Joe and I have just returned from a trip to VA to visit family and celebrate my mom's 86th birthday. We threw in all the fall family birthdays and had one big party. It was worth the drive down even though we hit SNOW in PA coming back. I liked the gas prices - $2.29 the day we left.
In all the years trucking back and forth from ME to VA for family visits, we'd not taken the time to visit the battlefields in Gettysburg. Now that we are retired the time is ours to do as we wish and we spent two days in Gettysburg. Those days were the only rain free of the trip and the crisp, clear fall weather just added to the trip. If you haven't been to Gettysburg, no matter where you are from, it is well worth your time. The National Park Service licenses private guides through the Visitor Center. You can take a bus tour lasting two hours, in a herd on a Greyhound type bus, or hire a guide who drives your car. We hired the guide (which was actually less expensive then the bus - expect for a tip) and he tailored the 3+ hour tour to Maine Civil War troops. It is awesome to stand in the places where so many people were killed. You can almost feel their spirits all around you. The Park Service is cutting some of the forests that have grown up since the Civil War to make the sight lines more what they were during the battles. It is truly a sobering experience.
After our guided tour, we went back and found several virtual caches. There are many multi-caches in the park that lead you from monument to statue to battlefield. Beware the one way roads!! or be prepared to walk many, many miles.
From PA we went down to relatives in Manassas, VA and toured the Civil War battlefields there. We watched a film about the battles at Bull Run and the Stone Bridge. Really brought forward the events and made those fields live also. Walked a couple more virtual caches there. Amazingly with all the modern development around the Battlefields, the Park Service has managed the park so that you do not see new houses or roads.
Caching continued with my six year old nephew. Amazing how fast kids catch on to caching and seem to walk right to them. He really liked the box caches where he could trade items. The micros didn't do a thing for him <G> Only one light pole cache and it was actually pretty cleverly hidden. There are many caches in cemeteries which made us a bit uncomfortable. Wonder why we don't see more cemetery caches here in Maine?
Glad to be home and back in the land where we don't have traffic jams. Did two caches today and picked up a White Jeep about an hour after it was dropped off in Falmouth. Tomorrow is the end of the White Jeep contest and I'll try to at least get it into a cache in the AM.
Our caches may be spread out a bit further but the quality of them is really, really good. Visit Gettysburg if you have a chance.
Anne (watching Joe watching the Patriots)