This article first appeared in the Carroll County Times on Sunday July 26, 2015.
Merriam-Webster simply defines Road Trip as a long trip in a car, truck, etc. A pretty simple definition for such a meaningful paired two words.
After a weekend of exploring the lesser traveled dirt roads of Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia, I sit down at my writer’s desk to pen this week’s column. The only pre-planned part of the weekend was to meet up with friends in the George Washington National Forest Saturday afternoon to camp for the night. The invitation from Alex and Ben at DirtRoadTrip.com went something like this, “We’ll be at coordinates so and so, come find us.”
So I set out to find them.
This weekend we celebrate the beginning of summer. Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of summer. I urge everyone to stop and say a prayer with family and friends at the picnic table giving thanks for those Americans that have given of themselves making this weekend possible.
“In wilderness is the salvation of mankind” Thoreau
When was the last time you were alone; alone with only your thoughts? No radio or TV influencing your thoughts, no cell phone waiting to ring interrupting your dreams, no I-pod in your ears deflecting your mind’s free flow of ponderings. Self reflection in nature.
When was the last time you were alone in a wild place? A place clean of manmade structures blocking the view of the far off horizon, a wild place void of man’s touch. Not a groomed park with marked trails and interpretive signs explaining what you should be seeing; a wild place of random nature as only our creator could produce.
Washington DC was filled to capacity with visitors gawking at the spring time cherry blossoms. They can have the pretty little flowers, I had fish to catch. Recently, I had learned of a historic place of fishing lore, Fletcher’s Cove.
Shad fishing was once the welcoming spring ritual for me. If you wanted to find me in April, the best place to look would have been Deer Creek at the Stafford Bridge or any one of the lesser know shad holding holes between the bridge and the mouth of the creek at the Susquehanna River. However, over the last few springs the distance between me and Deer Creek has separated me from this welcoming of spring.
Having lived on the edge of Washington DC for 2 years now, I have noticed one big thing – The Washington Monument. It cannot be missed. No matter where you go, the tall pointy stone object is in view.
So, I got to thinking, what is the monument all about anyhow? After doing some reading and research I learned some interesting facts about the monument and thought I would pass them along.
The first time on the trail with the new Tacoma
Driving a stock Tacoma has caused me to have to think about where I’m going out to play. Once the snows got deep up in the mountains, I had to think about getting the truck stuck and not having a winch to free myself. But spring is here and the snow is gone. I still have to think before I travel the road less taken. Driving a stock truck without the advantages of steel protection and self recovery can cause unwanted damage to the truck and not to mention the embarrassing phone call for help to recover a stuck truck.
Parking on the shoulder of the road to go squirrel hunting a few days after getting the Tacoma
The Big Oak towers over the valley below. He is the elder of the forest. No other has stood as long. He has watched others come and go.
I first walked upon him 25 years ago; an old tree in a young forest. The others around him have grown, but as long as he stands, they’ll never be the oldest.
Adventure – an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity.
Life is an adventure, even if surrounded by big tall buildings. The journey of my life path is in a direction of total unexpectation. From the encouragement of family and friends, I am embarking on an adventure I could have never dreamed. From May through October, I will be setting up a tent and selling my framed photographs along West Street in Annapolis, MD at the First Sunday’s Art Festival.
- Augie’s Adventures new Toyota Tacoma is in need of upgrades.
Patience is not one of my strengths. I’ve been driving my new truck for almost a full month and I have yet to begin upgrading it worthy of Amazon Rain Forest travel. Oh, but I’ve burned my eye balls on the computer screen scanning places like AllPro Off-Road, CARiD, and other aftermarket part suppliers looking for the right Toyota Tacoma improvements.