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June 30, 2010 / howardmestas



My Favorite Photo of The Whole Trip!


So Many Things!  So Little Time!

Today was one of our most hectic, yet one of the most exciting days of our trip, and I am still amazed we were able to pull it off!  Starting early, very, very early, we left Cooperstown for a two-and-a-half hour drive through some of the most beautiful countryside anywhere.  With all the small towns along the way it was hard to believe this was still New York.  How crazy is it to think that ninety-percent of the population of New York is in an area the size of a small county in Colorado.  Finally we arrived at our destination located at the middle finger on the scenic and historical 

How embarrassing for the guy on the left! Is that Danny Glover?


 Finger Lakes.  Yes, I do keep track of such things.  We were in Seneca Falls, a place where the first women’s rights movement began.  We stopped and visited the Women’s Rights National Historic Park which I thought could have been better considering the magnitude of the locality; still it was a great learning experience.  I enjoyed the exhibit of women’s athletics on the second floor since I was a girl’s high school coach for 25 years.  I can still remember when Title IX first came about in the seventies and girl’s athletics first became available in schools.  How was it that this opportunity was lost for so many years?  Next we visited the 

Home of Harriet Tubman with original barn on th left. How cool is that?


Karin and her twin!


Nice Arrangement!


home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the first pioneer for women’s equality.  It was good to see the various homes where the movement began, especially since I was able to put a place to go along with all the things I have learned by taking two classes with Teresa Jacobs.  Things all began fitting together when we saw the home of Harriet Tubman, a person I have always admired.  To hear the stories of how she was abused when she was a young slave girl was really sad, but her triumph in the end is one of America’s great stories.  How brave a person was she to risk her life so many times by returning to the dreaded South to free loved ones?  It’s not surprising to learn that she and Stanton became friends and partners in a movement to gain respect and political power for all women; white or black.  What was surprising is all that we learned at our next stop, the home of William H. Seward.  Seward is a guy you hardly hear about in the history books, other than he was the person responsible for purchasing Alaska while he was Secretary of State in 1867.  But there is so much more to this man and his place in history, even if he was only five-feet-four.  First of all he had an impressive political career being Governor 

Iron Bridge on The Erie Canal


of New York, a US Senator for two terms and Secretary of State to both Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.  And his home was one of the best stops on the entire trip considering every single object was original; including the bloody sheets where he survived an assassination attempt the night Lincoln was killed.  A testament to his 

Boat dock on the canal


Boat dock on the canal


character was the fact that this very residence was a stop on the Underground Railroad which means he was a government official who was breaking the law for so many years by doing what was right.  A short talk to one of the curators revealed that he was the kind of boss you would like to work for since he would give 

A rise of 25.1 feet!


 a house and a pension to his servants when they became too old to work anymore.  He was very generous for causes he believed worthy and even gave a home and some property to Tubman.  Seward is definitely a guy I want to learn more about. 

Our final stop for the day was definitely the coolest hands on educational experience I have ever been a part of, a boat ride on the Erie Canal.  Like so many things on this trip, you can’t understand something until you actually see it in person, and going through the locks was an experience I will never forget.  I instantly became a fan of the Erie Canal and all who were associated with it; DeWitt Clinton who insisted on it, the incredible engineers who made the plans for it, and the immigrant workers who toiled to dig it.  I want to read books, see paintings, and hear the songs from the men and mules that made the difficult 15 miles per day trip.  This was an awesome day and we pulled it off! 



















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