Monday, July 17, 2017

July 17, 2017, Licking Creek C&O Canal

July 13, Thursday, I have lost data coverage on my cell phone at about mile post 60 along the C&O Canal.  Food situation looks good but I am rationing in the hopes that we find a fish...or a dozen for that matter.

Today's ride brings us to Killiansburg Cave Hiker-Biker Campground near mile post 76.  It was hot and humid the entire day but I managed to get 21km before calling it a day.  The camp ground was empty, easy access to water, and yesterday was exhausting with the hills.

The path was very rocky, or more so than any other day yet encountered along the canal's tow-path.

Did laundry and took a sponge bath.

Beans, rice, and angel hair pasta for dinner.  Read a book, "Blowback" by Brad Thor.; very entertaining.

July 14, Friday, down day following two productive mileage days on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.  Fished, read, laundry, sponge bath, and considered the path ahead.

July 15, Saturday, I left Killiansburg Cave Hiker-Biker Campground and would finish the day at Cumberland Valley Hiker-Biker Campground for a total of 33km.  Here is the PHOTO ALBUM (July 15, 2017)  for this day's ride. Note: Explanation of how these photo albums came to be will be explained later somewhere in this post.

This day I came across a new feature (new to me for it was the first for me to encounter during my canal travels) along the C&O Canal (Chesapeake and Ohio Canal) and one I remember particularly well for although it was short in length there was a steep grade on the gravel path that I found myself half way up...and stopped.  Stopped because I ran out of forward momentum and I didn't wish to be pulled down the grade by my heavy "chuck-wagon".  Whith the brakes on (and a foot (as a wheel chock) under and behind a wheel, I managed to reach over and open Daisy's crate, grab a leash and attach it to her, and call her out.  Now that my load was reduced by 40#, I bit down on my end of the leash and told Daisy to put a wiggle in it.  Bless her heart she knew what to do.  She damn near pulled the teeth out of my head but we got the bike up the remainder of the grade nevertheless.  (This happened to us also out in Kentucky on a lonely crushed Rock road on our last tour, though I must admit that the days were much more pleasant at the time of our crossing there.).

Once at the top of the grade, I had to capture some photos from this gorgeous vantage point but first I've got to secure the bike and put Daisy away.  This is the moment when folks pull up, I drop my phone, the bike falls over, and the dog goes ape-shit.  This was 5 minutes of chaos I'll not soon forget.  To the group of cyclists that just wanted to enquire about our mission...sorry for the fuck-bombs.  I got my photos and continued on.

I came across the "Big Slackwater", a portion of the river that was used in place of canal, a "guard lock" as well as several other locks.  Along the the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, I am constantly brought back to memories of playing Tomb-Raider (Laura Croft Tomb Raider) when I run across these old stone structures being reclaimed by nature.  Only now, as I write this I see how quickly nature takes back, or more accurately and likely that my present location gets less attention than areas more frequented by users.  I say this for in my present location at Licking Creek Aqueduct, I will back-track 2.6 kilometers to the start of the "Western Maryland Rail Trail", which parallels the "C&O Canal" for 22 miles to the "Sideling Hill Creek Aqueduct".   I suspect that a good many users of the route choose the same path that I will take.  I'll share some photos of the overgrowth on and around the "Licking Creek Aqueduct" at a later time.  I hope, for future generations, that the State of Maryland will keep up with, and find future funding, to preserve and maintain this awesome piece of American history!

July 16, Sunday, I left Cumberland Valley Hiker-Biker Campground and finished the day at Licking Creek Aqueduct Hiker-Biker Campground for a total of 41km.  I met several folks Along today's ride.  Here is my PHOTO ALBUM for today's ride.

As you can see from the photos, I visited a town today.  There are several reasons for doing so, but first let me explain how all of these photos, and many many others that you don't see, got uploaded.

