DC, Turkey Day, Monticello, and points south

DC was cool, and overwhelming in some of the museums, and full of lots of things. I did Turkey Day with some family, and then hit Monticello, spent that night in Greensboro, NC, the next night south of Savannah, GA, did St. Simon’s island, GA, spent the night just north of the GA-FL line in a KOA campground. I woke up to a low tire that had a nail in it, pumped it up, got to Jacksonville, ordered a replacement tire (free with warrantee), bought another one to replace the bias ply, original spare. it took three days to get them in because they aren’t common, and I had to hang around Amelia Island, sleeping in beach parks. poor me. so today, with new tires, I’m planning on running south on the A1A, perhaps all the way to Key West.

Mount Vernon, and Washington’s crypt

Monticello: front door, back door, slave family cabin (12’x14′), garden, family cemetery

St Simon’s Island

the views from the van on Amelia

The Low Country and van work, DC.

I left Columbus on the 9th, and spent the night in Savannah again. On the 10th I rode up to Myrtle Beach for a couple of days. I saw a friend, realized another guy I served with was 15 miles down the road and swung by his gun shop and talked for a bit. He had family things to do and a trip to Texas the next day, but it was good to see him. On the 12th I went up to Wilmington, NC to hang with another friend, who ended up having some familial complications, so I rolled out. He had enough going on that he didn’t need me cluttering up his day. I spent the night just east of Columbia, NC on an access road to a wetlands/waterfowl hunting area. It was the first time I had popped my top all night in a long while. After I’d woken up to find a truck of a hunter parked near the gate, a doe walked across the access way.

From there I hit Roanoke Island, and up the outer banks to Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hill to see where Wilber and Orville took the first powered flights. The big monument sits atop Big Kill Devil Hill, where they spent the previous two years learning how to fly their glider, in preparation to fly their powered plane. the entire area was sand when they were using the area, and was later planted in grass to preserve the geography of it.

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The granite markers depict each of the four first flights’ landing points made by the Wrights.

The Vespa belongs to a woman who has been riding around the country for about the last 18 months on it. The two carriers and Amphibious Assault ship are ported at Norfolk, VA. I left the Outer Banks and ran up through Norfolk, Williamsburg, into Richmond, VA and spent the night outside Richmond.

The next day, the 14th, I figured out that Two Slow was down on power, and not just fighting a headwind. Found a local VW mechanic to help out, and after trying to knock out a tune up, discovered my #2 cylinder was dead with an exhaust leak, due to the exhaust valve seat sinking into the head. after we pulled it, we saw that the #1 cylinder was also cracked. We found a new head, got it set up, waited for some other parts, cleaned the snot out of the engine after we pulled it, eventually got everything back together, and I got on the road yesterday, the 21st. The good news is, I now have more power, and she’s running a bit cooler than before the work was done.

I made it up to the DC area and am staying with another friend. Today we did Arlington National Cemetery, got a quick tour of the Mall area, and I’ll be checking out the metro schedules and whatnots to grab a train into the Capitol area and museums tomorrow.

 

 

Benning/Columbus, GA

Man, has some money been pumped into this place. The town too.

Hit town Thurday, been hanging out with friends since. This place has blown up since the Armor school moved in too. Didn’t feel any desire to roll out to Harmony Church to see what they’d built. Main post was impressive enough, and Regiment/3rd has sprawled more. I can’t see that as a bad thing. 1st BN wasn’t doing too shabby at Hunter, for that matter.

Got to to pin C’s wings and that kid (who’s now a man) has grown up over the last 5 months he’s spent in the pipeline.Sat down yesterday with a few RASP holds to see where they were at. Invited them to the Ranger breakfast this morning. Don’t understand why they wouldn’t want to hang out with the former RSM, and other legendary CSM/officers… And I got back in contact with a friend I haven’t seen since Lewis, so we’ll link up again as I swing back through.

Got anothrer friend to link up with hopefully tomorrow, grab some mail from him, and start back up north towards DC.

Havent taken any pics that I’m keeping, I shot a bunch of C’s jump and gave that card to his dad….

life dont suck suck even a little.

