Boston/Selkirk Cottage 2008 Trip
Robert & Barbara's 2800 miles in the 2008 Toyota Prius, August 2008

Click on a picture for a larger view

Fri. 8/1
We left Madison with an almost full tank of gas. Barbara guessed that with one bar left on the fuel indicator we would have about 20 miles left before running out of gas. That would have been enough to get us to the next freeway plaza. However, at about 545 miles on the tank of gas that we started out on, an organge triangle with an exclamation point in the middle showed up on the dash (after the last bar had been blinking for a while). The Prius then slowed down to 52 mph and no longer responded to the gas pedal. We only had 2 miles to reach the plaza, so we continued with the batteries running the electric motors, but then the car started slowing down even more. We stopped on the shoulder and shut everything off. When a short gap finally came along in the traffic I got out and opened and then reclosed the gas cap. This freed up enough gas to get the car gasoline engine running again and we made it the last mile to the plaza, filling up at 546 mi. on the trip odometer. Energy consumption on the car's display was in the upper forties for a while as the batteries recharged, then returned to 52 mpg or better.

We continued to Erie PA and stopped at a motel for the night. They told us that the Holiday Inn was the only motel in town that was not booked full. (It was a Friday night and there was some weekend stuff apparently scheduled for the area.) We got the last room at the Holiday Inn Express.

Sat. 8/2 Hull family cottage
We continued on to the Selkirk Beach cottage on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario, hitting a little rain along the way. Barb learned from talking to Margot on her cell phone that Bill was in the hospital for tests, delaying their departure from Cambridge. Margot said they would come to the cottage on Sunday. We got instructions on how to get into the cottage and turn off the alarm system.
View from cottage yard
We had evening rain and then some bright, clear horizontal sunlight. I postponed washing the dishes and took advantage of the light for some closeup photos on the screen porch, texture in the wicker furniture, etc. Later I took some sunset photos. We had quite a bit or rain during the night, but it had stopped by morning.

Sun. 8/3 Click for larger view
With Barb still in bed with the heating pad on her back, I had breakfast and took a walk up the road as far as River View Rd. Some of my photos show puddles of water left by last night's rain. After Barb had breakfast we drove into Pulaski and I drove around and Beaver dam took photos of the town while Barb shopped at the grocery store. Later Barb and I got the canoe in the water and paddled up the river past the bridge. There is more water in the river this year and we were not able to go as far upstream as before because the flow was too fast where it was shallow. We got as far as a beaver dam on the far left (facing upstream). Barb took some photos of it with her camera.

Margot, Tavery and Bill arrived a little after 3 pm in Bill's Volvo station wagon. I got the vacant Robin's nest down from the its location high on the little porch Shore at Oswego above the house number for Tavery to add to her collection. Later I drove the 5 of us in the Prius to Rudy's shoreside fish restaurant in Oswego. Margot had not been there before, and she said it was not what she had expected. It was small and noisy, set up for take-out. We were able to get a table inside. (It was too winding to eat at one of the outside tables.) I took a few photos after supper as the waves splashed on the rocky shore. Back at the cottage Barb helped Tavery with her bath and read her bedtime stories.

Mon. 8/4
After lunch we loaded the Prius to take Margot and Tavery back to Cambridge and to get Barbara to a pre-conference event in Boston Tuesday morning. Bill stood outside waiting to say goodbye while Margot and Barb did last minute things inside. He finally sat down in the front seat with me, with Tavery on her booster seat in the back, and we listened to music in the Prius while we waited. When Margot was ready we said goodbye to Bill and headed to Cambridge.

Tue. 8/5
Pedestrian/bike trail Barb took the subway to her pre-conference meeting in Boston. Margot lent me one of her bicycles and I spent the morning and early afternoon biking around Cambridge, Somerville and Arlington. I went first to the bike trail a few blocks northwest of Fairfield St. that Margot had told me about. Public powder house I biked to its southwest end at the Alewife MBTA Terminal, then headed back up and followed the section north of Massachusetts Ave. to its northeast end in Somerville. Since I only had the Cambridge map Margot had provided, I only had a rough idea of where I was, but I headed west and discovered the Powder House Square area with its Nathan Tufts Park. There I photographed the round stone tower that had served as a powder storehouse in 1700s. (See the plaque on its side.) Next I discovered Tufts University right across the street (in Medford), and spent the rest of the morning exploring it. Chapel towerPainted cannon I had seen its stone chapel tower atop the hill from the distance and wondered about it. Near the chapel was a replica of an old cannon with many coats of paint, the center of a student tradition at Tufts. I briefly joined a campus tour group until it passed the student union, and I stopped in there. After seeing most of the upper and lower campuses I returned to where I had locked the bike, near a statue of an elephant with a rider on a terraced campus hillside. (The school mascot is Jumbo the elephant.) I biked up Broadway to Arlington. After Broadway ran into Massachesetts Ave. I continued up it (thinking I was headed toward Cambridge) and stopped at the Jason Russell House, a 1740 farmhouse on the National Register of Historic Places and site of "the bloodiest fighting between the Minutemen and Redcoasts on the first day of the American Revolution, April 19, 1775". It and the adjacent Smith Museum of Arlington History were closed (open only on weekends). I headed up Mass Av as far as the Foot of the Rocks plaque (which also talks about the April 19, 1775 fighting) before turning around and biking back to Cambridge.

