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March Date Thursday September 7, 2006 March Day 83

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls reveille on this damp cool morning. As this late summer turns into autumn, the longer nights bring heavy dew and the men sleeping under the night sky are covered with dampness as they wake. The border crossing ceremony is scheduled here at the Iron Hill Museum for 9:30 AM and we do not hurry in our prepartions for the day. John Slack arrives with juice, hot chocolate for our chocolate lovers Dave and David, crosissants and donuts. Laura Lee brews a strong coffee in the museum. Many of our supporters from the previous evening and today's ceremony participants begin arriving.

The army is joined by 1st and 6th Maryland regiments Phil Shank and Bill Voigt, handsome in their military regimentals and carrying their muskets. The flags are readied and the Lamp of Liberty is lit. Ralph Nelson and Glenn Pusey conduct the cermony....the marchers are introduced, the W3R and french regimental flags are exchanged. The Lamp of Liberty is passed from Newark, DE mayor Vance Funk to Elkton, MD mayor Joseph Fisona. Kay Nelson, representing and splendid in her DAR decorations, addresses the crowd, and Ralph presents the March to Yorktown members with a monetary donation collected from our fellow diners the previous evening. Mike again expresses our gratitude for eveyone's support.

The day's march begins, now with six soldiers on the road - Mike, David, Dave, Mikey, Phil and Bill. 'Tis a short marcch, some 5.5 miles to historic Elk Landing in Elkton, Maryland. As the army approaches this city, they pass a clear sandy stream passing under the main road, and Mike files this away for a possible re-visit later in the day.

The group will have some much needed "down" time at our night's destination.

We arrive at Hollingsworth House, a work in progress restoration of the Elk Landing Foundation - a beautiful oasis on the upper Chesapeake....a large white homestead, red barn, rolling field surrounded by forest, small groves of trees, and the half ruins of a two-story tavern on which restoration will begin shortly. This site was a busy 18th century port of trade. We are greeted by Foundation president Kenneth Wilcox (Judge), who figuratively gives us the "key" to this little piece of heaven. The sun is shining, the fields are green and the sky is a gorgeous blue...this is entirely ours for the rest of the day.

We retrieve Martha from the Iron Hill museum and quickly return to our little paradise. Damp bedding is spread in the sun to dry, Mike travels to his little stream to swim and nap in the sun, we take cold wonderful showers outside, still set up from a recent previous encampment here, write posts to our families and rest from a whirlwind week. David, ever the handyman, putters about the rig tidying up and making small repairs.

We have few visitors at this remote spot, but Eric Mease of the Foundation stops by to chat, and Phil Shank and Bill Voigt recount the past weekend's festivities of the passing of the French army. Seems Elkton had its commemorative parade last weekend, with the Old Guard leading the procession. Because this was a week before our arrival, Phil and Bill reenacted the reenactors! During the course of the late afternoon, Dave is handed an envelope with a monetary donation from the Elk Landing Foundation. These few people who have given so much of themselves to keep this historic place alive are also giving to us in our passing.

Everyone is clean and rested and we drive to an outdoor smoked barbecue rib shack where we feast again. Mike groans and rubs his stomach.....perhaps when the march is over, you can diet? Back at the Hollingsworth house, Mike and Dave set their beds on the large porch....no tentage needed tonight as they will be protected from the heavy dew. We all sit in the darkness, watching the mist roll over the fields and the orange full moon rise in the sky. I'm sure our french allies 225 years ago did the same. A demain.

Avec amour,