Spent some time this morning at the Gettysburg National Military Park. This park commemorates and remembers the 3 days of battle at Gettysburg during the Civil War. Total causalities (killed, wounded, captured and missing) for the three days were 23,000 for the Union Army and 28,000 for the Confederate Army. All the sites of all the battles are preserved and available to the public for commemorative and educational purposes. The whole area is laid out with trails and plaques describing the significance of each area.
An interesting thing was that the commencement of the park was a private action by a group of people who started purchasing the land and gathered information not long after the war was over, hence the amount of detail retained for historical purposes. When the National Park was formed, the lands purchased were donated to the National Authorities. Some areas are still privately owned but incorporated into the park.
Of course, Abe Lincoln, President at the time, features prominently as it was here at the dedication of the cemetery that he delivered the Gettysburg Address. All around the area, battlefields are marked with plaques, memorials, statues and cannon. Quite impressive.
From Gettysburg we headed for Baltimore for a look before going on to Washington DC. Riding from Gettysburg to just outside of Baltimore is a beautiful run through many small towns and some striking countryside. It must be great to get the rainfall these areas get as everything is lush and green. We had been thinking about why we were visiting Baltimore as we hadn't intended to spend much time there anyway. Just outside of Baltimore I saw a sign that said Left to Baltimore and Right to Washington. We were out of the relaxing country roads by now and I was already sick of the increasing traffic so we just headed Right for Washington DC.
We made a bit of a mistake then. The decision was to go to the motel, check-in, drop off the gear to make the bike a bit easier to handle at low-speed and go for a ride around Washington DC for a look. The lady at the motel said to go in on the train but no, I knew better. Yeah, right. Apart from fighting traffic, Fed Ex trucks again stopped in the road to deliver parcels, drivers that have as much respect for the road rules as the New York drivers and a GPS that would say turn right at the lights, then, once that was done, yell at me that I was going down a one-way street the wrong way. I wasn't, but it took a disconcerting while to correct itself. This happened more than once; must be the difficulty with the satellite signal amongst the buildings.
What wonderful buildings. I've shown you a small number of the buildings among the photos, some we could identify/remember, others that just looked terrific examples of architecture.
A final decision on what to do tomorrow is still pending, stay for a better look or go on and put a spare day in the kitty. Watch this space.
240 klms today, total to date 7,671 klms.