I left Margot's house about 3:30 pm hoping I would be able to see the New bridge over Charles River U.S.S. Constitution in Chelsea before heading down to Logan International Airport to pick up Warren in the Prius. Boston traffic is awful, and was stop and go near the Charles River, so I got to photograph the new bridge from the car. With slow traffic I had to give up on finding the historic sailing ship replica, and headed for the airport. I was early when I got within sight of the airport, but I found the east end of Porter St. was closed off with gates. I headed back to Meridian St. where my Boston map seemed to show connections to highway 1A both north and south, but there was road work in the area and I could only find a sign to 1A south and the Sumner Tunnel. I finally gave up on finding access to the airport in that area and headed north on Chelsea St. until I could get on 1A north. While in the stop and go traffic heading north I talked to Warren on Barb's cell phone and warned him that it might take half an hour to get through the traffic to him. Soon after that I found a sign indicating a U turn option ahead near airport overflow parking. When I got to the next traffic light I followed other cars making a U turn, even though there was no sign at this point indicating that it was legal. Traffic back to the airport was light, and it only took a few minutes to reach the curb where I would be picking up Warren. Margot's 2nd floor back porch However, two attempts to reach him by cell phone at that point got me only a recorded message. Then I was told by a state patrol officer that I would have to go around again. I ended up going back up IA in bumper-to-bumper traffic to the U turn point and got back to where Warren was waiting 15 or 20 minutes later. We had trouble getting back to highway 28 but found Massachusetts Ave. and followed it back to Cambridge. It was getting dark by the time that we had supper on the 2nd floor back porch.

Wed. 8/6
It was a rainy morning and I gave Barb and Warren, with his suitcase full of music to sell, a ride to First Church in Boston (, site of the first session of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network conference they were attending. We missed a Massachusetts Ave. detour near Harvard Square and had trouble finding where we were on the Boston map or on the maps in the Part of Margot's 3rd floor where Warren stayed Pocket Atlas of Metro Boston which we now had along, but finally reached the church. On the return I missed my Ringe Ave. turn, at about the point where a police officer was stopping traffic because of a funeral, and got on a highway where I couldn't turn left, but I finally got back to Margot's a little after 10 am. It rained off and on all day so I stayed in, took a few photos of Margot's 3rd floor, and worked on things I had on Barb's laptop computer.

At 6 pm Margot left for a work appointment, with me in charge of Tavery. Margot was just out the door when Tavery ran downstairs after her, clinging and fussing. After I took her in hand she asked for Barbara. I told her Barbara would not be back until after she was in bed, and she climbed in Margot's bed and covered herself up. After locating her there I went to the kitchen where I was warming up soup for supper. She soon appeared and asked me to help her find her Scooby Doo DVD. We watched a couple of episodes of that and she ate some jello while I had soup. Then we watched Aquamarine from her DVD collection, which she said I would like. (She did not pay much attention to the movie, but stayed with me.) About 8:30 pm Margot returned just before the movie ended.

When Barb returned about 11 pm she had largely lost her voice. She was coming down with something she apparently caught from Tavery.

Thur. 8/7
Christ Church, Cambridge I headed for the Harvard area by bike at the same time as Warren and Barbara headed for the subway to their conference. I took photos of buildings, statues, etc., off and on campus. The strangest building was the "Lampoon Castle" on Bow St. Next I biked along the Cambridge side of the Charles River and took some photo of, and from, bridges across the river. Returning to the campus area I biked through JFK Park to the Old Cambridge Burying Ground next to Christ Church, oldest church building in Cambridge, built 1760.

On the way back to Margot's for a late lunch I took a couple of photos of a big old white church next to Massachusetts Ave. which did not appear to be in use. I took 157 photos before returning, which left just enough battery power to take one more photo over the back fence at Margot's, of her neighbor's swimming pool.

Fri. 8/8
Cemetery coyoteTower on the Hill I biked to Mt. Auburn Cemetery, "America's first landscaped cemetery", and took photos there, including photos of the grave of Hosea Ballou, Buckminster Fuller and Mary Baker Eddy. I took photos of and from the Tower on the Hill. I also photographed a young coyote who seemed unconcerned about me walking by, but disappeared into the bushes when a grounds keeper's truck came by. As he disappeared from sight I saw his long bushy black tipped tail.

Charles River anhinga Next I biked along the Cambridge side of the Charles to Harvard, where I planned to attend a "China Expo" between 2 and 3:30 pm. A big clock I had seen on the street was wrong, and I arrived early, bought some grapefruit juice to drink, and went back to the Charles. There I saw an anhinga in the river and later drying his wings atop a float. I biked along the river as far as the MIT campus, and took a few photos there before heading back to Harvard. I arrived at the lecture hall where the expo was in progress about 2:30 pm. Besides PowerPoint illustrated talks it included a folk singer and a dancer.

