Gold Hill, NC (August 5, 2017) - I've been planning this New England loop for a while, and I'm excited about it. Although I have been in every state there, I have never had the opportunity to really explore and appreciate those historical venues that captured my imagination as a boy.
I have now visited well over 1,400 memorial areas and every state, and sometimes regions within a state, have a different flavor in the presentation of the remembrance. It appears that veterans memorials in New England may have an added ingredient. These monuments, and the inscribed sentiments, seem to take ownership of the history they represent.
It may be my own romanticized impression of where the ideals of our republic were fostered, but the sheer number of monuments is impressive. It doesn't seem that a prolonged search is required to find a public expression of pride and remembrance. Sadly, I have been through a few counties in which any expression of thanks to our veterans is almost impossible to find. Here in New England they are everywhere.
An underlying reason for my excitement over this particular loop is that I will be looking at scenery that has been a backdrop to my family history for nearly four hundred years. My maternal family line arrived on New England shores in the early 1600's. My ancestors waded ashore and set to work; helped establish colonies, built new towns, and created an environment where freedom of expression is just one cherised ideal.
My routes intentionaly avoid crowded roads and highways. And I give warning to all that my published itinerary on this segment of the Ride Around America is only a guideline. I may miss an ETA by a day or two, and I may have to leave entire sections unreached in order to really explore what is around me. If I have to come back a second time to finish it all, I guess that's a bonus and not a true lack of progress.
As was the case with the California trip, I am leaving home with just enough money to pay for fuel. Food, camping fees, and anything else will come from ads, donations, and sales of the tour patch to other riders. Don't be shy, toss a twenty into the PayPal hat and make sure I get home for my next doctors appointment.
Natures peaceful sound
when water falls over rock
is centuries old
See you on the road.