Road Trip: NY/PA/MD/WV/VA and Back

Last week, we went to Virginia for Debbie’s big race, the Grindstone 100. The last time we went to Virginia for an ultramarathon trail race, we flew to Lynchburg via Atlanta. This time, with two kids, and a big race to crew, we opted to drive. We loaded up our VW Eurovan and our GearWagon, and headed south.

We left on Thursday, the race was Friday and Saturday;  and we returned on Monday. We spent Thursday night with our friend and Debbie’s pacer, Paul Davis, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. His hometown is a very cool place. On the way there, we stopped in Maryland to visit the Antietam National Battlefield. We were driving by late in the afternoon and the sun was just perfect. The sky was a deep blue. It was an amazing place to see at that time of day. Looking out over those fields where so much blood was shed, you were transported back to a different era. The visitor center was closed for the day. I returned on my bicycle in the morning, but I was too early. Oh well, we walked the grounds and soaked in the history.

Shepherdstown is a neat place. It is the oldest town in West Virginia. Paul and Laura Davis were wonderful hosts. They have a historic home and have put a lot of love and care into restoring it. The Maryland/Virginia/West Virginia tri-state area is loaded with history. Harpers Ferry is close by. The Appalachian Trail is close by. It seemed like a neat place to live and work.

On Friday morning, we rolled south. Our only hiccup was on I-81 in Virginia. We ran out of gas. That was a real bummer. We were deep into our reserve tank and I wanted to go one more exit. My calculations were wrong, most likely because of the extra weight and drag of the trailer, and we didn’t make it. The only issue was that we missed Debbie’s pre-race meeting. We also had to deal with two kids who didn’t want to be trapped in their car seats on the highway with hundreds of trucks roaring by at 75 mph. Lesson learned.

Paul, the kids, and I drove many back roads during Debbie’s race. The countryside was beautiful and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. When we left Swoope, Virginia on Sunday, after Grindstone, we headed for Shenandoah National Park. Debbie and I had never been there before. We have driven the Blue Ridge Parkway, but never Skyline Drive.

All I can say is that on a peak foliage October day, it was a great experience. We went south to north. The 105 miles took us all afternoon thanks to the 35 mph speed limit and a few stops, but it was worth it. The lookouts were spectacular. We crisscrossed the Appalachian Trail many times and I dreamt about being on it for days on end. Some day.

After we left Shenandoah National Park, we hightailed it to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I didn’t realize that the city was about to file bankruptcy. It didn’t matter to us. We stayed at the same Hampton Inn that we stopped at on our way to the Laurel Highlands Ultra earlier in the summer. We had dinner at the Appalachian Brewing Co. On Monday, we made our way home. We stopped for lunch at a great vegan restaurant in Nyack,  New York. Nyack Main Essentials didn’t realize that they were on Happy Cow. We find a lot of great vegan/vegetarian places with that site. It has helped us many times before.

Debbie had a great race and we had a great road trip.

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I never post about food. However, this is the second time this week that I’m posting about food. These #vegan dishes at Empress by @theprivegroup were awesome. #instavegan #singapore Everything worked out fine for @trailrunningmom After a little stress, they had her race packet and bib number at the @metasprintseries venue and she kept it upright on the bike! 🚴🏽 She was very pleased with 2nd place 🏆 in her age group at her first road #Duathlon.🏃🏻There are no mountains ⛰ and there isn’t much singletrack in #singapore but it’s still a great city for endurance sports. It looked like there were more than 1,500 athletes at the 3K/18K/3K race with LOTS of kids too. Great vibe! #triathlonsg #teamhorstsports 🇺🇸 Our kids may recognize this great Shoppes @marinabaysands feature from six years ago. I had forgotten how cool it was. #singapore #marinabaysands First time on a road bike for @trailrunningmom In advance of her first ever road duathlon @metasprintseries I taught her some tips & tricks including the do's/don'ts of shifting strategy, cornering, blocking (not), drafting (not), passing, flying mount/dismount, etc. It was fun! Even though she was on a "rental" too, I couldn't keep up on my "steed." #triathlonsg #singapore #teamhorstsports @thecheryltan #cheryltan #singapore #singapore Name those tunes. 11-year-old Feng E is making a name for himself in Asia and beyond. #guitar #fenge #singapore 🎸 @trailrunningmom led #yoga at #ypoedge #singapore 

@ypoglobal #yogini Tremendous #vegan dinner @metasingapore Without a heads up, Chef Sun and his team whipped up an amazing seven course + three “snacks” meal for @trailrunningmom and me, that was worthy of their @michelinguide star. We sat at the counter and watched every step in the process. Chef said that with advanced notice (of our diet), he “would have done better.” We appreciated his perfectionism, but it was just fine. #metarestaurant #instavegan #michelinguide #singapore

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