Published: May 13th 2010May 12th 2010
The park where I stayed was on the James River and was very nice
From Marion I had a 400 mile trek up to Gloucester, Virginia. I had a full week ahead here too. A few years ago I had read James Michener’s book “Chesapeake” and wanted to go see Chesapeake Bay, in addition to visiting Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. What was I thinking? There is just too much to see and do. I don’t know much about the American Revolution; or the Civil War for that matter; a person could spend a week here just acquiring some of that knowledge. The scenery is something else. I ran out of time and will have to cross the Chesapeake Bay via the famous bridge/tunnel some other time.
There are two different entities in the Colonial Triangle area. The National Parks Service put emphasis on the historic buildings etc. They have exhibits at Yorktown and Jamestowne (with an ‘e’.) The State of Virginia have three exhibits, living history experience in both Williamsburg and Jamestown, and at Yorktown, a museum with movies showing the famous battle of Yorktown, and some of the Civil War conflicts etc. I took Ike with me to Yorktown and Williamsburg but wasn’t allowed to take him to Jamestowne because of the archeological dig
The National Park Service have done a wonderful job of reconstructing Yorktown. This bronze of George Washington and French General De Grasse who brought troops here to help the Americans defeat the British!
that is on-going there.
I left Gloucester and drove west to Greenville, Virginia. Greenville is at the southern end of Shenandoah National Park. On my way there I stopped in at Monticello; which was the home of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the U.S. Photography inside the house wasn’t allowed but the tour was fascinating. Jefferson spent his retirement years completely remodeling the house that he had built in 1769 in the style of homes he had seen in France and Italy. Monticello actually means “little mountain” in Italian. He was a brilliant man who drafted the Declaration of Independence, wrote 19000 letters in his time, could read in seven languages, and tinkered with invention including a polygraph machine - which might account for all those letters. With the polygraph machine, he could write with a pen which was attached by a system of levers to another pen so that he was duplicating whatever he was writing. (I remember Jayne having a doll called “Katie Copycat” which operated on the same principal.)
On Monday morning the sky was clear blue so we went to see the Shenandoah Valley. I drove 55 miles up the Skyline Drive and pulled off at
The Welch Fusiliers protected the extreme right of the. British defenses from this redoubt
each viewpoint but unfortunately, my camera doesn’t capture the scenic beauty. One of the NP Rangers I met told me that spring is about 6 weeks behind in the area this year.
On Tuesday it rained, so I decided to go to visit Woodrow Wilson’s Birthplace and Presidential Library. Wilson was the son of a Presbyterian minister and was born in a very fancy home in Staunton, Virginia. Made me think of some of the vicarages in England that were so cold and drafty and not nearly so grand. Woodrow Wilson was president before the presidential libraries that are funded by the Federal Government were established so this is a private foundation, and as a result not as comprehensive or impressive.
There are more photos below