We started our trip in Bunkie and with 26 of our 40 person contingent it was off to Monroe. About halfway to Monroe my attention was brought to the back of the bus where the temperature was pushing the upper 90’s. The boys were complaining that a hatch on the floor kept flying up and hot air was blowing in from under the bus. A quick study of the hatch was conducted and we discovered that several hex bolts were not secured and another hatch was only partially secured.When we arrived in Monroe one of the parents had a set of Allen Wrenches and we were able to secure both of the hatches. We loaded up the bus with the rest of the contingent and took off. Shortly afterwards my attention was once again brought to the back of the bus where hot air was still seeping through one of the hatches causing the back of the bus to be uncomfortably warm.
Fortunately, Tex Reed had some gorilla tape and I was able to seal the air leaks with the tape. Problem now solved I returned to the front of the bus where I soon came to realize that this was one rough riding bus.
A conversation with the bus driver revealed that this particular bus has over 500,000 miles on it. Either my memory of other bus rides is foggy or this is one rough bus. Several others on the bus agreed that this bus has a particularly rough ride.
As night fail it was lights out and time for sleep. The only problem with sleeping was the ride and the fact that it was now freezing. We all did our best to sleep and while I might have gotten an hour I know several others who slept well. I guess it just depended on how tired each of us were. As morning came we continued our journey and for some odd reason I was then able to sleep.We arrived in Charlottesville, Virginia and ate buffet style at the Woodfire Grill. The food was good and everyone seemed to eat till their hearts were content. We then drove to the La Quinta Inn where we stayed for the night. We had a little time before lights out and several took the opportunity to swim. I was once again able to sleep and had one of the best hotel night sleeps ever!
|Venture Crew on the steps of Monticello|
The next morning we had a continental breakfast and loaded the bus to head to Monticello. Our schedule had us at Monticello, former home of President Thomas Jefferson, for 6 hours and we all had a discussion on why we were spending 6 hours at Jefferson’s house.
|On the steps of Monticello|
We quickly discovered that there is a lot to see and do while at Monticello. The tour of the first floor of the house lasted 45 minutes and our tour guide was very knowledgeable. Following the house tour we then took a garden tour which was interesting as we learned that Jefferson was an avid gardener who enjoyed discovering what would grow best at Monticello.
There was also a lot of history about Jefferson’s slaves and an area where you could learn the history of the slaves. In addition we were able to walk under the home and view the cellars which house wine and beer when they were in use. There was also an area where you could try your hand at using an ink well pen and play a few games from Jefferson’s time period.
We left Monticello after discovering why one needs six hours (we could have stayed longer) and headed for our hotel in Washington, DC. A short 4 hour ride and we arrived at the Holiday Inn. We unloaded our luggage and it was off to the Hard Rock Café.
|Vinson with Bill Clinton's saxophone|
|Tex with Bill Clinton's saxophone.|
On our way we caught our first glimpse of Spiderman. Yes, Spiderman is here in Washington D.C. We also saw the Capitol and Washington Monument from a distance. The Hard Rock Café was located right next to Ford’s Theater where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.At the Hard Rock Café the scouts really seemed to enjoy seeing the memorabilia and just hanging out. Afterwards it was back to our hotel and hopefully a good nights rest!