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Old 10-06-2012, 04:30 PM   #116
Dr. Greg OP
Tryin' to get home..
 
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: ABQ, New Mexico
Oddometer: 989
Saturday 10/6: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania - Danville, Virginia

Minimal "Civil War" content in today's installment (although not zero)...I need a break. As I've mentioned in my replies above, touring the Gettysburg Battlefield was very hard on my spirit.

(as a sidelight, I find it marginally "offensive" that so many businesses are named like: "Battlefield" ACME Bathroom Fixtures, "Battlefield" Dog Grooming, etc.) C'mon, guys, give it a break. It was Jeff's (my host over the last two days) opinion that they oughta bulldoze the whole thing and use it for something productive. I'm not sure I'd go that far, but---as I've indicated probably too many times now---the enormity of the "Gettysburg Experience" is pretty aweful (in the true meaning of that adjective).

OK, let's move on...


Leaving Jeff and Karen in Chambersburg

Jeff is a veritable treasure chest of PA/MD road information. His opinion is that "one should avoid the interstates," which generally agrees with my own view. So he suggested several routes, most of which were too complicated for Dr. Greg's old, concussed brain to grasp. So we settled on my riding back thru Gettysburg, then heading south on 15 as far as Culpeper, VA, where I took 29.

The only PROBLEM with that was...well, before I get into the problems, let me put up a few pics between C'burg and G'burg (I just about wore a groove in that route):

Here's a view goin' up thru the pass between the two 'burgs...note that despite my threatening weather forecast there's NO RAIN!


Another view to the trees...I'm sure you guys are really getting BORED with these kinda pictures (sorry!):


And it's kinda hard to tell in this pic, but there was actually some SUNSHINE for a while anyway:


Not quite sure where this pic is from, but IIRC it's south of G'burg, somewhere around Thurmont, MD near Catoctin Mountain Park...trees, trees, nothin' but green grass and trees. Well, if you lived in New Mexico you'd understand my reverence for trees and green grass!



Some CIVIL WAR Content (Battle of Ball's Bluff)

The Battle of Ball's Bluff was the "second largest battle of the Eastern theater in 1861," so it's not to be sneezed at. I'd suggest you look it up if you're interested. I saw the marker, so I turned off to this "park"...had to drive through a dang wealthy neighborhood to get to it, BTW...actually I'm just jealous that _I_ don't have all that wealth


Here's the sign in the background of above pic:


I hope you understand that I was reluctant to ride fully-loaded Milledue down an unknown gravel road to an unknown destination. So I parked him on the tarmac and strolled down a little ways myself (didn't actually get to the "park" so I dunno what's there)...

I thought this CART PATH was kinda cool. Boy, roads in the early-mid 1800s were a far cry from contemporary roads...and that beautiful Eastern deciduous forest again...


Got a "Doc" self-portrait along the cart path; suitable pensive expression given the nature of the subject matter, I guess...



Northern Virginia: too much $$$, too many people, too many traffic lights...

Like I said, I was takin' the "surface streets" thru northern VA. And I don't have any pics, cuz I was workin' the clutch and brake levers constantly! In New Mexico, rural 2-lane roads are virtually empty...you never need to stop. Well, in northern VA there's way too much money, too many fancy neighborhoods, too many people, too many cars...you get my drift. So you end up stopping about every 800 yards for an intersection (OK, maybe it's 900 yards). You can't make any TIME!

After I got clear of the worst of it, I took a few more pics of trees and grass...






BTW, you'll notice that the weather is pretty darned NICE! And it was. A very pleasant day.




Oh, crap! Which river was this? I don't know! However, I MISSED getting a pic of the POTOMAC River at the border between Maryland and Virginia. I just wasn't expecting it, and I couldn't get all SIX of my camera settings lined up in time. And I couldn't really stop on the bridge...anyway, here's this "unknown" river. WAAAY bigger than the Rio Grande, BTW:



The Dreaded KUDZU Vine...

Finally, for my last segment, I'll discuss the dreaded "kudzu" vine. Now I'd heard of this thing, but never actually SAW it. But as I entered the "south"...Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, etc. I began to see---for example---the unused quadrant of an intersection absolutely TAKEN OVER by this creepy plant. I refrained from photographing it cuz I didn't wanna contaminate my camera with parasitic light rays emanating from the infernal weed. BTW, where did the darned thing come from?

Then at a fuel stop today I saw a small infestation and thought it might be safe to take a pic:


That is one creepy weed...


A Break for a Couple Days Visiting an Old High School Buddy...

Thanks to the Internet, a year or so ago I regained contact with an old high school buddy of mine, John Safford. John had the privilege of serving in Viet Nam (unlike Dr. Greg who was 4-F), and considers himself the "poster child" for the G.I. Bill, eventually earning his Ph.D. John is now a professor (just like I was!) at the University of South Carolina, and it will be my privilege to visit him and his lovely wife Ginny tomorrow and Monday.

It will be a well-needed break for me, and a lot of fun recounting Mr. West's freshman "mechanical drawing" class, etc.

Thanks for all your support.

--Doc

PS. After I left Chambersburg, I realized I didn't get a "departure" pic with Jeff...DUH! Hey Jeff, I know you and Karen took a few pics...would you mind posting one here? Thanks!
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