Jilara (jilara) wrote,

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Gettysburg, Part I

I will spare the reader the horrors of modern airline travel, and the trials and travails involved with getting there, with canceled and delayed flights. Let us just say that I finally arrived in Baltimore late, to find that Bob and Carol, who were getting the car and with whom I was also sharing a room in Baltimore, had only arrived a few minutes earlier, and their flight had been scheduled to get in three hours before mine. So, eventually, we got to the rental car facility, and attempted to try to find our way out of the Baltimore airport. Oh. My. God. That whole area is a maze. We finally pulled over and called the Quality Inn for directions. Bob tried to send us back down the turnpike the wrong way. I kept telling him no, go NORTH. Thank heaven for numbered exits. We finally threaded our way through the maze and fell into respective beds at the hotel. Next stop, Gettysburg. I had already decided I needed to navigate, the next day.

Bob hadn't gotten a map. Fine, the hotel can get us one off Mapquest. The staff had never heard of Gettysburg, and couldn't find any entry for it. This was probably because they were all Pakistani. Finally, I pulled out my hotel reservation printout and said "type this in, exactly as it appears" and we got directions. Seems they were completely misspelling it, and the real spelling was a complete surprise to them. I took a printout of the area with us. Yay, on the road.

Bob was already stressing. This was to be the pattern for the next several days. I keep forgetting he gets like this. I should have remembered when we went to Ireland. I navigated, enjoying what was obviously the historic route along the Baltimore Pike, once we cleared the maze of turnpikes of the more modern era. We headed off into an area of farms and woodlands, punctuated with pre-Civil War buildings. I saw a couple of views that suddenly sent cold thrills through me for unknown reasons, utterly familiar from dreams of my childhood. Don't mind me, I'm just freaking out a little... On the outskirts of Gettysburg, we turned off to the new Visitor's Center for the Gettysburg National Battlefield park. I wanted to go check out the new center, but Bob was having none of it. We had time to hit the battlefield (on his route and schedule), and that was it. (Oh, right, he's been here before...)

Silly me, I kept using the map we'd gotten from the rangers at the Visitor Center, and pointing out "auto tour" signs, and he kept arguing with me and turning the wrong way, so we had to eventually go back the way I had said we should go. We got entirely out of the park a couple times. I was already going into "channeling Gettysburg" mode, where I would do things like pointing at a ridge and saying "Union Battalion Headquarters is up there..." checking the map, and finding it was marked with "Mead's HQ," etc. Bob was turning OCD on me, and wouldn't even slow down enough let us read Artillery Battery markers in passing. He was looking for specific batteries, and cannon, and that was all he was allowing into his space. He had some general locations from the rangers, and that was where we were going! He wanted specs on specific cannon that were out there. We were in the middle of photographing and measuring Austrian 6-pounders he wanted to copy (Moody's Battery) when my cell phone rang. It was Becky. There was a staff meeting at the reenactment in 1 hour--could he make it? Bob basically blew off the staff meeting and went back to measuring cannon. I was denied my request to visit the Roundtops, as well. We whirled through an abridged version of the rest of the auto tour, and Bob promptly got us lost again. And again ignored my attempts to give directions. We finally somehow ended up on highway 30, heading north, and then headed back into Gettysburg on a side road, I suggested a road that would take us almost back the way we had come, but heading toward Harrisburg, and miraculously got him to take my advice. And once we were headed out of town toward Harrisburg, we started running into signs for the reenactment. A few more turns (I had to yell a couple times, turn right HERE!) and we were at the site. We pulled into the local auction yard, which was reenactor registration, and things went swimmingly from there, as we were shown to our encampment by helpful parking coordinators. Alas, this was to be the last day that traffic control was functional.

There was a substantial artillery park at the top of the hill, with an encampment behind it. We found our folks easily. And, as the NLAB's 1st Sgt, people kept coming to me asking about camp setup. No, I said, I think that's Bob's 1st Sgt's duty. We need to find Luthor. Well, Luthor wasn't to be found, so I made some executive decisions, and got camp laid out without him. Once in charge, always in charge...

With the main items taken care of for now, Bob asked if I was interested in riding the haywagon with him and Carol up to the Sutler's/Civilian area. Heck, I was up for it, so off we went to the pickup point, over the creek and through the woods...
(to be continued)

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