Well my road trip has come to an end. I’m now sitting in a blanket at a baseball game in Tuttle. What started out as just a road trip to some places in Oklahoma I’ve always wanted to visit has turned into some kind of spiritual journey for me.
I moved on to Natural Falls State Park, after stopping by Camp Scott (the old Girl Scout Camp that closed in 1977 after the tragic murders of three campers). This moment was quite an emotional one. I had one other place on my list, but I was physically and emotionally exhausted, so I decided to head to Tulsa for the night.
I stopped at the “I Don’t Care Bar and Grill” in Catoosa before going to the movie theatre to watch “The Shack.” Having read the book, I knew my emotional roller coaster was not yet over.
I then had a lovely day with a dear friend before coming home.
Along my journey, I tried not to take any major highways. Each stop I made along the way was unique and special. I saw parts of Oklahoma I’ve never in my life seen and was greatly touched by my experiences.
Here are pictures from my last day at the falls. I’ve also included a screenshot of my route.
We slept in this morning. Something I find quite fascinating in Gloucester is that most places do not have AC. They open their windows and use a box fan if needed. The place where we are staying is on stilts over the water. We get to experience the tide activity. During some parts of the day, the tide is out and there is no water beneath us, and boats are setting on the ground. Then during other parts of the day, the boats are floating and there is lots of water underneath our place.
Today, we caught the train into Boston for the Red Sox game. We could have driven, but it takes longer; I didn’t want to drive in Boston, and I thought it would be an amazing experience for the boys (Trey slept, Jake listened to his iTunes).
We made it to Fenway Park. I had researched our seats online and they looked like good ones, so the time was finally here to find out. And Yes! They were good. Plus the game was good. We sat close to the first base line, near the dugout. It did get a little hot, but unlike Oklahoma, there was a cool breeze to help with a nice cooldown.
After the game, we took a duck tour of Boston. We learned a lot about the layout of the city and how the city controlled the Charles River to reshape what is now Boston and Cambridge. We drove a bit on Boylston street, where much of the Boston Marathon is ran, and we crossed the finish line – where the bombings took place.
We saw the place where JFK maintained his residency while he was in office, the Cheers bar and the stadium where the Celtics and the Bruins play.
Since the duck tours are a land and water tour, we did drive right into the Charles River and toured it for a while. Jake even got to drive the boat.
The driver showed us a section of land where for thousands of years the Native Americans migrated for fishing.
We saw the place where Paul Revere came to borrow the horse he rode to warn the Militia that the British were coming.
I would recommend the Duck Tours if you have children, but otherwise, I would have skipped it.
When we got off the boat, we were starving, so we headed to the North End. Italian immigrants dominate that area, so there are some phenomenal restaurants in that area.
We headed back to the North Station to catch the commuter train back to Gloucester. We got into bed around 1 am.
I didn’t get a lot of pictures because my phone died and I ran out of room on my camera.
Another early start this morning. We were out and fishing by 6:30.
We had a blue fish and a bass on but lost them. We ventured into a place called “The Corner,” but our luck didn’t change there, so we called it a day.
I highly recommend taking a fishing charter with the Sandy B. Captain Ira worked his tail off for us. As suspected, he didn’t care for his crew member yesterday and had a new one today.
After getting off the boat, we took our fish back to the apartment. Then we had dinner at Cape Inn Brewery. I had fish and chips. Jake had a BBQ sandwich. Trey had the chicken wings and Evan ate a cod sandwich. He also tried a couple of their microbrews.
We took a scenic route to Salem. All the guys crashed, but I enjoyed the view.
We arrived in Salem at the House of Seven Gables. The mansion was built for Captain John Turner in 1668. Three generations of Turners owned the house, but John Turner III lost the family fortune and the house. At that time the Ingersolls took possession of the mansion.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, a relative of the Ingersolls, spent a lot of time in the home as a child. The house had gone through several changes over the years, and during Hawthorne’s time, the house only had three gables. But his cousin Susannah Ingersoll told him about the history of the house and its original seven gables, which inspired his novel “The House of the Seven Gables.”
Speaking of Hawthorne, his great-grandfather was John Hathorne “The Hanging Judge.” He was the only judge during the Salem witch trials who never showed remorse for the hangings. Out of shame and to disassociate himself, Nathaniel added a “w” to the spelling of his last name.
