Skip to content

Natural Goodness Blog

  • Wreaths Across America: Part 2

    The Wreaths Across America journey continued on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Joe Masse, a seasoned veteran in the driver’s seat of an Oakhurst tractor-trailer truck, was lucky to have Jeff Reinold join him on the second day of the Escort to Arlington. Reinold is a 35-year Sales Representative at Oakhurst also happens to be a United States Marine Veteran and served in the Vietnam War.

    Reinold’s experience as a part of the WAA convoy started in Westbrook and ended in Kittery on Monday. He was touched by the display of patriotism at each stop along the way. “There were hundreds and hundreds of kids at some of these assemblies,” he said. “It was amazing how intuitive these kids were and they seemed to fully comprehend the purpose and mission of the Wreaths Across America program.” He continued, “Kids were cheering, Veterans were saluting, and people were saying thank- you” as Joe and Jeff rolled through towns where there was no planned stop. Reinold said, “I want to come back next year in a larger capacity. I just don’t feel like I did enough- I want to do more. It would be great to go to Arlington for the wreath laying ceremony.” After a day filled with pride and sentiment Jeff gave up his passenger seat to Joe’s grandson, Parker.

    Oakhurst WAA Truck

    Parker continued on with Joe for all of Tuesday and Wednesday where he was able to see New York City for the first time. Parker was witness to only part of the Escort to Arlington route last year and missed out on the trip through New York City. It’s no surprise that Parker asked his grandfather if he could join him again, this time for a longer period of time. After two and a half days of driving, they travelled from Kittery all the way to Bordentown, New Jersey stopping a total of seven times for various assemblies and ceremonies. “The highlight was going to Ellis Island, we sailed right by the Statue of Liberty, which I had only seen in pictures. We also went to the Vietnam Memorial which was really well preserved and had murals on the wall and pictures from the time period,” Parker said.

    There seems to be a common theme, here:

    -Joe who drove the Oakhurst truck last year, wants to continue to do so every year until it’s physically impossible for him to do so.

    -Parker quickly volunteered to ride along again this year after a powerful and moving trip with his grandfather last year

    -Jeff who only experienced a small portion of the trip this year, wants to be involved again next year and in a bigger way.

    Whether you are driving a truck that is transporting the wreaths, hitching a ride as a passenger, part of the convoy as a Patriot Guard Rider bearing a cold December road trip, attending one of the many ceremonious stops along the way, you can’t help but want to be a part of this powerful tribute again and again.

    A view from the passenger seat

     

    Stay tuned for the final blog post from the last leg of the journey. In the meantime, follow along on Oakhurst’s interactive map and watch the “Escort to Arlington” streamed live at http://waa.oakhurstdairy.com and be sure to take a look at the Dashboard Camera – you’ll feel as though you’re on the road with Joe and the rest of the convoy. Want to see who Joe has riding along with him? Check out the Cab Camera.

  • Wreaths Across America: Part 1

    The Wreaths Across America journey is a powerful tribute to America’s fallen heroes. Anyone who has witnessed it first-hand would echo that sentiment. That is why Joe Masse, a 38-year Oakhurst truck driver, wanted to share this experience with his family. Last year was Joe’s first year driving the Wreaths Across America truck for Oakhurst and when he was asked to do it again this year, he couldn’t have been more enthusiastic.

    “I have attached myself to this cause,” Masse said. “I plan to drive the truck every year until it’s physically impossible for me to do so. And when I can’t drive the truck anymore, I’ll volunteer my time each November to make wreaths in Harrington.”

     
    Oakhurst driver, Joe Masse (far left) and his family.

    Oakhurst driver, Joe Masse (far left) and his family.

    The very first ceremony of the trip began early on Saturday morning with a sunrise service at Quoddy Head State Park where the U.S. Atlantic coast meets the Canadian Atlantic coast. The trip starts here to represent the program’s reach from ‘sea to shining sea’.

    The first leg of the “Escort to Arlington” started after a breakfast in Harrington, ME on Sunday morning – where Morrill and Karen Worcester, along with the help of several volunteers (many of whom are veterans) finished making the thousands of wreaths that will eventually be placed on the graves of our fallen soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery.

