Rev-Quest: The Old Enemy

At the house of the British governor of colonial Virginia.
Mary Dickinson’s store
Pigpen cipher
In the gaol where Blackbeard’s pirates were kept.









Today we went to Williamsburg, and did a bunch of great stuff. For one, Gordon and I played Rev-Quest, a revolutionary spy game. After we had watched the video that told us how to begin, we checked the Red Schedule to find out what time we had to meet our agent at the Robert Carter house. Since there was still half an hour to spare, the colonial farm was the perfect place to stop, with just enough to see and do that we were done five minuets before our meeting, giving us enough time to get there.

Our agent explained to our group of fellow spies how to use the special cipher, and where to go next. Following orders, Gordon and I hurried to Mary Dickinson’s store, where we found that there where 13 letters on the sign, the feathers were in an X shape, and there was only 1 fan. This gave us our first clue: 13XI. This doesn’t make sense to you because it is in code. I am not allowed to explain it to you, do to direct orders from our Leader, but I can tell you that our secret message was sent, using a special messaging device from the future, to Mrs. J. From there she gave us a special order, to go to the magazine and speak with an associate of hers. We found out the next clue, 13JIV. Upon sending to Mrs. J., I quickly remembered something odd I had seen on the side of a tavern, just what we were looking for. Gordon and I rushed to Chowning’s Tavern, and found the pigpen code written on the outside wall. It seemed a little risky to me, since it is not too hard to decipher, but an old lobster-back wouldn’t understand the words, anyway. Since you are so desperate to know I will tell you, but you will have to rest with the simple knowledge that the clue is as follows, for reasons unknown to you. Arms. Tobacco. Sugar.

Gordon put the words in their proper order on a letter previously given to us, and I read it aloud. It seemed that tobacco is what the French prize most, so it will be our way of trade. We have found an ally at the Post Office who has given us a document in which there is a message for the French clearly stating the reasons we want independence from Britain. Gordon sent a message to Mrs. J. to tell her what we had found, and we learned of a French Envoy with whom we needed to speak. She would only come to speak at 1:45, so as to not be seen, so we waited for half an hour more at the millinery. When she finally came, it was with ill tidings, for the French would not become allies… Yet. My brother and I, and all our fellow spies, are sure we can change their minds. Our hearts are of oak, as Mrs. J. has said, and we can not give up now.

Gordon and I found a green gated alley way across from a sign that said 1745, a clue given us by the French Envoy, and found a message in pigpen code. It said “North” “Middle” and “South.” Mrs. J. had given me a map of the ocean and my brother and I tried to decide the easiest route to France, north, middle, or south.

Thomas Jefferson is to leave from the Delaware River on the north route to France. That is the shortest, but also the most dangerous. We had to meet with a Courtier at 3:00, in order to tell him of our Leader’s plans, and get the name of the the safest ship to take him across. Gordon and I successfully got our message across, and learned the name of the ship so as to pass the information on to Mrs. J., who in turn will alert the French to be on the lookout for the ship. I’m sorry, I am not permitted to pass the name on to you, for it has been forbid by our Leader. It is yet to be discovered whether or not France will consent in the end, but I’m sure that Britain’s Old Enemy will be our New Ally.

Rock Climbing Pictures


Climbing on the natural staircase.
Climbing on the natural staircase.
The practice climb. We had two ropes set up for it.
The practice climb. We had two ropes set up for it.







Gordon climbing. Dr. Grant is belaying him.
Gordon climbing. Dr. Grant is belaying him.













































What’s the difference between indoor rock climbing and outdoor rock climbing?
When you rock climb indoors there is a man-made climbing wall
. All the holds where specially made to hold on to and to step on. When you rock climb outdoors you are on a mountain. Of course, there are no specially made holds unless someone has added them. You’re putting all of your weight on any little flat place you can find to step on, and you’re  walking on nearly vertical rock.
Isn’t it dangerous?

Not really. When you climb you’re hooked up to the belay, so that if you fall the person working your belay can pull the rope and hold you. It’s kind of fun to fall, anyway, since you know you’re safe. It feels dangerous at first, but trust is the key. Trust the person belaying you, and trust the rope. Climbing ropes are about an inch thick, so you can trust them.
Do you need a guide?
It’s always good to go with someone who is good at climbing and can climb up a little ways with out being on a belay so that they can set up your ropes. When you first start, go up about 30 feet until you get the hang of it, before going really high.
Do you have any more questions? feel free to ask, and I’ll get back to you by the end of the week!
– Lillian.

Rock Climbing

My first climb. It was so hard to find footing!

We went rock climbing with Dr. Grant in August. We were climbing up a rock that he knew of about an hour’s walk from the parking lot where we parked. We started with some warm-up climbs, going up about 30 feet on a rope tied to metal loops in the rock.
Once we had done that enough to get comfortable with it, which didn’t take long, we began our big climb. The whole rock was 300 feet tall, and we went all the way up it. Beginning at the ropes at the bottom, Dr. Grant climbed about 1/3 of the way up. He had two ropes tied to his climbing harness, Mom’s and mine. Mom had Dad’s rope tied to her harness, and I had Gordon’s rope tied to my harness. So once Dr. Grant got up to a ledge, he began working the belay device. The belay device is a device that you tie the rope through, and then you can pull it apart to hold the person who is tied to the rope when they fall. I went first, and once I was about a fourth of the way to the ledge where Dr. Grant was, Mom started climbing behind me. We had to go slowly, because Dr. Grant was working both of our belays, but soon we got up to where he was. He tied us in, and then started belaying Dad and Gordon. The ends of their ropes where down at the bottom, tied to them, but Mom and I had brought the other ends trailing behind us. Then Dad and Gordon climbed up to us, and Dad belayed Dr. Grant to go another fourth of the way up. When Dr. Grant was at the top he belayed Mom and I, then Dad and Gordon. Then we did it again! It took about 2 hours to get all the way up!

Climbing up the edge of the world!
Mom climbing up the edge of the world!

Near the end there was a really smooth place with no foot holds. It was really scary, and I had to run from the hard place to a natural rock staircase. From there it was easy.

At the top we stopped to take off our climbing shoes and harnesses, and put on our walking shoes. I would have liked to rappel down, but it was really far and it would be a big hassle, so we walked down a trail that went to the bottom of the rock where we had left our bags. Then we walked down the trail to our car.

I loved the rock climb. I really liked how it was both a team effort (One person [at least] climbing, one person working the belay), and an independent sport (You’re climbing by yourself, so you feel even more out).
For some people I guess having the feeling like you’re about to fall off the world would be scary. I would have thought I wouldn’t like it. But somehow, it makes me feel happy, and free, and very adventurous.LilCloseup