So, I realized I never actually did a post on how Gettysburg was. In a word: hot. I took exactly three pictures, and none of them turned out very good because the sweat was pouring down my body and stinging my eyes. The humidity made it feel like we were swimming at times. But the visit was still worth it.
We drove through the country roads of Pennsylvania that morning, and it was a lovely drive. The forests mingling with the farmland, the mixture of very old and very new houses, the small towns, the beautiful waterways, lots of horses – it was lovely to see from our air-conditioned vehicle. 🙂 We drove through Hanover, PA and saw some amazing old architecture. Just really picaresque the whole trip.
When we arrived at the battlefield, we decided to just do a “small” loop of the trails because of how hot it was. You could do a car tour as well, but since it’s such a pain to get a two year old in and out of a carseat, we pulled out the stroller, went inside the visitor center to sunscreen in the air conditioning (Badger brand, if you’re wondering – works well and has completely safe ingredients but tends to show white against your skin once you start sweating no matter how much blending you do. Still, my eyes water and burn using normal commercial brands so we put up with the gentle and safe alternative. And it smells REALLY good.) Then we took off for the trails – through the woods, across a street where we noticed a construction crew, then to the battlefield proper.
It’s always nice to gain some historical perspective. To really reflect on the soldiers that fought and died where you are standing. I’ve studied the Civil War quite a bit and read a lot of literature from that time, so it was fascinating. And I did as much reflecting as I could while taking turns pushing the stroller in high heat and humidity. And somehow, we got turned around, went on a longer loop than anticipated, and had to try to figure out how to get back to our car. We came out much further down the road and crossed the street again only to find that the walkway was blocked with cones and rope. We went back and forth over whether we should just try to walk off-trail or go up the busy road towards the other trail entrance, when an incredibly helpful park ranger came across the street to us and told us that they were just a couple of days out from opening the trail back up so we could duck under the rope and go on our way because the road wasn’t safe with our stroller. Such a nice man.
See, they didn’t really advertise the fact that the trails were closed (where we noticed anyway) because we were the only idiots actually trying to hike in the heat! But we were saved! And made it safely back to our car.
We drove through the city of Gettysburg, got a little turned around so got a nice tour of campus, and at lunch at a decent family restaurant. Then we were on our way home!