Gravel Bicycling Journal

bicycling, biking, blogging, Daily Post, gravel, history, Journal, revolution, Uncategorized, Virginia, woods, forest

On this particular day, My journey starts at Newport News Park, in Newport News, VA.  The park offers a 5.3 mile, hard-packed gravel, bike loop beginning at the Campsite Office. The path is fairly well shaded with an overhead canopy from beautiful trees. About half- way through the loop, a placard on the trail indicates George Washington’s Headquarters.

If you decide to further your bike ride another 5.6 miles and back, this loop crosses into the Colonial National Historical Park, in Yorktown, VA which leads to George Washington’s Headquarters, this route is mostly flat and wide wooded trails and some paved one lane roads.

Gravel bikers, mountain bikers, and hikers will see ramparts still in place from battles past.

This section is known as the French Artillery Park, it was an open field where the French established its ordinance depot.  Damaged pieces where brought here for repairs.

I biked a little further on the trail, wondering where this will lead me.  My bike computer reads I am six miles into my unknown journey. I thought, should I turn around or keep on.  About 20 yards ahead of me, I got spooked when two deer ran in front of me; not knowing if there were more, I stopped and took out my iPhone ready to take a picture, but I didn’t see any.  My history lesson continues as another placard appears.

In 1770, this is the spot of “General Nelson’s quarters

A little further on the trail was Daboville’s Headquarters.  It is difficult for me to visualize this area was inhabited and with plantation buildings.

Daboville’s Headquarters


 

On one side of the gravel road, stands a lonely marker, known as the Essex Lodge Cemetery.  It is dedicated to the memory of those who rest here.  The forebear’s and descendants of Thomas Wynn.  Host of General George Washington, October 1781.

This simple cross is thought to mark the burial place of about 50 unidentified French soldiers killed during the Siege of Yorktown.

Now, I am off onto a beaten path; where I see a group of turkeys.  There are a dozen or more, but as biked closer most of them scattered into the brambles.  I took a picture, but I only could photograph two turkeys.       

I hope you all enjoyed gravel bike ride through history. Comments are welcomed.

Angel Oak Tree

blogging, city, Daily Prompt, family, history, Hughs Weekly Photo Challenge, Nature, Outdoors, slavery, travel, Trees

When looking at the Angel Oak Tree, it’s like a walk through a mystical time period.  Spots of hazy, heavenly, light shows its beams through the leaves onto the branches.  I expected nymphs and winged fairies to flitter under the huge canopy of the massive oak tree.  This centuries-old tree continues to grow near a dirt road that leads to the Angel Oak tree; which is surrounded amongst many Low Country trees. 

Angel Oak Tree

The Angel Oak tree is located on St. Johns Island, about twelve miles south from downtown Charleston, NC.  When I saw the Angel Oak Tree in 2019, it is free admission.  There just aren’t many free places to stop, and this is one that is definitely worthwhile.

This peculiar tree is said to be one of the oldest living oak trees east of the Mississippi River.  Arborists estimates the Angel Oak tree is 400 to 500 years old. Several reasons for the Angel Oak’s longevity is its natural hardiness, long taproot, and widespread root systems, that anchors the tree deep into the ground.  This is how it has survived natures elements of winds, storms, earthquakes, and hurricanes through-out the centuries.  It does show scars from natures elements; but the old oak tree still stands strong and brave.

Angel Oak Tree

The uniqueness of the tree is that it grows both up and out.  Its massive, twisted, and gnarled branches reach out like tentacles from a giant monster.  It’s said, by tour guides, the tree stands 66.5 ft (20 ml), the trunk measures 28 ft (8.5m) in circumference and produces shade that covers 17,200 feet (1,600 m2). 

Local folklore tells of another source for the name of the tree; ghosts of former slaves are said to appear as angels around the tree. 

 In her Ghosts and Legends of Charleston, Denise Roffe interviewed a woman descended from the slaves who toiled on the island’s plantations. She recounted the legends of the tree, including that it was once home to huge birds (likely vultures) who fed on the bodies of lynched slaves. The old woman continued saying that many people were buried under the tree including Native Americans who met under its shady branches. She stated that these spirits still gather around the oak and that they also work to protect the tree.

Recorded history traces the ownership of the live oak and surrounding land to year 1717.  When Abraham Waight received it as part of a small land grant, the tree stayed in Waight’s family for four generations, and was part of a marriage settlement to Justus Angel and Martha Waight Tucker Angel. The Angel Oak tree is now owned by the City of Charleston and has become the focal point of a public park.

