Frederick, MD to Gettysburg, PA., Battlefield, Hershey, Eisenhower Farm
Gettysburg Travel Blog› entry 108 of 169 › view all entries
Left the Elks in Frederick, MD. early and drove up to Gettysburg where I stayed at the Artillery Ridge Campground. it was located just a mile or two down the road from the National Park Visitors Center. a large park with many amenities but a bit on the pricy side.
The next two days were spent exploring the National Park. Attended an electric map presentation that walked you through the 3 days of the battle and explained what and when it all took place. Very good and it gave me an overview of the events that took place there. From there, I took a guided tour of the cemetery which was good and presented by a Park Ranger. Purchased an audio battlefield tour guide and spent most of the day driving the battlefield stopping at all of the places mentioned on the tape.
Took a break from Gettysburg and drove up to Hershey, PA to visit the factory and displays there. The facility is huge with one of the largest parking lots I have seen. They give you the first 2 hours free and then charge you a bunch with the third hour starting at $8.00. In the visitors center, they offer a tram ride that takes you through a simulated factory explaining how chocolate and candy bars are made. Interesting but focused more toward children. There was also a 3D theater which I passed on and the balance of the center was a huge store selling Hershey products in all shapes and assortments. Clothes, mugs and more than you could imagine. next to the visitors center is a huge amusment park which was quite expensive to enter.
Back at the Artillery Ridge Campground, I had been put on a waiting list as I wanted to extend my stay over the 4th of July. They had scheduled loads of activities as it was the anniversary weekend of the battle. A large recreatment was cancelled at the last minute because of the fact we had some heavy rain and the field they were planning to use was way too muddy. Boo Hoo! Got lucky and I was able to extend my stay but had to move to another site. That put me right next to the horse corral and in the midst of many of the recreatment folks. I had generals and soldiers all around me. They really take their rolls seriously. Took another Ranger presentation covering the day 2 battle on Cemetery Ridge.
President Eisenhower's retirement home is on the battlefield and I took a tour of it on July 3. One step back from Camp David and two back from the White House. In the afternoon, Union and Confederate soldiers had a great ceremony at the "Angle" where Picketts charge ended the battle. The Confederates walked across the fields and when they got to the angle, they requested permission to cross the wall. There were several hundred soldiers of both sides along with some womenfolk all in their costumes of the times. General Mead gave a speach followed by one by a Park Ranger. The message was about unification of the country.
Gettysburg was a great experience and I consider myself lucky to have been there on the anniversary weekend of the battle.
Elk Lodges: 43, Escapee RV Parks: 25, Public RV Parks: 32, National Parks: 49, major Ships: 10, Forts: 20
Expenses: 36 months on the road with an average of $1958 per month.