    This year, Joe’s granddaughter, Paige joined him all day Sunday, where they made a total of six stops from Harrington to Scarborough. After attending one ceremony after another, with some time to reflect in the passenger seat between each stop, it’s only natural that 14-year old Paige described the day as, “emotional”. Joe’s wish for his grandkids to, “understand the importance of the ‘Remember. Honor. Teach.’ mission of the program” was seemingly comprehended by Paige.

    Cabela’s in Scarborough was host to several proud citizens who braved the bitter cold and welcomed the convoy to their final stop of the day. After a moving tribute to fallen hero, Christopher Cash by the Wounded Heroes Program of Maine’s, Pam Payeur – a wreath was presented to Cash’s mother. At the end of the ceremony, a very humble Morrill Worcester put the magnitude of heroism and bravery, like Cash’s, into perspective when he said, “I’m just a wreath-maker from Maine”. A simple, yet resounding statement that reinforces the purpose of the ceremonial stops each day, like the one at Cabela’s. Each stop on the way to Arlington, reminds people to never forget those who have sacrificed for their country, how important it is to show respect by honoring the lives that have been lost and to teach others that because of that sacrifice, we have freedom.

    AmericanFlag

    A patriotic welcome.

    Follow along on Oakhurst’s interactive map and watch the “Escort to Arlington” streamed live at http://waa.oakhurstdairy.com and be sure to take a look at the Dashboard Camera – you’ll feel as though you’re on the road with Joe and the rest of the convoy. Want to see who Joe has riding along with him? Check out the Cab Camera. Be sure to stay tuned to the blog for more notes from the road – including the trip through Southern Maine with former United States Marine Veteran and 35-year Oakhurst Sales Representative, Jeff Reinold as Joe’s passenger.

    For more information about the “Escort to Arlington” and how you can sponsor a wreath, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

  • PSST… HAVE YOU HEARD?! OAKHURST NOW HAS ALMONDMILK! PASS IT ON…

    AlmondMilk_Trio_1016

     

    Here at Oakhurst, we love our dairy milk but we know not everyone has the same taste, that is why we are proud to introduce Oakhurst Almond Goodness almondmilk. Naturally, this new addition has some people in the industry buzzing, and we understand why. Why would a local company who sources their milk from Maine dairy farms get into the plant-based milk business? And why would we even dare to compete against the larger, more well-known brands already in the market?

    Here’s the scoop: with 93 years of history in the milk business, we are certainly not advocating that traditional milk lovers give up on dairy. It’s core to our business and accounts for a whopping 92% of our sales but we do want to be responsive to changing consumer trends and needs. Research shows that consumer demand is driving increased interest in plant-based foods and dairy alternatives. In the last 12 months, almondmilk sales are up 43% and now account for more than 5% of the total milk category.

    We have the responsibility to remain a strong, competitive company, supporting both our employees and the nearly 60 Maine dairy farmers who supply our company each week. Recognizing and responding to consumer demand is critical to this goal. These individuals have already made the decision to move away from traditional dairy but we know many of them would prefer an Oakhurst alternative to the national brands, and after three years of development we are ready to deliver. We want to become the local brand that helps New Englanders find the right milk for them – whether it’s traditional dairy milk, lactose free milk or a non-dairy alternative like almondmilk.

    While we expand into the alternative milk category, we want to reassure Maine’s families and farmers that we remain committed to sourcing our fluid milk from our current Maine farmers, just as we’ve done for generations and will continue to do for generations to come.

  • Who’s Ready for Some Good College Hockey? The Oakie’s Corner Experience at UMaine and UNH

    Oakhurst is once again teaming up with the UMaine Black Bears and UNH Wildcats Men’s Hockey teams to offer a unique experience for young hockey players across the two states. It’s an exciting program we started last year called The Oakie’s Corner Experience. What is it and how can your young player participate?

     

    UNH Oakies Corner Experience

     

    Here’s How The Oakie’s Corner Experience Works

    Oakhurst will select a youth team to be its guest at seven (7) UNH and seven (7) UMaine Hockey home games (see below schedule for games). Each youth team will receive 20 free tickets, special Oakie’s Corner seating in each of the arenas, a visit from Oakie, an opportunity to engage with the University hockey teams, special recognition and gifts the night of the game. Sounds fun, right?

