Thursday, April 11
A side note about those beautiful new shower houses at Pine Grove Furnace: There was a button to push to start the spray, and the water was pre-set to a nice-warm. But the spray only lasted 5 seconds before you had to mash that button again! I quit counting at 36 . . .
Another side note about our campsite – it appeared that the battle might have gone through, leaving cannon holes in the trees!
The day began with different combinations heading into the Visitor’s Center to begin delving into Gettysburg history and some remaining in the lovely setting of the Pine Grove Furnace to enjoy the two lakes and many hiking trails. At the Visitor’s Center we purchased the tickets combining the story of the Gettysburg film (“A New Birth of Freedom” narrated by Morgan Freeman) with the famous Cyclorama of Pickett’s Charge, and a visit through the Museum. We ran short of time with the Museum as we needed to eat lunch and report to our SegTour location by 1:00.
At the SegTour site the nine of us were issued horses (a Segway with the name of a horse from the battle of Gettysburg) and received vigorous training in Segway modus operandi on the indoor obstacle course/training track. Three patient, funny, and knowledgeable instructors spent an hour teaching us the ropes before heading out the back door, down the city streets, and across into the battlefield road. Being Thursday the roadway was nearly void of other traffic, and our little single-file brigade, armed with ear speakers linked to our guide, navigated the road up to Culp’s Hill and back – a 1 ½ hour trip. We all slowly settled into our groove on those upright travel vehicles, and within a very short time we were all feeling comfortable and safe. Most of us agreed that 1 ½ hours was plenty of time to enjoy our first Segway tour.
We weren't allowed to take pictures while on the move -- our tour guide, Al, took plenty and posted them on a Flicker site where we had download access!
At the campground we gathered for a campfire and another episode of our “Gettysburg” movie in our outdoor theater! I gave a brief recap of our plans for tomorrow, and then we were all off to bed!
Friday, April 12
Today it took a little bit of reworking to define drivers and riders and destinations. Some went hiking in the State Park, and some went into tour the battlefield. All agreed on a meet-up time for dinner tonight.
Our truck included Tom and I, Alan and the dogs – headed for the Battlefield. A short stop at the Visitor’s Center where we bought the Gettysburg Field Guide Auto Tour, and we were off on the 24-mile tour with historian Wayne Motts narrating our ride. While at the Visitor Center we had a little chat with Abe Lincoln, and then by 10:15 we were on our way.
The battlefield drive is always a treat, and each time we learn a little bit more. I forget most of the details, but Tom retains them all and has a wonderful sense of who was where and what was what.
The battle started when Confederate infantry began advancing east along Chambersburg Pike. From the Lutheran Seminary cupola General Bufford saw the advancing army, and his only hope was that he could hold them off with his 2,500 Calvary until Reynolds arrived. He did, but when Reynolds arrived, he was immediately killed giving him the distinction of being the highest-ranking officer to die over the next three days. So began the battlefield tour at the North end of the battlefield. At the end of the day, the Confederates may have won the battle . . . but the Union still held the “high ground” . . . “the good ground.”
I won’t try to detail the whole 3-day battle, but I will show you some pictures that I took around the battlefield. Sad to say, the portion of the road going up to my favorite location – Little Round Top – was closed.
Everyone had scattered during the day, and we re-grouped at the campground at 5:00 to make up a dinner plan. With some reluctance to drive back into Gettysburg to the General Pickett’s Buffet (23 miles) we opted for the town of Carlisle and Red Robin Restaurant . . . it ended up being 19 miles! I neglected to even take a picture.
Back at the campground rain started and was too heavy to sit under the awning to watch our movie. Everyone enjoyed retiring to their Airstream . . . where they listened to the lovely patter of raindrops all night.
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2018 25' Airstream Serenity with Salsa interior and front twin beds., 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