Tuesday, August 4, 2015

R.A.T. Days 8-14; on to the Nation's Capitol

Taking advantage of this year's hurricane season to rediscover America. We're calling it the R.A.T. (Rediscover America Tour). While Sanibel sits on dry dock at Safe Cove boatyard in Port Charlotte, Florida, Jimi and I will be traveling 49 of the 50 U.S. States. Along the way we're going to recapture what America's made of, visiting out-of-the-way and well -known places, reconnecting with friends and family and  much more.

Day 8 - July 28th. After camping the previous night in a National Forest we drove to Vaas, North Carolina. There we spent just a few minutes visiting with a cousin from my mother's side that I hadn't seen in more than 15 years.

                               Along the way we found fuel at it's cheapest and a super cool 'old' sign.

                                                                          Total miles driven: 1408.

Day 9 - July 29th. Now on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Appalachian Mountains we could take some time to stop and explore whatever we came across. 

Total miles driven: 1669

 A library we stopped at to use the wi-fi. They had a very nice display of things Jimi and I grew up with.

We hiked to this waterfall. It about killed me, but I pushed through. Jimi took this fantastic photo.

 Large mushrooms I found along the side of the road.
Jimi standing in the road, as he's running off to take a photo.

Wild flowers of all colors lined the roads. The bees and butterflies were busy little workers throughout.

Our traveling companion, Squirrel. He sits on the dashboard sometimes watching where we're going and sometimes watching me as Jimi drives.

Day 10 - July 30th. This is the Mabry Mill. It holds a lot of history for the area. We very much enjoyed touring the grounds.

Total miles driven: 1878

Day 11 - July 31st. Still on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Jimi found this old homestead.

Total miles driven: 2086

We camped in this church's parking lot. It was fun to read the history and tour the grounds. Currently the church is only used for Easter services, but locals come here often for a serene place to meditate. 

Day 12 - Aug 1st. Driving along we came across an old homestead. The Ranger was raising the flag just after we drove in.

Total miles driven: 2232
The Appalachian Trail

An old homemade checkerboard set.

The Ranger raising the flag. Jimi asked him if he could take his picture. He said "sure". Afterwards the Ranger giggled and said "you made my day". It was cute.

The butterflies were plentiful and astonishing.

A buck on the side of the road. He paid no never-mind to us as we pulled over to take his picture.

Day 13 - Aug 2nd. We drove to Solomon, Maryland where our friend Heather put us up in a cabin at the Naval Recreation Center. We met her husband, Patrick for the first time, son Jack (3 yrs) and newborn Izzy (1 month). They spoiled us with salad, shrimp wrapped in bacon ca-bobs, steak, potatoes and homemade cheesecake. It was all delicious and their company was long overdue. 

Total miles driven: 2390
Gopher in the side of the road.

The cabin with Jimi, Heather and Pat visiting.


Pat grilling; the smells tickle my nose as I remember them.

Heather and Izzy.

I got to hold Izzy - she's so sweet.

Day 14 - Aug 3rd. We didn't get far; we drove to the Smithsonian Air and Space (overflow) Museum and then to Washington DC. The WWII Memorial is so well done, we were a bit choked up. We walked from the Washington Monument, through the WWII Memorial and down the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial and finished up with the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Korean War Memorial. After just that little bit, we were wore out and called it a night. 

Total miles driven: 2550 

Across the parking area is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

The Washington Monument

World War II

On the Pacific side, the bronze in-lays tell a story of the war.

On the Atlantic side, the bronze in-lays tell a story of our men getting ready to go to war.

The fountain of the WWII Memorial. On one side is the Atlantic and the other is the Pacific. Every state is represented with it's own engraved stone. The memorial is very well done.

Yay - this is us in Washing DC.
Standing at the foot of the Lincoln memorial with the Reflection Pool and Washington Monument behind us.

The wall at the Korean War Memorial

The Korean War Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

We'll spend Day 15 in DC as well, which will be on next week's post.

We're logging our position a few times a day, so if you're wondering where we're at, follow us on our blog. Here's a link - 

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