Thursday, October 30, 2014

Great Grapes! Autumn 5k Run at Distillery Lane Ciderworks


Another fine fall day lured us out last Sunday with the prospect of some exercise and fun in a rural setting in the heart of Frederick County, MD. Both my sister and my friend had signed up to participate in the Great Grapes Race Series, this time at Distillery Lane Ciderworks, and I was happy to join in!

The Great Grape Race is a series 5k (give or take) trail runs/walks in the local, Frederick-area vineyards and orchards, followed by tastings of either wine or cider, live music, and a picnic or a bit of local fare (available for purchase). Proceeds from the events benefit the March of Dimes' mission to improve infant health by preventing premature birth, birth defects, and infant mortality.



I am a walker at these events, and yes, I walk with the heavy camera around my neck, snapping photos all along the way -- I'm all about the experience, but definitely NOT the speed! But I'm learning that I'm not alone in walking the course, there are usually other people walking too. It's a great way to commit to getting some exercise, see the apple orchards and enjoy the beautiful weather in the rolling hills of Frederick, while supporting a good cause. After the race, there are the usual speeches and the race winners for the Distillery Lane Ciderworks event each received a bottle of the distillery's DLC Hard Cider.

We also were treated to a tasting of four of the distillery's hard ciders: DLC, Jefferson Cider, Celebration (my favorite -- I bought a bottle of this bubbly cider), and Witches Brew, a Halloween "special."

Once apples have been allowed to fully ripen, DLC presses them. Each press (13 to 14 bushels) yields around 35 gallons of juice. After the apples are pressed, the distillery takes the pressed juice and uses it in fresh and hard cider production. The pomace (the pressed apples, seeds, and skin) goes to local dairy and pig farmers to feed to their animals. For fresh cider, they bottle the pressed juice at this point. Hard cider involves several more steps. First, the distillery ferments the juice (special yeast are added for this process). Fermentation takes between 2 weeks to 6 weeks and results in a hard cider with a seven to eight percent alcohol content. After fermentation, the distillery “racks” the cider. Cider naturally has a lot of sediment, and during fermentation, the sediment settles at the bottom of the barrels and is carefully filtered out.



I've been to a lot of wineries since I've begun writing this daytrips blog, but this is the first cider distillery. I wasn't sure what to expect, although I do know I enjoy fresh cider, and I figured it wasn't much of a leap to hard cider. With an alcoholic content lower than most wines, it seems like a nice after dinner or with dinner drink.



If you enjoy cider and remember it from your childhood, you're solidly within the great American tradition. Cider was the most popular drink in North America and England from the early settlers' times, and with good reason: water was potentially lethal. This cider was probably a diluted cider called Ciderkin in the U.K., made by steeping pomace (the remains of pressed apples) in water.


It's worth noting that, just like with beer, drinking hard cider ice-cold isn’t always best. In fact, the suggested way to drink it is out of the cask (or bottle), where it’s closer to room temperature than cold. However, it's worth experimenting with temperature to see which way you prefer.

Getting there: 5533 Gapland Road, Jefferson, MD 21755

Cider Farm & Cidery Fall Hours: Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-5

Dogs: no, although there are two on the property for you to enjoy

Website: http://distillerylaneciderworks.com/

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Favorite Places: Cunningham Falls

There are some places I like to return to over and over again; Cunningham Falls, in Frederick County's Catoctin Mountains, is one of those places.


I'd tried to bring the boys there a year ago, during a lovely cool spell in August, but we were turned away because I hadn't realized the summer-no-dog policy in effect at Cunningham Falls State Park and had grabbed the beagles for the anticipated hike and picnic. Neighboring Catoctin Mountain National Park saved the day for us, as dogs ARE allowed in that park, year round. Instead of enjoying the falls that day, we instead hiked up to Wolf Rock.

The Catoctin Mountains are part of the Appalachian Mountains, the oldest line of mountains on dry land in the world. It's hard to imagine, as the informational sign declared, that these mountains once towered above the Himalayan Mountains, and looked much like them! 200 million years later, the highest mountain peak within the Catoctins -- Quirak Peak -- is a mere 880 feet above sea level.

Since it was October and we had a day off (thank you Christopher Columbus), my husband and I were in search of pretty leaves. Although the fall foliage proved to be disappointing -- I believe due to some late summer dryness-- we saw plenty of beautiful scenery that made the hour-long drive well worth the effort.

