Wednesday afternoon we had to run down about 10 miles to Yarmouth to pick up the Mazda after it’s repairs and maintenance were complete. Unfortunately it was raining buckets when we left…we had the wipers on BAT on max as we headed out and were barely able to see the road. The highway over had several spots where the water was 6 inches deep and there were several wrecks that slowed us down not to mention the ambulance going the other way. We finally got down to Cape Cod Mazda and paid for the car…only to be greeted by a lightning strike about 50 yards away across the road as we tried to get out of the parking lot. Scared the bejeezus out of us. We took a different route home and after another hour or so the rain had passed so we headed out to dinner. We tried the Irish Pub…but it had zero cars in front of it and looked pretty disreputable so we punted and headed back to the Lost Dog Pub for a burger (Neil) and a clam plate (Connie) and a coupla beers. Pretty decent dinner.
Thursday morning we got up and going pretty early and rolled out of Sweetwater Forest about 0930 or so on our way to Boston. After a pretty much uneventful trip except for some really bad traffic as we made our way through a construction zone southwest of Boston we arrived here at Hanscom Air Force Base Family Campground around 1245. There was a sign on the office door that said “Back at 1330” so we made a sandwich and sat outside having lunch while we waited. Sure enough, right at 1330 Phil showed up…we had scouted the campground and wanted site 61 if it was available…took our $100 for 5 nights and we were parked in our 50 amp full hookup pull through site and completely setup by 1445. Piece of cake. Neil made some ziti with Italian Sausage Tomato sauce for dinner and they just watch a little TV until bedtime. Nice site; we’re not far from the runway but it’s mostly civilian traffic small planes and business jets so not too noisy and they stop flying around dark.
Friday was a work day for Connie so Neil got up early and went to the commissary and class 6 store (liquor store in Air Force terminology) to restock then came home and did some laundry around noon. After Connie’s work day Neil grilled a steak for dinner and they had some rice and green beans from the farm stand. They broke out a bottle of Blackstone Merlot that Neil brought from the Class 6 and had about half of that along with dinner then it was more TV and podcasts until bedtime. It did get hot around 1600 so they ended up closing up and firing up the air conditioners. Connie did some weekend planning and discovered that Rino’s Place has been closed for renovation. Rino’s is a local Italian restaurant featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives that has really, really good lobstah ravioli. Neil was really looking forward to it. Since it was closed Connie found a place near Faneuil Hall in Boston’s North End they’re going to instead. The Union Oyster House (which was their original idea) no longer sells the best lobstah dish Neil ever ate (a whole lobstah out of the shell, linguini, a cup of melted butter with a squeeze of lemon in it, parmesan cheese, a hunk o’ crusty french bread and a beer on the side) so Rino’s was going to be their fallback place. This place she found named Rabia’s has a very similar lobstah dish so they’re going there instead…third time’s a charm I guess.
Today after breakfast they headed off to the Minuteman Trail…this National Historic Area retraces the path of the British as they left Boston on April 18, 1775 to go out to Concord to seize and/or burn military supplies. After the “One if by land, two if by sea” signal Paul Revere set out with a couple of companions to rally the colonists. He was actually captured in fairly short order after notifying Sam Adams and John Hancock in Lexington and his two companions William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott alerted the colonists along the road to Concord. Historical footnote: nobody actually said “The British are coming” as the colonials still considered themselves British at the time. What Revere and his companions actually said was “The regulars are coming out”. After a brief skirmish in Lexington where several colonials were killed in a volley that was unordered and no one knows who actually shot first the British continued on to Concord where the first actual battle of the Revolutionary War took place at the North Bridge. The British were holding the bridge itself and the ground to the left in this picture on the east side of the Concord River with about 100 troops while the remaining troops marched another 6 miles to the Bartlett farm. The colonials with a force of about 400 men on a hill to the west side of the river (about 300 yards out of the picture below to the right of the bridge) advanced upon the bridge when they thought that Concord itself (which was behind the British) was being burned. In the ensuring battle (again, nobody knows who actually fired first but the best guess is that it was the British) about 8 British and 2 Colonials were killed.
Shortly after this battle the remainder of the British troops returned from Bartlett’s farm without finding the cannon and arms they were looking for since they had been moved after the alert the evening before…and the remaining 1680 British troops began the 20 mile retreat back to Boston. By this time a total of about 4000 colonials had gathered to oppose their retreat and there was a running battle from noon when the British started back until almost midnight when they arrived back at Charleston to take boats back to Boston…with a total of almost 300 British and 100 colonial casualties. Most of these were in just a couple at a time as evidenced by this memorial which is a well where a British and a colonial surprised each other, both declared the other was a dead man, and both shot the other with the Brit perishing immediately and the colonial the next morning.
Here is a picture of part of the original Concord Road which was taken by the British both ways.
As you can see…it’s wide enough for a single car to go down but two way traffic would require driving on the grass to pass. Most of the way it’s bordered by woods, overgrown fields, or ridges so it made a really lousy place to try to retreat for 20 miles with 1700 troops opposed by 4000. Amazing that the British only lost 300 men during the retreat but that was due to the slow rate of fire of the musketry of the time period…no large magazines or automatic weapons back then and a highly trained soldier might get off 2 rounds a minute or 5 in 2 minutes.
Along the way we also visited the Hartwell Tavern which was owned by Ephraim and Elizabeth Hartwell. It was a primary way station along the road between Lexington and Concord and very nearby is a bend in the roads in heavy woods that is named Bloody Angle…the British were ambushed here by colonials from both sides of the road and 8 were killed. Neil forgot to take a picture but the road at the angle is a bit narrower than the picture above and the area is much more heavily wooded. Not a nice place to be outnumbered and attacked from both sides. The picture below was taken from atop the stone wall bordering the Battle Road.
We also stopped by the Apple store in Burlington to get a replacement charger for Connie’s laptop as it died last night…then stopped by the commissary and got a rotisserie chicken for dinner.
Tomorrow we’re off to Boston…planning on visiting the public garden and the Boston Commons. After that we’ll play it by ear depending on how tired we get and either do some/all of the Freedom Trail through Boston or stop by and watch the street performers at Faneuil Hall Plaza.