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Old 07-29-2008, 04:35 PM   #1
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2014 16' Sport
Columbus , Indiana
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Traveling close to home

It doesn't look like much more than a wheat field. It isn't. But it was once. At 1:10 AM on one Sunday, April 30th, several years ago, it was arguably the most important place in North America.

But I get ahead of things a little.
Like most of us on the board, our family has watched as the hose at the gas pump constricted ever tighter, squeezing pennies from long forgotten stashes. Also like most of us, we've changed our plans somewhat to accommodate. Changed them, not removed them.

Our normal travel planning process involves discussing where we're going to go right up until the moment we check in somewhere, and this summer's second week was no exception.
"Should we...?"
"How about ...?"
And so on.
We planned a visit to a couple state parks we like but on the way, we zigged and headed toward a small town I'd known as a teen. There were a couple things there for Mrs Red & the kids and it shaved a cool hundred miles off our plans.

The campground is just outside of town, and in fact just to the right of the wheat field in the picture. It occurred to me that something might be here, and when time availed, I wandered off through the wheat stubble to see. It was there, I did see it, and this is the picture of it.

About the picture... if I mentioned a dead president, a wheat field, and the town of Gettysburg, you'd have an instant image of who and where and what I meant. But you'd be wrong, most likely. This is a wheat field, and the town of Gettysburg is one mile behind my right shoulder, and the president was Lincoln, but the state is Ohio not Pennsylvania. That brush you see along the left, that is the remains of an old railroad right of way (by coincidence, the Pennsylvania RR), and this is where Lincoln's Funeral Train passed in the early morning hours of April 30th on its way to Springfield. So for a few seconds, the consciousness of those still awake between Canada and Mexico was focussed here, whether they knew it or not.

Maybe this doesn't hit everybody's buttons, but I get a big kick out of finding something significant where nobody suspects. The coincidence of names is an unexpected bonus.

And this makes me think. We're heading to a youth rally this weekend. One of my books tells me that the "furthest east terminus of a railroad that served the west coast" is not far from this campground. I think I'm going to take my bike... and a camera.

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Old 07-29-2008, 04:45 PM   #2
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Mohrsville , Pennsylvania
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Great post. You really had me going there, until I read...The rest of the story. I am a student of Civil War history and make several camping pilgrimages to Gettysburg, PA every year. I said that doesn't look like the wheatfield I know.

Cool story though.
Carl, Elaine & Finn The Beagle
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