Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 126 ~ Forest & Fort

Jeff and Joey's beautiful home was built and designed by Jeff.
His company is:

Now that's a BIG leaf!

Gregory and Felipe

Mike packing up to go to Mechanicsville

Joey, Felipe and Jeff

Goodbye to new friends Joey, Jeff and Felipe

The Fort (and Forest) at Penny and Keith's Home

Hooray for Bubble Baths!

Date: November 22, 2009

From: Charlottesville,Virginia

To: Mechanicsville,Virginia

Route: Hwy. 64

Miles Today: 0 miles

TOTAL MILES: 3,577 miles

Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph

Weather: Sunny and warm

License Plates Collected: 5 Montana, 8 Wyoming (2 motorcycle) and 1 Idaho (found in WY), 2 Colorado, 1 Kansas (Gifted from David of Baldwin City), 1 Missouri (To be sent to Grammy’s by our new buddy, Kansas City firefighter Shawn), 1 Illinois, 4 Kentucky (2 Gifted from Beth and Garry Feltus, one gifted from cousin John, one from Hwy. 127), 1 Virginia

Flats: 11

Broken Spokes: 3

Cracked Rim: 1

First thing Gregory said when we arrived at the home of Penny and Keith Mead was, "They have a forest!" (Behind their home that is.) He soon discovered a fort and plenty of poplar limbs to make swords. It is the yard all boys dream of with lots of room to explore and roam. They even have a creek that is at times suitable for canoeing.

We said our goodbyes to Joey, Felipe and Sammy in the morning and made the drive to Mechanicsville in Jeff's truck. Though we originally planned to ride these 70+miles in two days we took advantage of the opportunity to spend another day with Jeff and Joey and make the visit to Monticello. It was also a chance to give my knees a rest. When we tried to find a good place to have Jeff drop us off at some mid-point along our route nothing made any real sense because it would take him longer to get us to a point on the route than to just make the straight shot on Highway 64 and drop us in Mechanicsville. Though it was a beautiful day for riding, and I felt a little funny taking a truck ride all the way to our destination, I was greatly relieved to have another day to rest my knees. I know I have three very full days of walking in Washington D.C coming up.

After we ate lunch with Jeff, he dropped us off and we said our goodbyes. We wished him well and said we hoped our paths would cross again. I think we all hit it off. Jeff and Mike had a lot in common with their backgrounds in construction and they seemed to relate well and to have had some interesting conversations. We really enjoyed our stay.

Penny and Keith gave us a warm greeting and we spent a long time just visiting outdoors in the glorious sunshine and I ventured down out back as Gregory beckoned to me to check out the fort and "the forest". Mike always talks about playing in the woods out behind their house in Ohio when he was growing up and this is what I imagined that to be like. Later in the afternoon Mike helped Gregory notch some limbs Greg had cut with his Swiss Army knife and they lashed them together with string provided by Keith. Anytime Gregory can create something he is happy and in his element. Getting to work with Dad is a bonus. Gregory also brought out his small piece of rope and showed Keith and Penny the square knot he's been practicing. Keith and Penny are boaters and were impressed with Gregory's newly acquired skills. I am too because I am terrible at knots!

We visited nonstop all afternoon, through a delicious dinner at Olive Garden and well into the evening. Penny and Keith admitted that when Megan (Mike's cousin and their sister-in-law) first told them about us and what we were doing they weren't quite sure what to think. We are sure glad they opened their hearts and home to us. I think they have enjoyed our stories of the road and I know we have enjoyed meeting them. We look forward to returning on Friday after our week in the Maryland/D.C. area and having more time to get to know one another.

Gregory enjoyed a nice warm bubble bath and a chance to explore their attic as well. Keith found us some bags to use for our D.C. jaunt and also brought out some Christmas bears that his boys received many Christmases ago. Gregory welcomes any chance to add more "friends" to his stuffed animal menagerie even if only for a brief time. He wanted to bring a koala bear backpack along on the D.C. trip but we had to say no to that one. I know I'd be the one who would end up carrying it! We are catching a train bright and early at 8:00A.M. so it is time to get some sleep.


  1. I have loved following your blog - looks like such a wonderful adventure!
    So glad you were able to stay with Penny and Keith - they are the best!
    Hope you make it through Raleigh - know there is an open invitation to stay with us. We would absolutely love to have you!
    -H, A, and G

  2. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!! ~ Blue, Craig, Satchie & FooFoo