I kept to the smaller roads out of Pottsville. This part of Pennsylvania is very rural. I passed several tree farms; as you can see from the pictures they grow Christmas trees. I also passed a couple of places that advertised themselves as trappers, fur and hide buyers. You would think that they would be more circumspect in this PETA soaked world. It is nice to know that some people are still free enough to resist the pressures of the politically correct. I suppose they are well armed and irascible.
The PETA types that bravely throw red paint on little old ladies in fur coats tend to give a free pass to motorcycle gang members wearing leather coats and even PETA radicals understand that a well-armed guy living by himself who makes a living skinning animals in a dilapidated trailer is probably something you just shouldn’t fool with.
Another “scenic byway” is old Hwy 15 past Gettysburg. The area along the road looks a lot like it must have back in 1863, of course with the addition of the statues and monuments. Many Civil War battlefields are threatened. Most of the actual territory included in the battles is on private property. When the countryside was rural, there was no problem keeping it looking appropriately … rural. But today as shopping centers and subdivisions ooze out across the landscape the authenticity is threatened. Eventually we could be left with a little patch of green & a few cannons surrounded by fast food restaurants and parking lots. Following in the footsteps of Picketts charge across a Wal-Mart parking lot would probably not feel right.
Speaking of new buildings and parking lots, they built a new visitors’ center in Gettysburg. It was needed. The old building was too small for the growing crowds, but the new facility is a little too slick for my tastes, too organized. Part of the joy of visiting historic places is discovering new things, or more correctly discovering old things for yourself. The organization will give more information, but GIVE is the operative word. It is passive. If you get it laid out for you by someone else it is not so much discovery. There is a ridiculous amount of control as you can see from the picture of the sign. The wall in question is around three feet high. It would be hard to fall off in the first place and if you did it would be hard to be hurt. But I suppose the lawyers got at it.
Below is an even more interesting sign, although this one makes a good point. The picture says it all about which is the dominant animal in the relationship. The dog strides proudly off, leaving the man shuffling, hunched and simian-like to clean up behind.
I took one more side road, as I got off the main road and went through Emmitsburg. Below is a monument to the fallen of World War I in Emmitsburg, MD.