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March Date Wednesday September 13, 2006 March Day 89

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Another reveille in the morning darkness, and the troops prepare early by going to breakfast at the local Mickey D's. Rob Reyes arrives at the Fort to march with the men today, but before travelling to Camden Yards for the start of today's journey, we all view the museum's film of the Fort's bombardment by the British in the War of 1812, prompting the national anthem by lawyer Francis Scott Key. As the film ends, the audience is requested to stand, the large curtain is pulled back and our beautiful flag is shown flying over the Fort Walls as the anthem is sung. A fabulous and moving experience.

Rob, in hiking shorts and shoes sans socks, has strategically planted his bicycle en route and is carrying Washington's Headquarters flag - a dark blue background with 13 white stars throughout. At Camden Yards, we are brought up to the Stadium Authority Office to view a wall-sized map of the historic army camps and we also get an impressive birds' eye view of Oriole Park from the floor to ceiling windows. Back down in the Yards lot, David is interviewed by channel 13 television.

For this sixteen + mile day's march, the men now have a late start. The army begins....down Washington Street through "Pig Town" where they catch the attention of a local carriage's occupants. Two young ladies whose carriage sports the tags of "Porn Star" question the men's purpose. This interesting part of town also finds the marchers confronted by a questionable investment gentleman who presents them with four 1 million dollars bills. Shall we take the money and run?

At the Mount Clare museum house, 1760 home of Barrister Charles Carroll, we are joined by our avid supporter Ursula Reed, her long-time friend Laurie Gladstone with her canine babe Chloe Poopsie. We are all given a complimentary tour of this stately museum house before the army resumes its march on the railroad bed, the original army's road a mere thousand feet from this mansion's door. Rose, Ursula and Laurie travel the paved road by carriage and the men later report their train track encounters....much refuse and discarded trash, persons with altered levels of consciousness and other lost souls. They are happy to return to the original Gerogetown Road which is now present only in portions and make their main progress on Washington Boulevard until the entrance into the current Patapsco State Park.

Here the marchers travel a mile upriver to the army's original ford site. I'm sure the original Patapsco River crossing was not as comical as today's.

Rob is the first to cross, removes his shoes and bravely begins. Halfway across, he loses his footing on slippery rocks and plunges thigh-deep, briefly immersing his camera but making a quick recovery and ending on the opposite shore.

"Tough guy" Mike begins the second crossing, complete with shoes, gaitors, etc. He is successful and returns to guide David and Dave who have sat on the near bank watching skeptically all the while. These two remaining soldiers have removed all foot gear, and cautiously cross the river without incident. During one of Mike's crossings, he looses footing and is dunked, quickly retrieving his water current-travelling tricorne.

Unfortunately, that was not caught on any camera!

All are safely across and they begin the mile return to Washington Boulevard. The remainder of this overcast day is spent with the army marching another ten + miles to the Spurrier Tavern marker at the junction of route 175. The men later report a most enthusiastic family that they encounter in the town of Elkridge. Lori, Alex, Cooper and Owen G.are jumping with excitement at the army's passing and generously give their home-made chocolate chip and Berger cookies for the men's enjoyment.

Rose and Rob spend this time retrieving camp Martha from Fort McHenry and delivering her to Belmont Plantation, the arranged site for the night's camp. Rob is then transported back to his carriage where he leaves this day's march, and Rose locates the marchers at the Waterloo Camp marker where they are again being interviewed by a local publication's reporter. This original Waterloo campsite is an impossiblity for us, so the troop is transported back to Belmont via carriage. They are tired, hungry, and fading fast, but thankful for a small canopy erected on the back gardens of the Belmont estate. No need to set tents this night and the focus is on the evening meal.

As Rose prepares an easy and filling pasta dinner, we are visited briefly by David's brother John, bearer of mail, bread and encouragement. Among the posts received is a letter from Alex of Bergen County, New Jersey ( remember Alex popping up, waving and smiling everywhere along the police escort route?) with a hefty donation and clever caption pasted from Ben Franklin's mouth, reading "Le roi est bien heureux de votre progres." You are a wonderful constant supporter, Alex, and we are grateful. The horses can be well-fed again.

We enjoy the distant deer and David takes a late evening dip in a deserted pool. As he returns, the camp is indeed dark and quiet for the night. We have all taken to our beds after a long arduous day ..we are all asleep in minutes. Et tu, Rob? A demain.

Avec amour,