Saturday, July 1, 2017

July- Mrs. Beatty's Birthday!

20 Jul: Killington, VT, the Inn at Long Trail:  We are both tired.  Ron had a fast hike up to the AT returning sweat drenched because it is humid.  After lunch we went up the Sherburne Pass Trail that had lots of erosion, wet, slippery and humid.  Cynthia returned after half a mile while Ron continued to the ski run.  Grandson Brett was accepted into a top physics program, step one towards the PhD.

19 Jul: The Inns of Aurora - lovely town of 765 people on the eastern shore of  Cayuga Lake began  in 1789.  Now it is famous for the mansions turned into inns, Wells College and MacKenzie Childs furnishings. The breakfast was a blueberry scone and coffee. No!!! Ron made rolled oats instead. Our 7 hour ride was lovely but long. We stopped at Brewster Inn in Cazenovia for lunch and they referred us to Owega Vineyard to enjoy a great salad.  No vino.  The route?  We were hither, thither and yon - We tried to travel on Highway 20 East but we missed a turn so we stayed on 5 East,  turning south to try to avoid Syracuse, seeing nice views and a fast moving stream.  Eventually we arrived on 20 East until we needed fuel,  taking a break to try Jim S.'s .99 cent salad suggestion at McDonald's. Yes, they are worth the price. Turning N. on Highway 10 we angled back east through the Adirondacks following the lovely Lake George for miles. We surprised ourselves by arriving at the Inn at Long Trail by 7Pm.

18 Jul:  Williamsport, PA  is home to the Little League World Series and the Genetti Hotel where we slept soundly through the night.  The chef made oatmeal without sugar and milk but thought vegetable oil might be ok for egg white veggie omelet. No..  No oil, butter, fat, cheese or sodium is our litany.  Cynthia could not eat the fruit which was canned in syrup. Now, packed up we rode through a most enjoyable neighborhood filled with iconic Victorian homes. The ride was lovely with blue skies, fluffy white clouds and nary a rain drop; ouch, then we crossed onto NY state's rough roads. Bumpity bump. We arrived in Aurora, NY boasting a downtown of three buildings.  The rest of the city is comprised of many grand old mansions, once donated to Wells College, some are now turned into the Inns of Aurora.  After checking into our Inn, we dined on pigeon sized portions at the Inn's restaurant.  After we went to our room In the Rowland House, Ron drove six miles to the next town for rolled oats.  The room is a lovely brilliant pink and soft gray decor with a marvelous view of Lake Cayuga.   Early evening we explored the grounds.

Wynn: Our route was 27 North to 407 to 31 to 75 to 84 to Trevanion Rd becomes 134 in PA.  We were lost or confused twice around Harrisburg before getting on Highway 11-15 North to Sunbury, then 15 Nortth to 14 North through Elmira, NY to 34B North to Aurora. I hope that is correct.

17 Jul: Ron, the early riser, was up by five mapping out the day's journey to include scenic roads with lots of twisties. We didn't get started until noon.  Cynthia enjoyed the ca. 1800 historic main streets in Uniontown and Taney town, Maryland.  Corn was beginning to tassel out.  We took a wrong turn and missed a turn twice around Harrisburg, PA, stopping for a veggie sub and gas at Duncanon.  By 3:45 we arrived in Sunbury, PA to say a brief hi to friends. The sky looked threatening with ominous black clouds and severe weather alerts but we arrived in Westport, PA dry at a lovely, very old hotel.  After checking in we took the risk of reaching a Ruby Tuesday restaurant for Garden Bar dinner. A dangerous thunderstorm with flashes of lightning hit while we were safely ensconced inside nice and dry.  It lasted about 45 minutes.  We returned to the hotel dry.

16 Jul: Mrs. Beatty's Birthday was celebrated royally, thanks to Jim and Joni for hosting a party and baking carrot cake.  We surprised everyone including ourselves by eating two pieces of cake. The photo is Cynthia's first birthday:

15 Jul: A gorgeous day for a bike ride over hills and dales to Silver Springs, MD for lunch close to where Jim went to school.  The Quaker Meeting House was intriguing because the Underground Railroad  history.

14 Jul:  After rising early we drove to I-Hop for breakfast and groceries.  That was a good thing because loud, clashing thunder announced major moisture spewing from the skies preventing us from leaving the house for lunch or dinner. We ate oatmeal for lunch and dinner nstead of going to Smokey Glen Farm for the evening party. Our backpacking gear is now packed to ship back to Texas unused. Cynthia enjoyed the day engrossed reading Attkisson's,  The Smear.   

13 Jul:  Mount Airy. MD for five days with Jim and Joni! We had a lovely lunch with Cynthia's newly found cousin.  Jim and Joni joined us for dinner at Mt. Airy Tavern.

12 Jul:  Jessup, MD Bob's BMW  bike repair ... took all day, arriving in Mount Airy. MD by 5:44 - it appears the bike is fixed!

11 Jul:  Apart from long good-byes to the hotel staff, we departed on time.  Wynn: our travel route was 340 North from Waynesboro, VA to I-70 to Baltimore, MD, then 695 south, on to 95 south,  to 32 to Jessup, MD where we are overnighting in a hotel near Bob's BMW Motorcycle Repair.  This is my least favorite hotel but walking distance to the shop.

10 Jul: Our room looked like it was hit by a tornado with repacking and recycling everywhere before stopping at the recycling center; after a two hour hike, followed by an hour long meal at Ruby Tuesday's,  Cynthia worked on a DNA article for publication while Ron recycled plastics at Target and returned home with contraband: Ben and Jerry's Triple Caramel Chunk.  She shared.

9. Jul: We  missed yesterday... because we were busy hiking McCormack's Gap to Beagle Gap in one fell swoop.

8 Jul:  Waynesboro, VA, and our time here is coming to a close.  Ron really needs to stop working on James Lea to focus on recycling and thereby reducing our load.  But in the early am, while Cynthia is still sleeping, James Lea is quieter and darker.  Today's hike was Beagle Gap  up, up, up, over and  half way down before turning back to retrace the ups and down, down down.  Ron saw a bear

Recommended summerreading: Paris, by Edward Rutherford, Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly, Sojourner Truth by S.T, Ulysses S. Grant, autobiography, Harriet Tubman, Killing Kennedy, by O'Reilly, Make Your Bed by Andrew McKraven.

