Saying good-bye to our friends in DC, we were now heading north once again towards the Canadian border – but this time on two wheels! A quick look into our trusted travel guide easily revealed, by sheer volume of pages, that the New England States along the eastern seaboard of the US offer a tremendous amount of history and stuff to see… So there was no surprise that the next ‘must-see’ wasn’t too far away…
Gettysburg, PA was on our way, so needless to say DB demanded that we check out this historic place. Gettysburg is famous for a number of reasons two of which include Confederate leader General Lee’s first big defeat marking the turning point in the US civil war and the very famous speech by President Lincoln during a memorial to those who fought and died in the fields around this small village.
We started our tour of Gettysburg with the National Park battlefield museum which gave us a very good overview about the Civil War – imagine, it all started with Abraham Lincoln signing the Declaration of Emancipation, which ended slavery in the States. However, not everyone agreed with that (since the wealth of the South was built on slave labor) and the rest is history. Ironically, after the war most of the Southern assets were destroyed and their money was gone, so back to square one. We then took a drive over the battlefield at dusk, it was a rather eerie feeling. The Union troops were holding a little hill and defended it to the end. General Lee overestimated his situation and sent his Confederate Army over an open field with no cover whatsoever… more than 20,000 men lost their lives in this battle alone…
That evening after the doom and gloom of the Civil War we headed into town and dinned at a highly recommended restaurant and also the oldest building in the town. It was rather quirky – all the waiters were dress in period gear and the menu written in old English. The food filled our grumbling tummies and off we went back to our camp…and to more doom and gloom. Who would have thought that nature at night time would be as loud as a construction zone. DB had to stuff tissue in her ears to try get some sleep. Since those little froggies and random critters kept her awake, the next day she was pretty grumpy…
From Pennsylvania we cut right though a number of states, New York State, Connecticut and Massachusetts towards Portsmouth, New Hampshire along the Atlantic coast. This was truly a jump back in time compared to the western states and the cosmopolitan flair of DC. CB couldn’t shake the feeling of riding through good old Germany, with green lush rolling hills and abundant mixed forests everywhere, with some of them being so dense and eerie that one couldn’t stop thinking about the Blair Witch Project too. The state park along the Delaware River was so spooky that we opted to find a highway instead. Never has a place felt so wrong, so creepy and so lonely…it must be the first place New York Police look when a serial killer strikes. As it started to rain along this creepy place we were hoping and praying for no break downs or technical problems since there were stretches were no sign of civilization was to be seen…
To cut back on travel expenses on accommodation, we decided to pitch the tent CB was lugging around again. Our camping aspirations were put on hold since Utah because the heat wave made sleeping in a tent more like a tropical greenhouse rather than a temporary abode to get a good nights rest. Anyway, the morning started like this:
CB “Shall we camp tonight, the weather looks good?’
DB “What does the weather forecast say?”
CB “They say it’ll rain tomorrow at around 10am so if we leave by 8 we should be sweet”
DB “You are sure?”
CB “Yup, i have this cool app on my phone that has hourly radar, cloud trackers, wind speed, direction and temperature in degrees Celsius”
That night we turned up at the campground called ‘Sodom Mountain’ (the name should have been an indication of things to come). The site was brutally overpriced (stinging us for $35 for a tent site with no services), but we checked in and rode to our little site nestled in lovely spot under the pines. We pitched the tent like happy little campers, turned on the mosquito fan thing and went looking for food, power and wi-fi. We returned back to camp just before the sun set to an empty campground…there were a few RVs but not a single tent which was rather unusual. Nevertheless we decided to watch a movie on the laptop and by 10pm tucked into bed. At around midnight DB woke up to the sounds of rain on the tent. The following events are not an exaggeration:
DB “Chris, you sure it isn’t supposed to rain tonight?”
CB “Mmmm ummm err…grrzzzzzzzzzzz”
CB “What! No…go to sleep, it’s just leaves falling on the tent. Hmm, mmmm, ummmmm”
Five minutes later it started to pour and CB made a mad dash to cover the bikes and close all the tent windows. “Don’t worry, it’s just a little shower,” he said as he entered the tent.
Next morning we woke up to a torrential downpour. We were certainly not the happy campers we thought we would be. After a quick review of the fancy app showed that we were on the northern edge of a massive storm…and it was predicted to get worse. We quickly put on the only waterproof gear we had – our full motorbike gear, including the helmet and began to quickly pack up the campsite. Anybody who has ever packed up a water soaked tent in the pouring rain knows what we are talking about… but thanks to German organisation we managed to roll it up in record time, strapped it to CBs bike and off we went in a desperate bid to escape the rain… Ironically, only a few miles northwards there was perfect sunshine and warm temperatures…(CB comment: see, after all the magic weather app wasn’t lying – must have been a little coordinate shift or something) but nothing but a hotel room and hot shower would cheer DB and her rain soaked bottom.
After a few hours riding through small country towns and a military base we did it – we reached the Atlantic Ocean! Seeing the blue waters of the Atlantic, feeling the warm rays of sun and for DB seeing a hotel room with fresh towels and a hot shower… what a day…
That night at Hampton, NH we ended up having extremely potent margaritas with three lovely ladies holidaying at the hotel we were staying at (after we told them about our rain dramas they figured we needed a couple of stiff drinks) followed by two REAL lobsters for dinner, only $8 each!! Sorry no photos of the lobster, DB was a little tipsy and forgot to grab a camera…or a phone to capture the moment.
Team Berg adventures are full of adventure indeed!