On The Road To The
The Return Journey
the IPMS Nationals
by Brett Green
proudly supported by Squadron.com
Road to the Past...|
I checked out of my Virginia Beach hotel on another hot day to start
the long journey back to Sydney Australia.
The destination of the day was Washington. Two long traffic jams
convinced me to find an alternate route, so I headed towardYorktown.
The wide clear expanse of the Freeway makes way for a two-lane
highway lined with rich green forest. At the next intersection, the
golden arches of McDonalds guard the border between the present and
the past. Time seems to wind backwards as I draw closer to Yorktown.
History almost speaks through the narrow roads, old barricades,
earthworks and centuries-old houses.
Yorktown Virginia is the site of the famous 1781 siege of British
forces under General Cornwallis. This final victory by American and
French soldiers ultimately secured the independence of the United
States. Standing quietly under the canopy of trees it is hard to
imagine the violence and destruction visited on this town during the
siege. 80% of the town was irreparably damaged, and the town itself
never really recovered.
The US National Parks Service does an excellent job providing
historical and educational material; conducting tours of the
monuments, houses, battlefields and landmarks; and demonstrating
techniques for preparing, loading and firing 18th century cannon.
Yorktown is well worth the detour off the Freeway for a thorough
My afternoon at Yorktown convinced me to keep travelling on this
strip of land soaked with history. I continued 100 miles north on
Route 19 to see Fredericksburg.
Whereas Yorktown is a monument to history, Fredericksburg is a more
lived-in example of an 18th century colonial town. Although the
foundation of Fredericksburg predates white settlement of Australia,
the town layout, street names and building styles are all hauntingly
familiar to this Sydneysider. As I pass through the old town centre,
these similarities are a plain reminder of our common colonial
The clutter of gas stations, sporting goods stores and mini-malls
signal the approach to the I-95 and modern American civilization as
we know it. With a steak under my belt and the sun sliding down the
sky, it is time to return to 2002. Ah yes, another traffic jam -
this must be the right place.
Next stop, Washington.
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Created 04 August 2002
25 January 2003
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