First Big Trip to PA (2010)
I decided to spend this weekend visiting with family in Pennsylvania. I would spend my first night camping with Dad outside Shepardstown, WV on the Potomac then scoot up to PA on Saturday AM.
I left the burg around 3 and took 81N into MD and WV. The temps hovered between 98F and 100F with the ultimate furnace blast of 102.3F scorching me just north of Winchester. Sure hot for my Aerostich Roadcrafter suit but I manage:eek1
After crossing the bridge, I turned right onto Canal Rd which drops to the river and follows the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal for a few miles. Here is the rail bridge crossing supports. The road under obviously does not get enough traffic to warrant a better design of the supports:patch
We had a quiet evening and turned in around 10:00 or so. I left the canopy off my hammock to get more breeze through. Around 10:45, I awoke to large bangs which I thought was thunder. Scrambling out of my hammock, I hollered over to Dad that I needed to put on my fly and he should do the same. "I don't see any lightning!", he replied. Yeah...Whats up with that. "Those sound like explosions" We sat for a bit and decided it was too normal to be lightning so I got back in my hammock. Swinging there next to the Potomac River with Antietam Battlefield two miles behind me, I drifted to sleep imagining the great war was in action and I was just a fly on the wall. The explosions continued for about 15 minutes or more and eventually died out in a large flurry.
It turned out to be the Shepardstown Fire Dept Carnival's Fire Works
We awoke around 6 the following morning and it was still hot. About 75F...and getting warmer. I quickly packed up my gear, made some oatmeal and coffee and enjoyed the dawn with my Dad.
After bidding farewell, I scooted up Harper's Ferry Rd N past Antietam into Sharpsburg. I just let the GPS lead me toward Gettysburg.
Along the way, the road turned into a forest and became nice and twisty :ricky I failed to take any shots since I was having a blast and paying attention. I noticed a sign for Cunningham Falls State Park so I turned and found they didn't open for another 15 minutes. Scratch that :deal
Here is what they look like (taken from online)
Eventually made my way to Gettysburg. The last time I was here was around 1999 and the old tall tower was still in place as well as the orignal visitor's center. They now have a brand new facility but I didn't tour it.
It was only after I was about 30 min down the road that I figured this out. Oh well, the Susquehanna River was pretty. I failed to get a shot while crossing - nowhere to pull over.
The Pagoda is only open on the weekends so I waited for noon to roll around and went inside for a view. I got a sticker for my pannier and took the walk up to the top...now these are my kinda prices :thumb
I made my way up to visit family and stayed with them for the rest of the day. My cousin has having brake issues on his Jetta (warped rotors) so my host got to work fixing it in the driveway. New rotors and pads :clap
I slept like a log and awoke Sunday and joined the family in their lively church service in Bethlahem. I lingered around their place for awhile and eventually decided I needed to beat some of the heat so I was off and rolling at 11AM. I rode along the Lehigh River Gap on my way to Jim Thorpe.
(Not my pic)
And eventually up to the town of Summit Hill. A coal mining community built on top of the hill. Pretty interesting and many identical houses in a row. Real interesting in winter I suppose but somewhat depressing. On downward into Lansford, I love the Zwiebel Turm as I learned them in German. (Onion Tower)
Down Rt 209, I came to the town of Coaldale. My best friend from childhood's grandparents hailed from Coaldale and Tomaqua down the road. I snapped these shots for them. I can recall his grandfather telling stories of the town, growing up, family still living there and the town's Russian drunk "Chezlo"
Not long after I crossed back into the valley toward 81, it began to rain. This continued getting stronger till I was riding down the highway, lightning all around me, poor visibility, many trucks and construction. I wasn't going to ruin my phone to take shots of that nonsense...or stop for that matter. On I went. When I crossed into WV near Falling Water, it began to subside and I was able to dry out for the remaining hour ride back home.
Little did I know, Loftus was right behind me riding through the same storm :webers we are silly motorcyclists.
Next weekend will see me in Alexandria meeting folks for breakfast somewhere. Anyone interested post up on the SMIB thread :deal
Till next time :ricky