Have Heart, Will Travel

Not the Same Old Story: Plymouth, Massachusetts,1620

Nancy Powell1 Comment

13 years after the first permanent English colony in Jamestown, the passengers of the Mayflower landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

I had always been taught that the English came to Massachusetts because they wanted religious freedom. Last month in Plymouth I learned that that isn't entirely the reason that everyone came.  

By the early 1600s, many English people had found religious freedom in the Netherlands.  However, as immigrants, the English got only the hardest and lowest paying jobs.  Instead of going to school, the English children had to join in the work just for survival.  Several of the families who were on the Mayflower left the Netherlands to return to England and subsequently set sail for the New World because they were losing their English customs and wanted a better life for their children in a land where they could continue to ensure religious freedom..

They must have really had it bad, too, because crossing the ocean 400 years ago was no luxury cruise. In fact, you had to be hardy and determined to make it to the other side in fair health.

We got to learn this up close and personally, thanks to the Mayflower II, a full scale reproduction of the original Mayflower, which is authentic to the point that it has sailed across the Atlantic Ocean.

Ready to board!  This picture shows the dramatic shift in tides. We had a steep climb up that walk. A worker on the ship said when he came on earlier that day he walked straight across an almost flat walkway!

Ready to board!  This picture shows the dramatic shift in tides. We had a steep climb up that walk. A worker on the ship said when he came on earlier that day he walked straight across an almost flat walkway!

The lucky ones would have gotten such bedding for their months-long ocean crossing. No windows, not much room to move about with over 100 passengers down there spending every moment in that space.

The lucky ones would have gotten such bedding for their months-long ocean crossing. No windows, not much room to move about with over 100 passengers down there spending every moment in that space.

It really helped that we could ask questions of a couple of the "passengers" about what life on the ship would have been like.

It really helped that we could ask questions of a couple of the "passengers" about what life on the ship would have been like.

For example, Petunia found this curious object and asked what it was. We learned that they tied these on the heads of any toddlers or small children to keep them from injury when the ship may have led their unsteady legs to a fall or a bump into a sharp corner.

For example, Petunia found this curious object and asked what it was. We learned that they tied these on the heads of any toddlers or small children to keep them from injury when the ship may have led their unsteady legs to a fall or a bump into a sharp corner.

Only the crew, not the passengers, would have spent time up here.  How fascinating to see such a faithful reproduction!

Only the crew, not the passengers, would have spent time up here.  How fascinating to see such a faithful reproduction!

Of course we read all the signs and did #allthelearning that you do when you're a roadschooling family out on a field trip.

Of course we read all the signs and did #allthelearning that you do when you're a roadschooling family out on a field trip.

After getting to take an interesting and educational tour of the Mayflower II, we walked down the street a bit and got to see the famous Plymouth Rock.

The rock has a structure built around it that screams "I am an important rock!"

The rock has a structure built around it that screams "I am an important rock!"

It looked a little different than I thought it might...

Yes, that is Plymouth Rock.  

Yes, that is Plymouth Rock.  

We paid our respects like any decent 21st century family would...we took a selfie with it.

We paid our respects like any decent 21st century family would...we took a selfie with it.

 

We enjoyed our short adventure to Plymouth, not only learning a lot, but getting to feel what it's like being in such an historic locale. Now, we were well on our way to learning about early 17th century life in the colonies. What would happen next?

 

 

3 Months on the Journey: Thoughts from the 10 Year Old

Nancy Powell4 Comments

This past week, we hit the milestone of being on our journey for 3 months!  I feel like time is flying by.  However, when I think back to the places we've been and some of the stops we made in the first couple weeks on the road, I can realize that it really has been months. 

We have seen and experienced so many things together. All three of us have learned a lot. We have met a few challenges and many more moments of serendipity.

As we have stated before, one of our reasons for taking this adventure now is the age of our daughter.  We are happy to spend this time as a family together, especially when she is at the age to learn so much about our country's history and natural beauty.  We believed, therefore, this might be a good time to let her share some of her thoughts.  She was happy to oblige, but wanted  me to write some questions to get her thoughts going. At the end of the questions are some free form thoughts from Petunia.


When I think about being oh the road for 3 moths now, I feel:  I'm not sure. Mixed emotions, I guess. At first I feel crazy that we're doing this, then homesick, and then happy again.

