This rally was my fabrication – the Gettysburg Battlefield! It slowly started developing in January and picked up interested people along the way. We ended up with a nice grouping, and it was hard to wait for April to roll around to get it on!
As usually happens some of us got the itch to get an early start, and a little pre-rally plan materialized! Terry and Sue left a day early heading for BarkCamp State Park in East Ohio. Tom and I jumped on that idea and made another little plan of our own. We drove out of our way a bit to visit the little town of Charm . . . and the big Keim Lumber store! Here we looked for some specialty lumber for Tom’s wood projects and my basket bottoms: logs to slice of Apricot and Russian Olive, and planks of aromatic cedar and rainbow poplar.
Welcoming us to BarkCamp was a weeping, flowering, tree. We arrived 30 minutes ahead of Terry and Sue in time for our first lazy sit-around in the sun at 68 degrees with friends! (I’ve been waiting all winter for this moment!) Later we got word from Alan that he was leaving from Cincinnati after work, and he was expected to arrive by 9:00! Lou and Larry got the itch, too, and headed out on Monday arriving at Gettysburg on Tuesday.
We had Sue’s Cap City meatloaf around the picnic table for supper, and sat around a feeble little fire -- made from wood left around the campsite. When Alan arrived at 9:18 we guided him in by flashlight!
Wednesday, April 9
Take-off was at 8:00 with a mini caravan of three. We plotted a route out of Ohio and into Pennsylvania mostly on the Interstate. One stop at a Flying J, another stop at a toll plaza for lunch, and a beautiful drive through Pennsylvania countryside landed us at Pine Grove Furnace State Park by 2:00!
Newly redone from top to bottom just last year, the sites were big, level, and graveled and the restrooms were new. Because of the layout we were all a bit spread out, but we could still see each other through the trees.
Tom and I made the rounds welcoming those that were already encamped, and we were able to greet the last remaining as they arrived. I had a bag of printed material and buttons for each, and I clicked a picture of each for a visual headcount. Final count: 7 Airstreams and one solo Viking woman -- 14 people!
Late afternoon was dedicated to getting established in the campground. After dinner we gathered ‘round a campfire for basic information and an educational discourse from Tom explaining events leading up to the battle and the placement of the armies on the battle’s eve. In our outdoor theater we watched installment #1 of the movie “Gettysburg” based on Jeff Sharrah’s book “The Killer Angels.” WOW – what a day.
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