Fun travel rule of thumb: if someone asks if you’d like to go up a really tall structure or geological feature so you can look down upon all the other tourist attractions you actually came to see, you say yes.
Some of the roadside attractions that catch our attention are all about indulging our geek sides. Some are highlights that speak to Anne the history aficionado. For such a tiny town, Ticonderoga pulled off the neat trick of catering to both facets in her. It was a little jarring transitioning from a tour of the 23rd century to a time capsule of the 18th, but we managed. We are large; we contain multitudes.
Sure, Vermont was our target destination, but the Star Trek Original Series Set Tour might’ve been the stop on our itinerary that we were most excited to see. The town of Ticonderoga seemed an odd location choice, as opposed to a large city or squarely in California, land of ten thousand entertainment tourist attractions. But inside those doors and on those resurrected sets, all questions about the outside become irrelevant while you’re exploring this full-scale, familiar TV world.
Of course we couldn’t contain all that space goodness to a single chapter.
MCC’s amazing colossal Star Trek year continues! So far in 2022 we’ve attended Star Trek: Mission Chicago (where we met cast members from multiple series) as well as two other conventions with Trek stars (another Chicago show, plus one here in Indy); we’ve shared and overshared our impressions of Picard; loved both Lower Decks and Strange New Worlds without writing about them; read a few Trek-related books, some of which I’ve discussed as well as others I’ll eventually cover when I get back to writing about my reading; and checked out the Captain Janeway birthplace statue in Bloomington, IN. After taking several years off from the universe Gene Roddenberry built, we’ve fallen back into it hard.
We even worked a heaping helping of Trek into this year’s vacation. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve detoured for Trek’s sake (cf. that one time in 2014 when a traveling Trek exhibition stopped at the Mall of America), but some extra mileage was necessary to reach this one. One does not merely swerve off-road on an impulse for this particular spectacle.
Upstate New York is populated by the remains of so many famous dead people that it’s tough for any serious history aficionado like Anne to pass all of them without at least a cursory courtesy visit. Hardcore fans of the Revolutionary War who want to complete their gravesite set will have to detour far into the sticks west of the Adirondacks to pay respects to one particular Prussian whose assistance was instrumental to securing America’s freedom from the British monarchy, at least in a bureaucratic sense if not necessarily in a head-space sense.
Not all the food we had on this trip need to be raised on their own commemorative pedestals, but Syracuse, NY, earned bonus points for providing us with not one, but two of the best meals of the week. That’s worth a single-entry shout-out.
After the National Women’s Rights Park we had another set of stops to make at the next town over that would likewise have fit in well with our 2018 visits to the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House in Rochester and her grave (as well as Frederick Douglass’), if we’d had time to stop at every single upstate New York city on that trip. This year we made up for quite a few omissions that year.
But first, we had to brake for some unexpected cameos that had far less to do with rights, except perhaps in other galaxies.
Of all the weekends on all the calendars that we could’ve picked to visit a tribute to women…
As a pop art fan, I’ve braked for Andy Warhol works at our past visits to institutions in Chicago and Columbus, OH. It was great at long last to see the much vaster treasure trove at the Andy Warhol Museum, opened in his hometown of Pittsburgh in 1994. A full five stories are devoted to the artist/filmmaker, plus a couple more stories for bonus content. They’re open late on Fridays, which worked out perfectly for our travel itinerary as well as the schedules of several other visitors, including an entire tour group that we had to weave around as we lollygagged from floor to floor.