"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


We have continually changed the way we travel.  15 years ago when we started this adventure, we would stay in furnished apartments for three months while I worked at hospitals across the country.  Mike would find part time work that would give him time off on my days off so we could experience the area. We would pack up and move to the next place we wanted to see. once I completed a contract.
Sometimes, we would go home to Colorado for a while until we got the itch to get back out there again. This was usually during ski season. Snow birding backwards.
Then we tried 3 months in a place working and travel three months in our trailer. Now, we spent 6 months in Arizona and now driving to Maine to work for two months in the summer. That has given us a new experience of driving 50-200 miles to stop and see what is there.
We left Arizona two months ago. Now as we look back, it has been a whirlwind of so much diversity. Our time frame has been based on dates that we had plans but everything in between has been "winging it". It is strange and wonderful to know that we are doing this.
I guess we have found that there is no "one way" of living life.
Monticello, Thomas's Jefferson's Home
We didn't get the opportunity to visit Monticello when we lived in Bethesda, MD several years ago. This was a great opportunity for us to make the stop and enjoy a tour, even if it was still raining. We stayed outside of Charlottesville, VA in the KOA which was pretty handy.
 Thomas Jefferson is said to be one of the most quoted and misquoted figures in American history.
Having inherited a considerable land estate from his father, Jefferson began building Monticello when he was twenty-six years old. Jefferson inherited slaves from both his father and father-in-law. In a typical year, he owned about 200, almost half of them under the age of sixteen.

 Thomas Jefferson -- author of the Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, third president of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia.
This weather vane is on the underside of the porch so Mr. Jefferson would not have to go out in the weather to see which way the wind was blowing. He had the vane run through the ceiling and liked to make living easier by inventing new ways of doing things.

Thomas Jefferson's carriage traveled at three miles per hour. It took him 6 days to get to Washington DC.

Wine and beer were made for the family and guests in the lower quarters.

What a great old tree.
Even though it was raining, we put on our rain gear and walked the grounds. Needless to say, the crowds were not huge. But visitors that traveled from all over the world to see this UNESCO World Heritage Site got out and took the tours.
Thomas Jefferson was badly in debt when he died. It could have been due to all of the people that came to visit and didn't leave for quite some time or all of the extended family that lived with him. He would buy many many books at a time and barrels of wine to share. But the economic downturn towards the end of his life probably made the debt much worse.

The family cemetary 
The tour guide was very good and our group small.

 Mitchie's Tavern

MICHIE TAVERN, located ½ mile below Jefferson’s Monticello, accommodated travelers with food, drink and lodging more than 200 years ago. Today, we experienced the Tavern’s past through a recreated 18th-century tavern life.
Servers in period attire served Southern Midday Fare.  The rustic restaurant serves up  an 18th-century buffet of southern fried chicken, marinated baked chicken, hickory-smoked pork barbecue, stewed tomatoes, black-eyed peas, buttermilk biscuits and so much more. I don't know if that is what they really ate. Most of the pictures showed thin people. But that is what the story is.

The humidity was making many of my pictures blurred. This was such a good lunch but a bit spendy at $18.95 for fried chicken, very good fried chicken.
We returned the next morning to stoll around the grounds once the rain had stopped.

Not only was this a gristmill, it served as a pre-hospital facility during the Civil War. The owner of the gristmill convinced the Union officer leading the troops that the apparent slaves working the mill were actually feed men earning wages.

The return to this area brought back many good memories of my time working at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, MD 12 years ago. I remember taking care of people from the embassies, lobbyists and people that had emigrated here under difficult circumstances, like an official that worked for the Shah of Iran in the 1970s. They often were more than willing to share their experiences with all of the time spent in a hospital bed or at the bedside of someone they care about.
We had considered riding our bikes on the C&O Canal but had done that many times on our previous visit. This worked out well. It was a great new experience and the canal path would have been a muddy mess.


  1. How interesting that you've traveled in so many different ways over the past 15 years. You're right -- there are so many ways to live life! I've always found Thomas Jefferson fascinating and am looking forward to visiting Monticello. Thanks for the preview tour!

  2. We had a wonderful time at Monticello ask. I love visiting historical places.
    You two have had such a wonderful adventure traveling from place to place. And image...you got paid to do it. Lol

    1. I figured that if Mike was retired and I was going to work for a while, we might as well get out and see the country. The fact that they provided housing and travel allowance was icing on the cake.