Jonathan's blog

Meadowlark Gardens Regional Park Virginia

After eating lunch at Carolina Brothers Pit Barbeque Bill got back on the W&OD. Brenda and I got back on highway 7. Unfortunately we just happened to get back on during a traffic jam. I'm sure it wasn't as bad as it could have been. It's times like this when we wonder if Bill and Blackie are making better time then we are.

The traffic broke up awhile later and we turned off of highway 7 onto Beulah Rd. This evening we would be staying at the Meadowlark Gardens Regional Park. The Meadowlark Gardens isn't somewhere that usually allows people to camp overnight, yet Paul Gilbert made arrangements to allow us park our truck and trailer in the parking lot. Just outside of the gardens is a grass field where we setup the panels.

Carolina Brothers Pit Barbeque Ashburn Virginia

Bill sets Vivian on BlackieOn the 24th we set off once again. To get to the W&OD we rearranged the trailer and drove to the parking lot of Loudoun County High School which is about 30 miles north of Bull Run Regional Park. Paul McCray came to see us off as well as a few other people, including a reporter who brought (I believe) her granddaughters, Vivian and Grace. After visiting Bill headed down the W&OD.

Planing for the ride into Washington at Bull Run Regional Park

We camped out at the Bull Run Regional Park from the 18th to the 24th of May. The Bull Run Regional Park was an excellent place for Blackie to rest up. We were a few day ahead of schedule, and still needed to figure out the rest of the routing. Blackie also developed some swelling where ticks had been on his back. As Brenda says,”he's thin skinned.” Veterinarian Linda Neimeir gave Blackie some antibiotics and steroids to help the swelling go down.

Bull Run Regional Park offers the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail, which accommodates hikers and equestrians alike. Bull Run Regional Park also features bathroom, laundry and shower facilities, a water park, a shooting and archery center, and many other outdoor activities.

Gallerys for 05-10-08 - 05-19-08

05-10-08 Stayed outside at Crown Orchard Co., which is owned by Henry Chiles, who is in this picture with Bill and Blackie. Brenda and I where having a hard time finding a place for the night. Mr. Chiles gave us a place to stay for the night.
05-12-08 - 05-13-08 Madison High School Fairgrounds. Bill and Brenda talked to some of the kids there. Brenda took the Pictures of the kids. Brenda found this Large four leaf clover.
05-14-08 Treated to a Lewis and Clark Circus show. They asked that I not take video or use my flash.
05-15-08 Pictures of animals at Midge Harmon's Farm and Blackie. Harmon's Hayride and Carriages will provide President Lincoln and President Washington transportation in the National Memorial Day Parade.
05-16-08 - 05-17-08 Pictures of draft horses at the Harmon Farm, Defnall Family, Neimeir Family, and exhibits at the Manassas National Battlefield Park.
05-18-08 - 05-19-08 Linda Neimeir rides with Bill, Linda's Parents, Bull Run Regional Park Family Campground


Traveling by Horse In a World Dominated by the Automoblie

For a horsemen to travel on highways designed for automobiles, both horse and rider must trust one another. As motorists whiz by, Bill continues along at a crawl, watching for broken glass, holes, road kill, and anything else which may become a danger. When a problem becomes visible, Bill must decide which action to take.

Clifford Baptist Church to Calvary Baptist Church Lovingston Virginia

Ms Walkem talks with Bill in front of the Clifford Baptist ChurchBill and Brenda visited with the Clifford Baptist Church's congregation in the evening and I was able to get on the internet thanks to Ms. Morcom and her son. In the morning I interviewed Ms. Morcom outside the church before we departed. Ms Morcom also gave Brenda a contact with Cavalry Babtist Church in Lovingston. There where some blind curves and a bridge which could have proven dangerus for Bill and Blackie along the route to Lovingston, and so local law enforcement waited for Bill near this location so that they could escort him. Meanwhile Brenda and I continued on to Calvary Baptist Church. This was a short day so there was no need for a rest stop.

The panels where setup and we had settled down when Bill arrived. Later Captain Robertson, Lt. Cindrick, EMC Ray Gutero, and Trooper Derick Tyree stopped by. Larry and Dottie Davis, who are Brenda's relatives, drove from Henderson North Carolina, also came to visit. Later that evening Captain Robertson and Lt. Cindrick returned to take us to dinner. Just down the road from the church is a Italian restaurant call Vito's. We were treated to some great food, thanks to Captain Robertson. The Captain and Lieutenant are some great guys, and are excellent representative of the Nelson County Sheriff's Department. It rained most of the night.

What a Blessing Bakery & Deli Amherst, Virginia

Gilbert RoadsWe left the Campbell County Park on Ewing Dr. around 9:30 am with Blackie in the trailer. We folded up the cot, and moved the rest of the stuff in the way to the front part of the trailer. There are two, fifty five gallon, plastic drums filled with feed in the back. It isn't practical to move these to the front, so we loaded Blackie in with those beside him. The water tanks were getting low, and there was quite a bit of trash we needed to dispose of, so we backtracked south on Highway 29 to a gas station. We then drove through Lynchburg and stopped at strip mall in Amherst, Virginia. There were “No pedestrians bicycles, animals, self propelled machinery...” signs to this point. We still don't understand what these signs are really about. There seemed to be plenty of shoulder on the road.

Altavista to South of Lynchburg Virginia

 Ms. Pascale, Director of Operations for Campbell County's Department of Recreation, VirginaBill left the hotel in Altavista around 9:30 on the 6th of May. Brenda and I gathered up the junk we had packed into the room. The Lynchburg Police Department called back.  A Lt. Lawton talked to Brenda, he asked, “what exactly to do you want from us?” She told the officer about our journey. Negotiations quickly broke down and it became clear that Bill wasn't going to be able to ride through Lynchburg. Some of the roads and highways in Lynchburg are fairly dangerous and the police are low resources, so an escort was out of the question.