the last full day

Today went by so fast, just like I knew it would.
Started the morning with the usual ritual–breakfast on the city square followed by a driving trip through the battlefield. I spent about three hours driving through the battlefield taking more pictures and noticing things that I hadn’t noticed before. I went back to my favorite place in all of Gettysburg, Little Round Top. It is probably the most popular tourist destination on the field. You get a great view of some of the key battle sites from up there. This morning, I noticed a huge Oak tree that was above the four cannons that guard the crest. Large acorns were lying all around on the ground. I remembered how much Owie loves to pick up acorns, so I got a few for him. I want to give some to my Dad also, and hopefully he can plant them somewhere on his property. The tree that dropped the acorns was definitely not there at the time of the battle, but I am sure that it was a direct descendant of one that was. I got some for myself also. If either of us can get them to grow, that will be cool to have an Oak tree with lines to Gettysburg, and specifically Little Round Top.
I had lunch with an architectural representative from Marvin Windows. We had a great two hour lunch in a basement tavern that was lit by candles. The place reminded me of some of the older places in the French Quarter. Very early 1800’s. Pretty cool. I never like to talk about work on vacation, but this meeting kind of had to happen. We are collaborating on a major project and I needed to meet him face to face. Come to find out he only lives about 20 minutes from here.
I went back to the battlefield after lunch. The battlefield has drawn me all the way from Texas. Once I got here, it attracted me like a magnet. I have been back, forth, and sideways on every road throughout the entire park. Unfortunately, once I finally get to know the place, it’s time to leave. Kind of sad. But I can see me coming back here, maybe with Owie in tow. I still think it will give Ashley tired head.
I read in the paper this morning that Gettysburg High School is having its homecoming game tonight, so I decided to go. This makes three Fridays in a row that I have gone to see high school football. Im trying to get as much football as possible this year. I wanted to see if HS football in PA compares to TX. (It doesn’t). But it’s still more interesting than the NFL. Bank it.
But Gettysburg did have a new stadium, just opened a few weeks ago. And the game featured two teams that are nicknamed the warriors. Why didn’t Gettysburg High choose something like the Generals or Colonels? Warriors? What? If you looked closely, you could see references to the Civil War. The band had crossed sabers on their hats which was a cool nod to 1863.
Man, I hope the people that live here don’t take this place for granted. So many tourists spend a lot of money and time to come here. And these people simply live here. And they have a football stadium in the middle of a Civil War battlefield. Wow.
Anyway, it was interesting for a few minutes. Gettysburg returned the opening kick for a TD. Then they scored two more TDs in 4 minutes, and it was 21-0 like that. Time for me to leave–this was cutting in to valuable last night investigation time.
The first place I went was to a spot in the middle of a field where Confederate troops from North Carolina were mowed down by Union Troops in a real bloodbath. The southerners were hit so hard that they died in rows and some observers said that the dead bodies’ feet were in a straight line. So they dug trenches right there on the spot and buried about 600 men. The bodies remained there for 10 years or so in an unmarked mass grave. Eventually, the bodies were unearthed and reinterred in North Carolina.
To get to the spot, you walk about 80 yards from a low stone wall (called a breastworks) towards a corn field. There is a small tombstone-shaped marker noting the spot where the troops were killed. Directly behind that marker is acres and acres of corn. And there are well-traveled paths through the corn. I was totally creeped out in the complete darkness. I was content to stand by the marker and record for 15 minutes or so.
NO WAY was I going to walk through a freaking corn maze by myself.
Darkness + corn = heebie jeebies. Everyone knows that. I wasn’t about to sacrifice myself to the children of the corn.
Afterwards, I got my tripod and put the camera on it. I switched to a mode that allows you to keep the shutter open as long as you hold the button down. With an open shutter in the complete darkness, I “painted” the corn with my flashlight. Got some really cool, creepy pics. Always fun to do that.
Next I went to a farm that was a makeshift hospital during the war. The second I stepped on the property, this huge siren sounds off from downtown, about a mile away. This is the second time this has happened while I was here. The siren sounds like a civil defense siren, and a few minutes after it goes off, you see these unmarked cars with police and fire lights racing by. I am guessing that the siren is a call for volunteer firefighters or something like that. Anyway, it totally screwed up my recording. But I went through with it anyway. Something exciting about being on a hospital site. I really enjoyed it.
Finally, I went to a Potter’s Cemetery on top of a hill in the battlefield. Before this was a battlefield, there was an Alms House with an adjacent cemetery. The Alms house is gone, but the cemetery remains. The graves date back to pre civil war. Every headstone is white marble, and every one has a penny on top of it for some reason. This is probably a burial ground for the poor and indigent. These types of cemeteries always have an extra degree of sadness associated with them. The dead here were probably society’s castoffs. There are rports of dark shadows here.
I recorded here for 10 minutes or so. And that was it.
Four full days in Gettysburg and I am beat. I really got after it, and I got everything that I wanted to do here done.
I really hate to go. But it is time to get back to the routine of life. And I need to get back to being the worst player on my Dart team.
Anyway, I appreciate you spending the time to follow this. I hope it was interesting to you. I really enjoyed this trip, it will be a hard vacation act to follow. How in the world can I possibly top this?


2 Responses to “the last full day”

  1. Marisa Barrier Says:

    Hi Clay,

    I have really enjoyed reading about your vacation, thanks for sharing it. I have a question. It may be a dumb one but I’ll ask anyway. How do you know where to record? Is it simply because people died in a certain place, or because there have been reports of paranormal activity there, or both? I was thinking of the plane crash site in Pennsylvania in particular. Would that be a site you could record at? I was just wondering. 🙂

    Thanks, Marisa


    • Marisa-
      Hey, good to hear from you. I am facebook sober, so I don’t get to talk to a lot of the Facebook people anymore.
      I record generally at any location where a a person has transitioned from this plane to the next. Or died, or whatever it is that happens. I personally believe that something survives death, is it the spirit of the person, is it the soul? I really don’t know. But talking always ends up on the recorder, we just don’t know who or what is putting it there. In the case of gettysburg, I am at a location where a very large amount of should transitioned. And the same for the flight 93 crash site. Those areas seem to draw me. I can’t wait to get home and analyze the hours or recordings that I got on this trip.

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