Saturday, August 3, 2013

Bumpass Virginia

BUMPASS VIRGINIA  by way of Camden Yards and Washington DC...

So why did the FBWG travel to a small town in Louisa County, Virginia named Bumpass....that is a long story but as I say a hike is where you look for it...and we logged a few miles on this trip.


Our first adventure began on our first day in the nation's Capitol....taking the subway to the National Mall....then making our way to Dupont Circle for a dinner at Buca's....and along the way we  logged about six miles and saw some very interesting and unexpected sights.  Taking the Metro to the Archive Station we walked up Pennsylvania Ave heading to the White House and the National Mall...

The FBWG knows a lot of US History but danged if I knew anything about General Casmir Pulaski... hero of the American Revolution. Seems that he and two other polish generals helped out the cause and Pulaski got himself killed in the process and earned himself a nice statue on Pennsylvania Avenue and in the US Capitol Building too.

Near Pulaski's statue is the Old Post Office for the District of Columbia....what a great building!

Not far from the Post Office is a statue honoring General Black Jack Pershing commander of US forces in WWI....he got his nickname because he commanded Buffalo Soldiers during the Indian Wars....this guy's military career put him in the middle of every conflict in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  He fought Indians,  Pancho Villa, charged up San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt, fought Moro Filipino Muslims and the Kaiser in Sean Hannity would say:  "A Great American"

The area between the Washington Monument and the South Portico of the White House is known as the Ellipse. Being drawn to statues folks never photograph I was drawn to an oddly posed monument dedicated to the Boy Scouts....Something about the naked Adonis following behind the young Boy Scout gave the FBWG the willies. 

Trying to get a look at the White House we were annoyed by a guard closing off a sidewalk....then I saw a fire truck turning in the driveway....first thinking that BHO had set the White House on fire, I soon realized that the fire truck was from the Navy and was a "foam unit"...

only one thing that could mean.... Marine One was on the way!

Sure enough that beautiful bird flew right over the head of the FBWG and his hiking companion!

And landed on the South Lawn of the White House....I don't care who the President is.....I got to see Air Force One land....and now Marine is an impressive sight....especially when you realize that one of the pilots of Marine One is a young man from Kvegas!

Moving from the Ellipse we viewed the Washington Monument which is currently under repairs from a Earthquake that shook Washington 2011....seems that the quake originated from a previously unknown fault ....wait for it.....Bumpass Virginia...... read the story!
As we were resting our dawgs gazing at the blue scaffolding that now encases the Monument, I heard a familiar roar.....and looked up to see Marine One doing another flyover leaving the White House!

Leaving the Washington Monument we set out for the WWII memorial.  Both the FBWG and my hiking companion had fathers who served in the Pacific. Harry Lee Collins Jr from North Carolina on Saipan as a mess sergeant for the Army Air Corps.  William Henry Faulkner from Massachusetts, a Surgical Tech sergeant on Guadalcanal.
Making our destination the MLK Memorial, we walked up the reflecting pool pausing for a rest break overlooking the Wall dedicated to soldiers who died during the Vietnam War, then we walked through the majestic Lincoln Memorial whose steps were filled with Americans of all colors and ethnicities speaking at times in an unfamiliar tongue....truly E Pluribus Unum!  

We especially wanted to spend time at the Korean of the best designed on the mall....the next day was to be a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Armistice that ended the conflict. Many Korean veterans mingled in the crowd. I spotted a father and a son touring the memorial...the son filming the father....I could not resist capturing a special moment in front of the Freedom Is Not Free Monument.

Almost hidden from view is the MLK memorial.  It is a memorial that was erected with a bit of controversy but as with every thing about Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, a closer look puts many things into perspective....I found the monument quite inspiring.  It is a simple stone wall divided into two sections.  In one section, a young MLK stands looking across the tidal basin to the Jefferson Memorial....inscribed on the stone...."Out of a mountain of despair.....Hope"

Inscribed in the Jefferson Memorial is the following quote from Thomas Jefferson penned decades before the civil war and nearly a century before the civil rights movement began to fulfill the ideals proclaimed therein. You understand  now the reason for the direction of MLK's gaze! 

"God who gave us life gave us liberty.  Can liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties as the gift of God?  Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever.  Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book for fate than those people are free 

Being that the hike thru the National Mall was not planned, we found ourselves a long way from a Metro map said it was behind the Agriculture Building.  The landmark we used was the Smithsonian Castle Tower. But it was a great walk nevertheless on a cool July day with low humidity....can you believe it?