7 Jul:  We are indeed thankful that we awaken to another glorious day.  We ate, we hiked, we ate again, Ron worked on plotting plats, and here it is already 10:30 again.  Time for bed.  Todays hike from Jarman's Gap through to Sawmill Run had a very nice view to the west across a recovering burn area.  We met only two thru-hikers today, one was a nice German mother whose visa is good until October 1, and she hopes to finish the trail by then.  Cynthia was chatting with her in the sun when Ron caught up to them at Sawmill Run, so he laid in the grass in the shade and didn't hear Cynthia say that she was continuing north on the trail for a bit.  He got up and chatted with the German girl a bit and headed south grooming the trail uphill as he does, trimming bushes, clearing dead wood that might snag a hiker's pack, cleaning fallen weed-whacked bush debris, etc.  Eventually he realized that he needed to catch up to Cynthia and quit his trail clearing activities to hike along speedily.  Unbeknownst to Ron, Cynthia was now following him.  By the time he met the other hiker, Ron suspected that he should have caught Cynthia, so she was likely behind him, but he had no cell phone signal and could not call.  Once he got to the motorcycle and found no Cynthia, he called just after Cynthia had met the second hiker, so she was able to tell him that she was 15 minutes behind him.  All well that ends well.

6 Jul:  In Waynesboro, Virginia, Ron slept not a wink until 6:30am.  Plotting plats on the map is exciting, yes?  He did try twice to fall asleep, but was just wide awake for no good reason.  We arose at 7:20am after the usual mandatory morning stretches.  It was a beau-ti-ful day for a hike, overcast and sinisterly foggy.  The perfumes in the air were overwhelming as the flowers expressed their gratitude for the rain.  Poison ivy is berried and lush, a bumper crop, and several of the plants had extended branches out over the trail at face height or above.  Walking under a canopy of poison ivy is anything but reassuring.  Todays hike at McCormick's Gap was "only" 3.22 miles because we are gently reintroducing our bodies to the rigors of hiking.  The hill is a lot steeper than the one at Jarman's Gap, so not descending down the far side reduced our risk of slipping on a wet rock or mud.  Hard to imagine that we hiked a couple of hours without seeing another hiker; usually we see between five to twenty of 'em.  Ruby Tuesday welcomed us for lunch early (12:30), and we each ate a baked potato and salad until full as usual with the addition of one order of salmon to split (for essential oils) today.  Ron mailed six cards & letters in response to cards received within the last three years and is finally beginning to reduce the paperwork he carries with us on the motorcycle.  Cynthia has read five books in the last three days on her iPad; her favorite of these was Killing Lincoln.

5 Jul: We didn't hike due to threatening storms and Cynthia's allergies.  She slept the morning away to half past afternoon.  Ron spent the entire day reviewing his plat plotting of all the landowners near any James Lea in Caswell County.  The analysis paid off in a couple of realizations which came about as he meticulously documented all of his references.  With a couple of exceptions, most everything was within shooting distance of correct (that is a couple of hundred yards).

4 Jul:  Have a very happy celebration of our American Independence.  We did finally arise, eat and hiked 4 miles.  This was our usual gentle Jarman's Gap hike to the top of the hill, down to the road, and return.  The trail maintainer has been out with his weed whacker.  AttaBoy.  As we rode the motorcycle back towards the park entrance, we saw a big black bear hightailing it uphill away from the road!  We ate again, and Cynthia slept again.

3 Jul at 5:29am:  Ron is up and blogging briefly before resuming normal morning plat plotting exercises.   Cynthia awoke and the Triduum celebration of eating, sleeping and platting continues quite peacefully.  Yup, for the third sequential day the motorcycle sat; methinks it is growing roots.

2 Jul, Sunday:  Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.  We slept in again and just got to breakfast before 9am, then took a nap until noon, and Cynthia had another nap around 5pm.  We ate at Ruby Tuesdays, the only restaurant we've been to this month while staying in Waynesboro.  We did NOT hike, and our bodies appreciated the second day of rest & recuperation.  The motorcycle didn't move for the second day in a row.  (We walk to Ruby Tuesdays, only three blocks away, and Ron walks every evening to either Wally World or Martin's grocery, six blocks away.)  Cynthia wrapped up her article but hasn't delivered it to the editor (Ron).

1 July:  A Beatty happy day begins; Cynthia begins celebrating her birthday month.  We party hearty by taking a full day of nothing but rest.  Our bodies were beat up from the longer hikes, and we needed to recouperate.  The motorcycle didn't move.  Cynthia is working on her article for publication about Harry Bernard King who was born as Charles Edwin Rinker.  Ron continues to transcribe hand-written notes from his collection of scraps of paper and to transcribe metes and bounds of plats preparatory to plotting.  His mid-year letter is this:
                                                                                                                          1 July 2017

My memory has never been spectacular, but I vaguely remember that I needed Thank You cards to send to you folks that sent me (or gave us) a card in 2016, and I vaguely remember clipping return address labels to remind me of you.  Since I have no other clues, you are receiving this mid-year letter in addition to the annual letter.

                    2017 has been a great year for us with no problems and no traumas so far (June 28).

                  As a matter of fact, the year has been spectacular, and we thank God as we count our blessings.  Cynthia is my wonderfulest blessing, and she counts me high on her list too.

                  After doctors appointments and family visits and the completion of capping 10 of my front teeth, we returned to Crystal Beach for two weeks while we waited for the genealogy DNA conference to begin in San Antonio.  My sister joined us there and helped the instructors instruct us.  One exercise called for using new tools to find autosomal matches, and Cynthia discovered a new 2nd-cousin match to her aunts and herself that turned out to be from her mysterious great grandfather Harry Bernard King.  That match descended from an earlier marriage when his name was Charles Edwin Rinker !!  It is a huge find and worthy of publication in genealogical magazines.  We are now working on those articles.

                  Next stop for the year was the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, and yes, we did learn how to become good little longevities - mostly by eating a plant-based diet and exercising a lot.  The interesting part is that Cynthia is now controlling her diabetes by eating lots and lots of veggies but no salt.  She loves this new diet because we get to eat until full all the time.  The diet boils down to: “if it grows in the ground, you can eat it.”  Refined flours and grains do NOT grow in the ground; whole grains do and their flours are OK too.  Other participants found the diet bland; we find it wonderfully more varied than our previous 10-grams-of-fat-a-day diet.  Ruby Tuesdays, our favorite restaurant, is right on target with its salad bar, and we call ahead to have them bake a potato for us without salt.

                  En route to the year’s big event, we visited my college roommate Greg in Columbia, South Carolina.  The big event was held at the Union League in Philadelphia, a really swanky place, and I was honored with an impressive award from the Swedish Council of America for my efforts on behalf of the Swedish Colonial Society.  My brother and sister both came to heckle, and a good time was had by all.

                  The original plan was to commence hiking the Appalachian Trail southbound from Harpers Ferry on June 6th, but we walked too many miles on concrete there preparing, and Cynthia’s sciatica returned with a painful vengeance.  Fortunately icing her feet, hip and knee combined with the exercises we learned at the Pritikin Center for the IT band and the piriformis muscle have her feeling quite well again.  Meanwhile we have been staying at the Comfort Inn in Waynesboro, Virginia, a favorite place, and hiking daily in the nearby Shenandoah National Park on various segments of the Appalachian Trail.  Meeting the current crop of thru-hikers has been great fun, and Ron has worn himself out with trail maintenance: cleaning out water bars, clipping overhanging shrubbery, and tossing unwelcome rocks and sticks off the trail.

