# 17 Call us crazy!

Blog Tip # 17-1

Mike's Motorhoming tip: Noteworthy to mention for anyone wanting to strike out in a motorhome. The coach manufacturer will have a sticker for tire pressure. It will most likely be less than the rating on the tires themselves.

 

Why is that you ask?

 

The manufacturer wants you to experience a more cushy ride. Trust me on this. Inflate the tires to near the tire manufacturers COLD MAX PRESSURE found on the sidewall of the tire itself. Make sure you check them at a time when they are not warm at all. The bumps in the road will be a bit harder, but you'll thank me when the trucks passing you on the left don't blow you off the side. Under-inflation is actually dangerous. The driver is always fighting the air pressure coming off of a passing truck. Proper inflation nearly eliminates it.

 

Blog Tip #17-2

A fantastic purchase now in use anytime to BEAST is moving. Full communication headsets between driver and navigator. Instead of yelling back and forth, these are perfect—one ear only headsets, allowing you to hear any emergency sirens that may be around. We can talk, as I hurtle forward at death-defying speeds. I usually listen to things like "slow down." This is easier on her vocal cords and my nerves. The brand is https://eartec.com/ultralite/. They work well for the pre-travel checklist as I walk around outside. Some of our purchases have been dead on, others not so much. This one was dead on.

 

Day #1 Day one of our crazy new life: As tension mounts, we start this new chapter today. We have organized and stored things for 2 weeks while living in the BEAST.

We didn't get out of the secret remote family compound without trouble. A water sprayer installed to spray the toilet when it needs some help; split open. Good thing I run fast while Marlene was screaming, "SHUT THE WATER OFF." Never a dull moment. We hit the road, delayed but made or destination for the day, on time.

As lessons go, this was a big one. Never ever drive a motorhome on a secondary, one lane each way, unless its to get to an RV Park. From now on, I will go out of my way to use an Interstate. Enough said on that new rule. We traveled northbound on Rt. 15 in Virginia, nope... not happening again.

A big mistake of mine: Did you know its hard backing up a Motorhome when the flat tow behind you is freewheeling its front tires? I was being guided by Garmin™. An excellent item to have, if you listen to it and try NOT to think you know better. It is programmable to understand what you are driving. The route number was precise, and I made one of those split-second decisions that everyone does at times. Only, in this case, it was way wrong. The road was a dead-end. Not good, hence the exercise in backing up a towed vehicle while the front wheels are laughing at you. My real-life cheerleading coach in the bleacher section said, just go over the damn lawn. I'm sure I am not the first to be in this pickle.

 

Day #2 My anxiety for Day 2 was the upper leg of Rt 15 into Maryland. I know the bridge in question. Scenic over the Potomac River, actually the first bridge crossing of yesteryear. It is known as the Point of Rocks. The steel girder blue bridge is from the 1940s at best.  I must have checked the clearance a hundred times online, never totally convinced. It was okay, except the sweat I expended in getting across it.

 

Take a moment and see the picture on Wikedly-biased Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_of_Rocks,_Maryland

 

Forest Gump, my mentor had it right. Stupid is as Stupid does...sadly comical now, not so much then, as we exited our first-night layover. We went through our "ready for travel checklist. Takes a good fifteen minutes. We eased out on gravel and got to the paved drive. Heard nothing for first 50 feet, then this tug and pull was felt. I stopped and said, "something is wrong with the tow set up; better check it." We were actually dragging the SUV, I had forgotten to put it in neutral. A black tire mark showed as I sheepishly put it in neutral. Well, we now have a new item on the checklist.

We found our RV Park early and got to our site. The Artillery Ridge RV Park at Gettysburg. Well, not at, literally in the Park somehow. I'd say some old grandfathered land thing. Exit the Park, turning right and less than a mile, you are in the Federal lands of a National Park on both sides of the road.  

 

Part campground but with pull-thru sites and full 50 AMP hookups., part destination, in and of itself Offering free firewood at check-in. Their History is that the Union used the property back then as their ammo dump. Guns, cannons, and ammunition for everything were actually stored on the site, hence the name Artillery Ridge. To give credit where credit is due, The RV park has stables that house the horses that can be rented to take a guided tour of the Battlefield. These horses are unique in that they are all rescue animals. I visited a few in their paddock, Well adjusted animals all, my hat goes off to whoever came up with the program.

https://www.artilleryridge.com/ is an excellent family-oriented vacation spot, with so much real History you can't go wrong. The RV Park's main entrance is less than one mile from the Battlefield. I hated History in school. Somewhere along the way to maturity, I learned to immerse myself in it, even craved it: either by reading or visiting.

A full day to tour Gettysburg National Park, we were on our own after trying to get a guided tour. We took our time trying to absorb the scene of battle. Monuments are one thing, but standing there, gazing out over the Battlefield facing the treeline as it genuinely existed then, sheds light on the moment in History.

A sobering moment trying to see things as they were, on those days, July 2nd & 3rd 1863. The heat would have been as I experienced this day. A tree line over a mile away, reveals  Confederate soldiers from one end to the other. They would have stood shoulder to shoulder, ready to face down the ominous-looking cannons of the Union, on a three-tiered battlefield.

The Gray would have stretched from one end of that treeline to the other.

Realizing there were thousands of men from the South stretching out over a mile across, creating a line of musket fire. This most likely frightened the North as much as The North assuredly looked ominous to the South.

 

Now think to the individual soldiers level, the legal age on either side was 18. As it went, star-struck volunteers as young as 15 would write the number 18 on a piece of paper and place it in their shoes.

Why, you ask?

So when asked their age, they could legitimately say, "I'm over 18, sir."

So you are 15, 16, and holding a single shot musket, maybe 30 to 45 seconds to reload, and cannon fire is landing in front of you. You're told to march toward the opposing line. You know you made a colossal mistake joining up. That realization is now way too late. "Forward men," came the command from the officers. Your options, advance forward and die, or stay where you are, rooted in fear, and die for not advancing toward the enemy.

A soul searching thought process standing on that peaceful hill facing the Virginia Monument at the South's treeline on the Battlefield at Gettysburg. Cannons silent, and you can almost hear the knees of teenage boys quivering.

I highly recommend the trip!

The background picture is from The Battlefield. The view from the Union side, the white speck in the middle is the Virginia memorial along the actual treeline they stood at. Canons would have been lined up here, side by side. and over their shoulders were two distinct tiers of cannons.

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