Tuesday, October 1, 2019

If you plan it they will come... day five

Tuesday October 1st

Our day started with cloudy skies but fortunately the rain had stopped. I don't think we've had a day yet when we haven't had to use the windshield wipers! Today's drive will take us off the turnpike and away from the tolls that go along with it. We continued eastward for fifteen minutes and turned off at exit 180. 

Ready for another day on the road at the Sideling Hill Service Plaza

Once we left the turnpike the driving became less stressful and more enjoyable. We were now on a rolling two lane diving through valleys and climbing over passes. The clouds hadn't lifted and the fog lingered. And yes, we had to use the wipers. 

On highway 30 east of Mcconnellsburg PA

Our destination this morning was the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum.
After a very pleasant drive on Pennsylvania Highway 30 through Chambersburg we arrived in the parking area and found a spot. The RV parking was a longer walk away from the museum itself so we had to wait a few minutes for Phyllis and Andrew to join us.

Admission to this museum is free (did I mention we like free!) however there are a number of programs and tours for which you can purchase tickets. We chose the economical route and just toured the exhibits. Among the firearms and uniforms is a tree stump from the battlefield riddled with bullets and shrapnel. Quite sobering to think what these chunks of metal would do to a soldier. 

Andrew & Phyllis spending time with President Lincoln

Abraham, Ian and Sharon.
The battle of Gettysburg resulted in the deaths of over 30,000 soldiers in the space of three days! It occurred in July of 1863 and it was in November of that year that President Abraham Lincoln visited and presented his now famous speech as part of the dedication of the National Cemetery. Lincoln's 272 word speech was in sharp contrast to the two hour one given by the Hon. Edward Everett

Lincoln's Gettysburg address...

After touring the museum we climbed in the car and drove to Cemetery Ridge to have a look at that part of the battlefield. 

At Cemetery Ridge

There are numerous plaques, statues and cannons at this spot that tell some of the battle's story.

Andrew, Phyllis and Sharon walked down the hill into town and I followed in the car, rejoining them after finding a parking spot. There's a variety of different architectural styles to see in Gettysburg. Here's just a small sampling...

Andrew in front of the Gettysburg Hotel, 1 Lincoln Square, Gettysburg PA
 After a light lunch at one of the cafés on Lincoln Square we piled into the car and headed back to the museum parking lot to collect the RV and make our way to our next destination, Bird In Hand, PA.

Our first order of business was to find Aaron & Jessica's Buggy Rides.  They offer several different tours ranging from twenty minutes to about an hour. We chose one of shorter tours and quite enjoyed it. Be sure to search for coupons before you go, we saved $2.00 each using one we found online.
Waiting patiently...

Me, Sharon, Phyllis and Andrew aboard a buggy.

After our ride we headed back to the Bird-In-Hand Bakery and Cafe for a light supper. We then piled in the car and took a tour around the immediate area before retrieving the RV and heading south to Washington DC.

Bird-In-Hand Bakery & Cafe where we had our evening meal.
Harvesting corn.
One of many farms in the area.
Buggies parked for a local auction.

Sunset as we head south to Washington DC.

Approximate route for the fifth day of the trip.
Our drive from Bird-In-Hand to our overnight took us through Baltimore's Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-95. The remaining drive was uneventful and we arrived at the County Inn and Suites just outside Washington DC safe and sound. 

For those of you that like numbers here are some stats for our trip so far:
  • 4100km / 2550 miles
  • two provinces
  • eight states 
  • highest elevation @ 1100m / 3600 ft
  • lowest elevation @ 33m /100ft below sea level 

We've spent the last three days travelling on the turnpikes through Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania. When we were planning our route we hadn't counted on tolls etc. Just for interests' sake we redid our route on Google maps with the "avoid tolls" option selected. Had we done this initially our drive time from Dyersville IA to Gettysburg PA would have only been an hour longer and would have taken us a much more enjoyable route not to  mention saved us a considerable amount in tolls! We'll take this as a lesson learned for future road trips.

Thanks for following along. Would love to hear your comments... just leave them in the space below.

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