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Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by pudge, Aug 24, 2018.
Hope they recover. My brother is in Gainesville and made out OK
The Winter Plans are Firming Up
Since we are about half-way through our stint here at Greenbrier it is time to start thinking about what is next. We know from here we will go to Assateague Island National Seashore for a couple of weeks- if we can get in since they are walk-in only starting 1 October. After ANS we will take two or three days to cruise to the Crestview, FL area where we will spend another couple of weeks getting drivers licenses and vehicles registered. While there we will probably stay at Elgin AFB again if we can get in. Snow birds typically eat up the military campgrounds and tend to homestead. After Crestview it will be a commercial campground close to Gainesville so we can visit my brother. If things work out he will get to witness ‘ash can turkey’ for Thanksgiving. I’m hoping hurricane Michael hasn’t done much damage to the Florida panhandle and they return to normal quickly.
From here the plans get really loose. We just applied to host camp at Joshua Tree National Park in SoCal for the month of January. If we get approved for that it will firm up our westward travel plans. Right now the plan is to visit a friend near Corpus Christi, TX. and then friends near Alamogordo and Albuquerque, NM. The Joshua Tree gig will determine who much time we spend in each place and whether we make it as far west as California in this year’s loop.
To return east we have applied to Assateague from mid-March through April and we will probably apply to Horseneck Beach in MA again for May until mid June since we have a CT resort planned (and paid for) in mid-June. From there we are planning to tour the northern part of the country until September when we will return to Greenbrier for two months. After that it should be like the shampoo instructions – wash, rinse, repeat - we hope.
Oh, they will. We are north of Gainesville and barely saw anything. But Floridians are tough, and everyone comes together to rebuild. I was just joking around about it being closed.
Racing or History?
I am sitting around the campfire planning the next couple of adventures here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Since I can hear Mason Dixon Dragway in the background I’m thinking a trip there is in my future. Drag racing is something I did as a teenager. But it is now my second favorite form of racing. I really like the IMSA Prototype / Grand Touring racing. In my opinion you need to be able to execute both a left turn AND a right turn and when it rains you keep going. Change the slicks to rain tires and put on the wipers and lights. Plus there are four different classes racing on the same track at the same time. Think of NASCAR putting the Monster Energy, Xfinity, trucks and super modified on the track at the same time with each class having its own winner. The ability to navigate around the slower classes becomes a necessary skill to winning a race. While most people find drag racing boring I find the pursuit of getting 11,000 horsepower to the pavement exciting. Top Fuel cars can get over 330 mph in just 1000 feet. The horsepower of these cars is difficult to measure because their peak power last for about 10 seconds before the engine destroys itself – that’s about 900 crankshaft revolutions – durability is not the factor.
Since we are in an area with a significant civil war history we also need to visit some of those sights. Antietam will certainly be a visit this year. We are also close to Gettysburg and Harpers Ferry but those will probably wait until next year. There are so many sites close to here that are relevant to that period and really bring meaning to both Gettysburg and Antietam because they dictated how one lead to the other and why those sites became as significant in the battle plans as they ended up.
Because we are host camping at Greenbrier our weekends are spent at the campground – that’s part of the gig. That means we miss weekend events like Colorfest in Thurmont. Colorfest is one of the largest outdoor craft shows on the East Coast and we will miss it again next year because of our host camper obligations. Does that mean a third trip to the area? Possibly!
We toured Gettysburg a few years ago and were both very impressed. We got the full package with movie, Cyclorama, bus tour, and museum.
It was very sobering. We have been to similar places but this one got me.
We want to do Antietam and Appomattox.
Hey Pudge, Give Indy Car Racing a shot. High Speed Ovals, Street Circuits and Road Courses. I am a life long fan and attend races every year.
Everything Can Be an Adventure
Part of the adventure of living the full-time life style is experiencing new things. Some of the adventure is the local spin on ethnic foods, from Fall River style chow mein (recommend it) to the version of chow mein served in Penn Dutch country (don’t recommend it). Some of the adventure is the chains that have not populated New England yet. Bob Evans appears to be everywhere here in Maryland but only has products in Northeast super markets and Popeye’s has just recently arrived in Connecticut. For us, eating at chain restaurants is rare and when it is fast food it becomes even rarer – but sometimes you just get the urge (McDonalds cheeseburgers are my usual weakness).
