A bittersweet day – the final day of our sightseeing!  As we wind our way through the hills and valleys of upstate New York, en route to Fort Ticonderoga, I’m trying to imagine the soldiers of the Continental Army, walking, riding, and moving artillery through the landscape.  Even now, more than two hundred years later, the land is thick with foliage.  I could not imagine trying to maneuver men and troops through the terrain, as well as dealing with the nature of the climate – freezing cold winters, hot and humid summers.  Rains to bog down any roads with mud.

Today offered a lot of new experiences for me….I finally understood the beauty of upstate New York – the rolling hills, the lush greenness, the rivers and lakes.  I was enthralled by the passing landscapes.  As we were driving in the bus towards Fort Ticonderoga, while “The Patriot” was playing, I was trying to imagine what it was like for the early founders of our country to trek through these lands on foot and by horseback, cutting paths thru the vegetation, trying to navigate the land, bringing back canons taken from the British to be used against them in the American Revolution.  I was pretty floored thinking about how much determination, strength, and will-power it took to accomplish everything that was done to defeat the British and to ultimately survive and thrive in the untamed lands of our fledgling country.

Our guide for the day was Jim Hughto.  Before putting on “The Patriot”, he reminded us that there were many historical inaccuracies in the movie, which he periodically pointed out.  Unfortunately one key thing I’ll remember about today, is that I really do not know many specific details about the American Revolution;  there were many points and topics that I was unfamiliar with, besides the most basic of information.

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As we drove to Saratoga, We could see Vermont on the other side of the river.  We were surrounded by the beauty of the Green Mountains the Adrirondacks, and the oldest mountains in North America, the Taconic Mountains.  The Adirondacks are still a newer mountain range, rising 1/4″ a year.  At Saratoga, Hughto showed us a few areas in the park.  One spot was where the battle that turned the tides for the American Revolution happened.

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