Matt Callery is producer and host of Addressing Gettysburg. He once saved his friend's younger brother from fall down a cliff as if in a movie. There are witnesses.
The number one rule when visiting Gettysburg is: DON'T PANIC.
Ok, you followed the directions and parked in Lot #1 but you can't, for the life of you, find the visitor center even though all indications beforehand lead you to this spot. The last thing you should do at this moment is leave in search of signs of life. Life is just around the corner. Believe me. Breathe deep and repeat the number one rule.
Now that we've calmed you down, let's turn on our ability to think and problem solve and get you into that Visitor Center! Huzzah!
What can we do to start? How about look around us for signs of a building in the middle of the woods that is massive, looks like a round barn and is painted red. You probably don't see it directly. DON'T PANIC.
What do you see? Do you see other people? I'll bet you do. Which way are they walking? Are they walking towards the road that you just pulled off of (remeber that road curves around lot 1, so they can be walking in different directions but still be walking towards the road)? Are they walking towards the tree that are opposite the road? Yes?!? Great! Let's follow them. Don't worry. They won't bite. Gather your things (no backpacks) and forward, march!
Alright, we're making our way towards the sidewalks.
Ah! A Clue! Why, they wouldn't put sidewalks somewhere we don't need to walk. I must be heading in the right direction, you think to yourself.
Very good. You're learning. Keep walking and look for two tall flag poles. See them? Guess what they're placed at the confluence of? Two separate paths that lead to--where?-- that's right, the Visitor Center.
By now you should be confident that you're, quite literally, "on the right path".
Now, as we've acknowledged in a previous blogpost, this isn't entirely your fault. The design of the complex is a bit confusing and the dense forestation makes it so that getting a visual on such a massive building is difficult. So don't beat yourself up over this, for the love of all things Holy. But just in case you're still not getting it (come on, who is that dense?), here are some things to look for once you've passed the two flagpoles. When you spot these things you SHOULD be able to spot the visitor center somewhere directly behind them.
Your obedient servant,