                     We were considering beginning the hike July 5th, but it got too hot, so we will head north towards Vermont after motorcycle maintenance scheduled for July 12th.

                                                                                                          25 Feb 2017 (annual letter is late)

                  After 3 cardiac procedures in 2015, 2016 started with dental work and soon turned miserable; I bled profusely from the roof of my mouth every third day for three weeks, then my atrial fibrillation returned which led to an ablation and a pacemaker (my little alien).  Now I have a blood clot on a pacemaker lead.  Hmm, that sounds much worse than what I experienced.  I feel fine now.

                  On April 15th Cynthia and I left Texas for Sedona and bought a brand new BMW motorcycle in Scottsdale, AZ.  Sedona is Cynthia's favorite spot, and we stayed six weeks ... except that we did rent a car and drive to Sacramento to see Cynthia's aunts. (Too hot to ride the bike - 104 degrees at Hoover Dam.)  While there, I insisted that Cynthia see California coastal Highway 1 north to Fort Bragg.

                  From Sedona, we rode north to the Grand Canyon, where I confirmed that my cardiac care was functional by hiking 3 miles down into the canyon in 1½ hours and back out in 2 hours with no breathing difficulties, no undue strain, no sore muscles.  Monument Valley was awesome; the highlights were our Apache guide and climbing the 40' Indian ladder to enter one of the cliff dwellings.
                  We were in & out of Durango, Colorado four times to see Dr. Youssef & get injections into Cynthia's spine.  The cortisone worked, and she's been much better since.  We visited friends in Santa Fe and hiked there and in Pagosa Springs, Ouray, Estes Park and Grand Junction, CO.  We even ventured into Denver to visit Cynthia's grandson.

                  Cynthia performed the first of 2 religious ceremonies this year by baptizing a Taos Pueblo Indian boy at the Lama Foundation, a hippy spiritual commune dating to the 1960s. 

                  We rode past Dinosaur en route to Salt Lake City, where Cynthia flew back to Houston for doctors appointments.  My Rambo cousin Roy White showed me the Golden Spike, the gigantic Kennecott open pit copper mine and the Spiral Jetty.

                  The ride from Salt Lake City to Denver was spectacular with shimmering golden aspen filling a couple of valleys.  As we crossed the country in late September, the temperatures were pleasant or cool.  We visited friends in Des Moines, Iowa and my 97-year-old Aunt Eleanor in Keosauqua, IA.  (She was quite surprised when I told her that she was the third oldest relative we visited last year.)  In Mt. Olive and Trenton, Illinois we visited my sister, my nephew and a couple I've known since high school.  Next stop Cleveland to see MIT buddy Walt & wife Pam.

                  We arrived at the Inn at Long Trail in Vermont just in time for peak leaf peeping.  Colors were brilliant, although the drought lessened the effect.  Dinner at the Pasta Loft in Milford, NH with several MIT friends provided a wonderful opportunity to "catch up."  We turned south to Gaithersburg, Maryland, where on Oct 16th, Cynthia officiated the marriage ceremony for Jim & Joni, motorcycling friends.  The groom owns a BBQ catering business and catered his own wedding - a fabulous affair.

                  We visited friends in Philadelphia before fleeing south, visiting my brother Dean and wife Janina in their new home in Lewes, Delaware, a comfortable town.

                  Old man winter caught us because we stayed a bit too long on Lake Hyco in northern North Carolina (doing genealogy), so the ride to Atlantic Beach, NC was quite cold.  Ditto the ride to Columbia, SC, where we visited and walked daily with friends.  Ditto the ride to Macon, Georgia and the ride further south to El Governor Hotel in Mexico Beach, FL.  We like that hotel because it is right smack dab on the beach.  We decided to try a new location, Biloxi, MS and discovered fabulous accommodation at the Hard Rock Casino.  Our suite was fit for a Rock Star: sitting room, 3 TVs and a shower big enough to wash the car.

                  Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston, TX is our new favorite wintertime walk. 
                  On January 5 we returned to Houston for our doctors appointments and Cynthia's favorite hair stylist, Sasha.   In summation, we enjoyed a marvelous year despite the miserable start.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June is here, spring is sprung

30 Jun:  We awoke tired.  Cynthia was unable to sleep from 3am to 5am, and we've worn ourselves out with all the hiking.  Bug bites don't help either.  Still, after breakfast we dragged ourselves out to the trail and enjoyed a beautiful day with our usual 4-mile, easy hike from Jarmans Gap.  Today we met a hiker with trail name Levi-s; first question out of my mouth was, "So you are still hiking in jeans?"

29 Jun:  Another month is almost vanished into history !!  How can time move so fast when we are having fun ??  We awoke early, it remains to be seen whether we can hustle out the door for a longer hike or whether we are still a bit tired as we were yesterday ... but for now breakfast and mee weefee await in the breakfast nook.  Hiker Amtrack has only been hiking for five years now and was laid up recently for a couple of weeks with feet problems.  She is hopeful that new hiking shoes will fix the problems.  Amusing that Cynthia mistook a hiker for a bear and had me tell my NoBusiness Shelter bear story to him when Donkey and Q-tip hiked past, with backpacks today.

Da Birthday Beauty
28 Jun:  Rested, we arose to start the day!  One day a week we straighten up our room so that the housekeepers can come in to clean.  Keeping a room tidy for 24 hours isn't possible for Ron with so much recycling piling up, but thank goodness, the cleaning crew returned.  We are a Clean!!!  The pharmacy forgot our 90 day refill RX so they are shipping overnight at their expense.  Great hike on a gorgeous sunny day of 72 degrees.  We met a lot of nice hikers.  Hiker Q-tip has lost 20 lbs and is "reshaping" her body now.  She saw a small bear and alerted Cynthia to see it too.  Hiker Donkey and I were hustling along to catch our partners and enjoyed conversation until we caught up to Cynthia.  Happy birthday to our granddaughter Kiira!

27 Jun:  Do you ever have those nights when you lie abed WIDE AWAKE for an hour?  Ron had one of those last night, and even after transcribing deeds until 2:30 am, he again lay abed sleepless for quite a while.  Amazing that after so little sleep that he does not feel ill-rested, so again today we will take a late start to Turks Gap and hike up the the top for better views, since today is forecast to be a real gem (and it was).  Ron enjoys repeating hikes on the same trails since he can manicure the trails even better on the second (or third or fourth) pass.  NIGHT: Instead of Turks Gap we hiked south from Jarman Gap to the summit of Calf Mountain; it was a strenuous uphill with a lot of trail maintenance to do: 5.14 miles.  Cynthia appreciates the downhill return because Ron has cleared so much loose rock and intrusive branches.  We were ravenous by the time we arrived at Ruby Tuesdays for our usual dinner plus salmon today.  Hiker Bellows has lost 50 lbs to date.