Savannah

I love this town. I had no idea how much I missed it. I’ve been having fun, caught up with a few friends, more on tap. one of which I wasn’t sure I’d find.

no pics, because I don’t need them.

I love this town.

Baltimore-ish, Dover, and Bragg

on the 25th I left West Point, ran through Jersey just about as quickly as I could. $10.65 to get through Jersey as expeditiously as possible? worth every penny.

I hung out with a buddy for a bit, north of Baltimore. I hadn’t seen him since we both left Lewis, 5 odd years ago. it’s good to see he’s doing well, and his family is good. I then ran over to Dover and crashed for the night. Dad, I got a shower at the AFB gym, free. then spent a few hours hanging with another friend there. I left Dover and ran over to and around DC, hoping to get further south than I did. I took the 50/301 out of Dover and across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, to the 495 on the east side of DC, then 95S. I decided to quit at the MM 156S rest stop. it was nicely quiet and dark enough behind the curtains to have a really good night there.

I woke up yesterday, and rolled south to stop at Ft. Bragg, seeing another buddy and spending the night with him and his wife. I also haven’t seen them in about 5 years also, so it was cool to catch up and see what he’s doing and planning for. they are planning for their escape once he gets retired. they have a blog as well:

s/v Unwritten Timeline

so I’m currently sitting at the Starbucks next to the commissary  typing this up, and I need to reload ice into the cooler, maybe see what’s what here, check out the Special Operations museum, and roll south. I’m looking to get over to Savannah, but I saw that Tybee Road is underwater, so I may just roll slow so it can drain off in time to lay about another beach. from there, I’ll work over to Benning. and I may just do Charleston on the way to Savannah. I can give Hilton Head a pass. I didn’t like it terribly much when I lived in Savannah.

and it’s nice to be warm, it’s 70 today. if it was dry, it’d be perfect.

Pics:

Jersey is turning too, and through Baltimore actually:

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cool stonework on this house in Dover, then colors over the Chesapeake Bay bridge

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and now y’all are current and caught up.

Newport, round dos, and West Point.

on the 23rd I rolled up through Fall River and the Barrington area, just checking things out, and then rolled back down to Newport, staying at Ft. Adams for the night. As cool as Second Beach was, I didn’t want to push my luck and changed it up. never occupy a Punk Bunk for more than 24 hrs got beat into me early. I’m also a dumbass. Newport is home to the Naval War College. On Navel Station Newport. They have a gym. The gym has showers. It’s all free. Dumbass…

I have a change of plans. my buddy’s kid is graduating from Airborne School on the 6th, so I’m headed south to bloody up some wings. left Newport yesterday, rolled east across CT, on the 95 and 1, up to Danbury, over to Newburg, and onto the USMA campus at West Point. grabbed a couple cadets from the PX/Commissary and gave them a ride up to the campus proper, for some G2. the main club was running a wedding and had no bar open. the Eisenhower Theater had a concert going that was jammed, so I played up by the tennis courts and had a barley pop from the cooler. it’s a sad state of affairs that in the land of so many RLOs, they don’t routinely have a bar open on a Saturday night.

it was raining and chilly when I woke up, and having flown over before, I skipped a walking tour, and got on 6 for 87S, rolling through Harriman, NY to get there. currently sitting in N Jersey, gunna run down the 295 to Baltimore to see if I can’t hook up with a friend, then over to Dover tomorrow for another. that’s the plan.

on HWY 1 in Rhode Island I rolled up on a farmer’s market, got some fig preserves, carnitas tacos and coffee for breakfast; I also got a locally caught, beautiful albacore steak that’s still sitting in my cooler waiting patiently to become a full belly. I saw my first no shit, tailored wood fired pizza stove. she said it cost $25k to make, weighed 3k lbs, and she on occasion towed it with her Rav4. I told her she was braver than I.

I stopped in Groton at the Naval Station and checked out the sub museum. it was cool, to include a walking tour of the Nautilus, the first Nuke powered sub.

