Bubble Pond by Dave Hileman

This is also the start to the Pemetic Mountain trail. Pemetic Mountain is 1248 above this pond and is the last of the named peak hikes we have yet to do at Acadia so it is first on the list for this fall. Note we are looking south. The valleys and mountain ranges run north to south on the island so you will not catch a sunset or sunrise on the water here. The sun illuminates the eastern side of the pond as it begins to set in the west. This is not a high traffic area of the park and yet still quite beautiful. 


Sailboat View by Dave Hileman

I am reviewing some older photos that I just never processed - a few this week from Acadia National Park. As we climbed Acadia Mountain along Somes Sound there was a break in the trees and we could see this boat against Sutton Island and the Atlantic stretching out beyond. Delightful day. 


Happy TLT Third Anniversary by Dave Hileman

Two Lane Touring completed three years of posts. In those three years we have shared about 1400 photos in over 1100 posts. We have added 125 National Park Galleries. Since the start of our quest to photograph all 417 units of the National Park Service we have added more than 80 new parks and are now stand at 193 visited. We added a "camping" section this year and will add to that as we travel. The restaurant "review-ish" section called "Eats!" is posted once per week, usually on Thursday. We have lots of unique restaurants but not very many of them photographed, just did not think about that early into the trips. We added a search feature and are working to make posts more easily searched by kind, location etc. 

Visits are up a lot this year so far with more than 800 different people from 39 states and 19 other countries viewing almost 5000 pages. Wow. Thanks.

We have a trip this fall that will add another 12 new parks. Our goal is the halfway point by the new year. Several things also planned on the site for late fall or early winter, so thanks for viewing!

PHoto: Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Dave and Cindy 


Bucolic? by Dave Hileman

This peaceful scene is quite unlike what it looked like in the aftermath of this struggle in 1862 known as Gaines Mill. This is the third engagement of the Seven Days Battle and a clear Confederate victory. Only about 9% of the battlefield is under NPS but this is the center of the Union line and where the south broke through to the left of this photograph. The house is the Springfield Plantation or the Watt House. The fence is a replica of what was here on either side of the road to Richmond. It was taken apart to build a defensive line for the Union. The widow who lived in the house fled in a wagon. She died two years later having never returned to her home. 

"We hoped for peace, but no peace came. We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror." Jeremiah 8:15 NLT


Yep, More Grass (3 photos) by Dave Hileman

We are back at the Petersburg National Battlefield at the famous Crater. The entrance you see was to a mine shaft dug by Pennsylvania coal miners under the Confederate lines. The resulting explosion blew a hole over 170 feet across and more than 30 feet deep. Sadly for the extension of the conflict, the Union botched the opportunity presented by the huge gap in the lines and, other than more causalities, nothing was gained at the end of the day. The other two photos show the Crater as it is today. 


Wet by Dave Hileman

In Yosemite last spring we hiked to Nevada Falls and the waterfalls were all overflowing. The last 1/2 mile or so to Nevada will get you a bit wet anytime but this year was a drenching. By the time you got to the steps is was just soaking. And it was a bit cool. I took this photo, huddled along an edge of the cliff where I could poke up shoot and then clean the lens (again!). What a great hike and delightful spot. 


Power by Dave Hileman

This is taken from a small suspension bridge with the heavy snowmelt overflowing the banks of the King River in the King Canyon National Park. Were were past the end of the road about a mile or so to the bridge. What a stunning view and a roar that make conversation difficult. 


Average? by Dave Hileman

In the interest of the purpose of Two Lane Touring's goal of visiting and photographing each of the 417 units under the watch of the National Park Service, we offer today's unremarkable photo of a much more remarkable place. Not because of the scenic beauty but because of the ancient peoples who built and hallowed these mounds. This is the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. It consists of several acres of mounds built about 2000 years ago in Southwest Ohio. The use is still debated but it was clearly an important place and a monumental task to build. You can read more here: https://www.nps.gov/hocu/index.htm

It is difficult to photograph, especially the time we were here. Maybe with colorful leaves, a nice sunset or snow on the mounds, but midday was tough. You cannot walk on the mounds to get a better perspective either. 

For the Lord has told me this: “I will watch quietly from my dwelling place— as quietly as the heat rises on a summer day, or as the morning dew forms during the harvest.”    Isaiah 18:4 NLT

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Virginia's Men (2 photos) by Dave Hileman

This is the Virginia Memorial at Gettysburg situated where the center of the Virginia troops began their assault on Cemetery Ridge or Pickett's Charge. The six men on the lower portion of the statue represent two each from each branch of the service, infantry, artillery and cavalry as well as volunteers and professional soldiers of different ages and backgrounds. The upper statue is R. E. Lee mounted on Traveler looking across the field to the statue of General George Meade. The battle ended with the disastrous charge and Lee was crushed. The casting of the statue was by Tiffany in NY and it was dedicated in 1917 by Lee's niece. While it commemorates a terrible war with questionable rationale there is no denying the valor of those who fought here. The base of the statue was dedicated four years earlier on the 50th anniversary of the engagement. 


Written then Secured (2 Photos) by Dave Hileman

While the Declaration of Independence set out the cause of the separation, it was guns,  gumption, sacrifice, and much more that secured that promise in Yorktown, VA. 

 Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield

 Jamestown Island eagle. Sorry, Ben, but way better than a turkey!

