We Are Now Water Front

Day 1091

     One of the great things about traveling in the Sphinx is what adventure or challenge will meet you around the next corner. We are currently in Abingdon, Maryland in a campground on the Bush River. Because of unforeseen circumstances we have been here for 3 months and will winter here.  We anticipate departure shortly after my father’s 99th birthday on the same day Christ was born. 

     Bar Harbor RV Park & Marina is on a peninsula in the river. It has short term stays waterfront. Long term stays are half the price and we are about 200 yards from the river. Last night I went out to see the sunset and found water around the Sphinx. 

     We were still on dry ground, but the water came up to our electrical box. 

     I got Barbara up and we walked the high ground to the camp office and saw this sign:

     This morning the water receded and did not actually reach the Sphinx itself. Other’s were not so lucky. Those who paid the high priced water front were surrounded by water, but not flooded out. We became waterfront at the reduced price. 

     Isn’t life great?

Havre de Grace, Maryland

Day 1047

     The history of Havre de Grace, Maryland, begins with the voyage of Capt. John Smith here in 1608. In 1652 a treaty with the Susquehannock Indians led to settlement of the area.

     Godfrey Harmer was born in Sweden in the year 1598. The land on which the town of Havre de Grace now stands was laid out for Godfrey Harmer on July 19, 1658 and called Harmer’s Town. Naturalized as a citizen of Maryland in 1661, he transferred his allegiance from the King of Sweden to Lord Baltimore. Harmer was an Indian trader and interpreter.

     The town sits at the confluence (I love that word) of the Susquehanna River, (which originates 444 miles north at Otsego Lake in Cooperstown, New York) and the Chesapeake Bay. 

     The city got it’s current name from the Marquis de Lafayette [statute above] who visited this town shortly after the Revolutionary War, and said it reminded him of the French port city, Le Havre de Grace, which means “The City of Mercy”. The residents incorporated the town as Havre de Grace in 1785.

     We walked the 3 mile Lafayette Trail which took us to all the still standing historic sites, like the Aveilhe-Goldsborough house,

built in 1801.

     Most of the house in Havre de Grace were destroyed by the British on May 3, 1813. During the War of 1812, the British burned Washington and then proceed up the Chesapeake Bay, bombarding Fort McHenry, and then proceeding to Havre de Grace to destroy the Iron Foundry here. Like Fort McHenry, they fired Congreve rockets. They were developed by Sir William Congreve, born May 20, 1772 in Kent, England. The rockets gave inspiration to Francis Scott Key to include in his poem: “and the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air”.

     The 45 mile long Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal was completed in 1839 and ran from Wrightsville, Pennsylvania to Havre de Grace, Maryland. In fact, it ended at the spot I am standing,

where the Susquehanna River meets the Chesapeake Bay. Barges would travel the canal, pulled by mules, until 1897, when railroad signaled it’s death knoll. The canal was stilled used locally until 1909.


Bar Harbor, Abingdon, Maryland

     Unforeseen circumstances has brought us back to Maryland. We are camping at Bar Harbor, on the Bush River in Abingdon, Maryland, for the next couple of months.

    Abingdon is the birthplace of William Paca, third Governor of Maryland, and is named after the same place in England. 

Technical Stuff: Placid Drive, Md. to Bar Harbor, Maryland: 23 miles

1 hour 2 minutes 

7.5 MPG

Diesel: $2.86

New Market, Virginia

Day 1000

     Today is the 1,000th day of our travels in the Sphinx.

     We will be returning to our house in Maryland tomorrow to celebrate our great granddaughter’s 1st birthday.

     We have pulled the Sphinx: 38,242.8 miles

     We have travelled another 40,000 miles sightseeing in the truck.

     The daily cost of our adventure is $99.14. That includes campground fees, diesel, food, propane, restaurants, attraction fees, mobile phones and internet. It does not include all the trinkets and souvenirs Barbara buys. 

