This past weekend we did spent two nights on the upper Delaware River in northeastern Pennsylvania, staying at the 1870 Roebling Inn, above, a very fine bed and breakfast. The weather was not great, cloudy and with some rain, but we had fun anyway.
The inn has property right next to the river, and from there you can see the aqueduct bridge built in the 1840s by John A. Roebling, most famous for his design of the Brooklyn Bridge. This is the oldest Roebling bridge still standing, in Lackawaxen, PA.
The most interesting thing about the bridge is that it was built for canal boats, and was originally filled with water and part of a canal system following the Delaware and other rivers connecting the coal mines of Pennsylvania and navigable parts of the Delaware further south. It’s now open as a one-lane car bridge from PA to New York State. The original woven wire cables made by Roebling are still supporting the weight of the bridge. We enjoyed walking across and back and reading all the informational signs.
Back at the Roebling Inn, this pair of Bald Eagles were our neighbors the first day we were there, sitting on a dead tree not far from the Inn. This area supports many Bald Eagles in the winter, where they can catch fish in the river unless it freezes over.
Just down the street on the river is the Zane Grey Museum, which we enjoyed touring, also an information center for the Upper Delaware preserve. I read a few Zane Grey novels as a teenager, and enjoyed them, but was never a big western fan. It was interesting to learn that Grey, like many successful creators, was obsessed with his work, often writing around the clock in his study to finish one of his many novels. He was also quite a good artist. Illustrations he did for his first book (not a western) were on display. Grey was also a worldwide traveler-explorer, fisherman and travel writer, as well as the initial author of the newspaper strip “King of the Royal Mounted” based on one of his books. Comic book versions of the feature were on display. Grey only lived here a few years, but owned the house all his life and is buried here.
About a half hour drive north is the Museum at Bethel Woods, site of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, with lots of great exhibits and video clips about the festival, its creators, the musicians who played, and the 1960s in general.
Forty-seven years later, I finally made it to Woodstock! Where is everybody? In the summer of 1969 I had just graduated from high school and was preparing for my first year of art school. I had a summer job that was needed to provide money for school, and I didn’t know anyone who was going to Woodstock. When I saw the film a few years later, I felt like I’d missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but looking back at it now, I’m guessing I wouldn’t have had such a great time if I did get there between the crowds, lack of food and facilities, torrential rain, and other hazards, but I still kind of envy those who were present.
After our sightseeing we spent some time visiting Ellen’s family near Wilkes-Barre, PA, and stayed overnight with her sister Ann’s family in Newton, NJ, where I’m writing this. We’ll be home and back to work tomorrow after our fun and too-brief getaway.