While checking for a signal (cellular coverage), I made sure my phone was not in "Airplane Mode" which prevents my phone from communicating out (out here in the sticks, the battery will premaurely exhaust itself while the phone attempts to constantly triangulate with repeater towers).  My brilliant self forgot to, not only turn off "Use Phones Data To Upload Photos, but to place the phone back in "Airplane Mode" when I was finished doing whatever it was that I was doing at the time.  Thank goodness I set a 1 Gigabyte data usage warning.  The phone reminded me that while my head was up in my ass somewhere that I had just squandered that much data and..." What would I like it to do next?"  How I replied to it I'll leave to your imagination.

I digress.  Back to why I was in town.  Rumor has it that the Paw Paw Tunnel up ahead is closed due to falling debris and that the bypass trail is extremely challenging for a person with only a bike and saddle bags.  I wanted to visit the "Williamsport Visitor Center" to get a current trail status and to plot alternative routes which will accommodate my ride (see chuck-wagon and Daisy-mobile).  Indeed, the "Paw Paw Tunnel" is closed, and the alternate hiker path is not recommend for my load.  The park ranger were able to confirm with me an alternative route.  Thank you guys!!

The second reason for my hopping off the canal was that I had heard that the grade out of the river basin here in Williamsport is not nearly as steep as other locations, and if that were the case, it would behoove me to top off my supply of food at the local Dollar General. (I am not hurting for food at this time...just merely a precaution. )  This rumor turned out to be true!  On my way up this grade into town, I passed more than a few folks that were sitting on their front porch enjoying the nice Sunday morning weather as they smiled and waved as Daisy was carted by ever so slowly.

I spent $5.10 on beans, rice, and even went back for my sweet tooth for a $0.50 lollipop (cotton candy) spending all but my last seven cents.  Money well spent!  Note:. The last time I was at a store, was back near "Swains Lock" Hiker-Biker Campground, near mile post 16.  I am now at mile post 117 at "Licking Creek Aqueduct".  Progress is very slow going but very enjoyable!!!  I hope y'all enjoy the photos!

On my way back through town, I collected more photos, this time with the sun behind me.  I stopped and met a few folks too!  IMPORTANT:. I DO NOT HAVE FACEBOOK MESSENGER ON MY PHONE.  IF YOU ARE TRYING TO REACH ME THROUGH FACEBOOK, PLEASE CONTACT AN ADMINISTRATOR THROUGH "Tour De PACLANTIC or "Vets and Their Pets".  Additionally, and I find this off, I can connect to the internet but can not place or receive calls.  Text seems to work fine as well.  Imagine that!

Further on down the canal tow-path, I met just some of the great folks of "The Greatest Bicycle Tour of the Historic C&O Canal".  One hundred or so riders raising money for "San Mar Family & Community Services".  See photo album for a few folks of this large group that I was fortunate to meet and get a selfie with.  Later, one fella from the group assisted me in getting the chuck-wagon over two stair steps at "Dam 5" so that I could continue on without disassebling my ride.  I pulled and he lifted.  Thank you buddy!!!  To learn more about "sanmars.tgbt", visit or visit their website.  (Google it)

July 17, Monday, a down day. I remembered to set out the solar panels and attach the batteries to accept the charge.  Since I am in a heavily wooded area this task is somewhat time consuming, moving the panels as shade migrates across the camp area.

Meals for today was my main focus and I made a good attempt to vary my diet.  I had wild berries this morning to go with my oatmeal.  It was a joy fighting the millions of mosquitoes while picking these tasty treats on the outskirts of the dense woods.  I'll pick some more tonight for desert.  I broke out the split peas, and the vegetable soup mix just to have something different and to replenish my body from pulling my chuck-wagon through double rutt canal path.

