Day 1: Bloomfield, CT to Ellicott City, MD
382 miles; Steps*: 8,180 (B) 5,785 (R)
* We’re committed to exercising while on the road and both wear pedometers to log our daily results.
Rorie and Bart launched the inaugural Discover Small Town America Tour from Connecticut at 9:06 a.m. EST. We decided to reorder the DSTA itinerary and are making the historic village of Ellicott City, MD our first stop. We’ll go to Gettysburg, PA on our return “flight”.
We spent six, plus hours today paying tribute to President Dwight D. Eisnehower’s gift to America: the interstate highway system (pictured here with then incoming President John F. Kennedy).
Since we’ve lived in various states on the East Coast all of our lives, and know many of the Northeast and region’s small towns quite well, we made today more about the destination than the journey. But highway road trippin’ doesn’t have to mean you can’t experience nice small towns and similarly nice people. And we did.
Bart struck up a conversation (big surprise) with a lovely couple outside a coffee shop in Oakland, NJ (population 12,836). They were extremely friendly and very interested in learning about the Discover Small Town America Tour. They also helped us figure out a more scenic route through New Jersey away from the Parkway, which we REALLY appreciated. These folks were full of enthusiasm for their hometown and asked us to give a shout-out to the “wonderful small towns of Western, NJ” (with no slight intended to all the other great communities in the Garden State).
Now that we’ve arrived at our Day 1 (and 2) resting spot, we want to thank our great family and friends (including the hundreds of folks in the Everything Small Town™ FB “community”) for all your interest, words of support, kindness and generosity during the past several months as we’ve prepared for what we know will be an exciting journey. Special thanks to our kids in Connecticut who stopped by yesterday to wish us “Bon Voyage”, our daughter in North Carolina who prepared 3 awesome “road trip” music CDs, and our neighbors and friends who popped over last night to wish us safe travels and sent us on our way with some amazing homemade sweets. Finally, “thanks” to our buddy and musician Jerry, who presented us with a special CD featuring some of his folk/country music. He’s a member of the band called Shingle the Roof, pictured here while performing in Amherst, MA.
We’re really looking forward to seeing the best of what Howard County, MD and surrounding environs have to offer tomorrow, and experiencing whatever surprises await us as we discovering small town America. Stay tuned…