Sat. 8/9
I headed south by bike through Danehy Park, making a short stop to Hooper-Lee-Nichols House watch some of an ultimate frisbee game. Then I continued south to the bike path along the eastern edge of Fresh Pond, including Kingsley Park. From Fresh Pond I headed east on Fresh Pond Parkway and Gerrys to the Charles River. I followed the bike/pedestrian path toward the Harvard area and cut over to Brattle Street, where I took a tour of the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House, the oldest house on Brattle St. Margot had given me a brochure about this and other free tours, part of Cambridge Discovery Days presented by the Historic Cambridge Collaborative on 8/9 and 8/16.

Harvard Lacrosse practice After the tour I headed back to the Charles, crossed over on one of the foot bridges, and biked along the Boston side to Harvard's Soldier's Field, containing their athletic facilities. I took some photos at their stadium, where Lacrosse practice was going on. Then I headed on down river to Boston University, where I took a few photos. The Sargent College building was built after Barb attended.

Boston Women's Memorial I went back to the river path where I had locked the bicycle and continued into Boston. I biked along the path in the boulevard in the middle of Commonwealth Ave., photographing some of the statues. The most artistically interesting spot was the Boston Women's Memorial, featuring statues of Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone and Phillis Wheatley. I stopped at First Church in Boston and the Arlington Street Church before visiting the Central Burying Ground and Boston Common. I also stopped at UUA Headquarters on Beacon St. and the Massachusetts State House, both closed. Next I visited the Granary Burying Ground and King's Chapel with its burial ground, including the grave of Governor Winthrop and family. Then I headed for Government Center and the harbor with its little Christopher Columbus Park. Next I headed up narrow Prince St. to the Paul Revere House and then over to Paul Revere Mall. Next I stopped outside the Old North Church, then headed up the hill to Copp's Hill Burial Ground.
I crossed once again to the Cambridge side of the River via the walkway of the highway 28 bridge, where I had to wait for the bridge to be lowered. Another bicycle rider told me that it was only the 2nd time he had seen the bridge up. Finally I took one photo on the MIT campus, my camera battery being almost dead.

Sun. 8/10
Barb, Warren and I took the subway to Boston for the morning service at the Arlington Street Church, where UUMN conference participants were singing and playing handbells. They made up more than half the congregation. After hearing the great music, and hearing William Singford speak, we got seafood sandwiches in the basement of the church. Then while Barb and Warren sat and rested I walked through the Public Garden across the street with its swan boats, ether memorial, etc. Salem Witch MuseumThen I met them to board a bus for a tour of Salem MA, a few miles up the coast. There we visited the House of the Seven Gables on which Nathaniel Hawthorne based his book and his birthplace house, which is now nearby. Then it was on the the old UU church which had been converted, after the interior burned, to the Salem Witch Museum. Finally, our tour leader (a UUMN participant) told us about some of the houses along one old Salem street, and I took a few photos through the bus window. After the bus returned to the hotel in Boston, the three of us took the subway back to Margot's. We managed to miss most of the early evening rain.

Mon. 8/11
Barb and Margot took took Tavery to a new day camp this morning. Late in the morning we said goodbye to Margot and took Warren to the airport around noon. Then Barb and I drove back west to the Selkirk cottage on Lake Ontario. There we found that Bill and a guest, his friend Jim, were visiting next door. The four of us went out for supper to a nice restaurant in Pulaski near the Salmon River that Bill had not visited before. Jim is retired from the arts job that Bill got him into years ago, but he continues to serve as organist and choir director at an Episcopal church. Barb and he talked at length (her voice having recovered enough to allow her to talk).

Tue. 8/12
Click for larger view In the morning after breakfast I drove up to Rainbow Shores and the bird sanctuary parking lot near there, leaving Barb and Jim to talk more (with Bill mainly listening). I hiked up the shoreline of wave-rounded stones and took some shore and stone closeup photos, then returned in time for a noon lunch with the four of us. After lunch Bill and Jim headed for Bill's storage locker 30 miles away in Watertown and Barb and I headed home. She had considered staying another night but decided she did not feel well enough. We spent the night at a Day's Inn in western Ohio. We had decided not to try to visit anyone one the way home to avoid spreading Barb's germs.

Wed. 8/13
Driving through rain off and on, we arrived back home about 3:20 pm. Ian had not expected us so early, and had not washed his dishes or taken the sheet off our bed that he had laid on top of the bedspread when he slept there.

Trip gasoline:
Date Gallons Cost Odometer
7/26   8886 @ Madison WI
8/1 10.332 $38.63 @ 3.739   9434 @ Swanton OH
8/2 10.027 $41.10 @ 4.099   9927 @ Pulaski NY
8/11 9.45  $34.96 @ 3.699 10412 @ Cambridge MA
8/12 6.945 $27.50 @ 3.959 10790 @ Pulaski NY
8/13 9.733 $36.10 @ 3.709 11255 @ Genoa OH
8/16 9.197 $34.02 @ 3.699 11760 @ Madison WI
Total 55.684 $212.31 2874 mi. traveled - 51.61 mpg

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