Five little movies to trip the U.S. with us!

It’s been a month now since we returned to Birch Bay, on July 30th, after 14 months on the road, and I’ve just finished five little movies with highlights from our Tin Can Tour. Each covers a broad region of the country that we explored: eight or ten states in just 15-25 minutes! If you want to […]

Posted in Finding history, The Northeast

Seventh great

In the late 1800s, there were just pockets of interest in preserving historically significant architecture. Widespread preservation movements didn’t gain momentum in the US until the 20th century, but before that there were some who recognized the historical importance of buildings of the earliest settlers and the need to save them before they were torn […]

Posted in Along the way, Exploring, The Northeast

Along the way: The Northeast

On the last day of August, we completed 13 weeks of our yearlong adventure. And in Lubec, Maine, we turned the corner to head south along the eastern seaboard. It’s astonishing to me that we’re more than a quarter of the way along already; it feels like we’ve been careening across the northern US, every […]

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Posted in Exploring, Finding history, The Northeast

Mt. Desert Island, rich with irony

In a shop in Bar Harbor, on Mt. Desert Island in Maine, you can buy a postcard with a painting by Frederic Edwin Church. It’s partly thanks to this image that I can’t find a parking spot here. In about 1845,  Church wasn’t yet the household name he was to become; he was an “intern,” newly apprenticed to Thomas […]

Posted in Exploring, Finding history, The Northeast

The northernmost Civil War skirmish

In the fall of 1864, the South was becoming desperate. The tide of battle was turning against the Confederates: their cities were burning; their armies were running out of food, guns and soldiers; their currency was all but worthless. It was dawning on many that the North, with its industrial might, would prevail. Desperate times call for unusual […]

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Posted in Drive-by geology, Exploring, The Northeast

‘Aunt’ Jess Guernsey’s discovery

How can you spend any time in the Flume Gorge at Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire and not feel a sudden interest in geology coming on? When nature presents you with chasms of towering cliffs and plunging water, who can help but be curious about the awesome forces that shaped this landscape? Then you run smack […]

Posted in Exploring, Finding history, The Northeast

Small fort, big fights

A few nights ago, reading David Bornstein’s “How to Change the World” (about social entrepreneurs), this line popped out at me, referring to breakthroughs in the last 50 years that have redefined our lives. “The biggest change is simply that people live longer and have far more freedom to think about things other than staying […]