American Tobacco Trail

Ate at restaurant ? In REI shopping center

Rode southern half on Sat to Southport Mall then norther part to Durham on Sunday

Went to Durham Bulls game great lightning show game canceled

Old American Tobacco complex is really cool, with the stadium, restaurant, waterfalls shops etc.




Great Allegheny Trail

  • We stayed at a B&B - up a steep hill from downtown Cumberland

    From three different starting points, we all met in Meyersdale for lunch

    We then all rode (mostly downhill) 25 miles to Cumberland

    Salisbury Viaduct (1908' long), Eastern Continental Divide, Big Savage Tunnel (3294' long), Mason-Dixon Line

    Dinner - downtown Cumberland Restorante Ottaviani

    Plans for Sunday - a ride east on the C&O Towpath - scrapped due to rain

Visited C&O Canal National Historical Park and Visitors Museum



Morgantown, WV

I drove from Ohio and met everyone else there

We stayed at the Spring Hill Suites (best bed ever, according to Emily)

  • This ride was during Tom's recumbent phase (see photo)

    We rode Deckers Creek Trail to Reedsville (where we found a Dairy Queen)

    We encountered a thunderstorm on the way back, just as Tom got a flat tire

    A good samaritan let us use his garage to get out of the rain and fix the tire

    By the time we got back to the hotel, there was a beautiful double rainbow

    The hotel manager didn't want our bikes in our rooms (perhaps a little muddy for his taste)

    The next day we rode the Mon River Trail to Prickett's Fort (where Emily joined us for lunch)

    Another flat tire (David?)

    Emily scouted-out a place for dinner while the rest of us rode back to Morgantown



Washington DC 2014

It's January and time for our annual train trip to DC. Leaving on a Friday this year, our 7:30 a.m. departure from Lynchburg may have propelled the Morgan's to set their 2014 record for the earliest hour to rise from a night's slumber. We arrived in DC over an hour late. Why you ask? Well, the train's whistle stopped working and the engineer had to slow down at intersections because he could not blare the whistle at its normal volume. A repair crew caught up with us south of Manasas and there after, we blasted our way right into Union Station. After checking into the Washington Court Hotel, we ate a quick lunch at Union Station, were befuddled once again by the subway ticket machines and headed to the National Geographic Society. The main attraction was an exhibit by female NG photographers called "A New Age of Exploration - Women of Vision. It was a wonderful show with many photos depicting the life (plight) of women around the world. One photographer's comment really struck me as she alluded to the fact that she could be any of the women in her photographs had she not been born in the United States.

Next stop was the Eastern Market area south of the Capitol. A quick walk through the neighborhood from the subway station brought us to the Market for a tour. However, a cold drizzle was enough to make us realize it was probably a really, really good idea to hit happy hour at Cafe Cava where we had dinner reservations in less than an hour. Subsequently, we had a nice tapas style dinner before heading back to the hotel.

Mount Vernon

Saturday, we headed to Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate on the Potomac River. Gretchen and I don't think we ever went on a tour of the estate even though we have biked to the gate several times on a trail that winds along the River. Gary, Laurie, David and Emily have all been there before but it was many years ago. It's a wonderful place to visit. The grounds and view of the Potomac River are grand, the docents do a fine house tour, and the education facilities are first rate.

Lunch at the Mount Vernon Inn is excellent, particularly when your tour guide arranges for a private dining room with a roaring fire. Good job Gary! The weather forcast for the day was for heavy rain, which thankfully fell around but not on us. However, due note that Mr. Helms can look quite dapper even on the most rainy days!

On our way to dinner we stopped by the National Portrait Gallery. The Gallery is worth a visit just to walk through its atrium! We wanted to see the current exhibit of presidential portraits. Dinner tonight was down the block at Zaytinya, a superb restaurant featuring small plates that highlight Greek, Lebanese and Turkish cuisine. Every "mezze" we had was delicious. Great choice Emily!

Following dinner we headed to DuPont Circle to see the play Our Suburb, a production of Theater J in the DC Jewish Community Center. The play is, to paraphrase the playbill, a homage to Our Town, set in suburban Illinois in 1977 as two families prepare for Christmas and Hanukkah and the Nazis threaten to march on Stokie. It was a serious drama, very well performed by a talented troupe.

Sunday, we hit the museums on the mall. But oh, that American History Museum! Why do I torture myself by visiting it? Several years ago we saw an exhibit of technological progress where we found that the kitchen appliances we grew up with are now historical relics. OK, that was from childhood. But to discover that a staple from my early career days is also now a historical museum relic, one must surely ask the following question. If these are relics, then what in fact am I?

Apple computer surely taken from my room at NCHS.

Escaping from the American History Museum, Gretchen and I found the beautiful clear winter day and a walk through the Sculpture Garden was tonic for our spirits. We met Gary, Laurie, David and Emily for lunch in the new building of the National Gallery which is closed for renovations entirely except for the lobby!

We ate lunch at the cafeteria in the underground connector between the old and new buildings, then walked through the light tunnel on our way to the National Building Museum to see the House and Home exhibit which was very cool.

National Gallery light tunnel

Alas, the hour was late and it was time to get our luggage and head to the train station bringing another great trip to an end. We have done this trip for many years now and continue to find new things to do, see and eat in Washington, DC. Always a great time, and many thanks to Gary for serving as our perennial tour guide.