First stop in Maryland was in Oakland, in the southwest corner. Wonders never cease. On a much needed rest day (meant to be uneventful) I met a elderly gent (Ariel) in the area's Historical Museum who, after a brief introductory conversation, proposed taking me out on a scenic tour into some of the more remote and beautiful mountains of West Virginia near Monongahela National Forest. This fellow, although a bit unsteady on his feet, was a superlative driver, and had a sporty car which he clearly loved showing off. Well. This turned into a 4-hour afternoon of gorgeous vistas including the mountain ridge named Dolly Sods, and a rock formation known as Seneca Rocks. I got an earful of local lore from this 2nd or 3rd generation resident of the area, was introduced to some new (to me) classical recordings, and we exchanged much interesting conversation in the process. The thing of it is - this countryside was some of what I missed when I opted to alter my route off of the American Discovery Trail for that stretch beyond Clarksburg, WV. Wonders never cease...
The terrain in these past days has continued steep, and sometimes treacherous on the wind-y parts of the commercial routes. As has often been the case, the road shoulders disappeared in spots, leaving me hugging guardrail and switching sides of the road for the best visibility to traffic. But now I will be on a trail all the way to the Capitol! Will I parade past the White House with my cart, flying the Climate Flag? 184 miles to go before I have to decide!
|Mountain ridge called Dolly Sods|
|Seneca Rocks - a well known rock climbing destination|
|Along Route 135, Maryland|
|Canal area of Cumberland, MD. The Episcopal Church, upper left, was former site of Ft. Cumberland, used by George Washington. Tunnels underneath were formerly part of the Underground Railroad.|
|Cumberland County Courthouse|