October 10 – Culpeper to Orange

Day 13. 500 mile Journey to Salem. Culpepper, VA to Orange, VA. About 22 miles. 64,300 steps. Light rain/overcast. High 71. Hilly. After a great night’s rest in our lovely hotel rooms, great start at Raven’s Roost Cafe in Culpepper with coffee and a quick breakfast. We welcomed Caroline Creaser Pritchard as a team member for the day and loved having her walk with us! Thank you!!! The day was misty and overcast, but did not dampen our spirits, as the temp was ideal. We walked primarily on country roads this morning (with a stretch of one a little busier) with the same stunning beauty to which we have become accustomed in this area. We had a WONDERFUL picnic lunch at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Rapidan, VA , provided by Betsy Brantley, A’73. We even had flowers on the tables courtesy of the church!!! Btw! Special thanks for the Halloween candy!! Our afternoon walk was mostly idyllic, though hilly, all of the way to the outskirts of Orange. Several of us struggled a bit with feet and shins today and will be working on shoe and other solutions in the next several days, but otherwise everyone doing well. Tonight was all about celebrating!!! We have now walked more than 250 miles!!! Over halfway there by mileage!! Celebrating 250 miles in Salem’s 250 year!! Now less than 250 to go to bring the journey home to Salem!! We celebrated with numerous alums at the Inn at Poplar Hill with pizza and beer provided by Betsy Brantley, A‘73. Lots of photos included with this post. Thanks so much to everyone who joined us!!!! We look forward to walking with you tomorrow!! Time for some feet icing to get ready for you! Hope everyone had a great weekend and wish you a wonderful week!

– Lucy Rose C’76

Strava map Day 13

October 9 – Warrenton to Culpeper

Day 12 Journey to Salem

We decided to walk slowly as a group today to see how it felt. Gorgeous farms along the route that were established as early as 1710. We crossed the Rappahannock River today, on the 12th day of our Journey. This is the same day Salome says in her journal that they crossed the Rappahannock. With the dates on the farms, I believe we must have traveled along the same road they took in 1766. It was GORGEOUS!!! A great day! We were met at the end by Academy Alumna Betsy Brantley ’73, who will be hosting this section of VA for us. The support from the alums and others along this route is what makes this whole journey even more special!

Debbie Faires A’82

Day 12. 500 mile journey to Salem. Warrenton, VA to Culpepper, VA. About 20 miles and 56,000 steps. Overcast skies. High 71. Rolling hills, with some rather steep!! Through tears, we said goodby to Kate this morning and we missed her all day! Thank goodness she is returning! After a quick peek at the Warrenton Farmers’ market, we walked from one VA Mainstreet town to another today – both incredible and so demanding of a meaningful visit!!! Please do visit this area if you have not done so. Spectacular does not even begin to describe the architecture/homes we saw as we walked out of Warrenton. Our walk today was amazing in every way. The roads/route were incredible. We passed so many bucolic and historic horse farms we could not count them. We crossed the Rappahannock River, just as Salome and her colleagues did 250 years ago, but us via bridge! We had another perfect picnic. And we completed 20+ miles, ending the walk at Old Trace Brewery, where we relaxed and were joined by Salem Academy alum, Betsy Brantley, our host for this area!! Before heading to our hotel, we said goodbye to our 4 day rock stars – Lee Caldwell Coffman, C’76 and her cousin Kent. They were tough, fun, determined, and perfect companions. Thanks so much for joining us! A personal thank you from me to Lee, as we are Salem classmates!! A great boutique hotel tonight, incredible take out food from Thyme Market, a hot shower, some TV football, and soon, a great night’s sleep to prepare for another big day tomorrow! Sleep well, everyone! As always, deepest gratitude to all of those who are responsible for ensuring all of this was planned so well and are working daily to ensure success!! Thank you all for your support!!

Lucy Rose C’76

Crossing the Rappahannock River!

