Sunday, December 2, 2012

Battery Park, no not that one

Bridge to the island, Battery Park, New Castle, Delaware
Photo by Pat Spencer via
  You see when you read newspapers from different places you learn a lot, for me about this park and some of the activities there.  It also brought back a string of personal history; even though I've never been in that park.  But, I have been to New Castle before, more about that later, first the park.
  The bridge in that photo was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, the rest of the park received little damage.  Every year Delaware citizens hold a celebration in this park, to mark to division of Pennsylvania and created Delaware.  Delaware is the "First State", by having it's representative sign the Declaration of Independence first.  It's also a good place to visit if you like salt water and all that goes with it.
  The Battery Parks home, New Castle, Delaware is the terminus of U S Route 202 which starts in Bangor, Maine.  For most of my life as a child and an adult here in Maine that road "202" has been a reasonably close neighbor.  202 runs through my childhood home town, Lebanon, the hospital I was born in sits on that road.  I live about eight miles from the starting point now.  I should try to drive the whole distance, but I won't.  Now about me being in New Castle:
  In the summer of, I think 1970, I left Alameda, California for the last time.  I had a passenger who I new from the AA Club in Alameda, Buddy.  Buddy was a retired truck driver, he drove one of those car carriers that bring the new cars to showrooms, he was going to Suffolk, Virginia.
  We drove from Alameda to just past Truckee which is in the mountains near Donner Pass.  Buddy and I smelled smoke and a check of the rear-view mirror showed smoke.  We stopped the car and could hear what sounded like the gasoline boiling.  As I opened the gas cap the fuel came rushing out, it was hotter than hell, it had been boiling.  We discovered that a hole in the top of the muffler was heating the gas tank, if I hadn't have just filled the tank there would have been a lot of vapors - - they would have exploded!  We drove back to Truckee (which is currently in the news for flooding) for a replacement muffler, without the gas cap on.  We then drove on and spent night one in Sparks, Nevada.
  A couple of days later, after some sleep and rest in an Ohio roadside park we started out at about 3 or 4 AM and drove south across Ohio, through West Virginia and a part of Virginia and I dropped Buddy off in Suffolk at his family residence.  I proceed on to nearby Norfolk and onto the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel.  It was only two lanes back then and fairly new.  It crosses the bay in 17 miles, or so, with a series of bridges (nice, nice for scenery) and tunnels (long ones with two way traffic).  The tunnels keep the bay open to shipping, which with the Navy in the Norfolk area and commercial ships to Philadelphia and in between is a good thing.
  After crossing the bridge/tunnel on US 13 you go through some of Virginia, Maryland and most of Delaware.  I had not had sleep since early that morning in Ohio, it was now late at night; I fell asleep, woke up suddenly just before I hit a large tree.  I stopped for coffee and donuts, and a New Castle, Delaware.  Got to love it.
A person and dog use the Battery Park trail after the Sandy Storm - click to enlarge
Photo from WDDE-FM via

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