We're on a mission to visit the 47 National Parks of the "lower 48". This is number 37. And we arrived at the perfect time in early Fall. The colours are amazing. The views spectacular. The weather is incredible - about 25°C. It's amazing. So happy to be here. Lots of folks in the UK will remember Laurel and Hardy's hit in 1975 about "The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia". Laurel and Hardy aren't here, however the mountains are beautiful.

Our next destination is Yorktown, Virginia where the defeat of the British was the end of the War of Independence. We decided to take a detour to the Civil War Battlefield at Manassas. This was the scene of battles in 1861 and 1862. Both victories for the Confederacy. We visited the location where "Stonewall" Jackson led his men to stand against the Government Forces. This was the first "major" battle of the Civil War. Both North and South discovered that the brutality and cost of war. Had Jackson not stood his ground, perhaps the Civil War would have ended as a foot-note in American History.

Our journey now moves into "The South" and the land of the Confederacy. In 2011, on the 150th Anniversary of the outbreak of the Civil War, NPR interviewed three historians on "News Hour" at 6pm. They agreed: The cause of the Civil War was slavery. All subsequent discussion of States Rights are bogus. This was never a "noble cause". However, I respect the brave men who fought and died for North and South in the most awful event in American History. However the USA remains a country that struggles today to resolve divisions concerning subjects such as health care, immigration, gun control and abortion.











































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