Williamsburg & Jamestown, Virginia
Date: 9/14/2003 7:09:21 AM Pacific Standard Time
Yorktown, Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia are known as the "Historic Triangle," 3 towns within 30 miles that helped shape our nations history.
On september 3rd I walked to Yorktown, best known as the site where, back on October 19, 1781 British General Lord Cornwallis surrendered to the American forces led by General George Washington, marking the end of the American Revolution. The victory in Yorktown secured independence for the US and significantly changed the course of world history.
On Sept 3rd I walked to Yorktown and met up with the pastor at the Baptist Church. He said I could stay there, and that evening at their wednesday night service he asked me to give a talk. So I did. Afterwards, 2 youth kids came up and said that his folks own a B&B and that I could stay there that night, so I really enjoyed staying at the Marl Inn Bed & Breakfast (www.marlinnbandb.com.) On thursday I spent the day touring Yorktown and learning about the history. I started off by going to the Visitors Center where I saw a film and then toured Colonial National Historical Park. There I checked out the Museum, and then walked 7 miles to see the battlefield. After that I walked through the quaint town and saw the Yorktown Victory Monument. It was a great day to walk the trails and learn about the history there.
The next day I walked 14 miles along the Colonial Parkway to Williamsburg. Frank also walked with me that day. He was at the church on wednesday night, and he's in the Navy. He and his family just transfered from Hawaii to here recently (this is where he's from) and said he'd walk with me to Williamsburg. I really enjoyed that. Not only was the Parkway a beautiful, scenic walk, but I also enjoyed stopping and reading all the historical markers and pull-over places along the way. And visiting with Frank was great, too. After about 12 miles, his wife swung through Wendy's and brought us lunch. It was really a beautiful day out -- cool, and with all the trees there we walked mostly in the shade. Numerous times the trees formed a canopy over the road. We finished walking the last 3 miles and ended up at the Williamsburg Visitor's Center. I went inside to find out what there was to do in Williamsburg, and managed to talk them out of a free ticket to see Colonial Williamsburg ($49.)
Visiting Colonial Williamsburg was great, and I learned so much. Toward the end of the eighteenth century, Williamsburg -- then the capitol of Virginia -- was debating the thought of total independence from Britain. Tired of being taxed by Britain and seeking religious freedom, patriots such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were seeking an alternative. It is here where Patrick Henry exclaimed "Give me liberty or give me death!"
In Colonial Williamsburg I was able to tour the Governor's Palace and also walk through the Capitol. People there are dressed as they were then, and they walk the walk and talk the talk. I was able to tour several taverns, check out the magazine there, and also watch them work the windmill. I visited with the blacksmith while he was at work, and watched the shoemaker make shoes. On sunday I went to church at Bruton Parish Church, an Episcopal Church that's been in continuous use since 1715. It was a great experience to tour Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.
I also enjoyed other parts of Williamsburg. I stopped at the Police Station and Fire Station to get a patch from them, and was visiting with Art at the Fire Station. He said there would be a Kiwanis meeting on wednesday and asked me if I could come. I said that I'd be down the road by then, but not very far from here. Art said he'd come and pick me up for the meeting, so that was the plan. I had also wanted to tour Jamestown, located 8 miles west of Williamsburg, but there was no public transit to ride out there, and when I asked people at the Visitor's Center if it was worth walking 16 miles for, they all said no. So I didn't walk there, and instead on tuesday left Williamsburg for Toana. I stayed at the Fire Station there, and on wednesday Art came and picked me up to go to the Kiwanis meeting. Art lives just a mile from Jamestown, and offered to drop me off at Jamestown after the meeting so I could spend the afternoon there. I jumped at the opportunity and really did enjoy seeing Jamestown.
