After driving three days and 780 miles, staying nights in two Walmart parking lots and one Cabela’s parking lot we have arrived last night at Saratoga Casino and Racetrack where we can park for the night in their back parking lot for free too.
What a prime spot! From where we are parked we can watch the harness races. But the view is much better from inside the facility. You can see our RV in the picture below on the right side.
In the morning we drove the car out to the Saratoga National Historical Park to see some very significant Revolutionary War battlefields.
The Visitor Center had a brief video and great displays about what all happened there. A large map had lights that lit up as an audio narration explained how the battles went. “At Saratoga, the British campaign that was intended to crush America’s rebellion ended instead in a surrender that changed the history of the world.”
A 10-mile auto tour includes 10 tour stops, several monuments, and artifacts (mostly cannons) along the way. There are also some paths and trails to walk. The very first monument we saw was the Uknown American Soldiers who perished in the battles of Saratoga September 19 and October 7, 1777, and were buried in unmarked graves.
Interpretive Panels along the way explain what happened and where it happened.
There were several cannons throughout the battlefield.
General Benedict Arnold fought courageously here and was shot in the leg during one of the battles. This “Boot Monument” without a name symbolizes his bravery as well as his subsequent treason.
The Americans were watching for the British coming down the Hudson River and were ready for them. One of the most decisive victories in American and world history had now been won.
Before returning to our RV we stopped at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. We only had an hour before closing so we made a quick run-through. They did say that photography was not allowed except in certain areas. Most of the museum was filled with photographs and artist paintings. Beautiful.
In a little park area on an outside wall is a Pimlico Race Course Gate that once stood near the clubhouse of the Maryland Jockey Club ca. 1870. Chains and pulleys were used to raise and lower the gate.
And near the gate is a life-sized statue of Seabiscuit, whose claim to fame is that in 1938 he defeated Tripple-Crown winner, War Admiral, in a match race and two years later, having recovered from a possible career-ending injury, won the world’s richest race, the Santa Anita Handicap.
In the courtyard of the museum is a statue of Secretariat, Tripple-Crown winner in 1973.
The Hall of Fame includes three walls filled with plaques for Hall of Fame inductees including the horses, trainers, jockeys, and owners.
For the last four days:
- Distance: 780 miles
- Gasoline: $91 @ $2.09 Ohio
- Gasoline: $100 @ $2.27 New York
- Lodging: free
- Admission to Saratoga National Historic Park, free today. (off season)
- Admission to National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame $10 (Senior Rate)