded that all the campers were drawing water.   Time to use internal water and the pump.

This is Stowe Vermont and the weather is clearing!  I asked Ellen how she felt about spending another day here before pushing on.  We were both OK with it.  Cappuccino in hand, I walked to the office.   Last night I made this trip to get the codes for internet access and met Dave, the owner.  I wondered if Dave or Allison would be at the desk this morning.  Dave is a warm direct and talkative fellow with a distinct Boston accent.  Allison is more typical of a Vermonter,  mater of fact and reserved until you get talking with her.   It was Allison and the blazing fire at the desk.  She said there was a rig coming in and that site “B” was taken, but there were two sites that could go empty today.  The two friends had not decided if they would stay another day.  They had not made up their mind.  As we were talking, Dave walked in.  Allison explained the situation and Dave stalked out to ask if they planned to stay.   Allison and I chatted about Vermont until Dave returned to say, “they’re leaving today”.  Great, we keep site “B” and the newcomers will have one of the vacated sites.   We will stay another night, perhaps two!

We’re setting up to go back to Stowe now.   We’ll probably take the Gondola up Mt Mansfield, Vermont’s highest mountain at 4393 feet and visit a near-by covered bridge or two.  Last night Dave gave me a list of local hikes that range from easy/novice, intermediate, and expert. One of the expert hikes states flatly that the terrain is steep and wet.  It is a difficult hike up and it should NOT be  descended.

Stowe Vermont

The sky is clearing.  Today promises to be a wonderful day.  We will be walking in and around Stowe Vermont today.

North Beach Campground, Vermont

Yesterday, we were slow to leave North Beach Campground.  It was a cool morning and raining off and on. We watched the weather news over cups of coffee hoping that the cold front would pass and the sun would shine this weekend.  We left for downtown Burlington Vermont around noon and a few minutes later we were driving up Main Street.  I had no idea we had stayed so close to the town.  Main Street runs from the waterfront up a hill and crosses Church Street.  Church Street is closed to traffic.  It’s a pedestrian walkway with shops on either side of the wide street.  In warm summer weather Church Street is probably a buzz with patrons enjoying a meal on a sidewalk table.  This is what Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park should become.

At the top of the hill we turned left and left again going back down the hill and into a parking lot on Lake Champlain.  We drove past the ticketing kiosk which was unattended and had our choice of parking spots.   A large tent on the parking lot housed the remnants of a maritime exhibit.  The nearby maritime building had been flooded and was closed.

We walked Main Street to Church Street.  It seemed that the lights were timed not for the cars, but for pedestrians.  Each walk light lit as we approached.  It was eery.


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Walking Main Street, Burlington Vermont

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Church Street was fun.  Burlington is a college town. While not crowded,  the street was full of people of all ages going about their day.  On a side street to our right we did a double take.  There’s a mural depicting famous and not so famous people. The mural is huge; almost an entire city block.


The Mural’s “Legend”

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Can you find Ethan Alan, President Lincoln, Billy Kidd, Elvis, Bernie Sanders, a bust of George Armstrong Custer?  How many of these people were raised in Burlington Vermont?


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Church Street in the Rain, Burlington Vermont



A Popular Guy in Burlington VT


On Lake Champlain,, Burlington Vermont

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Lake Shore Burlington Vermont

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We have no idea what this guy is all about

Everyone is saying that the foliage here in Stowe is “at peak”.  It looks to me like it is a few days to a week away.  I could easily be wrong, but I think people want “peak foliage” this weekend.  It’s Columbus Day Weekend which is Canada’s equivalent of our Thanksgiving.  I’ve heard more french spoken today than I have since visiting Paris so many years ago.

Everyone is talking about how strange this fall has been.  It’s been warm (hot!) and dry which is not good for fall colors.  Last week the weather turned cold and wet.  The cold weather brings on the color.  Without moisture, the leaves turn brown and fall all at once.  The rain and cold is welcome, though 44 degrees is uncomfortable compared to 80.