26 Jun:  We are still in Waynesboro, Virginia, enjoying proximity to Appalachian Train and Ruby Tuesday.  Amazing that June is flashing to a close already.  Amazing also that the weather continues to be moderate here and on the trail.  And such a pleasant forecast is to continue until July 5th, when we check out.  Ron is again up early puzzling over the jigsaw of James Lea property plat plotting.  Ron again ate half a bag of pretzels (salt free, fat free) to help him sleep in longer stretches sans hourly visits to the bathroom.

25 Jun:  Since we started our hike late, nearly noon, the weather was a marvelous 79 degrees max, perfect for hiking.  We repeated Turk's Gap Trail north, traveling beyond Skyline Drive within .1 mile of the next parking lot (Wildcat), returning to our bike after a 3-hour, 4.4-mile trip, thereby continuing to improve gradually.  Today we noticed the climb was indeed steep in places and a long uphill.  Strange to think that our memories are no longer good for an entire hour.  It seemed a bit peculiar that we saw about 20 thru-hikers throughout our return after seeing none for the first hour of our hike.  Because of the late start, we were famished and ate heartily, including tilapia in todays meal.  Oh what fun we had in the restaurant watching a TV special about the rivalry between the Lakers and Celtics in the 80's.

24 Jun:  Our hike today was from Turk's Gap north to Skyline Drive.  The ascent was so very gradual that we didn't notice going uphill until the obvious downhill for so long on our return.

23 Jun:  Today's hike was Sawmill Ridge north to Turk's Gap.

22 Jun:  Waynesboro, VA continues to please us.  The weather for hiking is a bit warm, but the Comfort Inn, Ruby Tuesday and proximity to the AT all suit.  Granddaughter Lauren is celebrating her birthday as a psych counselor in private practice with 17 clients:

Cynthia's scary view
21 Jun:  Another wonderful day to awaken: Good morning to you,
good morning to you,
we're all in our places with sunshiny faces,
Oh this is the way to start a new day.
Yup, life is good again, although Ron's knee is a bit aggravated with his hiking, but it is complaining less today than yesterday.  Today's hike was a bit more rugged and steep than either of us remembered, going to the summit of Turk Mountain - 2891 feet elevation.  Hard to believe the official distance of 1.1 miles; it seemed more like two or three each way.  Cynthia's Fitbit registered 4 miles.  The view from the crags atop the mountain were well worth the effort, but Cynthia took an unplanned, scary detour to a lower pile of rocks, so we don't have pictures from the summit to share.   The trail is poorly marked at one particular sharp, rocky turn; Cynthia was not the only one to take the wrong branch.  We left another piece of a tree blocking the wrong branch, but undoubtedly some misguided, well-meaning novice will remove it.  A black bear cub was foraging beside the road as we motorcycled south on Skyline Drive; well worth the time to turn around for a second look.  "Back at the ranch," after eating again and again at Ruby Tuesdays, Ron's mending is going quite well; he has finished sewing an 8"x3" patch onto his favorite hiking pants (a casualty of trail maintenance on that rainy day) and darning his favorite Irish "Giants Causeway" teeshirt.  Recording of receipts is up to date.  Now if only the James Lea plat plotting would take a quantum leap.  This Pritikin eating plan is wonderful; we both get to eat until we are FULL - every meal.  It takes a lot of salad & veggies to fill Ron, so he gets to eat almost all day without stopping.  Talk about a happy camper.

20 Jun: Las Maninitas, "Beautiful is the Morning." 70 degrees, sunshine, sciatica gone, a 5 mile hike, what more can we say?  We did meet Laser Beam on the trail today; her hubby, Yard Dart, was injured in a fall in Georgia, so is providing her moral support while she slack packs the Shenandoah National Park.
Ron busy with stream bed maintenance

Nice vistas abound

19 Jun:  Rise and Shine!  The sun did, and we did,  and we hiked fast and furious because a severe thunderstorm with wicked wind was forecast at noon.   Returning to the trailhead by 12:10 with darkening skies, one of us was alarmed at forgetting her sunglasses on a rock at the summit.  What to do?   Forget the glasses or return tomorrow, risking disappearance due to rain, wind or hikers in the intervening 24 hours?  It was 1.5 miles back up to that rock.  The hike from Sawmill Gap to the rock was only 0.5 miles, so Ron vaulted up and back using hiking poles in a swift 15 minute roundtrip; one of us  is ever so happy to be reunited with her rescued sunglasses.  We were even happier to escape down mountain under black skies with strong winds, but no rain fell until we were secure inside Ruby Tuesdays.  Ron thoroughly enjoyed riding a bit faster today since we had every encouragement to hustle.

18 Jun:  Happy Father's Day to all of the fathers in your lives.  We both lost fathers at an early age.   Our morning hike was excellent despite a real feel of 94 degrees, due to high humidity.  We are revved up for longer hikes on Skyline Drive this week but severe thunderstorms with damaging winds are forecast for tomorrow.

17 Jun:  Ron hiked and enjoyed using his $1 hand saw to help remove a downed tree from the trail.  In getting there he passed a young woman hiker and asked how long she had been hiking.  Upon hearing her reply two days, he offered to carry her pack to the top of the hill and she gratefully accepted his aid.  This poor hiking damsel in distress was carrying a 40 pound pack !!  Ron returned her pack when they arrived at the tree and were pleased that the official trail maintainer was already at work on the tree with his much better saw.  Between the two men and two saws, the work was soon done, and the other guy showed Ron a flowering hickory tree on the way down to Sawmill Gap.  These trees are beleaguered there by some blight or pest that kills them after they get about ten feet high.  At Walmart Ron located an iron-on patch big enough for his torn khakis, but it is for denim and the khakis are brushed nylon.  Good night!

16 Jun:  Where IS Ron NOW?  Check out the Denny's Restaurant in Mt. Jackson, VA where two bedraggled researchers are waiting out a thunderstorm.  We made it to the Edinburg Library and browsed an excellent 1860 Shenandoah County, VA census study, learned the location of Jacob's Lutheran Church and managed to ride to it, past Jacob Rinker's old stone Meeting house, and through Rinkerton, which is now only a crossroads, before the rain started.  Wyn will love the ride of the pastoral views of Virginia's Appalachia hills from Edinburg west on 675 to Columbia Furnace, right on VA 42 south along the ridge tops through Conicville where Jacob Rinker lived to another right on VA 263 through Rinkerton until rejoining US 11 at Mt. Jackson.  So here we sit -- and we SAT for three hours awaiting a promised break in the rain, whereupon we rode home safe and dry on I-81 since the heavier traffic dries the roadway quickly.  Even from I-81, the Shenandoah Valley is breathtakingly beautiful, especially with an ethereal fog floating on the shoulders of the mountains.

15 Jun: The rain brought cooler temperatures making the ride to Skyline Drive very pleasant, but-- a bit scary for Cynthia!  A red pickup had stopped in the passing lane ahead of us, and the car ahead of us slowed suddenly, scaring Cynthia.  As Ron wondered about this driver behavior, he espied a young bear suddenly run across the road and fly over the guardrail like Superman, front legs stretched ahead and rear legs extended flat behind, as graceful as a leaping gazelle before disappearing from view in a flash.  Cynthia was focused on the cars and missed the bear's acrobatics.  We enjoyed today's hike.  Tonight, Ron is mending his khakis.

