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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Day 4: Gettysburg

On Day 3, I dragged my butt out of bed at 7:00 am (that's 6:00 am for you Central Time Zone People.) Pap Z cooked us some dippy eggs, my favorite, and then we said a sad good-bye as we headed to Gettysburg.
We took Route 30, also known as the Lincoln Highway, the entire way there.  It was a lovely drive, save the lone police officer who took offense to Jason's speed through his little village (it was only double the posted speed limit.)  The trip got a little more expensive today.

This was the high point (literally.) It may not seem high to you people who live out west, but for us Illinoisans, the ears were were a-poppin'!

And then I was seriously worried about our brakes going back down.  If you think we had problems going down that hill, here's the runaway truck ramp...if you lose control, just drive your truck onto this gravel road.


When we got to Gettysburg, we started at the Visitor's Center and Museum.  We saw a short film, viewed the Cyclorama (100-yard painting in the round) and then visited the museum.  We all agreed that the museum was very detailed...a little much for us, but history buffs would love it.  I loved this Union flag.  The Union always kept the stars for all the States...never removed them for the ones that had seceded.


And I think it goes without saying that I would love the pen that was used to sign the surrender papers.


After the museum, we purchased a CD Auto tour of the massive battleground.  It was great.  The tour is well-marked throughout the huge battlefield and we were able to stop and get out to take photos as we liked.  Ok, Kyra and I took photos.  You would not believe the number of monuments.  Here is Abner Doubleday, "inventor" of baseball.


Many states had monuments (Illinois does not, except for individual brigade monuments.)  Louisiana's was my favorite of the state monuments.


We got to climb this tower at one of the stops.  I almost died, from the 8 flights as well as the height.  The view was pretty awesome though.


Little Round Top was our favorite stop.  The kids enjoyed climbing on the rocks and the view was beautiful.  The photo below is of Devil's Den from Little Round Top.  Beautiful as it is, the valley between was known as The Valley of Death.  


The largest state monument is for the State of Pennsylvania.  It's incredible.  You can climb stairs to stand near the top.  We didn't.  We were nearly done at this point.  And while PA has this incredible monument, NY has a gazillion monuments.


The final stop on the tour is known as the High Water Mark, where Pickett's Charge took place.  Confederate Forces marched, a mile wide, toward the Union Army.  We sat and listened to the story as the sun set.  It was a fitting ending to the tour.


So, if you want the opinion of the Killions, Gettysburg is very worth the trip.  We thought the museum was nice, but too detailed for us.  We really enjoyed the Auto Tour.  And we certainly could have spent another day in Gettysburg as we didn't have a chance to explore any of the downtown and the Civil-War-Era buildings.


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