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Thanks for tuning in to my blog.  If you enjoy it, please give it a like and a "thumbs-up" as well as recommend it to others.  Feel free to share with everyone.  Daisy and I appreciate you ALL.  We couldn't do this without YOUR help.  Thank you!!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

July 12, 2017, Wednesday. Harpers Ferry

 July 11, Tuesday, I wrote the previous blog post, covering the dates July 2 - July 10, published, and cross posted it early in the afternoon.  I decided to take off the remainder of the day rather than start a ride in the afternoon heat and also to attempt to put some protein on the dinner plate.  Thank goodness for small miracles.  The fish I caught wandered to the shoreline wounded where I caught it barehanded.

A hiker named "Bob" walked into camp late afternoon early evening with a fairly large pack.  We chatted for a while before the sun went down.

July 12, Wednesday (42km this day), I packed up camp at Bald Eagle Island, near mile post 49 along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and pushed my bike and trailer up the steep incline leading out of the camp.  The camp is about 8ft lower than the trail and lies between the trail and the Potomac River.  The protruding roots, exposed rocks, and the steep grade back up to the trail from camp made it necessary for me to make several trips just to assemble my bike on the trail to start this days ride.  After my ride was assembled and ready to ride on the trail, I said goodbye to "Bob", collected Daisy, and made my way towards Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Between mile post 52 and 53 I found my first downed tree blocking all forward progress completely.  Early on, during my first day on this long and meandering trail, I prepared my self well, mentally, for the eventuality of such a delay.  Up until this point I have been very fortunate for I've come across at least 3 recently cleared debris falls evident by the freshly cut wood chips of a chainsaw littering the trail.

This blockage was recent and quite large.   The other problem this blockage posed is that it contained a huge amount of poison Ivy.   After clearing minor tree limbs with a hatchet,  I levered the poison Ivy out of my path using the freshly cut branches from the tree, hopefully without being contaminated in the process.  My work revealed two remaining tree limbs with a 40" circumference or better.  I would definitely have to completely disassemble my entire rig and carry it over the obstruction piece by piece.

A fellow cyclist, out for a morning trail ride and stopping to carry his own bike across, offered to help carry my empty trailer across.

After thanking and saying goodbye to my new friend, I took advantage of the opportunity, while all of my belongings were easily accessible, to restock my daily containers.  I topped off my beans and rice containers that I use on a daily basis and replaced the unused portions in my pack box that I keep in the rear of the trailer.  This was a good time to inventory my food stores as well; I'm doing quite well!

In addition to reorganizing, I took the time to remove several lengths of bailing wire to secure trailer tire spares to the underside of my trailer.

Photo albums will have to wait for today I'm running into cellular coverage deficiencies.  I may not be able to post this one until coverage improves.

After reassembling my ride for the second time today, I continued on and came across Brunswick, Maryland.  I stopped in and shot a few photos before hopping back on to the trail.  I had decided to stray from the trail and visit Brunswick after catching a glimpse of it through a tree line and because the name Brunswick reminded me of the town just outside of St. Simons Island where my tour started back in Georgia.

At Weverton, Maryland exit along the C&O Canal, I found myself on the Appalachian Trail (Appalachian National Scenic Trail) on my way to Harpers Ferry.  I hopped on to Highway 340 and found myself quickly winded on a huge but deceivingly gradual ascent.  I had to look back at my progress along this grade to get a real grasp of how steep it is.  I crossed the Potomac River into Virginia, and then the Shenandoah River into West Virginia.

Upon my arrival, I was greeted with ridiculously steep grades through residential streets leading up to a Harpers Ferry where I was rewarded by beautiful views from "Overlook Of Old Town".

I wanted to visit the old church ruins while  in Harpers Ferry but the steep inclines would have destroyed my equipment or killed me.  Y'all can Google photos of the area.

While riding down Main Street, I may have burnt through my front disc brake pads.  I'll have to check them before hitting the hills again.  It was a constant battle applying both front and rear brakes to keep my ride from running away.

This day was hot and humid and my clothes were drenched in sweat.  The hill climbs along the way meant frequent stops in an attempt to cool down.

