Four Score…

10/26-27/13

I left Pittsburgh early in the morning when George went off to work.  I thought I would get an early jump on the day.  Well, it was too early.  I planned on going to Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright house an hour and a half outside of the city.  I arrived at eight thinking that I would be the first to arrive and have the grounds to myself.  I pulled up and the sign said the grounds opened at 10.  I was not going to wait around two hours so I kept heading in the directions towards Gettysburg National Military Park.  I stopped at a state park called Ohiopyle.  I was able to see fallingwater…just not with a house over it.  It was a nice park.  I got a short hike in and was off to see the best of Civil War country…

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Pulling into Gettysburg, I arrived a bit shocked at the amount of people, but upon further inspection I realized that it was Halloween weekend and this place is supposed to be seriously haunted.  With 60,000 people killed or missing, I would say it qualifies.  Michelle played secretary for me and booked a camping spot.  Luckily she got one of the last in the town.  I started off on the auto tour with my map and followed the chronological happenings of the deadliest battle on U.S. soil.  To make it a bit more authentic I found two sounds of civil war on youtube and blasted it in the van.  I made it through a small portion and decided to go to my campsite for some food to refuel.

After eating some delicious Buffalo Wing Soup great (recipe for it) I picked up at the store before I left WNY, I decided to go out ghost hunting.  I thought it would be cool to simply be on the battlefields at night.  Well, nothing simple about it.  Everyone had the same idea.  Families were freaking the kids out.  I heard, “Daddy, I’m scared, let’s go home,” on more than many occasions.  I was silently walking around a boulder and a kid wasn’t paying attention.  He yelled when he saw me and it really got a laugh out of his dad and grandpa.  There was chatter, and flashes going off every second.  Not what I had in mind.  I took a couple shots and left for some rest.

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I got up very early and decided to get out and keep going with the auto tour.  I put on the history channel’s Gettysburg video to tell the story to me as I drove.  It made these places I was shooting very real.  It brought the whole thing to life in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to experience. The lighting was good for some pictures, but no picture would capture the feeling of historical importance the weighs on you as you explore the park.  I stood where Lincoln stood, where Lee made plans, where 10′s of thousands of men lost their lives due to good and bad decisions (which I now have a much greater depth of view).  I took the shots and decided that it was early enough for me to head to D.C. Not a life altering decision, but not an easy one…

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The historical context of this place was amazing.  I was walking around battlefields where over 51,000 people died.  I was standing on the very ground that Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address.

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