     

    It’s Easy to Become the Oakie’s Corner Experience Team

    • Enter at oakiescornerexperience@oakhurstdairy.com
    • Tell us the name of your team, your town, age and provide a person to contact (email and phone)
    • List the top 2 games your team would like to attend
    • Winning teams selected on a first-come first serve basis and notified at the beginning of the University hockey season
    • Eligible teams must not have players in 8th grade or above, therefore we are looking for teams in Mite, Squirt and Peewee age groups ONLY

     Transportation to and from the game is not provided. Any souvenirs or food items purchased at the arenas will be the responsibility of the teams.

     

     

     Spartans with Oakie and Wildcat

     

    Oakie’s Corner Experience Home Game Schedules

    UMaine                                               UNH

    Oct. 25 vs. Alaska at 7PM                 Oct. 25 vs. Colorado College at 7PM

    Nov. 1 vs. Massachusetts at 7PM       Nov. 8 vs. Michigan State at 7PM

    Nov. 29 vs. Vermont at 7PM              Nov. 22 vs. Providence at 5PM        

    Jan. 3 vs. Canisius at 7PM                 Jan. 17 vs. Massachusetts at 6:30PM          

    Jan. 18 vs. Boston College at 3PM      Feb. 14 vs. Boston U at 7PM            

    Jan. 30 vs. Connecticut at 7:30 PM     Feb. 21 vs. Connecticut at 7PM

    Feb. 7 vs. Notre Dame at 7 PM          Feb. 28 vs. Merrimack at 5PM

     

    UMaine Oakie Shake 

     

    Aspire. Perspire. Restore.

    Refuel with Oakhurst Lowfat Chocolate Milk After Exercise

     Aspire.     Most kids who hit the ice every week or participate in any other sport want to achieve a certain goal

    Perspire.  And they work hard trying to achieve their goals

    Restore.   We want coaches, parents and all the athletes out there to take care of their bodies during their sports seasons. One simple way is to drink 16 ounces of lowfat chocolate milk within one hour of training and games in order to refuel.

     

    Research suggests lowfat chocolate milk is superior to drinks like Gatorade for muscle recovery after tough training sessions, workouts and games because it has the right mix of proteins and carbohydrates, which have been shown to refuel and rebuild exhausted muscles, better after heavy exercise. And chocolate milk is great for rehydrating – it’s a delicious, nutrient-laden liquid that will help replace lost fluids after exercise due to sweating.

  • Oakie Fan Club Snowman Drawing Contest

    In the winter issue of In a Nutshell, our Oakie Fan Club newsletter, we featured a snowman drawing contest for our youngest fans. We received so many wonderful and creative entries and thank every family that participated. At this point, we’ve narrowed it down to 10 finalists and now need your help to select our two winners. Simply post a comment in this blog or on our Facebook page. All you have to do is select your favorite drawings using the letter indicated and we’ll tally them up. The two drawings that receive the most votes will be the winners and our young artists will receive a goodie bag filled with an Oakhurst water bottle, coloring book, hakisak, t-shirt and a coupon for our chocolate milk.

    If you have a child or grandchild 12 years old or younger, we encourage you to sign them up for the Oakie Fan Club. Members of the Oakie Fan Club receive lots of great Oakhurst goodies, information on healthy eating and staying active and our In a Nutshell newsletter four times a year. You can sign them up here.

    Below are the snowman drawings from our 10 finalists. We’ll announce our two winners on Facebook on Friday morning.

       A&B

    C&D

    E&F

    G&H

    I&J

  • Honoring Our Maine Farmers for Quality

    More than 90 years ago we began a journey that we continue today – to bring to the people of Northern New England The Natural Goodness of Maine one glass at a time. And to do that we depend on our 70 independent Maine farms to supply us with fresh, high-quality milk that is also free of artificial growth hormone — a commitment we made to consumers in 1997 and continue to live by today.

    We reward our farmers financially for taking our pledge not to use artificial growth hormone and for overall quality. Annually, we evaluate each farm for milk quality, cow health and farm cleanliness and select our top 10 farms. We recently gathered with many of our farmers at the University of Southern Maine in Portland for our annual producers meeting and announced our top ten list for overall quality and our Producer of the Year for 2013. For the second year in a row, Chartrand Farm, operated by Elroy and Constance Chartrand and located in Somerset County, claimed the top honor. Below is a list of the top 10 farms that received recognition for overall quality:

    • Producer of the Year — Chartrand Farm of Norridgewock
    • #2 Overall Quality Award — Smith Farm (Larry Smith) of Bangor

    SmithFarm#25

    • #3 Overall Quality Award — Twin Meadow Farm (Keith Scott) of Charleston
    • #4 Overall Quality Award — R.E. Hemond, Inc. (Noella Hemond) of Minot