It was time to ride back to the C&O Canal and make camp.  It took a while to get to Huckleberry Hill Hiker-Biker Camp.  I set camp and opened up my pressure cooker for a quick dinner of foul smelling beans and rice.  I had made this batch just the day before out of the fish stock leftover from boiling the fish.  As much as I dislike fish stock, it does provide much needed nutrition.  Yuk!!!  Thank goodness it is gone!

Photo is of an old hotel at the lookout point mentioned earlier.  The other photo is looking back at where I had been just two hours earlier. 

I'll be offline for a while, connection is poor out here!  Thank Blogger for reformatting my text. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July 10, 2017, Monday

I figure that I should get focused on getting a blog post done, it has been a while.

July 10, Monday (yesterday), Daisy and I traveled over 32km (20+ miles), along the C&O Canal.  It is extremely beautiful yet grueling work riding on the unimproved tow-path/hiker-biker trail (Many years ago in the 1800's when  the canal was functioning, mules and  horses were used on the tow-path to tow the barges up and  down the canal).  Along the path I encountered parts of the trail that is - full width - hard pack and other parts that looked like parallel goat paths with a rough section of growth in between, often at times having to slow down for oncoming bikers loaded down with panniers on these narrow and rugged passages.

Traveling the trail, although flat for the most part, takes quite a bit of adjustment.  I am traveling at half my normal pace of 16+kph (10mph) when traveling on asphalt or concrete and at times as slow as 5kph.   I spent five hours traveling a distance that would normally take me just two which included time spent taking photos and letting Daisy out to stretch her legs a few times and meet with passersby.   Gnarled exposed roots are occasionally hazards, as well as downed trees and sections of mud that grab at your front wheel wanting to pull it to one side or the other - very stressful riding conditions that require intense focus and concentration.   Fortunately, I have yet to encounter a downed tree, forcing me to carry my chuck-wagon piece by piece over it, but noticed several indications of recently cleared obstacles.

I got off to a late start this day for I was making adjustments to my new tubes and tires.  While letting air out of the inner tube to reseat the tube as well as double check the tire bead and to ensure it was seated properly along the entire circumference along the rim, the presta valve shot out.  As I had no replacements (all of my valve stems on this tour are shrader valves), I had to do a thorough search through the grass for this vital part.  Fortunately, after an hour of search and cursing myself I found it.  I left camp at Chisel Branch at 11am.

Along the way I met a cross country hiker and a few others that were interested in our journey.  I stopped at White's Ferry for an apple and to drop off my old "used but good for an emergency" tire for later use for someone in a similar situation.

July 9, Sunday, an anonymous concerned and kind citizen picked up and delivered new trailer tires and inner tubes that "Veterans and Their Pets" purchased for me online at a nearby store.  Thank you and the also anonymous donor that helped make this recovery all possible.

I replaced the trailer tire and then backtracked along the trail a half mile in the direction that I had come from to Chisel Brach Hiker-Biker Camp because the park ranger informed me this morning that I was not supposed to camp at Edward's Ferry.  I informed him that this is where I broke down at, had spent the night last night, and that I would move on.  

July 8, Saturday (Swains Lock), many trail users out today.  I left Swains Lock Hiker-Biker Camp and upon my arrival at Edwards Ferry is when I heard what I at first thought was a gun shot very close by.  I thought again about the sound and thought to check both trailer tires.  Upon inspection of the second tire it was evident that my travels were done for.  A hole big enough to put ones thumb through was clearly visible in the center of the tread mass.

July 7, Friday, Swains Lock, recharged two of my backup batteries via solar panels, caught two fish, and relaxed.  

July 6, Thursday, I left Daisy and the "Chuck-wagon" at Swains Lock Hiker-Biker campsite for resupply and top off food stores at Safeway just 2.7 miles away.  In anticipation for the long trail ahead and assuming that the few trail stores that do exist would charge a considerable premium for the convenience of trailside purchases, I thought it best to travel heavy.  I topped off, spending all but my last two dollars, plus change, buying ramen, oatmeal, kool-aide, instant coffee, and beans.  It started to rain fairly steady at a mile before I returned to camp.  It rained, for the most part, all day and for certain ALL night this night.

