Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August Hikers

17 Aug;  Tomorrow at the Inn at Long Trail in Vermont - but "they" moved the trail, so the inn is no longer right on the trail, a monumental disservice to hikers.

Thundering Falls sure looks good in this photo
16 Aug:  Today we enjoyed 68 glorious degrees with a nice breeze, and we were pumped for a long hike.  Cynthia switched to her old Salomon hiking shoes for greater foot stability and comfort.  Before hiking, we set oranges in a basket beside the trail for hikers and walked across the boardwalk to Thundering Falls, rejoicing in creation's abundance, marveling at the blooms bursting forth in gratitude for last night's rain.  We again enjoyed the camaraderie of a couple of AT hikers.  As we rode on Vermont highway 4 toward Gifford Woods State Park, we slowed to allow momma bear and her two cubs to walk across the road just 100 yards in front of us !!  Oh joy !!  Cynthia was chock full of inner energy from the flowers, so we hiked straight away from Gifford Woods to Thundering Falls and return.  The inner energy deserted us when we started the long uphill from Thundering Falls, and we trudged up hill wondering why our bodies weren't more energetic after all this hiking.  The twos of us thought simultaneously, "Will you carry me?"  Ron, the trail maintenance man, moved rocks and clipped brush.  Back at the Inn he clipped his hair before resuming work on the jigsaw.  The puzzle is now half done.   5.5 hours

15 Aug:  Another terrific day, but our bodies weren't bursting with energy as we hiked up to the ski run.  WooHoo for us; we tackled 4.5 miles in 4 hours.  On a flat road we could have traveled 8 miles in that time.  Of course, the hiker with the hoe stops for trail maintenance.  Ron went to the market in Rutland for supplies.  Aaauuuggghhh!  Cynthia had painful feet keeping her from sleep until the wee hours. The Altra hiking shoes have a terrific fit but they really lack shock absorption.  4 hours

14 Aug:  70 degrees; a gorgeous, sunny day.  We spent 3.4 of the day Determined.  Ron is determined to beat the puzzle to a paper pulp.  Cynthia is working on Ancestry trees. Over 50% of the trees on Ancestry are WRONG!!!  Never trust Ancestry trees.  The Ancestry DNA circles match the erroneous trees.  Aaauuuggghh.  Only FTDNA and 23 and Me DNA testing can be trusted.  Genealogy!  After lunch we worked on Bankston genealogy.  We did have a good 2.5 mile hike.  2.5 hours.

13 Aug, Sunday: Today was a quiet Sunday with a hike to the sinkholes and back to the puzzle board.

12 Aug: Ron pulled the jigsaw puzzle out from its weekend hiding place for an hour or two; the Inn's top gun, Patty, sat down to help him figure it out.  This one is a bugger.  We were up for a really short hike today; instead, Ron made the hike to Coopers Lodge with the promise to return by six PM for tonight's hot date.  Ron returned an hour late having forgotten the new AT trail takes much longer. Cynthia is working on DNA projects.  (no trail maintenance)

11 Aug: Killington, VT.  Today's "short hike" was 4.5 miles to the ski run, uphill both ways.  How nice Rosemary's Restaurant served salmon tonight!  Ron met the executive director of leadership communications from MIT while puzzling away.  We invited him to dinner but he and his friend had already eaten.  His friend was a graduate of CU Boulder where grandson Brett is enrolled for a second degree this fall.  4 hours.

10 Aug: Killington, VT.  Cynthia's hurted IT band was iced, and she was ready to roll; we hiked the flat trail from Gifford Woods State Park along Kent Pond with Ron trimming overhanging branches along the way.   We enjoyed masses of flowers in bloom along the board walk kissing the sun, thanks to a lovely rainfall.  A family of Hasidic Jews parked next to the motorcycle; Cynthia commented to the Rabbi ... "The Lord has blessed you with a quiver full."  He smiled back, knowingly.  The four little boys were very excited to have their their photo taken on the motorcycle.   Back at the lodge, Ron is patiently making progress on the jigsaw puzzle.  We might stay for another year? 2 hours.

