Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bucket list #23 - Maryland

Driving from Gettysburg to Harpers Ferry took me through Maryland for 40-50 miles. I never left the car, but I was counting it as another state, knowing that I'd be back eventually to see the Tigers play the Orioles in Baltimore. At one point I drove past a brown road sign for the Antietam battle field. It sounded really interesting, but Harpers Ferry was the destination so I kept on driving.

After that was a wash, I looked online at lunch to see just how close Sharpsburg was anyway. It was a 37 minute drive and the visitors center closed at 5 pm. I finished eating really quickly and got on the road! I had a new destination to hit before closing time! Unfortunately Dumb Carmen (GPS) got lost! I had no idea where I was, or even what state I was in. Finally though, she figured it out and got me to the park within 15 minutes of closing time.

I don't know if I would call it a park exactly. It was all fields and monuments with a visitors center for maps, bathroom, etc. Obviously I could drive around the roads and walk in the fields after closing time, so I went inside and met a woman from Michigan, because I meet Michiganders everywhere in the world. I bought a book and a pin - much cheaper than at Gettysburg - and she gave me a map of the battlefield.

It was still pouring rain so I didn't enjoy walking much. Likewise, I was alone so I couldn't exactly drive a manual transmission, look at the map, and look at the sites. I completely missed Burnside Bridge and the National Cemetery. Altogether I spent less than an hour there, and I want to go back, especially after reading Landscape Turned Red by Stephen Sears.

Now I want to go to Virginia and see Manassas / Bull Run, Chancellorsville and Appomattox Courthouse. Had I planned it better I could have seen all three on the same trip, but when I set out, it was intended to be Gettysburg only. Harpers Ferry and Antietam were bonuses.
Visitors center 







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