"" Writer's Wanderings: Mini Road Trip - Gettysburg, PA

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Mini Road Trip - Gettysburg, PA

After an eight hour drive from Waynesville, NC to Gettysburg, PA, we checked in to our hotel and found a nearby restaurant. Our dinner was disappointing so Bob decided we needed to finish off the evening by finding some ice cream. With his handy dandy TripAdvisor app, he found an ice cream shop in the historic area of Gettysburg. It sounded quaint and we found it easily enough with our GPS. The only problem was that it was closed.

Surely, we thought there had to be some ice cream somewhere so we left the car parked and wandered around a bit. There was a large circle in the center of town and we walked around it noting that most places were already closed with the exception of a few restaurants. As we completed the trip around the circular town square we came upon a historical marker that pointed out that the brick building before us was the Wills House. It was here that Abraham Lincoln was the guest of David Wills on November 18 and 19 in 1863. He met with the governor and other public figures and was said to have finished his Gettysburg Address there.

Eventually we ended up at Dairy Queen for ice cream which was a real "scream." I've never seen one so fully decked out for Halloween. You had to duck the ghosts circling overhead from the fans.

The next morning as soon as we'd finished breakfast we drove to the Gettysburg Park Visitor Center. It had been at least 30 years since we last visited Gettysburg and things had changed immensely. A beautiful building now held a movie, a cyclorama, and a huge museum to look through. Our friend, John, who was to be our guide in the afternoon had suggested we do all three in the morning to reacquaint ourselves with the history of the battlefield.

We purchased a ticket to see all three of the center's offerings. (To see film, cyclorama, and museum was $14 for seniors. Museum only tickets were $9.) The film, A New Birth Of Freedom narrated by Morgan Freeman, was well done. While the cyclorama's history and artistry was interesting, I was not as impressed with that presentation. The cyclorama is a huge painting mounted in a circle around a viewing area. There is a narration that tries to put you in the position of someone actually viewing the battle. It dates back to 1884 and was a major restoration project that was finished in 2008 and opened to public viewing along with the new visitor's center.

It took us two hours to go through the museum. I had not expected it to be so large and so inclusive. There was everything imaginable that had to do with the Civil War and the part that Gettysburg played in it. It was quite enjoyable as museums go but I was really looking forward to getting out and exploring the outdoors.

We lunched on the outdoor patio of the cafeteria and enjoyed some warm sunshine on the cool autumn day. Then it was off to meet our friend who is a licensed guide with the park. It would be good to see him and glean from his wealth of Civil War knowledge.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...