So today is Sunday and I’m in search of propane since one of my 30 pounders went empty. I also grab the 5 pounder if it has been used a few times – especially here were you pay for propane by the gallon – imagine that, paying for what you actually purchase instead of a flat rate based on the size of the tank. The place closest to us is closed so we head to the nearest Ace hardware with propane only to find that they only do Blue Rhino exchanges and do not refill. The clerk recommends Amerigas at the other end of the complex so we head there. Unfortunately they have a problem with their propane tank and cannot fill tanks. So we head to Cousins Ace hardware, the next closest Ace. While we are out=and-about Lori and I start discussing supper plans. Since we still have to hit the Weis Market to restock we know we will be out for awhile. We had originally planned on spaghetti and meatballs for dinner but are now taking about dining out. Since we will have food in the car when we go to eat we decide against a sit down restaurant and agree on fast food. Burgers? No. Tacos? No. Chicken? No. That eliminates about 90% of the fast food establishments! We finally decide on Arby’s. I haven’t been to an Arby’s in 40 years and Lori never has been so we have to spend some time going through the menu (It’s bigger than I remember). I got the Philly and Lori got the Thanksgiving sandwich. Both meals were good. The one think I don’t remember from Arby’s of previous visits was the three-pepper sauce. Was that good with the fries!
That's #3 for me only since none of the cars resemble what I drive - kinda like NASCAR. All the cars fit the same template - Come on NASCAR bring back the rreal cars
Tractor Supply Co seems to be Nationwide, and that is how they fill the tanks.
I did find this website. It doesn't give Stores, but propane retailers that also fill tanks.
Filling the Gaps (Turner’s Gap)
Turner’s gap is the site of one of the three Battles of South Mountain. It is also the most difficult to take in because it takes the crossing of Old National Pike (US 40-Alt) to see all the signage.
The battle occurred on 14 September 1862 between Union forces pursuing confederate forces staging an invasion of the north. Confederate General Lee feared the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry could interrupt his supply lines he divided his army so they could take both Hagerstown and Harpers Ferry. A numerically superior Union force drove them back through the passes setting up the Battle of Antietam three days later.
In route to Hagerstown, Confederate Maj. Gen. D. H. Hill’s division was halted at Boonsboro to prevent the escape of the Harpers Ferry garrison through Pleasant Valley and also to support JEB Stuarts cavalry east of South Mountain. To halt the advance of the Union Army attempting to repel the Confederate invasion of Maryland Maj. Gen. Hill deployed 5,000 men over more than 2 miles, defending two of the Gaps, Turner's and Fox. The brigades under Hill were commanded by Brig. Gen Robert Rodes (AL), Brig Gen Nathan Evans (SC), Col Alfred Colquitt (GA), Kemper (VA) , Brig Gen. James Lane (NC).
Union Gen. Ambrose Burnside sent Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's I Corps to Turner's Gap. Hookers brigades were led by Marsena Patrick (2nd Brig), Col. Walter Phelps (1st Iron Brig), Col. Abner Doubleday (1st Div) and Brig Gen John Gibbon (King's Wisconsin Brigade aka Iron Brigade). Gibbon attacked Colonel Alfred H. Colquitt's brigade along the National Road, driving it up the mountain, but the Confederates never yielded the pass. Hooker positioned three divisions opposite two peaks located one mile north of the gap. The Alabama Brigade of Brig. Gen. Robert E. Rodes was attack by three brigades under the command of Brig Gen James Ricketts. Despite the arrival of reinforcements the Alabama Brigade was forced to withdraw because of its isolated position. Darkness and the difficult terrain prevented the complete collapse of the Confederate line. At nightfall, the Union soldiers held the high ground and the Confederates still held the gap. By dusk Lee ordered his outnumbered forces to withdraw from South Mountain. McClellan was now in position to destroy Lee's army before it could concentrate.
Across from the markers for Turners Gap sits The Old South Mountain Inn. During the Civil War period, South Mountain Inn was a part of two pivotal events, the John Brown Raid on Harpers Ferry, and the Antietam Campaign. In 1859 the inn was captured and held overnight as an outpost and probable staging point by Brown’s followers. Three years later it was the headquarters of Confederate Gen. D.H. Hill during the Battle of South Mountain, prelim to the Battle of Antietam.