One thing I've learned that has had a big impact on me was: learning about the Revolutionary War, and the Boston Tea Party, while going to a lot of the cities that were connected to it. (I got to throw tea into the Boston Harbor!)

A couple things that have been super fun were: Going to Boston, New York, Philadephis and especially DC, because I got to see the White House, the Captiol, the Washington Monument, etc.  (You can't forget Niagara Falls, the horses, Bar Harbor, etc.)

 

One thing that wasn't very fun was: There is nothing that I can think of for this question. :)    [parental note: She answered these the day before we went to the Outer Banks Seafood Festival.  To Petunia, fish are friends, not food. She would amend her answer now to say this event was not very fun.]

I miss this about home: Copper, my friends and family, and my teammates and Coaches.

I love this about traveling: Getting to see the country, and all of its wonders.

I got a big surprise when: My parents woke me up and said we were going somewhere fun. A park. At first, I didn't want to go, and then I realized they were taking me to an amusement park.

I hope: That the rest of the RV trip is as fun as these first 3 months were!

 

What you probably don't know about living in an RV: Most people think an RV is tiny. I agree. At least, I did. But they feel a lot bigger once you get used to it.

"I love traveling in an RV because I don't know what to expect. For example, any day we might go to a museum, state park or historic site. Yesterday, we went to look for shells on the beach...I FOUND TREASURE!!! <3 <3  <3 :) :) :) (I'll get back to you on that later!)

I would like to say HI to all of my friends and family in Texas and would like them to know that not a day goes by that I don't think about them, especially my wonderful cousins! Some of them are taking such great care of Copper!!!"

--Much love, Petunia

 

 

Jamestown, Virginia: Established 1607

Nancy PowellComment

Although our travels have taken us to historic places in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, our English-speaking history on this continent goes back farther.  Back 408 years, in fact, to the first permanent English-speaking colony of Jamestown, Virginia.

In 1607, 3 ships bringing men and boys arrived and landed in what is now Virginia and established James Fort, which expanded and became Jamestowne, named in honor of the British monarch.  Over the next two years, more ships would arrive bringing more men and even women and children.  

By the winter of 1609-1610, there were 500 people living there. Unfortunately, that was the winter known as "The Starving Time," an extremely difficult time to get food due to both a drought and hostilities with the Native Americans.  The population went from 500 to only 60.  Somehow a group did survive and then the colony grew and thrived.

Captain John Rolf of Jamestown married Pocohontas, the daughter of the Powhatan Chief and there followed a time of peace and cooperation with the local Native Americans.  Many people in the world today trace their roots back to their union.  Fascinating! 

This monument was placed in 1907, on the 300th anniversary of the landing.

This monument was placed in 1907, on the 300th anniversary of the landing.

I am fascinated that they know the original boundaries of the fort.  Many of the buildings have been discovered through archaeological excavation.  One bulwark of the triangular fork would now be in water. That much shore has been washed away in the ensuing 400 years.

I am fascinated that they know the original boundaries of the fort.  Many of the buildings have been discovered through archaeological excavation.  One bulwark of the triangular fork would now be in water. That much shore has been washed away in the ensuing 400 years.

Of course, Captain John Smith also played a big role in Jamestown as well. He also was friends with Pocohontas, crediting her with saving his life twice.  He also thought he was going to die once, but said precious oils saved him. Amazing!

Of course, Captain John Smith also played a big role in Jamestown as well. He also was friends with Pocohontas, crediting her with saving his life twice.  He also thought he was going to die once, but said precious oils saved him. Amazing!

Look at what happened in his early life.  What drama!

Look at what happened in his early life.  What drama!

Petunia doing some studying with her own guidebook. We love roadschool!

Petunia doing some studying with her own guidebook. We love roadschool!

The tower part of this church is orginal from the 1600s!  It was rebuilt later in the century because the early churches got burned down or rebuilt, but this is a bonafide 17th century structure standing here for us to enjoy today. Wow!

The tower part of this church is orginal from the 1600s!  It was rebuilt later in the century because the early churches got burned down or rebuilt, but this is a bonafide 17th century structure standing here for us to enjoy today. Wow!

Petunia and Pocohontas. Grateful for these two beauties! 

Petunia and Pocohontas. Grateful for these two beauties! 

