June 2nd – Thomas Jefferson – What A Guy!

Today was the first day that we tried the She Hikes I Drive arrangement for navigating the Appalachian Trail.  I dropped Janet and her companions around 8:00 AM.  It would have been much earlier, but true to form, I missed the exit and we had to travel 10 miles down the road to the next one to turn back around.  Hopefully I will master Google Maps in short order!

From there I took off for Monticello which was just a 30-minute drive.  I think everyone should make it there in their lifetime if possible.  I guess they still teach that he wrote the Declaration of Independence and was the 3rd President in American History, but he was so much more than that.  The house that he designed, by himself, over two hundred years ago is still a marvel.  The details would be too expensive to put into a house today. There are likely no craftsman with the required skills either.   It would have been an incredible place to live when he was alive and would still be today.  The views at all four compass points are simply spectacular.  I stepped out of character some and asked Grace, our wonderful guide, questions about the house and Jefferson the man.  I had recently read a great biography of him so I was trying to ask interesting questions that would help bring him to life for the rest of the group.  She smiled a lot so I think she appreciate my participation.

I was worried about leaving the dogs by themselves so I didn’t walk the entire grounds.  I think I didn’t need to worry because they were doing just fine when I got back.  From there it was a 45 minute drive to the Rip Rap parking area where I was to meet Janet and friends.  I arrive early enough to get some housekeeping chores done and get things ready for our steak dinner tonight.

I’m getting the hang of driving the RV and finding it is a wonderful way to travel.  I’m feeling very confident that this will be a Grand Adventure after all!  Now if Janet will only show up where I’m parked this will be a great day.

And So It Begins

We have started on our Grand Adventure (Folly??).  Our adventure will let Janet finish her bucket list item of hiking the Appalachian Trail all in one year.  We left yesterday morning about 9:00 AM and drove until 11:00 PM ending in a rest stop for the night in Virginia.  We met up today with two of Janet’s prior trail companions – Mark and Linda.  At least for a few days, they will all hike together through the Shenandoah Valley.

For me this adventure will cross off my bucket list item of the “5 Legged Cow” vacation.  What is that you say?   Well some years ago while traveling through far western Kansas there were a series of signs that noted animal oddities ahead at some attraction.  One of those was a 5 Legged Cow.  Not that I would have wanted to stop and see it, but the fact that we didn’t take the time was the important point.  So since then I have wanted to take a vacation without any deadlines or set agenda that would allow me to stop and experience whatever I wanted.  For the most part, I will only have a 30 minute drive to get to our meeting place each day.  That leaves me time to see that 5 Legged Cow.  Tomorrow I plan on visiting Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello.  The day after Woodrow Wilson’s presidential library looks like a place to visit.  For this next month we will be in the heart of where the Civil War was fought.  I’m looking forward to visiting many of those sites.

I have my fingers crossed that I get to the right spot tomorrow to link up with Janet.