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Newport/Middletown, RI

the first shot is lunch on Johnstown Island, on my way into Newport. well now, this place don’t suck at all. there’s some nice homes, a few for sale… I might inquire after I look at the state’s tax structures.🙂

very nice town, obviously. got a great swordfish steak for dinner, and spend some time at Second Beach, in Middletown, on the corner of Purgatory and Paradise. how apt. ended up spending the night and didn’t get rousted (I half expected to, based on the money here). woke up to this glorious sunrise and Dawn Patrol. talked to a 20 something local surfer who hooked me up with The Seamen’s Church Institute of Newport for a $2 shower, which was exquisitely timely. they’re a full stop shop with the Aloha Cafe, and rooms too. and wifi to hang this with. and he gave me several beach and eats recommendations.

My life don’t suck.

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“Glosta” and Salem

I spent the 17th through the 19th with Lew and Cindy. Lew is my first cousin once removed (dad’s cousin). they are great, very smart, generous and engaged people. they showed me around Portsmouth, NH and let me sleep in a bed for the first time since I started rolling. they fed me very well as well. I had a very nice time, and as the family tends to do, Lew and I talked on all kinds of subjects most of the time he wasn’t working. I learned a lot about humidity and HVAC wholistic approaches. I didn’t get any pictures, but it’s an incredible lovely town.

the 20th I rolled down to Salem, MA and walked around some, but didn’t hit the Peabody Essex Museum because I wanted time to really work through it all. so I went out to Gloschester to see about some seafood and a place to lay up for the night. it was was also a very pretty town, in better shape physically than I expected it to be in I guess. I assumed it would be economically depressed and to show it, but it was a very vibrant town. ate dinner at the Causeway Restaurant, and was concerned I’d be shuffled to a tourist place, but this was definitely local. I had a rum coconut crusted grilled haddock that had to be a 20-22 oz filet. I couldn’t finish it, but it was divine. the coyote was in Seine Field. He’s apparently acclimated to humans, he’d been laying there in the field for an hour before I showed up. and the biggest coyote I’ve ever seen. got some bread and a great cannoli at the Italian bread company.  these pics be Glosta:

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my nightlight, and what I woke up to, having listened to the waves lap all night. The boat was actively pulling pots.

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the Crane Estate (first Millionaire in the US, Crane Toilets) in Ipswich, MA. wish I had time to go in, or do the gardens. it was impressive as a drive-by.

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The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem had an exhibit called Strandbeests, designed by a Dutch genius to self powered walk along the beaches using wind power to fill “air stomaches” (because the beasts live, see?) to use pneumatics to articulate the beests. look up the museum, go youtube these amazing critters. it’s worth the time.

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I have a bunch more pics from within the museum, and may hang some later when I get better wifi speed.

I wanted a shower last night and resources are really slim, now that all the state parks and camp sights are closed for the season. and my buddy in Boston is laid up with the flu. or he stopped liking me maybe. but he’d have said so. I ended up in Shrewsbury at a rare up here truckstop. based on the density and lack of good resources available to me in the van, without getting a hotel, I’m going to skip Boston proper, and maybe do it another time (summer). I’m headed towards Providence/Newport, and will see about what I can do to get on Block Island to see another friend. I probably can’t take Two Slow on the Ferry due to my LP tank having gas in it. Coast guard regs say no full tanks on passenger vessels… guess I’ll have to see how that plays, or find a place to park her for a day or two. or not do Block Island….

and away we go.

edit, a P.S. If you will.

Newport is stunning. Had a good swordfish for dinner at a locals’ place. Very small town vibe. I was actually in Middleton, on the east, working side of Newport. And found a very cool beach to lay up on, on the corner of Paradise and Purgetory. How fitting, no? We’ll see if I get roused, or sent down the road to Hell… I do have an alternate. Hopefully if things work out, I can go over to the house of my master honer and restorer to clean up and hone the beauty that Lew gave me. With luck, Saturday morning I’ll shave with it, with a fresh Japanese stone edge.

My buddy on Block Island is in VT till Tuesday, so we’ll see how that shakes out. I’ll definitely have to park the van on this side, but the ferry company says security is good.

Portsmouth, NH

rolled out of Portland today, and had a good time there. very cool town, cool architecture, good food, and some good people. and all of it walkable, with a nice beach a short drive away from the West End.  from South Portland:

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the Liberty Ship memorial. many were built in Portland. DSC_0887

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She does cool work in Silver, and straightened out my bracelet for me as we talked about the custom piece she was working on as I came in.

