A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: popding

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We certainly enjoyed opur trip and we hope you enjoyed our blog.

We would appreciate it if you would let us know whether or not you enjoyed it.

Tell us what you want to see in the future in the blog.

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Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Posted by popding 06:12 Comments (1)

Gettysburg

Saturday, June 28, 2009

This was our 2nd day in Gettysburg and our plan was to go to the visitor’s center, pick up an audio tour for the car, and drive the battleground.

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Kory has arrived at the visitor’s center.

Eventually, we would do this, but after purchasing the CD we noticed a board explaining all the NPS (National Park Service) Ranger Programs for the day. Kory found one he wanted to do! He joined the Army! The Union Army! His enlistment was for 3 years or 1 hour and he was honorably discharged after 1 hour. We have the enlistment and discharge papers to prove it!

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Kory taking his oath.

The “Join the Army” program was for kids and about 20 were in Kory’s enlistment group. Adults were allowed to watch and take pictures. The purpose of the program was to learn why the men and boys joined the army, what women did during the war, what the soldiers wore, what they carried, the nine steps of loading a rifle, and what they ate. They also learned how to march in formation, follow commands (left face, right face, about face), and they participated in a mock battle. For those of you who have ever watched a child’s soccer game, marching in formation was much like that. They were all going in different directions, and occasionally a few would pick someone to follow. It was educational and a lot of fun.

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Kory learns to shoot.

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Mock battle.

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Kory shooting during mock battle.

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Soldier Kory

Our next NPS Ranger Program was called “High Water Mark” and was about the battle of Pickett’s Charge. This was the last encounter on the last day of the battle of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, and Lee’s plan was to break the Union Army by breaking through the middle of the Union encampment on Cemetery Ridge and crushing them. It was disastrous and many men were lost on both sides. In fact, it is to this day, the bloodiest battle on American soil. Lets all hope it stays that way. We walked the line where the Union soldiers were positioned and looked across the open field to Seminary Ridge where the Confederate troops were positioned. You could close your eyes and imagine the cannons blasting, the guns firing, and the devastation that followed. The fear the men must have felt, the loyalty that kept them going, with smoke filling the air so much that they could not see, but could hear the screams of those injured and dying around them. The people in town would say the smoke was so thick that they could taste the saltpeter from the cannon fire. In 3 days of battle 51,000 casualties were incurred. This battle was the deciding factor of the Civil War, and Robert E. Lee took full responsibility for the loss.

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Battlefield

Lee’s life would never be the same. It had been a difficult decision for him to leave the US Army that he had served in for 32 years, but when his home state of Virginia chose to
secede from the Union he felt the need to follow her and accept the position as General of the Confederate Army. Lee’s citizenship was revoked and was reinstated 100 years after his death. His home in Arlington, Virginia, was seized and later turned into a national cemetery, Arlington.

Our final NPS Ranger Program of the day was at the Gettysburg National Cemetery. It is at Cemetery Hill so named because there was a cemetery established in 1850 for the city of Gettysburg. It was felt that there needed to be a resting place of honor for these men who fought and died defending their Union and their state. This cemetery was for the Union dead, and it was 9 years before a contingency from the south was able to raise the money to remove the Confederate dead and take them home. However, there are 9 known Confederate soldiers buried here by mistake.

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Pop and Kory in cemetery.

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Confederate grave.

There was only one civilian killed in the Gettysburg battle and that was a young woman by the name of Jennie Wade. She was helping her sister who had given birth 3 days prior, and was baking bread when a bullet penetrated 2 wooden doors and hit her in the back.

Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address here in November of 1863 at the dedication of the cemetery. He was not the main speaker, but is certainly the one remembered. There are many soldiers buried here in graves marked unknown.

The rangers who presented our programs were all students who do this as a summer job, and you could tell that their love of history is great! They made it come alive for us and we look forward to returning again some day.

We finally started our driving tour and were amazed at the size and scope of the battlefield! The driving tour is 24 miles around and leads you through the sequence of the battles and the positions from which the fighting occurred. The battlefield area is the largest monument display in the world.

If you have never been, or if it has been a long time since you visited the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center, do yourself a favor and go! They have a brand new facility that just opened in April 2008, and it is phenomenal! I would suggest you wait until September 2008, however, because that is when the new Gettysburg Cyclorama Painting Experience will open. The museum has one of the world’s most extensive Gettysburg Civil War collections, 7 different films including a new 25minute feature, interactive stations, and a computer resource center. You will hear the story of the Civil War as told by Lincoln, Meade, Davis, Lee, soldiers, townspeople, and war correspondents. You’ll hear their voices and gain a new understanding of the battle, the Gettysburg Address and the entire war, including the impact on our lives today.

The above was by our guest blogger Kathy.

Posted by popding 06:02 Comments (1)

Amish around Lancaster, Pa

June 26, 2008

We spent the day around the Lancaster/Amish area. Places with names like Paradise, Bird-In-Hand, and Intercourse.We left Roamers (our campground) and proceeded to the Amish Experience at Plain and Fancy Farm. We began our visit by watching a special movie consisting of four screens and a special effect known as Pepper’s Ghost (where a 2-D image is transported into a 3-D room making it appear as a ghost). The movie told the story of a young Amish man struggling with his choice of whether to be baptized Amish or leave his family. It was quite an education to learn how the Amish live and why they live the way they do. Family is the most important thing to them and the reason they do not use cars or bicycles is because they would be taken too far from their family. An average Amish family has 6 to 8 children, and they consider each child a gift from God.