I think U-haul also fills by the gallon also, but I don't fill tanks until they are empty.
Filling the Gaps (Fox’s Gap)
Fox’s Gap is the site of one of the three Battles of South Mountain. The battle occurred on 14 September 1862 between Union forces pursuing confederate forces staging an invasion of the north. Because Confederate General Lee feared the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry could interrupt his supply lines he divided his army so they could take Hagerstown and Harpers Ferry. A numerically superior Union force drove them back through the passes setting up the Battle of Antietam three days later.
Just to the south of Turners Gap, elements of Confederate Gen D. H. Hill's division (most notably Gen. Thomas Drayton's Brigade ) defended Fox's Gap against Gen Jesse Reno's IX Corps. A 9 a.m. attack by Union Brig. Gen. Jacob D. Cox's Kanawha Division secured much of the land south of the gap. In the movement, Lt. Col. Rutherford B. Hayes of the 23rd Ohio led a flank attack and was seriously wounded. Cox pushed through the North Carolinians positioned behind a stone wall at the gap's crest, but he failed to capitalize on his gains as his men were exhausted, allowing Confederate reinforcements to deploy in the gap around the Daniel Wise farm.
The Wall at the Crest
Reno sent forward the rest of his corps, but due to the timely arrival of Southern reinforcements under Confederate Brig. Gen. John Bell Hood, they failed to dislodge the defenders. Union Maj. Gen. Jesse Reno and Confederate Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland, Jr., were killed at Fox's Gap.
Memorial to Garland
After Farmer Wise was paid one dollar each to bury the Confederate soldiers who died behind the stone walls on or near his property, sixty (or more) bodies were dumped down his dry well.
By dusk Lee ordered his outnumbered forces to withdraw from South Mountain. McClellan was now in position to destroy Lee's army before it could concentrate. The Battle of South Mountain was an important morale booster for the defeat-stricken Army of the Potomac.
This site is very interesting to tour. This site contains the South Mountain Monument. You will see a sign at the trail head. This trail gets very muddy with the rain so if you prrefer stay on the walking path/one-lane rd from the parking lot and look for the pull off on your left. This path is shorter and more stable
The memorial is in tribute to the North Carolinians who were lost their lives at South Mountain and specifically 38 men who were dumped down Wise's dry well and later reinterred in Hagerstown.
Back of South Mountain Monument
Front of South Mountain Memorial
Amazing how so many of the battles were fought within a 100 mile radius.
Also, a Top Fuel dragster makes about 11,000 Horsepower. A company recently built a wireless torque sensor that a team used to measure the torque and calculate the horsepower.
Filling the Gaps (Cramptons Gap)
At the southernmost point of the battle of South Mountain, near Burkittsville, Confederate cavalry and a small portion of Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws' division defended Brownsville Pass and Crampton's Gap. McLaws was unaware of the approach of 12,000 Union soldiers and had only 500 men under Col. William A. Parham thinly deployed behind a three quarter-mile-long stone wall at the eastern base of Crampton's Gap. Franklin spent three hours deploying his forces. A Confederate later wrote of a "lion making exceedingly careful preparations to spring on a plucky little mouse." Franklin deployed the division of Maj. Gen. Henry Warner Slocum on the right and Maj. Gen. William F. "Baldy" Smith on the left. They seized the gap and captured 400 prisoners, mostly men who were arriving as late reinforcements from Brig. Gen. Howell Cobb's brigade.
By dusk, with Crampton's Gap lost and his position at Fox's and Turner's Gaps precarious, Lee ordered his outnumbered forces to withdraw from South Mountain. McClellan was now in position to destroy Lee's army before it could concentrate. Lee contemplated the end of his Maryland campaign. However, McClellan's limited activity on September 15 after his victory at South Mountain condemned the garrison at Harpers Ferry to capture and gave Lee time to unite his scattered divisions at Sharpsburg for the Battle of Antietam on September 17.
War Correspondents Memorial
Cramptons Gap is also home to Gathland State Park and the War Correspondents Memorial Arch.
The park memorializes Thomas Alfred Townsend (aka GATH) who himself was a war correspondent. He originally worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer and later the New York Herald. Towensend’s writing was very descriptive and he also utilized interviews for his articles, unique writing style for his time. The estate at Gathland State Park was built over a 10 year period and culminated with the memorial arch, dedicated to his colleagues who reported on the Civil War both North and South. Townsend went on to a prolific writing career, including five historical articles.
