Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 5--Gettysburg to Port Byron, NY

Our spot at the Gettysburg Battlefield KOA
The KOA in Gettysburg was great! The staff met us at the entrance to the camp and walked us to the spot, directing Keith while he backed into our camping site after dark.  It's a large camp and though there were only a few vacancies, it did not feel crowded.  The place has lots of trees and lots of activities we didn't have time for like sponsored tours to D.C., evening videos of the local Battlegrounds, and giant outdoor chess games.

Garmin took us to the Gettysburg Battlegrounds by sort of a back route.  We wandered on the roadways through the huge battleground area.  There are zig-zagging split rail fences and nearly 1,300 huge marble and bronze sculptures throughout the fields.  Every state or military unit with a tie to the Civil War seems to have erected a monument here.  Then, we walked through the cemetery area where Lincoln gave the "Four score and seven years ago..." speech.  This place had graves from later conflicts like all our American Military cemeteries.
Soldiers National Monument
near site of Gettysburg Address 
Abraham Lincoln was the second speaker on November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery at Gettysburg. Lincoln was preceded on the podium by the famed orator Edward Everett, who spoke to the crowd for two hours. Lincoln followed with his now immortal Gettysburg Address. On November 20, Everett wrote to Lincoln: “Permit me also to express my great admiration of the thoughts expressed by you, with such eloquent simplicity & appropriateness, at the consecration of the Cemetery. I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes. (
We finally found the Visitor Center, and did the quick walk through the display area and museum shop, skipping the Park Ranger lectures and cyclorama shows in order to make it to our goal in NY by evening.

The scenery on today's drive was breath-taking!  Some areas of wooded hillsides looked like they'd been splattered with paint.  We lost the guilt about missing the Ohio River route, since the road to NewYork took us all along the Susquehanna River.  This one is wide and shallow, sort of like the Platte River back home.

This is part of a long graphic in the 
Visitor Center at Gettysburg showing how
many enlistments each state had for both
sides during theCivil War.  It was eye
opening for me, and stirred an appreciation
for the important influence and education
provided to my son and his fellow choir
students when they performed "The Civil
War" musical in high school.
We pulled into the small town of Port Byron, NY before dark and stopped to figure out a place to stay. Keith used his iphone and I went into the local cafe, where they said Hejamada was good, and fairly close.  Named with the first two letters of the four original owners of the campground, it was beautiful, peaceful, and less than a mile from the Mentz Methodist Episcopal church, where the preacher who married mom's great-great-great-great grandparents' was pastor.

This was my favorite the parking lot across
 from the Soldiers National Cemetery, Gettysburg, PA
This squirrel enjoys the many varieties
of trees and nuts in the cemetery.
The large domed ediface across this field is the Pennsylvania Monument.
Mom picked up
Gettysburg.  This one reminded her of a cigar!
Painted hills and cloudy skies in Pennsylvania
Mural in Port Byron, NY, an original Erie Canal Port city
another state line

Full moon at Hejamada RV campground, Montezuma, NY

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