2011 Vacation: Day Seven: Lexington, Concord, and on to Maine

Entrance to Minute Man National Historical Park
Entrance to Minute Man National Historical Park

Today we visited Lexington and Concord, not far from Boston, MA.  I really could have spent more time here and would have liked to hike the Battle Road, but three hours were all Candy and the kids could take.

Minute Man Statue near the site of the brief skirmish on Lexington Green
Minute Man Statue near the site of the brief skirmish on Lexington Green

We began in the visitor’s center in Lexington, which is very close to Hanscom Air Force Base, where we spent the night.  This is the wrong place to start.  There is little in the visitor’s center and almost nothing related to the battle to see in town.  Except for this statue (above) and a nice diorama of the fighting at Lexington in the visitor’s center, Lexington is just a nice town.

From Lexington we headed toward Concord to the Minute Man National Historical Park visitor’s center.  Tremendous!  They have a 20-minute movie about Lexington and Concord which is outstanding.  (Even Candy and the kids enjoyed it!)  From the visitor’s center, you can get on the Battle Road trail (which would be good for walking, biking, or running).  There are a couple of buildings near the center that featured in the retreat from Concord in small ways.

One of the markers along "Battle Road," the line of march back to Boston from Concord
One of the markers along "Battle Road," the line of march back to Boston from Concord

The real highlight, however, is Concord.  They’ve reconstructed the North Bridge.  The visitor’s center (which is not nearly as nice or informative as the Minute Man one) is on the site where MAJ Buttrick had moved his men to better see the bridge and downtown Concord.  A student intern gave a very good talk near the bridge about the fighting at Concord.

Reconstruction of the North Bridge in Concord
Reconstruction of the North Bridge in Concord, where the "Shot Heard Round the World" occurred
Monument at Concord near the North Bridge
Monument at Concord near the North Bridge

I really enjoyed this visit, which rekindled my interest in the American Revolution.  Next time my friend Nick attends the Lexington and Concord re-enactment, I might see if his unit has some extra stuff they can loan me so that I could participate.  I might also like to drag Dave up here to run the 16-mile trail from Concord to Boston.

From Concord we headed to Southwest Harbor, on Mount Desert Island, ME, not far from Bar Harbor.  It was supposed to be a five-hour drive, but it took over seven, mostly due to really bad traffic around Boston and along the border of New Hampshire and Maine.  Once we checked into our hotel, just outside Acadia National Park, we went to dinner.  This Summer while on his week-long cruise with the boy scouts on Chesapeake Bay, Tommy had his first crab.  Since we are in Maine, Candy and Tommy had 1-1/2-pound lobsters.  Sammy was creeped out by Tommy’s lobster “staring at her” during dinner.  Tommy went after his lobster like he was dissecting it for biology class.  While the verdict was that lobster is “not my favorite thing,” he enjoyed it.

Tommy's first lobster at Sea Food Ketch near Southwest Harbor, Maine
Tommy's first lobster at Sea Food Ketch near Southwest Harbor, Maine

Tomorrow we’ll be hiking around Acadia National Park and also seeing a lumberjack show in Trenton, Maine.

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