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The Old Wolf Express - The Saga Continues


Tuesday I arose after having slept like a stone, and found a cool morning that betokened a beautiful day. The air was crisp, but every time the sun peeped out through the broken clouds, there was much of warmth in it – not like a wan, winter sun that promises heat and delivers only cruel mockery.

I helped lowen_kind put his backyard in order for the winter, taking down various things that he had used for a recent party, and moving things into his backyard barn/shed/garage/party room/lumber room. You'd have to see it… it's about 90 feet long, and I think it used to be a chicken coop or some such.

Toward noon I suggested that we go to Cap'n Cat's for lunch – I wanted some more of those amazing clams, and I wasn't disappointed. They had the place decked out for Hallowe'en, and aside fron another couple at the bar, we had the place to ourselves. The waitress was attentive and friendly.

This is a 36-lb lobster that was brought up from Cape May in 1967 by Mr. Tighe... I wonder how old that beast was...

I started with oyster stew, prepared correctly: Oysters, Milk, Butter, Salt and Paprika. That's all. Accompanied by huge oyster crackers with hot sauce to munch. Heavenly! Then came the clams on the half shell, and finished with 15 steamed clams. Groan Belch Groan.

Oyster Stew

Clams on the half shell. $3.50

Steamed Clams

lowen_kind proposed to take me to see the CMSL facilities, so we set off a flea bomb in his home for Maggie's benefit (his cat, at the Vet's for treatment) and trundled South. As I had hoped, the day was spectacular. It felt like late summer instead of early fall. Followed the line from one end to the other, and caught the train in two places. At Cape May, I was privileged to see the train from the inside, including the engineer's compartment.

Southern New Jersey is a hidden delight. I had only ever seen the northern part of the state, and everyone knows what that looks like – but down here at latitudes comparable to Washington, DC, it looks more like West Virginia. Farms, farms, farms, and much woodland, with beach resort zones just minutes away.

We got back to the house and aired it out, and then drove to collect Maggie at the vet. She's the most mellow cat I've ever seen. She lets Don do anything at all to her, and is all "whatever…". But I could tell she was glad to be home, after having been in the hospital for 8 days or so. They still don't know what was wrong with her, but I hope she bounces back to her old self. She's skinny – she needs to put on weight.

Her Highness

Ordered a pizza for dinner, and turned in – Don's day starts at 4:30 and goes for about 14 hours, with his long commute factored it.

I'm working on a little video of my day with the trains and will post it when it's finished.


When I got up, Don had already left, so I got packed up and off I went. I hadn't slept well at all – eating that pizza sure had prices and benefits – so I stopped at a service plaza on the toll road South for a bit of a nap, and felt better. Got to DC in time to have dinner with my godfather, Robert Hart, at his favorite local Italian place in the Westin hotel. Delightful osso buco – very tasty and tender, but doesn't match the one my cousin Renato serves at Piccolo Angolo. Wonderful visit! It's so nice to be able to reconnect with people after 30 years of isolation.

It had been a few days since I had had a shower – ick ick ick – so I went looking for one of my familiar truck stops. Pilot or a Petro, TA Travel Centers or Flying J – and as it turned out, I had to drive forever to find one. Almost to West Virginia, for Mogg's sake. If there had been a Motel 6 handy, I would have gotten a room there and been done with it, but I didn't want to spend $100.00 for a room in the other available chains – trying to keep costs down. The Prius gets me 42 miles to the gallon, so it was cheaper to drive the distance. After getting cleaned up I felt infinitely better, and found a rest area where I could bed down for the night in my MollyMotel.


This day was torrentially wet, but very nice. I drove to the Smithsonian Air and Space museum out by Dulles airport, and spent hours exploring the exhibits. They've got a full-sized shuttle there – the Enterprise – which was used for flight tests on Earth, as well as a Concorde, and many air and space pieces. A module from Skylab, satellites, airplanes, helicopters, missiles, a history of engine development, and much memorabilia. I could have used days to see it all, but I enjoyed the visit thoroughly.

Along with the enjoyment, I had mixed feelings. So much of the history of flight was wrapped up with war and destruction, and I felt unusual contemplating so much heavy weaponry, with only one real purpose – inflicting the wounds of death on human beings. As I viewed the Enola Gay, I kept having this recurring wave of sadness – History is history, and is in itself neither good nor bad – but I can't shake the feeling that this piece of memorabilia should be destroyed, out of respect for the lives lost in the horror that it unleashed. I can see both sides of the argument, but it was still disturbing to look at.



Enola Gay

Got to Washington – still raining hard – and explored the Ethiopian quarter while waiting for my cousin to get off work. We met for dinner at Etete, a well-known Ethiopian restaurant that has won many awards, all well-deserved. I was the first one there, and as I waited for my cousin to arrive, the people were bustling around, setting up candles and filling the place with an incense that was vaguely reminiscent of the smoke they use in Eastern Orthodox censers.

I dined upon dulet, which could be described as the Ethiopian version of haggis: Calf tripes, liver and ground beef in a delightful mix of veggies and spices (hot! hot!), served on the ever-present injeras, with plenty of same on the side to serve as utensils. Urp groan belch groan urp.


