Today is moving day! The caravan organizes the comings and goings of the Airstreams in a much more formal way than I have ever experienced.
There are two reasons for this format: one is safety; we have a team of “Deparkers” who check each Airstream as it leaves the RV Park, checking for lights, directional signals, windows and doors being closed, TV antenna being down, things like that. We also have “Parkers” at the next RV Park, guiding the Airstreams into their assigned spaces and making sure traffic jams are kept to a minimum. However, for this reason, we are not permitted to arrive at the next RV Park before an assigned time. So we teamed up with two other couples, one with a 34′ Airstream and the other with a 32′ “Squarestream”. (Airstream experimented with making a fiberglass Airstream in a traditional boxy shape back in the 1980s. I had never seen one until this trip… you can see it in the photo above, second from the left…)
So we arrived safely and parked at Sandy Pond Campground in Plymouth, MA. We added another sticker to the map:
We had a free afternoon, so we headed out towards Cape Cod to the little town of Sandwich. We are headed to the Glass Blowing Museum. In the 17th and 18th centuries glass blowing was an important industry in New England. Eventually, by the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this kind of manufacturing industry ceased to exist here. Competition from more modern techniques, in areas of the country with cheaper fuel, doomed glass blowing in Sandwich. This type of story was repeated throughout New England in many industries: textiles, clothing, shoes, whaling, fishing, and on and on. Even farming is rare here; fields that were laboriously cleared of trees and rocks by the Pilgrims and Puritans and other colonists were abandoned and have now been taken over by forests again.
In Sandwich is a museum showing the types of glass that was made in Sandwich, both by blowing and by pressing. There was also great information on Sandwich’s own factory and its history, owners, labor strife, and competition. But the best part was the glass blowing demonstration.
We asked the glass blowing guy how he got into this line of work. He said he took the job right out of high school because it was easy and convenient. He has been here six years now.
He has his patter down, much like a magician; he was a great performer, swinging these red-hot rods around like a baton twirler. It was really fun to watch. He asked the group (about 20 spectators) if he should make a vase or a wine glass. The immediate answer (me) was “wine glass”.
It was a really amazing demonstration. First the blob of sand is heated to about 2,000 degrees F:
This hot glob of melted sand is gently shaped as he rolls the rod along the bench. Then he blows into the end of the tube and the glob expands into the glass bowl:
He continues to shape the bowl, then grabs another glob of molten sand and forms the stem, then the foot. It all happens so fast that photos were difficult. Finally, he set the perfectly formed wine glass on the work bench. I’m so excited! I want this glass!
Then he tells us that within about 5 minutes the glass will explode. As the glass cools the differential between the internal temperature and the surface temperature will cause the glass to crack. To prevent the glass from exploding it must be cooled slowly, in an annealing oven. It takes from 1-7 days, depending on the type of glass and the design. By now the glass is down to about 900 degrees… He sprinkles a few drops of water on the glass, it shatters, and he throws the scraps into the broken glass pile. Demonstration over. (The broken glass is put back into the oven and it is 100% recycled…)
I’d watch this again! It was much fun!
So, empty handed, we set out to Seafood Sam’s for lunch – Lobster Rolls (New England style, not Connecticut style…). After lunch we walked along the Cape Cod Canal.
The canal actually cuts through the peninsula, from the open sea into the protected harbor, technically making Cape Cod an Island. We also walked along to the end to see the Beach:
Just what Cape Cod is supposed to look like… Lynda had to see if the water is warm or cold:
It is cold – very cold…
We walked until our Apple watches were happy, then we headed back to the Villa. We have a Bourbon Tasting tonight!
Three of our caravanners are from Kentucky, and they brought out a grand selection of Bourbons for us all to taste. Needless to say, an enjoyable time was had by all…