Thursday, September 25, 2008

Valley Forge

Quote of the Day--"It is better to build a child through education than to fix a broken adult"--bumper sticker on a pick-up in Maryland. Great insight! If you haven't considered a donation to the Panhandle Alliance for Education's early childhood literacy program please do so today. Simply go to the donation section of the website and make your pledge or donation. Thanks for your support.

Currently in Crownsville Maryland, about 7706 miles into the trip. Spent Tuesday riding from the Philadelphia area to a small Amish community outside of York Pa. Stayed at with a fellow cross-country cyclist whom I met and rode through Yellowstone in early July. Yesterday continued riding through Amish farm country into Maryland. Beautiful riding weather.

Tuesday I toured the Valley Forge National Historical Park. Valley Forge was the 1777-78 winter encampment for George Washington and the American Revolutionary War Continental Army.

Image if you will, what Washington and his men went through that winter. The British had just captured Philadelphia, the capital of the America, and they had defeated Washington in the Battle of Brandywine. In early December of 1777 the British settled in for the winter in the comfort of the captured city of Philadelphia. Washington and his men crossed the Schuylkill River and arrived at Valley Forge on December 19th and began setting up winter camp for 11,000 men.

Washington was without supplies, many of the men didn't have blankets, shoes or adequate clothing to face the winter weather and the entire army had to build shelters from the surrounding forests. Few of the men had any military training and up to 30% of the men became extremely ill, many of whom died. Things must have looked bleak for the Americans. Washington wrote to Congress that "unless some great and capital change suddenly takes place.....this army must inevitably.....starve, dissolve or disperse....."

Somehow in the face of tremendous odds, supplies started coming in, huts were built, proper training took place and the American army emerged and ultimately defeated the British several years later. One has to wonder if our leadership of today would be capable of dealing with the crisis that Washington and Congress faced in 1777-78!!!!!

Did you know that the Philadelphia area was home to a major movie studio producing more than 100 movies from 1917 to 1922???? Today the studio is home to many businesses and residents.

Planning on taking the next four days of to spend time with friends and my wife who is flying in tomorrow. After that I will embark on the final month of my journey hoping to arrive in Key West in early November.

Have a great weekend and thanks for your support and well wishes.


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