Friday, March 20, 2009


Spring arrived this morning. . .officially at 7:44 a.m. . .and I am thankful for it. Maybe I'm just getting older; in my younger days I enjoyed a good snowfall, even looked forward to them, and I did not mind the cold nearly as much. But this winter was a long, oftentimes dreary one. We had some bitterly cold days, with wicked winter winds, and although we did not get much snow, at least here in Gettysburg, we had our fair share of ice, sleet, and freezing rain.

I was at Antietam early this morning and was able to capture a few images of the park just moments after winter turned to spring. It was cold, but I did not mind. I was there not as a ranger, but instead as a private tour guide, leading a four-hour-long hike of the Ninth Corps's final assault: from the bridge and across the Sherrick and Otto Farms, through farmer Otto's 40-Acre cornfield, and toward the Harpers Ferry Road. It was quite the trek, and I am sure I am now a few pounds lighter. In the end, despite the cold and despite the miles tramped, it was a good morning; it's been too long since I last did some actual battlefield wanderings. With spring now upon us, I can look forward to more tours and more pleasant days at the park. My hours will soon pick up and before long, we'll be back conducting our daily battlefield tours.

Antietam's 2009 schedule of events has recently been posted on the park's website. With brighter and warmer days ahead, please do take the time to come on down and visit America's best preserved Civil War battlefield.

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