This day, however, we had a beagle along and were still able to take the half-mile walk over to the falls. It's a pretty walk, although the trail is fairly crowded -- it's very popular and weekends and holidays make it more so. Ours wasn't the only four-legged friend there -- one dog patiently awaited his master's return from doing some rock climbing alongside the falls.


I remember coming here as a child with a school group, and being told a ghost story about the falls being haunted by a son of the McAfee family that had originally settled the area. According to the story, the little boy had drowned on Christmas morning (but of course, the tragedy would have to happen on such a holiday), having come to the falls and then slipped on the ice and fallen into the freezing water. I remember, as a child, squealing at the thought of the ghost haunting the falls (although imagine a school teacher telling such a story to elementary school age kids now -- it simply wouldn't happen!!). Although the McAfee family is a real part of the history of the land, an Internet search for evidence or even a repeat of the story yielded nothing; there is no other record for this silly ghost story, other than my own faulty memory.

You don't have to be an avid hiker to walk up to the falls -- they're easily accessible through the William Houke section of Cunningham Falls State Park. There is even a flat path that is wheelchair accessible, just off of Rt 77. But if you're nimble enough and so inclined, the rocks are easily climbed and I recommend you adventure up the rocks alongside the falls.

If you go during the summer, there are picnic tables and swimming available at Hunting Creek Lake, more popularly known as Cunningham Falls Lake.

Know before you go: If you have some extra time, drive along Rt 77 -- it's one of Maryland's more scenic drives as it follows Big Hunting Creek. If you come during harvest season, be sure to check out one of the several orchards in the area for in-season vegetables and fruit.

Getting there: 14039 Catoctin Hollow Road, Thurmont, MD 21788

Dogs: Bring them, but check the State Park's web site to determine whether Fido is allowed in the park.

Hours: Both Cunningham Falls State Park and Catoctin Mountain National Park are open year round.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Seeking Autumn Glory in Shenandoah National Park

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." 
~ L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

My husband and I love going leaf peeping every autumn, and try to come up with interesting itineraries for a one- or two-day trip. This year we planned an overnight trip, leaving mid-morning to drive over to Front Royal, at the base of Shenandoah National Park. We'd then follow Skyline Drive to Skyland, where we'd eat a late lunch, then exit the park at Thorton Gap and meander back north, parallel to the park up to Winchester, where we'd stay the night. The next day -- and next week's post -- would take us into West Virginia and western Maryland, where we'd go hike to see the waterfalls in Swallow Falls State Park.



This was supposed to be the peak weekend for Shenandoah, and I watched weather and leaf forecasts anxiously. My fears came true: it was going to rain and be dreary most of the weekend, and "fall was coming slowly." Our schedule wouldn't permit postponing to the following weekend, so we decided to make the best of it, and headed out despite the gloomy forecast. This is a case where the journey and the fun we have together along the way, rather than the destination, was the point of the day trip.


As we drove into Front Royal, at the foot of the Shenandoah Mountains, we noticed the 44th Annual Festival of Leaves in full swing. Curious, we parked and headed over to enjoy the festivities. There were bands playing around the old-timey town square, and crafts and vendors along two closed off streets. Colonial period re-enactors mingled with the crowds around two of the historic homes/museums, and of course, the crowd had lots of dog-friendly people -- our three dogs received a lot of attention, and we were grateful that Front Royal was so welcoming to our beagles and greyhound-mix.

It was, I think, the first time I've ever gotten out of the car in Front Royal. Since the time I was a kid, we'd always drive through, in a rush to get to the campground or the hike's trail-head. If this describes your experience with Front Royal, then next time you're there, plan a stop over for a few hours to explore this quaint historic town.

We noticed that many homes and vendors had fun Halloween decorations up already -- it was a nice way to get in the mood for fall! Halloween decorations is one reason to love October! 






We strolled around for a couple hours, enjoying the town and even chatting with some of the folks we met -- there's nothing like small-town festivals for encountering friendly people who will start up a conversation about anything at all. The dogs were a good conversation starter.


While we were in Front Royal, we also detoured to visit the Prospect Hill Cemetery -- there were some lovely trees starting to show off some spectacular color (it wasn't quite peak there yet). Prospect Hill Cemetery sits overlooking the town of Front Royal, really a pretty location!

Finally we got back in the car and headed into Shenandoah National Park. Signs at the entrance warned of dense fog. We put on our fog lights, crossed our fingers, and hopped for the best. But before we were 2 miles up Skyline Drive, the fog and mist crept in. Still, the trees were beautiful against the white mist -- they didn't photograph really well, but it was still lovely!

