VA to BOS
After an evening of hamburgers, beer,basketball, and colorful fire we woke up ready to face our biggest day with two battlefields to hit. First up the Antietam Battlefield, with the wind whipping and the regret of yesterday’s six mile hike still fresh in our mind we opted for the movie at the visitor center and the auto tour completed with a downloaded app to guide us.
I must say if you can tour any of these in late March do it, we had minimal numbers of people or cars and in the case of Antietam we had the place almost to ourselves. If you want a good auto tour app for Antietam hit up the Old Man, I was driving so he could look around and pretend he was there. The app he found was a good one and it gave a lot of great information.
Antietam took us just a little over an hour to get through and that was with a few stops and get out looky loos. The great thing is in most places you can bring the pups so they got to enjoy a bit of history as well. I am always amazed at how small battlefields are and in the case Antietam how such a small area could watch so many people die and in many cases rot where they fell. It is truly a reminder that war is not pretty or romantic, no matter how much us southerners try to make it out to be in movies, tv, and books.
With Antietam under our belts it was time to head to Gettysburg, the must do when touring Civil War battlefields. But first some food, the Old Man found us a place in town called Gettysburg Eddie’s named after a pretty famous baseball player from that area. So famous in fact the Old Man and I had to Google him to see his claim to fame. I will be honest don’t remember much I just remember he played way way back and is in the Hall of Fame. I will let you Google on your own for more information.
Stuffed to the gills with quite yummy food it was time to face Gettysburg, as always we stopped at the visitor center and after talking to the park ranger we decided we would watch not only a movie on the battle (narrated by Morgan Freeman!!!!!!) along with viewing the Cyclorama painting. Cyclorama painting were popular mostly in Europe before there were movies as a way to put viewers in the middle of the action of certain events. The one in Gettysburg is the only in US and it is quite amazing and you really do get the feeling of being in the middle of the battle. It was so surreal to know it was a painting but feel as if you were looking right across a field at a battle. I would do it again it was that outstanding.
After a quick stop for a coffee (for the me the driver) and some fudge for the Old Man in the gift shop it was time to load up turn on the auto tour app and hit the pavement. The park ranger had suggested we go and buy the audio tour in the gift shop, but the Old Man had already bought one the night before so we went with that one, turns out the one we downloaded is the same one from the gift shop and was narrated by the park ranger we spoke too. Guess we know why he recommends that one now don’t we? But it was well worth the ten bucks we paid for it.
The tour was more in depth than our Antietam one, but the battle had few more layers than we expected and the app also offered little extra tip bits if you were willing to click through. I think we all know the Old Man clicked through.
The auto tour was not busy at all but a bit busier than Antietam but it was later in the day and the sun was fully out, not to mention it was a weekend day. The tour ends you in the National Cemetery where you can see a tribute to Lincoln’s famous speech just not actually where he gave it. To get there you have to walk across the way to another monument. They also have laid out stones of those who died in Gettysburg and again it was a reminder that no matter what time in history or even the present war is ugly and cost many many lives.
After a few moments of reverent silence in the cemetery it was time to walk the dogs (not in the cemetery) and head off to our rest stop for the evening. We choose Allentown, PA not so much because it is a bustle of tourism but b/c it was the first place we stopped ever when we were trying out this living on the road in our Prius and the real reason it was only 5 hours outside of Boston meaning we didn’t have a long drive the next day.
The next time we lay our heads it will be in Boston and while I am excited to go back for many reasons winter still isn’t one of them, but Boston is a great town and I can’t wait to see what trouble we get into this time around.