     This is my 561st blog post of our adventures

Technical Stuff: Llama Farm, Tennessee to New Market, Va: 307.7 miles

5 hours 48 minutes

11.2 MPG

Diesel: $2.86

Llama Farm, Green County, Tennessee

Day 999

     Today our campsite is a llama farm in Green County, Tennessee (aren’t they the animals with a head at each end?)  

     The farm is about 3 miles from where Davy Crockett was born. He was not born on a mountaintop.

     Jerry & Carolyn, the owners, have raised llamas for over 20 years.  They purchased a dilapidated 50 year-old mobile home park next to their farm and “re-purposed” it into a quaint little 31-site campground.

     The campground is part of a 22-acre llama farm which is home to over 40 llamas and various other livestock including miniature donkeys and goats.

     Jerry was a high school principal for over 18 years and retired June 2017 to open the campground in October 2017.  Carolyn is a local artist and continues to be a high school art teacher. Carolyn periodically teaches spinning class using wool of the llamas.

Technical Stuff: Nashville, TN to Llama Farm, Green County, TN: 259.7 miles

5 hours 13 minutes

10.7 MPG

Diesel: $2.86

The Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, November 30, 1864

Day 998

     Theodrick Carter, Tod to his friends, was born March 24, 1840 in this house built by his father in 1830, Fountain Carter, located in Franklin, Tennessee.

     The name “Theodrick” had been in the Carter family since 1676. He was an exceptionally bright child who had an ear for music and was well versed in Greek, Latin, history, poetry and the Classics, skills that allowed him to study the law at a very young age.

     By the beginning of the Civil War, he had garnered a reputation as a “brilliant young lawyer,” his practice was located on Third Avenue South, not far from his home.

     When the Civil War broke out, Tod, like his brothers, enlisted in the Army of The Confederate States of America. On May 1, 1862, Tod Carter was promoted to the rank of captain and appointed assistant quartermaster. He began writing as a correspondent for the newly created Chattanooga Daily Rebel, under the byline “Mint Julep.” After surviving numerous battles Capt. Carter was captured during the Battle of Missionary Ridge on November 25, 1863, just east of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

     Capt. Carter was transported as a prisoner of war, first to Louisville, Kentucky, then on to Johnson’s Island, a Confederate officer’s prison camp near Sandusky, Ohio. (We were there, see Day 90.) In February, he was being transported to Baltimore, Maryland when he managed to jump from the transport train and escape. He was immediately pursued, but through his cunning he eventually made his way through enemy territory back to Tennessee and his Confederate company, which he rejoined. 

     On November 30, 1864, the Union forces under Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield were retreating to Nashville to join up with other Union forces in Sherman’s “March to the Sea”. The Confederate Army of Tennessee, of which Tod Carter was quartermaster, was deployed to stop them. 

     Gen. Cox, of the Union Army, believing that the Carter family farm, Tod’s birthplace, and the hill on which the house was located, “was the key to a strong defense,” took command of Fountain Carter’s home at 4:30 a.m. on the morning of the battle. The Battle of Franklin was a 5 hour battle that started that evening at 4 p.m. The Union Army of 27,000 men verses the Confederate Army of 27,000 men.

     Although Capt. Carter’s duties as assistant quartermaster exempted him from engaging in battle, he vowed, “No power on earth could keep him out of the fight.” So it would be. At 5 p.m., he mounted his horse, drew his sword, extended his arm and led the charge shouting, “I am almost home! Come with me boys!” Just 525 feet from his home, a volley of nine bullets felled the young captain, mortally wounded, but not dead, he laid on the battle field, along with 10,000 other soldiers, until found by his family just after midnight. 

     Capt. Carter was carried to his boyhood home and taken inside. Two days later, on December 2, 1864, 24-year old Capt. Tod Carter, the “brilliant young lawyer” died in the room just across from the one where he was born.

     54,000 soldiers firing on the battlefield that surrounded Carter’s home left much evidence in the form of bullet holes in all the buildings. 

     This building, which at the time served as the farm office, was not occupied at the time of the battle.

     The bullet holes are most evident from inside the building.