    R.E.Hemond#90

    • #5 Overall Quality Award — Broadcrest Farm (Andrew Sevey) of Ripley

    BroadcrestFarm#107

    • #6 Overall Quality Award — Misty Meadows Farm (John and Belinda Stoughton) of Clinton
    • #7 Overall Quality Award — Hemond Hill Farm (John and Irene Hemond) of Minot

    HemondHillFarm#93

    • #8 Overall Quality Award — Highland Farms, Inc. (Libby Bleakney) of Cornish
    • #9 Overall Quality Award — Silver Maple Farms (The McKeen Family) of Albion
    • #10 Overall Quality Award — Leary Farm (Tim Leary) of Saco

    Four farms also received our Perfect Farm Score, which means they earned flawless inspection reports in 2013 — two from Oakhurst and two from the Maine Department of Agriculture. Our Perfect Farm Score farms are Smith Farm (Larry Smith) of Bangor; Halledge Farm (Russell Hall) of Windham, Hemond Hill Farm (John and Irene Hemond) of Minot and Gold Top Farm (John Ingraham) of Knox.

    Farms were also presented with certificates for having earned the highest marks in our individual milk quality categories. Smith Farm (Larry Smith) of Bangor walked away with two individual category awards and Twin Meadow Farm (Keith Scott) of Charleston rounded out the individual category awards.

    The farmers who supply our milk play an extremely important role in our business and their work is unrelenting. For those that don’t know it, dairy famers usually rise by 4 a.m. to milk and feed their cows. By 4 p.m., the cows must be milked again. In between milkings, the days are devoted to cleaning the barn, fixing fences, farm buildings and machinery, haying and taking care of newborn calves. Dairy farming requires an unwavering dedication to the cows, seven days and week, 365 days a year. There’s always plenty to do on a dairy farm and there’s always a never-ending chore list.

    At Oakhurst we have relied on that dedication since 1921. Congratulations to all our farms and thank you for your dedication and enduring commitment to quality every day!

  • Oakhurst Acquired by Farmer Owner Cooperative; Company to Remain in Maine and Operate Independently

    Bennetts_Bill_081017You may have heard….Oakhurst has been acquired by Dairy Farmers of America, a national farmer owned cooperative. While this may be surprising to some, our family felt this decision was best to ensure the continuation of Oakhurst values and the long-term success and growth of the company.

    For us at Oakhurst it will be business as usual. Oakhurst will remain in Maine and all 200 employees will retain their positions. Our family and the current management team will run the day-to-day operations independently. Our milk will continue to be supplied by our 70 independent Maine farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormone. We will continue to bottle our milk locally here in Portland, Maine.

    Oakhurst will remain the Natural Goodness of Maine!

    For the last 92 years, our family and a talented team of managers and employees (all of who will remain with Oakhurst) have stewarded this business and made it into the leading milk brand in Maine and Northern New England.  Some say it’s the family’s ownership that built the brand. Our family believes it’s the “Oakhurst Values” that built our success. Those “Oakhurst Values” aren’t changing!

    We know some of you may be asking why. Well, in today’s rapidly consolidating retail and manufacturing environment, the investment by Dairy Farmers of America in our Maine-based company will help ensure Oakhurst achieves its long-term growth plans and remains a vibrant contributor to the community. We remain committed to Maine!

    This was a big decision for our family, but we believe it is what is best for the future of Oakhurst. As farmers, Dairy Farmers of America understands the importance of supporting our local farmers, our community, and has the financial strength to invest in growth opportunities for the company.

    On behalf of the entire Bennett family, I want to say thank you to our employees for their past and future commitment and dedication to Oakhurst and company values. To our customers, thank you for helping us become the brand we are today. We value your continued support. 

    And to all the families in Maine and Northern New England who have grown up with Oakhurst in your refrigerators and those young parents that are now raising their families with Oakhurst as your milk, we thank you for your trust!  We have always understood that each and every time you reach into your grocer’s cooler, you have a choice. Your past and continued loyalty and trust is deeply important to us.

    We hope you will understand that while the ownership is changing, we are still here, the same local brand you trust will be right here working every day to do the right thing by you, the community, our farmers, and our shared environment.

