Our Trip to Gettysburg

Motorcycles on our Trip

Our first long distance trip was to Gettysburg. We picked up Route 97 northbound just north of the Triadelphia Reservoir. This part of the trip was lightly traveled, and we saw many other motorcyclists.

Almost everyone waves as we pass and there is a feeling of camaraderie. I wave to all the motorcyclists we pass, but Katie does not want to let go of the handlebars (yet). So if we see you out on the road, she is waving in sprit if not in reality. I guess my experience with bicycles makes it easy for me. I suspect that once she tries it once, she will see how easy it is to do.

Gettysburg Lincoln Square

We continued north on Route 97 passing though many open areas, a couple schools, a traffic light with some construction and shopping. Before we reached Frederick Road (Route 144), we passed a Citgo on the right that appeared to have relatively high prices. We then crossed under Interstate 70 and continued to follow Route 97 northbound. Just before we reached the boarder between Howard and Carroll Counties, we entered a long downhill with a couple of turns and lots of trees and crossed the train tracks to enter Carroll County. The track ran perpendicular to the roadway, and the roadway was straight at the crossing. On the Carroll County side, we rode uphill headed toward Westminster.

Once in Westminster, we turned left on Main Street and stopped at a gas station to fill up. We returned to Route 97 and turned left on Route 140/97. This was a three or four lane road with several traffic lights and a couple options for breakfast or lunch. We stopped at a Denny's, but the wait was too long and we continued. In retrospect, we should have continued on Main Street and Veered Right on Pennsylvania Avenue to find more choices to eat or take a break.

We took Route 97 northbound at the 140/97 split after about 2.25 miles. The speed limit had moved up to 55 mph and we rolled along with the other traffic. The single lane of traffic thinned out quickly as we moved away from Westminster and we reached the Pennsylvania boarder in about ten miles.

Gettysburg Lincoln Square

Once in Pennsylvania, we reached Littlestown after a couple minutes. We decided not to stop in this small town, and continued northwest toward Gettysburg. After we crossed US15, we started seeing signs for auto-tours on both the left and right. In this area, Route 97 was referred to as Baltimore Pike. Once we reached the city limits of Gettysburg, we went straight at the traffic light on Baltimore Street to Lincoln Square. If we had made the sharp left turn on Steinwehr Avenue and a left on Taneytown Road (Route 134), we would have been at the Visitor's Center.

We found a parking spot on Lincoln Square and stopped for lunch at the pub at the northwest corner. After lunch, we went west out of Lincoln Square and followed Route 30 as it veered to the northwest at an intersection. After a short trip, we turned left at a smaller Visitor's Center that was closed, but it offered maps and directions to the main Visitor's Center. We toured the short section of roadway and saw the John Burns Memorial and McPherson Ridge.

Gettysburg Lincoln Square

We headed to the Main Visitor's Center and found parking very difficult. The two parking lots closest to the building were obvious, but the extra parking a little further south was not. It was Veteran's Day weekend, so the extra tourism was not unexpected. We walked around a bit and decided that we should ride home early in case we needed extra breaks on the way back.

We followed the same route back, but halfway between Westminster and Interstate 70, we stopped for a break. We stopped at a park and ride just south of Route 26. This was a good place for us to stop. Katie's clutch hand was tired and my butt was a bit sore. A later seat adjustment helped out quite a bit for me. We followed the route back home and reached home safe and sound.

This was a really great trip, and I look forward to doing this again in the future. There are quite a lot of hiking trails or auto-tours available.