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March Date Monday September 25, 2006 March Day 101

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Today's 6:30 of the clock reveille is a cool clear morning. Still in darkness, we prepare to leave this quiet wooded site, each of us yearning to spend more time here, but Martha is to be forwarded to Weems Botts museum for our night's camp with a scheduled stop at nearby Gunston Elementary School. We have a brief visit by Mike C on his way to work via motorcycle... (the sound of his V-star Yamaha brings a bit of nostalgia) and he bids the army safe travel.

We find Allison Mills promptly waiting at 8:30 of the clock at the Gunston School. This innovative school is equipped with high technology, and the soldiers are ushered into a small room off the library where they are interviewed by fourth grade teacher Rod Bowers. This is broadcasted live to all classroom monitors and gives the students a preliminary introduction to the marchers.

We are then brought to a great room where more than a hundred students file in and sit on the floor. The men explain our historical march and the questions begin. Hands shoot up and the eager faces show that these children are really into it! They question every detail of the soldiers' uniforms and the differences among them, are curious about the soldiers' food and colonial military way of life. 'Tis a joy to see their concentration and interaction. At this session, we also have a few supporters from yesterday's destination point at the river...there is Sally and Gerry Lyons of the Fairfax County History Commission and the lovely madame who proudly displayed the "76" flag outside her home. This has been a most rewarding presentation for the group, and we continue to receive as we depart. Allison gives us a donation for our horses' feed AND a batch of homemade brownies...stating the brownies are no big deal. Oh, yes.....they certainly are a big, most welcome gift.

We continue to bring camp Martha into Dumfries, leave her at the pretty gazebo/lawn area of the Weems-Botts museum and return the men to the river ferry starting point. Again, we are greeted by Sally and Gerry, and new visitors Tamra Harvie with her children Lewis and Carah, who have come to encourage the soldiers. Lewis is shy and clings to his mother's apron while Carah presents Mike with a large crock of Virginia peanuts. Mom presents a bottle of fine French Chardonnay. We pray to our Great Benefactor and the men begin.

The majority of today's travel will be along busy Jefferson Davis Highway but with only a total of 9.3 miles, which seems like a walk in the park to the men at this point. We are able to leave the busy road at route 637 and travel this outcrop of original King's Highway for approximately three miles, stopping at Rippon Lodge, a secluded eighteenth century estate located high on a hill with breath-taking views of the Potomac river.

During a brief rest stop, we have an unexpected visit from Sally who delivers bags-full of black walnuts for Mike. During our morning's departure at the river, we noted the plentiful nuts and hulls from this tree near her home. Mike commented on their value in dyeing period cloth and clothing, and she has now found us to deliver this gathered resource.... another example of the fine local villagers' support.

The army marches into Weems-Botts museum where we are greeted by David Born of the Prince William Historic Preservation Division, Claudia Smith of the museum's board of directors, and Lyn Padgett of Living History. A Potomac News photographer and reporter who has photographed and followed the men enroute continues to record the arrival until he is called away. Mike C of yesterday's march and this morning's visit, stops by to show us his "bigger than Ohio" blister on his heel, and to share a gill of rum.

Mike hears of a marine bar and restaurant in town, and we prepare for dinner. Now Mike is craving steak. David, is this contagious? The Globe and Laurel is a tavern type restaurant filled with military memorabilia and photographs. We have a terrific meal of french onion soup and prime-rib, then top it off with creme de glace at an establishment across the road. We then roll ourselves back to camp where Dave and Mike have set their tents on the lush lawn in front of the gazebo.

We are visitied by Claudia's Mom who lives nearby, and she presents slices of German chocolate cake to the men. She is astounded to learn that tomorrow is Mike's birthday and that this particular cake was his yearly birthday request as he was growing up.

It is not long before we each take to our beds on this cool crisp night. A demain.

Avec amour,