  • Wreaths Across America-Convoy Notes: 12/14/13

    Convoy Day #7 (Saturday) Wreaths Across America Day

    The day began with bus ride from the hotel down to the Branchville Fire Station for breakfast, a briefing and some final good-byes to brothers, sisters, veterans, Gold Star families and a bunch of new friends that now share a common bond. It was bitter sweet as this would likely be the last time everyone would be together. There were many good-byes and tears shed by all as everyone had become a family during the whirl-wind trip to Arlington. What a great group to travel with. Everyone laughed, goofed around, cried and shared the best parts of what makes us all human; compassion, honor and service. The trip was a life experience.

    The trucks were staged and they rolled out in a quiet, respectful manner to remember our fallen, making their way through the quiet streets of Washington; thoughts were solemn as final good-byes were traded over the CB radios by the truckers. Once the convoy arrives at the cemetery, drivers could end up miles apart and there will likely be no time to regroup. The Oakhurst truck was positioned as #2 in the convoy and Joe & Heidi would have a great view upon arrival.

    As always, the police did a fantastic job coordinating and controlling all traffic to clear the path for the convoy. There would be a lot of traffic on the final approach into the city and over the bridge into the cemetery with nearly 30,000 people expected to attend the event.

    D7-1

    Upon arrival into the cemetery, the DC Police moved a huge traffic jam of cars to the right so the convoy could punch through the congestion. Arrival was shortly after 8:30am. As the convoy rolled over the Arlington Memorial Bridge and up to the main gate, there was a massive crowd waiting to greet the procession. The looks of happiness, salutes, waves and “God Bless” overwhelmed Joe and Heidi as they approached their final destination at Section 59. The Oakhurst truck picked up their coordinator and they navigated the truck through the quiet roads of the cemetery. Section 59 is a beautiful spot that allows a view of the cemetery including the McClellan Arch and up to the Memorial Amphitheater. Adjacent to Section 60, this area of the cemetery and other newer sections, this is a very busy place with many people there for specific remembrances.

    D7-10

    The Oakhurst truck was fortunate to have a lot of help with friends from the Knox County and other Sheriff Departments as well as Maryland National Guard members. The truck was placed in a manner to allow many people to take some great photos with their families. It was also a great spot for our streaming event web camera to be place high atop the tractor wind deflector overlooking Section 59 and beyond.

    D7-3

    At 9:30am, an opening ceremony was held at the McClellan Arch. This is usually held in the Memorial Amphitheater, but that venue has become too small for the volume of people that now attend. Karen Worcester addressed the attendees. Also present was Patrick Hallinan, superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery, Chirs Burruss, President of the Truckload Carriers Association, Governor Paul LePage and first lady Ann LePage, who made virtually the entire trip with the Patriot Guard on a motorcycle. Country singer Lindsey Lawler and songwriter Chris Roberts performed. The crowd was provided instructions to properly lay wreaths in Arlington. Wreath laying ceremonies were also planned to be held at various sites in the cemetery as well as other area historical monuments.

    D7-2

    Back at the Oakhurst truck, the volunteers took over the organization and distribution of the wreaths and by 10:00am, there was a massive crowd waiting for the truck to be opened. A retired army veteran who worked at the Pentagon set up a small table adjacent to the truck to provide free coffee and donuts and precisely at 10:00am, the magic began and the wreaths began flowing. There were Cub Scouts laying wreaths, their youthfulness refreshing, among families who make this a part of their holiday tradition. Soldiers and veterans unloading the Oakhurst truck together – a great swarm of humanity.

    D7-8

    D7-6

     

    D7-9

    The sections that our truck was adjacent to had many families that had loved ones buried in this part of the cemetery. It was moving and chilling to see how many families and how young some of these families were. We all watched as the stark white stones became covered in green and red – a Christmas miracle.

    D7-4

    As quickly as it all began, in a flash it was done. Our 3,456 wreaths were out of the truck and only the repacking of the boxes and cardboard remained one hour later. As we all gazed around the cemetery, most other areas were wrapping up as well. Wreaths as far as the eye could see. In the somber, overcast light of the sky, it was a breathtaking sight.

    D7-7

    The trip to Arlington, with all the ceremonial stops along the way brings forth many emotions. All of the people at Oakhurst Dairy, that are involved in this journey contribute their own special ingredient to its success. Joe Masse, Heidi Kleiner and Parker Eckert represented our company with pride and humility. They experienced something far greater than they could have imagined and they shared it with all of us and for that, we thank them. Oakhurst Dairy thanks everyone that contributed to this successful trip in 2013. We especially thank Morrill and Karen Worcester and the entire Worcester extended family for their drive and determination to Remember, Honor & Teach. We will never forget.

