Gravel Bicycling Journal

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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.

A Trip Through the Amish Area

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While in Lancaster, PA, my wife and I toured the Amish area. Through our tour guid, we learned about the passion and purpose, which inspires these Godly people.  Their Christian spirituality is the framework that sets  their lifestyle. 

The picture below show mules that are the power force to pull the plows, hay wagons, balers, hay cutters, and wagons through the acres of farm land. 

mule power

Tractors often must be adapted for off-road use only, lest they provide the opportunity to go too far from home. This usually means steel tires rather than rubber.

Tractors with steel tires

 The Amish look to God for help in this dangerous world.  When they are face with problems, their first instinct is to pray rather than to seek a quick fix. They learned patience; they feel demanding a quick fix signals a lack of trust in God. 

I hope you enjoyed this little article and have an opportunity to tour and visit an Amish community.

PAMUNKEY INDIAN RESERVATION

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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.

Time in History

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This photo was taken in late August 2015 inside the living quarters at the Great Hope Plantation located in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.  The period of time in history was around the late 1700’s.

I heard that Great Hope Plantation will no longer have interpreters but will be a self guided tour with signage only.

Why me?.jpg

The Journeyman and the Blacksmith

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In the early Colonial America, the early women colonists and settlers were expected to help the men in a variety of hard labor tasks in order to survive.  As shown in the blacksmith shop, this young lady is a journeyman working as a trades person.. This photo was taken in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

Blacksmith1.jpg

 

 

Horse Drawn-Carriage

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Clop, clop, clop is the slow rhythmic sound of horses’ hooves heard on the street of Duke of Gloucester. Horse-drawn carriage rides are a way to enjoy the 18th century history here in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

Stage Coach-4.jpgCulture

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse

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I painted this picture from the water side near the causeways that protect the land from the slamming waves of the Chesapeake Bay.  The light of Point Comfort peeks through the luscious colorful tops of the trees.  At the foreground is an open field surrounded with a variety of old oak, maple and poplar trees.  For many decades, these trees survived the harsh element of mother nature.

Old Point Comfort Light House is located on the grounds of Fort Monroe in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay at Hampton, Virginia.  It was first lit in 1802, stands 54 feet tall, and played an important part in the War of 1812.  The light house is listed as a Virginia landmark.

Old Point Comfort-3.jpg

If you are interested in the painting or prints, please email me or visit my WEB sites.

Email:  06artist43@gmail.com

http://17-richard-smith.artistwebsites.com

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Thank You for your interest