Day 2: Dead authors, DC suits

Elkton, MD to Fredericksburg, VA

Visiting Scott and Zelda’s Grave

For a while, I’d wanted to visit Scott Fitzgerald’s grave to pay tribute to the great writer. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald are buried in Rockville, MD, in the graveyard of St. Mary’s Church (Catholic). Their only connection with Rockville is that Fitzgerald’s father was born there and their family plot is there. Today, Rockville is a busy DC suburb.

There’s no sign saying where the grave is, but I walked around and found it.

The church

There they sleep quietly, beside heavily trafficked Rockville Pike in the middle of busy Rockville.

Weird things department: there was a deer prancing around the graveyard.

A quick visit to DC

Unscheduled stop! Decided to go into DC and drive by the US Capitol.

For road geeks only: Thanks to Google Maps, I avoided a long drive through DC by taking the Beltway into Virginia, then George Washington Parkway and over the Arland D. Williams Jr Memorial Bridge into DC. (The bridge was named for a heroic Air Florida passenger who saved five others in the 1982 crash before he died.)

I entered DC on an unfamiliar route, passing a Southwest marina, the US Botanic Garden’s beautiful glass palace, the Library of Congress, and the Supreme Court. And actually found (metered) street parking!

Back in VA

Next stop was Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, which is four important Civil War battle sites.

An NPS film emphasized that by 1862, the Union realized that it couldn’t beat the Confederacy by military means alone, so they decided to attack the South’s economy. Then Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, to make the war about freeing slaves, not just preserving the union. Once they were in it, they went all out to win, with shocking losses of life. It all reminded me of the First World War. (Disclaimer: The parallel only goes so far, and I am not equating fighting slavery to whatever the hell the First World War was fought for.)

Lowering clouds at the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center

Right after that shot an enormous thunderstorm broke out and was over in 15 minutes.

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