On the Road

Each year, my friend Ruth and I take an annual “Road Trip to Watch the Hokies … and Explore a Cool Town”, and what started as attendance at an away football game has turned into an opportunity for adventure in a new place. (If Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer knew our Road Trip / Loss to Win ratio, he would ask us to stop planning our trips around a game!)  Thankfully, the game has become less of a focal point.  Once the destination  is chosen, we research places of interest to visit along the way and no matter the outcome of the game, we always have a great time!!

This year’s trip was to Pittsburgh and in order to get there, we drove from southwest Virginia, and into western Maryland.  Low lying mountains, curvy rural routes, fall foliage, and historic small towns made for a great ride.  We left for Hancock, Maryland on Weds after work, and were up and on the road for Pennsylvania early the next morning.

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We’d not gone far when we saw this farmhouse and just had to pull over.

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The view of Cumberland Narrows, a water gap in western Maryland, had me calling out “I need a picture!”.  The sunrise and the misty hills were a site to see, but finding a spot to pull over was a bit of a challenge.  These next two photos were taken through the front windshield of the car, and even though the quality suffers, they offer an idea about how pretty this part of Maryland is.


For those interested in history, we were traveling on Rt 40 also known as the National Pike, a section of road that passes through the Cumberland Narrows and lots of rural farmland.  Sections of this road are also called the  National Road.  This road was the first major improved highway in the United States to be built by the federal government and was a gateway to the west for thousands of settlers.  It was also the first US road to be surfaced with macadam.  The National Road now has a multi-state tourism / historical partership that collarborates various towns, cities, and counties. 


Even when pulled over, photography remained a bit of a challenge.


Between the traffic, the road signs, and the lightposts it was hard to capture an unobstructed view of the early morning mist.


I had the same problem catching this rainbow.


The photos may not do justice to the morning, but I’ll not forget it anytime soon.  It was a wonderful start to the trip!

Next Stop:  Falling Waters – One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most widely acclaimed works

28 thoughts on “On the Road

  1. I live vicariously through your wonderful road trips, LB! I’m off after this to get out my trusty old map of the USA to get my bearings on where you headed – it’s so pretty – and if I can ever sit on a plane again in my life for 18 hours – I’d love to retrace your steps! I giggle when you apologise for your photography because it’s always so good – complementing your stories so well. A footy game sounds like huge fun at the end of such a road trip – even if the result mightn’t have gone your way! xoxoxox

    • Thank you, Dani! I hope you found time to pull out that map! I love maps … so much more than GPS!
      One of my favorite comments to read is that people feel like they’ve come along on the ride. 🙂
      and speaking of riding … I fell in love with this part of the country and plan to take a ride on the bike there next summer 🙂

  2. I love the images of the mist Laurie and I can’t wait until you post the images from Falling Water 🙂 It is someplace I always wanted to visit but have not had the chance to yet 🙂

  3. It’s such a thing wanting to capture a scene as you tootle past it in a car – by the time you find a place to stop the whole thing has evaporated! Well, that’s my experience any way – obviously not yours, even through the windscreen you capture the beauty! The architecture is stunning, love that old farmhouse!!!!

    • You are so right about the vision evaporating! I get it! And can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped the bike / truck, turned around, and still not been able to find a way to get the shot I want.
      That farmhouse is great, right? My friend and I both exclaimed out loud when we saw it! Fortunately we found a place to pull over nearby and I only had to run back about 20 yards 🙂

  4. A long time ago I rode a Honda 350 from Pittsburgh to someplace in West Virginia and back in a day. Must have been 500 miles. Looks a bit chilly out there.

  5. I was wowing the entire time, Laurie. I’ve driven through those mountains in Virginia and the steep inclines and the views are just jaw dropping. Every photo is awesome and I really do thank you for taking me along with you. I don’t have a chance to travel these days, but I do through the eyes of others. Excellent post! (((HUGS))) Amy

    • Thank you, Amy. I’m so glad you could join me on the trip! It was one of my favorites. Hopefully you can come on back in the next week or so and check out the next part of the trip 🙂

      • I’ll do my best, Laurie. I promise. The best way to get my attention if I don’t see you in my reader, is to leave a comment on Petals. That is a guarantee I will follow you back to your blog. With so many followers and so many comments, I get snowed under some days. Yet, I really try to do my best and I really do want to see more of these photos. (smile) (((HUGS))) Amy

      • Tee hee ….. The head is a whirling most days, believe me. When I open my iPad and see over 200 comments waiting to be addressed, I just about groan. Yep, Petals keeps growing and Petals’ owner is running as fast as she can to keep up. LOL (((HUGS))) Amy

  6. What a trip! I’m sorry your team lost–I know the pain of putting in energy to go to a game, only to watch them lose! The photo of the red vine against the old farmhouse is gorgeous–it makes me think of an Andrew Wyeth painting!

    • I’m so glad you liked that red vine, too! What a treasure of a home.
      Heading out to a game tonight … we love our Thursday night games (even in a down year) 🙂

  7. Pingback: Fallingwater | Life on the Bike and other Fab Things

  8. Pingback: Pittsburgh: Rivers and Bridges | Life on the Bike and other Fab Things

  9. ooh, I like this post. You captured the spirit of the roadtrip with your words. I would have stopped for that farmhouse too – marvelous. I even liked the old posts in the yard – they look like remnants of a clothesline. I’m glad I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, and already knew some of the significance of Cumberland Gap. 🙂

  10. Laurie you have many wonderful traditions. You strike me as someone who squeezes every delicious drop out of life. I applaud you!

    The photo of the farmhouse haunts me. The colorful tree draws you in, but then you see the boarded windows and it gives you pause. Lots to think about in that picture.

    Lovely post, incredible views, and a good time with a friend. Bliss!

    • Alys, Thank you for taking the time to catch up so thoroughly on my posts from the Pittsburgh trip. I know you’ve been so busy!
      The annual trip with Ruth is such a fun one. We were talking this year about how we are running out of fun ACC football cities to visit … may have to try basketball or baseball or any ol’ fun place for next year 🙂

      • Laurie, my pleasure. I was a little too busy in October, but life is back on a more even keel. It was a joy to catch up with your trip, your photos and all your friends comments. Always a treat.

        By all means, choose an additional sport so your trips with Ruth can continue. 🙂 You can come to California and watch the Giants play. 😉

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