Larry took me over to New Castle, a town along the Delaware River. The old part of New Castle dates back to the 1600s. Had a great time wandering around, taking in the historic buildings and information.
New Castle Courthouse, 1775
Corner fireplace in a building that dates back to 1680. One of the
artists represented in the shop, jewelry artist Sara Rose
, said that
this house was where William Penn spent his first night in America.
Not 100% proof, but Penn's written description of the place fits
One of the streets in the Old New Castle.
Front door and marble steps of the Read House., a mansion built in
at the turn of the 19th century. His father was a signer of the Declaration
One of the old cobblestone streets that's still driven on.
This in a church cemetery. This was new to me.
"A receiving vault is an underground crypt or above-ground building built
within a cemetery, with the purpose of storing the bodies of deceased
persons in winter months when the ground is too frozen to dig a permanent grave."
After returning to the house I asked Larry to read some of his poems to me as we sat out on the back patio.
A nice variety of well-written work. A future FootHills poet for sure.
Once more a very pleasant evening of food, wine and conversation. That meeting in Southwest Harbor at my first reading of the tour led to this visit which will certainly lead to more connecting down the road. Larry's going to look into me being a featured reader at a monthly reading series in Wilmington. If we book that date, I'll work on other bookings in the nearby region to maybe have a nice week or two poetic journey next year.
I sit at my campsite table in Susquehanna State Park Maryland. I'm at the place where the water from our 50 acres on Wheeler Hill flows into Chesapeake Bay, into salt water. For a long time I've wanted to come to this place. To be here as part of this Poems Across America Tour is special.
I lingered at Larry and Diane's house, getting the work that needs to be done, done. Wanting to talk more with both of them, continuing the conversation that had developed over the visit. A wonderful two days with these people I only met at the first reading of the journey, in Maine, not quite two weeks ago.
The journey. Connecting with people, known before and just getting to know now. That is exciting and important, but I need to keep in mind the triangle balance - creativity, people, nature.
As I write at the campsite table, a Barred Owl calls out, "who cooks for you, who cooks for you all." I smile, the nature balance.
This region just begs for exploring history. The eastern shore of America, where those coming from across the Atlantic landed. The beginning place of the history of white America. Important in the grand picture of what has transpired, yet there always lingers in the back of my mind, what if Europeans never discovered America? What would it be like now? An impossible scenario, but. . .
It all is as it is. We can't change history. We can only impact the moment now.
After setting up camp I took a little time to explore the park. I took a walk along the river, following an old rail bed that ran between the park road and the river. While hiking another person came by. We had a five minute or so chat about hiking, about the region, about history. Michelle, who is in the Army and is working at the Aberdeen Proving grounds, a military installation nearby.
This little exchange recalled for me the little exchanges I'd often have with others on the trails through the mountains in the old backpacking days. People on the trail always had something in common, just by the nature of what they were doing.
As I was driving in the park earlier, I crossed a bridge over a stream and a little ways upstream was a waterfall. I glanced quickly as I drove by and thought I saw a woman in a white gown standing in the water below the falls! I pulled the car over and walked back to the bridge and sure enough, some kind of photo shoot was going on with the cameraman standing chest deep in the water below this white angel.
I watched for awhile as he took numerous photos. Then he had her walk off to the right for a different angle. As she was making her way, she was barefoot, she slipped and slid down some rocks and was totally immersed in the water. I wasn't too close to where they were, but could definitely hear her yelling and even a little laughter from either the cameraman or his assistant. I left then, but I think that was probably the end of the photo shoot. Not a scene I would have expected to come upon.
While hiking I came across a cardinal flower. I had never seen one before, but I thought I knew what it was. I was correct.
Also saw a number of Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies on Joe-pye weed flowers.
So I'm now in Maryland. Today is the end of the second week of the journey. There are 12 weeks remaining. Already one seventh of the journey is history. It seems as if it is going fast. Eight states behind, forty more to go.
I have two more days here in Maryland at this campsite. It feels good to have a bit of stationary time. Journeying implies moving. But there needs to be days of not moving to balance out the flow of the journey.
It's all a process, and I'm learning along the way. That's what life is, isn't it, a process along the way?
An interesting day.
Worked on FootHills stuff for most of the morning at the library where I'll be giving my reading tomorrow.
Work that needed to be done.
After talking with Irmgarde, the director of the library, I headed out to explore Havre De Grace a bit. The day was hot and humid, it is the south after all. I'm glad I head west after this and won't be in the more southern states till the end of October and the first half of November.
Mason Dixon. I'm in the south here in Maryland. Mower racing. Hmmm.
Pretty much where the Susquehanna enters Chesapeake Bay. I think the mouth
of the river is kind of amorphous.
Like so much of recent America, the condos at the edge of the beauty.
Concord Point Lighthouse in Havre de Grace.
Built in 1827, it is the most northern lighthouse
in Chesapeake Bay and one of the oldest lighthouses
in continuous operation on the east coast.
For some reason I was a bit down today. Can't quite put my finger on it,
but it was that way nonetheless.
After exploring town a bit I headed back to the campsite to fix dinner and do a bit of writing. While in the midst of preparation I went out to my car to turn it off. The campsite is maybe 100' from the car and I left it running for a few minutes while charging the computer and wifi modem with the inverter. A couple walking by stopped and were curious about this untended idling car.
Well, we ended up having a 45 minute conversation on the camp road. Annalies and Hendrik are from the Netherlands and they're camping here while on a visit with their daughter who lives in Baltimore.
Our talk ranged from politics to poetry to history. They mentioned that many of the people they have met here and in Virginia ask them their religion and then talk about abortion, how it is wrong etc. Hendrik is a minister, but he says the view he has, and most Netherlander's, is so different. He told me there are less abortions in his country because they allow abortions.
The talk went on and on and touched so many bases: war, traveling, literature. I can't relate much of it now, the hour is late. But, this spontaneous conversation reinvigorated me. Turned around a day that had been somewhat down. They may even come to my reading tomorrow evening.
This meeting with them reminded me of an old hitchhiking adventure in the mid-70s when I and my ex-wife were picked up by a Dutch father and son in Canada. Again, this journey connecting with what has gone before.
Ah, the road!