Sunday, June 14th
Most of us were up by 7:00 a.m. We dined on cereal and juice before beginning our trek on Skyline Drive at 1:00 a.m. The day was beautiful and the drive offered lots of fabulous views and great pictures. We stopped at many of the overlooks for glimpses of the meandering Shenandoah Valley. Deer were abundant along the road as well as in our campground. We stopped at one overlook spot and took a four mile round-trip hike to Mary's Rock, a mountain peak at 3504 feet. It certainly gave us a taste for the strenuous trails available in the park. We had a picnic lunch at one of the park's pleasant picnic areas. We continued the drive south to milepost 67 before turning around and making our way back to Matthew's Arm. After a quick supper of hot dogs, baked beans, and chips, we attended an inter-denominational church service in the park. We returned to our site for a few rip-roaring rounds of Uno and then walked back to the amphitheater for an informational program on poisonous snakes. At the conclusion of the program, we went back to camp to gain another night's rest.
Monday, June 15th
We were up in good time, had breakfast, and broke camp, moving on to Charlottesville and the home of Thomas Jefferson, Monticello. We arrived there at about 11:30 a.m. We took the shuttle bus to the house and toured the house and grounds in the 93 degree sweltering temperatures. We ate lunch there at a nice shaded picnic area before loading up to head for Virginia Beach. We arrived at Virginia Beach, found Seashore State Park and began setting up camp by about 6:30 p.m. After filling our tanks with chili, we walked to the beach, just behind our campsite. The guys enjoyed the sand and the water, being very cautious of the sand crabs and jellyfish. The older guys were disappointed that there wasn't a better display of female swimwear, but they combed the beached anyway in an effort to maybe find the unexpected. We came back to camp and thoroughly enjoyed the luxury of showers, clean hair, and clean bodies. with that, we settled in for a peaceful night among the unusual twisting trees and pine needles.
Tuesday, June 16th
We were out of the sack at 7:30 a.m. We dined on cereal and milk and then spent the morning at the beach. The highlight of the trip was burying Kevin in the sand up to his head. It was so tempting to walk away and leave him there! We all enjoyed the water and sand. The guys took a final search for girls, and then we took one more final advantage of the showers before lunch. We packed the van again and left the park about 1:00 p.m., going to Jamestown. We spent about 3 1/2 hours touring Jamestown. The Scouts especially enjoyed the glass house. We also took a walking tour of the village site and a driving tour of the island. Leaving Jamestown, we backtracked some to get to Langley AFB. There we met Captain Karmelin, their Scout liaison, who showed us our quarters for the next two nights. He also showed us other facilities we could use such as the dining hall, showers!, bowling alley, and swimming pool. We then went to a park on base to cook up a late supper of Hamburger Helper. Just as it was getting dark, we returned to our sleeping quarters, the youth center, to unload the van. Next, we all went over to the billets for nice clean, warm showers. Soon we were back at our temporary lodging facilities, bedding down on exercise mats and in the comfort of air conditioning.
Wednesday, June 17th
Due to our temporary stay among the military, we were up bright and early at 6:00 a.m. We dressed and cleared out our gear prior to going to the base dining hall for breakfast. Here, we thoroughly enjoyed and marveled at piling our plates with anything we wanted. All nine of us ate for $8.90. The food was good and we left stuffed. We went into Williamsburg and spent a very hot day walking and touring the colonial town. It was very hot and we enjoyed a stop now and then for cold cider. As lunchtime closed in and we were nearing the end of our tour, the Scouts voted to finish our sightseeing before returning to the van for a meal. We completed seeing the sights of Colonial Williamsburg, walked back to the van, got gas, and proceeded back to Langley AFB. We got back in time for supper, so we feasted at the base dining hall. We all really enjoyed the meals there. For $15.45, we were all stuffed to the gills. Most of us even topped our meal off with an ice cream sundae. We then returned to the youth center for a couple of hours of pool, fussball, and video games. We finished off the day with refreshing showers before bedding down for the night.
