I do not have to tell you 2020 is different and horrific for us all – pandemic, loss of life (by both virus and knee), loss of jobs and security, students without needed routine and graduation traditions, lack of equality, and the absolute failure of “supposed leadership” to exhibit understanding, compassion, empathy and leadership. I usually do not share my deepest thoughts or opinions, but on my last point above, I must tell you that when in Paris in October, 2016, just prior to our national election, I felt embarrassed to be an American. Now, I am ashamed, and through no fault of my own.
The day before I left the hospital, following my second back operation on 25 February, the first New Hampshire case of Covid-19 was recognized in a staff member at the hospital. Everyone’s plans changed. You know I have enjoyed exploring the past several years, and shared those explorations here. My May, 2020, cruise of the Chesapeake was cancelled. My various road trips for this year remain in piles of brochures and notes. BLUE BELLE and BLACK BEAUTY will not see miles this year simply exploring locally – there are no places open to eat at, nor venues or attractions to “play” at.
But, those who know me, know that I stay positive and “accept and adjust.” There is always someone worse off to pray for. I can still plan my journeys following Benedict Arnold’s route through Maine to capture Quebec City. I can still plan to explore the Great Lakes Seaway Trail through New York State. I can be ready to head on the road again.
It occurred to me, however. I have trips I never got to finish sharing, or share at all with you. So, to relive those adventures myself, and to share as I like to do, I am hopefully going to finally bring you at least the following:
Voyage to Antiquity – Around the Aegean September, 2010
Amazing adventure; and,
a year before I began writing Shunpiking with Ray
More Maine Explorations – August 2016
Drifting Continents, Dinosaurs, and a Glacial Lake
City of Pittsburgh – October 2018
Coast to Coast to Coast, June 2019
I have to finish and get you back to the East Coast by Train
Lakes Locks and Long River, September 2019
I left you stuck on the Hudson River, and we need to get to NYC
Now that I have said I want to share these adventures, I have to do it. Stay well, and stay safe – as always, yours, RAY
as always a pleasure to reflect on your thoughts and travels, looking forward to more
Ray, Regarding your first paragraph. I feel the same way. I have this theory every great nation gets a couple of centuries. Then internecine conflict sets in and decline ensues. I fear the United States has reached that point. George