Gettysburg Camping & Battlefields

Camping on Thursday and Friday – we arrived after work and brought the rain with us. Luckily there was just enough time to set up the tent before it started to come down. And it rained. And the rain stayed with us some more. We spent a lot of time doing indoor activities. And scraping mud from our shoes, and I spent a lot of time wishing I had a pair of waterproof boots. My wife’s feet were in much better spirits than mine, which aside from a few trips to the bathhouse to get clean and dry off, and when I put on a clean pair of socks before I went to bed, were wet the entire time. ALWAYS take extra socks with you everywhere.

Around dinnertime on Friday night, the rain just started to taper off enough that we decided we could get a fire going and eat some of the food we brought with us instead of another restaurant meal. We set to work stringing some tarps up as a shelter over one of the picnic tables, and got some materials to burn. The wood was fairly dry, but it was also fairly green too. We had to work pretty hard to get a decent blaze going, and the rain that was still coming down didn’t make it any easier.

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setting up tarps a dry place to eat
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a functional but very unimpressive fire after dark…

About the time we were checking out of the campground the rain was letting up. On the good side it was dry inside the tent the whole time and cleanup wasn’t too bad. We had fun, but plans to frolic in nature were severely hampered. My wife had an amazingly good nature throughout the whole trip, even better than mine at many points. I always try to make camping experiences enjoyable for her, since this is more ‘my’ thing than it was hers (she had never gone before she met me…) This was her first rainy camp experience, and I was delighted that her only real complaint was she wished we had a slightly larger tent to spread out in. I wasn’t too keen on getting one because of the cost, and the extra time it would take to maintain it, but no sooner than we got home and checked our email than we had a coupon from REI for an extra 20% off one item at their outlet. After reading some reviews and careful consideration we ended up ordering one of their ‘6-person-car-camping-houses’ that afternoon for almost 50% off. Cool.

Saturday, we met up with my Mom and Dad who came out separately to meet us. My father has been reading about the Civil War ever since he watched the Ken Burns DVDs a few years back and has wanted to check out the battlefields and take photos for nearly as long. We got them a hotel to stay out Saturday night for a combined Mothers/Fathers day present, and spent a (THANKFULLY) sunny day taking the driving tour of the battlefields. I have to confess I had bike envy on more than one occasion as there were more than a few people out taking advantage of the low-traffic streets to tour the sites by bike. I will make it out there soon on my own to just ride around.

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photos on battlefield little round top

Sunday we came home, I dried everything out and repacked it. Monday I recycled an old a/c unit, ordered a window for the basement, and did a complete teardown/rebuild of everything on the Rans Cruz. The wife’s bike hasn’t had a good overhaul yet, and even though it doesn’t have too many miles on it, It’s suffered through quite a few rainy nights outside on the roofrack of the car when we’ve been on trips. Everything looked fairly good, except the original installer of the headset put almost no lube in there. The bearings and races are ok, so no real problem. As an aside, the more I get the hang of adjusting the ‘cup and cone’ wheel bearings like the LX and XT stuff, the more I really like them. I haven’t had the hubs apart on the Cruz since I bought it back in ’05 (?) and they are sealed very well. No moisture, grime, or anything got past even the ‘first-line-of-defense’ rubber seals on the outside.

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