Soggy Smoochsmooch
14 Jun:  Imagine hikers not checking the weather report.  Tsk! Tsk! We failed to check the weather and got caught without rain gear.  Partway up the mountain we had a little mist that turned to a light shower close to the ridge top so we donned our very light rain ponchos.  By the time we reached our bike it stopped raining. Ron showed off his torn khakis. The ponchos can't be worn riding the bike.   En route to town the deluge hit!  We stopped at the hotel to shower and change into dry clothes before eating.  Jean C. Commented on the photo of a rain-drenched girlie, "Cynthia always embraces the moment."

13 Jun: A good day in many ways except for the temperature of 88 in Waynesboro; the ride into the mountains was pleasant with a cooler temperature of 82 degrees.   We hiked 3 miles round trip on the same trail as yesterday but moved faster and easier stopping short of that last steepl half mile down the mountain on the other side.   If we go down we have to climb back up.   Ron was short of breath doing trail maintenance, likely a side effect from the blood thinner; letting the cardiologist know is a good idea. We met a great many northbound hikers that started at Springer in March. Cynthia noticed the hiker smell. Ron invited a man to have lunch with us because he was asking for food money.

12 Jun:  WooHoo!  Cynthia's sciatica pain is quieting down.  We hiked 3 miles round trip from Jarman Gap almost to Turk's Gap and back without pain.  We again met several thru-hikers but only asked the name of one, Sandals, hiking in sandals.  We are staying in Waynesboro for another week before making the decision whether to backpack south-bound from Harpers Ferry versus motorcycling north to cooler climates.  Prospects for backpacking did not look good yesterday, so we are hopeful that the sciatica will continue to subside.  Cynthia has ice on hip as we speak.  Ron continues plotting plats; more adjoining plats need to be fitted to confirm that the properties are correctly placed.

11 Jun, Sunday:  Today we hiked a happy 1.5 miles on the AT.  Preparatory to hiking, we purchased another set of hiking poles at WallyWorld (a steal at $18) and Ron's favorite Outshine frozen fruit bars.  Imagine our delight to arrive at the AT trail junction with 3 bars remaining where we immediately recognized two thru-hikers, Red Squirrel and Corona, who were quite delighted to receive a frozen treat apiece.  Ron's lower back pain continues to subside as he practices pelvic tilt and morning stretches.

10 Jun:  A day lost in the fogs of genealogical typing.

9 Jun:  Field trip today to Edinburg, home of Cynthia's newly-discovered Rinker ancestors.  The 70-mile-ride getting there was quite lovely, even though we did stay on I-81.  The Virginia mountainous countryside is magnificent when the skies are clear and forests and fields sparkle in the sunshine.  Today is also quite a bit warmer, with more heat in the forecast for the next several days.  The Edinburg Library provided a treasure trove of information for Cynthia including a 1993 genealogy of the Rinker Family (including her Charles Edwin Rinker aka Harry Bernard King).  Back at the Comfort Inn, Charlotte is looking very well and energetic, especially considering that she has one more chemo treatment before the next PET scan and assessment.  Let's all pray for her.  Ron continues to slog along plotting plats of the Leas of Caswell County, NC and was overjoyed to FINALLY connect the William Lea property to everyone else.  John Lea and Edmund Lea properties also fell into place in the last few days.

8 Jun:  Waynesboro, Virginia at our favorite lodging hereabouts, the Comfort Inn, managed by Charlotte, speaking of whom, I must go down to see if she is in and entertaining visitors.  (Charlotte is undergoing cancer treatment; pray for her.)  Daniel says I missed her, but that she will be in tomorrow.  The parking lot was full of motorcycles this evening; a group of water treatment professionals ride to their annual conference as a fund raiser for a water charity.

7 Jun:  A huge gaggle of geese scurried from the driveway towards the pond as we rode away from Jim and Joni's rural retreat.  (Hi Wynn, we rode south on MD highway 26 past Mount Airy to I-70 west to US 340 west through Harpers Ferry, WV to I-81 south and eventually arrived in Waynesboro by 6pm.)  Ron saw a huge mist ahead of us as we neared the gap in the mountain where Harpers Ferry lies, and sure enough, immediately after passing by an exit, the raindrops started and rapidly intensified until the deluge was so severe that we had trouble seeing anything other than the slowing tail lights of the vehicles ahead of us.  Fortunately, that lasted only a couple of minutes until we pushed through the front into dry air.  Since we knew of a Ruby Tuesdays in Charles Town, we stopped there for salads and to check the weather.  Forecast looked like we should be dry if we took our time about eating (and we did), but we still ran into another couple of showers and got wet at a stop light during one shower south of Winchester.  One of our delights on this rainy day was seeing twenty shades of gray skies in contrast with the verdant rolling hills and mountains of Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.

6 Jun:  Ron picked Cynthia up at the airport right on time (which was a miracle) and took her to Bob's BMW where a new tinted visor for her helmet had arrived.  Thank goodness that Karen had offered to install it; it was a struggle.  When Jim and Joni returned from their workdays, we went to a Ruby Tuesdays in Westminster, MD for dinner.

5 Jun:  Heavy thunderstorms are forecast for Houston at the time of Cynthia's departure with a three hour flight delay.  Rain is forecast for the time of her arrival in Baltimore.  Interesting to see how this plays out.  Cynthia's flight was delayed for 3 hours and the Baltimore arrival was rain free.  What joy to be together again.

4 Jun, Sunday: Ron went to sleep about two AM, arising at 5:30 AM to slave away on James Lea;  he is pleased to have discovered the keystone to the Moravian land puzzle.  Jim and Joni invited him to dinner with their growing family.  Cynthia had brunch at the Walden Yacht Club with family.  The omelet chef and wait staff were disappointed Ron wasn't along on this trip.

3 Jun: Ron is slaving away on James Lea platting early Caswell County property.  Cynthia, in Texas, misses Ron but enjoys family.  Our You Tube interview by A.T. Thru- hiker, Crazy Tree, was posted today: Cynthia did lunch with son Paul and granddaughters Zoe and Fyn who loved the dresses, boots and shoes from her Grandmorher.   Her son Jon took her out for dinner at the Cozy Grape.

