To Infinity, and Beyond.

One hundred thousand miles. That’s about seventeen round trips from New York to San Francisco. Ten round trips from Miami, Florida to Anchorage, Alaska. Fourteen round trips between Moscow and Beijing. One hundred and sixty-six round trips between Philadelphia and Boston. Or four journeys around the circumference of the Earth. Whichever way you calculate it, one hundred thousand miles is a lot of distance, and a lot of driving. On President’s Day, I took a journey to a seaside town I had never visited, to pass the 100,000 mile mark in my car.

I had been considering several options for the 100k trip when my girlfriend suggested I check out Newburyport, Massachusetts. First settled in 1635, Newburyport is located on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Knowing of my appreciation for the ocean and life at sea, my girlfriend also helped me identify my final destination: the Custom House Maritime Museum, a museum of the nautical history of New England, set in a 183-year old building. After reviewing the map, I called a friend to meet up with me, set off to explore this historical destination, and passed a major milestone.

Map with a pin in Newburyport, MA.
My destination for today: the Custom House Maritime Museum in Newburyport, MA.
View of highway from behind wheel of car.
The day was perfect for February: sunny, with temperatures in the upper 40’s. My friend Steve, who accompanied me during my drive up Mt. Washington several months ago, set off from his home in New Hampshire to meet me for this trip.
Picture of the town square of Newburyport.
Steve and I met up in the Newburyport town square. Take away the cars and other modern conveniences, and the town still feels as if it is the late 18th century.
Frozen salt marshes.
Before heading to the museum, we got in Steve’s Honda Ridgeline and headed to Plum Island, a barrier island connected to Newburyport. The frozen salt marshes looked like something from another planet.
Frozen salt marshes with tall grass in foreground.
The marshes of Plum Island are a photographer’s dream.
Frozen salt marshes, with clouds in the sky.
Maybe my favorite photo from the entire trip.
Boardwalk leading over the dunes to the beach.
This boardwalk led us over the dunes to the beach.
Driftwood on a snow-covered beach.
I love the solitude of the seaside in wintertime.
Custom House Maritime Museum exterior, and sign.
After lunch, we headed to the Custom House Maritime Museum.
Exterior of Custom House Maritime Museum
Designed by the same architect who created the Washington Monument, the museum is easily recognizable.
Entrance hall to the museum. Flags hang from the ceiling.
After no longer being used as a customs house, the building was first used as a factory (to make heels for women’s shoes) and then later as a storage building for submarine parts. Before the museum could be opened in the late 1970s, significant repairs had to be completed.
Fresnel lens.
An up-close look at a Fresnel lens. Designed to allow maximum light transmission from a small source, the Fresnel lens was used to illuminate lighthouses for much of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Letter of employment for a lighthouse keeper from President George Washington.
When lighthouses were first taken over by the federal government, the President of the United States would hire them directly. This is a commission from George Washington for the lighthouse keeper on nearby Plum Island.
Gallery of model ships.
This room is filled with model ships, replicas of great sailing vessels from the 18th and 19th centuries.
Manifest of goods taken by privateers from the brig Pomona.
A manifest of goods taken from the British brig Pomona by privateers supporting the American side during the War of 1812. Privateer is a fancy way of saying “a pirate who is on our side.”
Knot board, displaying 35 kinds of knots.
This is a display of the various knots made by sailors. 35 different knots are incorporated into this work.
Wall display of various knots.
This display is utilized to teach children who visit the museum how to tie various knots. used aboard a ship.
Wooden boxes for pilot bread crackers.
Have you ever heard of putting “pilot crackers” in soup? Made from a dough called hardtack, these crackers are designed to last a long time without spoiling. Pearson Pilot Bread started in Newburyport in 1792. Today, we know the company by another name: Nabsico.
Sign that reads: "The Old waterfront. Tracy's Wharf: Base for American Privateers and British Prizes Captured During the Revolutionary War."
Walking back to the parking lot, we spotted this sign near the harbor.
2012 Honda Accord in parking lot, snow near the vehicle.
After a fun day, my friend and I said goodbye, and I set off for the drive that would take me past a major milestone.
View of car odometer reading 100000 miles.
And on the ride home, near Easton, Massachusetts, I passed 100,000 miles. I pulled over to (safely) grab a photo.

Several friends and family members had asked if I had anything special planned for the 100,000 mile blog post. I had several ideas, but my Mom’s suggestion of a video is what won out. It won’t earn a Golden Globe, but I had a lot of fun making it. Please forgive the wind noise, some mistakes I made (for instance, referring to 100,007 miles as one hundred and seven thousand miles), and how congested I sounded (I was coming down with what turned out to be a nasty sinus infection)… it’s nothing serious. But if you’re looking for something to watch, here is the world premier of The Open Road Ahead – A Video Tour:

The trip to 100,000 miles was a blast. I had a great time meeting up with an old friend and exploring a new historic site. The Custom House Maritime Museum is open Saturdays from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and Sundays and holiday Mondays from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and students (active duty military personnel and children enter for free). Plum Island is open most days, although a small fee is charged per vehicle.

So with 100,000 miles on the odometer, is it time to put the Accord out to pasture? To trade it in for something newer, sleeker, and better? Absolutely not. As one friend said: “Onward to 200,000, and beyond!” Or, perhaps more appropriately, “Second star to the right, and straight on ’til morning.”

‘Til next time.

15 thoughts on “To Infinity, and Beyond.

  1. Haha, I wonder who said that quote in your final paragraph! I’ve been waiting for this post to hit the interwebs, and happy to say I can be the first to congratulate you on finally getting your Accord broken in. I’ve enjoyed following the travels and it’s hard to believe you were at < 50k miles just 2.5 years ago. Going to send an upvote your way on the video, too. I recognized a lot of those backgrounds from prior blog entries! Nice job, Tim!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on the milestone, Tim! I grew up down the road from Newburyport, ironically. Next time you’re in the area, we’ll have to link up for some shots with your Accord and my TSX & S2000. Keep on truckin’!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! I love the Fresnel lens, the knot art, and the Nabisco history. Most especially, I love that heels for women’s shoes were made in a factory once located in that old building. 🙂 Congrats on your 100K!

    Liked by 1 person

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