After the movie we toured an Amish home learning how the Amish live without electricity (no TV, no computers) or telephones. After dinner together and after homework the entire family plays board games.

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Washing machine powered by a Briggs and Stratton gas engine.

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Typical child’s room.

We traveled a little further down the road and ate lunch at Family Cupboard Restaurant. They had a traditional Amish buffet and everything was delicious.

After lunch we took advantage of Aaron and Jessica’s Buggy Rides and rode on a 3.5 mile tour of the Amish countryside, stopping to see a young Amish girl who was selling chocolate chip cookies. Our driver was a 73year old Amish man who has 11 children ranging in age from 32 to 52. None of his children are dairy farmers. Today, less than 50% are dairy farmers. The land is too expensive.

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Buggy we rode in.

Thinking our day was about over we headed back to Roamers and happened upon Mascot Roller Mills. The mill was built in 1730 and milling was carried on until 1977. William Ressler acquired the mill in 1864 and his family continued operating the mill until 1977. The two remaining family members decide to preserve the family property and turned it over to the Ressler Mill Foundation. There is no charge to visit the mill and it is fun and educational to watch how the mill works.

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Pop and Kory looking at the wheat roller mill.

The next stop was an Amish health food store. This is a store my sister Linda would love to visit. The store was out in the middle of nowhere. We got directions from the guide at the mill. We were looking for information on Spelt flour and any recipes. Well, we found a book on Spelt flour. The Amish use some spelt flour since it dates back to Europe more than 9,000 years ago and it is mentioned in the Old Testament.

The store had a sign stating that there are no electric lights in the store. They used Coleman lanterns hung from the ceiling.

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The bright areas you see in this photo are skylights, not electric lights.. You can see hanging from the ceiling Coleman lanterns.

Our last stop of the day was at Village Greens, which is a miniature golf course. All of us had a great time and Pop had the lowest score!

The above was written by our guest blogger, Kathy.

Posted by popding 18:15 Comments (1)

Two Kids In A Candy Store

Wednesday June 25, 2008

We are in an RV Park close to Lancaster, Pa. It is a place that Kathy and I have stayed before. It overlooks a couple of Amish farms. Kory has enjoyed riding in the RV.

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Mr. King riding in the RV. He does have a seat belt on under the blanket.

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Here is a picturesque photo of an Amish farmer in field behind RV Park.

Today we travelled to Hershey. It was like two kids in a candy shop! Opps we were in a candy shop!

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Here are the two kids and behind them is the candy shop.

Kory had never seen so much candy in one place. It is overwhelming. Just breathing in the chocolate-laced air you put on 5 pounds. We watched the 3D movie about Hershey candies and toured the mock factory. Kory even participated by filling a candy box with kisses for his sister Shelby.

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Kory gift boxing kisses for his sister.

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Just like Disney they have characters here also.

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In downtown Hershey the signature wrapped and unwrapped streetlights that resemble chocolate kisses line Chocolate Ave.

After buying all of the candy we could possibly carry we then toured the Milton Hershey School. As you remember from our last trip this is a school for underprivileged children from K through 12. They live and work at the Hershey School free of charge. When they graduate the school gives them a scholar ship based upon their performance at the school, both academic and behavior wise. Milton Hershey and his wife founded the school in 1909 for orphaned boys. Today it has expanded to include boys and girls and children of all ethnic backgrounds. One of the graduates became president and Chairman of the Board of Hershey.

I am too full of candy to continue. We are renaming the MoHo the chocolate bus.

Happy Trails!

Posted by popding 17:31 Comments (0)

New York, New York in 12 hours

Monday June 23, 2008

The KOA had a tour to NYC right from the front door of the RV Park. Kory and Tim had never been to NYC so we decided to do a whirlwind tour.

The bus left at 7:30am, and we returned at 6:30pm. What a FULL day! I will give you the Reader’s Digest version in photos.

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Our bus, West Point Tours, with our driver, Bill, from the Bronx and our guide, Steve, from Brooklyn. Not for nuthin, but that’s where they were from.

The bus trip was about 1-1/2 hours through the Lincoln Tunnel. Our first stop was……

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First stop Liberty Island.

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Ellis Island as viewed from the ferry.

Next, it was on to lunch at the South St Seaport and a view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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THE bridge.

The next stop was Rockefeller Center. However, on the way we saw a bus that was rear ended by a dump truck. The bus was pushed about half way through a bank building. Unfortunately, a pedestrian on the sidewalk was killed. Next, we saw a bike messenger that had been hit by a taxi. Finally, we arrived at the Rock.

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The famous ice rink, behind which the annual Christmas Tree stands. In the summer it is a restaurant on the rink area.

After a tour of the area and the Today show area it was back on the bus. Next stop, Times Square.

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There Pop is pointing out to Kory where the ball drops each New Year’s Eve.

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The glitter goes on and on as well as the large screen TV’s.

We had hot dogs from Bobby a street vendor on the corner of 7th and Broadway. From here it was back to the RV Park! Wow! What a whirlwind tour. Well worth it if you only have one day to see it all.

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Kory survived the day better than the rest of us.

The driver and guide were very good. The driver would just park the bus in the middle of the street, make left turns where they were prohibited and somehow avoided any accidents amongst all the traffic and taxis.

Well, that was the tour. Hope you enjoyed it.

Happy Trails!

Posted by popding 17:26 Comments (0)

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