Surprise party for Cynthia.  Happy Mothers Day & birth day
2 Jun: mid-afternoon finds Ron slaving away on James Lea of Caswell County, North Carolina, desperate for a break from the Moravian puzzle.  There are too many pieces, and several do not fit.  The can of corn disappeared before the fruit bars, but only by mere seconds. (awwww! Smooch!) Meanwhile in Texas, Cynthia's family surprised her with a late Mother's Day and early Birthday party:

Grandmother gets kisses

and cards

1 Jun: Mt. Airy, Maryland, Ron sits on Jim & Joni's porch typing and enjoying balmy spring breezes and glorious sunshine this afternoon as we type.  Tenting overnight was awesome, but Ron is drooping from too little sleep two days ago.  Nonetheless, his excitement is high now that he can begin plotting more plats in the ongoing saga of editing James Lea.  The larder is filled with rolled oats, raspberries, beans, corn, and fruit bars.  (Guess which one is disappearing fastest.)  Breakfast with Nick this morning was fine & fun.  Nick is an active guy and a great conversationalist, a retired Master Sergeant in Special Forces.  He rode his "sport bike" V-Rod off to volunteer work at 10AM.  John was teleconferencing as part of his job until nearly 11AM, so Ron chatted with Dale, petted Pete, and had lots of time to pack leisurely and leave early.  The ride out to Jim's was very pleasant, but Ron had James Lea on his mind, so was not as appreciative of the lovely early summer landscapes.  Jim & Joni were late getting home and turned on a traveling chef show that entertained them wonderfully.  We all retired around 10pm.  Ron had set the tent up before dark, but discovered that the dew is heavy enough to warrant the rain fly henceforth.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Hooray Hooray for the 12th of May!

31 May: Jessup, MD and Montgomery, TX:  Hey! Rain wasn't in the forecast, and Ron was prepared for dry, so he waited 2:00 AM to set up his tent.  Nature called a couple of times, but after the 5:00AM call, he was unable to go back to sleep, and finally arose at 6:30, slightly disoriented and hungry.  Around 8:45, he interrupted conversation with rider Dawn to ride to Weis, hoping that the intermittent electrical problem would appear so the BMW mechanic could see it; no such luck.  The mechanic discovered loose battery cables, very peculiar since Ron and Jim had checked and tightened them earlier.  Ron visited old friends Harry, John, Dale & Nick, nearby in Silver Spring.  Rain fell briefly before dark, and Ron tented in the adjacent Montgomery County park.

30 May: Departure Mount Airy, MD to Baltimore, MD  at 2:00 PM for Cynthia's flight to Texas leaving Ron without adult supervision for six days, Oh! Oh!  Ron will overnight in Jessup, MD spending the day tomorrow overseeing work on the motorcycle's electrical system.    Smooch to my beloved Smooch!  The flight was on time. TSA PreChek was worth the effort.

29 May, SnowShoe Mountain Resort West Virginia  to Mount Airy, Maryland:  Immediately, at COLD-thirty kairos time, we were dressed in gear  and bound down mountain.  After descending to Cass, WV we warmed by ten degrees.  Mother Earth is putting forth spring finery  -  fleurs are fleuring, and  Cynthia was intoxicated by the fragrance of  the lilacs (even Ron noticed the purdy stink).  We drove WV Highway 28 North to Highway 48 East over hills, dales, and alongside mountain streams.  Once we reached I-81 at Winchester, we spun off to Highway 340 north to Highway I-70 to Mount Airy, MD.   Heavy rains raised the river levels enough that rafters were out in abundance.   Jim and Joni left the mountain top an hour ahead of us, but at the junction of highway 33 (their choice) and highway 28 (Ron's GPS chosen) in Seneca Rocks, they rode by as we waited for the light.  Too much fun !!  Jim stopped at a Sheetz gas station in Petersburg, and Ron noticed a "racing stripe" of cords on Jim's rear tire.   Nothing being open Memorial Day for repairs,  Jim made the decision to wait in Petersburg with his bike while we rode on to their home to get the trailer to haul the bike back to their farm.   Joni  refused Ron's assistance driving back to retrieve Jim.   Instead, Ron went for a great walk while visiting his favorite people by phone, sister Carol and Bro Dean.  How interesting Verizon cell service is not available in most of West Virginia.  Ok.  Now you know the saga of our lives to this moment.  We are tired and going to sing ourselves a lullaby. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

28 May, Sunday:  Weather cleared early and everyone was excited to ride, except Cynthia who decided to protect her back by staying "home."

27 May- 29 May: SnowShoe Mountain Resort in West VA for hiking and biking. NO cell service! No computers!!! Rain!!!  Fog so thick it looks like snow.

School kids escaping incarceration in Harpers Ferry
26 May: Early AM departure for a gorgeous 5 hour ride to SnowShoe Mountain Resort in WVA, was accomplished and arrival by 4:00 PM was dry.  Pam, Walt, Jim, Joni arrived later with sun shining. We are on motorcycles hoping to avoid bad weather forecast for the East Coast this weekend.  We remain hopeful! Nevertheless, we have fun. Our lodging is lovely; we have a pool view, mountains off to one side of building.  Verizon has no coverage here.  We-fi is by room phone only. We will put the electronics away.  Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend.  Ron's fans arrived for a sendoff.

Back porch view from West Ridge B & B-less

Disappointed goose couldn't find correct change
25 May: Surprise! It rained all night, but morning's sunny skies brought forth opportunity to ride to breakfast instead of walking because of one hurted leg.  After SCS projects, Ron hiked working up a sweat, while Cynthia rested, iced her leg and caught up with email.  After a trip to Martin's Market in Charles Town for salads and sorbet, the rain began once again.  It is pleasant, cuddled and curled up on the sofa, listening to thunder bellowing and roaring while looking out the large glass windows at the forest green:

Harper's Ferry educational signage is excellent

John Brown holed up here, but was executed anyway

Harpers Ferry rifle manufacturing was innovative and excellent
24 May:  We enjoyed the bright blue skies above as we walked the many blocks to the Country Cafe.  After breakfast the day turned to gray with a bracing chilly wind as we headed to the canal path with legs tired from yesterday's hike.  En route, we stopped at the post office to return the Hoka hiking boots.  Ron is still amazed the Hoka on-line retail store will allow returns for a full refund for thirty days after purchase !!  The mile-plus walk to the trail uphill and down on concrete city sidewalks soon took its toll when Cynthia's IT band became quite painful after another short mile on the canal path.  We had to hobble slowly back into town so that Ron could hurriedly hoof it up to the B&B for the motorcycle to pick up Cynthia in lower town.  The poor dear had to wait right next to a tantalizing display of warm cinnamon rolls.  Ron enjoyed using Cynthia's hiking poles for added boost up the hills and was quite satisfied with his workout.  A large duck waddled into the coffee shop honking her annoyance that no one was feeding her warm cinnamon rolls either.   We immediately rode to Ruby Tuesday's to enjoy hot baked potatoes with the Garden Bar.

23 May:  After walking to the Country Store Cafe for egg white omelets we returned to the B&B for oatmeal because the restaurant didn't have any to order.  Today's hike was on the canal path in between the Shenandoah River and the old canals providing warmth from the wind with terrific views. A very large great blue heron stood sentinel on a huge boulder below the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.  Our total distance was 9 miles!!!  Our awesome friend, Jim S., drove over from Mt. Airy with Cynthia's Gerbings heated gear because she will need it Friday for the ride to SnowShoe Resort.  This much-appreciated act of kindness sent her over the moon with joy.  The three of us had a most enjoyable dinner at Ruby Tuesday's in Charles Town.