I think we visited a week too early: there were a few bright, sweet spots here and there, mostly the dogwoods and another tree I didn't know the name of. Dogwood trees display different shades of scarlet, all of them subtle and muted -- not the splashy oranges or glowing reds of the maples.



My plan to photograph the overlooks didn't quite go as I'd hoped -- most of the overlooks provided spectacular views of ... glaring white cloud, completely obscuring the land below. The fog, as warned, was dense and in some cases, we could barely see 30 feet in front of us. We crept along at 15 or 20 mph. The joy of leaf peeping is the journey afterall. At this rate, we got to enjoy the ride for twice as long as we'd predicted!


The day wasn't a complete loss -- there was a few spectacular splashes of color, and a few places along the drive where the fog cleared out completely. Even in the rain, the gold-hued trees, which I learned from the park's website were hickories, birches, and sassafras, glowed, even under the cloudy sky. Plus, it wasn't all that crowded, thanks to the weather, and we were able to drive at a comfortable pace and enjoy a relaxing day. The dogs, after stretching their legs and getting lots of attention at the Festival of Leaves, were quite content to curl up in the back seat and sleep off the sensory input.


















According to the Park's website (which I thought to check AFTER the trip), fall color was coming slowly to the Shenandoah mountains. Although the trees weren't as spectacular as I'd hoped, it just wet my appetite for the following day, when we drove to Oakland, MD, along country roads that would take us through Romney, WV, before climbing the mountains into Maryland. 



After eating a pleasant lunch at the Skyland dining room -- a burger for my husband and a pulled pork sandwich for me -- we headed down Thorton Gap exit, to drive along Rt 340 parallel to the park, on our way up to Winchester, where we planned to spend the night.

Know before you go: There is enough green on the trees that I suspect that next weekend -- October 18 and 19 -- will still have plenty of autumn glory on the Skyline Drive!

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Working in the Coal Mine!

Coal fired America's Industrial Revolution, and helped shaped the country we live in today. Anthracite coal was the heating and iron-making fuel of choice, and Pennsylvania’s coal mines, which produced anthracite coal, thrived in the late 19th and early decades of the 20th century.


To fill all the jobs necessary to mine coal, companies employed thousands of boys, some as young as 7 or 8, as well as men of all ages. Despite laws prohibiting the employment of children under the age of 14 for industrial work, families willingly sent, and companies willingly employed, young boys. Not only did full-time work prevent these children from obtaining an education, they were subjected to harsh and dangerous working conditions that killed or permanently injured countless numbers.

I was so glad I brought my two sons to tour a coal mine. Opened in 1855, No. 9 Coal Mine, located in Lansford, PA, is the world's oldest continuously operated anthracite coal mine. It closed in 1972 and the opening was concreted over, only to be re-opened as a heritage tourism attraction in 2002. Today visitors ride by train 1600 feet into the mountainside, to see and experience first hand what it was like for miners to work underground.



This is a great tour for the family to see what a real underground coal mine looks like. We arrived on Labor Day Monday. I'd checked the website, but only to note that the first tour is offered at 11 a.m. I didn't notice where it said it wasn't open on Mondays. Although the volunteers who run the museum were busy setting up for a picnic honoring their volunteers, they cheerfully offered to let us tour the museum and the mine itself. They noticed that we had our dogs with us, and suggested that instead of one of us staying with the dogs in the car, we bring our dogs with us into the mine! They really went out of their way to accommodate us and make the experience memorable!



The tour begins with boarding a train to ride 1600 feet into the mine, and then it becomes a walking tour from there. During the tour, we learnt a lot about the coal miner's working conditions -- 16 hour shifts, barely ever seeing daylight, except on Sundays, incredibly dangerous working conditions, laboring for companies that valued their mules more than men's lives. And the darkness within the mine -- hard to imagine the pitch black closing in on you, with only a flickering candle to combat the darkness. There was more light for us in the mine than the miners had when they actively worked it. What was so heart wrenching was that many miners, after paying rent and purchasing food items at the company store, would find themselves OWING their employer more than their salaries. No sick days, no vacation days -- they were essentially slaves.

The elevator which miners would ride down into the mine. Other tourists have claimed to capture
strange images and orbs on photos taken at this area. I got nothing... 


