Date: November 30, 2009
To: Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
Route: Shuttle Bus
Miles Today: 0 miles
TOTAL MILES: 3,650 miles
Top Speed on this trip: 54.1 mph
Weather: Cloudy with Afternoon Showers
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, 1 Maryland plate gifted from the McClure Family
Broken Spokes: 3
Cracked Rim: 1
Gregory finally got the Kentucky Long Rifle that Mike has been promising since the beginning of the trip. Gregory wanted to buy something similar our very first night in the campground in Baker City, Oregon… He started the day with a new harmonica purchased at the small hotel gift store and walked around the lobby playing it while we waited about a half hour for the Visitors Center to open. I'm sure Mike was wondering what I'd done by buying him that! Once at the Visitors Center he couldn't resist getting the rifle right away though he knew he'd have to carry it all day!
Of course some of Gregory's favorite things today were talking to the gunsmith and also to Thomas, the gentleman at the "Magazine." The Magazine is where the gunpowder and ammunition are stored. It was here that on April 21, 1775 the British secretly removed the colonists gunpowder in an attempt to prevent an open rebellion. Instead the governor who ordered the removal just pushed the Virginians closer to the war.
Thomas was terrific with Gregory and showed him different ways to carry his gun. We had him all to ourselves for quite some time and Mike and Gregory had lots of questions about the various muskets, rifles and pistols (both replicas and authentic) that were stored there.
Watching the printer at the old fashioned printing press was also particularly interesting as was the blacksmith where they were making hinges and a coal shovel. Other stops included the wigmaker where we learned that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington did not wear wigs. Mr. Jefferson sat for a portrait in a wig once but didn't wear one in everyday life.
At the Milliner & Tailor we got to see and touch breeches (knee length pants) made from sheep skin which was considered more comfortable than deer skin or buck skin. At the weavers we saw demonstrations of both cotton and wool being woven with different spinning wheels. Because the cotton fibers are shorter than the wool fibers they were more difficult to spin than the wool.
At the Apothecary they recommended Camphor for my knees and at the Silversmith we watched silver being pounded into a ring. On the way to the Basketmaker we met Mark who took the time to tell us all about George Wythe even though the Wythe House was closed today. When we left after sometime with Mark, and were complimenting Gregory on being a good listener, Gregory responded, "Well, Mark is a good speaker." Indeed he was and we found the life of George Wythe, who was a great mentor to Thomas Jefferson, to be a very interesting one indeed. After we'd said our goodbyes, Mark later popped in at the Basketweaver's Cottage to tell us to stop on our way out. He had a bit of 18th century glass he'd found out behind the Wythe House just that morning. It is an interesting chunk of green glass probably from a wine bottle.
Last stop was the Governor's Palace kitchen and gardens. In the Kitchen Susan told us all about the feast she had laid out. There were 4 kinds of meat and a variety of other delectable looking dishes. The Palace gardens were interesting, though with the season and the rainy weather it was a bit dreary and gray. Gregory and Mike liked the maze and we were able to look down on maze from atop the ice house mound.
We hopped on the shuttle back to the Visitor's Center and the Cascades Motel about 5:00 P.M. After a brief stop in the bookstore to get a new book for Gregory we headed back to our room. We knew we would probably not be venturing back out into the weather for dinner. We did indeed order in. It was less that desirable food that took over an hour but I was happy to have had a nice hot bath and to have been under the covers lounging in my beddie-bye.
Tomorrow Yorktown awaits and the end of our TransAm route. But, not until we make a stop at a pharmacy for some Blister Bandaids and muscle rub!