July 5, Wednesday, I left Gravelly Point for a ride through Georgetown where I hopped on to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Tow Path which extends from Georgetown to Pittsburgh.  I arrived at a Hiker-Biker campsite along the canal path called "Swains Lock".

July 4, Tuesday, I left Gravelly Point after witnessing a remarkable and extraordinary sunrise over our nation's Capital.  I traveled to what I considered to be the heart of the coming festivities where I was waved off (denied entrance) by police and other official security forces from various agencies for they were securing the fireworks launch site and viewing grounds.  The police K-9's were doing a "bomb and explosives" search at the time, and after which, when the are was secured and deemed safe, all visitors and event spectators would be subject to a thorough search.  I gladly backtracked to explore other areas of the Capital.  A search would be an all day event in my case.
I found myself on the parade route and decided to stay and witness this event.  I'm glad I did.  I witnessed my first helium filled parade floats in person.
After leaving the parade, and I did so early to beat the crowds, I found a park bench along the national Mall for which to rest my rig and claim my seat for the fireworks display that would start in four hours.  Here I met two homeless fellas and passed the time in each other's company.   We would later rendezvous at Gravelly Point where I made dinner for myself and one other that had not eaten already.

July 3, Monday, I left my hosts in Clinton, Maryland after giving thanks and saying goodbyes.  It was hot and humid but otherwise a great ride.  I arrived at Gavelly Point and spent the remainder of the day watching jets take off and land immediately overhead (Reagan International's runway trajectory is directly inline with the end of runway).  It was here that I made a quick picnic, combination lunch and dinner.  I had just barely enough water to get us through the night.  I would later pay for this dearly for I would suffer from caffeine withdrawal the next day.  Thank goodness for instant coffee.  I slept on a park table top prepared to leave immediately in the event that I was asked to leave.

July 2, Sunday, I left my good friend and host Susan and family in Lothian, Maryland after an extended stay for repairs and awaited equipment deliveries.    The hills out were ridiculously steep at times; a person could walk up faster than my pace.  It was along one such steep incline that I noticed a motorcyclist pull up ahead and park at the roadside ahead of me at the crest of the hill for which I was only half way up.  As I neared, I saw this fella pull a rope from his saddle bag.  I laughed and shouted between labored breaths, "Hell no, I don't need a tow, but thank you!"

Upon my arrival to his parked bike, I recognized the rope as being Daisy's Leash; one that I obviously left at Barry's house (Susan's husband).  We laughed, said goodbyes once again after expressing my gratitude for the leash, and parted ways.
I arrived in Clinton,  Maryland to stay a night with a new friend and his wife.  It wasn't a long day but I didn't start until nearly 1:30pm in the afternoon.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

June 27, 2017, Monday. Washington DC

EXIT Mid-Atlantic, , , , "Veterans and Their Pets"(SM) , "Harold & Daisy" , "Haorld and Daisy"
EXIT Mid-Atlantic Family reception for "Veterans and Their Pets"

June 21, Wednesday I would say goodbye to my new friend Nick O'Connel, President of A.R.F. or Animal Rescue Flights , and tour the town of Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia before making progress along my tour route.  First I want to give thanks to Nick for welcoming me into his home and disrupting the routine of "Maggie" and "Enzo" his two rescued dogs.  (If you don't remember these cuties, here is the link to my previous postNick is a pilot and spends a great deal of time and resources rescuing animals with his plane and by other means.  He states that he is credited with over 1000 rescues.

I road down Richmond Rd, and then down W Duke of Gloucester St.- the historic main street which is chained off to all but pedestrian traffic, and in my case "bike and chuck-wagon" touring rig - to visit and experience "Old Williamsburg".  On the way and before I arrived, I stopped in to visit the folks at Williamsburg's Radio Station - WMBG FM97.7 AM740 to share our mission.  They expressed an interest and asked if I could come back from 10am-2pm.

