Sunday, July 20, 2008

Go Away Day: Gettysburg

Today, Shira, Dave and I ignored all the responsible things we were supposed to do around the house (weeding, mowing, etc.) and had a Go Away Day. We jumped into the car and headed to Gettysburg for the day.

Dave and I both have fun memories of visiting Gettysburg as Boy Scouts. But that was years ago. Those fond memories, plus driving by Gettysburg on our way to Rochester and always saying we are going to stop, were enough of a reason to put it on our list of places to visit. So, today we just did it. It was a relatively short hour and a half trip from D.C., so it's really not even that far.

The Gettysburg park is big, and you've got a variety of options for seeing it. We ended up purchasing a $20 CD audio car tour, and following along with it. I was especially happy with this solution, as it allowed us to stop half way through without feeling as though we lost out. We'll simply go back next time we have friends or family in town (or are in need of another go away day), and finish it up.

As for the Gettysburg Battlefield park itself - it's just outstanding. A must see. Every American has a responsibility to see this reminder that not that along ago, this country nearly split in half. You think we've got issues now, they pale in comparison to us slaughtering each other.

The park is really a history buff's paradise. Not only does it contain plenty of monuments, it also contains plaques and rangers who want to give you the details of the battle. The sequence of events is remarkable - there are occasions where a few minutes one way or another, and we would need a passport to make it back to Virginia today.

After visiting our country's most bloody battlefield, what is one to do? Visit the outlets near by, of course. Duh. It's the American way.

What a fun day, and a wonderful site.


  1. Anonymous10:44 PM

    Sounds like you had a good trip! I do have to correct a factual error, however. Gettysburg was not the site of the "bloodiest battle." That distinction goes to the battlefield at Antietam.

  2. Anonymous10:46 PM

    Hmm, it seems both Gettysburg and Antietam try to claim "bloodiest" something or other. A gruesome distinction, anyhow.

  3. You're right on - in our National Park Service docs it said basically what it says on their website:

    ""Often referred to as the "High Water Mark of the Confederacy", it was the war's bloodiest battle with 51,000 casualties.""


    Oh well, either way, it was a huge toll to pay.