Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cape Cod to Norwood and the Reunion Events

Bourne Bridge over Cape Cod Canal

We left Brewster on Cape Cod on Monday, knowing we were scheduled to meet friends at Norwood High School at 5 PM Wednesday to celebrate the completion of our journey.  We allowed three days to get from Brewster on Cape Cod to Norwood just in case the weather did not cooperate.  We retraced the route we had taken a week earlier along the Cape Cod Canal, through Onset Beach, and into Wareham.  The next day the forecast was for a 40% chance of rain.  We decided to ride anyway and experienced only light rain as we rode to our hotel in Norwood.  Our daughter Cheryl drove up from New Haven Connecticut to meet us and drove us on a brief tour of the town, including the new high school and the house where Hank grew up, followed by dinner at a Conrad’s, a local restaurant in downtown Norwood.   

Onset Bay
15 Florence Ave Were Hank Grew Up
Carolyn and Hank at Norwood High School
Wednesday morning we took the hotel shuttle into down Norwood to do some shopping.  Wednesday afternoon we rode the tandem to the new high school to meet celebrate with friends and take some pictures.  The new high school was built behind the site of the school Hank attended.  Many of the architectural features of the old high school were incorporated in the new high school.  After taking a number of pictures, Skip, who organized the reunion and to whom we had shipped the bike boxes and our suitcases, brought the luggage to our hotel while we rode the tandem back from the high school.  After unloading the luggage and a quick change, we joined friends at the Old Colonial CafĂ©, formerly the town fire station, for a celebratory dinner.

Thursday we picked up a car at the Norwood Airport and began disassembling the bike and packing it the two “airline friendly” cases.  Friday night we joined about 25 classmates and spouses at the Forum Restaurant and Bar in downtown Boston.  The second of the two Boston Marathon bombing occurred directly in front of the Forum, which was the last of the businesses damaged by the bombings to reopen.  Later that evening as we waited for the car, it was eerie standing in front of Forum, looking at the mailbox and security camera across the street and remembering the horror that had occurred there five months earlier.

New Norwood High School
Saturday morning we took a tour of the new high school.  The building, which is now three years old, was just gorgeous, much nicer than any we have seen in California.  The principal who lead the tour was extremely proud of the school and his teachers and students.  It is easy to understand why Massachusetts’s high school students score better on standardized tests than those from any other state.

Tour of New Cafeteria

Tour of TV Station at Norwood High School

Tour of New Library
Saturday night we attended the reunion with about 125 classmates and their spouses.  It was fun to see many classmates I barely remember as well as those with whom I had many classes.  Sunday morning we attended a reunion brunch with about thirty classmates and spouses.

Post note:
We worked with Jean Lang at the Boston Globe on a story about our adventure, which appeared in the Boston Globe Southern Edition on Thursday, September 19.   The attached link is to the electronic version of that article.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Connecticut to Cape Cod

Hank, Debbie, Carolyn, Marion, Cheryl, Haley

After resting for four days at Carolyn’s niece’s home outside Hartford, we headed east, first to visit another niece in Chepachet and then on to Cape Cod.  We crossed the Connecticut River from Rocky Hill to Glastonbury on the oldest continuously operating ferry in the United States.  The ferry first operated in 1655.  The ferry has been powered at various times by poles, oars, a horse treadmill, and a steam engine.  The current ferry consisted of a small barge and a tugboat to tow the barge across the river.  The ride from Kensington to Willimantic and then to Chepachet involved considerable climbing and we arrived at Chepachet totally exhausted.  

Historic Ferry across the Connecticut River between Rocky Hill and Glastonbury
Railroad Bridge over Cape Cod Canal
In Chepachet, we enjoyed our visit with Carolyn's niece Debbie and her son Gregory.  After resting for a day, and with most of the climbing now behind us, we left Chepachet and we headed southeast to Taunton MA and then down to Wareham where we spent the night with one of Hank’s classmates, Karen.  From Wareham it was a short but very scenic ride through Onset, across the Bourne Bridge and along the Cape Cod Canal to Sandwich where we spent three days with another high school classmate, Curt. 

Heritage Auto Museum

On Monday, Labor Day, we toured the Heritage Museum in Sandwich in the morning and the Sandwich Glass Museum in the afternoon.  The building housing the Heritage Museum's car collection was modeled after the Shaker Round Stone Barn in Pittsfield MA. The museum houses a collection of classic cars, many of which were concept cars.  Hank’s favorite was a Buick Wildcat two seat sports car.    We also walked the gardens and took a ride on an antique carousel.  The Sandwich Glass Museum documented the history of the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, which prospered in Sandwich in the first half of the 19th century.  The factory was built in 1825 after the federal government placed a high tax on imported glass from England.  The factory, which closed in 1888, was located in Sandwich to take advantage of the abundance of timber to fuel the glass furnaces.   In addition to the traditional glass blowing, the Sandwich Glass Company developed processes for making pressed glass.
Buick Two Seater Concept Car 
Curt and Elaine
Hank and Carolyn on Carousel at Heritage Museum
Wild Turkey on Curt and Elaine's Bird Feeder
Steve, Susan, Carolyn, Hank
We left Sandwich on Wednesday and rode east to Brewster where we stayed with our daughter’s in-laws, Susan and Steven Logsdon.  While in Brewster we also visited friends from our Pennywise Cycle tours, Dave and Jane Buck and Hank’s childhood friend Betsy and her husband Cedric.

Cedric, Betsy, Hank, Carolyn