Continuing on down Richmond Rd., I snapped quite a few photos before arriving at W Duke of Gloucester St.  Here is where a person steps back into time to experience what it was like hundreds of years ago.  There are many volunteers and or employees that dress in period clothes that wander about, looking for lost or confused visitors, to give guidance and share their knowledge of the past with them.  I had to drop what I was doing several times as horse or ox drawn carts approached.  I did not wish to be escorted from the property for startling or causing a runaway stampede of beasts of burden.

I stumbled into a rather professional photo shoot involving #Pedigree, a #dog, #lighting, #setprops, and #photographers.  Again, I kept my distance so as not to interrupt the photo shoot.  Daisy, fortunately, was quiet, and or curious as well, and the set was not interrupted by us. I have to remember to check out Pedigree and attempt to see the end result of this photo shoot.  I should have asked for an autograph or "PAWtograph" #PAWtograph !

Two hours later I looked at my watch and was surprised to learn that it was 10:30am.  Where did the time go?  I rode back to WMBG FM97.7 to meet the producer.  While there, I met Ty Hodges, got a selfie and shared our story.  Ty said that his schedule was full but that he would certainly give "Veterans and Their Pets"(SM) a plug via #Facebook mentions and other #socialmedia sights.

On the way out Williamsburg, Virginia, I snapped many more photographs. As I approached my turn to hop onto the "Virginia Capital Trail", it occurred to me that I should at least try to sneak into Jamestown and the Jamestown Settlement for which I was advised that it was closed to the public.  I should clarify that these and other Historic sites, are only open to paying visitors.  #commercializing #history .  Y'all will have to #Google these sights if you wish to know more about them.  I did not have the money, nor was I willing to leave my rig and Daisy behind to visit these historic sights.

Following my tour of Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia, I hopped onto a wonderful bicycle trail called the "Virginia Capital Trail" which starts in Williamsburg and extends into Richmond,Virginia.  What an amazing ride it was, as you can see from my Photo Album.

It was mid afternoon when I arrived at Chickahominy Riverfront Park and I thought that I would ask how much it would be to pitch a tent for the night.  Can you believe they wanted $28 to pitch a tent?  Out of curriosity I asked whether or not that included electrical hook up and WiFi.  Electrical hookup up would be $31 per night.  My jaw dropped.  I said that was beyond my means and then asked if I may eat lunch on the property for free.  She pointed me to the boat ramp which had a nifty little picnic area adjacent to it.

At the picnic area is where I discovered a very disturbing equipment failure.  My trailer hitch had completely failed and was hanging by the safety strap.  Thank goodness for this strange stop - I had stopped out of curiosity, and for whatever reason that led me to inspect the hitch.  Had I not found this when I did, most surely this trailer would have separated from my bike!  I have included photos of trailer hitches below, one old and one new, and I think you will see the difference between the replacement part that has just recently arrived and the one that failed.

 I called "Veterans and Their Pets"(SM) and explained my predicament.  On the day of this post (click here for the link) to Facebook while in Vanceboro, North Carolina, I had called Michael West of  "Veterans and Their Pets"(SM) asking for help in troubleshooting my options and to advise that my time on the road would be limited for I had found micro fractures in my trailer rims, as well as noticed a worn hitch assembly.  (Michael West has toured via bicycle in the past (a thousand mile ride) and still gives good guidance while I've been on the road.)  In the course of busy schedules, we missed each others calls and call backs.  We both agreed that it was time to do the rickshaw trick with the trailer.  I've done it before and was prepared to do it again.  It is a simple matter to strap the bike and bags to the trailer and start hoofing it to the nearest repair facility.

I had called Susan and advised that my arrival would more than likely be a long way off.  She wouldn't hear of it.  She asked for my location and I gave her two, the second being a place outside the park since I had not paid for a nights stay.  I had no intention of staying the night here, but now that I was aware of my hitch issues, I was prepared to leave when asked to leave.  I gave Susan a back up location in the event I had to move.

