For as long as I could remember I have wanted to spend a day in Gettysburg. I started the day with a child’s excited anticipation and Charlene and I headed out with no real plan other than to “look for the big round painting” she remembered seeing when she was a little girl. We stayed at Artillery Ridge RV Park, which is right on the battlefield, man this made it easy… and they gave us free tickets to a couple of the local attractions. Making a right out of the entrance and a short drive down the street we find the Diorama. The building was a little run down but we find a “free” parking space, there are not many, and head in. The gift shop is cool and they have a show that goes with the diorama which really does a good job of outlining the timeline of the battle and showing you where the action happened. After the show, we decided to take a walk over to the National Cemetery. Awe, Quiet, Solemn, and Retrospect are a few words I can use to describe this site. What really got my attention were the large number of graves marked… Unknown… … … Heading back to the car we decide to grab lunch at a place called the Dobbin House Tavern. A great period place for lunch that was built in 1776 and is still standing. In fact, it was standing for Four Score and Twenty Years Ago and less than ½ mile from where President Lincoln made his famous speech. After lunch we headed over to the National Military Park. Here is where the round picture is; the Cyclorama. This is an almost 400-foot-long by 40-foot-tall painting that surrounds you and makes you feel you are part of the battle. The Park Service has added the dimension of a narration with sounds and lighting to really give you the feel of Pickett’s charge. The Museum is one of the best laid out of any I’ve been in and adds to the story. Driving around the self-guided tour all I kept saying is “wow, can you believe how many people died here. Was it all really worth it?”. There are monuments to men, regiments, battles, states and the one woman that was killed. You really start to understand the horrors of war and that the Civil War really was brother vs brother. Words cannot describe the feelings I felt and the pictures below are just a sample of what can be seen. If you haven’t put this place on your bucket list… do so.
Charlene, never one to forget her niece and nephew, made sure to find a moment to grab a couple gifts for them. I get the feeling this will be a recurring theme on this adventure. I hope she mails them out as we go… otherwise our trailer will look like it’s filled with Lucy’s rocks from The Long Long Trailer… lol. What’s next… a couple day drive to Norcross Georgia. Hope the drive goes well… sounds like Charlene is getting a cold. Ewwww cooties…..