Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rail Trail

(Sometimes don't we all feel like Henry looks in this photo?)

Last night I did just a little coin roll hunting while Henry slept.

760 quarters turned up just one Domincan Republic 25 Centavos coin, 350 dimes didn't produce, 240 nickels also stunk, and 150 pennies yielded two Canadians and one Euro 5¢ from the Netherlands. The 5 Euro cents coin is a new variety for me.

This past Sunday Meg and I had another nice day. The weather turned out really well and wasn't as humid as I thought it'd be. We went for a walk with Henry on The Mass Central Rail Trail. We've been on other parts of it before, but this was the first time we were on it starting in Sterling center. It started out a bit swampy, although we did see about a dozen ducks and one snake, and then we got to walk through some nice tall pines. At one point the walk was along two small, quiet lakes. That was the best part of it. Meg accidentally dropped her water bottle while going over a small bridge. It rolled right into the water. I almost waded to get it out, as it was floating, but I couldn't determine the depth of the water. Some minutes later a trio of kayakers came by and fished it out for us.

(Although it looks like I'm posing in some sort of pretend wonderment, I didn't know I was in this photo.)

I also finished reading a book I had been working on for a few weeks, The Man Who Would Be King: The First American in Afghanistan by Ben Macintyre. It's about a Pennsylvanian Quaker named Josiah Harlan who ventured to Afganistan in the early 1800's to find his fortune. Over the years Harlan learned the language and customs of the country and used his skills to become advisor to several monarchs in the area. At one point he even convinced a local cheiftan to name him prince. Eventually Harlan returned to Pennsylvania to write an memoir that was never published, lead cavalry unit in the Civil War, and press the US government to support two schemes of his, one to import camels from Afghanistan and two to grow Afghanistan grapes in the midwest. Harlan's story became the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's short story, The Man Who Would Be King, which was later made into a movie. His memoir was thought to be lost, but was found by Macintyre, the author, in 2002. Some reviews on Amazon criticize the author's extensive use of memoir quotes, but I thought it was it was well done. The quotes added a lot of detail to the story that otherwise would be entirely known and reading Harlan's passages helped me to understand his personalaity. Macintyre put together a really enjoyable book and I look forward to reading some of his other works.

Found: 1 penny (at Sovereign Bank)


James (UK) said...

That's the Euro design I'm often banging on about endlessly. I really like the way the portrait has been done.

kestrelia said...

It's a bit dated because it is so mod, but I don't mind I think has some style.

Nice haul you had there BTW. There were some really cool foreign coins in that mix.

Anonymous said...

what happened to the other one?

James (UK) said...

Thanks. I like the German ones she found myself. Especially the way that eagle has evolved.