Day: November 23, 2016

Going Home

November 2, 2016

We talked about our favorite parts of the trip were as we drove 83 to 695 to 70 west to Leesburg, then picking up 15 south to Culpeper and Orange. Rt. 15 from Culpeper through Orange and Keswick to Charlottesville is one of the top scenic drives in America. I love this road and have driven it many times, but after seeing so many beautiful places, it makes you appreciate it even more. 

Arriving back home was weird. It seemed strange to be unloading the trailer. Our little house seemed so elegant and big! We unloaded a lot of things, then put the Airstream in the parking lot. Tomorrow I will start cleaning, reorganizing and catching up on things. I’ll try to change some things to make the next trip more efficient. It will be a while before Martha will be ready to go again, but I can’t wait to get back out there!

A special thanks for so many gifts that worked so well:

The doormat Leslie gave us was perfect.

The woven basket Georgette made never moved and held all the essential little things.

Museum Putty works incredibly well to hold things like the basket in place. It never moved!

I’m going to wear out the blue Columbia shirt Pam gave me. It’s light, dries quickly, washes easily, and it looks good.

The Coleman thermos Amy gave me is just the best. It will keep tea hot all day.

We have used Tara’s bear bell and whistle so many times, and we have never been attacked!

The leather box Martha gave me holds the remotes and is tacked down with Museum Putty

Ben gave me an iPhone 6, and I don’t know how I would have managed without it. I had to learn how to manage my data as I almost ran out twice.

Kelly gave us a lighter I used every day and some decorative lights I just never had time to hang

The wine Glenda gave me was great and helped sooth the tensions of the day.

I know I have forgotten some things.

Things I’m glad I bought:

The air pump saves so much trouble. Love it!

The tire monitoring system gives great peace of mind.

The little music cube by Armor Mine bluetooth speaker,

The Executioner is an indispensable tool! Makes flies and mosquitoes fun to have inside.

On to Baltimore

31℉ at 6:00

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

We drove country roads to Merry Meadows Campground north of Baltimore. It is a campground with great ideas, but in need of serious updates. It suits our needs of visiting my sister in Baltimore. After riding in the car all morning, we took a short bike ride on the Northern Central Railroad Trail that connects with York County Heritage Trail. We got on in Gunpowder Creek State Park (an 18,000 acre park). The part we rode north is very pretty, and still has railroad tracks on parts of it. On the York County Trail, a steam engine does tours using the same trail, which I think adds some character to it. 

We went into Baltimore to see Gayle. It shocked me to see her deterioration since I saw her last six weeks ago. Chronic Progressive Aphasia is a rare, but devastating disease. I just wanted to take her home and “fix” her, but the reality is there is no “fix”. So sad! Martha read her the two cards next to her bed, one from Mazzie and one from Harriette and Cary Fishburn. Her friend, Janet Hurd came in to visit. I missed the name of another lady who also came to see her. Of course Saints Laura and Willy were there as always.

Laura, Willy, Martha and I then went to the Baltimore Museum Restaurant for dinner. The wine and great company helped. This is a great restaurant, with Tuesday night specials and $20/bottle wines. I had the best catfish dinner ever with the best grits ever and kale. Fried chicken and crab cakes were also great. We exchanged stories of Laura’s hikes in Great Britain, our trip and Willy’s upcoming cruise on the Danube Thursday. 

We will return home tomorrow. Martha is quite happy to get back to flush toilets, her own shower and laundry and bed. She is anxious to see her friends. I look forward to cleaning everything, reorganizing, updating some things, taking care of some business and getting to the duck marsh. It has been a great trip, and we have seen many things and great places. We have met some very nice people I hope we will meet again. We look forward to getting together with Eddie and Roberta and Randy and Xan to exchange Airstream travel stories. With so many places to go, I look forward to the next trip.

I would love to list the top 10 places we have seen, but I can’t. Every one had its own special things. In general, if it’s a true national park, it is a very special place. What Quebec lists as national parks are really provincial parks, but we loved every one of those too. For me, I like remote places so I still like Faunique Mauricie even with its rough gravel road in. Martha liked Lac St. Jean because of the variety of things to do. It has a national park – Point Tallion, great biking, maybe the world’s best blueberries and ice cream, cute towns and boulangeries. So many cool people we met, but Frèderick takes the prize. We loved the kayak guys who gave Martha all the advice of where to kayak in Mont Tremblant, and Page and Jeremy with the little camper Jeremy made in Lancaster County. I certainly prefer remote places and camping in provincial or national parks, but in a tight campground you meet and talk to more people, all of whom are doing the same thing. This makes it almost like a club. People are ready to give advice on where to go, where to eat, what you must see, what is the best hike or bike ride, where is the next best campground. Your next tip might be in the bathroom or at the gas station. 

We aren’t in great shape, but certainly better than when we left. A two-three-hour hike or bike ride seems to be the limit for us. Sometimes we can do two exercises in a day, but its nice to have one be a bike ride. When Kelly and I were on our fishing trip, at least when we were into the good fishing part, we were walking up trout streams all day, and then you walk back, and many of those streams were rivers with heavy currents. 

Martha has done great! She has done great with cooking in a variety of circumstances and methods. She hiked some rough trails, camped in remote places and biked a lot of places. She navigates well, although tensions can be high when you have to make split-second decisions on which way to go while pulling a trailer. We have been very fortunate not to have any dings, scrapes or tire issues. I can’t wait to go again!

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