400 years... and still sailing.
Spent the long weekend on the Chesapeake Bay with two friends and their children. M. and I immediately hit it off when we realized we were both the only other modern day brides we knew whom had received guns as wedding gifts, and have many of the same outdoor interests: archery, fishing, sailing, camping, and agriculture.
Sailor husbands, a shared love of history, their two children who immediately fell in with our children cemented the friendship.
What I love about sailing with Mr. H. is that, as a history teacher, he pulls in something interesting of note to every adventure we have. As a Virginian, I've grown up with this history- I have 1600s settler and Indian blood, so, heck, my family lived it! But his recounting of our tales makes it new and exciting, for myself, my immigrant husband, and the next generation.
Yesterday, at a leisurely 12ish knots on the Bay with the children, we discussed Captain John Smith's near-deathbed at what is now known as Stingray Point- so named because he was stung, and then, with the help of the Indians, taken to a point to be "healed" with mud, now appropriately named Antipoison Creek. We sailed in sight of both.
Pochohantas was born nearby, and here, pirates pillaged and prospered.
Our discussion turned towards alternative energy, and wind power.
As sailors, we know the winds and tides better than most. But as a green building gal, I explained my hesitation- that what wind we harness on the water is not so accessible inland in most places, so for ourselves, it is just not as efficient a technology.
For other alternative energies, I look forward to see what comes to the marketplace in the next 18 months. It is an exciting time for energy.
Coming home, we took a detour off the interstate and traveled along the *old* highway, route 60, which was the main road in the '50's & '60's. I always love these lanes, because you travel from town to town, and can really see the spirit and strength of entrepreneurial communities, despite massive corporate culture. Cultural, historic, small town tourism is on the rise.
And thank goodness. For much of the 80s till now they struggled against NAFTA, against larger cities, faster processing plants, outdated industries. They still do, and many business models need to be re-thought or abandoned.
People are finally looking at themselves, their small, beautiful parades manned by volunteers, realizing their culture is not only valuable to themselves, but others- a rise of gentle tourism, helping these communities economically, bettering their schools, their industry, and financially allowing them to preserve their structures.
We passed a Bicentennial farm and admired new additions to the local culture, like a Mexican restaurant and little specialty stores... these are places where you should stop, enjoy the community, make friends, take in and hopefully preserve the beautiful scenery.
As people start to look more close to home for their vacations, as the rise of eco-tourism spreads, as communities begin to realize the value of bike trails and their local culture, maybe more of these small towns will experience a resurgence. I hope so.
By the way- for those with a love of history- in researching Bicentennial farms I randomly came across this great link of Virginia historical markers- http://www.markeroni.com/catalog/cats_tag.php?tag=virginia&country=USA&state=VA
Here's some other photos that didn't fit into the post...
Hope you enjoy.
And one more thing: To all the regular, fellow die-hard volunteers that read this, wherever you are in the world, that make the parades happen, that carry on community sports, veterans, the Rotary Clubs, the Moose lodges, the Shriners, the many wonderful organizations that make people laugh, feed, encourage cultural exchanges, that glean from the fields for the foodbank, and help in any way your local community:
Thank you for all you do.