Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Best Memoir of a Mancation

The day's second dispatch from the borrowed workspace...

Come, let me tell you the tale of the trip Jared, Lars, Brigham, Jeff and Collin took to Gettysburg. It is a tale of travel, brotherhood, history, museums, battlefields, and discoveries! (also, some of it was in 3D)

We departed several Fridays ago and this was our chariot, Jeff's boss's Jeep Cherokee, which he happened to be babysitting and we totally had permission to drive it to Gettysburg. Also right by our car: The Fire Bus.

Jared came prepared with tapes n tapes to make our time in the Jeep more pleasant.

Ah, the open road!

After some time of journeying we stopped at a Ruby Tuesdays for dinner. It was not good, but we would certainly eat worse before the trip was over.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of midnight or later we arrived at the Gettysburg Best Western. Built in 1790something (no, really) this hotel had probably been remodeled a few times since then and met our lodging needs quite well.

Treats were shared,

Teeth were brushed,

and then tracks were laid.

Also, one thing about this trip was that pretty much at any given time someone was either humming, singing, or harmonica-ing the Battle Hymn of the Republic. (especially during showers) Here Lars plays the harmonica. Who is Lars, you might ask. I have never seen this Lars before, you might say. Well, Lars is our awesome new buddy. He's Australian, he's married, and he's a successful fashion designer. (see? Lars doesn't work for this company, he IS this company) He imparted so much wisdom upon us throughout the trip it was like having a cool grandpa who happens to be about your age.

In the morning, the morning broke and with it came the hurricaning of the East. This is our Gettysburg Best Western.

Breakfast was eaten at the Lincoln Diner. When I said we'd eat worse a few pictures ago I was not referring to the Lincoln Diner. We had fun there.

Jared took his He-Man breakfast to the next level.

Still ravenous, Jared negotiated his way into a bit of Collin's grub.

I ate this, what a classic & classy diner breakfast.

And in the bathroom I spotted some graffiti that I think we can expect to see more of in the near future...

And then we headed for the Gettysburg Military Park. The weather was not good, so a lot of time was spent in the excellent new Visitor's Center/Museum.

This is me. I sure wasn't in a lot of pictures before now.

Good job, Utah!

Way to go, Illinois!

The Gettysburg Museum really beat a lot of humility into me, perhaps it's an understatement, but the Civil War wasn't fun for anyone. I especially liked the quotes they had here and there amongst the exhibits. It's great that there's such an astounding wealth of information available on this dark time. Thank goodness for journals, letters home, and newspaper columns, that's all I have to say.

Also, I liked the flags and musical instruments.

Having logged numerous hours in the museum, we headed for the field of battle. The rains remained intermittent and the winds occasionally very strong, but learning was our mission and we would not be held back.

Our first stop was this one monument, shoot, my mind is blanking on for whom it was meant to honor. Pennsylvania, maybe? An especially tall and broad Confederate soldier was waiting for us there and he taught us much.

The monument had an uptop...

And you could go up to the uptop if you felt like receiving a battering from the elements.

From up there you could see an encampment of re-enactors who weren't scared off by the hurricane.

From there we drove about the "park" visiting monuments and rocky ledges where terribly awful things happened 140-some years ago.

As we drove swiftly along one of the park's outer roads I spied a friend in danger and ordered Jeffrey to stop the vehicle for in the middle of the road there stood a noble Eastern Box Turtle unaware of his perilous position.

If you didn't know I had an Eastern Box Turtle (er, Tortoise, I mean) of my own when I was a younger fellow named Sherman (after the tank, or, more accurately [and fittingly], after the General) who ran away from home one day. He was a magnificent pet and it was a thrill (surely you can see that is not a forced smile that I wear) to hold one of his kin in my hands, to watch its head move around just like my old buddy moved his, to feel the strength of his legs as he kicked middair. It was a thrill and and honor and an absolute highlight of 2008 to spend some time with a tortoise again.

This dent in the bottom of the shell meant he was a man-tortoise. (figure it out yourself if you must)

The last time I saw street-turtle he looked just the same as Sherman did the last time I saw him. If you think making this post didn't turn me a little wistful then you are a fool.

Last stop in Gettysburg, the cemetery and the monument where Lincoln gave his famed address.

Back on the road, we stopped at a Red Robin.

Here's a picture from a happy time before our especially bad (cold) meal was served to us. This is the worse meal I referred to so long ago. We filled out two unhappy "How'd We Do?" cards and there would have been more had they left more at the table.

Hours later, we returned to the city, stronger and wiser than ever before, bonded by an experience that tested our mettle and our manliness.

This post is dedicated to the memory of our friend and brother Lars who is no longer with us.

(he's home in Australia is what I'm saying)


Side of Jeffrey said...

Roadtrip to Evanston. Sounds amazing, right?

Geoff, Amanda and Katherine said...

Great commentary... You are too much! Miss you Brig! Looks like you are doing well.