The “Other” Gobblers Knob

by Debby Jagerman-Dungan
( September 24th, 2014 )

Gobbler's Knob Mt Rainier Punxsutawney Phil

“The “other” Gobbler’s Knob? What? What do you mean?” you ask. “I thought there was only one Gobbler’s Knob. The one two miles east of the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. You know, the one where each year on February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog, ‘the Seer of Seers, the Sage of Sages, the Prognosticator of Prognosticators, the Weather Prophet Extraordinaire,’ makes his weather prediction from Gobbler’s Knob. The place from where, since 1887, Phil has told us whether there will be six more weeks of winter, or if spring is just around the corner. The one at about 1,620 feet elevation. The one where you climb up the roads of Punxsutawney approximately 394 feet from the town to get there. You mean there is another Gobbler’s Knob?”

Gobbler's Knob Punxsutawney Pennsylvania

Well, actually, yes, there is another one.  Located on the other side of the country. In the state of Washington, at Mt. Rainier National Park, at an elevation of 5,485 feet. A place where on a clear day, you get the perfect views of Mt. Rainier, the Tahoma Glacier, a few alpine lakes, and the forests of trees beyond in all directions. There is even a fire lookout built in 1933 at this Gobblers Knob, one that was historically used by firewatchers to spot and report smoke and lightning strikes in the area. Occasionally still used today, this fire lookout is one of four remaining at Mt. Rainier. On a really clear day, from this Gobblers Knob, you can also see the peaks of Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and the Olympic Mountains.

Gobblers Knob Lookout Mt Rainier 1.6 Miles

Gobblers Knob Lookout Mt Rainier .4 Miles

What is extra special about this “other” Gobblers Knob is that Punxsutawney Phil has actually been there! Well, ok, maybe not the actual Phil, but his picture sure has. He climbed the 1,195 feet of elevation with me in my backpack from Lake George below, up the one and a half miles to reach this spot. Well, actually we climbed 1,585 feet of elevation gain from where we parked our car, and five miles from the car.

Gobblers Knob Fire Lookout Mt Rainier

Gobbler's Knob Fire Lookout Mt Rainier 5485

“And why would you bring a picture of Phil to the “other” Gobblers Knob?” you ask. Well, there is a “Worldwide Adventures of Phil” photography contest that I am entering in, and this is just one of the several places that I have taken Phil with me this year on my travels that I will enter into the contest. “And why would you do such a thing?” you ask. Well, because my birthday is on…Groundhog’s Day. Even this past February, my husband and I went to the Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania to see the grand event. So when my husband and I decided to do a backpacking trip this August, for our one year wedding anniversary, we chose to go to Lake George, the perfect launching place for a trip up to the “other” Gobblers Knob, and to bring Phil along. Phil has been on a backpacking trip!

Gobblers Knob Mt Rainier Punxsutawney Phil

“And where else have you taken Phil this year?” you ask. To our 12-day walking travels in the Cotswolds area of England, followed by a few days in London, and to the restoration project we are involved in at the Burrow’s Island Lighthouse. I will be entering photos of Phil at these places as well. Wish me luck.

Cotswolds Stanway St Peters Church

London Bridge

Westminster Abbey London

Burrow's Island Lighthouse

“Oh, and did you know that ‘marmot’ is another name for a ‘groundhog’?” I ask. My husband and I happened to see a couple of cute juvenile marmots playing at Mt. Rainier as well. And Phil saw them too!

Groundhog Marmot Mt Rainier

And get this…There are a few “other other” Gobblers Knobs in the United States that I discovered as I was preparing this blog. At 10,246 feet there is a mountain near Salt Lake City, Utah in the Wasatch Mountains called Gobblers Knob. In Alaska, there is a 3,018 foot mountain peak near milepost 132 on the Dalton Highway named Gobblers Knob. One in the San Bernardino National Forest in California at 6,955 feet. One in the Crater Lake area in Oregon at 3,459 feet. There are even a couple of Gobblers Knobs in Colorado, and one in Mississippi.* Looks like we will need to take Punxsutawney Phil on a few more adventures!

Sweet Travels!

*Most information about the various Gobblers Knobs from Peakbagger-Gobblers Knob.

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The Honey-Colored Historic Homes, Hamlets, and Villages of the Cotswolds

by Debby Jagerman-Dungan
( September 16th, 2014 )

Cotswolds Homes

“We thank Thee for the harvest of the grasses, the humble hay, and the corn that gives the bread we daily ask for. For the trees that grow us logs for winter and seasoned wood.” – The Cotswold Prayer of Praise

Cotswolds Honey Colored Stone

“Would you like to take a look inside our home and have a cup of tea,” we were asked as we were reading the “Calcot Visitor Information,” a sign telling us about the history of Calcot, a tiny hamlet in the Cotswolds. Consisting of 20 old cottages that date back to the 16th century, in 1327 it was recorded that Calcot had 12 tax payers.

“Our home was built in 1600, with some additions done in 1750,” she continued, “and I would love to show you around.” We had just glanced at some old photographs of Calcot that were also on display at the visitor information area, which was literally located in an old red telephone box.

Cotswold Stone

“Yes, of course. We would love to look at your home and have some tea please. Thank you so very much,” we replied, as we looked at each other with fascination and gratefulness. I couldn’t believe that my husband and I were just invited to go inside one of these historical homes – one of the many historical homes that we had already been fascinated with as we were walking through no-less-than 39 hamlets, villages, and towns in our 12 days in the Cotswolds.