Our tour guide, Chris, noted that he was the latest of six generations of his family to have worked in the mine, although he works as a tour guide. He's proud of his heritage and to share with visitors the mine that his father and grandfather toiled in. He told a lot of stories passed down from his family and from other former miners. After each story, he would turn to my sons, who were the only two kids on the tour that day, and ask "so, would you rather work in the coal mine or do your homework?" At first the two boys were cocky, and said, "work in a coal mine," but as the tour went on, I noticed that eventually they admitted that going to school and doing their homework was indeed a better option.

Chris tossed his hardhat to my older son and invited him to crawl up into a "man hole," a tunnel chiseled out diagonally upward into the stone to allow coal miners to excavate coal from seams. He did, and came out, predictably, filthy!

Chris said that over a thousand men and boys might be working at any given time. Because the tours are VERY quiet, it's hard to imagine the din that all those men and all that machinery, the trains and the mule carts, must have created. Darkness, chaotic noise, damp and chilly working conditions -- it sounds like hell to me. It's worth noting that the mules, which lived within the mine itself while they were working, were rotated out every 6 weeks or so, to spend a few weeks grazing in a pasture, recovering from their time underground.

The museum collection was interesting -- lots of artifacts from workers and the labor union helped tell the story of the rough lives of the workers and their families. It didn't have the sterile feel of the typical artifact museums.

Companies often designed and constructed industrial communities to house their employees in close proximity to the collieries for which they worked. Such mining towns were built to attract other mining families to live and work among the coal fields of northeastern Pennsylvania.

A nice companion tour to 9 Coal Mine is Eckleys Miners Village, about an hour north. It is a community, or coal “patch town,” which provided mining families with the basic necessities such as housing and medical care, as well as basic amenities like a store, a school, and churches.

Many immigrants who came to America hoped to work in the mines just long enough to save money, buy land, and return to the farming lifestyle they had known in Europe. However, once they became part of the company-owned system, very few were able to escape the years of poverty and hardship that faced them.

The story of the Eckley village and the people who lived and worked in it is one of dynamic economic and social change. Beginning more than 160 years ago, it exemplified the clamor and conflict of the anthracite coal industry.

Large families lived in the duplexes, often with boarders, as single men were not allotted houses. Women raised the children and tended the gardens -- there was plenty of space around each duplex for the family gardens. The produce from the gardens supplemented the food purchased by the miner's meager salary.


From the 9 Coal Mine, we learned that often male children would also work in the mines, even as young as six years old, as mule tenders. By the time the boys were 13 years old, they'd be ready to take up mining proper. By 16 they'd be married and starting families of their own, and, Chris said, by their mid-30s or 40s they'd be broken or dead. Women had lots of children, hoping for boys. If anything happened to the breadwinner -- injury that prevented a return to the mines or worse, death, which was pretty common in an era that cared more for mules and machinery than for human life -- boys working in the mine could justify the family staying in the house. It was a hard life, and no guarantee of having anything at the end of a career in the mines.

Eckley’s Catholic Church was built at the eastern end (the poorer side)
o
f the town to serve the Irish parishioners who lived there in the 1850s and 1860s.
There's a small visitor's center there, which has artifacts from the village. The village was preserved because it was privately owned by the coal mining company. In the 1970s it was purchased as a set for "Molly McGuire." Afterward, it was donated to the Pennsylvania Historical Commission and eventually opened as a museum. The village now consists of a single long street, along which churches, miners' homes, the company store, and the doctors and owners' houses are situated. Although we didn't stay for the walking tour, I recommend taking it, as it brings you into some of the buildings, which are closed otherwise.

Know before you go #1: Dress appropriately for The 9 Coal Mine and Museum. Bring shoes for walking on rough gravel -- leave the flip flops and pretty shoes (it's also dirty, i.e., a coal mine) at home. It's 54 degrees in the mine, all year around, and very damp, so bring a jacket or wear long sleeves.

Know before you go #2: Bring cash for the 9 Coal Mine. And no, there's no ATM machine. And bring some small bills with which to tip your tour guide. Please be patient -- this museum is run by its volunteers!

Getting there: The 9 Coal Museum is located at 9 Dock St, Lansford, PA 18232; Eckley Miners’ Village is located 3 miles south of Freeland off Highland Road (off Foster Avenue/Route 940). If using GPS, use 2 Eckley Back Road, Eckley, PA 18255.

Hours: To verify the museums are open, please check the websites.

