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Old 08-07-2011, 02:44 PM   #1
bbooker OP
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A Long Weekend in West VA, Maryland, and Southern Pennsylvania

My wife and I spent the Independence Day weekend escaping the Washington DC heat by heading north to Pennsylvania. This was our second multi-night outing, 2up on our Versys. Our plan was to stay in Confluence, PA and see some of the nearby sights including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water, Ohiopyle State Park, and to pay our respects at the Flight 93 Memorial.

Day 1
We headed out from our home in Vienna, VA with plans to take mainly back roads out to West Virginia and then get on the National Road out to western Maryland; then north into PA. Taking Rte 9 outside of Leesburg, we enjoyed the twisties into Charles Town WV. It’s been a while since I’ve been on Rte 9 west of Charles Town, and I was disappointed to find that it was now mostly a 4 lane slab.







After the GPS led us on a not-so-scenic tour of Martinsburg, WV, we ran into stopped traffic due to an accident, with both directions closed. We rode the shoulder a couple of hundred yards to Petrucci’s Country Market and got some route advice from the locals. When the road still hadn’t cleared after a half hour, we backtracked to get on Rte 81 and then hit Rte 70 into Hancock, our lunch destination. So much for the back roads I had planned for this part of the ride.





After lunch, we got on the National Pike, which was originally built in the early 1800s and was at the time one of the one of the primary routes to the west. Today, the route follows Rtes 40 and 144 through Maryland. The route parallels (and in some places coincides with) Rtes 79 and 68, the interstates through this area. West of Cumberland, in the town of La Vale MD, sits the one of the original Toll Houses on the National Road. Farther to the west, near the town of Grantsville MD, sits the Casselman Bridge, a stone bridge erected in 1813.

















We arrived at our destination for the weekend, the Confluence House Bed and Breakfast. The town of Confluence, PA, was built around the confluence of the Youghiogheny and Casselman rivers. It’s a nice place to stay for a home base when exploring these parts, especially if you’re looking for peace and quiet. The B&B we picked ended up to be a good choice because they let us park the Versys in their garage, along with the other bikes (of the pedal variety). The owners, Fred and Sandy Younkin are nice folks whose family has been in the area for many generations. We finished out the day with dinner at the Rivers Edge Café, which had good food and is nicely situated on the banks of the Yough.






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Old 08-07-2011, 03:36 PM   #2
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:18 PM   #3
kojack06
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Thanks for the pictures. It was great seeing the areas where I was raised.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:19 PM   #4
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Day 2

We spent the 2nd day touring the area to the north of Confluence. Our first destination was the Flight 93 Memorial, with a stop along the way at Lower Humbert Bridge, one of the many covered bridges in this part of PA. The bridge, which was built in 1891 is still in use today.







After a quick stop at the bridge, we headed to the Flight 93 Memorial, which is outside the town of Shanksville, PA. The memorial is located where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed after a group of passengers attempted to take control of the hijacked aircraft on September 11, 2001. Since then, various temporary memorials have been built on the site. A permanent memorial is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed there by September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The current memorial includes a small museum with exhibits telling the story of the attack and response as well as detailed biographies of each of the crash victims. It’s a pretty moving place.











After leaving the memorial, we headed into Somerset PA for lunch, stopping along the way at Glessner Bridge, another covered bridge. After lunch, we headed south to Ohiopyle, a town and state park on the Yough River. This town is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. This section of the river is known for whitewater rafting and kayaking but if you’re more into peddling than paddling, the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail, which runs from Pittsburgh to Cumberland runs through town, of if hiking is your thing, here are miles of hiking trails. Our visit to Ohiopyle was short, as we had planned to come back the next day but we did stay long enough to cool off our feet in the river, a popular activity there. We wrapped up the evening with dinner at the Lucky Dog Café back in Confluence, a laid back hang out known for their pizza and good beer selection. (Unfortunately, we forgot the camera at the B&B.)






