As a well-to-do of his time the estate had a grave yard and a mausoleum. Unfortunately, Gath’s prose style became less popular and he could not support his lavish life style. He is buried in Philadelphis, never returning to Gathland.
Antietam National Battlefield
For a one-day battle there is so much history here and it covers a lot of land. To explain a twelve hour stalemate would seem to be simple but so much happened in that time. The National Battlefield does a magnificent job of explaining how the front shifted, reinforcements came at opportune times, and more importantly the impact of the family farms where the combat occurred. Some things to know as you get here -, there are War Department Tablets placed alongside MD-34 leading from Boonsboro to the battlefield. If coming from Boonsboro you will also pass Pry House Field Hospital Museum. My recommendation is to tour the Battlefield first and double back to this – or even better plan two days. Antietam National Cemetery is also on MD-34, bypass this for now as the cemetery is stop #11 (of 11 stops) on the driving tour. The first place you head should be the visitor center. There is a 27 minute movie that explains the battle in detail and the information in it will greatly help you as you go through the tour. The movie starts on the hour and the half-hour so they pump you through pretty quickly. From the movie go downstairs to the small museum and then tour the grounds around the visitor center. A walking path will lead you through this part of the tour. There are monuments (sometimes multiples) to all the units involved in the fighting at Antietam so if you try to photograph them all you will be here for a while. The walking path will attract you to the domed Maryland Memorial.
Maryland Memorial (with Dunkard Church in background)
Now is a good time to cross the street and take in Dunkard Church.
Tablet and Dunkard Church
From here resist the urge to continue walking and return to the visitor center and hit the gift shop because the rest of the tour is a stop-and-go driving tour.
The driving tour is well laid out to document the progression of the battle – if a stalemate can actually have progression. At each of the numbered stops on the driving tour there is parking (usually ample) and plenty of tablets and memorials to the units.
Some of the many unit memorials line this road of the tour.
There are also foot paths at some of the stops where you can trace the steps of the soldiers. If you stop at every tour stop and take its walking trail plan on a full day at the battlefield and possibly touring the cemetery on day two. Between tour stops 8 and 9 is an observation tower that is 85 feet tall and the staircase is fairly narrow though the platforms at each level allow for the slow traffic to step aside and allow passing traffic.
The tour gets you back on MD-34 for tour stop 11, which is the National Cemetery. If you don’t have a lot of time left safe this for day two. For me the cemetery was a very reflective place.
There are row upon row of white markers, organized by state, for Union soldiers who were killed in action. Actually Section 3 is for “Unknown Soldiers” and does not specify U.S. While the cemetery was closed to interments in 1953 an exception was made for one politician and also for USN Fireman Patrick Howard Roy who was killed in the attack on USS Cole.
After the cemetery make a stop at the Pry House. This museum is sponsored by the National Museum of Civil War Medicine. The house served as General McClellan’s headquarters for the battle but maintains a focus on period medical care. This is very primitive stuff compared to today’s battlefield medicine!
A Day at the Races
Well today we got to visit Mason Dixon Dragway. This weekend is the Southern Bracket Racing Associations Bracket Finals. The nice thing about drag racing at your local strip is that everyone who wants gets to play on the track (what we call ‘Run what ya brung!”). Bracket racing makes the sport accessible to any vehicle.
Wheels Up Action
Events start out with time trials – where you get to practice and determine the amount of time it takes you to get down a 1/4 – mile track after the start light turns green.
Once you determine the amount of time you take some white shoe polish and write that time on your passenger side window – this is your “dial in” time. When racing starts you are randomly paired up in the staging area. When it is your turn you and your opponent go to the starting line. You will each get a green light at different times – the difference of the times on your windows – with the slower car getting a ‘head start’ down the track. Should a racer go quicker than his or her predetermined dial-in, it is a breakout and grounds for disqualification. If both racers make runs under their dial-ins, the win goes to the racer who breaks out the least. This is why you can see a stock Honda Ridgeline against a modified car.
If you note the times on the windows you’ll see the Ridgeline got over a 3 second head start. This makes your reaction time to the green light critical and some will actually leave before the green light making for a disqualification.
We did a bracket night at Houston with our rental cars once years ago. I picked up 2ths by taking the air filter off!!