Here is the PHOTO ALBUM of this day, start to finish.

Total mileage on the day was 42 kilometers.

June 22, Thursday Susan Fleming of EXIT Mid-Atlantic and Debbie Buckingham of EXIT By The Bay, drove out to my location at Chickahominy Riverfront Park to pick Daisy and I up along with all of our belongings.  Debbie bought ice cream for everyone including Daisy.  It should be noted that Daisy does not suffer from brain freeze, or perhaps she just hides it well.   Thank you both for bailing me out of my depressing situation!!!

While packing, Megan Henderson introduced herself to me and offered to help us load my trailer and bike.  Megan and I got a selfie together before I left.  Thank you for your assistance Megan!

Here is the PHOTO ALBUM of this day.  Photo albums for the following days of this post I will screen and assemble for the next post.

June 23, Friday, Susan and her daughter Genna took me out to La Tolteca for dinner, and to pick up a bunch of chorizo, a hispanic breakfast delicacy of spiced pork salivary glands.  Basically it is a spicy version of breakfast sausage.  Don't knock it until you try it!   Thank you all for your kindness and hospitality!

My new trailer arrived in the mail this day.  I was excited at first that "Veterans and Their Pets" had not only searched online for a duplicate trailer, but purchased one for me so that I may get back on the road.  At first being the key words for after looking at the size and shape of the box, it didn't take long to figure out that there was no way a 36"x32" trailer frame would fit in this box, not to mention the tires and wheels.  See photo below.

June 24, Saturday  I was invited to the EXIT Landmark Realty movie showing of Wonder Woman.  Bernadette Cole, Broker/Owner of EXIT Landmark Realty put on a family event to give thanks to its staff and their families for their support and cooperation.  A wonderful gesture and time it was.  It was my first movie in I don't know how long, and that's a long time!  Thank you all for having me!

June 25, Sunday, it is time to open a care package that had arrived earlier in the week from some very special people, Beth Walker and her son Jax.  Thank you both so very much for the kind and thoughtful gesture, I was both moved and touched as you can see in the video.  Thank you Genna Fleming for filming this moment!  Here is the link to that video... Care package opening.  (FYI, before posting this video publicly, I asked for and received permission to share this and another video with you all.  Thank you Beth for that!)

Prior to the opening of this package, I had decided, after consulting a few friends, that I would film two (2) separate videos.  The one you have just viewed, and a second, after I placed other objects in the box.  This was my attempt to bring a little fun, something I could offer in addition to my humble thanks.  This second video is the one I initially shared with Beth and her son Jax (they were not aware that I had already opened the package).  Alternate Care Package Opening Prank Care Package opening.

Later in the day here at Susan's house, we had our first steamed blue crab picnic of the tour.  In fact, I haven't had blue crab since I was in Clute where both Susan and I went to intermediate and high school together.

June 26, Monday, I met first with Joshua McKerrow, photographer, and then with Alex Mann, journalist,  both for the Capital Gazette.  I enjoyed Joshua's style as he was not afraid to state the shots he wanted and how he wanted me to help him obtain them.  Both of these guys left me with the impression that they shared a genuine interest in the story and it is a joy working with shared interests.  I suggest that you all read this article as Joshua and Alex brought a unique perspective to our story.  I personally enjoyed what Bonnie Martin shared with Alex via telephone.  She may have told me how she met us on the road side, but I was quite exhausted when she pulled me over.  Thank you Joshua, Alex, and the Capital Gazette for hearing and sharing our story and our mission for "Veterans and Their Pets"(SM).    

June 27, Tuesday, the article came out and I shared it.  I will continue this day when I remember what was done.  First I wish to thank Susan Fleming, Barry Fleming, Genna Fleming, and the two cats for allowing us to stay while parts and repairs are made.  Their lives have been interrupted by our visit, and I suspect that the cats are quite pissed off about it.  Thank you guys for everything!

Photo albums: