Long ago I learned about the skinniest stretch of Maryland’s panhandle. Then, in the last few months I experienced the character-filled, historic town of Cumberland which happens to be located at Maryland’s skinniest geography. To the south is West Virginia and to the north is Pennsylvania. Continue readingby
Yesterday was 106 degrees hot. Today was forecast to be 104 degrees hot. For someone wanting to go on a hike, when is a thermally-sane time for an outing? Why very early morning, of course!
My rhythm for climbing Old Rag is well-established. I’m out the door by 7:30, parked and climbing by 9:00 and usually completing the loop by about 12:30. Depending upon the season and the weather, the available light varies only within a certain range. As a photographer, I’m always thinking about light and only today realized that an early morning hike might benefit me by open my eyes to new shooting possibilities.
This morning I was awake by (gulp!) 4:00 AM and out the door by 4:30. Continue readingby
One of the first things I heard from a Park Ranger at the National Park was “Were it not for Harpers Ferry, the battle of Antietam would never have happened.” Well, I knew enough to realize this was a big deal because Antietam was the single worst day of fighting in all of U.S. history with over 22,000 soldiers killed, wounded or missing. Harpers Ferry, Antietam, and more were part of the Confederates’ first incursion into the North in an effort known as The Maryland Campaign. Continue readingby
I came here to practice my hosteling skills before heading off to Wales in August. I’ll be traveling the U.K. again by train and also doing lots of hiking so I’ll need to travel light. In contrast to last time when I felt burdened every time I relocated, this time I want to travel with less weight but with more technology. I’ll have more cameras, my kindle and iPad, and all the supporting accessories such as a wireless keyboard. Importantly, I’ll be traveling without my six pound laptop computer and this is a frightening prospect, hence my need to test things out with a stay at the Harpers Ferry Hostel.
As usual I knew very little about where I was going. Harpers Ferry is one of two National Parks in West Virginia and it stands at the confluence of two rivers: the Shenandoah and the Potomac. Continue readingby
From carpenters nails to t-rails for railroad tracks to steam locomotives, the Stanton brothers had a big impact on this town. At the time when trains were just taking off, northeast Pennsylvania was a busy place. The hard coal came from their hills, the rail lines were produced in their foundries, and soon the area was a major rail transportation hub.
The last fact is what caught my attention and that of the National Park Service too. Due to the important roots of steam locomotion in Scranton and the existence of a railway yard with roundhouse the NPS chose to build the Steamtown National Historic Site here. The site has a museum, a working steam line, a functioning roundhouse, lots of trains and a whole lot more.
This place really is for those who love trains of the steam era. Continue readingby
In northeast Pennsylvania on a hike of only three miles in length you can see 21, yes twenty one, waterfalls ranging in height from 11’ to 94’. It’s pretty awesome to have such a high density of falls. Special enough to have been declared a Registered Natural Landmark and later to become a State park: Ricketts Glen.
I’m not going to burden you with many more words. The pictures below speak to the majesty of the sight; they were taken over two days. I’ll simply close by saying the only thing that could have been better is if there had been more water flowing. It hadn’t rained in quite a while before my visit and the falls were a bit on the anemic side. How do I know? Ricketts Glen Trails has pictures which when contrasted to what I saw make it pretty obvious.
The falls are a delight. Continue readingby