We reached the ski run when Cynthia's cell phone delivered
an urgent warning of an impending thunderstorm.
We hastened down, but the rain she came.
9 Aug: Wed: Oh, wow!  We slept 10 hours awakening at 9:10 AM.  I love our lazy mornings; but the inn stops serving breakfast at 9:30.  A Word from Ron: Be thankful; be thankful for what you have (in response to Cynthia's complaint she should be skinny with all this hiking).  Cynthia is pondering Ron's answer as fodder for a sermon amidst the cries of gender confusion:  Be thankful for who you are.  On another note or two: Ron is finding success with the Candyland puzzle; Cynthia's nephew Alexander reports Wharton is top on his college preference list; another nephew is experiencing an answer to prayer; daughters Roxanne and Julie returned from a happy trip to Mexico.   Our hike was fun, although Ron worked cleaning ONE water bar forever.  The trip down mountain was wet. 5 hours!                                 Click here for full size photo.

8 Aug: Tues:  Rested, feeling good, a great way to start a new day. A hike is planned for this afternoon once the housekeepers have worked their way around our clutter.  The forecast high today is 71 degrees with a light shower mid-afternoon.  Apparently, vertigo is related to allergies, Joni S. tells us; cousin Newell offered movement exercises that really did work.  WoooHooo! We hiked nearly five mountain miles from Gifford Woods State Park to Thundering Falls and back in 3 hours.
Kent Pond

7 Aug: Mon: We woke up!  That is really exciting news because it means we went back to sleep after being awakened by the girlie thrashing around in pain.  For some puzzling reason Cynthia's back issues returned despite rest in bed with vertigo for three days.  Maybe inactivity caused the inflammation to kick in again?  We hiked to the sinkholes round trip.  3 hours. Ron pulled the jigsaw puzzle out of its weekend hiding place and managed to put in a few more pieces.  The puzzle over the missing Coriell ancestor in Ohio has not been solved.  We hope to sleep?  Good Night!!

6 Aug, Sunday: Friends from the Inn at Long Trail lunched with us.  Pat's design business is keeping her incredibly busy.  We had fun telling them about our travels.  After being foodified, we hiked to the sink holes while Ron did trail maintenance.  3 hours.  A trail angel, "Miss Janet," from Tennessee was at the pub when we returned.  We visited for awhile but pubs are too noisy for us. We worked on DNA and SCS records.  Sistah Carol has discovered that the Beatty/ Overturff ancestor Sarah Alice Correll was actually a Coriell, thanks to DNA.

5 Aug: Saturday, With rain in the forecast we boogied up the Sherburne Pass Trail late morning but didn't reach the sinkholes before the first drops of rain came. The thunderstorm with heavy wnds didn't appear.  2.5 hours

4 Aug: Friday: Cynthia slept 9 hours; the vertigo continued to lessen throughout the day.  It is apparent only upon standing.  Ron, Eddie and Beverly fascinated us with stories of how Eddie became a master Scrabble player - ranking # 1 at times in Vermont.  They are a delightful couple; Eddie is the essence of supportive spouse taking care of Beverly while she had a kidney transplant plus being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease afterwards..   They are heroes of the first class.  After breakfast Ron and the duo went to Thundering Falls to see the view before heading back to NH.  Ron hiked back from the falls. 4 hours (no trail maintenance).

3 Aug: Happy Birthday Jon! Cynthia has vertigo.  She slept most of the day.  Eddie and Beanie arrived for a visit; she slept arising to have dinner at six PM.  We were all tired and went to sleep early.

