« March date, Sunday, July 2nd, Day 16 | Main | March Date, Tuesday, July 4th, Day 18th »

March Date, Monday, July 3rd, Day 17

Greetings all and the best of tidings to you and yours....

The immigration service arrives, or, serendipity at its best.....

......awakening in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is one of those special moments, uninterrupted by civilization, most delightful. Tis overcast again, but cooler. The night's rest entirely delightful except when interrupted by the occasional loud screeching of some animal. We are all thinking bear, big cat, or the monster under the bed, but, in fact, it is apparently a Peacock, (yes peacock , much to our chagrin...you know of those big birds with all the tail feathers) Seems there are some being grown by a local resident and they sound off in the night........so much for under the bed monsters.

We know that the days travel is to be a short walk, perhaps 7 miles or so, through some of the priciest real estate in America. We are moving from Camp 12 at Bedford, NY to Camp 13 at North Castle, NY.

Most of the days travel is over an improved road, but not a paved one, for a change. The is the Old Guard Hill Rd., and we pass it along the way. We also pass a really nifty, turn of the last century style Clock Tower, out here in almost wilderness. What an imposing, almost impossible, but mind altering sight it is. Tis at the corner of the Succobone road. Geez, my jaw just drops. Tis not big, (30 ft tall maybe, 4-5 ft. square at the top) nor imposing or any such thing, just in a place so incongrous as to make you stop and wonder. I suppose that was the purpose..........how wonderful. We just portrait away to our delighted hearts content.

As we continue to travel we see many of the local inhabitants and the estate workers. For the most part we are ignored, but the workers are obviously concerned at our passing. I am thinking they must suspect that we are the immigration service, perhaps. Boy, they just can't take their eyes off of us. Tis almost unsettling...

The going is steady, the manors and estates are beautiful, and before long we arrive at Mt Kisco (North Castle, New Castle, etc) A hospital now sits atop what was the French Camp, and a plaqued stone marks the spot where Washington rode out to meet with Rochambeau, from his Camp at Philipsburg.

Sharon S., of the North Castle Historical Society, has made arrangements for us to stay upon the Original Camp grounds, now occupied by the Hospital, or the park across the way. It is just not possible to stay at the park, so we have opted for the Hospital grounds, with the help of John, Michael and Eric. They show us a spot where we might be comfortable, but just before that happens, another lightning bolt of serendipity knocks our socks off. It happens something like this........as I alight from the carriage in front of the hospital, dressed in my days uniform, this Gal drives by, stops, and starts shooting all the questions, you know: who,what, where, when, why, how and WHY again...... her name is Carol E., of Chappaqua, and her Dad, Bill, is a real 'Rev War nut'.........so I tell her what we are up to, and that perhaps we may need a camp ground for he evening. We trade names and communication codes and she departs. We go to the oven that is the hospital carriage park... we are able to catch up on some wash, and to dry the clothes, lay them on the black groud, tis dry in but minutes, truly..... but, camping on this ground may be more difficult that imagined, due to the intense heat... think fry pan, then, think fry pan again, hot, hot, hot.......she is so interested we must needs to have her pull over in order that other carriages may pass....hmmmm, she mutters, (even so that I might hear her), you can set camp at my homestead... OH, heart be still says I to myself..... well, we go to the carriage lot, do the laundry, (remember the laundry?), and I call Carol...perhaps she might be so kind as to let our representatives come by to see if our carriage might be able to negotiate the terrain...they come back, the report is favorable and we decamp the hospital lot..... I call Eric, thank him for his support..(in fact, the hospital is on Original French Camp grounds).........and we are on our way.

We pass a past President's house on the way, and find ourselves wending our way down a sleepy back road to the Camp for the evening.

Tis' another one of those serendipitous moments that seem to have so gleefully followed us along on this journey...30 seconds either way and we would have just been ships passing in the night. What a night it turns out to be..!!!!

We find the spirits table and are being served as we exit the carriages. The place is almost raucus with anticipation, of new friends found, of like mindedness........ the local paper is summoned, reports given on the status of the Arm, portraits taken, tis' not even dinner yet.....when dinner is called, 12 people set about the table and descend with toasts, and huzzahs, to the offerings......we introduce ourselves and find the Patron of the clan, Bill, with daughter Carol and husband Bob, and children and friends as well as us.... the wine gods are well pleased with the offerings (as we discover the next morning) The conversation is lively, with even a young French lad in attendence, to give us thanks and to share experiences. It goes on to the late hours, and we are then convinced that a night Musket fire, on the Eve of the Fourth July, is a wonderful idea. We form the Company and the insuing blast into the countrside is enough to help usher in the Holiday........ a late fire, with chairs about, finally finds us winding down, our energies satiated, and the blessing of sleep to soothe the edges.........we are done, all of us, thankfully.... What is that sound I hear, methinks, must be my eyelids slamming shut......!

Richard Swartwout
For 'AMtY'
near Camp 13, North Castle
Chappaqua, NY
www.marchtoyorktown.org