Day 12 and 21 miles! We walked from downtown farmers market in Warrenton, Virginia to the Old Trade Brewing in Culpepper, Virginia. Today was beautiful countryside with friendly horses, valleys, Mountain Views, and 1-3 crossings of the Rappahannock River. The 1766 journal regarding crossing the River was very interesting to me as it read “October 14th. In the afternoon we came to a river called the Rappahannock. Only four persons could ride in the canoe. Brother Holder paddled us across. On the other side were some completely naked Negro children. Every day we realize more and more how very lucky we are to have been born and raised in our congregation (Gemeine). It was very hot again.” This was the first time since Lititz PA that Brother Holder reappeared. So funny how he was not in the official party but kept appearing in the journal! Very near the River we came upon “Liberty Hall Farm” established in 1710. It could have been the same area where the 1766 party crossed the Rappahannock. There were several African American homeowners we saw once we crossed. They were fully dressed. Most of us agreed that today was one if not the favorite of our walking days so far. There were only farms, no stores or busy roads. It was just serene views and a picnic lunch. Weather was a bit sticky. It was overall good weather with clouds and an occasional breeze.

– Frances Cronlund C’98

Strava map Day 12

October 8 – Gainesville to Warrenton

Day 11. 500 mile Journey to Salem. Gainesville, VA to Warrenton, VA. About 15 miles. 46,000 steps. Overcast much of day. High 75. Flat and rolling hills. Deana Bass Williams and Le Forest joined us again for the day. Hooray!!!! On a another note. Today was Kate’s last walk with us, FOR NOW. We will surely MISS HER!!! Great day for everyone. Good rhythm. Strongly positive vibe! Morning break was story of the day! Amy de Court, C’79, surprised us at our morning break by joining us AND with her incredibly thoughtful goodies!!! Check out the photos and explanations! We can’t thank you enough for your caring and thoughtfulness!! We bought sandwiches at mayhugh’s store and were delighted to also find HAM BISCUITS – 3 days in a row!!!! And, while on this break we also toured Greenwich Presbyterian Church, hosted by missionary Austin House. Hard to explain, but that whole experience was very moving. For lunch, we ate those mayhughs-purchased sandwiches and shared a live FB session on the Peace, Love, and Salem FB page. After a gorgeous afternoon walk, we were greeted by the Warrenton mayor, Carter Neville, at our hotel. We had a wonderful time interacting with him AND saw him again at dinner when he stopped by our outdoor table! He is now a huge Salem supporter! 6 of us had a delicious dinner at Denim and Pearls on Warrenton’s highly charming Main Street, where the mayor sought us out and spent a few minutes with us. They close Main Street to cars on Friday night and make it a wonderful, family friendly evening. We had a TREMENDOUS time! Really good day, save some uncomfortable blisters for some. I can’t even imagine the original walkers with THEIR shoes!! Early morning tomorrow. 20 miles to go before we sleep!! Happy weekend to everyone!!

Lucy Rose C’76

Leg 11, we traveled 15 miles from #gainesvilleva to #warrentonva And….. Crossed over the 200 mile mark! Catching up on pre-Virginia photo when we were given an @Audi for our documentary crew! Thank you @flowaudi for your #sponsorship for #mysalemjourney Yes, every road is not easy or open. Most are country roads, narrow shoulder and kinda dangerous. Country stores which say “no public restrooms” does not mean that we will not be allowed to use, just ask nicely. Thank goodness!! Salem Alums who surprise us ON THE COURSE with homemade treats and inspirations is the stuff that makes me crazy happy. Do you know how awesome Salem Alumnae are? Like your mother, sister, best friend, fairy godmother all wrapped up together. We finished our day in downtown #warrentonva which is so stinking cute that I have a low key crush going. Seriously considering a vacation home here.

– Frances Cronlund C’98

Day 11 Journey to Salem
215.84 miles so far🎉🏃‍♀️
Met so many kind people along the way today. Some alums, some strangers. The Mayor of Warrenton, VA came to meet us at our hotel soon after we arrived and he was interested in learning more about Salem Academy and College, and he was happy to share some about Warrenton. He brought his precious dog, Dusty, with him. Virginia is rolling out the red carpet for us! Nice to have a little shorter day today, too! #journey2salem #mysalemjourney

– Debbie Faires A’82

Thank you, Flow Motors, for sponsoring The Journey to Salem!

