Washington, DC: Part 2

Monday, June 15— The US Holocaust Memorial Museum

First, in Part 1 of Washington, DC I forgot to mention our entertainment for Saturday night, Capitol Steps. “The Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them.” It is an excellent show, mocking very current events, and hilarious. We highly recommend it. Continue reading

Washington, DC: Part 1

Saturday, June 13—The US Capitol

2015-06-13 09.20.39Lisa and I started this, our first day in Washington, DC, at the United States Capitol. This tour was a very different experience than the one we enjoyed in the late 1980s with our three children. Continue reading

Ride the USA-Day 19: Shenandoah National Park

Friday, June 12— Richmond, VA to Washington, DC

Bruce met me for breakfast at the Best Western. I suspect he arrived much earlier than our planned meeting time of 7:30. We enjoyed conversation about his service to our country in the Pacific Theatre of WWII, how he ended up buying his first Harley in 1947, as I recall, and what it was like to go back to the islands where he fought the Japanese…now twice. He told me a few more stories of his escapades riding his 2007 Harley that now has over 50,000 miles on it. The conversation got a little deeper than the day before, and that made it all the more meaningful. Bruce is perfectly imperfect, like all of us, and he is an honest man who served his country well, a good father and grandfather, a compassionate, servant leader to the University of Richmond, and now he’s my friend. I hope we ride together some day soon. Continue reading

Ride the USA-Day 18: The Wright Brothers

Thursday, June 11—Kill Devil Hills, NC to Richmond, VA

2015-06-11 07.35.33Normally I would hit the road by 8:00 am. Today my first stop was the Wright Brothers Memorial, which just 5 minutes away but didn’t open until 9:00 am. So I started the morning with a walk on the beach. It was quiet and peaceful, and a refreshing way to begin the day. Continue reading

Ride the USA-Day 16

Tuesday, June 9—St Augustine, FL to Myrtle Beach, SC

Today’s weather forecast was the most daunting of the trip so far. There seemed to be no reasonable route that would keep me from getting drenched. I stayed on I95 for the first couple of hours in an effort to get ahead of the developing storm. I would usually avoid the morning traffic surrounding a major city. But I’d never been to Jacksonville before, so I rode right through the middle of town. It’s a beautiful city, with the architecture of the Wells Fargo building most notable. Continue reading

Ride the USA-Day 15: Kennedy Space Center

Monday, June 8—Jupiter, FL to St Augustine, FL

Yesterday, somewhere along the Everglades, I rode to the southernmost point in my route plan. It felt good to finally turn just short of Miami, head north, and have the sun on my back. I believe the intense sun on my face this past week, along with higher humidity, have made the ride much more tiring. This morning I felt refreshed. As I cruised off of I95 and onto highway 713 at North Fort Pierce, I looked ahead at what appeared to be a dust storm. I barely noticed Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall playing on my stereo as I tried to figure out what was ahead of me. Continue reading

Ride the USA-Days 11-12

Thursday, June 4— Crawford, FL to Leesburg, FL

bearcrossing1T2015-06-04 13.25.05he end of the ride yesterday and beginning today followed the route of the Big Bend Scenic Byway. My new friend, Gary, who I met in Navarre, cautioned me about bear and black panther sightings in this area. Surely enough, soon after I passed the lighthouse in Point Saint Joe and the town of Apalachicola, I saw my first bear crossing sign. It seemed out of place for some reason. After thinking about it for a few more miles, it made sense. Given the tall evergreen trees and the high humidity, it’s a natural habitat for these and many other animals. The roads in this part of Florida and continuing east and south along highway 98 look like a giant John Deere tractor scratched them out of the forest/jungle. Except for a few clearings to the right or left, you can’t see anything. It’s more like your riding a chute towards a destination you can’t see for the trees. Another observation I made yesterday and today was that the frequent occurrence of hair salons and personal injury attorneys was being crowded out by an ever-increasing number of pawn & gun shops. People in this part of the country, even the most redneck looking, are very polite. Everywhere I went I was called “Sir.” Continue reading

Ride the USA-Days 9 & 10: The Gulf Coast

Tuesday, June 2— Abbeville, LA to Navarre, FL

I had a peaceful ride this morning through the Louisiana bayous and past New Orleans. I take the back roads whenever possible because they usually provide a better feel for the area in which I’m traveling. I took highway 98 into East New Orleans. As I passed through and observed the town I realized how different back roads in rural areas are from those in urban areas. Let’s just say that I found myself in the inner city and wasn’t sure that was a good idea. But no turning back! Continue reading

Ride the USA-Day 7: Be Still

Sunday, May 31—Sanderson, TX to San Marcos, TX

Last night was the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a week. I woke up ready to go, proceeded to the office to check out, rang the bell, and unknowingly woke up Dany. He was very polite and insisted I wait for him to prepare a cup of Chai tea for me. I tried to decline, but had a sense that it would be rude to do so. So I told him I’d hang around for a few minutes. He asked if I wanted the tea sweetened, or with a little milk. I responded, somewhat impatiently, that a little milk would be great. Continue reading

Ride the USA-Day 6: Big Bend National Park

Saturday, May 30—Van Horn, TX to Sanderson, TX

New flash! It’s raining in Texas!

I rose early this morning in hopes of making a correspondingly early departure. Unfortunately, there was a thunder and lighting strike alert notification on my weather app, so it made sense to wait out this relatively small storm for an hour. When I left clouds filled the sky and the road exhumed the smell of dampness that one can only associate with a downpour. I was undecided about taking the short or long route to Big Bend National Park. The decision didn’t come until I literally hit the fork in the road. Based on the direction of the storm, I decided on the long route to get as far away as possible from any chance of a lighting strike. It rained for about ten minutes, then the clouds moved on. Continue reading