Friday, July 13, 2012

"Third Annual" Gettysburg Trip 2012

Each summer for the past three years, one day during the first week of July, my family has taken a road trip from Philadelphia to Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, PA. "Annual Gettysburg trip" is the running joke. The infamous turning-point-of-the-Civil-War battle and inspiration for Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" was fought at Gettysburg in 1863 from July 1-3, and the plan is usually to make it there on the anniversary in hopes of spotting reenactors on the battlefield, an artifact bullet—or better yet, a stray ghost. Why? I'm not entirely sure.

I'm usually in New York when it occurs, but this year I happened to be home in PA for the trip. We started our Gettysburg visit at the appropriate visitor center (again), where guests can pay to watch a short movie followed by a description of the battle's events while overlooking a giant restored painting of the battlefield. The movie was narrated by Morgan Freeman, so major cheesy poignancy points right there. As we left the theater and rode the escalator up to the painting, a little boy turned to his mother, "That general... what was his name?"

"Lee. His name was Lee."

"That general Lee... He wasn't doing so well."

"Yes, he wasn't doing so well... Thank God."

Obviously, mother and son were Yanks.

But it was hard not to notice the more-than-a-few proudly displayed Confederate flags on trucks and belt buckles as we made our way from the visitor center and across the fields. Evidence of a Nation still divided?

I shot some photos as we trekked and climbed our way through the park in the heat, and while I didn't catch a ghost in any of them, I did manage to capture a different kind of out-of-place woman (see large photo below). The thing that I sort of like about each of the images here is how you can see the thick haze that hung over Gettysburg that day.

I haven't forgotten Kitchen La Bohème—I'll be back next weekend with another recipe. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my offbeat photos of our "Third Annual" Gettysburg trip.

Photography by Alyssa. Photos ©Alyssa Yeager

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