The Journey to Freedom

The Journey to Freedom

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Valley Forge Trip

BYU hired a bus for two days to take us to Valley Forge and to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Al was our bus driver and he took us everywhere.

We had a horrible snow storm the worst of the winter the day before.  It was very cold on Friday and the snow was still on the trees making the drive a little dangerous but the it was a winter wonderland. 

We stayed over night at the Freedom Foundation.  They also had a huge storm hit and it stopped us from visiting some of the sites because they were not dug out.  Valley Forge is a National Park with forest rangers running the park.  

The Freedom Foundation has dorms for schools and groups to use that come to visit Valley Forge.  They fed us all our meals while we were there.  The food was great and they had teachers that where great to teach about our history.  They gave everyone a folder with a little book about the Constitution in it.


 They had game areas for the interns to play in and relax.

The girl in the white coat, Rachel, before she broke her back sledding. That is her devoted roommate Kim. 

Murray our tour guide through the park.  He has been a history teacher for 38 years.  He was very interesting to listen to and he knew his history. 

Leaving the grounds of the Freedom Foundation.They have this cute little church and a placket talking about the freedoms this country offers. 

Al our bus driver.

This is the Visitor Center at Valley Forge.  We watched a movie about the Revolutionary War.  We found out that Valley Forge is where Washington's troops wintered for six months.  It was a milder winter than we had this year.  They have build cabins and put up replicas of what was there when Washington was there but as soon as the troops left the farms took the land and cleared their stuff out. 

They had a lot of snow.

The rolling hills and valleys where so beautiful. 

A lonely cannon,.
It was a very cold day but we had the sun which I was grateful for.

There were 12,000 soldiers that wintered over at Valley Forge.  The United States had lost Philadelphia and George Washington wanted to be close enough to keep an eye on the British but far enough away to build up their unit.  He had them build cabins to live in.  There would be six men per cabin and sometimes a wife and a couple of kids would join their husband and do the cooking.  No one died of frost bite or starvation while at Valley Forge but many of the men did not have adequate clothing and shoes.

Our interns.

This arch was built to honor the French that joined  the Revolutionaries to help win the war.  It is a replica of the arch in France.   A German man named Baron Von Strueben trained the army here and for the first time the United States had a trained disciplined army.

A statue honor Lafayette from France who was a commander in the army.  He never took pay or lived in the commanders housing.

I loved this covered bridge in the Nation Park and the beautiful winter scene.

This was a home in the area that they took over.  This is where general Washington lived and commanded the armies from this home.  It is not a replica.  This was equal to the Pentagon today.  All war strategy were made in this home.  Murray shared with us some of the miracles that occurred to keep this nation from falling to England.

 There is a train station just outside Washington's home.  Once again the snow made a beautiful winter picture with the tracks running off in the distance.

The Washington Memorial Chapel. It is located in Valley Forge.   It was impressive as it celebrated the original thirteen colonies and Washington.  

On the way back to the Freedom Foundation the clouds looked like they had been painted in. 

 That night Ned Hector a black soldier who was a bombardier came to teach us. This is a man dressed up to be Ned Hector.  He helped fight at the battle at Brandy Wine River. He talked to us about the contribution the blacks made to the revolutionary war.  He reminded us that there is not American history and Black history.  There is only American history and blacks have always played a roll in that history.  He taught our students to firer a cannon.  He kept the group laughing and on the edge of their seats for two hours.  He brought a great message to the all of us.

He taught our interns how to fire a cannon.  They could fire a cannon if they were good in 10 seconds and it took a soldier 20 seconds to load a gun. Cannon were a big fighting tool.
 The students had so much fun.

The next morning I left the freedom foundation to go with one of our interns to be with Rachel in the hospital.  As I left I saw this statue of some of our founding fathers praying.  We watched on the bus coming to Valley Forge the movie A More Perfect Union.  It is a movie about the signing and writing of the Constitution of the United States.  

I spent all day Saturday in the hospital. Elder Anthony went with the rest of the group to  Philadelphia.

Liberty Bell

The Philadelphia temple in the back ground being built.

 Independence Hall.
 Liberty Bell.

 Tower at Independence Hall.
 Judiciary Hall at Independence Hall.
 The room where the constitution was framed or debated and signed.

 Assembly hall on the second floor of Independence Hall.
  Ante room on the second floor of Independence Hall. 

We were grateful today to be able to sleep in.  Because it was daily light savings time we ended up going to bed at 12:00 and we slept in until 9:00.  We really needed the sleep.  Tonight we drove over to the temple. Our Stake center is located right next to the temple.  Our Stake center is 45 to 60 minutes away.  We had a special stake missionary meeting with the full time missionaries and the stake missionaries.  It was a great meeting I learned so much.  We drove a couple of the stake missionaries from the Barlow over and back.  


  1. What a wonderful adventure. I still remember these places with great fondness. It was especially meaningful that you should visit Valley Forge when it was cold. It made that period really come alive, I'll bet.

  2. A great trip! Loved seeing all these pictures of so many neat places. Reminds me a lot of Williamsburg. Will you get to visit other places as well? Brr, it looks cold.

  3. Pretty amazing stuff. That stinks you had to spend most of the day at the hospital.

  4. I can see that Dad found the pool table. Did you have any good competition or did he just wipe the table with everyone?