Many weddings and engagements take place under the canopy of this beautiful historical tree.  

Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, VA

18th century, blogging, history, Uncategorized, Virginia

On our one-day bus tour, we arrived at the Jefferson Hotel a luxury hotel located in Richmond, VA, opened in 1895.   In 1969, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Not only is the Jefferson Hotel known for its authentic opulence, it has become synonymous with its extraordinary dining, breathtaking architecture and flawless service. This is what we saw as we entered the hotel. The photo to the right is the rear view.

You can see the stairs that led us to our dining area.  This particular day a group of school children sang Christmas carols as we journeyed up the stairs to our tables.

Carolers

We did not stay in the hotel rooms, but we did enjoy the feel of luxury.  We had a great luncheon with our bus group of 50 spread across five tables (10 each to a table).  We sat on the second tier of the rotunda which gave us a birds eye view of the plush, phenomenal décor of statues, columns and paintings. 

Table for ten


We were instantly served a mixed salad with a house dressing.  After we finished the salad, the servers brought our meal, a choice of salmon or pork tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes, assorted vegetables, and warm rolls. My thick salmon was garnished with a lemon sauce that seeped through the salmon. My taste buds savored every bit of this fine cuisine.  Desert was a cheesecake garnished with fresh strawberries and whipped cream along with a choice of coffee or tea.

It is beautiful every day of the year, but exceptionally stunning during the Christmas season with its beautiful Christmas display of ornaments, an ideal time to visit the Jefferson Hotel. 

PAMUNKEY INDIAN RESERVATION

blogging, Colonies, history, indian, tribe, reservation, history,, travel, Uncategorized, Wordpress
We arrived at the reservation just before the guide finished the previous group. When we off loaded from the bus, our tour guide divided us into two groups. One group was led into the museum and the other half to the one room school house.

A display inside the museum showed primitive pieces of hunting equipment, pottery, tomahawks, tools and a small section of bead works and clothing.

I read a pamphlet about this one-room frame school house which for decades the state partially supported. This school on the Pamunkey reservation offered elementary education to a small number of children until it closed in the 1950s; but many Virginia Indians who desired to attend high school were denied admittance to the racially segregated public schools. In Virginia, they either had to leave home to attend a government Indian school in another state or quit school before completing their education. This Pamunkey Indian school is now part of the tribal museum on the Pamunkey Reservation.

Inside, three black chalk boards hung on the wooden wall. On one side of the room sat a wood burning stove. In the cold and chilly months, the warmth from the stove was a blessing to the young children. I enjoyed the history and heritage about this reservation.
The Pamunkey tribe is one of only two that still retain reservation lands assigned by the 1646 and 1677 treaties with the English colonial government.  The Pamunkey reservation is located on some of its ancestral land on the Pamunkey River adjacent to present day King William County. Virginia.
Since we are on a bus tour, our time at the reservation was cut short.  I wanted to see the fish hatchery that Pamunkey Indians maintain.  One of the main staple of their diet is fish. The Pamunkey have maintained a philosophy that if you took fish from the water, you should put some back.  I did learn a little information about their hatchery.
In 1918 they started an indoor fish hatchery with an 800 gallon holding tank, gas powered motor, hatching jars and holding tanks.  As soon as the eggs hatched, they were gravity-fed back into the Pamunkey River.  Since then, the Pamunkey Tribal expanded the hatchery from 12 hatching jars to 24 and upgraded the facilities and filtration system.
Now with a larger hatchery and more equipment to spawn the shad fish they can tag the shad to help document life history characteristics.  Spawning shad (broad stock) will be manually spawned and fertilized eggs will be incubated in the hatchery.  Upon hatching, the young shad fry will be intensively cultured for about a 16 day period.  During their stay at the hatchery, the dry will be marked with Oxytetracyclin (OTC) on a set sequence of days that will give the shad produced from the PTG hatchery a unique tag.  All shad produced from this facility will be released back into the Pamunkey River.

Daily Prompt Contrast: Love Hate

blogging, Contrast, Daily Post, Daily Prompt, family, love, Uncategorized, Wordpress

What would your life be like if you had no emotional contrast? A human life is filled with contrast.  I can’t imagine a static mind or body.

When I was young I had a mix of distinguishing characteristics. Now, what sets me apart from some people are my responses.

