July 7th - Day 5
The day after touring New York City, what we could anyway, we headed up to Cooperstown to see the Baseball Hall of Fame. The drive up to Cooperstown from NYC is about four hours, but the traffic to get out of the city was brutal so it was going to be more like five+ hours. It was raining hard from NYC to about two hours north, so pictures were not an option. I wanted to stop in Poughkeepsie to see Vassar College but we stopped at a Japanese restaurants first and it was some of the best soup I've ever had.
Vassar College is a liberal arts college that is pretty selective and expensive ($65,000 a year) but is know for it's beautiful campus with two historical landmarks and a historical place (amongst other things.) Because of the delay getting out of NYC, we could only briefly tour the college. What we did see was beautiful. The campus is sprawling and the buildings are old and majestic. We had enough time to go into the library and the church. Being from Phoenix, I do not get the opportunities to see really old buildings, so it was really gratifying for me to see.
After Vassar we drove to Cooperstown. We were gun-shy from the tolls coming into NYC, so we made sure to avoid them upstate. The problem with this, of course, is that you take a lot back roads, and I had to be strong with my navigation game. The upside is that you see beautiful houses and countryside that you normally wouldn't see. Because the windshield in the Benz is is tinted in such a way, it cast a vignette across pictures, it makes it hard to shoot much while riding/ Thus the lack of pictures.
Parking in Cooperstown is tricky. Basically you have to park on the street and all those spots were taken, so we parked in the Doubleday Field parking lot. You have to pay to park in this lot, but we found a spot in front of a ice cream shop that had free parking. We got a hot dog. I had visited the BHF back in 2002(?) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Besides the plaques section, they had remodeled much of the hall. If I remember correctly, there were only two floors open, but now they had three. What they had done was very nice. It starts with a "locker" for each team and then proceeds into the rest of the museum which goes in chronological order. They had also added a section on women in baseball and an area dedicated to the multi-national aspect of the game. The bottom floor has a room dedicated to baseball art and then the plaque area. It took us about two hours to go through the whole thing, but you could easy spent three or more.
We left the hall a little before dusk, and headed back to Harper's Ferry. On the way, just outside of Frackville, Pennsylvania, the headlights went out on the Benz. We stopped and were able to find the problem, but we were not going to be able to fix it, so we got a room and knocked out. When I was looking up hotels, I noticed that there was a town nearby named Pottsville. I new that name. That is were Yuengling beer was founded and has a brewery. America's oldest brewery in fact. I'm not a big believer in fate, but this was a quite serendipitous. The town was only six miles away, which was great for location, but it also meant we could sleep in. The first part of this trip was very tiring and I was definitely in need of some extra rest. I'm old.