The next portion of our sojourn (492 miles) brought us to Colon, MI., which I assumed would be just south of Large Intestine, MI. Actually just outside Colon at a local lake for a family reunion on my wife's mother's side. The theme of our get-together was a Hawaiian one, so naturally there were more grass-skirts than you could shake a weed-whacker at. Of course, you can't have a luau without a roast pig. So we had lots of food, lots of sun and lots of fun. A delightful time was had by all. Honest. The best part - for me, anyway - was not having to drive anywhere for a whole day! Well, OK. I actually drove a few miles to nearby Coldwater, MI. when my son and I needed a break from the grass-skirts and muumuu's. So 55 extra miles. Total so far: 791 miles.
Interesting side note: Colon, MI. is the magic capitol of the world, or at least the upper Midwest. According to the large sign outside the library, Colon was home to Harry Blackstone Sr., and each year they have a magic week. Magicians from all over the world come and set up their acts on townspeople's lawns (for a small rental charge, of course) and put on shows all week long. We arrived a couple of weeks too late for the festival. Maybe next year.
Tuesday dawned extra early. Our 15-year-old son, Adam, is a Civil War enthusiast, and Gettysburg is like mecca to him. And mecca loomed on the horizon this hazy, humid Tuesday morning. New Stanton to Gettysburg: a short jaunt of only 150 miles. He was the first one up, showered and dressed, and even went to the hospitality room at the motel to get coffee and rolls for the rest of his family. He had been planning this day for two years or more, and it was about to come to fruition. Before he finally laid his head on his pillow at the Howard Johnsons that night, he would have walked where Armistead, Hancock, Pickett and Longstreet had walked. Total miles to reach his lofty goal: 1373.
What he had foolishly omitted from his dream was his family. This was not a solo mission, and our plans did not align perfectly with his. How could we think about eating and checking into the motel when we had finally arrived at Gettysburg? There was so much to see and do! Charge around Cemetery Ridge, where the battle had begun that hot July 1, 1863! We had to find Devil's Den, the Slaughter Pens, and Little Round Top where the 20th Maine had made their famous downhill charge with bayonets drawn, their ammunition nearly spent. We had to find the Copse of Trees where Pickett's charge had faltered, and the monument marking where Armistead fell leading the 14th Virginia on July 3rd, 1863. Spangler's Woods. Culp's Hill. Seminary Ridge. Big Round Top. The Peach Orchard. The Wheatfield. Pitzer's Woods. But most of all, more important than anything else we could do, we had to walk Pickett's Charge. The Highwater Mark of the Confederacy. The last offensive the South made in their bid for independence.
Copyright 1996 Mike Zimmerli
How I Spent My Summer Vacation
(2800 miles in nine days with two kids in the backseat)
[Part One] [Part Two]
And don't miss Part Three:
Of Pillows and Continental Breakfasts
(Our Review of Our Lodgings)
Back to Ramblings