October 7 – Middleburg to Gainesville

Day 10. 500 mile Journey to Salem. Middleburg, VA to Gainesville, VA. About 18 miles. 54,000 steps. Overcast sky. High 77 degrees. Following a wonderful breakfast at the B&B, we headed out for our walk to Gainesville. We spent a good portion of the day on gorgeous roads, paved and unpaved, absorbing the beauty and serenity of the VA horse country. I could have taken hundreds of landscape, barns, and horse photos – but you’ll just have to visit and appreciate for yourself to see more! We had a little off trail scramble adventure, followed by one of Lisa’s best surprises yet – shaved country ham biscuits!!! Now that was a snack break for the books! Thank you, Lisa! And that was followed not too long later by a wonderful picnic lunch! Double thank you! Two pieces of trail magic today! A man in line behind Lee at our 7-11 stop heard what we were doing and paid for her coffee. AND, Elizabeth wished for an onion for her lunch sandwich AND Lee immediately FOUND ONE on the ground – whole fresh and usable, Elizabeth sliced and ate on her sandwich!! What in the world ???!! Hotel a sight for sore eyes today – several of us a little more tired than usual. Clothes washed, dinner complete (some in and some out), feet iced, muscles stretched, ”good nights” shared. Another really special day. #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

Lucy Rose C’76

Day 10 and 17 miles! From Middleburg, VA to Gainesville, VA. The Fab five thru walkers found ourselves at the back of the group so we attempted a selfie! (Groupie?) We have a morning ritual that Marcia created by playing the same song each morning, “Good Morning, Starshine”! When Marcia hikes the Appalachian Trail, that is how she starts each morning! We love Marcia … she’s our plus one / stowaway who transformed us from the Fab Four to the Fab Five. Story of the day: we were following the trail, which was beautiful, but then it tricked us when suddenly our road turned into…. We don’t know! Mounds of excess asphalt that was dumped in mounds so we had no choice but to climb! But no worries at the end was Lisa, our esteemed van driver, who met us with ham biscuits and cupcakes. How did she know were were in need of TLC after our climb? Per our usual, we stopped at a gas station for the usual reasons plus stretching. We stretch A LOT! We gather the most attention from strangers when we stretch in public… seriously. Lifestyles of the Roadies- laundry day! Every few days we do laundry in the hotel. We usually get it all in before we go out to dinner. By the time we return it’s ready to be folded.  As if goofing all day while working hard on a 20 mile walk isn’t enough to feel like college… laundry confirms it! #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

Frances Cronlund C’98

Day 10 Journey to Salem!  200.95 miles so far, according to my Strava App! #journey2salem #mysalemjourney

– Debbie Faires A’83

October 6 – Leesburg to Middleburg

Sisters Vonda Delawie A’75 and Vesta Kimble A’77

As sisters often do, my older sister, Vonda Kimble Delawie (’75 Academy), signed me up to walk Leg 9 with her, knowing full well that I would not be able to go the distance, 14 miles (one of the shortest legs).  But what sealed the deal for me was knowing that there would be a van to rescue me at the 6-mile mark and carry me for a 4-mile rest so that I could rejoin the group for the last 2.5 miles.  Lisa Bankoff C’73 is my new-best-friend for driving the van and saving me and a few other walkers.

That said, it was such an enjoyable time to be among other women, stronger and strong-willed, who were not going to let 14 miles intimidate them.  Today’s walk had components of urban, suburban, country (and ultra country on gravel roads).  Cool and cloudy — my kind of weather.

With every step, I marvelled more at the original sisters who took this journey, and judging by the journal entries — which are read aloud each morning before the day’s hike — their trip was full of hope but also challenges to overcome along the way.   We have had it so easy!!

– Vesta Kimble A’77

Day 9. 500 mile Journey to Salem. Leesburg, VA to Middleburg, VA. Cloudy/overcast all day. High temp 69. About 15 miles walked. We welcomed 8 new walkers today – 6 for today only and 2 for four days. It was WONDERFUL having all of you with us. AND, it was such a special treat for me to walk with four Salem College classmates!! AND, we “rewelcomed” Deana and LaForrest! Thanks to all of you for joining us and enriching our experience along the way as well. We are so happy we shared today TOGETHER. Though overcast all day, it was cooler and pleasant and made for a great walk on much less hilly topography. And, the landscape, oh the landscape. It just doesn’t get much more beautiful anywhere than it does here in the Virginia horse country. Stunning horses dot a jaw-dropping view everywhere you look. Stone homes dating from the 18th century, majestic oak trees (some older than Salem!), and truly palatial horse barns create a cinematic surround. I just wish more of you could have been here to share it with us. Please do drop by to say hi if you are ever near us! As some of you saw in our live FB stream on the Peace, Love and Salem FB page today ( thank you Deana!) we are staying tonight in a B&B near Middleburg. 4 of us Ubered into Middleburg for dinner, one went out with a friend, and others chilled at the Inn relaxing, catching up, and preparing for another full day tomorrow! Thank you for watching today and for your tremendous support! We feel you and treasure your good wishes! And, a shout out to all of you virtual walkers!!! Thank you for supporting our journey and Salem!!  #mysalemjourney #journey2salem