Jamestown is the first permanent English settlement in America. Three ships, the Susan-Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, left England on December 20, 1606 to travel to the NEw World. In the spring of 1607 -- 4 1/2 months later -- 104 settlers arrived in Virginia. They built a triangular shaped palisade with 3 bulwarks at the corners for defense. Inside this fort were houses, a storehouse, a guardhouse and a church. Most colonists belonged to the Church of England and were required to attend services twice a day. It was a tough first year, and over half of the colonists died. They chose to bury them at nighttime, so that the Powhatan Indians would not know that the colony was smaller in number.
The Powhatan Indians lived nearby, and this is where Pocahontas is from. Her name meant "Little Wanton," a good name for a playful, frolicsome little girl. In May of 1607, she saw John Smith, who had been taken captive by the Powhatan Indians. At first he was welcomed, but later was to be beaten by clubs. Just before that happened though, Pocahontas threw herself down upon him to save him. After that the Powhatan Indians accepted John Smith.
While I was in Jamestown, I got to tour the James Fort, see how the Powhatan Indians lived, tour the museum and watch a movie at the Visitor's Center. It was a great place to be and I was really glad it worked out that I could go there. That evening Art took me back to the Toana Fire Dept and the next morning I headed out to West Point, Virginia.
Subj: West Point, Virginia
Date: 9/14/2003 7:39:28 AM Pacific Standard Time
When I left Toana, the fire dept there hauled my cart to the fire station in Toana. The fire station in West Point is a volunteer fire station, but when I got there I was able to contact the fire chief and talk to him. He said that because it's a volunteer station, they usually don't let people stay overnight, but he gave me the name of another person who might put me up for the night.
Meanwhile, I checked out the town. West Point has a population of around 5,000, and is a peninsula surrounded by 3 rivers -- the York River, the Pamunkey, and the Mattaponi Rivers. First I went to the police station to get a patch and ask if they knew of any places in the next town I was going to -- Saluda. The lady there called up the police station in Saluda and gave them heads up that I was going to be there the next day. Then I went to the Chamber of Commerce and visited with them for awhile. And from there I went to the Tidewater Review, the local paper. Robin, the editor, was pretty interested in my story, and we visited for quite awhile. She took some pictures of me, and gave me a West Point Crab Carnival sweatshirt. They hold their festival on the first weekend in October each year.
Well it turned out that it didn't work for that family to host me, so I went back to the fire chief and asked him if he'd possibly reconsider and let me stay there. He said that yes, I could stay, so that's where I settled in. I had already taken a shower and was stretched out on the couch watching TV, when Jennifer came over and invited me to stay at her house. So away we went. Jennifer also works for the Tidewater Review, and Robin had told her where I was, so that's how I ended up at her house. Robin and Jennifer had also told me that there was going to be a Chamber Breakfast Forum in the morning, and I said I'd like to go to it, if that would be possible. They contacted a few people, and all was set.
The program was already planned, but that morning they still gave me a few minutes to give my speel. I told them what I was doing, and mentioned that I like to give talks to schools and organizations along the way. Well it turns out that 2 principals and the school superintendent were at that meeting, and afterwards they all came to me and asked if I could talk at their schools that day. Since it was pouring down rain at that time, I really liked the alternative plan. So I gladly accepted and off we went. First of all I went to the elementary school, where they did an entire school assembly in the gym (that rarely happens for me!) So I gave a talk there about epilepsy and walking across America. Then after that I went to the High School where I talked to first the 8th grade PE class, then the 7th grade PE class, and finally the 6th grade PE class. It was a busy day, but I had a great time.
So Jennifer thought I was only staying overnight at her house for one night, but then whadayaknow, she had me staying over again that night. Then on saturday I walked to Saluda. We had tried to make several contacts in Saluda, but nothing really panned out, so Jennifer said she'd come and pick me up and bring me back to West Point again! When she came to Saluda to get me, she also drove me over to see the little town of Urbana, a quaint little tourist town. We had lunch there, and also rode the trolley around town for twenty-five cents. I think it was worth it. That evening I attended church service with Jennifer at the Catholic Church, and on sunday I'll be walking on to Laneview and on over to Tappahannock.
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