Day 2: Dead authors, DC suits

Elkton, MD to Fredericksburg, VA

Visiting Scott and Zelda’s Grave

For a while, I’d wanted to visit Scott Fitzgerald’s grave to pay tribute to the great writer. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald are buried in Rockville, MD, in the graveyard of St. Mary’s Church (Catholic). Their only connection with Rockville is that Fitzgerald’s father was born there and their family plot is there. Today, Rockville is a busy DC suburb.

There’s no sign saying where the grave is, but I walked around and found it.

The church

There they sleep quietly, beside heavily trafficked Rockville Pike in the middle of busy Rockville.

Weird things department: there was a deer prancing around the graveyard.

A quick visit to DC

Unscheduled stop! Decided to go into DC and drive by the US Capitol.

For road geeks only: Thanks to Google Maps, I avoided a long drive through DC by taking the Beltway into Virginia, then George Washington Parkway and over the Arland D. Williams Jr Memorial Bridge into DC. (The bridge was named for a heroic Air Florida passenger who saved five others in the 1982 crash before he died.)

I entered DC on an unfamiliar route, passing a Southwest marina, the US Botanic Garden’s beautiful glass palace, the Library of Congress, and the Supreme Court. And actually found (metered) street parking!

Back in VA

Next stop was Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, which is four important Civil War battle sites.

An NPS film emphasized that by 1862, the Union realized that it couldn’t beat the Confederacy by military means alone, so they decided to attack the South’s economy. Then Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, to make the war about freeing slaves, not just preserving the union. Once they were in it, they went all out to win, with shocking losses of life. It all reminded me of the First World War. (Disclaimer: The parallel only goes so far, and I am not equating fighting slavery to whatever the hell the First World War was fought for.)

Lowering clouds at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center

Right after that shot an enormous thunderstorm broke out and was over in 15 minutes.

Cross-USA Road Trip Day 1: Geography geeking in Delaware

New York City to Elkton, MD

I got on the subway to go to pick up the car, and I had the feeling Paul Theroux did at the beginning of his trip to Patagonia – I am getting on the subway, but while most people here are commuting within the city, I am going to San Francisco by car (by a very circuitous route).

The rental agent at National, Shelley, was really nice. She was excited about my trip and she asked for the best car she could for me. She said lots of foreign tourists take rental cars cross country, but it’s unusual for an American to do it. And what a sweet ride, a black late model Nissan Altima.

Leaving home!

A perfect day.

12:35 PM. After zipping through states #1 and 2, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, I got to the first stop on my trip – Ebright Azimuth, the highest natural point in Delaware (447.85 feet – OK, not a mountain).

Ebright Azimuth!

I drove to New Castle, Delaware to visit the courthouse museum, and was surprised to find it’s in the middle of a beautiful, and beautifully preserved, historic area. The courthouse is the center of the twelve-mile circle that partly defines the boundaries of Delaware. Wikipedia

The New Castle Courthouse Museum

It was closed for a school group visit so I couldn’t go inside.

From New Castle I drove over to White Clay Creek State Park, and took my first hike of the trip. I went to the Arc Corner, the very eastern end of the Mason-Dixon line, and where Delaware’s arc meets a straight line.

The Arc Corner and the Tripoint
A stylized map carving on top of the Arc Corner Monument, looking a lot like modern sculpture
The Pennsylvania side of the Arc Corner Monument

There’s a public trail within the park that goes to the DE-MD-PA tripoint. It crosses the PA-DE line many times, and there’s a sign each time. After about 30 minutes I got to the tripoint. It has Ps and Ms carved on the sides but no D! Delaware wuz robbed! It does say MDP on top, though.

P
M
The top of the tristate monument

Next – Maryland.

What I have been doing

It’s been a while since I’ve committed a text post to this, my blog. You, the readers, have been patiently waiting (lol). 605 has taken up a lot of my time, and it’s been fruitful for them and for me. Family takes up lots of time too. And reading. I am still working on reading biographies of all the US Presidents. Right now I am up to Richard Nixon.

Random Blurting

This is not an easy post to write. Not because of its content, because I am wrestling with WordPress.

 

A view from his room.