    D7-12

    D7-13

  • Wreaths Across America-Convoy Notes: 12/13/13

    Convoy Day #6 (Friday)

    Friday the 13th began quickly with a quick ride down to the trucks and on to the road quickly to head for the American Legion Post #278 in Stevensville, MD for breakfast.  With continued police escorts from the Delaware State Police and Montgomery County everyone is still travelling quickly and safely.  The American Legion Post is a very nice facility and the breakfast they fed all the participants of the convoy was out of this world.  There was lots of time for drivers to intermingle with other convoy participants that have grown to all be friends as everyone has formed a common bond.  
     D6-1

    After breakfast concluded, the convoy organized and began the journey to the final staging area, Branchville Fire Department in College Park.  Soon after leaving Stevensville, the convoy travelled over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  It was quite a sight.  

    D6-2

    Once everyone arrived, drivers were bused to the Holiday Inn hotel and everyone checked in and got settled.  Some of the participants diverted to the US Naval Academy on the way, but the entire convoy was unable to enter the base.  Friday was largely a recharge day, with the only significant event planned that night at the Moose Lodge in College Park at 7:00pm. 

    The Moose Lodge is located a short distance from the hotel and all the participants were bused over.  Jersey Mike’s Subs provided all the food (as they have done on numerous occasions) on the trip and the staff at the Moose Lodge did a wonderful job preparing the room.  The room has been donated the last two years by that facility.  

    D6-2A

    Karen took the opportunity to thank so many people that offer support in different ways.  Veterans and Gold Star families were recognized and the entire rally sang God Bless America together.  Morrill read his poem “A Veteran Wreath” while one of his grandsons assembled a wreath with the 10 boughs of balsam.  Truckers traded stories from the trip and John & Bunny O’Leary shared some heartfelt moments from the trip.  First Lady, Ann LePage spoke about her experience with the bikers and commended all the law enforcement agencies involved with the journey.  She completed the majority of the trip on the back of a motorcycle except for one very small portion during some hazardous weather. 

    D6-3A

    Wayne Hanson, Chairman of Wreaths Across America spoke a little about the preparation at Arlington and the efforts over the past week to meet the goals for coverage at Arlington.  Many of the 909 locations have experienced significant growth over the past year, but two weeks ago, wreath sponsorships at Arlington were down from last year.  The drop was attributed to people that have come to experience it want to bring it to their home state – which is fantastic, but it results in erosion of the wreath count at Arlington.  Some last minute sizable corporate donations, plus an explosive Facebook campaign helped boost the total wreaths transported to Arlington to 142,700 wreaths!  After the appeal last week and all the work, the result was an explosive increase from last year! 

    D6-3

    Before closing, Karen thanked all the people that are left each in every year in Columbia Falls.  Although each year they cannot be at the event, it is all the hard work by those left in Maine that makes each year a success.  T-minus 11 hours before the final leg of the journey to Arlington begins. 

    D6-8

    D6-7

    D6-9

    D6-10

  • Wreaths Across America-Convoy Notes: 12/12/13

    Convoy Day #5 (Thursday)

    At the morning briefing, it was confirmed that the trip to Fort Dix was in fact cancelled. The Maine State Police and the bus would visit Valley Forge, but since the trucks were not allowed to navigate to that location, it was decided they would proceed directly to Middletown, Delaware. Before getting on the road, Joe was able to coordinate getting the tractor and trailer washed. The nasty weather experienced on the first few legs of the trip took a toll on the truck and it was good to remove the salt and grime.

    The convoy arrived at the Middletown Wal-Mart fairly early in the day and everyone was warmly invited into the Wal-Mart for a home-cooked meal prepared by the employees of the store. Afterward, everyone checked in to the Hampton Inn and then departed for a quick parade through the downtown area. The parade ended at the high school and then everyone was shuttled back to the town square for a special ceremony.

    After the ceremony, everyone made their way to the Middletown Fire Department for a lovely catered meal and music by some bagpipers. Given the schedule change, the pace of the day was quite different and allowed the drivers to recharge a bit. One more day of serious travel and then on to the rally in College Park tomorrow night.

    Bagpipers