We started our trip today by heading back toward Danville to stop at the American Armored Foundation Tank Museum that we passed yesterday. It turns out that it is the largest collection of Tank and Cavalry artifacts found anywhere in the world (self-proclaimed). The museum was founded in 1981 by William Gasser on Long Island. In 1999 the contents were moved to the prsent location, a 330,000 sq. ft. former maufacturing plant. The foundation that runs it was certified by the U.S. Government and the Center of Military History to receive military donations as a not for profit museum.
It is a awesome museum. Lot's of pictures in this post. I've never seen one with more military memorabilia of all types. The Museum has over 118 Tanks and artillery pieces a Weapons Room with over 150 weapons such as bazookas, flame throwers, and recoilless rifles, a Rifle Room with over 60 rifles from all over the world, over 350 Tank and Artillery Optics and Fire Control items, an International Hall of Tank and Cavalry Generals with over 340 “Generals” present, an exhibit entitled Sandbox Soldiers with 37 children's military uniforms, 1400 Tank & Cavalry Uniforms dating from 1509 to present, 300 Women's Uniforms dating from 1852 to present, 1300 Tank and Cavalry headgear pieces dating from 1790 to present, over 350 Tank and Armored Fighting Vehicle toys, Danville-Pittsylvania Soldiers Remembrance Wall and a Radio Control 1/16 scale indoor Battlefield of over 6,000 sq. ft in size.
There are also exhibits of International Tank and Cavalry artifacts from all time periods in history that includes artwork, ash trays, badges, belt buckles, books and magazines, banks, banners and streamers, cards, clocks, coins, carvings, cufflinks, data plates, decals, DI's, field gear, figurines, flags, guidons, glassware, hankies, hood ornaments, ID bracelets, insignia patches, jewelry, lithographs, lighters, matchbooks, musical instruments optics, pillowcases, pencils, paper goods, pennants, post cards, powder puffs, presentation pieces, posters, puzzles, rings, scarves, sweetheart items, signs, smoking items, aprons, tie related items, wall hangings, walking sticks.
All this plus a dinosaur, a space ship from War of the Worlds, and even a flea market with a collection of women's shoes and shoe knick knacks that look like they came from the Imelda Marcos collection. We spent about 3 hours walking through the museum and really didn't get much time time look at everything. It well worth another stop if we're passing through the area.
Since we spent the better part of the day at the Tank Museum, we got a late start heading north on US 29. Fortunately it's a 4-lane divided highway for most of the way with a 65mph speed limit. We decided to stop near Charlottesville at a KOA so I put the address into the GPS and as you might guess there's a GPS story coming. GPS told us to turn off the 4-lane to 2-lane country road that twisted like a snake with barely enough room for Winnie. As we got further down the road there was a low-clearence sign that warned of an 11' 11" overhead obstruction. Winnie is 11' 6" to the tip of the satellite dome so the passage was going to be close. Before we got there I pulled over along the side of the road right before going under the railroad overpass to allow about a dozen car that were following me to pass. A guy in a pickup truck pulled up to us and asked if we were going to the KOA. He told us we should have stayed on US29 for another mile and we would have been on the road to the KOA. He offered to lead us to the turnoff that would get us to the campground. We squeezed under the overpass without incident and made it to the KOA before dark.