Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thurmont, Maryland in March 2010

We picked up our unit at Forest City on Monday. Jim finished his paper work for his spring truck driving job making this our last delivery until July. Packed the unit and spent the evening at church as Jim taught another lesson to our Revelation Bible Study Group.

On the road early watching a beautiful sunrise, hanging tight to the steering wheel as the wind blows against the motor home. A few Illinois farmers are in the field applying fertilizer and doing field tillage preparing them for planting.

Listening to audio book, "Deception" by Randy Alcorn as we roll across Indiana. Great suspense plus opportunity to see how a Christian deals with circumstances.

Our stop for the night is at the service plaza on the toll road in Ohio. They do have excellent facilities!

Another beautiful sunrise behind the Appalachian Mountains in the distance as we cross the border into Pennsylvania. Forests cover the mountains. A streams running full over the rocky landscape. The buds on the trees give a reddish tint to contrast with the green pines. Small patches of snow still visible at the base of the trees.

Lots of road construction as we cross into Maryland. Large areas of blooming daffodils in the ditches and the yellow blossoms of the forsythia bush are welcome signs of spring for these two northerners! Driving beside the Potomac River counting off the miles to our last exit for the dealership. Past the C & O National Historic Park that we visited several years ago. The turn-off to Antietam Battlefield bring back memories of being there when our daughter spent a summer in D.C. A sign indicating the Appalachian Trail crossing.

A quick check-in and found a motel. The cherry blossoms were beautiful! Discovered the Family Restaurant with a buffet. Dozens of loaves of of fresh bread to choose from, at least a dozen different varieties of pie plus great main dishes and a choice of beverages all for $9.95.

A beautiful sunny day for a scenic drive thru The Catoctin Mountain Park past a fast flowing rocky bottom creek to a turn-off for the 1 mile Charcoal Trail up the mountain. This area produced charcoal to heat iron ore for smelting until coal was discovered. The charcoal was produced by heating, not burning, logs in an enclosed area. Walking the trails on the rocky slope surrounded by large hardwood trees, oak, chestnut, maples we could imagine the sound of saws and axes, the mules pulling the sleds full of logs depositing them in large stacks near the dome-shaped furnaces. Scenic view of Thurmont area from the top of the mountain trail!

Got lost going through Hagertown, but it was a 'scenic' route! One-way narrow streets, three story narrow houses close to the street, only side-walk width from street, at stops are able to look in the first floor window! Found Hwy 40 west and enjoyed some scenic vistas!

Super 8 west of Wheeling and supper at Bob Evans. Checked our travel information on the web and found that most museums were not open until May or by appointment. A good night's rest. Another beautiful, sunny, clear, 70 degree day for driving! Love the "green" grass and spring flowers!

We found Hilltop Orchids near Cloverdale, Indiana, a stop we missed on previous trips because of time.

What a treat for the eyes! Owners, Dick and Sandy Wells, welcome you to their greenhouses, offer for sale their plants, and give a tour with a "short course" on the culture of orchids. A banana plant is growing along one wall with small green bananas. Dick has been growing orchids since 1954. Many are grown from seed making unique crosses not found elsewhere. Yes, Jim purchased one for me. A stem with dozens of miniature blooms resembling the orchid corsage he had given me for my High School Senior Banquet 51 years ago! It made the trip home and bloomed for many months. Now growing on our window shelf and hopefully will bloom again!

Back to Iowa for spring on The Prairie! Garden to be planted. Truck to be driven. Grand daughter's wedding gown to be made. A "Golden" Week-end to be enjoyed!

See you along the way!

Prairie Schooners

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