Which side does your emotional contrast lean to?

Positive                                                 Negative 

Do you show:

Love                   when others are       Hateful

Joy                     when others are       Depressive

Peace                when others are       Stressed

Patience           when others are       Impatient

Kindness           when others are       Rude

Goodness          when others are       Insensitive

Faithfulness      when others are       Backstabbing

Gentleness       when others are       Rough

Self-control      when others are       Controlled by a passion

When I know I am focusing on the negative side, I refocus and set my mind on the positive side of life.  If we stay focused on the negative side, it is like a cancer it will eat at you until you can’t handle that pain. It is better to lean to the positive side.

Thank you viewing,

Your comments are welcome

Contrast

Daily Prompt Clarity: A bird sings into a hibiscus

Birds, blogging, Challenge, Daily Post, Daily Prompt, Goldfinch, Nature, Uncategorized

This is a photo that I combined from two pictures I photographed .  The first photo is a picture of the American Goldfinch, the sencond is a close up of a Hibiscus.  I chose this picture for the daily prompt: clarity.

It shows the Goldfinch singing into the hollow of the hibiscus.  The funnel of the Hibiscus appears to enhance its clarity.  It reminds me of the old time RCA victrola where a dog named Nipper sits along side the record player listening to the clarity of the music.

Hibiscus and Bird-2

Feel free to comment and enjoy.

Clarity
 

Handwriting: A personal touch

blogging, Daily Post, Daily Prompt, Uncategorized, writing

When I read a typed or text message, the characters in the letter are static, I don’t feel that personal touch. So many people send boiler-plated or copy and paste information.  Even on the computer or smartphone, people will try to make it personal by pasting emoji and symbols (smiley face, sad face etc.).

In a handwritten note or letter I can feel a friend express their personality, a friend may write they feel good or are happy. I seem to read between the lines as they say, it is how the hand writing appears.  If the writer’s letters are tight, light, bold or the way they slant, if the words drift up or down on the paper. All this indicates to me the emotions of that friend.  I don’t intentionally analyze the hand written letter.  it is instinctive to me.  Other than reading for the content of a letter, do you see the expression that is shown through the hand written letter?

It may take longer for a person to receive that hand written note or letter but, it is that personal feeling that is in the handwriting.

Handwriting

To Follow in His Footsteps

blogging, Challenge, Daily Post, Faith, Life, Nature, Outdoors, Uncategorized

I know those footsteps by the impression it makes as you lead the way.   I feel and hear you breathe.  Your breath is like a feathery touch as it blows gently against my skin.  The slow back and forth sway of thin branches creak with each inhale and exhale of your breath.  A beam of white light spreads above the darkness on the horizon.  Patches of light fog filters the white glow.  As the sun rises and the fog lifts, a bright, clear, new day begins.  You are smiling and happy to see me.

I smell the sweetness of life flowing as you move about.  The potpourri of pines, persimmons and the musty scent of rich soil permeates the area.   The morning freshness is like a splash of water on my face.

The choir of birds sing their chorus of melodies of joy as their day begins.  It is like angels singing praise and worship as you watch over your children.  Thank you Lord for my life, it is a pleasure to serve you and follow your footsteps.

This post is in response to the daily prompt: Footsteps

Out on a Limb

Animal, blogging, Challenge, Daily Post, Life, Nature, Outdoors, Squirrel, Uncategorized

Help

Out on a limb or holding onto the twigs of a limb for dear life, this squirrel is some 40 feet above the ground. His only vision is to chew on the new budding twig of the Spring season.

Spread eagle or I should say spread squirrel clutches onto every branch within its reach.  Even the fresh green twig he is chewing.  After he finished, he did squirm for a way out. I think if it could cry out he’d say “Help me,  Help me.  I can’t let go or I will fall.

Squirrel.jpg

The below photo is his friend on another tree sits securely as it chews on a small pine cone.  He looks at him and thinks no way will I risk my life.  He’s on his own.

Smart Squirrel.jpg

The strong will survive.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge; Dance like a Bird

Bird photography, Birds, blogging, Challenge, Daily Post, Nature, Outdoors, Uncategorized

Dance
This Wood Thrush not only sings but dances; He wants to impress his mate who at this moment is flying away.  It was fun to photograph this bird as it did its mating dance and call.  He didn’t give up he flew after her.

20130612-DSC00381.jpg