Fallston, Maryland

Day 835

     We started our adventure on February 20, 2016. In 835 days of travel (we don’t count our time back in Maryland), we have visited 36 States:

3  Canadian provinces and 1 territory

Pulled the Sphinx 34,950.16 miles,

Sightseeing another 30,814.46 miles

Visited 610 attractions (battlefields, historical places, towns, cities, capitols, mountain tops, lakes, museums, etc.), 225 of which we paid an admission or gave a donation.

Took 7,315 photographs (only a small portion posted on blogs)

Ate at 358 restaurants (or similar eating places)

Stayed at 205 campgrounds (that means we set up and tore down the Sphinx 410 times)

Wrote 513 blogs

Used 4,983 gallons of diesel

As you can see, I am not very good on keeping statistics, speaking of which:

Technical Stuff:

Dinwiddie, Virginia to Fallston, Maryland: 219.1 miles

6 hours 13 minutes

10.1 MPG

Diesel: $2.59

Dinwiddie, Virginia

Day 834

     Dinwiddie County, Virginia, was formed May 1, 1752. The county is named for Robert Dinwiddie, born on October 2, 1692 in Glasgow, Scotland. He was a British colonial administrator who served as lieutenant governor of colonial Virginia from 1751 to 1758. Dinwiddie County has more Civil War battlefields than any other county in Virginia. We are spending the night here. No sightseeing, just getting ready to return to Maryland tomorrow. 

     Tidbit of Information: In 1753, Dinwiddie sent a 21 year old George Washington to remove the French from the Ohio Valley. Washington was defeated. This guy would probably not amount to much. 

Technical Stuff: 

Rock Hill, South Carolina to Dinwiddie, Virginia: 302.2 miles

5 hours 53 minutes

11.4 MPG

Diesel: $2.59

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Day 832

     On our way home for my father’s 98th birthday, we took a slight detour to Rock Hill, South Carolina to visit friends we made on our Alaska Trip. He has a more warped sense of humor than I. In response to my question of what to see and do in Rock Hill, he jokily said, “The most notable thing here is the tank at the National Guard Armory”. So, here’s to you, Charles:

     In 1851 the railroad was looking to build tracks and a station between Charlotte, North Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina. The closest towns did not want a railroad in their town because they considered it dirty and noisy. However, nearby landowners agreed to let the railway have a right-of-way through their lands. A spot was chosen for a rail station and the engineers noted the spot on the map as a “rocky hill”.

     Tidbit of Information: Robert Moorman Sims, a resident of Rock Hill, born December 25, 1837, was a Captain in the Confederate Army. He was ordered by Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865, to carry the white flag of truce which led to the surrender of Lee’s forces at Appomatox Courthouse.

     Most of my information about Rock Hill came from our tour of the Rock Hill Telephone Company Museum, and this gentlemen. 

     He grew up here and worked for the telephone company, now retired. He pointed out old pictures of Rock Hill, and told us what use to be there and what was there now. Most of the old buildings have been torn down, or refurbished for new businesses. 

     The Museum of York County was an interesting museum in downtown Rock Hill. 

     Do you know what this is?

     That’s right, a pigeon. Did you know Pigeons are one of only a small number of species to pass the “mirror test” – a test of self-recognition? They can also recognize each letter of the human alphabet, differentiate between photographs, and even distinguish different humans within a photograph. 

     Of course you know pigeons use to carry mail (carrier pigeons). I wonder if they read that mail?

     Well, Barbara says we have to go, she’s famished. 

Technical Stuff:

Atlanta Georgia to Rock Hill, South Carolina: 249.9 miles

5 hours 3 minutes

10.9 MPG

Diesel: $3.00

Atlanta, Georgia

Day 829

     Heading home for my father’s 98th birthday. Visiting Barbara’s cousin here in Atlanta. Caught here in heaving rain, and blocked from moving on by heavy snow between us and home. We were scheduled to meet with friends in South Carolina from our Alaska trip, but they got snow, and now have freezing rain. We will wait it out. 

Technical Stuff: Columbus, Georgia to Atlanta, Georgia: 146.0 miles

3 hours 19 minutes 

9.3 MPG

Diesel: $2.86

Columbus, Georgia

Day 826

     Columbus, Georgia, once the site of a Creek Indian Village, is one of the few cities in the United States to be planned in advance of its founding. Established on December 20, 1827 as a trading post, Columbus is situated at the beginning of the navigable portion of the Chattahoochee River from the Gulf of Mexico. The city became a center of shipping and military manufacturing.

     East of Columbus is Fort Benning Military Reservation. On October 19, 1918, the Infantry School of Arms was established on 80 acres of land here. Camp Benning, later Fort Benning, was named in honor of Confederate Infantry General Henry Lewis Benning, born April 2, 1814, a Columbus Resident, and lawyer. 

