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Old 10-05-2012, 05:39 PM   #106
TheRoss
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Dr. Greg

I have enjoyed your ride report a lot. If you are ever back through Lubbock I'll grill up something good and we'll talk about war. I think we will find a lot of common ground.

You are out on the road with no schedule and no place to be. Do what you want to do. But continue to take us working stiffs along for the keyboard ride!
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Old 10-05-2012, 09:06 PM   #107
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Dr. Greg, about the horrors of that war. This is a question that comes to my mind always:

If the Northerners had decided a War was not worth the horrific cost, or if the Southerners had "won our freedom", would the institution of slavery still exist? Would slavery still be culturally and religiously supported and legally protected? Would slavery be as everyday-common now as it was then?

Hoppalong screwed with this post 10-05-2012 at 10:48 PM
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:41 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRoss View Post
Dr. Greg

I have enjoyed your ride report a lot. If you are ever back through Lubbock I'll grill up something good and we'll talk about war. I think we will find a lot of common ground.

You are out on the road with no schedule and no place to be. Do what you want to do. But continue to take us working stiffs along for the keyboard ride!
I'm glad I haven't ruined my report for you with all my negativity. I may very well be giving you a call on my return trip. Thanks again,

--Doc
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:49 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppalong View Post
Dr. Greg, about the horrors of that war. This is a question that comes to my mind always:

If the Northerners had decided a War was not worth the horrific cost, or if the Southerners had "won our freedom", would the institution of slavery still exist? Would slavery still be culturally and religiously supported and legally protected? Would slavery be as everyday-common now as it was then?
Boy, that question needs to be "answered" by someone with WAAAY more wisdom than I.

One eye-opener that I've gathered during the reading I've done was that Lincoln was NOT very popular during his term(s). I guess that's always the way it is. Ya gotta die for anybody to think anything GOOD about you.

This trip---so far---has certainly made me more "philosophical" about a lotta things. And I guess that's good.

One more thing: people that think they have all this stuff "figured out" just haven't thought it through completely.

Well, I'm gettin' a good breakfast courtesy of Jeff & Karen, and will be on my way SOUTH (yay!) shortly. Dunno if I'm gonna make any more "Civil War" stops between here and Sumter, South Carolina. Looks like the weather is a little better today than I had feared, but Sunday is RAIN!! Oh, well, all this green grass has to come about somehow.

I still DO intend to visit Shiloh, BTW.

OK, folks, enough for this morning. See ya down the road.

--Doc
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:52 AM   #110
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Dr. Greg -

While I haven't been to all of the CW battlefields, I've been to a few. Gettysburg is the most powerful, mainly because it is so well marked, with so many monuments, and the has been the subject of so many books and movies. Last time I was there was with my son's Scout troop and we hiked everywhere. Great way to see the battlefield, although is was really, really hot and we all ran out of water.

Don't skip Antietam. It is close and interesting. Harper's Ferry is worth a stop too.

Enjoying the RR.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:14 AM   #111
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Gee Dr. Greg, you never made it up to Portland to see the site of the naval battle between the Confederate Navy and Union forces in Portland Harbor?

Once again, a great ride theme and you have planted some ideas in me for future rides and themes.

And heck, I know this is a MC site, but I see a pent up demand here for a Civil War discussion group!
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:50 AM   #112
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Visiting Gettysburg for the First Time

Doc - I had those same emotions when I visited the first time. I was attending the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Assn reunion in Philly about 1992. I had just finished Foote's trilogy. During the reunion a buddy and I drove to G'burg and arrived about dusk. The place was silent and eery in the dying light. We drove to the spots we wanted to see. It was shocking because the slaughter was so easily imagined. As pilots we witnessed plenty of firefights, but nothing on such a terrible scale as Gettysburg.

It was another 10 years before I visited any battlefields. In 2002 I was assigned to a project in DC for a year. I brought my MZ Street Moto and visited my friends on the 'wall' at dawn on Sundays for a few weeks. After getting used to that, I started reading Foote again. Eventually I set about visiting all the battlefields around there. I started with the earlier battles in Northern Virginia, but eventually went back to G'burg. I felt better about it then and was able to study it some. I did my big battlefield tour of the South in 2007. Still... I was upset by Shiloh even then.

