Sunday, July 24, 2016

Blowing Off Steam More Ways Than One

One thing bad about Red Roof Inns is many of them don't have breakfast. One of the best things about Red Roof Inn is they don't have breakfast. Given that we head out of Wilkes-Barre for Scranton to Steamtown National Historic Site for INK. We have been here multiple times and took the tour on one of our visits. Today will be a simple grab and run for the stamp.

Coming off the highway there is a Valero gas station facing us and we need gas. Pull in and to my right was river and this block of buildings sitting on the river. I thought this was the back end of Steamtown, however it is in fact General Dynamics.

General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems boasts one of the world’s most modern forge shops. The shop contains six forge lines. Each line contains an automated, computer controlled, billet heating furnace and automated 3-step press line. General Dynamics website

Makes sense given the prominent building in the picture says Blacksmith Shop.

Right across the street is the Scranton Iron Furnaces, which have the remains of four stone blast furnaces which were built between 1848 and 1857. The furnaces are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It is still 20 minutes before Steamtown opens, so I bring up places to go have breakfast on the GPS. Krispy Kreme is right at the top, close and I have never been to one. I make a leap of faith, hoping they serve something other than donuts. As we head for the place we came across Sharon's Place and made a hard right turn without warning into the parking lot. Thank goodness it is early on Sunday just outside the downtown Scranton. There is no traffic to speak of.

Parking lot is relatively empty, which is not a good sign, but it has got to be better than donuts. Sharon's turn out to be a GREAT place. Food was good, it was cheap, the folks were friendly, the waitresses a hoot and sassy, all the ingredients for a great spot.

I didn't order anything fancy, 2 eggs flipped and broken, sausage, home fries and toast. Now it is really hard to ruin fried eggs, but it is an art when they are cooked to perfection, which there were.

We hit Steamtown and I regret now that I didn't take any pictures for this writing. It is really a worthwhile destination to going to. Click Here for more info

Next stop is Dingman's Falls, which is part of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. This is where I took Crystal on our first extended weekend motorcycle trip together when we first met. It is special place for me. My guess Crystal feels the same.

Just around the bend from Dingman is the Franklin Mineral Museum that has the Zinc Miner tribute statue for the Americana Tour. This was an active mine until the mid 1950's extracting stuff like zinc and manganese

About 40 miles deeper into Jersey is Washington's Headquarters in Morristown. This was purely a grab and run INK opportunity. From there we headed for my home town, West Orange. First order of business is to grab ink at the Thomas Edison National Historic Site, where Edison had his laboratory. This completed the last stop on the Iron Butt Association National Park Tour. You can see the INK on the photo below in the lower right corner.

Out of the West Orange laboratories came the motion picture camera, improved phonographs, sound recordings, silent and sound movies and the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery. Wikipedia

From here I passed my old High School, where Tony Soprano graduated from in the series the Sopranos. I also drove past the home I grew up in West Orange. Great memories!! The area I grew up in really hasn't changed that much from the 1950's.

From here was a straight shot to the Garden State Parkway, Exit 145. Long standing joke about Joisey is a reference to the exit you lived off from the GSP.

One more diversion to another fond memory of my childhood.

Buy Em by the Sack, was Buy Em by the Bag, because we didn't have sacks in Joisey. Sacks is a mid-west term. 12 for 12 cents was the typical order for a grand total of 1.44. A chocolate shake was pretty much the norm to wash down the burgers. Still full from breakfast I had one White Castle and a chocolate shake. Crystal only had the shake. When I ordered 1 they made me repeat I only wanted 1. No one orders just one.

The building has changed, no longer the porcelain signs and stainless steel seats, counters and tables. The burgers are exactly as I remember them thou. Today they are called Sliders, but that name didn't exist in the 50's and to me they are White Castles.

One of the things I remember is watching the cooks placing a bed of onions on the grill, then the square burger with four holes on top of the onions, covering this with the bun. The onions kept the burger off the grill enabling the cooking by steam. The holes insured the burger was fully cooked in the shortest amount of time.

Time magazine credits the Slider as the most influential and important burger creation of all time. My guess Louis Lunch in New Haven Connecticut (don't ask for ketchup) would dispute this fact, since they claim to have invented the burger.

White Castle was the last stop, hitting all highway to get home at a decent hour, have work tomorrow. From here to home was about 220 miles for a total of 350 miles for the day.

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