Yesterday, we noticed the Yukon was making that noisy exhaust sound that it had made about nine months ago. We had had it welded at that time. We thought we probably needed that done again. Brock had done a little research and found a place that would squeeze us in today at 11 am.
We decided to stop at the Gettysburg Visitor Center on the way to the repair shop to get some information about what the best way to see the attractions was. We parked and walked a ways down a nice paved trail until we started to hear footsteps running behind us on the path. We turned to see a Union soldier running to pass us and stopping under a white tent. He said, "Good day." and told us that he would be doing a little historical presentation in just a minute and invited us to watch. We asked how long it would be since we only had about 20 minutes to check out the visitor center for this initial visit before we headed to the car appointment. He said it would take about 10 minutes. We decided to stay.
It was really good. The Union soldier started describing how he hungry he was and that he was in enemy territory and was looking for a Confederate soldier with whom he might be able to trade his coffee that he had and "converse". Shortly, a Confederate soldier showed up and they went through the initial hostile confrontation and then they opened up and started talking about many of the things they had in common. They eventually traded coffee for tobacco, but ended up hostile again agreeing to meet in battle. It was a short presentation, but actually pretty powerful.
From there, we were out of time so we walked back up the trail to the car to drive to the repair shop. They got us right in and the mechanic took the Yukon for a quick test drive and, of course, it wouldn't make the noise. He came back and asked Brock about it and so he went out with him and explained the trouble so the mechanic took a look at the heat shield and saw that the exact same place that we'd had welded had broken again. Basically, the shop recommended that we just bend the part out a little bit so that it wouldn't rattle anymore. He said there was no safety issue. They could've tack welded the same spot again, but there would be no guess as to how long it would hold. We decided to just leave it. The awesome thing was that the shop wouldn't charge us anything. We ran back in and gave them a little contribution for their coffee fund. :O)
We ate a little granola bar to keep us going and headed back towards the Visitor Center. We decided to stop at the Civil War Diorama which the campground that we are staying at gave us complimentary tickets to. I think they said it is the world's largest diorama. There was a little show where the diorama was featured with different lights and effects and the entire battle was narrated. It was a really cool way to get a good visual overview of those three infamous days of Gettysburg battles.
|Artifacts that were all found at Artillery Ridge Campground, where we are staying.|
We also had free tickets to tour the Ghost Lab which I didn't think we would do, but it seemed that everyone wanted to so we went in and requested the family-friendly version. Almost immediately we had some people change their minds and want to leave, but it really wasn't too bad. It was kind of like Ghostbusters, but with Civil War era ghosts. There were a couple of pop outs that startled, but there was nothing gruesome. Everyone was, I think, pretty thankful to get out. I don't think the scary stuff is our "thing".
We stopped at the National Cemetery which was the location where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address at the cemetery's dedication.
|White numbered bricks mark the graves of unknown soldiers|
|Names are engraved for those Union soldiers who were identified and buried shoulder to shoulder.|
|National Cemetery Monument - Dedicated in 1869 on the site where Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address|
After the cemetery tour, we continued on to the Visitor Center. There we checked out prices and decided to just do the self-guided auto tour. We got a good map with the points and descriptions on it and headed out.
All of us except for Brock were feeling a little puny with cold symptoms so that affected our tour slightly, but it was still a pretty amazing experience driving around and viewing all the landmarks of the Gettysburg battles and seeing along the way the hundreds of memorials and statues erected to commemorate the different troops from different states that fought so valiantly.
|Robert E. Lee and the Virginia Memorial|
|Another memorial up on Little Round Top|
|Obviously no one feeling great, but it was still an awesome view|
|View of Devil's Den|
We spent quite a bit of time in the evening fighting with the slow wifi and inconsistent data coverage here at the campground while we researched where to go next. We finally gave up in frustration. So, we are checking out of our campground tomorrow by noon without knowing our destination. We do know that we will be checking out. There is some kind of a motorcycle rally in Gettysburg this weekend where they are expecting between 10 and 20 thousand motorcycles which would be cool to see, but not hear. ;o)