Thursday, June 18th
This day also began early, rising at 6:00 a.m. It was necessary for us to be up and out when the center opened at 7:00 a.m. We headed for our last trip through the base chow line. again, we overloaded ourselves for a mere $11.90. We then left Langley, this time for good, and went to Yorktown to view the famous battlefield. We took the auto tour of both the field and the town as well as observing exhibits displayed in the visitor's center. We particularly enjoyed those places where actors took us back in time to the 19th century. We then left this area, heading north to our destination for the night, Brandywine, Maryland. After making a quick stop at a grocery for a few items, we began looking for a picnic area. We had some difficulty finding a place and thus got sidetracked. We ended up having lunch on the Potomac River at Westmoreland State Park, a little bit off the beaten track. However, this lead us by another interesting site, George Washington's birthplace. We spent an unexpected hour taking this in. Then again, we went north crossing the Virginia/Maryland border and headed for Cedarville State Forest, just outside of Brandywine, Maryland. We entered the park at 6:50 p.m. and set up camp. Next, all of us went into town to do our laundry except Mark and Kevin. They stayed back at camp and did a superb job of consolidating the food and preparing spaghetti for all of us. The rest of us returned to camp about 9:45 p.m. We ate a late supper, took quick showers, and hit the sack in preparation for another early morning.
Friday, June 19th
Today was our earliest morning! We got up a little before 6:00 a.m. so we could eat breakfast, drive into Washington, and get to the White House for an 8:30 a.m. tour. After arriving at the president's home, we waited for about 20 minutes before entering the metal detectors. We were taken on an hour tour of selected rooms of the mansion. We especially enjoyed talking with our guide, a member of the United States Secret Service. He informed us among other things that the Reagan's have 72 servants and workers in the White House and that the secret service arrests 132 people a year during public tours. The arrests are usually because of vandalism or terrorism. Leaving the White House, we stopped to feed the van's parking meter, and then walked by the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Memorial. The heat was more than enough for us so we stopped for cold drinks before walking to the Ellipse. At the Ellipse we watched as some Iranian students led a protest against Kohemeini. We then walked to the Dept. of the Interior, viewed the museum, and then ate in the cafeteria there. From there we fed the meter, visited the Boy Scout Memorial and went to the FBI Building for our tour. We again traipsed through the metal detectors, each Scout having to remove his skill award ladened belt, and waited about a half an hour before beginning the tour. We enjoyed this tour which ended with an interesting firearms demonstration. Realizing that the van's parking meter expired at 4:00 p.m., John and Terry left ahead of the rest of the group to move the van. It was 4:05 p.m. when they left the FBI Building, and knowing the meter had run out, John ran the last quarter mile. luckily' John arrived at the van just as the metermaid was opening her book for our vehicle. John slyly jumped in the van and pulled away, not waiting to see her response. After regrouping, we drove to the Jefferson Memorial, got more cold drinks, and walked up to the Jefferson's statue. Lastly, we drove to the Washington Monument and took the elevator to the top of the 555 ft. structure to see the sights of our capital city. From there we left D.C., stopped for groceries and gas, and returned to camp. we ate a hearty meal of hamburgers and fries before turning in fairly early.
Saturday, June 20th
This morning we enjoyed the luxury of sleeping in. We let everybody get up and shower on their own schedule. We then fixed a big breakfast of sausage and eggs before heading into D.C. for another hot and humid day of sightseeing. We drove in to the city and found a good free parking space near the Washington Monument at about 12:00 p.m. We all started together at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. At 3:00 p.m., everybody left the museum and proceeded on their own, planning to rejoin at the van at 9:00 p.m. It started to threaten rain so John and Terry went back to the van early. A little before 9:00 p.m. Kevin and Steve arrived at the van soaking wet, informing John that everyone was at the Air and Space Museum and would like picked up. So, in a few minutes we were again rejoined and headed for the Jefferson Memorial to begin our night viewing and photography of the monuments. We spent two hours wandering the dark streets of D.C. to get vistas of the spectacular sights. We headed back to camp, stopping at a 7-11 for milk and ice. When we reached camp, most of the Scouts went straight to bed, opting for no meal.
