Valley Forge 2006

We decided to have lunch at Valley Forge and ended up spending nearly four hours there. I hadn't been to the park in probably 20 years, had never seen the film they now have in the visitor's center about Washington and his troops wintering in 1777-8. It was a gorgeous day, a little over 80 degrees but with a breeze; we joined up with a tour group for a little while near one of the reconstructed encampments where reenactors were talking about the clothing and food of the soldiers and giving a firing demonstration, then drove around to Washington's headquarters, the National Memorial Arch and some of the other reconstructed encampments and the church. The park is full of wildlife; a garter snake that showed up in the middle of the lecture on Continental food and medicine kept my kids from getting restless, and we saw at least 20 deer, which roam freely throughout the park and appear not to be at all afraid of tourists, even less so than the ones in Shenandoah National Park that we saw last weekend. We got shoefly pie in the little store by the church and drove home after seeing a glorious sunset.

A reproduction of one of the cabins at Valley Forge that housed 12 or more soldiers during the American Revolution.

This is how the men lived in the barracks.

A reenactor demonstrates how the encampment was defended.

George Washington slept here...and Alexander Hamilton and other members of his staff. The buildings are all original, though the furniture is not.

Here is the office where Hamilton and the secretaries toiled.

Behind this cabin in the hills to the left, you can see the chapel.

National Memorial Arch at Valley Forge National Park.

The rear of the Washington Memorial Chapel...

...and that huge stained glass window from the inside.

This variation on a rose window is in the front of the chapel: George Washington with his own coat of arms and one representing the US. Is it wrong if I wondered whether that tree is supposed to be the apocryphal cherry tree?

Deer wander freely all over Valley Forge. We saw more than 20 the day we were there.

This snake was in the grass not five feet from the demonstration of Colonial weaponry.

Where there are oaks and other trees with acorns and nuts, there are always squirrels.

People ride horses in the park.

And, of course, there are commemorative horses like this one.