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Finishing Work and Starting to Explore

Exploring the East Shore of Maryland

sunny

Yesterday morning I finished up the last of my work. I found that I’d gotten and closed 77 claims, now that is a decent storm. As it turns out 1 must wait for an estimate from the insured and another need the report to be tweaked but I got to those when I could.

I finished up by about 9 a.m.; Dale was making a celebration breakfast already so it was good timing. We had some Iron Horse champagne that we’d been saving for a couple of years for this celebration so we popped that and had a champagne breakfast celebrating his stopping work, meeting some financial goals and my finishing up a big storm.

After breakfast I was so tired and drained I went back to bed and slept soundly for an hour but woke up ready to get out of the RV. I didn’t want to do anything specific, just vege out.

We had several ideas for visiting but then I was looked up things to do on the East Shore and saw something on Harriet Tubman. I did a little more research and found an amazingly brave woman. And even though I’d heard of the Underground Railroad, I found that we are right here and have actually driving over some of the area while working. This is something I had to see.

We started for Dorchester County Visitor’s Center, the start of the Underground Railroad Byway http://byways.org/explore/byways/2260/itinerary/77287 but then when we got into Annapolis thought we’d look at the historic part 1st.

As it turned out there was a huge boat show going on in Annapolis so everything was jam packed. We were stuck on a street and when we could turn around ended up in the real historic part where we passed the Marketplace. We wondered if the Marketplace was where the slaves had been sold but after some research I have not found any facts to back that.

We drove on to Dorchester but arrived as the visitor’s center was closing. We consoled ourselves with a walk by the water, chatting with a dad and his 2 sons; one of whom had just caught a fish and was proud of himself.

As the sun was beginning to go down we started back but Dale stopped at church ruins I’d seen on the way down. It turns out that we stopped at the “Old White Marsh Cemetery and Church”. I grabbed my camera and tripod ready to get back to the photo taking business. Turns out that the original church was built in the 1690 and some graves are from the 1700’s. Now after a little research I find that it is listed on the “haunted places of Maryland” list. Didn’t see any spirits though.
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Posted by Miss Chris 06:02 Archived in USA Tagged driving tourist maryland chesapeake old_white_marsh_church Comments (0)

Almost Ready to Play

Ready to finish up this storm and start some traveling

Now it is the push to get finished. I have 2 days of inspections left but several days of actual claims to write up. It is always hard at the end to take the time necessary to get everything done properly, I just want out of here. Funny because it is so exciting to start a storm but then so great to finish working. But like a supervisor said today, it is so great to go driving off for home with some money in the bank and a job behind you.

So tonight Dale and I started looking more seriously at the end game here. We have a bunch of people we need to see but we also had ideas of things we wanted to do. We mapped it out and found that seeing a few things but mostly driving and visiting with relatives and friends took up 16 days, then we’d need to drive straight home. We both got a little upset with this.

We then looked at what we had wanted to do originally and decided that we’d stick with our plan of doing what we want, not what everyone else wants. However, if our sister-in-law needs us we will help her out and then do our travels later. And we will try to visit my niece on our way home. Otherwise, we will see who we see.

So the plan now is to stay in the D.C. area for a couple of days. I want to go to see Kennedy’s grave, the monuments again, the Air & Space Museum and maybe a couple of other sites. Then start north via Gettysburg to Maine, Vermont and Long Island, then up into Canada. That is what we have so far.

I think that we have some travel books that I bought when Border’s was going out of business so we will need to find those in the next day or so to get a good idea of what it is we want to do.

We do want to be home by the end of October so we will only have about 3 weeks to do whatever it is we will do. But it is fun to think about being foot loose and fancy free.

Posted by Miss Chris 19:34 Archived in USA Tagged travel work tourist washington_dc claims_adjusting Comments (0)

Grand Canyon, Day 3

IMG_5903.jpgIMG_5943.jpgIMG_5959.jpgToday was the last day of our grandkids trip and we had lots to pack in.

1st off, catch the 8a.m. shuttle bus to Hermit’s Rest for the Junior Ranger/Family Hike. We haven’t been to Hermit’s Rest in many years and think that we just stopped and looked much like yesterday, but we didn’t even know about the trail so this was all new.

We got to the trail and found the ranger, there was only 2 other people, a father and his son so we were lucky to be in such a small group.

The Hermit’s Rest trail is mostly unmaintained which means that it is rocky and uneven. It is really a beautiful trail but steeper than the Bright Angel with many steps carved out of rock that are tall. I think that it would be very difficult to hike with a large backpack on. The trail does meet up with the Bright Angel but again I don’t think that I’d hike this one with a big pack on. The kids had no problem with this trail though.

We spent time at the Hermit’s Rest after the hike and were so amazed at the structure. It was designed by Mary Colter who also designed the Bright Angel Lodge, Lookout Studio and Desert View. There is a huge fireplace that is lit, as per the staff, during the winter on very cold days. I think we will try to go there during the winter. They also welcome dogs during the winter, purchasing dog biscuits for our furry friends.