Sunday, June 21st
We let the guys sleep in again and had a relaxing breakfast before leaving camp at noon for another day of sightseeing. We first headed for Arlington Cemetery where we spent about two hours viewing the more famous parts of the grounds. The last 30 minutes of our stay met us with a heavy downpour of rain. Needless to say, we were all drenched clear through. We got back to the van and, of course, it slacked off to nothing and then stopped completely. From there we went to the Iwo Jima Memorial and then into D.C. to the U.S. Archives. By this time, things were closing up so we headed back towards camp, stopping at McDonald's for supper. We proceeded on to Cedarville State Forest, our temporary home. We spent a couple of hours around camp with some of us calling home before showering and turning in for the night.
Monday, June 22nd
We arose early today so as to get a good start for our last full day in the city. We left camp at 7:45 a.m. and headed straight for the capitol. Our first stop was Senator Glenn's office to get passes to go in the senate and house chambers and in hopes of seeing Mr. Glenn. He was out of the office, so we got our passes and went on to the capitol for our tour. It was a brief tour, omitting the rotunda since they were cleaning and painting in the dome. We saw both chambers, although neither parts of Congress were in session. From there we went to Ford's Theater and the house where Lincoln died. We then found a nice park to stop at for our PB&J sandwiches. After eating, we parked the van and most of the guys went to the Bureau of Printing & Engraving. Then we went to the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials to get the guys D.C. T-shirts. After making the big purchase, John found a shady spot to park on the Ellipse and gave the guys three hours to roam the city. At 6:00 p.m. they were to return to the van. Everyone was back on time except for the "motley three", Kevin, Jeff, and Steve. John drove around the town some and then back to the Ellipse. By 6:50 p.m. we were all united and on our way to camp. We made a pit stop for ice and milk and then headed for Cedarville State Forest to fix supper and turn in. Everything in camp is damp due to rain showers we have received over the last three afternoons.
Tuesday, June 23rd
We were up in good time today, packing up our wet belongings to move on down the pike. We enjoyed a breakfast of French toast and bacon before leaving the park at 8:20 a.m. We headed for our last glimpse of D.C. and to see the TV and movie exhibit at the Smithsonian. This exhibit was to reopen today after they had added the superman memorabilia. We got to D.C., found a good parking space, and were there when the doors opened only to be disappointed by the fact that the exhibit would not he reopened until tomorrow. So we loaded up and left Washington behind us, heading for our next destination, Patapsco State Park, outside of Baltimore. An hour and a half later, we arrived at the park. Since we couldn't find a ranger, we decided to set up camp in a site of our own choosing. It certainly helped to be able to set things up in the warm sunshine and dry things out a bit. After setting up, we sat down for a lunch of hot dogs, chips, fruit, and pudding. About that time, the ranger walked up and informed us that we couldn't stay in that area of the park because of dangerous trees. He said that we'd have to tear down and move to an area about 20 minutes away by car. So, with some thinking and deliberating, we decided to head on for Ft. McHenry and camp further on up the highway. We tore down our now dry tents and went on to the fort. Once at the fort, we took the tour, saw the movie, and listened to a ranger's talk. We then drove on and settled for the night at a very nice, clean Delaware State Park Lum's Pond. We set up camp and had ravioli for dinner before taking a late night cruise into town to do laundry.
