Our third night on vacation we settled into a KOA in Fredericksburg VA – great accommodations with private shower facilities for Caleb and a deeply graveled site to soak up all the rain! Yes, it has rained every day, but not in a way that has interfered with our sight-seeing or camping.
We started out Saturday morning with a breakfast of fried Span and eggs – cooked by Tom on the grill. Then, a 90 minute drive to Richmond to show Caleb St. John’s Episcopal Church (which we saw last year without him) where Patrick Henry gave his “liberty or death” speech. We joined a small tour with a wonderful narrator and heard the history of the Church and speech and learned that we had missed the yearly live reenactment of that speech by just one day!
Then, off to a cluster of Civil War battles known as Spotsylvania, Chancellorsville, Battle of the Wilderness and Fredericksburg. There were more, but together they covered over 70 miles of driving/auto trails, and we didn’t have time for them all. But, the battle of Chancellorsville was the prelude to Gettysburg and that sparked our interest. Spotsylvania led to the battle of Petersburg which led to the end of the war at Appomattox, which supplemented our tour yesterday.
At the battle of Chancellorsville, Stonewall Jackson was killed leaving General Lee completely distraught. A stone was put in place as a marker where he fell, and later a monument was erected.
Sunday, day 4 of our trip, found us up and heading for Harper’s Ferry by 8:00 a.m. The navigator took us on a zig-zag route with no obvious reason to its wanderings. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the outlying countryside around Washington, DC and made Harper’s Ferry and our KOA campground by noon.
The walkway across the railroad bridge gave a good view of the importance of Harpers Ferry – the convergence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.
Harpers Ferry has a multi-layered history with the arrival of the first successful railroad, John Brown’s attack on slavery, the largest surrender of Federal troops during the Civil War, and the first integrated school for the education of former slaves. During the course of the Civil War the town changed hands eight times! Here are a few more views of Old Downtown.
As this was my birthday (61!) we stopped at a fresh seafood roadside stand and bought some jumbo shrimp to add to our dinner of rib-eye steaks. Before dark Tom and Caleb went for a drive back to the river points and collected water samples for their collection. Some day I am going to have to do a whole post dedicated to this collection – it is a real cocktail of water from ocean to ocean and even a mountain top or two from all over the United States.
Be sure to check back in a few days, as there is still a lot of vacation to cover!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown