Yesterday, May 21 was a very different day. Waking to showers, we stayed in the house, drinking coffee and chatting with our hosts until lunchtime. They are both very interesting people and seem to have traveled everywhere.
The shower tapered off, so we donned our bumblebees and climbed on the bike, headed for Gettysburg. We wanted to see the battlefields where so many died all those years ago. The ride up to Gettysburg was about 45 minutes long, with a few sprinkles scattered along the way. It was chilly, with temperatures in the mid 50s.
At the welcome center, we bought tickets for a bus tour of the battleground, the museum, the movie, and the cyclorama. Unfortunately, time ran out before we could get into the museum. However, the bus tour was excellent. The tour guide knew his stuff, and made the narration interesting.
We watched the film about the war; in was informative and interesting.it helped us to see why the South could not prevail. Also made us sad to hear all the loss suffered.
The cyclorama was great, and very well done. The original mural is on display, depicting a snapshot in time of the battle at Gettysburg. It was very sobering and brought great sadness to both of us. A horrible war.
When we left the visitor's center, the rain had completely ended. But it was very overcast and cool. And we were hungry, so we left Gettysburg and headed out for food and back to the house. Riding along, we spotted the Shamrock Restaurant and stopped for dinner. A good choice; the food, service and ambiance were all very good. Then on to the house for the night.
Yesterday was a good, but long day. We woke up early, packed our mess on the bike, and left before our hosts were stirring. We left a thank you note to let them know that we had enjoyed our stay, but didn't want to wake them. Hopefully that was not too rude.
The ride to Niagara Falls was very picturesque. Riding state highways across Hill and dale in bright sunshine, it was close to perfect. Crisp, cool air, little to no traffic, hilly country with long sweepers, we both enjoyed the ride very much.
When I tour on the bike, I carry a small handgun for which I have a concealed carry permit. North Carolina has reciprocal agreements with many, but not all states. Even though I carry it in non-reciprocal states, I don't worry too much about doing that. However, Canada has a very strict prohibition on guns. Sneaking a gun into Canada, and getting caught can bring a 3 year jail sentence. So, we had a real problem--what do we do with the gun when we cross into Canada. We could get lucky and not be searched at the border. But having been searched in a previous crossing into Canada, and knowing the consequences, it wasn't worth the risk.
Then a thought hit me--friends who live in Grand Island, only a few miles from Niagara Falls. So, we made contact with them and dropped off the gun at their home, to be picked up the following Monday morning. Problem solved!
As it turned out, the border crossing was simple and non eventful. Short lines at the crossing, no searches, and then less than a mile to our hotel for three nights. A long, but good day.