Dr. Greg & Milledue try to make sense of the Civil War...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Dr. Greg, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Wednesday 10/3: Summersville, West Virginia - Hagerstown, Maryland

    It took me a long time to remember where I started from this morning. When I start waking up wondering where am I and why I'm there (usually happens in the tent), then I know it's time to head for home. But not quite yet.

    My buddy SoPaRider (and Ms. SoPaRider as well) are gonna be screaming "YOU IDIOT" when they see my destination. See, their place (where they have graciously said I could drop by) is about 25 miles from H'Town. My excuses are:

    1. I have a soft spot for Hagerstown, dating from the old "Hagerstown Half Mile" dirt-track event...
    2. I don't wanna impose any more on SoPaRider's hospitality than I have to...
    3. I didn't know it was that close; I'm losing track of my route planning...

    It's gettin' to be a little bit of a "chore," folks...maybe spending some time poking around Gettysburg will recharge me a little. Plus when I leave G'burg I head SOUTH, and that's sorta like heading home.


    Leaving Summersville, WV (and leaving WV, for that matter

    I actually got quite a large number of "route planning" suggestions for traversing West Virginia, but I ended up leaving Summersville on WV 41 to Craigsville, then following WV 20 to Webster Springs, then taking WV 15 to Valley Head, then...let me throw a few pics in here. There were LOTS and LOTS of curves (that's why I was tired...it's not the miles it's the curves...)
    [​IMG]

    Tried to show a little bit of Fall Color here...you ain't seen' nothin' yet (man, three consecutive apostrophes)
    [​IMG]

    Lookit this country! This is indeed "almost heaven" to a dried-out guy from New Mexico:
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    This pic is tilted a little (remember my poor neck)...no way to "slightly rotate" it on the iPad (that I know of):
    [​IMG]

    One time during the morning's ride I came out on top of a ridge and saw an absolutely SPECTACULAR vista of "Fall Colors"...but there no was no way I could get a pic. Nowhere to stop. Darn narrow twisty WV roads...

    Occasionally the country "opened out" a little; I'm still astounded by GREEN.
    [​IMG]

    On more...sorry this one is kinda over-exposed; can't do much about that.
    [​IMG]

    BTW, the roads were still damp in spots, and (obviously) I had never been over them before. So I took it pretty easy. But it was still a lot of fun. And---prolly due to it being midweek---there was almost NO TRAFFIC! And what little there was was easily dispatched by the 1198 Testastretta 11-degree mill. I've gotta admit, the Milledue is the best bike I've ever owned for PASSING PEOPLE.


    On into Maryland...

    I'm pretty sure the following pic was taken in Maryland...look at that BLUE SKY! Boy, it's been a while (not that the weather I've experienced has been THAT BAD...)
    [​IMG]

    What do I know about Maryland?

    1. That's where Travis Pastrana comes from...(hey, he was gonna race NASCAR; how's that goin'?)
    2. The US Naval Academy is in Annapolis, MD...
    3. Annapolis, MD was also a big slave trading center...

    It also seems like Maryland is a very pretty place. Uh, except for the small towns like "Oakland, MD" which has a traffic problem...
    [​IMG]


    Milledue Hits a Milestone

    See? Milledue has made it 25,000 miles! If I hadn't totaled poor Milledue #1 on hoarfrost, this odometer would've read about 38,000 miles. Oh, well...
    [​IMG]

    I believe this is "Deep Creek Lake" in Maryland. Sorry for not getting a better pic. Remember, I only take on-bike photographs when it's safe!
    [​IMG]

    Here's a final Maryland "Fall Color" pic:
    [​IMG]


    An Eastern Overlook...

    After all my ranting about the "closeness" of the U.S. East, I pulled over at this overlook and it was a pretty nice view. Didn't capture it very well on my camera, but I tried...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Tomorrow at Gettysburg

    I hope to spend much of tomorrow at the Gettysburg National Military Park, then visit SoPaRider after that. I really don't know what to expect at Gettysburg. I seem to recall that the CSA Army made a conscious decision to move up into Pennsylvania. And it came to haunt them. But I don't really know too much more "about" the Battle of Gettysburg. Perhaps I'll do a little reading tonight.

    I'm having to struggle to keep up my motivation, but---like I said---perhaps tomorrow's visit will have re-energize me. Thanks for all your interest.

    --Doc
    #81
  2. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

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    Hopefully the motivation will come back. As long as you're reading, an excellent "historical fiction" book on Gettysburg is "the Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara. It does a very good job of putting the battle in perspective and helping you to see it from the eyes of the participants.
    #82
  3. Anticyclone

    Anticyclone Ride more worry less

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    Hey Dr. Greg, just now getting caught up on your RR after a busy few weeks...

    Sorry I missed you on your way through MS, but after seeing what DWalt fed you there would have been no way for me to compete! Plus, our baby girl arrived a little early on Sep 17, so I doubt you would have gotten much sleep:deal.

