After Annapolis we visited with our friends Elaine and Ron in Laurel, Maryland. Elaine and I have been friends since grade school in Bath. Elaine took us into the District to tour the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is wonderful. It is a modern interactive experience that is arranged by timeline – you start in the basement and work your way up and forward in time. Before the American revolution the practice of slavery was ubiquitous throughout all of the colonies, even Maine. Elaine served the most delicious crab cakes for dinner!

The ornamental metal lattice on the outside of the African American Museum in Washington, D.C., represents the intricate ironwork created by enslaved African Americans in the south.

We continued west through Maryland and visited Doug’s long time friend Mike, who took us to tour Harper’s Ferry. Imagine our shock when Mike sent us photos of a train wreck in the exact area where we had been standing only days later!

Harper’s Ferry

We had great meals with Mike, too, of course, and visited Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland. We were just beginning a continual immersion in Civil War history.

Antietam

The former Air & Space Museum was superseded in a major way by the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport. It holds flying craft from medieval balloons to the space shuttle Discovery. There were also docents who are veterans with in-depth knowledge about the history of the aircraft there and at other locations, which was helpful to me in learning about the aircraft that my uncle flew out of Cuba and Norfolk in the early 1950’s. We later took a short hike at the Red Rock Wilderness Overlook with views of the Potomac River with Mike.

Michael and Doug at the Potomac River
Yes, it’s still cold. How cold, you ask?
The view from our bed the next morning – yes, snow! By the way, that is Ed the Moose on the dashboard – our Maine reminder gift from friends Peggy and Seb.
Snow in Maryland.

Luckily, the van was still winterized. The next day, December 16, we drove to Ashland, Virginia for an appointment with Airstream to de-winterize her. We were there much longer than expected, but learned much about operations during the appointment. Also, the technician discovered that the galley sink drain was cracked, but he did not have the parts to repair it. Well, Doug is awesome; the next day he found the parts at Lowe’s and repaired the drain! Not a leak since!

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