Looking forward to your visit with your buddy in SC.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:27 PM   #113
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Omigosh, and I just skipped Antietam & Harper's Ferry...well, glad you've enjoyed the report, anyway. I just needed a break.

--Doc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Castle View Post
Dr. Greg -

While I haven't been to all of the CW battlefields, I've been to a few. Gettysburg is the most powerful, mainly because it is so well marked, with so many monuments, and the has been the subject of so many books and movies. Last time I was there was with my son's Scout troop and we hiked everywhere. Great way to see the battlefield, although is was really, really hot and we all ran out of water.

Don't skip Antietam. It is close and interesting. Harper's Ferry is worth a stop too.

Enjoying the RR.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:29 PM   #114
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Jeez, I ride 3/4 of the way across the country to see some Civil War stuff and I STILL get flak for not seeing enough...you guys are a tough crowd...

J/K, j/k...I really think after I've had time to reflect, I'll do a "Civil War Ride II" with some specific things to check out. Thanks much for the suggestion.

--Doc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlin III View Post
Gee Dr. Greg, you never made it up to Portland to see the site of the naval battle between the Confederate Navy and Union forces in Portland Harbor?

Once again, a great ride theme and you have planted some ideas in me for future rides and themes.

And heck, I know this is a MC site, but I see a pent up demand here for a Civil War discussion group!
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:34 PM   #115
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Pantah,

Thanks very much for your reflections and insights. It'll take me a while to "digest" what I've seen. As I said earlier, I suspect I'll be back with a quite different perspective on the matter.

The Civil War is maybe THE event in the history of these United States. And as a responsible citizen, I feel it's time well spent to acquaint myself with the enormity of my forebears' sacrifice.

But it sure is hard on the spirit...

...and you say Shiloh is even WORSE? And I was planning on stopping there on the way home...maybe I should rethink that.

--Doc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
Doc - I had those same emotions when I visited the first time. I was attending the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Assn reunion in Philly about 1992. I had just finished Foote's trilogy. During the reunion a buddy and I drove to G'burg and arrived about dusk. The place was silent and eery in the dying light. We drove to the spots we wanted to see. It was shocking because the slaughter was so easily imagined. As pilots we witnessed plenty of firefights, but nothing on such a terrible scale as Gettysburg.

It was another 10 years before I visited any battlefields. In 2002 I was assigned to a project in DC for a year. I brought my MZ Street Moto and visited my friends on the 'wall' at dawn on Sundays for a few weeks. After getting used to that, I started reading Foote again. Eventually I set about visiting all the battlefields around there. I started with the earlier battles in Northern Virginia, but eventually went back to G'burg. I felt better about it then and was able to study it some. I did my big battlefield tour of the South in 2007. Still... I was upset by Shiloh even then.

Looking forward to your visit with your buddy in SC.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:30 PM   #116
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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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Old 10-07-2012, 04:58 AM   #117
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Morning update...

Pouring rain with lightning this a.m...good thing it's gonna be a short day.

--Doc
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:28 AM   #118
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Doc,I am enjoyin ure report...I travel nearly exactly the same roads every year searchin uncivil war sites and I am headed out tomorrow on columbus day by way of abq balloon festival to do it again......thanks and see u on the road...god bless...
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:17 AM   #119
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Doc

you are getting a lot of advice and suggestions of places to visit and see and they are all worthy of the time one would spend on them. The history is so complex and there are so many aspects to it that it can seem overwhelming. My own advice, which you certainly don't need, would be to continue your "survey" and enjoy the ride. Then maybe concentrate on some part of the journey that moves you at a later date.
Just my two cents worth
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:53 PM   #120
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Uncivil war sites!

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Doc,I am enjoyin ure report...I travel nearly exactly the same roads every year searchin uncivil war sites and I am headed out tomorrow on columbus day by way of abq balloon festival to do it again......thanks and see u on the road...god bless...
Hey, UN-Civil War sites...I like that a lot!

Enjoy the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta; it's a lot of fun.

--Doc
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