My sister casey flew into Philadelphia to spend the week with me. Our first day was spent bicycling around Valley Forge National Historic Park.
For dinner we went to downtown.
Biked for 3 days along the towpath. Started in Cumberland, MD and ended in Harpers Ferry, WV. About 40 miles per day, which, bicycle friends, on a mucky gravel path is NOT like 40 miles on a smooth asphalt trail. Just sayin’! Train took me back to my van at the end. (Doggies stayed with a petsitter for this part of the adventure.)
During my stay in Hapers Ferry, I took a day to drive down river to see the Great Falls of the Potomac. After a scenic drive through the wine and horse country of northwest Virginia, I enjoyed several hours biking and walking around this National Park. Here are the falls from the south side if the river.
It was amazing to see the current water level compared to the high water marks on this pole and pictures of flooding on this poster.
I then drove around and across the river to see these same falls from the Maryland side. The north side viewing location is on an island in the river that was, unfortunately, closed due to recent rains. I did, however, get my first bike ride on the C & O canal towpath, riding out-and-back about 4 miles.
Before the railroads took over, this was the major means of transporting goods along the river. The towpath sits between the man made canal and the river and runs 184 miles from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD.
Spent 4 nights at a campground in Harpers Ferry, WV.
There were some useful amenities at this campground including free pancakes each day (if you were wearing your yellow armband), a nice dishwashing station, and an off-leash dog play area!
A couple of days were spent in town and in some of the historic areas. Also enjoyed some short hikes on the AT which comes right into town, crossing both the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers here.
A few more pics from the Natural Bridge and along the Rt 11 path.
I did a short walking tour of downtown and the campus of Washington and Lee. On campus there was the “Lee Chapel” and in the basement was the crypt!
After the Route 11 leg, I headed up into the Blue Ridge Mountains, camping one night along Skyline Drive.
And just as I was leaving this scenic drive, I hit 1000 miles on the trip so far.🙂
This was our first picnic stop in Virginia at a very shady rest area.
The pups enjoyed a long romp in a nice dog park in Roanoak, VA.
And on to breakfast in lovely downtown Roanoak. I had the coconut cream croissant!
This route was inspired by a recent article in Garden & Gun (see here) that suggests a route up Hwy 11 through the Shenandoah Valley. (Thanks to Tammy for the link.)
Of course, there was a detour right off! But it was very short and I was back on route. First stop, recommended by G&G was the Natural Bridge. Wow! 215 feet high, 55 feet higher than Niagra Falls. Walked right up on a baby copperhead right under the arch. Yikes!
Easy 1 mile trail to Lace Falls, just up the creek from the arch.