I arrived at Cousin Dick’s on Thursday, September 13. I really haven’t seen Dick and Lugene for probably 25 years. It’s been really fun catching up and learning their lifestyle (not your average joes). I took advantage of their offer of room and board inside their home and gave Harvey a rest. Spent some time getting him ready to roll, did laundry, arranged to empty my tanks and cruise on down the road on Monday.
Dick has always been a good joke and storyteller. There was a time that my cousin Sue and I visited his mother and father and both Dick and his brother Charles were there. They played off each other all night long and by the time we left Towson, our sides were hurting from laughing! So consequently, Dick was good medicine for me.
Dick and Lugene have always been dog and horse people. They left Cecil County with horses and dogs in tow and they still have 38 dogs and four horses. When I pulled in, Dick was re-shoeing two of his horses.
They’ve been fox hunters all their lives and have raised and trained probably hundreds of hunting dogs over the years. Lu started with Bassett hounds in Cecil county, MD, (lots of different breeds: Artesian Normandy, Petite Fauve Griffon, Petite Blue de Gasgone, Westerly, British Bassett, AKC) Dick has taken over the Bassetts and Lu now takes care of the foxhounds. The foxhounds are Penn MaryDels – originally from the Eastern Shore of Maryland where George Washington started the first pack. We’ve hunted the Bassetts the last two mornings. Complete with hunting horns, whips, and pistols (loaded with rat shot if needed to discourage them from tracking deer), they’d start up the hill from the kennel looking for a rabbit scent. One dog would usually start baying, signaling the others that the chase was on. Then 14 other dogs would take off in pursuit. So much fun to watch.
We traveled a couple times to East Fork, a privately owned horse park where people (and horses) from Texas, Florida, Ohio, and many other states too numerous to list were camped for the weekend. The horses were all Tennessee Walkers. Only these folks didn’t walk them much. They were competing against each other in ‘private’ races. The horse that won on Saturday was clocked with a radar gun at 34 mph. That’s fast for a ‘walking’ horse – all without breaking that beautiful stride! It was amazing to watch. Many were ridden by what Dick called Buckle Bunnies (cute cowgirls with big buckles on their belts).
On Sunday Dick took me around the edge of the plateau and through South Fork which is all federal parkland. Most of their area (Cumberland Plateau) is surrounded by 100 to 500′ sandstone and aggregate cliffs. You have to cross the gorge via bridges to get there. Beautiful territory – many, many square miles of rolling green hills, Angus and Hereford farms, horse farms and beauty, all on top of the plateau.
Left there on a rainy Monday to travel to the Natchez Trace.