Dulet (Koz, this one's for you. Uaaah!)

Stayed the night with cousin Joan at her delightful home, met her husband, contended with a power outage, helped with a small technical problem (the power outage set their alarm system screaming with this maddening high-pitched whistle – I was able to get it turned off for them, and Jim was appropriately grateful). Fortunately, the power came on shortly afterward, which was nice, but the candles everywhere were fun.

Spent a luxurious night in a decadent bed, got caught up on some laundry, and was refreshed and ready to head for New York on Friday morning.

Many more pixes coming when I have a chance to upload them to a Flickr album...


A wet, driving day - but what a delightful opportunity to re-visit the campus of Gettysburg College. This summer I was there with my son, but he didn't want to stop to see the place, so today I spent several very pleasing hours revisiting old haunts, seeing new buildings, talking to people and seeing an old professor who still remembered me 40 years later. Thoroughly delighted. Pixes coming later - I haven't transferred them from my camera yet.

Broke down and found a Starbucks in Wilkes-Barre, PA where I connected long enough to get caught up on things. They're about to close, so it's time to go find a place to crash before driving to the reunion tomorrow.

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Oct. 17th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
As I viewed the Enola Gay, I kept having this recurring wave of sadness – History is history, and is in itself neither good nor bad – but I can't shake the feeling that this piece of memorabilia should be destroyed, out of respect for the lives lost in the horror that it unleashed. I can see both sides of the argument, but it was still disturbing to look at.

I can understand your feelings, but it's just like when Warner Brothers released the Merrie Melodies cartoons uncut and uncensored--if you hide or conceal the past, it's like pretending it never happened. That's one of the reasons the war happened the way it did in Europe; France wanted to forget their past trauma, so they resisted modernizing the army as long as possible, to their own detriment.

Maggie actually looks quite large, the way she's sitting. Appearances are deceiving where felines are concerned--and we like it that way!

Eagerly awaiting the rail footage!
Oct. 17th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
Ach, so! So they did finally decide to open the E.G. display, then? I have two books of primary sources and document analysis about the controversy over that museum display when they first built it. Japanese-Americans wrote saying it was too harsh on the Japanese. Veterans wrote to say it was too harsh on the bombers. Many others wrote in to say that it was too easy on the bombers and/or the Japanese. So since the Smithsonian had spent a large sum to build the display, rather than tear it back down, they simply closed off that wing of the building. I am pleased to hear they re-opened it, because of the importance, historically, of that airplane.

Oct. 17th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
Maggie actually looks quite large, the way she's sitting. Appearances are deceiving where felines are concerned--and we like it that way!

What you are seeing there is the excess skin and fur from the weight she lost. She normally weighs in at about 13 - 14 lbs and is now about 9 lbs.

The heavier weight actually looks good on her as she is a large cat. with both rear feet planted firmly on the ground she can go "anthro" and put her front claw tips on the counter which is 36" above the floor.
Oct. 18th, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
We've got a cat that can reach that high. We call it her 'sex kitten' pose. The weight doesn't suit her, though. She's long, but the weight is excessive.
Oct. 17th, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)
Oooh, I do so love that oyster stew. I might have to try my paw at it sometime.

Oct. 17th, 2009 08:50 am (UTC)
Sweet kitty.
Oct. 17th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
Ok, now that I've read this more thoroughly, I have more comments. :)

Specifically, I'm intrigued by the Dulet. For some reason, Haggis scares me away, but that dish intrigues me. I'll have to try it with you someday. And I still want to get some oysters and try to make that stew. <3 <3 <3 If/when you come a'visiting, we can work on it together. Maybe do a "Cooking with the Old Wolf: On the Road" episode.

Oct. 18th, 2009 02:41 am (UTC)
That would be fun!

And Dulet has a completely different aspect than Haggis. Very rich in tomatoes and other veggies, if you didn't know what was in it, you'd never guess.

Edited at 2009-10-18 02:44 am (UTC)
Oct. 18th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
Sounds a lot like the cow's tongue tacos I like to get downtown. =^_^=

Oct. 17th, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
Will you be visiting Kathy or Scott on your way back?

Oct. 18th, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
Saw Kathy on the way out, even though briefly. I'm taking a Northern route back...
Oct. 17th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
sounds like you're having a wonderful trip - it's been a while since James and/or I have done the long leisurely road trip thing - but we're looking forward to lots in the future.

Southern New Jersey is lovely, I remember it well from my youth - my aunt, and for a time my grandmother - lived in Point Pleasant, and I remember well collecting 'Cape May Diamonds' along the beaches - I especially loved it there in the spring - they got such a lovely spring long before we further north did.

Is too bad you can't hope a quick 90 min Continental flight out of Newark for St John's *grins* we'd love to have you for a few days as well - but the problem with living at the end of the world, is so very few people ever venture out this far. But we're awfully glad you're having a good time - I'd say it's been a while in coming and it looks awfully good on you.
Oct. 18th, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
Thanks kindly. I'll make it up your way one of these years, count on it.
Oct. 18th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
And stop where I am on the way back :P
Oct. 19th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)


The Old Wolf

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