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.