From Hermit’s Rest we thought that we’d stop along the way so that Christabel could finish up her Junior Ranger book. I had the big idea that we could stop at the Lookout Studio, we would enjoy the view and some coffee while Christabel completed her last page, a drawing.

Dale and I were sitting when Bel rushed up crying, she had placed her book on the ledge so that she could get her pencil when a gust of wind blew her book right off the ledge and down into the canyon. What a catastrophe!

I hurried Bel to the ranger at the Vercamp’s, now mostly a visitor’s center, thinking that the ranger on staff would help. We found Ranger Eric and I explained what had happened; Christabel had finished everything but one page including the Junior Ranger Hike (Charlotte brought her book along as proof). Ranger Eric listened to poor Christabel’s tale of woe and told her that it was ok. Ranger Eric gave Bel the pledge and the badge and we were able to obtain the Hike Patch after all. We got ice cream floats in celebration!

We then took the kids to see the Ancient’s ruins and Desert View before returning to the RV.

For our last evening I put into a large pot, sliced potatoes, sliced carrots, chicken thighs and dumped in leftover chicken broth. We then packed up a table cloth, napkins, our picnic basket and pack then took off again to one of the rim overlooks.

At the overlook we backed the pickup up to the rim walkway and put the tailgate down. We got the camp stove out and I put on the pot of chicken stuff. We set up our foldup picnic table, put on the tablecloth, poured some wine and enjoyed the evening. When our dinner was ready we all sat down and ate by the rim.

Wow, what a way to enjoy our last night together!

Posted by Miss Chris 23:43 Archived in USA Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises grand_canyon nature hiking travel family camping tourist national_park rv outdoors family_travel grandkids hermit's_rest Comments (0)

Grand Canyon, Day 2

IMG_5890.jpgIMG_5889.jpgWe had planned to get up early, be on the 8a.m. shuttle to the end of the road at Herman’s Rest then go on the 9a.m. Family Ranger Hike down the Herman’s Rest Trail. Unfortunately we learned, earlier, that our campsite was reserved for the night so we would need to move.

The host told us of another site which was likely to be vacated but we needed to make certain. We finally saw the campers and verified that they would be leaving so went to dump while we waited. We dumped at a private campground and were happy that we were in Ten-X rather than have full hookups with internet and close neighbors.

By 11:30 we packed up a lunch, got into Grand Canyon Park, parked at the Bright Angel and hiked down the Bright Angel Trail about 1-1/2 miles. It was getting really hot so we just turned around after lunch but the kids had a great introduction to hiking the canyon. Christabel, the one who really didn’t like to hike asked if we could hike down to the bottom of the canyon sometime.

We took the shuttle all the way to Hermit’s Rest just for the ride then road one stop back to the Village where we hopped out to walk to the Abyss. The trail goes along the edge of the Canyon, some of it right on the edge.

We got back on the shuttle at the Abyss, tired but happy!

Posted by Miss Chris 22:19 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes grand_canyon nature travel camping tourist national_park rv outdoors family_travel grandkids Comments (0)

Hike to Sprague Lake

Our hike to Sprague Lake in the Rockies

IMG_5714.jpgIMG_5764.jpgWaking up in Rocky Mountain National Park is a wondrous thing. The Glacier Basin is surrounded by mountains so clouds are over some with other peaks visible. The basin campground has campsites are on ½ of the area with a large glassy area around the entry. A river runs along one end of the campground from the mountains on thru the valley.

Kids woke up and informed me that they had already had 2 hikes, one just after I left and one yesterday. They really wanted for us to go back to Sprague Lake a 1-1/2 mile hike each way. This sounded great as I’d been sitting for way too many hours.

We packed up a picnic lunch complete with tablecloth, wine, cheese, meat and breads in our picnic backpack and took off for the lake. On the way the kids pointed to the general area that a hawk is protecting, swooping at passersby. The hawk had been busy dive bombing another person when they went thru so that the hawk ignored them as they passed.

The hike is so scenic but then it is in the Rockies. A stream runs along most of the trail all the way up to the lake.

As we were hiking along and talking 4 kids emerged from the forest on the other side of the stream. They asked if we knew how to get to Sprague Lake and we said yes that the kids had been there already and were leading us. They asked if they could come along, they had been hiking and had taken a wrong turn and had gotten lost. We had the 4 new kids join our group and they told us everything we ever needed to know about them on the way up.

When we got to the top the lost kids found their parents, we took photos of the lake and then our kids found the perfect picnic spot where we spread out our picnic lunch.

Posted by Miss Chris 12:34 Archived in USA Tagged landscapes mountains children nature travel family tourist national_park family_travel grandkids rocky_mountain Comments (0)

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