My dear husband invited me to do the 16 mile Vicksburg battlefield before the park opened this morning. We arrived, and had the place to ourselves at 5:45am. When I say it was dark, it is an understatement. I was planning on riding the loop on a bike, and paint the sunrise – he ran. I guessed that I would know I was off the road when I felt the surface change to grass beneath my tires. I rode the beautiful hills in the black, and slowly let dawn creep in. I of course was on the look out for ghosts, Matthew spotted coyotes and deer. When I reached the Illinois monument, I climbed the steps and got out my paint box. The sunrise was spectacular, and the silence and history, powerful.