CUYAHOGA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

Just a short 40 minute drive from our RV park was a national park. I had never heard about Cuyahoga (pronounced: ki-yah-hoe-gah) Valley National Park before our visit to Ohio, so, of course, we had to visit it.

We drove to the Boston Mill Visitor Center first. I was glad we stopped here. I learned more about the river and park, but also learned that some areas of the park were closed because of road and hiking path repairs. We were only able to go see one of the falls in the area (Brandywine Falls), and I was disappointed. So much of this park you can only see by bicycle riding (which we don’t do) or hiking multiple miles (which we weren’t prepared to do that day). Oh, well, that’s life. Here is what we did see.

Boston Mill Visitor Center.
Cuyahoga River.
Looking down river from the bridge in previous picture.
Looking up river from the bridge. Can you find the two kayakers way upstream? You may have to zoom in.
Brandywine Falls.
This was part of the path to see Brandywine Falls from the bottom.

We had a lovely day. Of course, on the way home, we stopped for some ice cream!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

GETTYSBURG

After returning from Philadelphia (see previous post), we only had a couple of days before we had to leave Pennsylvania. On one of our trips, we drove by a sign on the highway that said “Gettysburg – X miles” from that point. Well, I knew immediately – I wanted to go visit the battlefield at Gettysburg before we left the area! I also knew I was going to have to plan ahead and get all my chores for getting ready to leave a campground completed first. Well, I’m proud to say, “Mission accomplished!” Jack on the other hand, didn’t care that much about going, so he stayed behind with the dogs and got his chores done while I was gone.

The Battle at Gettysburg is considered the most important engagement of the American Civil War. In late June, 1863, General Robert E. Lee advanced his Confederate troops, located in northern Virginia, into Pennsylvania. On July 1st General Lee’s Confederate Army clashed with the Union Army near the small Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg (the locals and their ancestors pronounce it “Get-TIS-burg” from the founder’s name Samuel, aka James, Gettys {pronounced: “Get-TIS”}).

On July 2nd the fighting was even more intense. On July 3rd, General Lee ordered an attack on the Union Army that managed to separate the Union Army into two separate groups. However, the attack eventually failed costing the Confederate Army thousands of lives. This attack is now known as Pickett’s Charge. On July 4, 1863, General Lee was forced to withdraw his battered and war weary troops back to northern Virginia.

The Union Army had succeeded in holding off the Confederate Army’s advances and won this battle that became known as the major turning point of the war. This inspired President Lincoln to write a speech which became one of the most famous speeches of all time – The Gettysburg Address.

Just like at Valley Forge (see previous post), visiting this battlefield was a very sobering experience for me. I taught about the Civil War and this battle in particular to my 5th grade students every year. To think about THIS war was a war where fathers, sons, brothers, cousins, uncles, nephews, and even grandfathers fought against one another is unfathomable! I canNOT even imagine their conflicting feelings!

Again, I will post just some of my MANY pictures. Like Valley Forge, there are monuments and statues EVERYWHERE commemorating battles, regiments, land markings, individuals, etc. You can zoom in to read some of the plaques, and I will add captions to important photos.

Everywhere you look there are markers or monuments.
Each unknown soldier’s grave is marked with a small stone with a number only.
These stones are from another section of the cemetery marked with unknown soldiers.
Each state had a marker for the soldiers from their state who died at Gettysburg. The soldiers’ names are engraved on a different type of marker. See photo below.
It is a continuous marker (the width of the plot of land marked for their state) with several soldiers’ names on it.
There were several very large monuments in this cemetery. In my opinion, these gigantic monuments were a bit ostentatious. Every state and every soldier in this cemetery shared equally in the sacrifices and sorrows experienced on this battlefield.

The American Civil War was fought over ideals: the ideals held by the northern states directly conflicted with the ideals of the southern states (I won’t go into details here). This conflict of ideals could not be resolved by any measure of compromising. Neither side would agree to proposals requiring them to give in on their demands. We MUST learn from their mistakes!

I sincerely HOPE AND PRAY our country has learned from this period of our own history. I hope and pray we NEVER FALL into another civil war just because opposing sides are NOT able to compromise!

If you want to learn more details about this war, you can go to:

http://www.history.com

Search for “American Civil War.” That is the BEST website to learn about anything having to do with History!

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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