Another Battlefield and a canal

The final leg of this years trip took us from Lexington to Washington DC. We drove north on Highway 81 Interstate through the Shenandoah Valley to Staunton. Here we changed to I-64 across the Blue Ridge Mountains. Just after Charlottesville we left the freeway and took Highway 29 northeast past Culpepper and Brandy Station. The latter is best known as one of the  largest cavalry battles of the Civil War' took place here. On the whole, this area is full of battlefields from the Civil War: Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania Courthouse and Brandy Station. Spotsylvania County is called America's bloodiest land because more than 110,000 were killed or wounded here during the civil war four years. We were going to visit the battlefield at Manassas Junction or Bull Run, as it is called. The Union forces normally named their battles after nearby towns, while the South tended to name the The Stone Bridge at Manassas Junctionbattles after nearby rivers. Consequently, many of the battles and battlefields have two names. Anyway we were visiting the battlefield, where two battles were fought during the civil war. First Battle Bull Run and Second Bull Run. Really creative names :-) Manassas city is today is almost a suburb of Washington DC. Or at least, grown together with other suburbs as Annandale and Alexandria. In Manassas we ate lunch before we drove out to the battlefield.

We started by going to the National Park Visitor Center where we paid for admission the park, located around the city. Before we took the self guided tour, we walked a short tour of the area around the Visitor Centre. Here at the Manassas Civil War began in earnest a July day in 1861.The first battle is probably the better known of the two battles here, not least because it was the first major Civil War battle, and because it was close to Washington. It was because of this battle, that southern general Thomas Jackson got his nickname, Stonewall. Also it was at this battle that many people from Washington went to "watch the battle".

Walking around t
he area, we saw more fences and some vultures that Carl was convinced was the eagles. But it was vultures :-). When we got tires of walking, we returned to the car and started the tour around the battlefield park. Among other things, the saw "The Stone Bridge". Here was a terrible noise of cicadas, but Carl argued stubbornly that he could not hear anything. We were therefore convinced that he had hearing problems, but he himself claimed that his hearing was excellent.

Eventually we left the battlefield and continued to Washington, where we would stay the night, before returning to Copenhagen the next day.

Back to Denmark

Canal boat on the Chesapeake and Ohio CanalThe day had come when we har to return to Denmark. Our plane didn't leave until late in the afternoon, so we had most of the day, for a final experience. We therefore drove along the Potomac River on the Maryland side up river to Great Falls. We didn't get to see the falls though, at least not at that visit, because from the parking lot there were about a mile down to the falls, Else's knee was still giving her troubles. We therefore to a short walk along the C & O Canal. When we got to the Visitor Center at Great Falls, a barge just passed through the lock, so we watched that before we went into the small museum located in an old inn at the gate.

When we came out from the museum, there was a big fuss with helicopters and rescue vehicles with rubber dinghies, park rangers and more, but unfortunately we could not see exactly what was happening. We figured that maybe someone had fallen in the river, but it was never confirmed. From the park we drove north through Maryland to White's Ferry, where we took a ferry across the Potomac. The trip from Great Falls to White's Ferry was just about to get a little too exciting. At one point we were in a forest on a road that was not shown on our map, and I began to doubt whether we ever got out of the forest and found the ferry, but finally we managed.

From White's Ferry, we drove to Leesburg, Virginia, where we ate lunch before we drove we took the Dulles Toll Road to the Airport. Here we returned the car after 3 weeks and 4,050 miles. Here at the airport we said goodbye to Else and Carl as their plane was leaving a couple of hours before ours.

- Return to Anniversary tour -
- Return to Travel Stories -