Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Day 1 - Sea to Shining Sea Tour: National Parks Make Great Pit Stops

Let the journey begin!!

We left New Jersey early this morning and started rolling down the highway.

Oh, joy.  The Tunnel.  Not my favorite part of the drive.

(Today's drive was past Columbus to Cincinnati.  Tomorrow is St. Louis, but it's going to take us about three weeks to get to Denver!)

Three hours is about my limit to drive before I need to stop.  Somebody piped up from the backseat that he needed to stop, too.  Navigator Luke googled specific directions, and next thing the kids knew, they were getting a break from the car...at a Civil War battlefield!

Monocacy is a battle that often gets overlooked.  Technically, the Confederates won, because they were able to continue their advance on Washington, but the Union forces delayed them long enough for reinforcements to make it from Petersburg, VA to protect the Union capital.

We learned that the 14th New Jersey was part of the fight. This uniform belonged to one of the soldiers from our state.

Confederate soldiers were represented as well.  Damien, my dress-up king, found this interactive exhibit.

Matthew, Celia, Jude, and Damien are doing travel journals.  Damien needs to share three things he learned at each place we visit.  His first fact: Uniforms are heavy and hot.

This timeline and narrated light map helped explain what happened on that day in 1864.

There is also a section on the history of the Parks, in celebration of the 100th Anniversary.

 Back in the car, we made ourselves some sandwiches and headed off again.  Then we ran into the rains.

The rain only lasted for about 30 miles total, but the ten or so that were just a deluge weren't fun.

Corn fields in the hills on 40 West...it looked just like what we saw before the bridge out of New Jersey!  Are we sure we're going the right way?

That's the real color of the Youghiogheny River.  It's stunningly green!

Coincidentally, our route took us past Fort Necessity National Battlefield.  We decided to stop off for a break, even though it's not technically on our agenda until the last day of our trip.  We will still go back because we want to go to Jumonville Glen, but we decided to walk out to the fort.  When we were there last time, it was raining.  Seeing the meadow in the summer sun, it's easy to see why George Washington was so enamored of it.

This time, the building within the stockade was open, so we got to take a peek inside.

Matthew's travel journal has the most information required.  He decided he better take notes.  It's sort of like photocopying, right?

Just past the turn off for Jumonville Glen is this sign.

We thought we had seen a lot of steep gradients on our way to that spot.  How bad could what was coming be?

Yep, that's scary.

Continuing, we finally arrived in our fifth state for the day, West Virginia.

Followed by, finally, Ohio.

Luke snapped a few sunset pictures somewhere between Columbus and Cincinnati.

We finally made it to our hotel, ate some snacks, and went to bed.  Tomorrow's another adventure!

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