Jamestown Island eagle. Sorry, Ben, but way better than a turkey!

Night Tour by Dave Hileman

I highly recommend that if you are in DC to tour monuments, museums and parks, that you do a night tour. You can arrange with a tour group or just go on your own. Our last walk was on a warm spring evening and there were loads of people about. We walked around the Tidal Basin and past several monuments, Martin Luther King, Jr, FDR, Jefferson among them. This view of the Washington Monument is from along that walk. Lovely at night. Today would be a great day to do so, according to John Adams who wrote to his wife upon the passing of a resolution of independence: 

"The Hopes of Reconciliation, which were fondly entertained by Multitudes of honest and well meaning tho weak and mistaken People, have been gradually and at last totally extinguished. -- Time has been given for the whole People, maturely to consider the great Question of Independence and to ripen their judgments, dissipate their Fears, and allure their Hopes, by discussing it in News Papers and Pamphletts, by debating it, in Assemblies, Conventions, Committees of Safety and Inspection, in Town and County Meetings, as well as in private Conversations, so that the whole People in every Colony of the 13, have now adopted it, as their own Act. -- This will cement the Union, and avoid those Heats and perhaps Convulsions which might have been occasioned, by such a Declaration Six Months ago.

But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America."  Jn Adams


Headquarters (2 Photos) by Dave Hileman

This is Chatham, an antebellum home on the Rappahannock River and is a part of the Fredericksburg National Battlefield. This is the river side of the house and was the "front" until the early 1900's when the main door was moved to the other side. Union forces occupied this and set up canon across the fields to shell Confederate positions on the heights. The second photo shows a view of Fredericksburg today with the two church towers still standing from the Civil War.  This is a part of the river where the union also constructed pontoon bridges for the troops to cross. The failure to take any part of the town was at a great cost in men lost. 


Ready (2 photos) by Dave Hileman

At the Petersburg National Battlefield the Park Service has recreated a small portion of a fort to show more accurately what the string of forts protecting or attacking Petersburg and Richmond would have looked like. Even with their effort the trees add an element missing from the battlefield as they were cut down for a great distance to build forts and other defenses, camp homes and storages, used for cooking and heating, bridges and roads, and to clear fields of fire. Yet this is still instructive. You can see the two outer ditches, the built up earthwork fortification reinforced with extra defenses and the perspective of both the attacker and the defender. 


Storms Ahead by Dave Hileman

Another beautiful night in the Lancaster, PA farm country. This one brief light in the otherwise rainy sky. 

"Yet they don’t ask, ‘Where is God my Creator, the one who gives songs in the night?"
Job 35:10 NLT


10 More Yards by Dave Hileman

This section of the Gettysburg battlefield is the Union right during Pickett's charge. This stone marks the advance of the NC troops who ended their effort 10 yards from the wall. The cannon were firing with double loads of canister, basically large shotguns and the wall was shoulder to shoulder with Union rifles. The amazing thing is not that they did not get across the wall but that they got so far. Just to the right other troops from Virginia's 38th breeched the wall but could not hold their position, thus the High Water Mark of the Confederacy. 


Not What It Feels Like (three photos) by Dave Hileman

This is not a golf course. It is a path leading to a fort at the Petersburg National Battlefield. One of many forts that were part of the siege of Richmond/ Petersburg by the Union Army. This one, constructed by and used by the Confederate troops was captured June 15th, 1864. A huge mortar was set up here to shell troops across the river. It was nicknamed "The Dictator." 

 The Dictator replica set up today at the park.

The Dictator replica set up today at the park.

 The original from a wartime photo. The picture was likely taken by Dennis as he is quite old and likes to prattle on about B&amp;W photos...

The original from a wartime photo. The picture was likely taken by Dennis as he is quite old and likes to prattle on about B&W photos...

Joshua Tree Sunset by Dave Hileman

I loved this park, its space and color and contrasts and, in May, the flowers. Here is a small butte catching the last rays of the sun while the desert floor is in shadow and already cooling. The unique Joshua Trees stand a stately watch. 

"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord , make straight in the desert a highway for our God." 
Isaiah 40:3 NLT


Flag Day by Dave Hileman

"In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. The United States Army also celebrates the U.S. Army Birthdays on this date; Congress adopted "the American continental army" after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775." From Wikipedia

So happy 241st birthday to the most successful color scheme in history and 243rd to the US Army. This photo is from Fort Bowie in Arizona where the US Army served the area for many years in harsh conditions. 

Thanks to Army personnel like Tom Light, Lt. Col, Ret., & my multi great grandfather who served under that flag with only thirteen stars in that first Army, Pvt. Peter Hileman.



Behind Lines by Dave Hileman

This monument at Petersburg National Battlefield is behind the remnant of the Confederate line that did not collapse when the Union miners exploded their mine under the Confederate lines creating what came to be known as The Crater. 


Idyllic by Dave Hileman

An idyllic place or experience is extremely pleasant, beautiful, or peaceful and so it was on Saturday afternoon walking at the Cold Harbor Battlefield. It was none of those things 154 years ago in June. The field just beyond the trees was the center of the fighting and the location of the futile attack by Grant across 200 yards of open ground against prepared Confederate troops. Grant lost 6000 men that afternoon, killed, wounded or captured. This field is just outside of the boundary of the park. I hope that one day it can be acquired by the National Park Service to add to the story of this critical battle.