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  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    5,012

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    Hi, Howie, welcome to RTA! Much of Indiana's I-70 was a construction zone. Add that to the horrific rains we drove through (only to have a tornado whip through there 30 minutes after we passed through), I'm not sure what condition the highway was in. We too have noted that the further north we go, the roads need work (or are currently getting it). Of course, the old adage applies: there are two seasons on the highway - Winter, and Construction. In the southwest, where snow does not interfere (only heat), construction goes year-round, sometimes at night. Finally, the further east we go, the more expensive the fuel is, other than California. As I noted in the above report, much of Pennsylvania's diesel fuel prices are higher than they currently are in our hometown in California, which has surprised us.


    Donna

  2. #32
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,012

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    DAY 18 -- SEEING WHERE IT ALL HAPPENED

    We had a more leisurely morning than on travel days, but we were still at the grocery store by 8 and in the Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park by 8:30am. Hubby and I are firm believers in starting with the Visitor Center at any National Park, but this one is imperative. The movie is one of the best ones I've seen at a NP visitor center, and the cyclorama is stupendous.

    Gettysburg Day 1 821

    After viewing the movie and cyclorama, we went through the very impressive, huge museum that explained each day of the Gettysburg battle in full detail, with more video clips, historical furniture, weaponry, uniforms, flags, notes, books -- so much! We spent until lunchtime in there, and know that if we'd read everything and watched every video, we could have spent a full 2 days in the museum alone. My husband is very knowledgeable about the Civil War, and before we left, we sat down and watched the 90s movie, GETTYSBURG, so that I had a little better background. Our lunch was a "truck picnic" of sandwich, deviled eggs -- AKA, picnic food -- which we ate there in the Visitor Center parking lot.

    The afternoon was spent on the Auto Tour. Between the national park map, a book we own called the Gettysburg Guide, and the wonderful signage provided by the NPS, we knew and understood what we were looking at.

    McPherson's barn, on McPherson's Ridge, where the first shot rang out.
    Gettysburg Day 1 838

    Cannon are displayed everywhere, different varieties.
    Gettysburg Day 1 822

    Whenever the opportunity arose to do some walking, we took it. We walked down the field where Lee lost Pickett's charge. We went up one observation tower to view Barlow's Knoll, and another taller one to see the field where Pickett's Charge took place (from one side) and the Eisenhower farm (from the other side).

    Observation tower #2:
    Gettysburg Day 1 878

    Our white truck, from the observation tower:
    Gettysburg Day 1 883

    Any national battlefield park is full of monuments, such as these. We stopped to see the fancier ones, but if you stop to read every sign, see every monument, you will need to be in the park for well over a week.
    Gettysburg Day 1 867

    To give some perspective as to the size of this one, I had my hubby stand in front of it:
    Gettysburg Day 1 874

    We drove through the area of the Wheatfield, Little and Big Round Tops, declaring that we would start there on the following day. Taking ourselves back to our motel for a shower and some relaxation, we had to deal with "rush hour" in Gettysburg proper. The streets there are very narrow, and when one is driving a big pickup truck with RV-style mirrors, sometimes one feels like a bull in a china shop! The maps provided by the NPS and the Tourist bureau of Gettysburg get you around the main areas quite well.

    Dinner was OUT that night, heading for a decent one. We have a wedding anniversary coming up, but may be in a location where we won't have any special restaurants, so hubby took me to Dobbin Tavern and Fine Dining, in Gettysburg. It's the oldest building in the town, built in 1776. The hostess and waitstaff are all dressed in the garb of the time, colonial to Civil War, including caps on the girls. As the hostess took us to our table, she explained that Rev. Dobbins had 19 children and that we would be served in what had been the bedroom. This reminds you:

    photo(42)

    Those are "booth type" tables and benches under the "poster bed canopy". The food was excellent, and the service wonderful. The ambiance, though, was really why you go there and why you pay the prices for the meal.

    After such a delicious and heavy meal, we walked a little down Steinwehr Avenue to check out some of the shops that were still open. The ice cream shop, proclaming hand made ice cream, sounded yummy, but we were both too full of dinner to partake.

    And so ended Day 1, back at the motel. Right as we pulled in, it started to drizzle. Once settled inside our room, it decided to POUR, and we were thankful that the rain held off until the evening so we could still enjoy Gettysburg. This is the third time we've tried to put GNMP into our trip plan, and finally we made it. (2011, we had a family loss; 2012, our travels would have taken us here during a reenactment and we couldn't get lodgings).


    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 06-27-2014 at 04:55 AM. Reason: Oops; duplicated a picture!

  3. #33
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,012

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    DAY 19 - "I LIKE TO WALK!"

    Many years ago, some neighbors had a mynah bird that we used to mimic. He would say, "I like to talk!" and my mom would make us walk every boardwalk and trail in the NP's, so we'd mimic him back and say, "I like to walk!" That was our mantra at Gettysburg.

    The first stop, and trail, was at Big Round Top. It was 1/2 mile UP, and a 1/2 mile DOWN. Looking at the vegetation and terrain, and knowing there were only animal trails around, we were in awe of what the soldiers had dealt with, trying to take this hill 151 years ago. When you get to the top, there's no stupendous view -- just more trees. Disappointing, but exhilirated (and tired) from the climb, we stopped to enjoy the surroundings. This is a photo of my husband on the trail in front of me. We'd traded cameras, so he could have the DSLR and I'd have the video camera. I still had my smart phone, though.

    photo(45)

    Driving down the Auto Tour route just a little, we came to the viewpoint for Little Round Top. Unfortunately, a tour bus full of middle school-ers had just arrived, but venturing off the viewpoint a bit, we managed to get away from the noise. Fortunately, these tour buses don't stay at one point for very long -- a good thing for those of us in our own vehicles.

