Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 16. Nov 20th PA sunrist to VA

I started the morning with 4 hours of sleep and got up at 4:30. I needed to be in Fredericksburg, VA by noon, and that was a 5-hour drive without stopping. "Without stopping" are the key words in that sentence!! That is just not humanly possible for me!! The viewpoints will never be the same so I must see them today!!!

While I was hardly functional to take a shower, I was bouncing with glee on the inside at the excitement to see a long lost friend of mine. She and I grew up just a few houses apart and spent almost every day hanging out as kids. We lost touch after high school, and hadn't talked or seen each other since '98. Thanks to facebook, we got back in touch just a couple months ago. We were the chattiest girls you've ever seen. It was like not a day had passed. Our conversation picked right up where it left off 11 years ago and we had a ball sharing our lives that we have lived.

I left my brother's house at 5:30 on the button and headed south. Since I am in no way shape or form a morning person, I have only seen the sun rise one other time in my life. I am not the least bit interested in making it a habit to see the sun come up, but I can understand why other people like to see it. That is god's expression of joy to a new day!!!

As I made my way down the highway, I couldn't help but notice that almost all the houses had candles in the windows. I thought that was just something in movies. I didn't know people really did that. Must be a northeast thing!! It was an incredible sight to go down a dark highway with no street lights and see the glow of candles in the windows.

As I made my way across the Pennsylvania countryside, the view on either side of the freeway was of rolling hills that were covered in green fields.

I was feeling so proud of myself because I had only stopped 5 times since I left my brother's so I decided to give myself a reward and stop in Gettysburg. Let the inner history buff come out!! I remember hearing about this place in school as a kid. Now it was time to see it in person!!
Mr. Lincoln and I had a moment!!

After my chat with Lincoln, I made my way through the woods where the battle took place. It was rough, hilly, and wooded. This was the spot where they fought on day 2 in 1863. There were monuments everywhere, lining all the roads in memory of all the troops that fought!! They were incredible pieces of stone art!!

Then there was this spot... This is Culps Hill.

It was a vantage point for the soldiers to see far across the hills. I saw this tower and, of course, decided to go to the top. I approached the stairs with a jog because it didn't look very far up. Just like the gym, right!! HA, NOOOOOO. I got about 20 steps up and my jog slowly became a walk. My walk slowly became a very slow motion. Then my legs started turning to jello. Then my hand went to my knee to stabilize as I made my way up one step at a time. Clearly, it's back to the gym when I get home!! I got to the top and didn't give a crap what I was looking at because I was light-headed and tired.

This picture of the town of Gettysburg has great value because it is from the top of that tower!!!!
Once I was firmly stable back on the ground, I made my way to the next stop along the road.

Ooooo... Can I try firing that thing!?!

These cannons were erected in 1891 in honor of the men that battled on day 2 and 3 in July 1863.

Across the road from the cannons was Soldiers' National Cemetery. WOW!! The graves were close together and placed back to back. These are my great, great grandfather's age, and yet the stones were so clean they could have been placed there yesterday.

After leaving the cemetery, I saw this building. It is the old civil war hospital. Look at the stone work.
Aaaaaa... What in the world is that!!!!?!!! Looks like a dinosaur eye or something prehistoric. This was in the ground in the middle of a field and was clearly wood but nowhere near a tree.

Ahhh, how country cute is that!!! Think I should go knock on the door? Tempting, and might have if I had someone along to encourage me, but I decided not to.

As I left Gettysburg, I couldn't help but notice the fall color still in existence. It is mid November and almost all the leaves have fallen everywhere around here, but this tree is the tough stinker that refused to accept winter.

Welcome to Maryland!!! I made extremely quick work of this state. It was Friday and DC is known to be a mess. I was warned that if I went near the city, I would not see a thing because I would sit in traffic for hours. So I went around the city on my mission to see my friend in Virginia.

This was the Maryland countryside.

Once I passed DC, I was a bit disappointed with the state of Virginia. They had no welcome sign. I never knew when I crossed the border. I had to welcome myself with a stop at this farm. As I was taking this picture, the farmer came home. I waved like I knew him and could see the puzzled look on his face as he waved back. If I had had more time, I would have stopped him and had a chat, but I was about 15 minutes late as is and a conversation would have made me later.

He had a very interesting corn silo though!!!

He also had some cool, old farm equipment. All the farms in this area have stuff like this out on their property. Each farm was like a museum of equipment.

Last but not least!!!!!! What is that I see? CHICK-FIL-A?????? WOO HOOO!! This just happens to be my all-time favorite fast food joint in the world. As soon as the sign came into sight, my mouth started watering!!!!! My friend asked me where we should eat and listed some very nice restaurants, but once my eyes saw such a sight, there was no question where I wanted to have lunch!!! This country girl don't need no fancy restaurants when she can have Chick-Fil-A!!!
After the afternoon together, she headed home and I got back on the road. When I looked at the map, I noticed that I was only an inch (distance on the map) from the Atlantic Ocean. What's an inch when I have come all this way? I am headed to Georgia but clearly it was close enough that a detour was in order.

So in true Dana form, I hung a left and headed for the ocean. I am now in Williamsburg, VA and will get to bed for a great day tomorrow.

P.S. I must say, I missed everyone at home today. It was great to hear from those of you that called, emailed or sent me a text!! I think of everyone often while on this journey and am wishing you a great day!!!


  1. SOOOOOOOO glad to hear the last couple of days have gone smoother. We miss you here too. Dave & Kathy

  2. Sounds like you are having a great time, you might think about a trip to DC if you have time-maybe a tour. The blog is a great idea Good luck- Judy and Earle

  3. Thanks both of you!! Judy and Earle, I will be in Florida next Sunday night and leaving mid day on Dec. 3rd. I will try to give you a call this week sometime. I had to skip DC this trip because my friend lived south of there and I didn't have time to stop. I really wanted to go though!!! Hope you all are well and have a great day!!! :) Dana