Thursday, August 12, 2010

I thought by getting up at 5am and eating an early breakfast, I could beat the storms that were heading across the eastcoast. Not so, as I started off wearing rain gear at 6:45 this morning. The rolling hills of Maryland could well have been central Illinois on the high plains when it comes to a lightening storm. Fortunately, I rode into Rocks State Park and found shelter underneath the overhang of a small stone building. It actually was a perfect place to wait out a storm. After the rain passed the partly cloudy weather yielded a 72 degree day! The country roads through Maryland were beautiful to ride through. There are rolling hills, farms, and forests throughout this state. At times, the tall white pine groves reminded me of upper peninsula Michigan. Crossing over a ridge, I rode through an area of low lying conifers and rock debris that reminded me of eastern Washington state. That terrain eventually gave way to wooded rolling hills, neat white fences, and then horse farms.

Unfortunately for Lincoln, he had to quietly pass through Maryland on his way to Washington. Allan Pinkerton, the founder of a detective agency in Chicago was hired by the railroad to investigate suspicious activities and the destruction of railroad property. Convinced that there was a plot to assasinate the President elect, he had the telegraph lines cut to shut down any possible communication between co-conspirators. At night a second train carrying Lincoln was quietly pulled through Baltimore by horses (so as to not violate a city ordinance) and it entered Washington the next day. The scheduled official train arrived in Baltimore as planned but only carrying Mrs. Lincoln and the children. Lincoln regretted this event and in retrospect his actions seem opposite of the bold confidence he displayed in Philadelphia. Perhaps Pinkerton was right to discreetly shuttle Lincoln through this state,- it's so many personalities make it difficult to type cast and understand at a glance. I think Maryland appears rural and urban as well as southern and northern simultaneously,-especially in it's beauty of the landscape.

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