Taking the Metro to Dupont Circle was least until my hiking companion slipped on water while exiting the station and blew out her flip flop Jimmy Buffet style.  Forcing her to walk five blocks without a shoe was not a big deal in the eclectic environ of Dupont Circle.  Thankfully a RiteAid was on the corner...with a purchase ten dollar kid size flip flops she was back in business...and we arrived at our destination.....BUCA' great family style Italian Restaurant which features a Pope Room with a bust of JPII on a swivel in the middle of the can't get more Italian than this!


On day two of our DC stay we were treated to a guided tour of the Capitol by one of Senator Burr's interns.  Only wanting to highlight portions of the tour that were interesting this is by design an abstract view of the building.
The first being the cornerstone laid by George Washington.

Then we got to visit inside the ornate Senate Appropriations Committee Room the place where they decide to waste our tax money!  They even had a seat marked for "Mrs Collins".....of course that is the Susan Collins, Senator from Maine not the Susan Collins who works for Senator Richard Burr....
We were shown a very ornate chandelier which the tour guide told us was insured for millions of dollars..... then another in statuary hall....
I love Statuary Hall where two heroes of every state are enshrined....North Carolina chose Zebulon Vance, Civil War 
Governor, Lawyer and US Senator....and Charles Aycock purportedly the "Father of Education" in North Carolina but in truth was the "Father of Jim Crow" in the South.   
Aycock's placement in this hallowed hall is an embarrassment to the Old North State. 
His statue should be removed and replaced by one of Billy Graham, imho.... 
At the peak of the dome of the Rotunda is a painting known as the Apotheosis of George Washington.  It is hard to see but is very beautiful.
Our tour was cut short by the closing of the Capitol so the tour guide took us to visit Senator Burr's office, a trip which allowed us to ride the underground railroad linking the Senate office buildings to the Capitol..... On the way we got a glimpse of the dome from a sky light. 

While visiting the Senator's office....we got to see the inner sanctum....RB's personal office....and I was impressed with his high dollar red neck eclectic North Carolina decor....the hometown boy has done good!

Leaving Senator Burr's office we took a stroll around  the Capitol and photographed what I am calling the "Shadow of Freedom"...Freedom is the name of the mythological figure which adorns the top of the Capitol Dome
"Shadow of Freedom"

CAMDEN YARDS aka Fenway South

On the third day of our trip, we traveled to Baltimore for an afternoon baseball game between the Orioles and the Red Sox.

Great Seats beneath the overhang

Jon Lester Pitch

Jon Lester was on the mound....and Big Papi went 4 for 4 with a nice opposite field homerun....

Home Run Pitch
Foul Pole from Memorial Stadium

Camden Yards is a wonderful ballpark and on a Sunday afternoon there were plenty of open seats, so we moved around enjoying many views of the game.

Center Field
Right Field Shift

We ended the game...a 5-0 shut out in right field hoping to catch a home run from Big Papi David Ortiz
No home runs were hit but we enjoyed the lively banter between overly imbibing fans of the Orioles and the Red Sox as we sat beneath the Daily Sun Score Board. 
Baltimore is so rich in baseball history and lore that the folks at Camden Yards paid tribute to a young lad from Baltimore who made a name in the game....George Herman "Babe Ruth"

Photographing the statue on the way in I did consider what the Babe was looking at....but on the way out I understood the direction of his gaze....

Chin Music


At long last on Day Four we proceeded to rural Louisa County, Virginia.  I represent an estate in which there is a piece of real property located in Bumpass could the FBWG resist....The origin of the name is related to the Bon Pas family who immigrated to the area from France. Bon Pas is translated "Good Path" but to Virginia was easier just to say Bump Ass...and the name stuck!

Louisa County is the place where the Lake Anna Nuclear Power Plant is located.  It seems that large portions of the county were flooded to create Lake Anna for the purpose of using the water to cool the nuclear plant.  Lake Anna is a beautiful blue lake.

The temperature for the day was in the mid eighties and as we enjoyed a sandwich in a lakeside restaurant.  Watching a boat leave the dock made me wish to return to the place with a jet ski!
Of course I am not sure if anyone else picked this up....but in 2011 Louisa County was the center point of an earthquake which rocked Washington DC ...and Louisa County is the location of a nuclear power plant....hmmm.

We figured that we must have walked at least 10 miles or more in our four day excursion to Bumpass Virginia.  On the way home, we did not care to backtrack to I-95 and deal with Richmond traffic so we made our Garmin trek us through rural Virginia by way of South Boston....on the way we stumbled upon the legendary Keysville Virginia the place of many tall tales told by my brother in law who used to run a textile plant in this small Virginia hamlet...we stopped and texted him this picture as proof!

What a great four day mostly unplanned excursion....10+++!!  But I dare anyone to try to recreate this hike!
Big Papi with a Big Swing

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