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The First Town in the First State

November 3, 2012

Delaware – Friday, October 26

I managed to wake up about 35 minutes before the sunrise without an alarm (pretty impressive for this night owl!) and it looked cloudy, but I headed over to the beach anyway. I’m glad I didn’t go last night because it was actually about 3/4 of a mile away – the sound of the waves just made it seem a lot closer. The fort area was much less ominous in the pre-dawn light, even though I was the only person out and about. We made it to the beach with about 10 minutes to spare, and I was happy to see a clear strip of sky along the horizon to be able to see the sun rise. Tula and I settled down against a dune and I felt like I had a ringside seat for a pretty show. Mother Nature did not disappoint! I hadn’t seen a sunrise for a while and it was beautiful. And as long as I was up and about, I let Tula off her leash, and we got a couple more miles of walking in along the beach – setting a record for me – 3 miles walked by 8:15 in the morning! I knew what my plans for the day were going to be, and since I was going to be in the general vicinity of this state park, I registered for another night – it’s a beautiful park and the weather is good and the price is right!

Today’s donation was a military-based one, but not the care package that I usually do. A request for assistance for an Army veteran’s family going through a particularly rough time had come to me in a somewhat roundabout way – through an injured military veteran who is on the Board for the Warrior Institute that my daughter Toni is involved in. I was happy to be able to help, and simply sent a donation directly to the family to use as they choose.

With that taken care of, I made the short drive to Lewes. Lewes is known as “the first town in the first state” – Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, and Lewes was the first settlement in the state, founded in 1631. It’s a fun town to walk through, with all kinds of history and little museums. The town is home to many river pilots – the combination of the Atlantic Ocean, the Delaware Bay and the Delaware River makes for tricky currents and tides and hidden shoals, and most commercial vessels en route to Wilmington and Philadelphia still need a river pilot to help them navigate the treacherous waters. It takes 5 years to become a river pilot. I went in the oldest building still standing in Delaware (dating back to 1665) and went through the Cannonball House, which was an interesting little museum of local history.

From there I returned to Rehoboth Beach to enjoy the boardwalk again. This was the Sea Witch Festival weekend, and although there were some events scheduled for Friday, I didn’t really see anything special going on, although some people were dressed in Halloween costumes. Despite Hurricane Sandy looming offshore a couple days away, today was an absolutely perfect day weather-wise – sunny with temperatures in the low 70s. There were lots of people in the beach town and on the boardwalk. I got some fish and chips to go from the British restaurant and found a bench on the boardwalk with an ocean view to enjoy it. Then Tula and I walked 4 miles up and down the boardwalk and another mile and a half or so in town. I stayed until dusk, and then headed back to Cape Henlopen State Park for camping night #5. The campground was pretty full but I could still hear the ocean!

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