A Travellerspoint blog

Civil War sites in VA, MD, PA

Manassas (Bull Run 1 & 2), Antietam, Gettysburg,p

sunny 25 °C

Over the last two days, among other activities, we’ve visited four civil war battlefields. In Virginia, Manassas (aka Bull Run 1&2); in Maryland Antietam; and in Pennsylvania, Gettysburg.

We toured the visitors centre and varying amounts of the battlefields, with a field talk at the first Bull Run, a self driving tour at Antietam, and a bus tour in Gettysburg. So lots of names and battle tactics and positions running through my head, but feel that we have a rough sense of the first couple of years of the war. Lots of deaths, lots of bloodshed, cannons with a range of 2 miles and muskets with ranges up to two football fields. Lots of up-close bayonets and bullets, as I expected, but I didn’t expect the longer distance battles, especially the cannon warfare.



And the founder of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton


Posted by Deb Godley 02:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Washington DC

Baseball, hockey, icons

semi-overcast 20 °C

In Washington, we dropped off the car at the parking garage associated with the Harrington Hotel and took an Uber to Nationals Park to see the Washington Nationals lose to the San Francisco Giants. This was our 13th baseball stadium and our record for home teams wins is now 11 -2, with only the LA Dodgers and Nationals representing losses. We had great seats, though, in section 128.

Saw a few iconic landmarks on my morning walks. Can almost tell it’s the White House behind all the security

The next day, we drove to Manassas to see the Bull Run battlefields (see pics in other post) and then to the Stephen Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum, one of the Smithsonian Institution sites. So, free to enter, but $15 for parking. Fantastic displays of flight with everything from a bicycle-powered plane, to blimps, a Concord, and the Discovery Space Shuttle. I took TONS of pics; here are a few

And finally, a Caps game. The Washington Capitals is our 19th arena. Our record is less good for hockey at 10-9 (53% wins vs 85% for baseball). The Leafs won in the shootout, but a fun game with lots of goals, including one for each team disallowed (offside, hand pass). I cheered for all the good saves and all the goals for both teams. Unfortunately, saw Ovechkin slide head-first into the boards late in the game; he didn’t return and is day-to-day. Hopefully, he’ll be ok. Again, we had decent seats, purchased just a few hours before game time.

Posted by Deb Godley 01:28 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Richmond VA

semi-overcast 15 °C

My morning walks included Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery and walking trail by the CSX railway, where they haul hundreds of cars of coal.

And Belle Isle, former site of a notorious civil war prison

In the afternoons, we walked a self-guided walking tour found on their tourist website called the Liberty Trail. Unfortunately, some of the sites have been moved and others poorly marked, so we didn’t see as much as planned. We did join a guided tour of the house of Maggie Lena Walker who was the first African-American female bank president - an immense achievement. We also saw the White House of the Confederacy.

And took a canal tour, which was relaxing, but not really worth the 40 minutes as you couldn’t really see many of the sites from the canal; however, sailing through the huge flood gates was interesting.

And interesting art
Including Mr. Bojangles

Posted by Deb Godley 01:11 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Cape Charles to Richmond VA

Chesapeake Bridge-Tunnel, Virginia Air & Space Science Center, Holiday Inn

sunny 14 °C

Lovely morning walk, sunny and light wind. Today, i took the left at the beach and, with a low tide, walked to Kiptopeke State Park. Lots of birds, in flight, wading in the calm waves, leaving footprints in the sand.

Beach access for the houses I can’t see…

Nice little park for fishing, $5/rod

Immediately after leaving the KOA, we paid the $14 toll and crossed Chesapeake Bay on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. First opened in 1964, it spans 17.6miles with two tunnel sections.

We stopped at the Virginia Air and Space Science Center. At $22pp, it felt a bit overpriced, given much of it was closed or not operational. We arrived in time to see the IMAX about asteroids, but I thought I already learned as much from the Bruce Willis movie, Armageddon. The ad for the Oceans movie looked more interesting, but the timing doesn’t work now. Planes and NASA space stuff on display. Lots of kids on class trips. So, busy and loud.

We checked in at the Holiday Inn Downtown, centrally located for seeing civil war sites tomorrow. Executive King room, with lots of room, comfy bed, fridge & microwave. Internet seems good as well.

Feeling like pizza, we walked down Cary St to the Bottoms Up Pizza restaurant, which boasts a sour dough thick, crispy crust. It did not disappoint. Steve ordered a large meat lovers with mushrooms and I ordered a Chesapeake - parmesan-white sauce with crab and onions. Really excellent. Half of the large will be lunch tomorrow.

Nice walk to/from as well. Not sure the significance of the guys hoisting the sail, but I liked it.

Posted by Deb Godley 23:59 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Cape Charles & Savage Neck NP

sunny 9 °C

Morning walk around the KOA and to the beach. This is a large park, with several hundred sites. The lowest number sites, 1 through 29 are mostly permanent seasonal residents, I think. Big rigs, fifth wheels, trailers with bump-outs in lots with little posted signs claiming the space and welcoming visitors to “The Smiths” or “The Jones Summer Place”. Wooden patios with wooden deck chairs and tables, heavy enough to stay put despite the strong winds, little fenced yards, ATVs and golf carts covered with heavy tarps. These were permanent, but almost no one was here yet; the season hasn’t started yet. The restaurant and pool don’t open until April 30.

Other sites are filled with alternating yellow and blue cabins, much nicer than the KOA Kamping Kabins we booked two decades ago as a splurge when it was raining hard or we’d driven long hours with more hours the next day and no desire to put up a tent in the wet, dark evening. There are a few RVs and young families playing on the bouncy pad by the closed pool. There’s a parking area for the golf carts you can rent if you don’t want to walk from your site to the showers at the end of the row.

We drove the 20 min to Cape Charles and walked around the historic district and local beach and pier.

Lunch was seafood chowder and pretzels for me and chicken fingers and fries for Steve. I had hot water and lemon in a lovely cup.

The Savage Neck Dunes National Area Preserve is another 20 min north. I imagined a large dune area like the Oregon Dunes NP based on the title and despite the lack of info on their site. Anyway, it’s a very small preserve with no evident “dunes”, although the paths were sandy. I knew there were walking trails, but couldn’t find any distance info. We were disappointed that the entrance signage also didn’t provide trail info, but we set out anyway on the beach trail.

The loblolly pine

Returning to the car parking lot, which is restricted to a maximum of 8 vehicles (all others will be towed), we saw that the back of the entrance sign had a map of the preserve and trails. Why wasn’t that on the front???

Dinner in the room bought from the FoodLion.

Posted by Deb Godley 02:21 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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