     Today, we saw graduation on Inouye Field. Named for Daniel Ken Inouye (井上 建), born September 7, 1924 in Honolulu, Hawaii, and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. (If you get a chance, you should read this man’s history. It is an inspiration of what it means to be an American and a soldier.)

     Located on the Fort is the The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center. A fascinating museum covering the infantryman from the Revolutionary War through Afghanistan. 

     Not only depicting the soldier, but also equipment used in each conflict. 

     Transition from calvary to mechanized. Send in the cavalry!

     Barbara tried driving an armored vehicle, but got the gas and brake mixed up, destroyed the exhibit, and almost going from the second floor to the first. 

     Part of the museum was devoted to Congressional Medal of Honor recipients (remember Audie Murphy?).


Technical Stuff:  Tallahassee  FL to Columbus, Georgia: 195.8 miles

4 hours 1 minute

9.2 MPG

Diesel: $2.77

Tallahassee, Florida

Day 821

     On February 19, 1819, Spanish minister, Do Luis de Onis, and U.S. Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, signed the Florida Purchase Treaty, in which Spain agrees to cede Florida to the United States. The Territory of Florida existed from March 30, 1822, until March 3, 1845, when it entered the United States as a slave State. 

     The founding of Tallahassee was largely a matter of convenience. In 1822, a territorial government was established, but the impracticalities of alternately meeting in St. Augustine and Pensacola, the two largest cities in the territory at the time (the Spaniards had built a road), led territorial governor William Pope Duval to appoint two commissioners to establish a more central meeting place. In October 1823, John Lee Williams of Pensacola and Dr. William Simmons of St. Augustine selected the former Indian settlement of Tallahassee, roughly midway between the two cities, as a suitable place. The name “Tallahassee” is a Muskogean Indian word meaning “old fields”, or “old town.” Tallahassee became the capital of Florida a year later in 1824. 

Technical Stuff:

Navarre, Florida to Tallahassee, Florida: 199.4 miles

3 hours 47 minutes

10.7 MPG

Diesel: $2.77

Pensacola, Florida

Day 819

     Pensacola, Florida, the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle, has a long and sordid history, as it was a highly desired sea port. Located on Pensacola Bay, it is protected by the barrier island of Santa Rosa, and connects to the Gulf of Mexico.  Since 1559, when Spanish Explorer Tristán de Luna founded a short-lived settlement here, 5 flags have claimed Pensacola as theirs: Spain, France, England, United States, and the Confederate States of America.

     First known  as “Panzacola” in 1686, after the Indian tribe living here, then anglicized.

     Pensacola was an interesting place to tour because of it’s long history. For example, this anchor, which was found in 1992 at the bottom of the bay, was from one of Tristán de Luna’s ships that sank in the hurricane of 1559. 

      This anchor is 459 years old, sat under water for 433 years, is made of iron, and displays this sign:

     That is a laugh.

     After all this time, I can’t believe a person’s fingerprints are going to destroy this relic. Nevertheless, some people don’t listen. 

     Many of the buildings and homes of the various periods are preserved in Pensacola. Over the last 3 years, we have been though many of these types of homes, but this item, from about 1805, has us stumped.

     Do you know what it is?

     The Christ Church, built in 1832, is the oldest brick church in Florida on it’s original foundation (somewhere is the oldest brick church not on it’s original foundation, the oldest wood church, etc. etc.).

     The church had an interesting stained glass depicting Jesus knocking on the bathroom door to see if the room is vacant.

     Another interesting thing we found was this mummified cat. In 1850 the cat became trapped inside the walls of a house under construction. It’s body was found in 1946 when the building was torn down. 

     Barbara window shops in a 1900 depiction of Pensacola. 

     She commanded the street car,

     but had to stop at the first traffic light in Pensacola, put up in 1926

     Anyone who lived in Pensacola is familiar with Trader Jon.

     There was an excellent exhibit on lumbering

     Do you remember the name of this type of saddle?

     Well, my staff and I have to get back to writing the blog.

Navarre, Florida

Day 817

     What is wrong with this picture?

     Barbara is wearing a hooded fleece jacket.

     This violates our 40/80 rule, which states we do not want to be anywhere were the temperature is less than 40 or more than 80. It is 38 degrees in Navarre, Florida. We cannot go any father south here, as we are already along the Gulf of Mexico, on the panhandle of Florida.

     Navarre was first settled in 1884 and named Eagan, after a local politician. Guy Wyman, born May 21, 1878, in Perry, Ohio, is credited as being the founder of Navarre. He was a surveyor for the U.S. Army and surveyed this area in 1905. He then came back here, platting and naming the community in 1925. In 1930, he served as an engineer in the construction of the original Pensacola Bay Bridge. He also served as an engineer at nearby Eglin Air Force Base. For some unknown reason Wyman named this place after a province in Spain. 

     As the sun slowly sets in the west, I leave you with this thought: 

Technical Stuff: 

Ponchatoula, Louisiana, to Navarre, Florida: 239.2 miles

4 hours 56 minutes

10.6 MPG

Diesel: $2.90