August 7 - 11, 2019: Wellsville, Pennsylvania
via Augusta, Maine and Fishkill, New York
Now that we have left the Canada Maritime Provinces and are back in the States, we are headed South. We have a camphost volunteer opportunity at Assateague National Seashore in Berlin, Maryland on August 14, so...we will spend some time getting to that part of the country and sightseeing along the way.
A cool farm with tractor seats displayed EVERY WHERE and crossing the border back into the US.
One of the things that we did not get a chance to do on our way North into Canada was stop in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Of course, I am sure you know why we wanted to stop there...Hershey = chocolate! So Hershey is our first destination and we took two days to get there.
August 7, 2019 - Augusta, Maine
A few things to note on this leg of the trip are: The State troopers have baby blue cars. No, we did not get pulled over, however we did see a lot of cops on this leg. We spent the evening in a Walmart parking lot in Augusta, Maine which happens to be the capitol of Maine. This gave us a good opportunity to restock our food supplies and get a much needed haircut!
August 8, 2019 - Fishkill, New York
Today we crossed from Maine, through New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and into New York. As you can see from the pictures below, when we started going into Hartford, Connecticut the traffic was backed up and then on the other side it was backed up going in the opposite direction. Since we were trying to make time, we stuck to the major freeways.
We stopped for the night and camped in the parking lot behind Sam's Club. Within walking distance was a movie theater so we went and saw Yesterday. Great flick and good music!
August 9 - 11, 2019 - Wellsville, Pennsylvania
We arrived in Pennsylvania and stayed a few days at the Gifford Pinochet State Park in Wellsville, Pennsylvania. This was a good central location to visit Hershey and Gettysburg, PA.
As soon as we got into camp, there was a Ranger Program about bears and celebrating Smokey Bears' 75th Birthday! Part of the program was talking about what bears eat. The Ranger did a great job of presenting this part and provided food for us to eat that represented what a bear eats: fish (Swedish fish, Golf fish, Pretzel fish), berries (blueberries, raspberries) and M&M's for good measure!
Our first stop the next day was Hershey, Pennsylvania. We really knew nothing about the town except this is where Hershey Chocolate originated and there is HersheyPark (theme park). As we drove into and through town to get to The Hershey Story Museum we noticed the street sign names and also the street lamps. Notice that the Hershey Kisses are either 'wrapped' or 'unwrapped'. How cool is that!
Okay, I have to admit...all I cared about was the chocolate. Nothing else. However, not more than 15 minutes into the The Hershey Story Museum we were both amazed at Milton Hershey's story. He was an amazing brilliant, inspirational, caring, philanthropist man! Not only did he create Hershey chocolate, he created a town and a community that consisted of a hospital, housing, schools, arts, theme park, and more. Below are just a few of the pictures from the Museum which tell the story more than I ever can.
Can you believe he gave away his entire fortune? Even after his death and to this day, the Hershey Industrial School , town, and community continues to benefit from Milton Hershey.
Notice two things about the pictures below:
- These are actual formulas (recipes) for some of Milton's first creations.
- Look at #1 and #2 from the Employee Manual. If I go back to work, these two items will be MANDATORY requirements for me to work at the company : )~
Craig and I took a break from wandering through the museum and did a Chocolate Tasting. Now that is what I am talking about! My favorite was the Tanzania. Craig's was Mexico.
Milton was very industrious. To make Hershey Chocolate, he needed sugar. So where did he go? Cuba! He created a town in Cuba and called it Central Hershey so he could supply his own sugar.
After touring The Hershey Story Museum, we strolled through town and below are just a few of the buildings Milton Hershey created and built!
If you ever make it close to Hershey, Pennsylvania I would highly recommend visiting the town and The Hershey Story Museum. What started out for me only being about chocolate, opened my eyes to what an amazing place and amazing man Milton Hershey was. He had a vision and did not let anything stop him. If you fall...get back up and try again!
The next day we visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Since this was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, I am sure you can imagine this was a very sobering experience. We started by visiting the Gettysburg National Military Park which includes the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center and Gettysburg National Cemetery, where a memorial marks the site of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Gettysburg Address. To be walking around the grounds where you know that men lost their lives was an eerie feeling and it was like the whole area was sacred grounds we should not be walking on.
The Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama was incredible. It was painted by Paul Dominique Philippoteaux and is
377 feet long, 42 feet high and weighs 12.5 tons. Yes....this is the original!
The picture with Craig in it shows a small replica of it. The pictures below that are of the original during the presentation. It was really hard to get pictures of it since the room was very dark to help preserve it.
Next we visited the Spangler House which the barn served as the field hospital where soldiers from both sides came to be treated. The barn has been meticulously restored along with the other buildings. The gentlemen in the picture below is the great great great nephew of one of the actual doctors who helped treat the wounded.
We then visited the Gettysburg National Cemetery. The second picture says so much. This is where Lincoln gave the famous Gettysburg Address. Notice the pennies on some of the headstones. Again, the feeling of walking these sacred grounds...very hard to describe...
We did not drive the Gettyburg Battlefield because most of the town is the battlefield. As you drive around the area, you see monuments honoring the soldiers all over the area.
We went to downtown Gettysburg to walk around the town and have lunch. We found a great place to eat where we could sit outside and people watch. As you can see from one of the pictures below, it is not in every town that you can see a Union soldier walking around.
The Eastern States have so much history. It is truly humbling to be visiting these areas and seeing where history was made and where our country began. I know that our education of this area has just begun!