2016 Summer Retreat - Evading the heat? travel blog

"Aspet" Saint Gaudens' home in Cornish with his studio to the left...

View of Aspet from the studio

View of Mount Ascutney in Vermont from the studio porch

Formal gardens at Aspet

A look into the garden from the house

Flowers in the garden and in displays around the house

Statuary by Saint-Gaudens on display

Early cameo and plaster prototypes of the coins designed by Saint-Gaudens

Inside Aspet

Canopy of white birch next over a path behind the studio

Marble couple

Windsor-Cornish Covered Bridge built in 1866 as a toll bridge

Friday's route

No wonder they call this the Green Mountain State

I91 northbound

Following the Monaco to our parking place at Escapade

The hook-ups water and electric

Winnie and the Fit

Thunder storm moving into Chittenden County

Winnie watching the storm

Managed to get one big bolt

The internet service at our KOA got so bad yesterday I couldn't post before we left White River Junction so I'll catch up today. I drove to Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, NH on Thursday afternoon. We passed through this area in 2010 and I had a visit to Saint-Gaudens on the itinerary, but we didn't stop because we were running short on time. The site preserves the home, gardens, and studios of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of America's foremost sculptors in the late 1800's and early 1900's. It was his summer residence from 1885 to 1897, his permanent home from 1900 until his death in 1907. It was also the center of the Cornish Art Colony from about 1895 through World War I. About 100 artists, sculptors, writers, designers, and politicians lived there either full-time or during the summer months. Augustus Saint-Gardens was the central figure of the Colony.

Saint-Gaudens was an immigrant who came to the US from Ireland with his parents during the potato famine in 1848. His father wanted each of his sons to work with their hands so Augustus was apprenticed to a cameo carver when he was 13. He trained in Europe, but returned to the US where he eventually achieved success for his monuments commemorating heroes of the American Civil War such as General William Tecumseh Sherman and Admiral David Farragut in New York City and Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Park, Chicago. Teddy Roosevelt chose Saint-Gaudens to redesign US coinage at the beginning of the 20th century. His design for the $20 "double eagle" gold piece with Standing Liberty on the front and a flying eagle on the reverse are considered some of the most beautiful of US coins ever minted. His original design called for an ultra high relief coin similar to Roman coins, but the US Mint found them too difficult to produce and impractical because they wouldn't stack. About 20 of these coins were minted and are extremely rare. On sold for nearly $3 million in 2005. The coin was originally produced in normal relief from 1909 until 1933 when gold was confiscated by FDR. It was the last design by Saint-Gaudens as he died in 1909.

We headed further north in Vermont today to attend the Escapees Escapade that starts on Saturday. Our route took us up I91 and was pretty eventful except for the start. It's another GPS story. Instead of turning onto I89 North, I mad a mistake and took the southbound ramp. Should be no big deal as we can go to the next exit (3 miles) and loop around to I89 northbound. Not so fast. Following the GPS directions we get on I91 southbound loop around to get on I91 north, but for some reason the GPS told me to get off on US 5 and then get on I91 south which I just got off and loop around to get on I 91 again heading north. I think we drove about 8 miles in circles before we were heading in the right direction, North.

We arrived at the Exposition Grounds in early afternoon. We found the heat we've been trying to avoid. It was in the upper 80's and seemed that much hotter on the exposition grounds. After plugging in we turned on the AC to cool down Winnie. After about a half-hour the power went off and it seemed like we were the only ones without power. The electric pedestal had no breakers on it like a normal campground because all of the wiring is temporary. After searching up and down the line, I was pointed to the breaker panel by one of the officials and we were able to reset the breaker. Cool agin. While at Escapade, we'll be attending some of the seminars for RV'ers and entertainment events and I'll be doing some photography for the event to help the head photographer. We are staying at the Champlain Exposition Center in Essex Junction. Stay tuned.

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