In French a connoisseur is someone who knows something. When we adopt that term into English we imbue it with some more special qualities. For us a connoisseur is someone who possesses special knowledge and a taste for the subject.
PL is the second kind.
I have flown over this valley in many kinds of airplanes. When I just wanted to go bore holes in the sky the Shenandoah Valley was my destination. I have read many books about the Valley campaigns and the events that took place back and forth across this ground in 1861-65.
Until this trip I never really put it together. Riding as navigator to PL is like being hooked to a knowledge machine. Rude's hill that I always thought was a great unapprochable redoubt is just a swell on the Valley Pike. A good place for guns to command the river crossing below, but you could miss it at 55 miles an hour, and certainly from the air.
I have read the stories of the McDowell, Virginia campaign, but until you have driven Route 240 out of Staunton to breast Shaw's Ridge at almost 3000' above the Valley floor, you just can't appreciate what Jackson's soldiers went through.
In short, it's too bad we can't bottle this stuff.