Cotswold Honey Colored Stone

So in this tiny hamlet of Calcot, in the Parish of Coln St. Denis, we were taken into this home and given a tour of their gardens, and all the rooms in the house, telling us what was the original building from 1600, and what had been “updated” in 1750. Even a tree in their yard dated back to these centuries. We learned that some of the characteristics of the homes built at that time that are still evident today are the walls that are several feet thick and the wooden beams in the ceilings.

Cotswolds Honey Colored Stone Villages

We also learned that many of these historical homes are given a “Grade.” For example, this particular home was a Grade II, meaning that because of its historical value, permission is needed to make any changes to the house.

Cotswolds Villages

After spending an hour with the family, drinking tea, seeing their home, and sharing stories of our respective countries and lives, we thanked them for such an authentic visit into a home. Something not planned, not on our itinerary. I love these moments when traveling. This picture below is the home we visited in Calcot. (Please note that the pictures above are not from the hamlet of Calcot, but are random pictures from other villages in the Cotswolds.)

Cotswolds Hamlets

What is also very characteristic of this home in Calcot, and most all of the houses, barns, stone walls, and wool churches throughout the Cotswolds is the material they are made out of, “Costwold stone.” A Jurassic limestone, rich in fossils, it gives most buildings its honey-colored look, as you see in the photos that I have included in this blog. Although some buildings might look more golden-colored, or even more brown or pearly white in color, depending on the area of the Cotswolds you are in, but all coming from this similar type of stone. Even the homes and cottages built in Calcot are all made of “rubble construction with Cotswold stone roofs,” as we read earlier from the visitor information.

During our days in the Cotswolds, we definitely noticed the honey and golden colors. We even saw several rock quarries as we walked where they still quarry for the Costwold stone. I think some of my favorite buildings were those that had plants and flowers, such as wisteria or roses, climbing the walls. They made for a nice color combination between the Cotswold stone colors, and the splashes of purple, pink, red, or other colors.

Wisteria on a Stone House

Cotswolds Roses

Cotswolds Villages

Cotswolds Homes with Flowers

Cotswolds Homes

These Almshouses, in the picture below, located near St. James’ Church in Chipping Campden, were originally built in 1612 to accommodate six poor men and six poor women, and are still used today to house the elderly. They “remain much as they were, apart from the addition of a modern kitchen and bathroom.”*

Cotswolds Chipping Campden Almshouses

This building with a sign saying “The School House,” is the Temple Guiting Church of England School. Built of late Victorian style, it too is built of Cotswold stone.**

Temple Guiting Church of England School

This row of honey-colored homes and the “Bakery and Groceries” is from the village of Guiting Power:

Cotswolds Guiting Power

This one from the village of Naunton (obviously):

Cotswolds Naunton Honey Colored Stone

I believe this picture is a row of the oldest buildings in Painswick:

Cotswolds Painswick

Another interesting style we noticed throughout the Cotswolds was homes with thatched roofs. This particular house we happened to walk by the same day as the house in Calcot, in another hamlet called Winson. While we weren’t invited into this home, we still had a nice conversation with the owners. They told us that at night they can occasionally hear mice scurrying around in the roof.

Cotswolds Thatched Roof Winson

And here is the entire village of Blockley:

Cotswolds Village of Blockley

Although not really the theme of this blog, I thought I would include a picture of that old red telephone box anyway, which was just as historical and fascinating as the honey-colored historic homes, hamlets, and villages of the Cotswolds. Not only did it contain the “Calcot Visitor Information” sign, it also was a miniature book swap and library. In fact, I think that the next blog that I write about the Cotswolds will be on the many old red telephone boxes we saw during our days walking in the Cotswolds.

Cotswolds Calcot Visitor Information Red BT Telephone Box

Sweet Travels!

For other blogs from our Cotswolds travels including the churches, the scenery, and the sheep, please visit my Cotswolds category,

*Chipping Campden History Society – The Almshouses

**Temple Guiting Church of England School – The School

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The Bright Yellow Fields of Rapeseed in Bloom in the Cotswolds

by Debby Jagerman-Dungan
( September 4th, 2014 )

“We thank Thee for those who laid out the field, marked out the farms, cleared the ditches and made the roads.” From “The Cotswold Prayer of Praise”

Cotswolds Rapeseed Fields

Cotswolds Rapeseed Fields

Back in the month of May this year, my husband and I walked through the green rolling hills of the Cotswolds countryside, visiting churches and villages, strolling through pastures of sheep and horses and cows, and enjoying the various landscapes of big trees, farms with crops, flowers and gardens, open grassy areas, forests, and rivers and streams. To add a large splash of color to the scenery, occasionally we would see in the distance, or literally walk right next to, seas of bright yellow fields of rapeseed in bloom.

Cotswolds Rapeseed Fields

Cotswolds Rapeseed Fields

Cotswolds Rapeseed Fields

The black seeds of the yellow rapeseed plant are used to make cooking oils, sometimes labeled as vegetable oil, canola oil, or rapeseed oil. Related to the broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower family, there apparently might be some health benefits to rapeseed oil, such as being a source of vitamin E, a natural antioxidant. Rapeseed is the third most important crop grown in the UK, after wheat and barley.*

Cotswolds Rapeseed Fields

Cotswolds Rapeseed Fields

Cotswolds Rapeseed Fields

Now I have always been partial to bright yellow fields of sunflowers in bloom, but I must say, that I am definitely impressed by the bright yellow fields of rapeseed in bloom that we saw walking in the Cotswolds.

Cotswolds Rapeseed Fields

Cotswolds Rapeseed Fields

Cotswolds Rapeseed Fields

Cotswolds Rapeseed Fields

Sweet Travels!

For other blogs from our Cotswolds travel, including the various landscapes, churches, and sheep, please visit my Cotswolds category.

*Some information for this blog obtained from Rapeseed Oil Benefits.

 

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