Over at the top of the hill on the other side of the valley, we debark, and I get a snow cone, as it's VERY hot, this afternoon. Carol gets a Philly cheesesteak from one of the vendors, then decides she can't finish it, so I end up with half a cheesesteak as well. We wander through the vendors, and come upon what I can only call the Rolls Royce of cannon. It's a 12-pound brass Napoleon on a hardwood carriage, with matching limber. The fittings are all polished brass, and the limber top is copper. Everything gleams. The carriage and limber included, since they aren't painted, they're polished. All this can be yours for $35K. General opinion is that it would be nice to show off, but no one would ever fire it. But it sure is pretty. Pet the nice cannon. Bob turns out to know the guy who makes this stuff (if figures) and they start chatting. I head further down the rows, checking sutlers.
Damn, there is stuff we never get on our coast. Really good heavy dipped tinware. And tables. I am in lust with some heavy-duty folding tables. There is a set in red cedar that's got a matching bench, and both are utterly gorgeous. I find a rack of vests and am struck with the idea of getting Andrew a present. I check a bunch, and they are all way too big. But then I find...plum wool that screams "Andrew" all over. And I say "I'm sure it will be too big. He needs a 42..." The tag says "42" Sold.
I eventually find Bob and Carol again, and am starting to get an idea about the table I'm lusting after. Back in camp, I check with Joseph, who brought back Richard's cannon. Sure, he can put a table in with his stuff. Tomorrow, I will shop...
We go through all sorts of drill and safety stuff out on the guns. There are a few new procedures, like for a primer failure, that some folks have different safety procedures on, and I like them. I will start running those on my gun, now that I'm back.
Finally, it's getting late, and I need to get to my hotel. Bob is going to let me have the car. I trek out to the car (which is in the faaaarrr parking lot), happy to have a clicker that will turn the lights on and help me find it.
I decide to take Old Harrisburg Rd. back into town. This is a mistake. It's blocked by construction, down toward town, and trying to avoid it I take a turn and...monuments? I'm out on the battlefield, in the area of the first day's battles. I get rather lost at this point, and somehow am back over by---Cemetery Ridge? Okay, I'm doing the scenic route. I take out my map of the battlefield and somehow figure how to get back to the Baltimore Pike and into town to my hotel.
When they said it was in the center of town, they weren't kidding. It's got the town square/roundabout right out front. Miraculously, someone pulls out in front just as I get to the other side of the roundabout. I swoop in and park, then go register. The staff is in period clothing. Good sign. Parking is around back, and I get the car and turn down the alley, to see the ACWA guys coming down the alley. I wave and they wave back. When I park and get my gear out, I find I can get into the hotel through the back lobby, and am heading past the dining room with my luggage when I see the ACWA guys in there. I stop and kid around, and they pull out a chair and say "We're having dinner, join us!" I protest I've got my luggage, but they make me sit down and order, then let me take my luggage up. (I got crab cakes and an Imboden ale, locally brewed.) It's a fun dinner, with Civil War gossip, lots of good company. At dessert, some of us order, and I get a key lime pie (which turns out to be key lime cheesecake), and one of the guys disappears. He reappears with a HUGE banana split from across the street. Everyone is kidding "You going to eat that whole thing?" and saying you just can't take him anywhere. At the end of dinner, I find that the guys have treated me to dinner, and wave away my attempts to pay. Wow.
I go up to my room and call Dan and Andrew, and give the report for the day. Then I fall into bed exhausted. I have to be out at the site at 6 am for drill, tomorrow!