Jamesetown island is the site of current archaeological excavation and discovery. Here Petunia and I are watching some people at work. Later, in another location, we were looking on when the placement of a fence post that was part of the fort's expansion was discovered. The man stopped and explained the significance of that discovery to the two of us. How nice of him! He explained that they had thought that was where the fence would have been expanded, but they weren't finding the evidence they thought they would...then voila!...we're right there when a "beautiful circle" emerged.  

Jamesetown island is the site of current archaeological excavation and discovery. Here Petunia and I are watching some people at work. Later, in another location, we were looking on when the placement of a fence post that was part of the fort's expansion was discovered. The man stopped and explained the significance of that discovery to the two of us. How nice of him! He explained that they had thought that was where the fence would have been expanded, but they weren't finding the evidence they thought they would...then voila!...we're right there when a "beautiful circle" emerged.  

After getting settled, the colonists began glassblowing as their first industry. They had abundant supplies to make glass all around them and in London there was more demand than supply.  Seems like they would have had a good set up, but it was short lived.  Seems like one big problem was actually getting glass pieces back to London safely with the transportation options of the day.

After getting settled, the colonists began glassblowing as their first industry. They had abundant supplies to make glass all around them and in London there was more demand than supply.  Seems like they would have had a good set up, but it was short lived.  Seems like one big problem was actually getting glass pieces back to London safely with the transportation options of the day.

It is almost hard to conceive what these people had to go through to establish a society in this land.  I have such an appreciation for so many people now that I have gotten to delve into the world from Jamestown through to the beginning of our modern government system.

Where are we going?

Nancy Powell1 Comment

There are a few questions we get asked very often.  One of the most common is, "Do you have your whole route planned out?"

The answer to that is definitely no.  There have been many, many days that we've woken, knowing we have to depart our current campground or place we're staying with no set destination in mind.  We knew the area we were going to, but not an exact place.  

Sometimes it's fun and sometimes it's frustrating to be picking a place while we're going down the road, but we can't plan too far in advance.  Sometimes we just love a place and know we want to see more and have to stay an extra night.  Plus, we want to be open to any divine appointments that may be set, and if we're clinging too tightly to a schedule, we wouldn't really be able to do that.

However, we do have a general direction we are heading.  We have created this map, both to help us remember places we've been, and also for anyone who either may be curious where we're hoping to go or who would like to meet up somewhere along the way, if possible.

As of now, there are three different things on the map: Places we've stayed, Places We've Visited, and Places we Plan to Go.

 

An RV by any other name is...not our RV!

Nancy Powell7 Comments

Well, friends, it took almost two months into our journey before the 3 of us (who all apparently have strong opinions on nomenclature) could agree on what felt like the *right* name for our beloved home away from home, but....finally...we got it!

We are very happy to introduce you all formally to MILES THE MAGICAL MEMORY MAKER!  Or, as we often refer to him: Miles. 

Meet Miles.

Meet Miles.

All of you guys didn't make it easy, either, throwing out all kinds of good names during our contest that we had to go over several times.  So, where did the name come from and who is the winner of the contest?  It's a 3 part answer, actually. First contributor and winner is Anne W, who suggested M&M, which was to be short for Memory Maker.  That was immediately Petunia's favorite, and she never wavered.  Second contributor is Mike P, also known as Gramps Fuzz, who suggested Magical Yearling, and we obviously took the Magical and combined it with Anne's suggestion.  

Still we needed an easy, quick name. Just a down-to-earth, everyday name when we weren't going to refer to him as the Magical Memory Maker.  Miles just popped out one day while we were driving down the road and all of us loved it instantly, as if it were meant to be all along.

Camping with family in Maine. So grateful for this time together.

Camping with family in Maine. So grateful for this time together.

Miles has indeed already lived up to such a high calling as part 2 of his name promises.  We have made the most magical memories with him, both with his physical presence, as seen in these pictures and also for providing us both transportation and shelter as we venture out to explore a little farther afield.

Serving up ice cream to some of Mark's former co-workers in New Jersey.

Serving up ice cream to some of Mark's former co-workers in New Jersey.

Happy hostess

Happy hostess

 

There are some days where we spend a lot of time with Miles.  It's not always easy taking care of such large vehicle, but it has been worth it.

Here's to many, many more miles traveled with Miles!

And to as many open roads like this as possible!

Thank you all for traveling a bit of this road with us!