Thursday, May 26, 2011

Since Day 41

Well, I'm back after a self-imposed absence of more than two weeks. Here are some of the highlights since my last post:

  • After leaving the hospital in Georgia on Friday, May 6th, we drove up to Charleston and spent the next day visiting the site of Ft. Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. We also visited a southern plantation in town that was pretty interesting. See pictures below.
  • From Charleston, we made our way to Andersonville, about 130 miles southeast of Atlanta. Of the many Civil War P.O.W. camps this was the worst because of its overcrowding, cruelty, total lack of food, lodging and deplorable health conditions. It was a camp designed to hold 10,000 prisoners but at its peak held 33,000. Almost 13,000 prisoners lost their lives at Andersonville and there are 18,000 grave-sites on the grounds. It was a very sobering visit.
  • From Andersonville we went to Atlanta and visited Atlanta's History Center and Stone Mountain. Stone Mountain is a gigantic bald granite mountain rising 800-1000 feet above the surrounding ground level. I was pleased that I was able to make the mile long climb to the top without any difficulty, especially after the lighthouse problems at St. Simons. There is a huge carving in the mountain 90' high and 190' long about 300' above ground level of the Confederacy's three heroes, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. See the pictures below.
  • From Atlanta we moved on to Chattanooga and visited Lookout Mountain and Chickamauga, both Civil War battleground sites. The battle of Chickamauga was the second costliest battle in terms of human life in the entire Civil War. Over 28,000 soldiers were either killed, wounded or missing. That's about half the total American troops that were lost in Viet Nam in just one battle!
  • After Chickamauga we arrived back home in South Bend on Wednesday May 11th where my next task was to prepare for a 5k run to help raise money for clean water in third world countries on May 22nd.. I AM NOT A RUNNER and it showed. I ended up inadvertently taking a wrong turn during the run and ended up "running" about 1.75 miles instead of the 3.1 scheduled. God is good! I am still sore from trying to do the run. No more running!
  • I continue riding and on May 21st rode a metric century (63 miles) at the Tour de Max in Culver, IN. I definitely benefited from the conditioning I received from the coast to coast trip since it was a strong ride.
  • I sat down for an interview with the local newspaper (South Bend Tribune) for an article that is supposed to show up in the community section of the Sunday paper this Sunday, sharing about my coast to coast experience. If I can, I will share the link with you since it probably will also show up on their online version as well.
  • I am still in the process of trying to get my blog in book form, since I'm more confident in a hard copy version for posterity's sake than an online archive. There are a number of blog-to-print programs online but I have not run into one that I really like yet. If any of you have experience in this area I would appreciate your advice on what worked best for you.
Below are some pictures of our travels if you're interested.

Ferrying out to Ft. Sumpter

Inside the Fort

Inside the Fort

Andersonville National POW Museum

The grounds where the actual stockade was located

This cemetery in Andersonville reminds me of Arlington National 

The granite surface of the Stone Mountain climb

Sitting on top of Stone Mountain after the mile long climb

The carving closer up

A little further back

Looking down on Chattanooga from Lookout Mountain

We saw cannons everywhere we went

The Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center

This monument at Chickamauga was as tall as the lighthouse, so I climbed it

Stone reminders of the story of the battle of Chickamauga 

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