Aug 25, 2012

There's behind...and then there is where I am!!

 I have been out of touch for a week and knew that I was behind on my posts but didn't realize I was THIS far behind!! Wow...where do I start....when in doubt return to the groundwork...for this I use the backdrop of Westmoreland State Park and the place....George Washingtons birthplace!

 During my wander up and out of Oxford I found myself directly in the path of Richmond, Virginia. It was indeed the biggest city I have approached for some time and I felt the nervous creep of the city get into me as soon as I was cut off just outside of Petersburg.
 I won't dwell on the big city thing...most of you know how I feel about them and this trip is confirming and reconfirming my need to be away from a dense populace with every town I roll through.
 I did see the Virginia War Memorial, that was a very nice tribute to the vet of past conflicts. In a country ike the US you can't really turn around without seeing some sort of war memorial and while I don't agree with it (war) this country was founded on things worse than current military actions so this was just "a something" to see.

   After checking out the memorial and paying respect to the fallen I headed north. Towards Fredricksburg. Virgina is a gorgeous state to drive! They take care of their roads, they have a million and one historic sites to check out and the mix up open road and small towns was making me smile.

 As I headed towards GW's spot it got a little late so I parked for the night at Westmoreland State Park and bunked down. Nice state park, had a great talk with the campsite hosts about the benefit and challenges of being a host for the state. Then the next morning...I tossed my tiny boat into the massive Potomic and went for a paddle.

 I could imagine the days of old with the river packed full of boats for business and pleasure. These days it's polluted and quiet but at one point this was a major business hub for the area...and it looks, when you are on it, like those years have taken it's toll. It could be the most polluted river I have put into during this entire trip.

 Nice thing about it though is that it's such a slow river you can paddle up stream without much trouble and drift down as you desire. I wish I had a water proof camera to take out on the water but as it stands you'll have to just understand how epic it was to be on such a historic river. No this was not the spot of the questionable coin the point I put in the river is about 10 times too wide to even throw a baseball over let alone a silver dollar. Did he actually throw a silver dollar? Well from what I have read he was a large powerful man but the trick to the legend is very simple...there were no silver dollars in circulation back then. The first dollar was minted in 1794 just years before he kicked the bucket. So did he throw something? Possibly...but it wasn't the potomic or the delaware that he did so on but the Rappahannock river outside of Fredericksburg. So pooh on the legend of the cherry tree chopper (another bs story). 

Our friend "Industry" on the other side of the Potomac

I love localized products...this Northern Neck Gingerale was delicious and brewed in Virginia

On the shores of the Potomac!

It's such a massive river!!

And so after the paddle it was off to see the birthplace of another of the founding fathers!

Looking out from the visitors centre

The plantation was huge!! Nothing a few slaves can't take care of right George?

The first house they built based on historical info...unlike Abe's birthplace they decided to keep looking before hanging their hat on this house as a replication of the original.

Old school living

The original house that was found during further excavation

The young smith who held down the fort

Awesome pigs!

Yep...still here!!

And as I was leaving I was left with a decision...left or right?

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