Lucy Rose C’76

Day 9 and 14 Miles! Leesburg VA to Middleburg VA. Today was a “rest day.” Easy miles, Great Company! My big brother’s buddy lives nearby and joined us for today’s mileage!

– Frances Cronlund C’98

Strava map – Day 9

Watch the livestream on Facebook from today!

October 5 – Frederick to Leesburg

Day 8 Journey to Salem

Crossed the Potomac River into VIRGINIA today! The Mayor of Leesburg invited us to stop at the Courthouse to meet her. She had read the diary that Salome kept in 1766 and she wanted Leesburg to make a better impression on our group this time! She issued a Proclamation. It was very kind of her. She asked us to explain more about Salem Academy when she learned that some of us that are walking are not from the college. We did, and added that the Academy was actually founded first. She was super impressed that Salem has been educating women for 250 years! Gorgeous walk today!!!

– Debbie Faires A’83

Day 8. Frederick, MD to Leesburg, VA. 21 miles. 57,000 steps. Overcast. Hilly. 8 miles of gorgeous horse farms on unpaved road! Thank you to Katherine Lee Johnson, A 79 for joining us this morning AND for the doughnuts!!!! We devoured them! And thank you to Alex Klein, college alum, for joining us as our videographer!!! What a joy! We had a gorgeous, rolling walk today through Maryland and Virginia, crossing the Potomac, petting horses and cows, gaping at stunning horse farms, and meeting a man who told us about the history of a farm that was a stop on the underground railroad. Please note the dates on all of the signs today – 1700’s on most!!! We picnicked by the Potomac for lunch, enjoying a cornucopia of picnic food, including pb&j sandwiches with blackberry jelly from Katherine, made locally by McCutchen’s. We were met in historic and picturesque Leesburg (1740) by the mayor, Kelly Burk, who spoke with us about the history of the walk and their time in Leesburg (the original girls/women who journeyed through here did not get a great reception!), the Academy and College, as well as read a prepared proclamation. And, a real personal treat for me – 4 classmates met us here and will walk with us tomorrow! We caught up tonight while sharing a wonderful meal at Tuscarora Mill. Thanks to all for a superb day and to everyone who worked so hard to make it so!

– Lucy Rose C’76

October 4 – Westminster to Frederick

500 mile Journey to Salem! Westminster to Frederick, Md. 21.5 miles. 59, 600 steps. Alternating sun and overcast. Very hilly. 80 degrees!! Patt Hall Haun C’76 -yes, we were classmates! – joined us to walk today and rocked it!! Her husband, Tom, joined us as a driver and a great scout and supporter!! Katherine Lee Johnson A’79, is our host in MD. She joined us this morning, reading our Salome journal entry to start our day, and bearing local treats of jams and jellies!! Thank you!! We said goodbye to Yvonne this morning, who changed her travel plans to drive Marcia’s car to Winston-Salem. What a team. We will miss you, Yvonne, until we see you again! We walked a really fast pace today through gorgeous countryside and historic downtown Frederick. Though we don’t know exactly where, we do know the original travelers stayed a night very close to here. We could feel their spirit especially as we walked through Frederick. Some walkers especially tired tonight. Dinner in rooms (thanks to left overs and Uber Eats! ) and a few folks in a restaurant. We ended our “official” day with a champagne toast to the end of a wonderful first week of learning, experiencing, traveling, and bonding. Champagne provided by Frances’s aunt (who joined us tonight) and apple cake (DELICIOUS!!) accompaniment provided by Sara Engram!! Tomorrow to Leesburg, VA (3rd state!) – promises to be a great walk!

