GETTYSBURG, HERE WE COME!

DAY #1:
I’d wondered whether or not a trip consisting of two adults and a big dog in a 25 foot motor home might not be a little bit difficult, but August 04th rolled around and during the wee-morning-hours we embarked on our trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

DSC_0126Our first day on the road meant a lot of driving and riding. Along the way into Iowa I’d decided to “try” to use our motor home bathroom. (We were moving along on a freeway at the time.) I got out of my seat in the front and hung-onto whatever I could as I meandered my way to the back where the bathroom is located.

So, there I was, closing the bathroom door. I should never have released my grip on the bathroom door knob after closing it tightly. Just as I released my grip on the knob, Ralph turned onto an extremely bumpy freeway exit. As I lost my balance I desperately grabbed ahold of one of the towel racks with one hand, and the shower curtain with my other hand. Down they both went; along with me as I tumbled backward into the shower. It wasn’t a bad landing, but as I shouted, “Ouch” from the shower floor, I realized that my husband could not have heard me over all of the road noise and rattling sounds a motor home makes while in-transit.

No other recourse left to me, I carefully climbed out of the shower, returned to the cab and sat down beside Dazie, The Pit Bull and Ralph. We finally stopped at a KOA Campground in Crawfordsville, IN where Ralph hooked-up the electric. We went to bed for the night.

DAY #2:
We awakened early the following morning. It was a tight squeeze passing each other from one end of the motor home to the other. In fact, it was so tight that I decided to get up before Ralph. That way I could get cleaned-up, make coffee, get something out for breakfast and work on the finishing touches of my book manuscript.

So, here we are, trying to get ready to get back on the road in our tight, 25 foot quarters with coffee sitting on the small dining table waiting for us. I sat down at the table so that my six-foot-four-inch tall husband would be able to walk past me to the kitchen sink. (This motor home has cupboard doors that open outward and upward. I’m only five-feet-three inches tall and shrinking so I really don’t see the cupboard doors once I’ve opened them – to the ceiling.)

So, what happened next? Ralph walked right smack-dab into the cupboard door I’d left open. Now I don’t often hear my husband swear, but his response to the experience went something like this, “#!!*!!@**!?##*” I thought to myself, “Uh-oh” and apologized. So much for a “Good Morning.”

DAY #3:
The following day was filled with more riding and driving when Ralph announced, “We’re in West Virginia!” We both were hungry. I noticed a large billboard that read, “Biscuit World” and suggested we stop there for a quick lunch. Ralph proceeded to walk Dazie and he suggested I go ahead inside the restaurant. Thus began my waking nightmare.

I opened the restaurant door and entered a very dirty fast-food joint. A woman shouted from behind a counter (in her high-pitched southern twang,) “Can I help you honey?” Little did I know that I should never have replied to her question with, “No thank you. I’m just waiting for my husband to come in.” The moment I’d finished the last word of my sentence, from around the corner burst this huge young guy who had frizzy hair that stuck-out all over the place, dressed in scrubby-looking clothing who stopped three feet short of where I stood. He proceeded to stand there and gawk at me, (as though I were the one from some other planet) wide-eyed and without blinking even once. Thank goodness the dirty look I gave him seemed to register and he went back around the same corner.

Ralph then entered Biscuit World and I pleaded with him never to leave me alone again on this trip. He agreed. We ate a little of the food, and got out of there as fast as we could.  (Actually, if I never see West Virginia again, it will be too soon!)

Later on into the evening we pulled into another KOA Campground where, once Ralph had hooked-up the electric, we three bedded-down for the night in Greenwood, Virginia.

DAY #4:
The following morning, I arose first and made coffee. Once again, I’d forgotten about that darn cupboard door and you’ll never guess what happened! Yep! Poor Ralph walked right into it again! (Now I’m one of those misguided people who wants to laugh and laugh at anything even remotely related to slap-stick comedy.) Needless to say, I held-in my uproarious laughter.

Ralph and I stopped and visited an enormous antique mall where we spent nearly the entire afternoon.  (The antique malls out east are enormous with thousands of items for sale!)

 My high school best friend and I had been maintaining contact via cell phone, and I phoned to let her know that we were getting nearer Pennsylvania (where she and her husband live). Kathy and I had booked a ghost tour together at Gettysburg as well as a Paranormal Investigation after dark by the Gettysburg Battlefield. I’d also booked an afternoon air-conditioned bus tour of the battlefield for Ralph and I. We were both getting excited. (We hadn’t seen each other in over six years when I was vacationing in Washington DC.)Kathy & Jeanie by her horse barn

Once again, we drove and rode all day long.

DAY #5:
By now we were getting much nearer our destination. We’d made it to Williamsburg, Virginia. We both wanted to spend some time in Colonial Williamsburg where we visited the first English Settlement in 1607 of Yorktown and then Jamestown. (Fortunately, Ralph has done a lot of traveling and knew to avoid all the tourist traps in both locales. We went, instead, directly to the State Park where the real (i.e. original) history lies.)

My favorite spots there were Black Point which we walked out to the end of and which is documented to be quite haunted. It was beautiful. In Yorktown, it was extremely fascinating to see the first English Settlement (markers where the original buildings stood) and to imagine everything as it was way back then.Black Point DSC_0199

DAY #6:
At last, we made it all the way out to Pennsylvania. Kathy lives way outside of town so she insisted on meeting us at the bottom of the freeway exit in York Springs, PA. I really enjoyed riding over the enormous hills out there. She and her husband live way out among many beautiful apple orchards.

Tonight was to be our Ghost Tour in Gettysburg. We toured a large area near Cemetery Hill and then a large house that was standing there during the Civil War. It still has the bullet holes in the outside walls to prove it! Many wounded soldiers had hidden in the attic of the house where many died.

DAY #7:
The following afternoon Ralph and I took the bus tour of Gettysburg Battlefield. Our tour guide did an excellent job describing the battle that took place at Gettysburg and the story of the 50,000 soldiers who’d lain slaughtered there. Their bodies and the bodies of countless horses they’d ridden laid out in the sun decomposing for several days, since the living had to remain in the town tending to the wounded.

When they were finally able to bury the 50,000 dead soldiers, they dug only six inch graves and buried them right where they lay. Shortly thereafter the rains came. All the soil that had covered the dead was washed away and the hogs and dogs ate what was left. Only miscellaneous bones were found later and given a proper burial.DSC_0114 DSC_0047

I found walking on the battlefield to be a very sobering experience. I felt my heart grow heavy with sadness and an acute awareness that I was walking on hallowed ground.

DAY #8:
Kathy and I embarked on our Private Paranormal Investigation after dark. Our tour guides were from the Mason Dixon Paranormal Society and did a fantastic job. We visited the Sachs Covered Bridge beside the battlefield which is well-documented to be quite haunted.Kathy and an Orb on Sachs Bridge Gettysburg

It was a great trip, but we’re all happy to get home.  All in all, we both felt that our trip had been an enormous success!

Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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