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Old 08-08-2011, 05:20 PM   #5
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nice place to get away from and too!
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Old 08-08-2011, 06:49 PM   #6
KHVol
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Enjoying your ride reports...you should try the Marlinton WV area sometime....great single lane roads, old farm houses and barns and good people
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Old 08-08-2011, 07:18 PM   #7
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used to live there, lovely scenery and places, and tons of history
annapolis was also amazing
fantastic bike as well. always liked it
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:50 PM   #8
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Day 3

This was to be our last day of the trip. Little did we know that our plans would change. We had a tour of Fallingwater scheduled at 2:30, and we planned to head home after that since the next day was Independence Day and we wanted to beat the holiday traffic heading back to the DC suburbs. After a great breakfast at the B&B, we packed up and headed back to Ohiopyle for a hike along the Yough to make a morning of it before our tour.













After the hike, we grabbed some lunch in town and then headed to Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright designed summer home of the late Edgar Kaufmann, the Pittsburgh department store magnet. The house was completed in 1939 and used by the Kaufmanns until 1963, when the family entrusted the house to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Probably the most notable feature of the house is its location-- at the top of a series of waterfalls on Bear Run. From a glass hatchway in the living room, you can descend a set of stairs to a platform a couple of feet above the stream. Very cool.








As we were finishing the tour, we started to hear the rumble of thunder not far off. Checking the weather radar on my phone, it looked like the storm was to our west still, and since we needed to head east, I thought perhaps we could beat it. We hurriedly put on our gear, got on the bike and headed up the road. Too late. We got dumped on pretty badly as we rode back in the direction of Ohiopyle. Once there, we found a restaurant porch where we were able to get out of the rain and plan our next move. Checking the forecast, we learned they were calling for severe storms at home as well, so we decided that since we didn’t really need to be home, we would stay another night. Unfortunately, our B&B was already booked for the night, as was everywhere else we called in Confluence in Ohiopyle. We did finally find a motel about 15 miles away, but from little info we could glean on my smartphone, we weren’t expecting much.




As we were riding to the motel (The Lodge at Chalk Hill), it started to clear up. When we arrived at the motel, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the motel rooms were strung out on a hill overlooking a large pond, and each room had a rear deck overlooking the pond. Sweet! After checking in, we rode up the road a piece and found a store where we picked up some chili dogs and refreshments and headed back to our deck to enjoy the view while we ate (Nothing but the best for my baby and me.) A short time later, as we sat on the deck enjoying our refreshments, all of the sudden fireworks pierced the darkness just across the road. A minute later another one. A fireworks show! That we can see from our deck! This was a great way to end the day.









Day 4 (Independence Day)

After our serendipitous evening the night before, we packed up and hit the road. Not wanting to slab it the whole way back, we took a decent back-road from Cumberland MD, Rte 51, which parallels the Potomac River into Paw Paw WV. We stopped along the way to check out the Paw Paw Tunnel, which was built from 1836 – 1850 to provide a shortcut for the C&O Canal. From there, we headed into Winchester, VA and then made a beeline for home. We got back in time to celebrate the 4th with our neighbors. All-in-all, it was a great way to spend the long weekend, exploring another part of our great country.










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Old 08-10-2011, 07:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCrider View Post
nice place to get away from and too!
Yes, I agree. Riding in the NOVA is not much fun, but once outside the area, there's a lot of good options!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KHVol View Post
Enjoying your ride reports...you should try the Marlinton WV area sometime....great single lane roads, old farm houses and barns and good people
Thanks. I've been down that way, but not yet on the bike. I'm sure it would be a blast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shereef View Post
used to live there, lovely scenery and places, and tons of history
annapolis was also amazing
fantastic bike as well. always liked it
Thanks, yes, it's nice area.



Thanks everyone for taking a look.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:44 PM   #10
BubbasDucati
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Nice ride report, Just moved to VA kind of and looking for places to ride on the weekends...
thanks !
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