Hold on to your hats…

And put on your high waders, it’s about to begin.

The rain has started. It was beautiful with perfectly blue skies all day, at least until about 1/2 an hour ago. I’ve stayed in hotels the last 3 nights to save myself from the rain and I was hoping it was over. Hence the reason I’m camping tonight. I just couldn’t afford a hotel again and so I guess I’m biting the bullet. My fingers are crossed that it’ll be just a light, quickly passing storm. The thunder I’m currently hearing says otherwise. Even better? As I was setting up the tent, I discovered that the tiny, flimsy “windows” in the rain fly of my tent have failed and now have big holes in them. Not sure how to fix that one.

I’m currently camped at Newport News State Park, just south of Yorktown and nearby to…Newport News. As I was paying the guy said it was “just $33”. I told him that’s $13 more expensive than any other campground I’ve been to. He tried to argue with me and then I told him what I’ve been doing for the past 31 days and my recent camping experience. He finally mumbled something about it being cheap for around here. I let him have that one.

The campground itself is really pretty and obviously for a Sunday night, it’s also pretty deserted.

I’m telling you. I am SO tired of humidity. I have been soaked all day. It doesn’t matter what you are doing or your exertion level. Just putting up my tent I soaked through my clothes. Not that I hadn’t already done that several times today.

I did my basic training at Ft. Benning Georgia and I’ve trained for about 4ish months at Camp Shelby Mississippi. I even did 3 months at Ft. Lee Virginia. The South is not new to me. I don’t remember the humidity being this bad.

I got my shower in and now I’m laying here listening to the rain on the roof, which in itself is rather peaceful, if you don’t think about tomorrow morning.

Anyway. I feel like I’m complaining. It really has been a great day.

I woke up early, after staying up past midnight talking with Patrick and Kevin. They are both fascinating people and I really enjoyed picking their brains all day. They were probably glad to see me off. Patrick is a Submarine Captain and Kevin is an “ice pilot” or someone who teaches sub crews how to operate under the polar ice cap. How cool is that? Very.

We got about 160 or so miles in before we made it to Jamestowne, the first English Settlement in the Ameicas in 1607. It’s also where we first learn of Pocahontas in history. I learned several things about her that I had no idea of.

We then went over to Williamsburg for lunch. I’m loving these historical East Coast towns. The buildings, the streets and the ambiance.

After lunch I said goodbye but not before they both offered to let me stay at their places. Such nice guys, I just wasn’t heading that far South although no in retrospect…hmm.

Today is my dad’s 64th birthday. Happy birthday! I’d been chatting with him on the phone and I told him where I was going. He told me I couldn’t miss walking around Colonial Williamsburg and that I definitely needed to hear “Thomas Jefferson” speak.

So I did. I’m glad my dad had told me because I got there with 10 minutes to go before the last speach and so I had to really move. And queue the humidity sweat overload.

The guy who portrayed Jefferson did an excellent job and did an interactive recitation with the crowd for about an hour. Much of the talk was about his life but he really delved into the issue of slavery in his time. It was a unique approach and in the end I think we all had a better idea of the political issue it was at that point in our history. It was easily the highlight of my day and if you ever get the chance, go see him.

I was supposed to make it to my cousins house last night, and then tonight, now it’ll be tomorrow sometime. I am just not making it very far with all of the history in the area that I feel like I just can’t miss.

I’m going to have to make a choice. History or on with the trip?

I still want to see Gettysburg and I’m planning on a few sites around Philly. I’ve done D.C. before although it’s been decades. I think I’ll do Arlington and that’s it. I’ve got to move on. I could be here forever.

Maybe someday I’ll get far enough away from the South that I’ll rediscover what dry skin and clothing feels like.

Today was a nice day to spend with friends.

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