The ride to Gettysburg was uneventful. We headed northwest from DC and followed
the GPS to the Granite Hill campground outside of Gettysburg, PA. This is where
most of the Bike Week activities will be held. There is a fair sized vendor area,
a stage, an area for games and huge parking lots for cars and bikes. There are also
the campsites where we have a nice spot under a big shade tree. We checked in, got
our wrist bands and set up camp. The rest of the day is rest. The vendors are setting
up and nothing else is happening today.
The first full day of Bike Week (Thursday) we went to the battlefield memorial. The
battles comprised several days and several square miles of area. It was not just
one battle but a series of attacks and regrouping for another attack. There are
concrete, bronze and marble monuments scattered over the fields and hills. This
one to the left has four cannon and at least a dozen monuments from the little concrete
ones in the foreground to the life-sized ones in the background like the rider and
the other two back by the tree left of center.
In the visitor center was a museum, theatre and a circular diorama. We had visited
the Atlanta Cyclorama and were impressed by the 42' high, 358' long circular painting. This
one is bigger by 19 feet in length and has also been restored.
One big difference is that with this one we were allowed to take pictures w/o flash. This
is one small section but gives you an idea of what the entire 42' by 377' painting
must be like. As you stand in the center you are amazed at the detail and size. This
one was also painted in the late 1800's but I don't know if it is the same artist. The
information sheet said he had painted "at least eight" of these circular paintings
in the USA.
After two hours in the visitors center we spent the rest of the day riding the roads
through the battlefields. Most were narrow and one-way and the hills and fields
were covered with monuments. We were seldom out of sight of a dozen or more. At
times they were lined along the road 50 feet apart. Over the three days (July 1-3)
of the battle causalities totaled about 50,000. Most of the battle was fought outside
the actual town of Gettysburg. The only civilian casualty was a woman baking bread
in her home and was hit by a stray bullet.
Friday we started with the Poker Run. It led to a local Harley shop and two restaurant/bars. We
did not win anything but along the way we had seen a reader board that listed a crab
feed at the local fire hall for Saturday night. We checked the prices at the local
restaurants for the AYCE (all you can eat) crab dinners and decided we would go Saturday.
After the Poker Run we wandered the vendor areas and bought some souvenirs.
The gear, parts, clothing, tools, etc. were all heavily oriented to Harley Davidson
motorcycles. We did see people on GoldWings there, including a couple camping there
on a yellow 1800 like ours. But we were definitely in the minority.
One of the best parts of these rallies is looking at all the custom bikes. People
have done things to Harley Davidsons that no one has tried with a GoldWing. (Although
there are some custom airplanes that run a GoldWing engine, I have never heard of
a Harley powered plane.)
Another feature not found at GoldWing rallies are the girls. In this case these
are billed as the "Flaunt Girls". And they did!
GoldWingers rallies will have a drill team but here they have a stunt team. One
that includes the whole family!
And then there is the tattoo contest. There were categories for women as well as
The men's category had the more interesting contestants.
A event common to both Harley and GoldWing events is the Biker Games. This is the
water balloon toss. She must throw the balloon over the bar and catch it without
it bursting. Although today it probably felt nice when it burst, it is hot out there.
We had gone on the poker run and missed most of the games and didn't get to enter
any. Too late!
Every night there was a band. In fact, every afternoon to night there was a constant
stream of bands. And on the last night (Saturday) they played until the wee hours
of the morning. And one did not have any trouble hearing them anywhere in the campground. They
were only interrupted briefly for a fireworks display that was really quite good.
This being Saturday we missed a couple evening events because we have bought tickets
to an All You Can Eat crab feed at 6PM at a local fire hall. We found seats and
declined the French Fries and other fillers that were waiting for you to snack on. When
it came time for the main event the shrimp were in paper trays and the crab in newspaper
bundles. After a first round of the room we were allowed to go get seconds, and
we did. The guy in the yellow shirt (John) sitting across from Kathy had been here
before and had a system. He brought paper grocery bags, and let us have one. We
followed his advice and put the open bag on the floor between our chairs and as we
had debris (crab/shrimp shells, dirty napkins) we just dropped it into the bag. No
big mess on the table! We thank you John for your kindness. We each ate four crab
clusters (legs and bit of the body) and two dozen shrimp. And the beer was included,
by the pitcher. All this for $30/person!!! The crab dinner at the restaurant was
$49/person without the beer. We are stuffed and happy, so it is back the festival
and some live music.
After dinner and fireworks and band music we got up early the next morning. We are
headed to New York Cityand we want to ride while it is cooler.