2 Aug: Our minds are refreshed.  We managed hiking to Ormond's Overlook with  Ron doing trail maintenance. 2 hours

1Aug: Cynthia was exhausted after getting to bed too much too late; she stayed home to rest while the hiker man pushed the boundaries being without adult supervision.  Despite fatigue he hiked 8 miles and injured his knee. 7 hours.   Promising to go to bed early, that did not happen.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July- Mrs. Beatty's Birthday!

31 Jul: The end of the month; Monday morning: the beginning of the week; for every ending there is a new beginning.  Early morning, Ron took oranges to the AT trail for hikers while Cynthia slept until 9:00 AM.  Not quite recovered from the late night Rambo genealogy project, Ron managed to start a new 1000 piece candy cane jigsaw puzzle that isn't quite as easy as it appeared.  But we did gather steam to hike 4.4 miles in 3.5 hours; Ron removed two large trees from the trail.  On the return, Cynthia heard thunder and hustled so fast Ron was could not catch up with her, certain she must have gone off trail and gotten lost.  He finally caught up to her near Kent  Pond.  Once we arrived back at the lodge, we were seriously hungry!!!

30 Jul:  Sunday morning, a pleasant 70 degrees with the sun shining, and we only had energy to hike to the ski lift - about 2.5 miles RT taking 2 hours because of trail maintainance.  We spent the rest of the day working on Rambo genealogy until the wee hours of the next day. Zzzz

29 Jul:  We were a bit tired and slow this morning at breakfast & after, so our plan was to do a short, comfortable hike to give our bodies a rest.  Short didn't happen; we hiked to the ski run & back, 4.4 miles according to Cynthia's FitBit.  Ron took clippers and saw, so stayed very busy clipping, but by-and-large we enjoyed a casual hike, and spent half an hour enjoying the view from the ski run where we encountered a Harvard grad and delighted in talking to that philosopher for half an hour.  Surprise #2 was seeing Tom and Sue (from MIT) again at the Inn; they are prepared for another night of Irish music.  Sue thinks that the second woman MIT graduate I met a week ago was her junior year physics lab partner, Lee Ann.  We agreed that if we had known then (at MIT) what we know now, we would have been much better students.  5 hours of hiking.  Photo of Cynthia's aunt JoAnn and cousins at aunt Betty's memorial service:

28: Jul:  Killington Vermont, Inn at Long Trail.  Ron is awake this morning feeling much better rested and less achey than yesterday. has an interesting blog, and Ron spent his morning hour reading instead of writing.  Cynthia is still snoozing at 7:30 am, so this blog will get a quick update.  11 am now and we are up, fed, and nearly ready to hike.  Our choice today is perhaps sloppier, but with less elevation gain & fewer rocks around Kent Pond and over to Thundering Falls.  Since we will be riding the bike to Gifford State Park, we will take a basket of oranges to drop off for hikers on the other side of Thundering Falls.  It looks to be a gorgeous sunshiny day.  WOW: 7 hours of hiking wore us out.  Double WOW!  Ron stepped out the door to go to the market when a lovely lady jumped up from the lawn chair to hug him!  It was our friends Trillium and her husband from Pennsylvania who stopped to see if we were in Vermont.  Oh what fun!!!  7 hours hiking.

27 Jul:  Once again, at breakfast, we enjoyed pleasant conversation with the Long Trail hiker, LongStride.  Once our stomachs were fed and happy, we slowly changed into hiking gear despite the objections of our worn-out bodies.  As we ventured outside, huge rain drops splatted down; Cynthia's interest in hiking immediately melted into a resolve to stay dry.  Those raindrops wet the ground and roadway but soon stopped, so silly Ron decided to hike despite the forecast of afternoon thunderstorms.  The reason silly Ron likes to hike in the slop is to find more easily those places to exercise his hiking hoe to improve the trail.  He was creating a channel for water runoff in one of the last sloppy segments when a day-hiker, Kevin, paused to inquire.  Ron quickly decided to use Kevin to pull him up the trail, and the two fell into a long lasting pleasurable conversation all the way to Pico Camp, Kevin's destination, and beyond to the AT trail junction.  On the return a couple of water holes demanded an exit which the hiking hoe created in short order.  At bedtime Cynthia reported that her day had been boring; Ron countered that she would have found hiking in the slop with him more engaging.  4.5 hours hiking.

