Thursday, August 29, 2019

Gettysburg


We spent 3 days in August at Gettysburg National Park and Museum.  It was amazing.  I am not a civil war buff or even a history buff, and I enjoyed it.  The visitor center houses a museum, movie theater, food, book/t-shirt store.  They also have a cyclorama!  In the 90’s I worked in the Cyclorama Building in Buffalo, NY.  A cyclorama is a picture in the round that people used to pay to view, like going to the movies today.  I just worked in the round building, which made the cubicles a challenge, but I had never seen a picture that was displayed in one.  The visitor center houses one of the battle at Gettysburg.    The oil painting is 377’ long and 42’ high.  Learn more here: https://www.nps.gov/gett/learn/historyculture/gettysburg-cyclorama.htm.
The battlefield is littered with monuments.  Each statue commemorates a person, regimen, brigade or state; the emotional part is they each say how many fought, died, were wounded or missing.  Even with this accounting it is impossible to imagine the carnage.  I think I was most reassured by a deeper understanding that our country had endured a struggle, survived and was improved by that struggle.  Is it perfect today? No, but it is better than yesterday.
My first camping review:  We stayed at Artillery Ridge Campground.  Showers and toilets were clean.  The roads are stone so no mud even though it rained.  Mature trees so there was nice shade.  Spots were too close together, in my opinion.  There was a horse path that led to the battlefield very near the Pennsylvania monument, we rode our bikes in the park a lot.  Overall the town is not very bike friendly.  There are no bike lanes and in many places no shoulder.  On some roads bikes are specifically prohibited. 

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