History Never Gets Old

Monday, May 21, 2012 Road Junkies 0 Comments

On the History Highway, March 15 - May 14
We couldn't have selected a better area of the U.S. for a history-seeking journey.  Since our agenda included all 13 of the original American colonies, our paths constantly took us to places significant in the early history of our country.  Moreover, almost three-fourths of Civil War battles were fought in the states we visited.  We were consistently impressed with the work that preservationists at all government levels, as well as philanthropists and volunteers in the private sector, have done to ensure that generations to come will have the opportunity to find these hallowed grounds much the way they were when they were at history's center stage.  (No, Williamsburg, that does not include you!) 

In the week since we've been home, we've put together some final trip statistics and a few "bests and worsts" of our History Highway trip.

Trip Stats
  • Days: 61
  • Miles traveled: 6,800
  • States visited: 18 + DC
  • Letterboxes: 224 found, 12 planted
  • Walked: 114.43 miles
  • Family members visited: 17
  • State Parks:  34
  • Forts:  24
  • Museums: 57
  • National Parks:  1
  • National Historic Parks/Sites: 15
  • National Battlefields:  7
  • Presidential Birthplaces:  4
  • Presidential Graves:  6
  • Cannons:  4,916
  • Bugs on our windshield/grill:  92,163
  • Woodchucks:  12
  • Ticks:  6
  • Snakes:  4
  • Road kill:  83
  • Starbucks:  52
  • Pollen spores:  235,109,471,347,382
  • Kids on spring break:  193,522
  • Highest gas price (premium):  $4.299, Arlington, VA
  • Lowest gas price (premium):  $3.539, Blacksburg, SC 

United States Supreme Court, Washington, DC
Worst Cities

2.  Manchester, NH
3   Manchester, NH
4.  Manchester, NH
5.  Manchester, NH

Ken claiming credit for Pam's find again
Most Memorable Letterboxes

1.  Max Patch  (Hot Springs, NC) - oldest US box
2.  Prayer Rock  (Bristol, VT) - 2nd oldest US box
4.  9/11 Memorial - Imagine  (Arlington, VA)
5.  Beware of Female Spies  (Washington, DC)

Army caisson procession in Arlington National Cemetery
Favorite Cemeteries

1.  Arlington National Cemetery (Arlington, VA)
2.  Hollywood Cemetery (Richmond, VA)
3   Christ Church Burial Ground (Philadelphia, PA)
4.  Burial Hill  (Plymouth, MA)
5.  Old City Cemetery  (Lynchburg, VA)

Best Meals

1.   Gold's Wood-Fired Grille  (Middletown, RI)
2.   The Belvidere at Broad  (Richmond, VA)
3.   Anna's Greek Restaurant  (Bowling Green, KY)
4.   Blue Moon Evolution  (Exeter, NH)
5.   Foode  (Fredericksburg, VA)
6.   The Pita Spot  (Mystic, CT)
Worst Meal
  Tuscany Italian Grill  (Danville, VA)

Virginia's Capitol Square, Richmond
Best Historic Sites and Museums
    (in random order, all outstanding, too close to rank)
  1.  Capitol Square Park  (Richmond, VA)
  2.  National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial seen at dusk (Washington, DC)
  3   Gettysburg National Military Park  (Gettysburg, PA)
  4.  Smithsonian American Art Museum  (Washington, DC)
  5.  Independence National Historical Park  (Philadelphia, PA)
  6.  National Portrait Gallery  (Washington, DC)
  7. Thomas Edison National Historical Park (Orange, NJ)
  8. National Museum of the Marine Corps (Quantico, VA)
  9. Smithsonian National Museum of American History (Washington, DC)
10. Appomattox Court House National Historical Park (Appomattox, VA)
11. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (Harpers Ferry, WV)
12. National Mall and Memorial Parks (Washington, DC)

Native Americans in the 17th century really looked like this?
Places We Should Have Skipped

2.  National Museum of Liberty  (Philadelphia, PA)
3   George Washington Birthplace (Colonial Beach, VA)
4.  Ferry Farm (GW Childhood Home)  (Fredericksburg, VA)

That's Plymouth Pebble Rock?  How did the Pilgrims find it?

Recurring Historical Figures

Both intentionally and accidentally, we repeatedly came across sites related to these men.
1.  Edgar Allan Poe
2.  John Wilkes Booth
3.  George Washington
4.  Abraham Lincoln
5.  Robert E. Lee
6.  Stonewall Jackson

Jammed up GWB

Best Days
1.  When we get to visit with family
2.  Visiting the sights at the National Mall
3.  Side trip to Cape Cod
4.  Finding challenging or historic letterboxes

And the Rest

Most overpriced:  Colonial Williamsburg
Best value: Washington, DC's free museums
Next best value: National Park Pass ($10 senior lifetime pass)
Best rest areas: Virginia
Best hotel: Hampton Inn, Exeter, NH
Worst hotel: Holiday Inn Express, Brattleboro, VT
Best comp breakfast: Hilton Garden Inn, Saratoga Springs, NY
Most embarrassing moment: Amish stalking
Worst teeth: President Wilson
Biggest tick: wood tick
Sorry we missed: Boston & New York