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and a cool door

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Today I ran the 1 down through Kennebunkport. there’s a bit of money there, and the main town area was jammed with tourists. pretty enough, it just must be really crowded in season. I realized I was way closer to Portsmouth than I though, having looked at the map, so I gave Lew a call and was told to come on over. Got a tour of their beautiful 1770’s home, a lovely meal thanks to Cindy, and they went off to a cocktail party and I’m getting this knocked out.

Kennebunkport:

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Portland… no, the other one.

Sitting at a friend’s place playing catch up. got into town last night, having left Bar Harbor, and Mount Desert Island. which means on the 12th I crossed over at Calais, ME and ended up in Machias, which I read and hear in my head as a Mexican/Tajano “ma-CHEE-us”, but I’m reliably told is pronounced match-EYE-is.  Disirregardlessly, I had a lovely dinner there, fish chowda, a lobster for $14, and homemade onion rings.

on the 13th I backtracked “down east” downer up the coast if you look at a map. I’m told I need to drop my land lubbing, aerial mentality and think upon the water as an easy reach upon the wind, to go down east. I ended up in Lubec, “The Easternmost town in the US” and almost crossed back over into Canada, trying to get to Eastport thanks to Garmin and their spectacular software. wouldn’t have been a problem if the ferries were running, to take me to another island to transfer to another ferry to Eastport. so I got to back track some. Eastport was pretty in a run down, the money left town 20 years ago kind of way, economically depressed, shut down for the season, and mostly for sale. I did have a great breakfast at the one diner open in town. smoked salmon, bagels, onion and toe-maters. the 50′ visibility with fog was a bit of an impediment to good pics.

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that’s the sea on the backsides of those buildings, promise.

from there I was told to hit up Jonesport and Belle Island. Jonesport is a no bullshit, straight up fishing village, and nothing more or less. and as beautiful, as I was told it’d be:

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from there, I kept down the coast and ended up in Bar Harbor. that town has to be a special kind of hell in season. a single, two lane road on and off the island, little hotels and B&Bs all the way into town…. and the town is a tourist sales and eatery haven. it’s also a cruise ship port. there was one in the harbor somewhere, but I couldn’t see it, just the tender taking passengers back to the boat.  there’s some locals on the west side of town. I spent the night parked at the town’s athletic field. I headed to and through Northeast Harbor and Southwest Harbor on the island, and from Bar Harbor and around to the others is where the money is. there are some very nice waterfront homes (those that can be seen) outside of Bar Harbor throughout the island. the Acadia National Forest is on the island too. I just didn’t feel like camping in a chilly, wet, dense forest. maybe in the summer. there was a stunning picture of the recent blood moon eclipse taken from there.

after I got off the island, I took 1 south through several really lovely towns, Ft. Knox (built between 1830-1898. why we were concerned about the Spanish Navy coming up the east coast raiding is beyond me, but that’s when the fort got finished, despite it being the Brits who raised hell up and down the coast from 1776-1825). and the bridge just west of the Fort had a very cool observation deck in the North tower. both attractions being the cheapest I’ve paid for to date, at $2.50 with a mil discount.

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Belfast is a cool looking town, with a well recommended Co-op, which is hippy heaven. I didn’t see any kumbucha there, but I wasn’t looking either. I’d bet it was there. it’s what Whole Foods may have started as, before it went corporate.

Camden and Rockport are also pretty, but traffic picked up from there south into Portland. and Portland is the biggest town I’ve been in since Halifax I guess. there is some very cool old architecture here and they seem to be hopping in the downtown/waterfront areas. gunna go do some yoga and dinner in a couple hours, and see what this town’s about.

So, here’s some backtracking pics:

11 Oct, Mahone Bay, NS:

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and Lunenburg, NS. a bit touristy, but very pretty, and a UNESCO world heritage site. the Picton Castle was getting set to head out damn near around the world if I heard it right. looked like they were doing crew drills in the rigging.

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OCT 12, Bay of Fundy pics. there’s water out there, I promise.

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