22 May:  Harper's Ferry WVA:  Surprise; restaurants are closed on Mondays.  We made hot water in the coffee pot and poured that over our rolled oats and added blueberries for a terrific tasting breakfast.  Our late morning hike proved to us that Cynthia's new hiking boots are too narrow in the toe box.  The Harpers Ferry Outfitter downtown was open with good news the Altra hiking shoe is made with wide toe box.  They fit fine and Cynthia loved them.  After riding to Charles Town and dining at Ruby Tuesdays, we returned to hike another two hours.

21 May: We surprised the Shenk's at Tidings of Peace Church AM; Harper's Ferry, WVA by evening for 4 days of hiking.

20 May:The temperatures dropped considerably making travel on the chilly side.  Plymouth Meeting departure was one PM with arrival in Bethel, PA by three PM to visit Lil Mak and Popeye, and bedtime in YORK, PA. Being hungry we tried out the Pritikin ER method at Subway:,scoop out the bread from a whole wheat sub roll, toast it and fill with veggies. Yes! It was delicious. And warm. Mmmm.  Because we were chilly with an instance of rain we didn't get to really enjoy the views of the peaceful Pennsylvania countryside replete with rambling farmhouses and iconic Stone barns. Lots of horsedrawn Amish buggies ambled down the backcountry roads.  We did enjoy visiting Lil Mak and Popeye, hikers from the AT in 2008. Ron played ping pong and worked on a jigsaw puzzle.

19 May: Ron worked on Swedish Colonial Society FGS until 3:30AM.  Cynthia arose at 6:30.  Ron didn't get enough sleep last night.  92 degrees today. After breakfast we rode the bike to the archives with Becky and Amy following to give them a tour.  They went on to see Constitution Hall while we returned to finalize our packing  for tomorrow's departure to York, PA.  Ron drove two boxes to FedEx for shipping to Texas and to Jim's. Packing is nearly complete so we walked the mall, returned to work on SCS material. Once the sun was setting we walked outdoors; a goose, gander and six goslings made an delightful picture crossing the street to the park.  Ron is very tired with drooping eyes and zzzzzzzzz! Good night!

18 May: We are off to Gloria Dei Church to give presentations to the Swedish Colonial Society on the Craig Collection (Ron) and DNA (Cynthia) followed by dinner with friends.   Our session was well received.  Dinner at Scoogi's with Becky, Amy, Kim  and Ruth was lovely.

17 May:, 82 degrees with a real feel of 93 -  Gl├Ždlig Settende Mai, the Norwegian celebration equivalent to our Fourth of July with similar heat to accompany the festivities.  Congratulations to grandson Eric upon receiving a degree in construction engineering from Texas A&M University.   Eric's dad is proudly beaming from heaven above on this day; Jim suffered a fatal heart attack three years ago while hunting with Eric and friends.  Eric valiantly tried using CPR to save his father.  Eric and Cynthia's daughter Julie in the photo:

Congratulations to grandson Eric & daughter Julia

16 May early morning: A crane boom swung past our 6th floor hotel window creating a moment of panic for the one of the female persuasion as workers were being lifted to the roof for another day of roof repair.   The warm sunshine promised a pleasant ride to the post office, but we were in for a surprise when the largest box didn't fit into the saddlebags or the top case.  Undaunted, Ron got on the bike, Cynthia handed the box to Ron to hold while she got on; Ron then passed the box to her to hold which was a bit unnerving traveling through city streets to Chestnut Hill.  The packages were successfully shipped.  We thoroughly enjoyed the day at the Lutheran Seminary and lunch at McMenamins with John P., the archivist; Jim Z. Joined us for dinner at Scoogi's.  Thanks to Janina B. For the photo:

Da happy Smooches at the awards banquet

15 May: Have a happy day! Hooray for today!  Work on the Family Group Sheet packages consumes Ron along with preparation for Thursday's presentation to the Swedish Colonial Society council on the Craig Collection.  We managed a terrific walk to the mall for lunch at Whole Foods and a walk on the side road of the hotel.  After the latest family group Sheet order (hundreds of pages) was completed we walked the 7 floors and stairs of the hotel.

14 May: Happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers in your lives.  Rain is forecast until evening but hadn't arrived by four PM allowing us to swiftly cross to the mall for our walkathon.  By the time we returned the sky was darkening with threatening clouds.  We enjoyed salmon and steamed veggies for dinner.  Sad news arrived of an MIT alum's passing last year.

Eating Pritiken
13 May: Six years and a day!  We joyfully agree we are the best thing to happen to each other. Cynthia liked one of Ron's cards that said, "I know God loves me (Ron) because God gave me you(Smooch Smooch)."  The rain prevented venturing forth until four PM; after walking 7 hotel halls and up and down the exit stairs, we braved a light mist to complete four miles by walking the mall and eat lunch at Whole Foods fresh veggie bar. See photo.  Interesting to watch so many weird people.  Ron is helping nephew Eric with his website while Cynthia is assisting DNA   participants.

12 May: Hooray for the 12th of May!!!!! This is the day!!!!! Ron turned a very young 70,  a joyful youth he remains at heart.  This is the day to celebrate six years of wedded bliss.  Ron surprised his bride with-not one-but three-bouquets and four happy, happy cards to make the girlie cry.

Happy Mrs. Beatty

11May: Surprise! Yes, we were surprised.  Unsuspecting, we met Sally B. And her son Mark at their home in Berwyn, PA for a 45 minute drive to River Wood, NJ for lunch with Rambo cousin Herb and his lovely wife Zofia who surprised us with a 70th birthday party for Ron and an anniversary party complete with balloons and cake. Yes: we ate a piece of white cake with frosting but did not take the remainder home. WooHoo!  Cynthia learned how to post photos on the IPad by emailing them to the blog.
Eternally Young At Heart

Celebrating Six Years of Joy
Celebrating "70" Young Years

Card by Sally B. Says it All!  
10 May:  Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania (click here), it is Wednesday all day, moving towards our 6th annabir-sary on Friday.  The hotel did not have oatmeal this morning and the omelets were over-oily, so Cynthia prepared some quick oats in the microwave and topped it with blueberries and raspberries.  Today's plan is big time exercise.  We opted for veggie plates for lunch at the hotel, and they did a good job for us; the vegan waitress was impressed and curious.  Tonight we Uber to Rittenhouse Square (click here) for dinner with Ron's MIT colleague Eric C., who is preparing cod for our dinner.  (Uber because Cynthia is too much over-cold to ride the motorcycle in this unusually cool PA springtime.) The dinner and view of sunset from Eric's penthouse was lovely.  The penthouse formerly belonged to Katharine Hepburn. Imagine the shock discovering a dead cell phone battery just when we tried to call a Uber to pick us up. Cynthia frantically tried downloading the Uber app to her IPad that did not have much battery life left either when Ron woke up to her need for a cord. Voila! The MAC case had a spare. We plugged the cord into the USB on the Mac allowing the IPhone to charge before ordering the Uber.

