I am on a journey now, a tour of the east coast in the fall. That was the primary objective, to experience a hardwood forest in all it's autumn glory and take lots of pretty pictures.
It's been a great experience: to wander down the Blue Ridge Parkway, watch snow fall on golden and red trees in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, dig up potatoes while trees shed leaves by the millions so it sounded like a light rain falling.
The photos have been fun to compose and a few have turned out exquisitely.
|Appomattox looming out of the fog.|
Most of us have experienced a father (or mother) who always had to be somewhere, and the drives to get there were long and arduous. One trip when my sisters were still in grade school was particularly memorable. (My father hated to stop. I think if we'd been boys he'd have asked us to pee out the window rather than make a pitstop.) My sister kept saying she felt sick. He told her to suck it up, hold it in, that she wasn't really sick, etc. Then in a spectacular feat of projectile vomiting, she blasted the back of his head.
On those long trips I always wanted to explore the old dilapidated houses that appeared along the roadside, see if there was anything like a long-dead girl's dolly, or maybe some rusty old tool that no one even remembers what it was used for. Or stop at the attractions to
see the live alligators, the pit full of rattlesnakes, or the Pony Express Station.
|Reconstructed Appomattox Courthouse|
Now, I'm on my own trip, all by myself, and if I see something of interest, I pull over, take pictures, look around, explore, ask about it. Just this morning I drove by a National Park I didn't even know existed. It's where the Civil War ended. It was out in the middle of nowhere Virginia, down a weaving two lane road I happened to be on. The morning was foggy and wet. The little town of Appomattox Courthouse appeared as a ghost rising from the wet forest. It was closed. I went on to the next town, five miles down the road, had breakfast, came back, and paid my $3 to get in. A lovely place, chock full of history and artifacts, and I had it mostly to myself.
|The McLean home where the terms of surrender|
were signed in the living room.
It was never my objective to see several of the plantation homes owned by Presidents, or where the Civil War ended, it's just been a part of the journey, a few of the things I've run across while in transit.
|Fog, tree, grave.|
|View from inside the jail.|
|Union Army's portable printing machine for|
printing the pardons for over 22,000 Confederate soldiers.
|The Confederacy's final shots were|
fired from this front yard.