Its a battlefield out there

Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Went to see the Gettysburg site and memorial today. Spent almost the whole day there, and could have spent twice as long without seeing everything.
Went to the cinema first, for a film about it all. Would have been more interesting if the loop system they gave me wasnt out of sync with the sound track, so everything was like an echo half a ssecond out. Told them it wasnt very good, and they were most apologetic, I wasnt the first person who had complained, so they will get their audio guy to look into it. Then we saw the cyclorama - a panoramic painting that was done in 1894, and has been retouched and repaired since than. It depicts the battle all around which is quite amazing for that era. Then we went on a bus tour of the battlefields, with a guide who gave a commentary of who commanded which troops, how the battle went and all that. Then back to the museum to look at all the exhibits, which was very interestting and there were a series of films showing the cause of the dispute (the southern states suceeding from the Union over Lincolns legislation outlawing slavery) and how the battles led up to Gettysburg. Gettysburg came about 2 years into the war, and it raged on for another 2 yeaars after, but it was a crucial battle in the war. If the Unionists had lost, then I think there would be 2 countries instead of one.
Wandered round the town for a spell, and enjoyed a huge icecream. Only one blob of ice cream, but apparently they serve up to 9 in a cone! One was quite enough for me.

Back to the hotel for the night. Done 35 miles today, but probably ony 5 in Stanley.

Martin's Military moment:
It is temptting to think that the Civil war was all about the moral right for all men to be free and equal and that it was fought on moral grounds.However there was a significant element of fear that the freedom of some 4 million slaves would destroy the economy of the South (which did happen) and that the wealth of certain powerful industriialists in the North would suffer if the production heartland of the South was ruined.The burgeoning immigrant population to the North from Eastern Europe was fearful that spilling such a large population on to the labour market would prejudice their chances of advancement.At a tiime when the US was looking to displace the native Indian from his lands in order that the white man could exploit the West,the fight was about whether an economy based on using enslaved human labour as the engine of progress or one based on free enterprise.
It seems that attention to our blog is weakening.I can only think that this is because the imminent threat of bodily harm to your correspondents seeems to have diminished.I think we may have given you the impression that we are on holiday.
So today we met very interesting people,not least Sean Pendrak (?) a politico with  a finance background who has had direct contact with many Democrats,particularly those running for the Democratic nomination at the last election.
200+ miles to go over 2 days - we should make it 

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Barbara Goss on

I am sure that interest in your blog is not diminishing! Failthful readers log in every day for the latest news - there is just not a lot to comment on!

You say it is not a holiday - ahem, I wonder how you would categorise it?

Alison on

Compared to the Asia to Russia trip I`d definately say it was a holiday. Make the most of it boys it ain`t nothing like a holiday back here.!

Eileen Swaisland on

Alison, I agree with you most definately a holiday without a doubt but compared to your previous trip why not take in the delights the US has to offer boys. I'm sure there will be plenty of jobs stock piling for your return! Loving the photos x

Jan & Dave on

Can assure you that we log on everyday or every other day depending on stuff going on here. Interest has not diminished! Enjoy.

Polly on

We are still reading. Have realised from your blog that I know nothing of American history, or of America. Seems like you two are extending your American history knowledge though. Lemon Meringue Pie for evening class tonight, Alison style, always a winner

Audrey Cooper on

Still here, have followed you all the way and not missed reading a blog.

Tim (Matthews) on

Martin, you can be assured that every word is read, and each picture examined from this end. But like every good film, there is nothing like danger, cliff hangers and uncertainty to draw the viewer in. But don't feel the need to improvise!!
Its not that this story is boring, far far from it. Its just this....reading that you are driving across the Mongolian deserts with nothing but hope that the wheel nuts are going to hold evokes a need within the reader to voice that little bit louder that we are with you and feeling the pain...
...this is a holiday.

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