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Another First

What's it like when you travel full time in a RV and get sick? Saturday, July 29 was a day that Karen and I expected to rest up. Friday ended late and I went to bed with a slight sore throat and an achy body I attributed to one very long day of sightseeing in Beantown. The next morning however I woke up with flu like symptoms; my whole body was sore and I had a 102º temperature. All I wanted to do was sleep. Fortunately, I had two days to recover from whatever I had before we were scheduled to leave Hanscom AFB. So I spent the weekend in bed trying to shake whatever I got. This was the first time either of us had been ill on the road.

By Monday, July 31 morning the fever was gone and I was starting to get my energy back. Still not at 100%, we packed up to travel which took longer and more out of me. Karen took up the slack and did more of the travel prep than normal. We hooked up the rig and left for Pinewood Lodge Camp in Plymouth, Mass, a short 63 miles away with an hour and a half driving time. Once we arrived, checked in and set up camp, we both rested.

This episode got us both thinking about the what if's. What if we needed to stay longer for me to recover at the campground where we were staying? What if Karen needed to drive the truck and trailer to the next destination? Because I have my medical care covered by the VA, if I had any serious illness I could have gone to the emergency room of any hospital for treatment. The circumstances ended up favorable this time, but we do need to do some pre-planning for when we experience future illness events.

Tuesday, August 1, I was back to normal, whatever that means (!) and we were both ready to get out and do some more sightseeing. We had planned to make one more trip into Boston on Sunday, but due to my illness we had to delay it until we moved to Plymouth. We drove to the Kingston Station, 15 minutes from our campsite, for the MBTA Commuter Train and returned to Boston for a third and final day of exploring Beantown.

This day would include a trip to the Mapparium, an enormous, inside-out glass globe built in 1935. This unique depiction of the planet gives visitors a rare chance to see the world in a way that doesn’t distort the surface of the Earth. Even when looking at an accurate globe, the relative sizes of the continents are distorted by perspective, as the spherical shape causes different regions to appear at different distances from the eye. But with a view from the very center of a globe, looking out, the eye is the same distance from every point on the map.

It is fascinating to view the Earth this way for the first time. Africa is huge. North America, Europe, and Asia are all jammed up against the North Pole. You have to look nearly straight up to see them. Sizes and locations of continents and countries you’ve always taken for granted are suddenly unfamiliar.

The most curious part of all about this exhibit is its acoustics. When you stand at the center of the perfect sphere, you can hear your voice in full 360-degree surround sound. The curved glass walls do not absorb the sound waves, but reflect them back. That’s also why those at one end of the bridge can hear the whisper of those at the opposite end—loud and clear. This effect is called a “whispering gallery.”

While the relative size and position of the continents are correct, the map’s political boundaries are long out-of-date. The Mapparium globe hasn’t changed since 1935. It’s still possible to find Siam and French Indochina, but not Israel or Indonesia. The USSR looms large. Africa remains a large block of European colonies.

.The Mapparium is located on the property of the Mary Baker Eddy library which includes a reflecting pool and fountain.

From the Mapparium we walked to Chinatown for lunch and then on to the start of the "Freedom Trail" walk at the Boston Commons.

We walked the Commons to the Massachusetts State House with the gold dome then across the street to the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Infantry Regiment Memorial. The movie "Glory" is loosely based on this unit and it actions during the Civil War.

From there it was on the the Park Street Church and the Granary Burial Ground where some of the famous patriots of the revolution are laid to rest. Paul Revere, John Hancock and Sam Adams to name a few, including many of the victims of the Boston Massacre.

On to Old South Meeting House, the Old State House and the Pavement Marker for the 1770 Boston Massacre Site. We ended the tour day at Faneuil Hall before taking the train back to Plymouth. We decided to swing by the Plymouth waterfront for a seafood dinner at Cabby Shack. We were hungry after the 6.25 miles final walking trek through Beantown,


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