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Monday, November 13, 2017

Baltimore to California or BUST!

After leaving Louisiana, I spent a pleasant week at the home of my nephew Kirk & his family. He, Nicole and the kids are in the midst of packing up to leave their home to move to a brand new townhouse not very far from their current home. That means it was doubly wonderful they consented to my very-nearly-unannounced visit.

My nephew William has, for ages, requested a coast to coast trip with me. Am flattered that he thinks I could be fun for days & days in a row. Thus, despite Fall not being an optimum time for a road trip & since I was on the east coast & needed transport to the west coast, now seems as good a time as any to make it happen. When William arrived at Kirk's house, we spent a whole ten or twelve minutes planning our coast to coast drive. We soon nabbed a rental SUV and we hit the road Jack!

I have long been interested in visiting Gettysburg National Historic Park so that was our first main visit on our trip.

The first stop was the Pennsylvania Monument. Read that the angel at the top of this ode to Pennsylvania union troops was cast from a melted civil war cannon.

The individual plaques lining the base, show the roster of each of PA's infantry & regiments.

View from the stairwell, over Lincoln's head
One of the pillars contains a stairwell that leads visitors to the top of the monument, at the base of the upper dome.
Cool spiral stairwell
At the top of the stairs, a mysterious, orb emitting spectre
 that answers to the name of 'Willikins'
Gettysburg seen from top of the Pennsylvania Monument
Ditto on the view
After touring the monument we gave equal time to the rest of the park. The entire time I could hear Ashokan Farewell playing in my noggin. Remember that tune from Ken Burn's 'The Civil War'?

Statues, monuments and war memorials are scattered around the grounds. Solid memoires meant to give meaning to the countless deaths of men & women on both sides during the civil war. 
old style, worn fencing, edge fields 
Statues and monuments are to be found all over the area
Drums & knapsacks to this ode to Pennsylvania's 106th infantry
After a long slow drive through the battlefield & its numerous monuments, we hit the visitor center.
A tiny view inside the spacious visitor center
 Once there, we looked at the displays of which there were a zillion.
A Civil War encampment under glass
Civil War era arms
Yay! Calvary gear like grandpappy had
We then got tickets to the Cylorama. Cycloramas were the Disneylands of the 1800s. Here's a description:

These massive, oil-on-canvas paintings were displayed in special auditoriums and enhanced with landscaped foregrounds sometimes featuring trees, grasses, fences and even life-sized figures. The result was a three-dimensional effect that surrounded viewers who stood on a central platform, literally placing them in the center of the great historic scene

So we got to experience the Cyclorama which in effect a visit to another century. Cool!

We heard a description of the battles, and a live talk about the artist that painted the massive circular painting. Here are some close looks.

And sometime after dark, we finally approached Ohio.
For your viewing frustration enjoyment, here are a lot of incidental iPhone 'live picture' vids pieced together a super short vid. You're welcome!
We enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the visitor center's cafe, then we were off to Ohio. 
Interesting brickwork on a Pennsylvania barn.

After dark, we finally approached Ohio...

Where the local Highway patrol stopped us and gave William a $175 plus speeding ticket, although our rental car speedometer indicated we were NOT speeding. That wasn't very welcoming and put rather a damper on the end of our first day on the road.

Bummed, but hopeful for the rest of our journeys, we stayed overnight in Twinsburg, Ohio. Twinsburg is famous for its annual Twins Day Festival. In my book that falls short of a birding festival but interesting nevertheless.

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