    The view from Little Round Top:
    photo(44)

    We veered off the main Auto Tour route to go see Devil's Den, or the Slaughter Pen, close up. It's an outcropping of rocks that caused the Confederates to lose a LOT of men. Once again, get away from the crowds by hiking up inside the rocks and out on the grass.
    photo(43)

    Our next stop was at the Pennsylvania Memorial. You can climb up into the Memorial on a set of stairs, which of course we did. (Good cardio workout!) Unfortunately there were THREE bus loads at this stop, one of which consisted of non-English speakers. I tried to tell a woman about a step that was hidden, but she didn't understand me and missed it too. (It was dark in the memorial.) Look up the monument, you can see how high one can go.
    Gettysburg Day 2 092

    At the next stop, the High Water Mark, you can see the memorial (one of several) to Pickett's Charge, and the Copse of Trees. We walked a lot in this area, working up an appetite for lunch.
    Gettysburg Day 2 158

    photo(46)

    We ate lunch at McDonald's so that we could use their facilities and enjoy a little air conditioning. At about 85F, it wasn't particularly hot. But after the rainstorm the night before, it was a bit humid!

    After a spot of grilled chicken sandwich, our next stops were at Spangler's Spring and then Culp's Hill. Once again, we climbed an observation tower to be able to see the entire Gettysburg area.

    photo(47)

    Our final stop was to see the Soldier's National Cemetery and then Gen. Meade's Headquarters. Both sides of the war would literally walk in and take over someone's house, barn, or other buildings and use them for their purposes. Many barns became hospitals, homes became quarters for the generals.

    Meade's Quarters.
    Gettysburg Day 2 199

    The area where Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address, in the Soldier's Natl Cemetery. Unfortunately it was being worked on.
    Gettysburg Day 2 170

    We weren't sure what this bird was, on top of some of the cemetery markers, but he allowed my husband to come within 5 feet of him before turning his back, pooping, and flying off. But not before we both got some photos. Does anyone know what type of bird this was?
    Gettysburg Day 2 186

    The actual final stop of the day was at the local Wal-mart, where we picked up some DVD-R's (to transfer photos), and some dinner for the evening. We decided not to go out to eat, in anticipation of the drive the following day.


    Donna

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,264

    Default Red tailed Hawk ?

    Does anyone know what type of bird this was?
    It looks like one of these fellas. Red tail or Coopers Hawk.

    Enjoying the report and photos !

    Dave.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
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    We thought it was a hawk of some sort. Hubby thinks it was rather a young one, since it didn't react to him moving closer. Thanks, Dave, and thanks for removing the duped post.


    Donna

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,110

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    That looks very much like one I saw flying across the road in front of me, a few days ago. It looked young, and appeared to be flying slowly. I feared I may hit it. It was definitely a bird of prey, and looked much like what Dave posted as well.

    Lifey

  7. #37

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    Donna

    In May I went to Indiana to decorate my parents graves and continued to West Virginia to see the Cass Scenic Railroad. I had noticed I-70 being worse than usual and then saw online comments about it. I have Gas Buddy on my IPAD and then cheapest gas I found was $3.18 in Monett, Mo. And I also found gas to be much higher the further east I went. I do find your experience with diesel higher than California to be interesting.

    I have always read a lot. Now I always have books on CD playing as I drive and often listen to history or historical fiction based on the Civil War. So I have enjoyed your photos of Gettysburg. It occurred to me they may the only current day photos I can remember seeing.

    Howie

  8. #38
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    DAY 20 -- TOLLS, TOLLS, TOLLS

    It was a driving day for us, from Gettysburg to our intended destination just outside of Toledo, OH. Departing from Gettysburg at 7:30 am and heading west, we found a sweet little family restaurant west of Chambersburg -- West 30 Family Restaurant -- with great food and low prices. Continuing on US-30 heading west, the 2-lane (sometimes 3-lanes) road took us up and over the mountains where we found the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

    The PA TP was just plain busy, usually only 4-lanes, and expensive ... but not as expensive as we'd thought. We'd been prepared to be charged Class 2 rates since we drive a 3/4-ton pickup. However, arriving at the toll booth at mm30, they "only" charged us $15.40. Surprise, surprise!!!

    The Allegheny River.
    photo(49)

    The Allegheny Tunnel -- you know how I love tunnels!
    photo(48)

    Mostly we just drove, only stopping at the occasional service plaza for their facilities. At the first one in OH, they had a DQ, it was lunch time -- so we indulged and discussed strategy for fuel. When we pulled into another service plaza, fuel was $3.91 (diesel), so we loaded up. That poor truck was so thirsty, she drank over $100 worth in one sitting. We hadn't fueled since before Gettysburg, so it wasn't surprising, but she was still getting 18+ mpg despite the slow-national-park-stop-and-start routine we'd done for 50 miles at GNMP.

    We pulled into a very inexpensive Super 8 in Millbury/Toledo -- $35 for two! Can't beat the price! It's an older property, building-wise, and the road in didn't need traffic speed bumps, but it's comfortable and the room was good sized. It appears to appeal to the truckers, which is fine with us.

    Dinner was at an Iron Skillet.


    Donna

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,691

    Default

    I have stayed in that Super 8 and eaten in that Iron Skillet.

  10. #40

    Default Hawk

    Your hawk could have also been a Red-shouldered Hawk.
    -Pat

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