29. Apr, 2016


TUESDAY 07-10-08 

This morning we woke to a bright and sunny day following another rather cold night. Again we had to run the gauntlet of the showers. We’ve visited a few grotty campgrounds during our travels over here but not even the grottiest has required us to stand under the shower and having to continually press a button to keep the shower operating. I did intend to take a strip of duct tape in to the shower with me this morning and tape the button in place, then accidentally leave it on, and the shower running, but I forgot to take it. Owners like this need to realise that it is their customers who keep them in business and who deserve to be treated with more respect, after all we PAY for the water coming out of the shower in our campground fees, they’re not performing a grudging act of kindness by letting us have some of it. 

This campground is in a lovely location, and is neat and tidy, but the attitude of the owners makes it the RV equivalent of ‘Fawlty Towers’. When we first arrived here the wife approached us with a face like thunder and wanted to know if she could ‘help’ us, then informed us that it was only 12:30 and they didn’t accept new arrivals until 14:00 and if we wanted to park up now we would have to pay a $20 early parking fee. Perhaps the coming recession will make people like this pleased and grateful to have customers no matter how early they arrive, and respect them accordingly. 

Scrubbed up, The Chef and I prepared for our next destination, Gettysburg, but before setting off I removed the remaining nut and the rear wheel trim rather than lose the whole thing like last time, it can sit in the rear cargo locker for the rest of the trip. We were both sorry to be leaving the Pennsylvania Dutch Country  www.padutchcountry.com  area; seeing how the Amish (Armish) live had been a very interesting and pleasurable experience and I’m sure many people envy their simple, honest, healthy lifestyle. We travelled down US30 through York and on to Gettysburg

It wasn’t until we checked our watches at Gettysburg that we realised we had lost about 2½ hours. Under hypnosis from the campground janitor/psychotherapist it appears we had been abducted by aliens and forced to visit the Harley Davidson assembly plant at York. It seems we sat through a short video before being escorted around the factory to see parts of these things being made followed by the final assembly line which wasn’t working due to a problem, leaving lots of these motorbike things hanging in mid air going nowhere. At the end of the tour I recalled the guide asking if there were any questions and how I was tempted to ask if the person who drills the holes in the mufflers (exhaust pipes) making them sound like tractors was at lunch, but thought better of it. On waking from the session I found that photos of the visit had been implanted in to the compact camera, which was just as well really, as I’d never live it down if I’d visited the factory of my own accord. 

Our campground here at Gettysburg, Artillery Ridge www.artilleryridge.com seems pleasant enough, but more interestingly has the largest Diorama in the USA. Diorama I hear you ask – is it the very latest medicated tummy settler? Fear not, it’s a very well constructed, accurate model of the decisive battle of the American Civil War, comprising 800 sq ft of model display and 20,000 hand painted soldiers, horses, buildings, cannons etc and took three years to construct, though personally I’d rather have a train set. 

In three days more than 51,000 soldiers were injured together with thousands of deaths. www.nps.gov/gett  General George Pickett for the Confederates alone sustained 5,000 casualties in a mere 50 minutes. So this evening we went to see the presentation in the Diorama. The theory being that if we had a better understanding of the battle before we went on our horseback tour of the battlefield tomorrow we could appreciate things better.

The lights dimmed and as we looked at the model, points of the compass were pointed out to us remotely using lights and sound in the darkened room, and then it started, great though it was, I was soon lost between different General’s names, who they were fighting for, east flanks, west of the north flank, etc. At the end of it all I whispered in Rosina’s ear “I think a bike ride tomorrow will be sufficient” and she agreed. So tomorrow we will be biking down the road to the Visitors Center, picking up a map of the battlefield area, and then setting off to have a look around in our own way and at our own pace. Perhaps the two horses we would have ridden tomorrow morning will get a lie-in instead. 

There’s no doubt about it, American citizens with knowledge of the battle, school kids on trips and military historians will just love this place, but it’s above our heads not having done the homework, and why should we, there are lots of fields of slaughter in Europe to keep us historically occupied if we so choose. 

Tonight’s meal was a hotpot cooked in the slow cooker by my resident photographer & chef last night, and then re-blasted in the microwave tonight, washed down with lashings of wine. We have yet to pluck up the courage to drink the two pints of cider purchased from the Amish a couple of days ago, if it’s anything like their fresh pears it will delicious, if it’s not then we could be ill for days. 

LOCATION TONIGHT: Artillery Ridge Campground, 610 Taneytown Road, Gettysburg, PA 17325 (GPS: N39.802048 W77.229485).