26 Jul:  Breakfast was most enjoyable, visiting with our new friend "LongStride" from Maryland.  The sun appeared, so did we on Sherburne Pass Trail hiking to Jungle Junction - 5 hours.  Ron took only clippers and trimmed many of the branches violating air space over the trail.  (Those branches wetted his balding head yesterday.)  We are proud of ourselves for accomplishing this long hike.  Anthony (GoodJohn) and his dog, 'Tober, made terrific company on our journey.  Ron walked with Anthony to the sink holes and waited there for Cynthia.  Anthony hiked up Pico and caught up to Cynthia on the downhill.  LongStride was at the inn with lively conversation when we arrived for dinner; he has a neat keyboard for his iPhone.  Five hours hiking.

25 Jul:  This drizzly day prevented Cynthia from entertaining thoughts of a hike in the slop, but Ron wasn't daunted.  As he crossed the parking lot, he remarked to another couple crossing the road that they and obviously found mud today.  The woman of the couple approached Ron and asked if he went to MIT (since his maroon shorts are emblazoned with MIT).  She also graduated from MIT in 1985 in materials science; her father has taught there for 60 years.  Too amusing to meet two MIT women from the same class here in Killington.  Ron hiked 2.9 miles to the junction of the AT, Long Trail and the Sherburne Pass Trail.  Cynthia is distressed with cell service and wifi being mostly bad in our room.  (Bozo Jane, a reply will happen).  This was a four hour hike sans trail maintenance.

24 Jul at 6 am at the Inn at Long Trail on U.S. highway 4 east of Killington, Vermont:  Ron is up early for the first time since leaving Virginia.  Rain is forecast for today all day, but it hasn't started here yet although the color radar shows it all around us.  I'm guessing that the winds across the  pass are blowing the precip past us just now.  Ah ha, I hear the drip now.  No hiking for us today, the rain was quite consistent all day.

23 Jul, Sunday: A Beatty Happy Birthday Sistah Carol!  Ron phoned to sing the annual birthday song properly out of tune to cheer her on for another year all the while Carol was singing Happy Birthday Cynthia.  And our precious imaginary daughter, Little Carole Anne, turned 7 on auntie Carols special day.  Before hiking, we dropped off fresh oranges north of Thundering Falls as Trail Magic for hikers.  Thundering Falls presented a pretty cascade today with good flow; Cynthia took a video clip.  The temperature here in Killington reached the upper 70's making for pleasant hiking, except that the mosquitoes were ferocious as we hiked past Kent Pond.  Ron threw a ton of dead wood out of the many bogs be-muddying the trail.  He is embarrassed to admit that he became totally lost in the woods when he ventured off trail in search of a manageably big rock to place in the middle of a sloppy spot.  Fortunately he came across a ski trail and followed it out to highway 4 and regained his bearings and his SmoochSmooch.  Another wonderful Appalachian Trail coincidence developed after we met hiker Pineapple on the trail and then Ron happened by Mountain Meadows Lodge where a standing dead tree is carved with a giant pineapple totem.  Cynthia was enjoying conversation with a young slight female hiker who typically hikes 25 miles a day.  The hiker was enjoying food & drink provided by a couple of trail angels from their pickup truck at the state park parking lot.  Upon their asking, Ron enjoyed a Gatoraide and was amused twice later in the day to meet those same two people in stores in Rutland.  As he was buying more oranges, they reported how delighted one hiker had been to discover those oranges after exhausting himself on that mountainous decent.  It was a most enjoyable day.  Cynthia will catch up on email if it rains tomorrow.  Three hours hiking.

