Frederick, MD to Roanoke Rapids, NC

Today we visited four of my houses, moving backward in time from 1970 to 1967. We didn’t plan to go in order, it just seems that my family moved steadily north, so the most efficient way of visiting these places was to move south from one to the next. The memories flooded back, in reverse chronological order. All of the houses were as familiar as my feet, except one, which I barely remembered.

When we got to Fort Belvoir we decided not to enter. We were told by the guard that it’s a felony to photograph on an army installation. This was new information and I wondered why we weren’t told this at the War College yesterday. But I wasn’t about to argue. When we saw the sign that declared, “100 percent of vehicles will be searched” we decided to photograph the entry gates and leave it at that.

Yesterday when we entered the post at Carlisle we were asked to step out of the car and stand on the curb while they searched our car. We unzipped bags, opened all four doors and the hatch and watched as they went over every inch if the car with a mirror on a stick. When the friendlier of the two MP’s asked me what was in the cooler I said, “some snacks, some beer and wine, sealed up tight” he smiled and refrained from opening it. They gave us a pass and didn’t say a thing about photography, though they saw all of the cameras.

Fort Belvoir had an intensely hyper-security vibe that I first noticed on the website. The post is the center for defense systems for the US, and I have a healthy respect for how seriously they take themselves. That’s okay; I can be flexible.

We wound up in a Motel 6. Well, as Tony said, they can turn the light off, but turn on the vacuum cleaner! This was our second, and last, night in this chain. But it was an experience. You can see our lovely view from the window. But – look – what’s that? A VW bus?! What better symbol of a road trip back through the 60’s could you ask for?

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