Time to Travel


The rain is back and I sit at the slider contemplating a visit to my favorite thinking spot, the patio.  A little slab of concrete about 8 X 10.  I sit here on the edge of my own little launching pad thinking how I have always envied those who have traveled and are authorities on places like Tahiti, the outback of Australia or have been on safari in the wilds of Africa.  Wondrous spectacles like Madagascar, the Great Wall of China and the  Pyramids of Egypt. 

There are fortunate people who have seen all or most of these,  just a part of the many great attractions on this planet we call Earth. I  pass along the following blog not to ridicule those who choose to visit all of these exotic spots and pass along their knowledge of the world to all of us, but to assure those who choose not to be or cannot be a world traveler that you too can gain knowledge of the spot you sit on, or the town you live in and pass along your expertise to others who also have inquisitive minds.

That leads us to this intrepid explorer born in the nearby wilds of Bradshaw. In the early part of the Twentieth Century.   At age 20 I was able to make my way out of the wooded wilds of that area and found myself in Texas and then in California.  Two years later I was on the exotic island of Guam, swimming on the white sandy beach of Toumon Bay and visiting the bustling city of Agana and dodging large lizards that crossed the roads all over the island.  

From there I traveled to the Orient, stopping in a quaint town called Tachikawa.  I took their local high-speed transportation to a city called Tokyo and explored the area around this large city.  I returned from my travels and settled in the place of my birth.  Not able to travel again far afield, I set out to know more about the spot where I sit.

As best I can calculate, the place of my patio was the middle of Polecat Marsh .  It was the home of hundreds of Muskrats and many Mallards and Black Ducks that we hunted to put meat on the table. 

Very few of the  residents of Joppatowne know that just over a half-century ago, the area that they now call home was a large tract of woods and swamps.  We would come to Joppa Farm , as it was known at the time, in the middle of the night and turn loose a pack of dogs to hunt and tree the wiley Raccoon.  After an hour or two of hot pursuit by the dogs, the ‘coon was then allowed to go free , to be hunted again in this sport of the local gentry and I am proud to say, I was often one of the participants.

Less than a mile from where I sit, large sailing ships that crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Europe sailed up the Chesapeake Bay and into our Gunpowder River to anchor and deliver travelers and goods from our mother countries to these shores.  This spot was picked to begin a large port city called Baltimore. 

We would probably be sitting on the cobble stone streets of what is now Fells Point had it not been that the more people who settled  and the more land that was cleared, the more mud and silt came down the Gunpowder Falls and filled in the harbor. Over a period of just a few years, larger ships did not have enough water to safely sail into the tidal Gunpowder River at low tide and a new place was picked for Baltimore.

The Rumsey Mansion, the original home built in 1720 by Benjamin Rumsey who was a member of the First Continental  Congress of the United States was restored by a local business man and sits proudly overlooking the Gunpowder River.  The bricks used to construct the Georgian Style Mansion came over from England as ballast in the holds of ships that were then filled with goods from their new-found colonies to be taken back to England  or other ports-of-call.

It is fun to be a traveler and with the access that we all have today to the internet, we can travel the world, see beautiful places in the pictures that were taken and posted by expert photographers, see DVDs of ten times as many  places than we could possibly visit in a lifetime.  The libraries have easy access to the internet if we don’t have a computer and they have hundreds of  DVDs about the thousands of exotic places just waiting for our visit.

Winter is nigh upon us…time for a trip to Tahiti to sail under the Southern Cross.

Don Langrehr

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One Response to Time to Travel

  1. Mike says:

    Great article.It really is amazing sometimes how little we know about the places where we live our lives.

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