22 Jul:  Another successful day on the trail.  The .6 mile hike northbound up to the trail junction was a strenuous climb over large rocks.  The 1.5 mile hike down to Gifford Woods was a muddy mess going down, but on the return trip it was surprising to see how much Ron's trail maintenance had reduced the slop.  We were delighted to again meet MIT Sue after our dinner; her husband also seems to be a very nice & enthusiastic guy; they were at the Inn to listen to the Irish music.  Ron was popular that evening.  Crystal is a young Long Trail ridge runner who was eager to meet Ron and ask about his trail maintenance.  Ron is can talk on and on about the proper cleaning of water bars.  Four hours hiking.

21 Jul:  Rested, we were ready to hike the Sherburne Pass Trail by 10:30 enjoying a lovely cool day.  Ron continued making improvements to the trail while Cynthia boogied ahead.  Ron met Sue, a 1985 MIT grad who stopped to visit upon recognizing his maroon MIT shorts.  We reached the ski run with energy to continue to Pico Shelter but reconsidered upon reflection that part of the trail is likely to be muddy.  We were so PROUD of us for a great hike that we went shopping.  Walmart had a coffee pot on sale for $8.74;  now we can heat water for our oatmeal.  Three hours hiking.

20 Jul:  Killington, Vermont at the Inn at Long Trail:  We are both tired.  Ron had a fast hike northbound to the trail junction, returning sweat drenched because it is humid (and because he removed quite a pile of sopping wet dead wood from the trail).  After lunch we went southbound up the Sherburne Pass Trail which was wet, slippery, and badly eroded.  The humidity sapped our strength, and Cynthia returned after half a mile, whereas Ron continued to the ski run maintaining water bars all the way.  Grandson Brett was accepted into a top physics program, step one towards the PhD. Five hours hiking.

19 Jul:  Aurora, New York is a lovely town of 765 people founded in 1789 on the eastern shore of  Cayuga Lake.  Now it is famous for Wells College, MacKenzie Childs furnishings, and The Inns of Aurora, mansions turned into inns.  We stayed at the Rowland House.  The breakfast was a blueberry scone and coffee.  No !!!, no scones for us, no coffee for Ron.  Ron made rolled oats instead.  Todays 7 hour ride was long but lovely.  We stopped at Brewster Inn in Cazenovia for lunch, but they don't serve lunch and referred us instead to Owega Vineyard to enjoy a great salad.  No vino.  Our route was hither, thither and yon.  We started on U.S. 20 east but missed a turn in Auburn, NY and stayed on 5 East until the GPS threatened to take us through downtown Syracuse.  So we turned south on NY 174, east on 175, south on U.S. 11, enjoying nice views and one fast moving stream, until we eventually arrived on 20 east again.  Jim had recommended McDonald's 99 cent salad, so we tried it after a fuel stop, and yes, they are worth the price.  We turned left onto NY 80 north, but it was lumpy and bumpy, so we turned more north on NY 10, also lumpy and bumpy, so when the GPS suggested a local road, we followed its route on much smoother and more pleasant county roads through the Adirondacks until we found ourselves detoured through Lake George.  We resumed our planned route on NY 140 through Fort Ann and U.S. 4 into Vermont, through Rutland and arrived at the Inn at Long Trail by 7 pm, somewhat surprised that we had covered 300+ miles in one day.  Cynthia's seat was tired.  Murray immediately found a hoe and a saw and a mattock to help with Ron's trail maintenance exercise program.

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.

SmoochSmooch & her mommy.
16 Jul, Sunday: 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 Sandy Spring, Maryland for lunch close to where Jim went to school.  The Quaker Meeting House was intriguing because the Underground Railroad  history.

Quaker Meeting dates to 1753

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, Sunday: 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.

Ron resting in MIT purple shorts.
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).

The patterning is quite pretty.  Ron is tiny.
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.