October 17, 2018 – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

I have begun to notice that traveling the interstates in the northeast is boring – all you see are trees – no billboards – no houses or factories – just trees and exit signs – how beautiful!

Arrived at Round Top Campground about mid-afternoon – late for us but we drove 160 miles and we got lost once. Round Top named after a battlefield in the Civil War here at Gettysburg is a medium sized campground with paved roads and unlevel gravel sites. We did get FHU and SAT so we are happy despite the coach leaning a little to the left. Older campground so things are run down and they are celebrating Halloween this week and next – some campers really get into this Halloween stuff.

Thursday woke up to 42 degrees and sunshine and the fact we didn’t win the Mega Millions or the Powerball – you can dream?

We took off for Gettysburg National Battlefield VC – bought our tickets for the movie and bus trip.

Movie was great and got my stamp. The Cyclorama was really neat – a painting longer than a football field in a circle showing Pickett’s Charge – created back in the late 1800’s.

The museum was so informative and you could have spent all day in there. They sure make a point to remind you of the reason for the whole war was freedom of all mankind. Bus trip is tomorrow.

Friday woke up to 35 degree – oh burrrr! On with the heat and we are okay.

Took off for our bus trip through the battlefield. Had a licensed battlefield guide that provide a lot of information. It was a life-inspiring experience to stand on the same field that men stood 155 years ago and died for our freedom.

After lunch we met another ranger and took a tour of the National Cemetery and where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg address – again very informative and moving.

Saturday is warmer but still cool.

We went on a ranger tour of Cemetery Ridge – great ranger – knew his facts and could tell stories – walked about 3/4 of a mile and saw different parts of the battlefield – learned so much. Each ranger tells the stories based on their readings and studies and presents the different battles in their own thoughts – it’s fantastic. We heard about Day 3 which was the climactic moment for the Union. After this battle General Lee began his retreat.

In the afternoon we went on another ranger talk and visited Little Round Top – different ranger and different presentation – this talk lasted almost two hours and we learned about Day 2 and how the battle lines got split and different leaders got in trouble for their poor decisions and we visited the site where the Maine 20th Infantry and the all-out battle by hand to hand combat – you could feel the bodies piling up in a bloody mess. Need to see the movie Gettysburg.

One of my Offbeat Attractions was a monument to rub the nose to obtain luck.GE (38)

GE (39)Tonight is trick or treating in the campground and they closed all the roads so the kids walking around would be safe – had to leave car in parking lot which is okay for the kid’s safety.

Sunday is our off day – Brenda is off shopping. I did smoke some Perch.IMG_0600

We watched the Gettysburg movie which is celebrating 25 years – it made all the history stories we have heard come alive. Seeing men dying and falling back makes the story so real.

Monday 35 this morning and only high of 57. Need to pull out the warmer robe.

Today is our auto tour of the battlefield – they do sell a CD that describes the battle stop by stop but since we have been on a bus tour and numerous ranger tours we skipped that purchase.GE (80)

Took the dogs and began our 24 mile adventure – they have a free map and good directions – had a great day and learned a few more tidbits about the bloodiest war on America soil. Lots of monuments with descriptions of the battles and the men involved. Hard to believe that 51,000 soldiers were killed in these 3 days.

Saw the Lutheran Seminary.

Found some for Michigan, Illinois and Arkansas Monuments – family and friends.

The Pennsylvania Monument is the biggest – great view from on top.

All I can say is it is an amazing feeling standing on the same soil that so many men lost their lives for freedom – it’s an “awe” moment in life.

Tuesday not so cold and I am off to visit Eisenhower’s only home (he owned) and farm – a NHS.

Great tour by the NPS and learned so much about his career and lifestyle. Never realized how much he admired the Civil War and the battles and what an expert he was on the subject.  They left everything – the stuff – in place when Mamie left the house.

Also visited the Wills House – he oversaw the construction of the national cemetery and Lincoln stayed at his house as he finished the Gettysburg Address.

And walked around downtown.

Then Brenda and I went on another ranger tour of Day 3 and the effect it had on the outcome. Learned about the 14th Connecticut Regiment and their involvement in the war and we hiked to where they stood and heard what they did.

These tours has made the whole Civil War come alive for us. It felt like “holy” ground.

Definitely come back again to soak up more knowledge.

Wednesday is off to Washington DC.

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