Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today in Photos -- April 28. 2009

Tuesday, after they made it to Lancaster, Ohio, Hudson and Murphy got to visit with some elementary school children. They took Luke with them. While the Boys were feelin' the love (pictured is Murphy getting some heavy petting), Luke told the school kids (they ranged from 2nd to 5th graders) a little about their walk. After he spoke he took questions. Here's a sampling:

"Do your dogs know any tricks?" (He told them about Hudson liking to dance and wanting to meet Ellen.)
"Do you ever take a bath?"
"Did you ever have a home?"

Tough crowd! Mostly they were interested in petting the puppies.

Later in the evening he met with a group of 4H'ers and the questions were a little less caustic and more thoughtful. Luke told them how he'd learned to use his posture and voice to scare off potentially aggressive dogs. One kid in particular asked him how many hiking boots he'd already gone through (4 pairs of Vasque Boots so far) and if his feet had changed in size. This was a leading question -- apparently the boy had had a friend who had hiked The Appalachian Trail, so he already knew about the phenomenon of feet often getting larger after an extensive hike carrying a heavy backpack. Sure enough, Luke told him his feet had in fact grown a half size bigger. When he started the walk he wore a size 11.5 boot; now he wears a 12. He also told them this was his 4th tent, he'd already gone through three rubber tips on his walking stick, and he was working on his third cell phone. Unlike many adult audiences, however, none of the kids were interested in how he managed to charge his phone while on the road.

After speaking with the 4H'ers, he was invited to enjoy dinner with Mary, who had come from the local police department to meet and talk with him. Luke said they went to a great local restaurant where he sampled a variety of Mediterranean goodies.

While he was in the area, he and The Boys had the opportunity to see some of the typical barns in the area, and they also got to walk by General Sherman's house, which has been turned into a museum. General William Sherman, notable Civil War military leader, was born in Lancaster, as was his brother, John Sherman, who later became a US Senator and was responsible for the Sherman Anti-trust Act. Their house, originally a frame house built in 1811, features the Sherman family as well as plenty of Civil War memorabilia. Interestingly, "... during the American Civil War, the State of Ohio played a key role in providing troops, military officers, and supplies to the Union army. Due to its central location in the Northern United States and burgeoning population, Ohio was both politically and logistically important to the war effort. The state raised nearly 320,000 soldiers for the Union army, third behind only New York and Pennsylvania in total manpower contributed to the military (and the state was the 3rd most populous at the time). Several leading generals hailed from Ohio, including Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, and Philip H. Sheridan. Five Ohio-born Civil War officers would later serve as the President of the United States." However, while "the state was spared many of the horrors of war as only two minor battles were fought within its borders ... nearly 7,000 Buckeye soldiers were killed in action." (If you're interested in Ohio's role in the Civil War, start here.)

He enjoyed walking through the town square park where there was a Veteran's Memorial. He also said the municipal building and a number of the other buildings in the area were beautiful, some of them in the Georgian style while others were in the Craftsman Style. The city of Lancaster has three National Historic Districts and a rich architectural history.

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