Monday, May 19, 2008

Courting History In Virgina and North Carolina

The sun is up and it is bright, there is a briskness to the Virgina air. Today’s first destination is breakfast in Fredericksburg. Right across the street from the Fredericksburg National Cemetery is a local restaurant. Last year I visited the Cemetery and grounds, so this was not a high priority.

First destination is Thomas Jackson's Shrine just outside Fredericksburg. Stonewall Jackson was mistakenly shot by his own men at the Battle of Chancellorville and was taken to this location, where he died.

At 11 am we pulled into Columbia, VA. This town struck me funny because you are looking at the major part of this town. There are no windows in this store except for the front door and front windown. Note the roll down protection plates over the front door. You would thing this store was in NYC.

Appomattox Court House is where Robert E Lee surrendered to US Grant and ended the Civil War. Steve and I spent some time here viewing the various buildings. One observation in the middle of the town was a lawyer’s house. With all of the legal documents coming out here, this guy must of made a fortune. The pictures below is the table where Lee signed the treaty and the one to the left is the actual house where the treaty was signed.

Next stop is Patrick Henry’s final resting place called Red Hill. He was the voice of the American Revolution. You remember “Give me liberty or give me death”. This was a fee based, private museum and we only grabbed the INK. However, we did run into an older gentlemen who was from the Cape, so we chatted with him for quite awhile.

Crossing the state border from Virginia into North Carolina you can’t help but notice the median and sidebanks to the roads are lined with planted flowers. These are planted flowers. The first group was orangish yellow. A little ways down the road the grouping was purple followed by bright red flowers. My impression is that NC takes pride in their state.

Guilford Court House is the next and final National Park destination of the day. This was the site of the longest and most contested battle of the Revolutionary War. Living in the Boston area, I tend to think the whole Revolutionary War was fought around us, but in reality the majority of the fighting was done elsewhere.

It is late afternoon and the sun is settling into evening. Steve and I are at a gas station in Statesville, NC. I am looking at real PAPER maps to see where we should think about staying for the evening. At the pump is a guy is filling a gas tank. On his way into the store, he asks where we are headed. Well one answer to a question, a conversation develops. He asks if either of us are interested in old cars and stuff. He then invites us over to his house to see a general store he has built in his backyard. At first we are hesitant, but what the heck we are on vacation. We follow Pat Ford to his house and discover he has built a very neat little museum. Well it turns out Pat is the Pat Ford that owns the F100 Supernational show

After Pat’s place we head for Gastonia NC to find a place to sleep for the night. On the way we pass thru NASCAR country, Mooresville NC “Race City, USA”. This is where many NASCAR teams have there HQ’s.

General route for the day about 400 miles

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