To and Fro

As soon as we set out from Amy’s & Richard’s this morning, Jeffrey’s iPhone’s software seized up. It took Jeffrey two hours and the help of a cell phone technician to resolve the problem. We had to do it then and there. The iPhone is vital for navigation – it shows small routes that don’t appear on standard road maps – and it’s our blogging device and our link to the rest of the world.

Then we headed west through a beautiful landscape of rolling hills. Here’s Jeffrey by the Brandywine Creek and views of the scenery.





Then we reentered Pennsylvania, passed through more lush countryside, and soon reached the Mason-Dixon Line at the Maryland border.





We rode over the Conowingo dam that controls the Susquehanna River. Ongoing construction makes it tricky to cross by bicycle.


Various delays – caused by 20+ mph winds, conditions on U.S. 1 north of Rising Sun, and impending darkness – added to the two hours spent rehabilitating the iPhone, put us way behind. We had thought to reach the Towson area to spend the night, but that became impractical. Instead, we detoured back into Pennsylvania to Peachbottom Township, which has the only motel in a rural region notable for its hordes of dual-exhaust pickup trucks and its lack of tourist accommodation. We were on unlit, steep country roads long past dark. Most unpleasant.

Today’s border crossings – DE to PA to MD to PA to MD to PA – got us thinking about the meaning of law. In a few hours’ time, we subjected ourselves to significantly different schemes of taxation; alcohol, tobacco, firearms and fireworks regulations; and education, among other things. “Natural Law” may be universal. Civil law can be petty and arbitrary. Remember that when you hear unauthorized immigrants called “lawbreakers”. Sometimes that’s true, but it doesn’t make them criminals – some lawbreaking, such as overstaying a visa or feeding a parking meter, is a mere civil violation. And even when it is true, depending on the nature of the crime, it may be no reflection on the morals and worth of the perpetrator. Not when a mere kangaroo hop over an arbitrary imaginary line could change one from saint to sinner.

Tomorrow we plan to cross the Mason-Dixon line for the last time until after we have reached Nashville.