After visiting the house, we took a walking tour of a Salem to learn more about the history of the witch trials. At first, I don’t think the guys were thrilled about this, but when it was over, we all had a good time and enjoyed it.
If you ever have a chance to study the witch trials, please do. I never realized how much the travesty of those events played a role in our current judicial system. What’s more, I truly understand now what the expression “witch hunt” means. The women and men accused were innocent, yet killed because a group of young girls got into some trouble and were coerced into blaming their actions on witchcraft and were then forced to name names. So to save their own hyde, they just started pointing out people in the community who were not very well liked.
From that, the entire situation spiraled out of control as neighbors who wanted the land adjoining theirs would accuse their neighbor of being a witch. The accused were tried, convicted, all their belongings stripped from them; they were killed, and the accuser acquired their possessions.
As the frenzy continued and people started having doubts about the girls’ stories, the girls would accuse those who started questioning them of being a witch.
We saw the courthouse where the accused were held. We visited the second oldest cemetery in the U.S and saw the Witches Memorial. We learned that Salem was the birthplace of the National Guard. We saw the most haunted place in Salem, the Joshua Ward house. George Washington stayed here and left after one night, saying – never again.
We also learned that it was in Salem that the Parker Brothers created most of their board games. And we saw the actual house where the murder took place that inspired the board game Clue.
I enjoyed the day spent in Salem, but it is a very different culture than that of Gloucester.
My recommendation is to stay in Gloucester if you like the fishing village atmosphere and Salem if you like the witch/wizard environment.
The day everyone was waiting on has at last arrived: Our first day of fishing.
We got up at 4 am and boarded the boat by 5 am.
Both boys got a little sea sick but pulled through it to catch several haddock. Trey caught a shark, but no tuna. At one point, Jake was bent over getting sick while saying, “I am not going to miss this fishing trip.”
Ira, our captain on the Sandy B was great and also educational. Billy, the mate, worked hard for us too. But I don’t think Ira liked him much.
We saw humpback and fin whales.
After 12 hours of fishing, we headed back. We went to eat at Katrina’s. Our captain recommended it. I had the steak tips (very good). Jake had hot wings. Trey and Evan had their bacon cheeseburger. Everyone loved their meal.
We then went to see the “Man at the Wheel,” a monument that commemorates fisherman lost at sea.
We went to Crows Nest, the bar where the fishermen lost at sea in the Perfect Storm frequented. Bobby’s mom continued working there but ultimately lost her life to breast cancer a few years ago.
We went back to our rooms and went to bed to prepare for another day of fishing.
Today was a day of leisure. We ate breakfast at Sailor Stans. Mona who owns the place where we are staying recommended it. She was right. It was delicious.
There were a couple of older gentlemen sitting at the table next to us. It appeared they were regulars. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to their conversation.
The service at Sailor Stand was spectacular.
We then went to the grocery store to get some things for the apartment, the fishing trip and our road trips.
We spent the afternoon on the beach at Good Harbor Beach. It was nice and pretty, but the water was very cold.
For dinner, we ate at the Rudder Restaurant. The guys had oysters. Trey and I had Lobster. Jake ate a cheeseburger and Evan had fish tacos. It was the first time the boys had eaten lobster like that – eyes and all. They hated it, so Evan sucked up what they left.
Earlier in the day, Evan bumped into one of the crew members of Wicked Tuna.
We went back to our apartment, prepared our bags for the fishing trip and went to bed.
On Wednesday, we flew into Boston around midnight and journeyed to Gloucester. We found our accommodations in Rocky Neck (and that is the name of the actual place: Accommodations at Rocky Neck).
“The Rocky Neck Art Colony is one of the oldest working art colonies in the country, and has been luring artists to its picturesque shores for more than 150 years. Among others, these artists include Fitz Henry Lane in the 1840s, Emile Gruppe, who made The Neck his home and painted into the 1970s, as well as Childe Hassam, Milton Avery, Maurice Prendergast, Cecilia Beaux, John Sloan, Stuart Davis, Frank Duveneck, Nell Blaine, and Jane Peterson. Leonard Craske created ‘The Man at the Wheel,’ Gloucester’s famous landmark sculpture, in his studio on the pier on Rocky Neck in the 1920s. Writers Louisa May Alcott, Rudyard Kipling, and others frequented The Neck.”