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March Date Saturday September 2, 2006 March Day 78

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

This dawn slowly reveals our drenched encampment, with much fallen debris about from the surrounding trees during the night rains. The prediction is a full day of rain as Ernesto continues his assault. We will not march today.

A hearty breakfast of fruit, ham and eggs is served to us by our hosts at the Cultural Headquarters. The aroma is heavenly as we enter the warm, dry, handsome stone building where Harold and the lovely kitchen ladies have prepared this meal. We begin our day with thanks to our great Provider and providers.

As the official parade has been cancelled, we prepare to enter Philadelphia by carriage in order to scout the morrow's route and to visit the city sites where our forefathers convened. The rains continue as we join the many visitors in this beautiful historical city....all with parasols and sporting outer foul weather garments. The rain does not dampen the many spirits, present and past, here.

A few visitors are curious about our colonial appearance, and Zack is soon holding an informative conference in the middle of the Visitor's Center! Some also recognize us as the "marchers", and Steve S. from So. Carolina interviews and cam-cords our responses to his many questions. He enthusiastically offers an unsolicited donation to our march, and we wave to him on our tour of the city as our paths cross again.

We visit Independence Hall, where we must first pass security procedures, surely a reflection of the present times....... regimentals and waistcoats with their metal buttons are requested be removed, haversacks, tricornes, and other accoutrements are placed on the belted scanner. We pass through the "arch" and Rose fails repeatedly with alarms sounding at each step-through. With an embarrased smile, she is allowed to continue as the alarm focus is determined to be the metal supports in her "stays." We begin to transport ourselves to the present day of the Continental Congress, mentally engaging with the scene of the great men who gathered in this hallowed place. We then visit Franklin Court and marvel at this patriot's many accomplishments, for himself and his country. (Invented swim flippers at age 13?)

We are unable to tour the Military Museum, which, according to a National Park Service ranger, is closed due to a flooded basement and no present lighting. He is, however, willing to open it to us, to personally tour in the semi-dark building. This ranger, an associate of the Old Barracks rangers had planned to march in the official Philadelphia parade, but is hoping to join us on the morrow.

We make contact with, and meet Ursula Reed, Bob Selig, Torbin Jenk, and Joe Ziernak on the Market Street Bridge where we tour the Schuylkill Banks Park which will be our encampment tomorrow night, and review our route and schedule for tomorrow's entry into Philadelphia. Seems there is still much excitement and expectation for the "march" to enter the city on the morrow.

The group returns to Bristol, where our gracious hosts at the Cultural Center have prepared our dinner.... the fine local delicacy called Hoagie, which we have grown quite fond of. Ursula and her Mom visit our encampment, and take a willing Zack out to dinner with them at King George's II. Clothing is dried at the local laundress' facility and the marchers return to camp returning from various pursuits at the end of a busy day. Ernesto has relented and we retire to our beds. A demain.

Avec Amour,