    Looks like your having a great trip!
    #83
  4. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    You know about Gettysburg, Doc. Three days that changed the course of the struggle. Before it, Robert E Lee always fought from high ground strongholds, and teased the Union army to flail at them over and over from lesser positions. After staggering losses, the Union regularly retreated... until Gettysburg.

    For the very first time, Robert E Lee did the flailing himself against obviously superior positions...and lost his army in his desperation. When you tour the battlefield and revisit the various struggles that took place over those three days, it will be obvious to you too. The terrain ruled and the Union owned it.

    -The Angle
    -The Round Tops
    -The Charge

    Fascinating
    #84
  5. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    I remember you well. We stood out there talkin' to each in the rain like a couple of fools :D That was a fun trip, although I got a flat tire soon after I left that day (right in front of a motorcycle shop).

    IIRC you had your share of rough weather after that as well.

    Mrs. Greg insists that I keep taking these trips...I usually get burned out after about 1.5 weeks, but it's probably character-building that I keep at it. Thanks again for the memory.

    --Doc
    #85
  6. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Congratulations! Gotta have your priorities. And having undergone that experience four times (OK, ok, so Mrs. Greg did the hard work) I'm tickled at your new arrival. Yes, DWalt was quite a character...one of the best I've ever met (a "force of nature" keeps coming to mind). Definitely would like to see him again.

    Thanks for the update and again, congratulations!

    --Doc
    #86
  7. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Thanks for the mini-lesson. I did some reading last night. It is interesting that the first two "big" battles I've seen were both "pivotal," and both occurred at about the same time: (1) Siege of Vicksburg, and (2) Battle of Gettysburg.

    I intend to visit more sites (Shiloh for sure), but...

    Looks like rain this morning, so I might delay my start a bit. This afternoon and tomorrow look a little better. Compared to the "US West," the weather just doesn't seem to behave itself around here very well...

    Thanks again for the summary.

    --Doc
    #87
  8. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    take the $28 bus tour of G'burg. it's well worth the money! There are some things there that go bump in the night. :D I camped at caledonia state park which is about 10 miles outside G'burg--saw my first 'orb' there.


    CEMETARY RIDGE
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    TRIANGULAR FIELD
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    DEVIL'S DEN
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    #88
  9. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    “When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,<o:p></o:p>
    Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck<o:p></o:p>
    And march to your front like a soldier.<o:p></o:p>
    Front, front, front like a soldier . . .”<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    —Rudyard Kipling

    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    I’ve walked the Gettysburg Battlefield many times, preferably at night or early morning. I’ve stood in a small depression, where a wounded ancestor took cover, in the middle of site where General Pickett assaulted Union troops at the so-called “high water-mark of the Confederacy.” I never fail to think how terrible that battle was and how our country lost over 56,000 sons in three days! It's part of what makes us, as a nation, who we are.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>You impress me as an insightful person. I believe you will be moved by what you will see.</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Mike</o:p>
    #89
  10. creggur

    creggur There are no curves here.

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    Loving this! :clap
    #90
  11. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Thursday 10/4: Hagerstown, MD - Chambersburg, PA

    Like I said yesterday, it was sort of stupid of me to ride almost as far as SoPaRider's place, but stop so close. Well, turns out that wasn't the ONLY stupid thing I did...

    It was only a 25-mile ride from Hagerstown, MD to Chambersburg, PA where I stopped briefly to chat with SoPaRider. We agreed that I'd ride over to the Gettysburg National Military Park for the afternoon, then come back to his place for the evening. And that's what I did.

    OK, as for the really stupid thing I did...okay, maybe not stupid, but...


    A "Near-Showstopper" for the PIC Content of this Ride Report

    My camera battery was slowly discharging, as one would expect. "No sweat," I told Mrs. Greg over the phone yesterday, "I'll charge it tonight, or maybe put the spare battery in." So last night I looked for the charger and spare battery...HEY, THEY AREN'T THERE!! Now, remember that early pic with all my stuff spread out? The charger and extra battery were in that pic! I KNOW IT! So I checked again. Nothing. Hmm, this could be ugly. "Plan B" would be to take pics with the iPad, which of course I can't do while riding ("yay," says Mrs. Greg).

    So I told myself when I got back to SoPaRider's place I'd thoroughly check through ALL my gear...


    A PIC-Less Description of the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center

    So I rode over to Gettysburg and thought I'd visit the "Visitors Center" at the National Military Park. That should be "do-able" in an afternoon, right? Well, turns out that it was. I paid my money (too much!), sat thru the film, then checked out this big circular painting (the "Cyclorama"), then visited the museum.

    And it affected me profoundly. Mainly the museum.

    BUT...I can't adequately share my thoughts with you because I can't post the pictures. And I can't post the pictures because I REALLY DID FORGET MY STUPID CAMERA BATTERY!! So my camera went "dead" before I was really finished taking pics at the museum.