Wednesday, June 24th
We were glad now we had driven the extra miles yesterday since we used that time this morning to catch up on some sleep. We woke up and were anxious for showers. However, the restrooms were locked up. John and Terry drove to the main entrance of the park to find out what was going on. It turns out that their transformer got struck by lightning and they had lost all their power. So, we went on with breakfast and the guys unanimously voted to wait around until noon, hoping that the transformer would be repaired by then and the showers would be opened. Noon came and went with no unlocking of the restrooms. The guys enjoyed the morning though, working up a sweat playing Frisbee pickle. At 12:45 p.m., John said we'd have to use the cold water faucet to clean up so we could get going. So, we all took a chilly sponge bath before sitting down to lunch. And then, just as Murphy's Law would have it, they unlocked the restrooms. We mumbled through lunch and then drove on into Philadelphia. We got to the city about 3:34 p.m., but by the time we found the visitor's center and oriented ourselves, we only had about an hour and a half to see things. We toured Independence Hall and then walked over to see the Liberty Bell. The pavilion was closed, but we could see the bell through the window. We walked through the historic area a little more before heading back to camp. We made a brief stop for milk and ice and then went to camp to feast on soup and grilled cheese. After supper, we all made a beeline for the now open showers. After cleaning up, we ate some smores and were off to bed.
Thursday, June 25th
We got up in good time, ate, packed up, and went into Philadelphia to see a few more things. After arriving in Philadelphia, we made a stop at Franklin Court and The Benjamin Franklin underground museum. We then went to the Liberty Bell Pavillion for a closer look than we had had yesterday. Lastly, we took the self-guided tour of the Philadelphia Mint where we saw the making of coins. Upon leaving Philadelphia, we headed for Valley Forge. We took the auto tour as well as saw a movie and picnicked on the grounds. It was clearly evident that all of us had been on many tours, walked over other battlefields, and seen several movies. We were certainly tiring of the less than casual sights. By 5:00 p.m., we left Valley Forge and headed on for our camping spot near Gettysburg. While many of us slept, John drove us into Caledonia State Park in Fayettesville, Pa. It was a very nice clean park with a pool. Unfortunately, we got in too late to use the pool and the vote was to leave early in the morning and not stay for swimming. So, we set up camp, ate supper, some of us showered and went to bed.
Thursday, June 26th
With everyone anxious to get home, we were up, had breakfast, packed and loaded to go at 7:00 a.m. We headed into Gettysburg and were there when the visitor's center opened at 8:00 a.m. We looked around at the civil war relics, got a map, and left to begin the two hour auto tour of the battlefield. We stopped at various points on the drive to explore and take pictures. We eventually finished the tour in the rain at Gettysburg cemetery. Jeff Hopper pointed out that our last big downpour occurred when we visited Arlington Cemetery. We then went to the visitor's center to view a movie, the cyclorama painting, and the electric map presentation. After seeing these, we hit the road and made our last stop for groceries and probably next to last for gas. John inquired at an ice cream shop to see if we could use their outside tables for lunch. The reply was good so we fixed our last meal on propane - hot dogs and soup. We topped the meal with delicious ice cream. We were then on the trek home. After a few miles north to the interstate, we were heading west! Traveling went well as everyone was anxious to reach the home territory. We crossed the West Virginia/Ohio border at 7:45 p.m. and then began looking for a Pizza Hut to chow down. We soon found one, near Cambridge and demolished three large pizzas and four pitchers of pop before returning to the road home. We were close to our supposed stop for the night but with everyone refueled, we decided to travel a little farther. We reached the east side of Columbus in what seemed a short time and John took a vote. It was unanimous! Everyone agreed to drive on home tonight and then return to John and Terry's house tomorrow morning to unload and clean up the van. The trip went well. Most of the guys slept. We arrived in Englewood at 1:00 a.m. We delivered everyone to their homes and we all enjoyed a peaceful night's sleep in our own beds.
Saturday, June 27th
The gang reunited at 10:00 a.m. at John and Terry's house to finish unloading and cleaning out the van. Everyone worked hard and then ate a continental breakfast of doughnuts, milk, and juice. Work was completed and everybody headed home by 12:30 p.m. John and Terry then returned the van to Steve Tatone after putting a total of 2839.5 miles on the new vehicle.
Special thanks to Scoutmaster John Combs for writting this.
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