– Lucy Rose C’76

Leg 7 and 22 miles done! One week and 140 miles into our journey! Today was fantastic – so much better than yesterday. We started the day with the “story of the day” peaking early. Someone who shall not be named decided to dry their bra in the microwave. The metal caught fire and well… she burned her bra! Back to the 70s we went!

The 80 degrees and humidity was still bearing down but farm-side trees and clouds provided plenty of welcome shade. Aloof horses, quilted hilltops, and questioning cows made for spectacular new views every 15 minutes. The day was our fastest by far, not that it’s a race but it measures the spring in our step. We ended the day with my Aunt @lencron Lenore joining us and bringing us champagne to celebrate our first week done!

We have a routine!!! We start each day together with Hotel breakfast which is when I journal. Then we load the “wagon” like we are playing Tetris. After we circle up we read out loud “today’s” journal from the 1766 Journey. We discuss game plan for the course, our stops, the weather, and lunch. Breaks are too short and lunch is best in the shade by picnic. We mostly snack all day and save our biggest meal for dinner. Some of us order in, others go out. I always go out and my roommate likes to go out too! Have I mentioned how much I love my roommate, Lisa, College Class of ‘73. She’s also our support van driver. #mysalemjourney#trailtalk#itsajourney#hiking#womensupportingwomen @salemacademy @salemcollege

– Frances Cronlund C’98

Strava map day 7

October 3 – Hanover to Westminster

Day 6. Journey to Salem! Hanover, PA to Westminster, MD. Almost 21 miles. 55,000 steps. Today was tough. Just no way around it. 81 degrees. VERY hilly. No shade in sight. VERY narrow road shoulders for walking. Heavy traffic. We are all exhausted this evening. But, relative to our predecessors’ challenges, small inconveniences! We said goodbye to Dail Ritchie today, our guide through PA. We will miss her terribly and thank her beyond words. The day started with 4 through walkers and ended with 5!! Marcia Wood Shawler A‘75 has been with us since day one and made the decision today to continue the whole journey with us!! We are thrilled! Kendra and Ann (see yesterday’s post)drove by to check on us and briefly visit. They made our day!! Thank you!! AND, we completed our PA journey today and headed into Maryland!! One down, 3 to go!! We met the man who lives on the actual state line – a gorgeous farm. He brought out flags for both states and allowed us to take a photo on the state line. What a memorable experience!! We passed the UTZ potato chip headquarters, the “headless horseman,” lots of Halloween decorations, cows, beautiful barns, and gorgeous scenery. We took several needed breaks this afternoon, with our leadership team in the van monitoring us closely and providing everything we needed for a successful day – food, lots of water, and TLC!! We arrived at the hotel ahead of schedule due to walking faster than usual and shortened breaks! We were all ready for AC and a shower!! For dinner – some in room, some Asian (see photo!) some Italian, and some probably just went straight to bed! Thanks to all for another incredible day!! And, thanks to you readers for following our journey!!

Lucy Rose C’76

Day 6: Welcome to Maryland! Today we walked from Hanover, PA to Westminster, Maryland. We started out the day strong and well rested. We tearfully said goodbye to Dail Richie @salemcollege Class of ‘72 who is a PA resident and our daily guide this entire journey so far. Along the first mile, Marcia, @salemacademy Class of ‘75, announced that she *is* staying with us Fab Four thru-walkers all the way to Winston-Salem! Woohoo! We are now the Fab Five thru walkers. We’ve been benefiting from her extensive hiking experience since day one and so glad she decided she just *had* to keep leading our pack each day. Within a mile of the Maryland border I found a #bluecrabclaw on the side of the road. The Old Bay State was so close I could almost taste it! We reached the Maryland border by noon and the farmer whose property is split between Pennsylvania and Maryland invited us to take our picture on his border flag display. We cheerfully accepted! Our joy soon melted as the hills kicked in, heat turned up to 80, traffic sped up and all tree shade disappeared. I myself struggled with a heat fever and sat out 3 miles of our 20 mile course. I even napped in the wagon (van) for 30 minutes! I did finish the day strong and returned to the course for the last two miles. Overall it was 17 miles for my feet today.

Frances Cronlund C’98

The Fabulous Five through-walkers: Frances Cronlund C’98, Elizabeth Wade C’88, Marcia Shawler A’75, Lucy Rose C’76, Debbie Faires A’82
Strava map Day 6