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March Date Monday September 4, 2006 March Day 80

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David emerges from his bunk in Martha, Rose from her bunk in George, the remainder of our group returning one by one from the river campsite with their tentage to be stored once again. It is a beautiful clear day and the canvas is finally and completely dry. It is a mild shock to see Keleigh and Dana in their 21st century jeans - a realization that they and Zack will be leaving us for home later today. Zack continues to hold out to the last, still in his shirt and breeches.

The group prepares for another busy day arranged by our Philadelphia hosts. After a breakfast of fresh croissants, chocolate pastries (thanks to W3R John Loup), bagels, coffee & juice at the river's edge, we all board the river boat from Walnut Street. We are bound for Bartram's Garden and homestead, a beautiful stone estate with many hand-carved stones in the original masonry. The view of the Philadelphia skyline from this site on the opposite bank of the river is spectacular. It's remote location and surrounding countryside has maintained its historical appeal. After many photos are taken, the group engages in our ritual of daily prayer and then, under Captain Mike's command, the march resumes amidst much cheering and the beat of Zach Hutchins' drum. As the supporters file out of the Gardens, I catch sight of familiar mirror-blue sunglasses....is that Lee Anderson I see at the edge of the crowd? On leave from Fort Mifflin? Have not seen him since he left our march in Plainville CT.

The marchers continue to Woodland Avenue and stop at the Blue Bell Tavern where a crowd of about 30 people have gathered. David, in his handsome white French Regimental and white gaitors never tires of "Bonjour, Madame" as he lightly brushes the ladies' hands. The march is to continue across Cobbs Creek into Darby and follow the Chester Pike through Delaware County into Chester...destination Washington Park in the heart of Widener University.

After the soldiers' departure from Bartram Gardens, the camp followers, Zack and our Philadelphia hosts return by water to the point of departure on the Schuylkill. As we present tokens of appreciation to our supporters, we are given a surprise departure gift also....Joe presents us the sign that was posted on the river bank. The sign-posts are removed and Rose, Keleigh, Dana and Zack carry this treasure back along the river trail to Martha.

Keleigh, Dana and Zack then gather their gear and are taken by Joe to Ursula's home where she will assure their train departure back to Connecticut. Au revoir, Shumbo family. I know that you will hold dear the many memories and friends you have made.

Leaving Martha behind, Rose and Ramona, from our scout family, take a smaller carriage, leave Philadelphia and find the marchers on the Old Chester Pike. They are being well tended to by Nancy and Don Van Kriecken, feasting on Nancy's sweet potato muffins, a Thomas Jefferson recipe, I am told. We continue in our carriage and the marchers continue their walk, total 13 miles from Philadelphia until we reach the night's camp at Widener University. Rose contacts Peter Seltzer who greets the camp followers at a removed parking area at the university's gymnasium. After the army arrives, we have many visitors in the early evening. Among them, Win Carroll, Ursula's brother Joe and his wife, and Ralph Nelson. We now face the logisitcs of retrieving the Washington rig and the remaining carriages in Philadelphia, and Don graciously offers to take us back to the city. Paul and his son are returned to their carriage on the Market Street bridge that they might return home, David and Rose retrieve Martha and Mike's carriage, Mike C to his own....all to this night's camp in Chester. Once re-assembled, we dine on the remains of our many fabulous foods, gratefully utilize the gymnasium's facilities for much-needed showers (when WAS the last time we showered?) and retire to our beds. Too exhausted to set tents and reasonably assured of a clear night, Mike and Dave sleep on the grass under the night sky. Merci, Mon Dieu. pour tous les cadeaux.

Avec Amour,