9 May: The outdoor temp was 43 BrrrrrrFreeeeezinnng degrees as we boarded the bike to ride to the Lutheran Seminary.  Despite the chill, the ride was surprisingly warm with blue skies, warm sunshine, and Cynthia's Gerbings heated outfit (that plugs into the bike's electrical system like an electric blanket).  Decades-old azaleas (click here) along our route are nearly peak brilliance and several other flowering bushes provide counterpoint.  John T. arrived to work with Ron on his Forefather data entry project (it is going well); they gave Cynthia a ride to the hair salon in Chestnut Hill; she walked the 2 miles back to the seminary and to McMenamins for lunch with the guys.  Dinner at Scoogis (click here) with Jim Z. and John P. was a treat as always.

8 May:  Recoup Recoup Recoup!  We slept!  We worked!  We walked the mall twice, Ron hit the fitness center elliptical machine for thirty minutes, then free weights, and we both did our stretches.  Cynthia turned blue while swimming in the icy hotel pool for 30 minutes.  Ron met a new best buddy at the fitness center, Ryan from Canada.

Hmm, we didn't drink enough to make the camera blurry
7 May, Sunday:  Our friend Jean C. came for lunch and spent the afternoon with us at the hotel restaurant, a very pleasant, relaxed afternoon of conversation.  We discovered just how chilly 50 degrees could be by walking to Plymouth Mall in anticipation of a long walk, but the mall offered no respite from the cold and no walk because the doors were locked - at 6:30 pm Sunday.  We returned to the fitness center at the hotel for a short run on the machines.

6 May: The e-VILe sistah Carol and triathaloner, marathoner bro Dean and his wife Janina returned home leaving us with wonderful memories. We are working furiously at our projects and fitness routines.  Cynthia's is frustrated with posting blog photos.  Blogsy is dead, so neither the iPhone nor the iPad work; the only way to post pictures to the blog (yes, this blog) is using the MacBook or similar computer.

5 May:  The weather is very chilly.  Ron received his award from The Swedish Council of America Awards Dinner this evening.  Brother Dean and wife Janina from Lewes, DE, Sistah Carol from Illinois, and MIT alum Eric Clemons from Philly arrived to attend the celebration honoring Ron for a national achievement award at the Union League downtown Philadelphia (click here).  Cynthia arranged a ride with Uber, and it was super convenient and easy to get all five of us downtown at rush hour.  The Union League is indeed a swanky place, formerly an exclusive men's club, now merely exclusive.  Let's hear it big for photos on the blog!  Wow!  Ron looks mighty fine!

Brother Dean looks too young
staged photo op

Smiley Smooch
Kim & Ron with awards.  Thanks.

4 May:  New Sweden (click here) (Philadelphia/Plymouth Meeting): We slept until 8:00.  Ron rode to the seminary to retrieve the two boxes of clothes Cynthia shipped for tomorrow night's Awards Dinner, bringing Jim Z. some Mountain Dew and Kettle Chips.  Ron and Kim-Eric had a Hefeweisen (click here) and salad at McMenamins (click here). Cynthia spent the morning exercising.  Ron is making good progress on the packages of family group sheets for the SCS.  After dinner at the hotel, we walked to, through and around the mall to get our steps.  Cynthia unpacked and pressed the dress clothes shipped from Texas two months ago.  Spring has blossomed with cherry, apple trees putting forth; the brilliant colored azalea bushes are magnificent.

3 May:  Brrrrr 60 degrees.  The ride to Philly will be cold.  Cynthia seems to be sleeping well again, two nights in a row; wonderful and Thank God !!  Jim & Joni are off to work, so Ron is commencing to figure out the route to New Sweden and our next hotel at Plymouth Meeting, God willing.  Jim recommends the Conowingo dam as awesome; nope, I like lessor road 372 to cross the Susquehanna much further north.  Packing comes next, oops, I hear Cynthia rustling around; time for breakfast first.  Packing & preparing at 9:24 after oatmeal w/ berries for breakfast. Thanks again to Jim & Joni for wonderful hospitality, friendship, and great food (in tune with our dietary restrictions).  Hey, Ron added links to several places in late April; look for (click here).

2 May:  Mount Airy, MD awakening from a deep, long sleep.  Oh, how lovely.  We are enjoying a cool, but sunny day.  After breakfast at IHop we walked 4 miles over hill and overdale returning for oatmeal lunch with black beans for dessert.   As we coasted down Jim's driveway, his resident wild goose (gander) flew alongside us within 5 feet, a spectacular viewing.  His female consort is nesting by the lake.  Among others, a red winged blackbird, a red headed woodpecker, and a female cardinal are taking turns at the bird feeder outside the kitchen window.  (Ron is partial to the little Downey woodpeckers and one of the BRIGHT yellow songbirds.  The unusual one was the ruby grosbeak (click here).)  Since Cynthia is sleeping better, Ron has completed two packages of family group sheets for the Swedish Colonial Society - only 6 more to do.  We walked off down Old West Falls Road all the way to t'other end and back, about 4 pastoral miles round trip, a nice, pleasant, pretty walk on a cool, clear day.  Jim arrived home for another nap whilst Ron was on the deck assembling the Peter Jones package.  Joni remembered to call "20 minutes out" from the end of the driveway, Jim prepared a huge pile of steamed veggies for dinner, and we all participated in an animated discussion of the political travails our press is inflicting on the unwary within the population.

1 May:  Happy May Day! May! Remember making May baskets?  We awoke to May Day in the Comfort Inn in Waynesboro, Virginia.  After breakfast we will be off to Mount Airy, MD to see Jim and Joni.  (Cynthia expects to arrive about 3:30 PM; she has yet to learn that her iPhone projections do not correlate well with actual Ron routes.)  Storms with hail and heavy wind were forecast for late afternoon, but not a raindrop fell on us.  Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland are breathtakingly beautiful on a pretty spring day.  We nearly froze riding the motorcycle on the Blue Ridge Parkway at 3,000+ feet elevation in foggy conditions; the trees are still bare of leaves at that elevation.  It was fun to clearly see a bear cub close to the road - from a distance of perhaps 30 feet.  We were puzzled by two cars in the driveway and a dark, seemingly empty, open house, but the puzzlement ended an hour later when Jim emerged from his afternoon nap.  Without a thyroid, his energy flags easily after noon, and a nap is necessary.  Joni arrived home after five, and we all repaired to rest shortly after a wonderful home made dinner of steamed veggies and grilled chicken.  Ron, on the other hand, stayed up late, late, late since Cynthia was sleeping VERY soundly.  He was able to complete the Hans Hanson preliminary package for the SCS and gathered together most of the pages needed for the Peter Jones pp by the time of Cynthia's first nocturnal powder room visit around 2 am.