Dogs: Surprisingly, yes. We arrived at the 9 Coal Mine with all three pooches, with plans to have one of us stay in the car (with the AC on) with them. The staff saw we had dogs and suggested we bring them right into the mine itself! This is definitely one dog-friendly museum! Although dogs aren't welcome in the buildings at Eckley Miners' Village, they're certainly welcome to join you as you walk through the village itself.

Website: http://no9mine.tripod.com/

Check out the blog's FB page for updates on places we've visited and blogged about:  facebook.com/midatlanticdaytrips!

Have you daytripped somewhere interesting? I'd love to hear what you're doing! Email [email protected] if you're interested in being a guest-blogger! 



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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pedal Through the Past: Biking through History



The prospect of biking through three national parks and two states in one day was intriguing, and doing so while gaining some insight into local Civil War history and heritage was almost too good to be true. That's what I was thinking as I signed my husband and I up for Pedal Through the Past bike ride, sponsored by the Harper's Ferry Historical Association and the David Larsen Memorial Fund last Saturday. The ride's theme was "4 years, 40 miles."

Although Harper's Ferry was enshrouded with fog at dawn (when we arrived in the Visitor's center parking lot), most of the fog lifted by the time the bike ride got rolling at 8:30 a.m. We saw deer skittering across the parking lot as we drove in, dark silhouettes that quickly disappeared in the dense fog.

To set the tone for the journey, we traveled downhill from the visitor's center into Harpers Ferry itself, to “John Brown’s Fort,” a controversial icon forever linked to Brown and his daring 1859 raid to end slavery. Scott Devers, one of the ride leaders (and organizers), discussed how the same United States that captured Brown and his supporters later assumed the role of Brown’s liberating army, which never materialized at Harper's Ferry. With Lincoln’s election in 1860 and the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, Brown’s dream of an army marching to free four million enslaved Americans became a reality. 

"John Brown's Fort," in Harper's Ferry, although only a minor building of the arsenal that was there in 1859.


From there we headed down along the Potomac River further through Jefferson County, following a rough gravel road next to the old U.S. Armory canal, then through the River Riders campground and then back onto a paved road, Bakerton Road, which we followed up some pretty strenuous hills (three hills of the walk of shame for me, and several others) to Bethesda United Methodist Church. (A special call-out of thanks and appreciation to the members of Bethesda UMC for allowing us use of their restrooms!) Although the ride description suggested that there were two routes, a 40-mile ride for more experienced (and fit) riders, and a 31-mile ride, with "gentle hills," both routes followed the same hilly route up to Shepherdstown from Harper's Ferry, and those hills got the better of me!

The road and scenery were beautiful, however, and we couldn't have asked for better weather. There's a different feel to riding/walking it than driving through, enclosed in a vehicle (even if the moon roof is open). And I noticed things I might not have if I were riding in a car -- which is part of the joy of riding a bicycle. Not only are the ups and downs more noticeable, but there's simply more time to appreciate what's around. A flag waved gallantly from a tree branch high over the road. And on the left, later on in River Road, we passed an old toilet, sporting brightly colored mums, that made me chuckle. That was part of the organizer's goals: to ensure we experienced the places we rode past in a way we wouldn't have been able to from a car window. So despite those hills and lagging behind the main group, we ended up seeing and experiencing things we would never have done on our own.


The morning's first snack rest stop at Bethesda UMC.
Jefferson County’s pre-Civil War free and enslaved African Americans played a crucial part in powering the early 1800s industrial period; water-powered canals, river boat transportation and cement milling were all achieved through enslaved labor. At a stop along River Road, along the Potomac River, we heard about the importance of the cement factory and its connection to the Battle of Shepherdstown. 

From there we rode through Shepherdstown, across the Potomac over to Ferry Hill Plantation on the Maryland side. Ferry Hill sits above the crossroads of the Potomac River, the C&O Canal, and the "great road," now known as MD Rt 34, or Shepherdstown Pike. 

The old cement factory along River Road, near Shepherdstown.
The community that grew as a result of the ferry, which had been established in 1755, became known as Bridgeport, located directly across from Shepherdstown. During the Revolutionary War, the ferry served the Continental Army, and continued to operate until a covered bridge was constructed in 1849.

John Blackford acquired interest in the ferry and adjoining acres through an inheritance from the Van Swearingen family when he married Sara van Swearingen in 1812. Looking for an ideal location to build a home and start his family, he decided to build the house high on the bluff overlooking the Potomac River, on the plantation appropriately known as Ferry Hill. Blackford could sit on his front porch and monitor his two slaves, Ned and Jupe, as they ran the ferry down below.  (For more about Ned and Jupe, or information about all the stops, please click on the link to the youtube videos, below.) The plantation consisted of some 700 acres of farmland, a tavern, and the ferry. Blackford also supported the building of the C&O Canal, which crosses his land. Both Union and Confederate forces occupied the mansion during the Civil War, taking turns of course!

