Memories and reflections from nine days of adventure.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal extends 184.5 miles along the Potomac river from Georgetown in Washington, DC to Cumberland, Maryland. The brainchild of our nation’s founding father, the canal was seen as vital to connecting our fledgling country’s eastern region to its future breadbasket – the Ohio river valley.
I’ve seen many parts over the years. My goal this year: see it all.
Twenty-two days and 6,000 miles of tent-camping adventure!
Among the fondest memories of my childhood are the long summers spent traveling across the country in our turtle-topped, CB-squawking Dodge conversion van. My mom would pack us in that puppy just after school let out for the summer and we’d travel just about anywhere four wheels and a tent could get us. It has been a dream of mine to do that with Jocelyn and the kids.
Jocelyn’s story is different. Since she was tiny, summers were spent at her grandparent’s place on the rocky coastline of southern Maine. We’ve been going there every summer since we got married, and when the kids came along, we continued that routine. Sadly, in 2020 Jocelyn’s grandmother sold the place. Joce was beside herself. But grieving eventually gave way to possibility, and the stories of my childhood adventures provided encouragement that we could start a new chapter – we’d go beyond Maine. We’d see what other wonders the great United States has to offer. We’d go further.
Weird Table Block behavior in the Twenty Sixteen theme using default CSS.
Below are two screenshots of a table created in WordPress Twenty-Sixteen theme. The table looks as desired in edit mode, but when rendered in preview or once published, the columns revert to fixed width.
I took the second week of October to attempt to thru-hike the C&O Canal. The weather forecast was delicious – 70’s during the day, 60’s at night, cloudy most days with no chance of rain. I made it from Georgetown (mile marker 0), to Harper’s Ferry (just above marker 60). The adventure was amazing, yet I was unable to complete the hike. This post reflects on some of the great parts, how I prepared and executed, why I bailed, and what I will do differently next time.
The kids still had camp in the morning. I was officially on vacation from work and my mornings were spent doing yard work. I allocated about 1 hour per day for weeding, trimming, and pruning. It was equal measures rewarding and exhausting.
I wake up at 3:25 a.m. I don’t often reveal this fact. Most people just don’t get it. Explaining doesn’t help.
I get up early for two reasons. First, I recharge when I am alone. While some are rejuvenated by human interaction, I find it particularly draining. My workday is, for the most part, a continuous series of interpersonal contacts. Once the workday ends, I immediately transition to the role of husband and father. Joce has the kids all day; helping her means taking over kid duty. More human contact. It is important to me to be an engaged father, and the last bit of emotional energy I have for the day is spent by the time they are tucked in by seven. Eight-thirty, I’m ready for sleep. Misanthrope? No. I just love the quiet.
The apex predator of the sea has been evolving for over 16 million years – by contrast, early humans first walked upright a mere 3.6 million years ago. Found in the coastal waters of all major oceans he is notable for his size, with weight over two tons, and length averaging 11-16 feet, over 20 ft in larger members. He can swim at speeds of 25 miles per hour and descend to depths of 3,900 feet.
This killing machine has rows of jagged two-and-a-half inch teeth. An opportunistic ambush predator, he greets his pray with an initial devastating attack. An attack from below can launch his bulk up to 10 feet into the air. Highly developed senses then detect the electromagnetic field given off by the dying victim’s heartbeat.
He has no known natural predators, and is responsible for the greatest number of both bites and fatal unprovoked attacks on humans.
The hum of the tires forms the score to the predawn scene. A gray specter of trees passes by to the left; a brown blanket covers open prairie to the right. The stars fade as the sky wakes from deep blue to turquoise. The roof and doors are off and the temperature is perfect. I am at ease.
Slowing, I turn left into a break in the trees. There is a small parking area, perhaps just big enough for two cars. I’m in a favorite weekend outfit – fleece over a long-sleeve t-shirt, shorts and hiking boots. A trail leads South and I begin to follow.
A cure for four months in isolation? A month in Maine!
Every year we head to Maine for, traditionally, two weeks. This year we’ve come up for the month of July. I could NOT be happier. I worked for the first two weeks (while we were doing our mandatory quarantine), and the kids have been taking online classes. Despite quarantine, work, and school, we have had some fun!
Naturally – the view from my temporary office is MUCH nicer than at home; though I absolutely miss my 27 inch curved MSI MAG27CQ! My eyes are old 🙁
After 14 days of quarantine, it’s time to get some!
Jocelyn and I have been extremely careful during the COVID-19 crisis. We have three young kids and do NOT want to get sick!
Beginning mid-March we barely left our yard. In today’s age virtually anything can be delivered, so there was little need to go out. With me working from home and the kids taking classes online there was little need to leave the house. Sure, we would go on afternoon walks (with masks on), or play in the yard – but there was little venturing out. Live contact with other humans was virtually nonexistent.
So when it came time to head up to Maine we didn’t think twice about the two-week quarantine we’d have to do when we got here. Two weeks – that’s nothin’!