Spent the night at my sister's home last night. Always great to see her and talk about our childhood. Up early even though we don't have to get on the road real early since our first stop is a visitor center for the Pinelands National Reserve. No sooner do we head out on Rt 37 for RT 70 it begins to pour. Said to Crystal I am not going to spend 15 days riding in the rain. Pulled over to get gas and was seriously thinking of heading back to my sister's to wait for the rain to stop and then heading for home. It just seemed the trip ahead of us was so huge and I was wondering how the heck we did this in the past. I was using the rain to justify thought of quitting. I said, we will go to the Pinelands and if it is still pouring I will make a decision then.
Got to where I thought the visitor center was and didn't see. Made a turn, kind of shrugging my shoulders and said I wonder where it is. Crystal said we just passed it on the right. Dang this is not going right. The rain had stopped, the visitor center was open, got the stamp, climbed back on the bike and never thought about quitting the trip for the rest of journey. It is amazing what 15 minutes can mean.
Next stop is NJ2-SPEC-Emilio Carranza Crash Monument in the middle of southern Jersey in an out of way place for sure. Good thing since Emilio crashed his plane here. This is one of the Americana Tour specific sites to hit.
Captain Emilio Carranza Rodríguez was a noted Mexican aviator and national hero, nicknamed the "Lindbergh of Mexico". He was killed while returning from a historic goodwill flight from Mexico City to the United States. A 12 ft monument in the Wharton State Forest in Tabernacle Township, New Jersey marks the site of his crash. The monument, installed with funds donated by Mexican schoolchildren, depicts a falling eagle of Aztec design. Each year in July, on the Saturday nearest the anniversary of his crash (second Saturday in July) at 1:00 p.m. he is honored at the monument site by members of the American Legion Medford post 526 accompanied by an entourage from the Mexican consulates in New York City and Philadelphia.
Grab a piece of Pennsylvania and then Delaware border right across the street
Blew right past Philadelphia and headed right into Wilmington, Delaware. Talk about a frustrating experience. First objective was New Castle County Court House. It's Sunday and what ever traffic there is, they should be home doing the yard, watching golf or something. Well today was some kind of marathon going on. All of the streets I needed to get to were blocked off for the marathon. I could understand if there were hundreds upon hundreds of runners, but what we saw were a handful of runners. We ended spending way to much time in Wilmington. There was a Martin Luther King mural we could get a on North Market St. Well that mural must have been painted over but we did stumble upon this one.
This one of 100 murals painted by Robert Wyland. All of the murals are images of life-size gray whales, breaching humpback whales, blue whales, and other sea life. Whaling Walls are created by invitation of the communities, institutions, and building owners of the structures on which they are painted. The one hundredth and final Whaling Wall was painted in Beijing in 2008
We headed off for a Veteran Monument, but the one I targeted was really way to far off the street and I didn't dare drive the Spyder over the park lawns. The side walk worked again thou.
The African-American Medal of Honor Statue at the same location pays homage to
African-American soldiers in all wars. It has two statues both by Charles Parks and honors
the 87 African Americans who are recipients of teh medal of Honor. The two statues
represent a civil War soldier and a World War II parachutist.
Got out of Wilmington and grabbed some abandoned houses along the way. I am using these as "Something Cool"
I did not take many pictures of National Parks, Memorials, Battlefields, Historic Parks, Rivers, Recreational Areas, or Preserves, but did stop in at Hampton National Historic Site for a stamp or what I call Ink.
The estate was owned by the Ridgely family for seven generations, from 1745 to 1948. The Hampton Mansion was the largest private home in America when it was completed in 1790 and today is considered to be one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the U.S. Its furnishings, together with the estate's slave quarters and other preserved structures, provide insight into the life of late 18th-century and early 19th-century landowning aristocracy.
Not to hit you fellow Marylanders, but riding in Maryland is just plain
but I can think of 2 states that are worse and they begin with "I" and are right next to one another.
Another mural grab in Westminster, MD. At this point the temps have soared and Crystal is still layered up. I kept asking her you want me to pull over so you can delayer, Nope, I am comfortable.
One of the last stops of the day was Monocacy Battlefield for a Veteran Memorial. The visitor center right across the street was closed so no National Park stamp to get. Visitor center didn't have a sign on the building either, so no credit for the Iron Butt Association on this one.
It's right around 6:30pm and we are staying with friends in Virginia for the night. Gave them a call at this point told them we were about an hour out from their house. My opening line to Dave was just calling so you didn't think we are lost, Dave said I know you aren't lost, you are just being you, cya when you get here.
Headed for Leesburg where Dave and Pam live. We crossed into Virginia and instantly the surroundings and scenery became more interesting and tranquil. Crossed over the Potomac River on a pretty narrow bridge. Just as we crossed into Virgina I saw the sign, with Crystal saying there is absolutely no place to get this sign. She was right about pulling over right there, no should other than a guardrail, but just up ahead was a curve in the road (this is to make sure no one sees the Spyder as the come around) and a side street off the right. I pulled into the side street leaving just enough of the Spyder showing so we could get the Welcome to Virginia and the Spyder in the shot.
Last stop I just happened to grab out of my eye, we passed it and turned around. How many Polka Dot Silos are there in the US ??
From here it was not that far to Dave and Pam's, who provided a great meal of 2 kinds of marinated steak tips, grilled asparagus, and hearty mashed potatoes. All washed down with multiple Rolling Rocks. Dave is a great photographer, so we talked about photography abit, caught up on old times when they lived in Connecticut and got into a bit of politics to boot.
Travel route for the day, took is just over 300 miles.