The lunch stop was at Ferry Hill Plantation, generously sponsored by Chick-fil-A, Cannonball Deli, and Potomac Grill, with sandwiches, cookies, chips, and sodas, Gatorade and water. 

Ferry Hill Plantation
Several employees of Phoenix Bikes, based in Alexandria, VA, provided valuable support to many of the riders, including me, so another call out to them as well! Going up one of the first hills I tried to shift down (into "granny gear") and my chain got hung up, and that pretty much squelched any hope I had of climbing that hill -- not that I believe I would have gotten all the way up anyway, but I might have gotten further up. That problem plagued me until the lunch break, when I asked 17-year-olds Ever Franco and Noe Cuadra (with adult mechanic Paul Wilee) to take a look. It turns out my derailer hanger was bent, and that was causing the chain to hang up when shifting. They did their best to straighten it again, and indeed, I was able to change gears much more smoothly the rest of the ride.

After lunch, those who wanted the shorter, 31-mile ride split off from the rest of the group to head across Rt 34 to the C&O Canal at Lock 37 (mile marker 72), to head 12 miles back down the tow path to Harper's Ferry, while the rest rode on into Antietam. Having explored Antietam before as part of a leadership class at work, I wasn't heartbroken at skipping it, and that was the right choice for us. I looked forward to spending more leisurely time on the tow path.

The tow path was lovely and cool, almost fully shaded, and wasn't very busy until we drew closer to Harper's Ferry at mile marker 60. After the morning segment of the ride, I was grateful for both the shade and the almost imperceptible decline. Lots of stops for photos and to fix a flat tire helped soothe muscles already beginning to ache. As usual on the tow path, we saw a lot of birds, including a bald eagle and several heron. We checked in with the ride organizers at the end point in front of the historic railroad station and then we ended our adventure with a lovely early dinner at one of our favorite cafes in Harper's Ferry.


The ride would never have been started if it wasn't for David Larsen, an avid cyclist, and the David L Larsen Memorial Fund. David Larsen was an innovator who believed in sharing National Park resources with others, and championed engaging the public with the larger meanings and relevance of tangible cultural and natural resources, such as historic places like the remnants of the cement factory, the C&O Canal, and the national battlefields. His believed in making sites more relevant to diverse audiences. When thinking of a way to honor Larsen and raise funds to support internships, the Memorial Fund thought of combining a bicycle trip with his passion for the past.

The ride organizers are already at work planning next year's ride, including possibly designing a more beginner friendly, flatter, 25-mile loop, according to Devers. I whole-heartedly support the idea of a ride meant for more casual, recreational bike riders.



Their vision for the future of the ride is ambitious and compelling. "We believe that in the future, when we attract hundred of riders to this event, there will be riders who will enjoy the history videos on their smart phones, Melinda Day, one of the organizers and an employee of the National Park Service, said.

Riders, she envisions, "will be able to move over the historic landscape at their own pace and when they reach a place where a story happened, stop, go to the videos on youtube on their smart phones, and see a local history expert in the video, standing in the same location, and hear the story and see images of people long gone who helped shape the history of our counties."

I'll definitely keep a look out for next year's ride -- the 25-mile option!

Know before you go #1: If you intend on doing this next year, make sure you've got a decent hybrid that can take road or unpaved trail!

Know before you go #2: If you're interested in riding it and hearing the history discussions, check out the "4 years of history" digital videos loaded up on youtube. at this link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUEs8TBkhdE&list=PLeSAsi1Am6Ruk47k-az5xIJql_niqt1nS

Larsen Memorial Fund Intern 

Josh Van Winkle interacting with park visitors.

Website: http://www.david-larsen-mf.org/dlmf/pedal-through-the-past-2014/

Check out the blog's FB page for updates on places we've visited and blogged about:  facebook.com/midatlanticdaytrips!

Have you daytripped somewhere interesting? I'd love to hear what you're doing! Email [email protected] if you're interested in being a guest-blogger! 

Other sponsors of Pedal Through the Past include Jefferson County, the Trail & Town Alliance of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar, the Harpers Ferry Historical Alliance, the National Park Service, and AC&T.