Monday, November 7, 2011

Weddings, Wells, and Warren (Part 1 of our latest East coast vacation)

Last year around this same time, Jason and I had a wedding to attend in Boston. We took advantage of the trip and made it a vacation by taking a week to travel around the area (you can read about the trip here).

This past week we had a wedding in Erie, PA and decided to do the same thing - take a week of vacation after the wedding and tour around the area. We started by heading out last Friday and flying to Buffalo, a two hour drive from Erie. The wedding in Erie was amazing! The groom was a great friend of mine from college - Justin. He and I have been friends since our freshmen year at Mines and he was an usher in our wedding. His gorgeous fiancé (now wife!) Rachael was a spectacular bride and we are so glad we got to be a part of their wedding!

After the wedding, Jason and I headed south to Titusville, PA. What's is in this small, seemingly insignificant small town you say? Only the most important historical landmark ever... the first oil well!!! As soon as I knew Justin and Rachael were getting married in PA I called and inquired about the hours at the Drake Oil Museum. It was like February. The person thought I was crazy! BUT - we visited the museum on the LAST day it was open before winter hours began. And I literally planned when we were taking our week of vacation (before or after the wedding) based on this visit to the museum. I am that big of a dork. :-)

Here is Jason and I arriving in Titusville. Please note the matching "I heart pumpjack" shirts that I made us wear. Yep, I am climbing the nerd-dom scale as we speak.

I was literally sprinting around the museum and the grounds. The workers there thought I was nuts. They were absolutely correct... nuts about OIL!

Jason sprinted too...

This is the site of the first well!! They have it setup to simulate what the original well would have looked like and even have a barrel of oil circulating through for effect. It was glorious! The well was drilled in 1859 by Colonel Drake and Uncle Billy to a depth of 69'. (We were tested on this in school... I promise.)

Outside were pumpjacks! I am pretty sure we weren't supposed to be climbing them, but oh well. I like to live dangerously (sidenote- these were obviously not operational. It is still a dream of mine to ride a real pumpjack someday...even though it's dangerous and against every company policy out there...)

This was an old drilling technique that Jason and I didn't know about until we visited the museum. In the old days, the original wells were "drilled" by two men slamming down a metal pipe. On a good 12-hour shift, two large men could "drill" around 3 feet...yikes! Good thing we've improved that in the modern oil industry!

Look more matching shirts!! ;-)

After Titusville, we headed to Warren, PA just north of the Allegheny National Forest, to stay the night. We went hiking the next day all around the forest and enjoyed the amazing colors of the leaves and the perfect fall weather!

There is lots more to share from our trip, but unfortunately it's WAY past my 9:00 pm bedtime so the rest is to be continued...

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