    And now that I'm back at SoPaRider's house working on the RR, I can't upload the pics, so I can't talk about my profound feelings, and...I'M VERY FRUSTRATED!


    SoPaRider to the Rescue!

    But SoPaRider said, "hey, there's a camera store in Chambersburg, PA...let's go over there and see if we can't get you a battery." Well, he drove us over there, and turns out they DIDN'T have a camera battery, but...EVEN BETTER they had a CHARGER! Even better, cuz if I had bought a battery it might not have been fully charged. Teach a man to fish...

    So anyway, I'm back in business! I'll upload what pictures I WAS ABLE to take at the Visitor Center, and do my best to comment on them.

    But I just don't feel like doing it tonight. Too late.


    Tomorrow's Agenda at Gettysburg

    So tomorrow morning I'll update the RR, with pictures and everything. Sorry (in advance) that I had to forego taking some pics I really wanted, cuz of the dead battery. That's life.

    Then after that I'm hoping to ride back over to the G'burg National Military Park and riding the 24-mile "Auto Tour" route (or at least some part of it). I'll try to take what pics I can, and update the RR at SoPaRider's place when I return.

    I don't honestly know how this will all work out. Tomorrow (Friday) is supposed to be nice, but the weather is going to degenerate again, and I'd like to get out of here (to the South) before the rain hits in earnest.

    So I'm very happy that we found a solution to the camera battery issue (now I wonder where my original charger/battery are...Mrs. Greg says she can't find them, and I KNOW they made it home from China).

    Looking forward to a good night's rest and a good day tomorrow.

    --Doc

    PS. I'm just about of the opinion that all future Civil War re-enactions should be performed with live ammunition. That's the only way I can "make sense" out of the whole affair. Nuff said.

    PPS. This would be a good time to discuss the "Dr. Greg" LOGO on my T-shirts. But too late for that, too...
    #91
  12. TowPro

    TowPro Lets ride

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    Looking at the weather, maybe you need to stay with Jeff over the weekend. Once you get through this weekend you have 7 days of sun scheduled :D

    Then between rain showers this weekend Jeff can show you what us "Eastern Yankees" love to ride.
    Jeff has hundreds of miles of beautiful stone roads that run through the mountains, right across the street from his castle. Sorry I will miss meeting you, I can't be out that way this weekend.
    #92
  13. SoPaRider

    SoPaRider Been here awhile

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    How cool is it that SoPaGuider and I can be part of Dr. Greg's ride report while it's happening. We've all turned in for the night and we both look forward to spending another day and night with "The Doctor" tomorrow; stay tuned for further updates as they occur!:lol3

    Jeff (SoPaRider) & Karen (SoPaGuider)
    #93
  14. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Yeah, so am I!

    ...most of the time.

    --Doc
    #94
  15. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Ahhh...not sure he'd tolerate me. He seems like a much classier guy than this hick from the backwoods of SoCal.

    But 7 days of sun, eh? Time enough to get back down to DWalt! :eek1

    --Doc
    #95
  16. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Hey, I've been intrigued by the "Wizard of the Saddle," lemme know whatcha think of that book. Thx.

    --Doc
    #96
  17. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Do you think the bus tour is better than riding around the Auto Tour route by oneself?

    Thx.

    --Doc
    #97
  18. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    i couldn't do the auto tour on the bike because of no cd player on the bike. but the tour guide i had was a wealth of information. we did follow much of the auto tour i think, judging by the people each time we stopped..they seemed familiar. i was there july 2/3rd and it was totally hot, so the big bus with cold air was great for me. after the tour i rode it all on my bike--for reflection. this entire battlefield has not been changed..it's all original with nothing removed and nothing added. same treelines/paths/roads...it was a very moving experience for me. as a side note, there is a liquor store 100 yds from the Subway :)
    #98
  19. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    Thanks. Well, obviously I don't have a CD player either. And it's not gonna be hot today. Plus I don't really know my schedule, cuz I have to update this stupid RR first :D

    So I'll probably just ride the bike around the Auto Tour route and make the best of that. Again, thanks for your insights.

    --Doc

    #99
  20. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Doc - After all the reading you've done, the self guided tour is plenty. I suggest you start at Culp's Hill and orient yourself. Then move clockwise to the 'Angle' just below the crest of Cemetary Ridge. You can visualize Picket's Charge across Emmitsburg Pike from Seminary Ridge that foundered below the wall. Something like two miles of charge without cover. :eek1

    From there you can move south to overlook the Peach Orchard. Then ride to both the Round Tops and the Devil's Den below them. I'd cross over to Seminary Ridge and work my way north examining where the Confederates launched from. You end up skirting nortwest of the town with plenty more to see and then into the town.

    You should be able to get a battlefield map to help. I like to start around Culp's Hill because you can visualize the Union rush up the Baltimore Pike to dig in on Cemetery Ridge and set their artillery. After getting that done, they basically sat for three days moving units around to reinforce their lines wherever they were being assaulted from across the valley. Brutal!