Oct 21 2010


Written by Boyink · Short URL: http://b4a.us/a/5052

Canon against the Gettysburg fence and skyline

Canon against the Gettysburg fence and skyline

We arrived in Gettysburg the evening of October 17th, not really knowing how long we’d stay in town.  Once again the park promised free wi-fi that wasn’t working when we arrived.  We originally booked three nights to give us time to explore the historic parts of the area even if we couldn’t also plug in and get some work done.

On Monday we started at the visitor center where a very helpful ranger gave us an overview of the various ways to learn more about the area.  We passed on all the immediate “for a fee” activities (the museum, film, etc) as at this point we’re still trying to travel on a budget.  Checking the tips on 4Square and Gowalla one of the recommendations was to purchase an audio CD in the bookstore that would narrate you as you drove around the 19 miles of roads in the park.  We did that (and also added to our refrigerator magnet collection).  We did roughly the confederate half of the driving tour this afternoon - with the favorite stop being Little Round Top where the view was beautiful and the big rocks beckoned to the rock hoppers in our group.

On Tuesday I was feeling the need to get caught up on some work so I roused the family out of bed at a reasonable hour so we could use the Gettysburg Public Library’s wi-fi.  The library was only 2 miles fro our campsite.  MsBoyink and the kids came along to get some schooling done.  At lunchtime we headed back to the trailer and found that the park wi-fi was back up, so the family stuck around and I went back downtown, appreciating the change of scenery and being able to focus better on work being apart from the family. Since the wi-fi was up we extended our stay by two nights (up until Friday night when our Passport rate expires so we’d pay double if we wanted to stay).

On Wednesday we completed the second half of the driving tour, learning how the Union ended up prevailing after the very bloody Pickett’s charge, the “High-water Mark” of the war, and the “Copse of Trees” all at the end of the tour.  We also got caught up on grocery shopping and got the truck washed & gassed up (so much easier to do when not hooked up to the trailer).

Today (Thursday) was a work and errand day, I hung out in the trailer doing client work and a conference call.  The family found a barbershop to tame Data’s mophead, and MsBoyink traded in her MI-based cell phone for a new one on a national plan ( we were incurring roaming charges for the back and forth calling that we’ve been doing more of since travelling).  We also explored the Gettysburg National Cemetery - the place where Lincoln delivered his famous speech.

That’s a very factual-based account of our time here, which again doesn’t tell the whole story.  When you hear the accounts of what the Civil War soldiers had to endure, the number of limbs that were amputated, the rivers running red with the blood of men from both sides, it’s impossible to come away not moved at the sacrifice.  It’s also impossible to come away not feeling, again, like our generation has already forgotten this sacrifice and, in the process, become people of a caliber that would make these old soldiers slump their shoulders in disappointment and groan with embarrassment.  The things we see as trials, or issues, or as intolerable in our current lives are simply nothing compared to what these men went through.

We’re here for tonight yet, and in the morning will pull out headed for Greensville, VA.  It’s closer to Richmond, VA where we’re due for an ExpressionEngine class the first week of November.  I’m actually wanting to not sightsee for a bit as I have some trailer repairs and modifications to make as well as continue on some client work.


A Google Map of where this post was written.

6 comments on Gettysburg

  1. Picture of Mikeworx

    Mikeworx writes:

    Some crazy history there. I’ve always felt disconnected when visiting sites where great/tragic things happened. Almost like it never really happened. Perhaps a sign of our digital times. Looking forward to our adventure.

    Posted on October 21, 2010
  2. Picture of Donna

    Donna writes:

    Appreciated reading your account. I was at Gettysburg as a young child, and remember little. My sister and I, however, stopped at the Chickamauga & Chattanooga Military Park some years ago in autumn, around the same time of year as those famous battles. We’d both recently read “Co. Aytch,” so we searched for the monument of the 1st Tennessee (author Sam Watkins’ regiment). We found it among some peaceful wood, and re-read Sam’s account aloud.

    Here’s an excerpt:
    A soldier’s life is not a pleasant one. It is always, at best, one of privations and hardships. The emotions of patriotism and pleasure hardly counterbalance the toil and suffering that he has to undergo in order to enjoy his patriotism and pleasure. Dying on the field of battle and glory is about the easiest duty a soldier has to undergo. It is the living, marching, fighting, shooting soldier that has the hardships of war to carry. When a brave soldier is killed he is at rest. The living soldier knows not at what moment he, too, may be called on to lay down his life on the altar of his country. The dead are heroes, the living are but men compelled to do the drudgery and suffer the privations incident to the thing called “glorious war.”

    Posted on October 21, 2010
  3. Picture of Mikeworx

    Mikeworx writes:

    Just read a chapter of Co. Aytch. Stirring account. I must admit I do not know much American history (I’m Canadian). War is nasty business.

    “Reader mine, did you live in that stormy period? In the year of our Lord
    eighteen hundred and sixty-one, do you remember those stirring times?”

    Great history lesson in Gettysburg.

    Posted on October 21, 2010
  4. Picture of Sue Sal

    Sue Sal writes:

    Thank you for sharing - what a great learning experience.  Terrible but yet good.  Holding your family in my prayers - please give Crissa a hug from me.
    Love you all,
    Sue (and Larry)

    Posted on October 22, 2010
  5. Picture of Boyink

    Boyink writes:

    Thanks for the comments folks.  Sue - good to hear from you.  We’re hoping to meet up with the other traveling Manna folks this coming week.

    Posted on October 22, 2010
  6. Picture of Shelby T.

    Shelby T. writes:

    Sounds like you had a good time in Gettysburg. I have been there too and found it moving what the soldiers did for us to live as freely as we do today. They had to go through so much compared to our typically simple/easy lives today. Continue having good travels. God bless you.

    Posted on October 24, 2010

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